Do you hate shopping malls and searching high and low for the perfect Christmas gift?
It’s holiday shopping season—and with an influx of shipping delays across Florida and the U.S.—many shoppers are scratching their heads as to what to buy their loved ones this Christmas. Well, we’re here to tell you that in lieu of another Christmas candle or clothes they may return, consider giving the gift of home improvement.
Today, we’ll share our top eight Christmas gift suggestions centered around fixing up your Clearwater and Tampa Bay area home. And naturally, our list is anchored in air conditioning (AC). Happy gifting!
Gift Idea #1: A New Thermostat
Florida’s weather is unpredictable at times, especially in the winter months. When long-awaited lower temperatures finally arrive, a reliable thermostat is sure to help you regulate the temperature inside your home, condo or townhouse this holiday season.
That’s why a new thermostat tops our holiday gift-giving list. Smart and programmable thermostats help you control your HVAC system while home or away and come in a wide variety of models, with options for both wi-fi smart home connectivity and remote controls.
At Air Care, we recommend gifting a , which helps you control your AC system around the clock and save on energy bills. Learn more about Honeywell thermostats, and contact Air Care to request a thermostat installation.
Whichever thermostat you choose, we recommend setting your thermostat to 78 degrees during the day and one to two degrees higher when you’re away. According to Duke Energy Florida, each degree you raise your thermostat can help you save up to 5% in cooling costs.
Gift Idea #2: Hot Water Recovery Unit
We love products that save you money and serve a dual purpose. Don’t you? Besides money-saving advantages, our next pick is sure to fit your home improvement needs.
Consider gifting a which uses the heat from your AC to meet most, if not all, of your hot water needs. The best part? It does so for free while also boosting the SEER rating of your HVAC system.
We’ll break the savings down even further. Based on an active family of four, the AQUEFIER® heat recovery unit can cut your electric bills down by as much as 15% and water heating costs by 50%. That’s because when you install a heat recovery unit, your AC runs more efficiently and the AC compressor life is extended, since the unit relieves pressure from the compressor, and it doesn’t have to work as hard.
Learn more about the AQUEFIER® Heat Recovery Unit, and contact Air Care to purchase and install one today.
Gift Idea #3: New Attic Insulation
If you’re trying to keep cooled or heated air from escaping your Clearwater home, attic insulation is the answer. It’s not only a great home improvement gift, but it’s an easy way to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient this season.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that homeowners can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs by air sealing their homes and adding insulations in attics. And according to Duke Energy, improving your insulation can even save you up to $130 a year. That’s why insulation is third on our list of home improvement gifts.
Attic insulation tends to settle over time and become thinner and less effective. No matter what type of insulation your home currently has, a quick way to determine if you need more is to look across the span of your attic. If you can easily see your joists, you should add more.
To get started, contact Air Care today to perform an in-home energy audit, or use the online home energy check with Pinellas County utility provider, Duke Energy, to learn more about energy enhancements and their attic insultation upgrade program.
Then, engage a local company in Clearwater to install attic insulation, or purchase insulation and rent equipment at a home improvement store (like Home Depot) to blown-in attic insulation yourself.
Gift Idea #4: New Windows or Doors
Did you know that 10-20% of the air inside your home can escape through leaks in your windows and doors?
While you can seal and insulate leaks for a quick fix, one of the best ways to keep your home comfortable is to invest in new windows and/or doors. Did we mention it could also boost your curb appeal? If you’re looking for a great home improvement gift, this is it.
If you’re hoping to invest in all-new windows, start by asking your friends and family for recommendations or search online for on a good window company. Always check the company reviews and vet their use of licenses and permits. The same applies for door installations, or you can browse and buy exterior doors from a local home improvement store (like Home Depot or Lowe’s). We recommend making this gift investment together with your loved one to ensure it’s the right fit for your home and style taste.
Whatever route you choose, be sure to check Duke Energy’s energy efficient window program for rebate information.
