Touchstone Heating & Air Inc Blog

Duct Cleaning and Other Ways to Help With Allergy Season

March 23rd, 2020

family-in-yard-before-frame-houseSpring brings warm weather, but it’s also the season when people who have allergies to grass and pollen suffer from hay fever the most. The warmer weather causes plant blooms, and the pollen count shoots into the stratosphere. It can even be an uncomfortable time for non-allergy and asthma sufferers.

You can take various medications to help deal with the symptoms that come with allergy season. There are also ways to attack the source of the problem, at least inside your own home. One of the most effective of these services is duct cleaning in Gainesville, FL, particularly if you’ve never arranged for this service before.

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Looking for Better AC Efficiency in a New Unit?

March 9th, 2020

touchstone-new-ac-yorkWarm weather settles in early during the year for Florida—if it can ever be considered to have “gone away” in the first place. If you’re looking to change your air conditioning in Gainesville, FL because you have an ancient money-guzzling cooling system, early spring is the best time to schedule the work. Speak to our technicians, and they’ll help you get started finding the right new unit with no rush.

If the money you’ve spent on cooling your house the past few years has irritated you, then we’ll guide you toward an AC unit with better efficiency. Below we’ll look at a bit more at the quest for an energy-efficient choice.

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The Top 5 Reasons to Schedule a Pre-Season AC Tune-Up

February 24th, 2020

AC-repair-contractorSpring arrives officially next month. And in Florida, it’s already unofficially here. Time to prepare your home’s central air conditioner for another sweltering summer slam. How do you do that? Call your reliable professional HVAC technician (spoilers: that’s us) and tell them you want a pre-summer AC tune-up and inspection.

There are many reasons for pre-season tune-ups, and we’ve picked the five biggest. So put your hands together, we’re counting down…

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The Parts That Make a Heat Pump Different From an AC

February 10th, 2020

air-conditioner-units-near-grassThe heat pump is common in some parts of the US, almost unknown in others. You don’t often find heat pumps at work in places with cold winters, but they’re increasingly popular in warmer climates like those on the West Coast, the Southwest, and right here in Florida.

But even with the popularity of heat pumps in Lake Butler, FL and elsewhere in North Central Florida, many homeowners are not sure how they do what they do. I.e. “How does something that looks like an air conditioner and acts like an air conditioner also provide heating when needed?”

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A Lowdown on Using an Electric Furnace

January 27th, 2020

heating-elementWhat’s the most common type of home heating system in the U.S.? The natural gas furnace by a wide margin. Gas furnaces produce large amounts of heat and can warm up a house faster than almost any other type of heater. The lower cost of natural gas makes them attractive as well.

Gas furnaces aren’t as common in Florida. Their heating power is often too intense for our mild winters, and the lower cost of natural gas often makes little difference when furnaces don’t run often. This makes electric furnaces a frequent alternative. For homeowners without any gas connection, electric furnaces may seem like the only central heating option. They’re not, but they’re still popular choices.

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How Furnaces Have Gotten Better and Better

January 13th, 2020

gas-burnersOnce upon a time, the most common furnace for a house was a ghastly monstrosity known as an “octopus furnace.” It sat in the basement of the home, burned coal, and distributed heat by letting it rise through large pipes that crawled up through the house. Inefficient, unreliable, costly, dangerous.

Obviously, furnaces have come a long way since then. We don’t have old octopus furnaces around in Florida (we rarely have basements!), but the changes in furnace technology over only the last two decades are impressive. If you have an older furnace (15 years or more), we recommend looking into the new models with their superior efficiency.

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Is Duct Sealing Really Beneficial?

December 30th, 2019

inside-corrugated-air-ductThe ductwork in the modern home is often substandard, as if the original builders of the house didn’t put much thought into the placement or materials of these important air channels. We’ve seen plenty of poor ductwork in the more than two decades we’ve worked on HVAC systems. This is why duct sealing in Gainesville, FL is one of the most important services we can provide for a ventilation system. Leaks are much more likely to occur in poorly designed and installed ducts. But even quality ductwork can develop leaks.

Professional duct sealing is the only way to effectively close air leaks along ductwork. A few leaks may not sound like it’s that big a deal, but we can assure you that duct sealing is highly beneficial, no matter the number of leaks.

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Changing the Air Filter Monthly Over Winter

December 16th, 2019

Wet Air FilterThe air filter for your HVAC system is a critical component for it to operate well. It isn’t there to clean your household air but to protect the interior of the cabinet from all the dust, lint, and other particles the blower fan draws in through the return air ducts.

Just as important as the job of the air filter is changing the filter regularly. The filter isn’t self-cleaning, so it has to be replaced with a new filter to prevent air blockage. Unfortunately, homeowners often forget to do this job, especially during the winter when the HVAC system won’t run as often in the mild Florida weather. But even during winter, regular filter changes are essential.

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Bettering Winter Indoor Air Quality

December 2nd, 2019

air-filterMaking it through winter in comfort here in North Central Florida is rarely a problem—at least when it comes to keeping warm. Low temperatures are rare, and heating systems don’t have to stretch hard to get the job done.

But there’s another aspect to comfort that can become trouble during our winters, and that’s the quality of the air in our homes. Because our houses are usually well-sealed against the outdoor air (making it easier to stay warm, even without the heater running), there’s little chance of fresh air currents to sweep out the stale indoor air and its pollutants. Your house may end up with stuffy air filled with dust, lint, germs, chemicals, and other unwelcome particles.

However, you have ways to improve your air quality during winter. Our technicians offer indoor air quality services that can make your air quality as pleasant as your indoor temperatures.

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Answering Your Questions About Ductless Cooling and Heating

November 18th, 2019

ductless-mini-split-on-the-wallWe’re advocates for ductless heating and cooling systems, also known as ductless mini split heat pumps, or just ductless mini splits. Homes that were built without ducts can enjoy excellent comfort with a ductless mini split, and new homes can be designed without having to hand over valuable space to ducts.

Ductless systems are new to many homeowners, so we receive plenty of questions about them. We’ve answered the major ones below.

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