Gift Idea #5: Window Treatments
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), about 76% of sunlight on windows enters your home in the form of heat.
Aside from all-new windows and doors, the next best thing is to give the gift of window treatments—likes curtains, shades or blinds. If you want cool indoor temperatures, a “blackout” option is your best bet, and there are plenty of products on the market to choose from.
Browse window treatments, solar screens and window films on home improvement websites, like Home Depot and Lowe’s, for reliable and cost-effective options.
Gift Idea #6: Shady Plants or Shrubs
Shady plants, trees and shrubs are the perfect addition to your Clearwater home this season. It’s not only a lovely gift for any recipient, but according to the Florida Public Service Commission, shade trees and leafy shrubs create shade and reduce cooling costs by up to 30%.
When the sun rises each morning across the Tampa Bay area, there’s not as much heat accumulating inside or outside your home. However, the west and southwest directions receive the most direct sunlight in the early to late afternoons. Wilcox Nursery & Landscape in Largo recommends purchasing and planting deciduous trees and plants on the south and west sides of your home, which can provide shade for your home and AC unit and make it run more efficiently.
Read more tips from Wilcox and consider gifting shaded trees or shrubs from a local nursery or home improvement store this Christmas.
Gift Idea #7: Ductwork Improvements
Ductwork may not be the most exciting topic for gifting this Christmas, but testing or repairing it can make a big difference in your home.
That’s because your AC ductwork is one of the most important components to your HVAC system. If your air ducts are poorly sealed or insulated, cooled and heated air could be lost due to leaks. It could also make the humidity in your home much worse because it pulls back in warm air when your AC runs, which could lead to higher energy bills.
If you suspect your ductwork needs repair, call your AC professionals at Air Care first before gifting it. We are an approved AC partner in the Duke Energy Duct Test & Repair Program, and our technicians are specially trained to test and fix ductwork if it’s needs repair.
Gift Idea #8 (Aka, The Best Gift of All): A New HVAC System
You could make all of the other improvements to your home—like installing new windows, doors, ductwork and insulation—but if your AC unit is too old, you could still feel uncomfortable indoors.
If your HVAC system is older than 10 years, it’s time to invest in a new air handler and heat pump. AC technology and equipment have advanced over the years, and an HVAC system that’s dated won’t have the same life span as one that’s designed and developed today.
A new AC unit is not an inexpensive gift option, but it’s certainly the most important investment you can make this year to guarantee reliable heating and cooling in your home—especially for Christmas.
We recommend Rheem HVAC systems for all new installations for its quality manufacturing, peak performance and best-in-industry warranties. about Rheem products or watch the video below.
Want more good news? At Air Care, we have new Rheem AC units readily available for installation—so you can avoid shipping delays this holiday season. Contact us to request a free, written in-home estimate and installation information.
Trust Your AC Professionals at Air Care
If you’re looking to give the gift of home improvement and AC repair this Christmas, look no further than Air Care. We partner with customers across Clearwater and the Tampa Bay area to keep you comfortable this holiday season and all year long.
We proudly serve customers in Pinellas, western Hillsborough and southern Pasco counties, and specialize in HVAC tune-ups, maintenances, repair, parts replacement and total AC replacements. Give us a call today at 727-449-2699 to learn more.
“We feel very secure on returning to Canada knowing our heat pump works well until we return to Florida. We have used (Air Care) for heater repairs for years, and as snowbirds, it is great to know that we have a company who is going to ensure that our house and major heating and air conditioning equipment will be safe will we are gone.” — Lee of Dunedin, Florida
Contact Air Care today, whether you live in the area year-round or only for the winter months.
Duke Energy Florida: Manage your thermostat
Florida Public Service Commission: 105 Causes of High Utility Bills
Department of Energy: Energy Efficient Window Coverings
Energy Star: Methodology for Estimated Energy Savings from Cost-Effective Air Sealing and Insulating
Duke Energy Duct Test & Repair Program