Touchstone Heating & Air Inc Blog

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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Yes, Your Heat Pump Needs Maintenance in Fall as Well

November 4th, 2019

air-conditioner-replacementWe often remind our customers that HVAC maintenance is important around the year. It’s easy to understand why air conditioning in Gainesville, FL needs a good tune-up and inspection in spring to prepare for another sweltering summer. And it’s easy to forget that heating systems must have the same service in fall to prepare a mild, but often surprising, winter. But it’s heat pumps that cause the most confusion among homeowners when it comes to maintenance.

If you have a heat pump to provide comfort for your house, you already know the benefit of how it works: great cooling for most of the year, but it becomes an efficient heater whenever those colder days come around. But because a heat pump is a single system, you might think it only needs to receive professional maintenance once a year. This isn’t true. Your heat pump requires two maintenance visits annually: one in spring, one in fall.

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Your Furnace Is Older Than 15: A Few Things to Know

October 21st, 2019

furnace-oldOne of the best ways to tell when a heating system is ready for a replacement is basic age. Each heater comes with a manufacturer’s estimated service life. Once the system is beyond that age, we advise you to think about replacing it, even if the unit still seems to function well. It doesn’t mean you should automatically replace it. But it’s time to ask yourself serious questions about the heater’s performance so you’ll know when to pull the trigger on a new system.

Since it’s now fall and you’re preparing for cooler weather, it’s the right point to address the furnace in your home. If you have a furnace that’s older than 15 years (the usual estimated service life for a gas furnace), there are a few important things for you to know.

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Is an Air Filter Enough for Healthier Air in My Home?

October 7th, 2019

air-fliter-cuIf you found your way to this blog, it’s probably because you know your house, like many houses in Florida, has poorer air quality than you would like. Homes today are often built so tightly that there is little chance for the circulation of fresh air, and even less chance in a warm climate like ours.

What’s the best solution to combat low indoor air quality? Air filtration systems are one of the basic solutions for removing the unwanted particles circulating through a house—but is an air filter enough for your house? Let’s take a look.

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Fall Is the Best Time for an HVAC Tune-Up

September 23rd, 2019

service-blue-marketSeptember is coming to a close, and hurricane season along with it. As the evacuation orders lift and the weather becomes a little less aggressive, you may consider giving your AC system a short break.

The start of fall might offer your HVAC unit a little bit of relief after it has been working hard all summer. The heat and humidity that Florida is known for may not be going anywhere, but these conditions are often more bearable than a month ago.

As the temperature drops, you may not be as concerned by the idea of your HVAC system suffering a breakdown. However, this is the best time of year to pay the most attention to your AC unit.

The temperate weather that begins in fall signals the best time of year to give your system a little TLC with some HVAC maintenance.

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Your Air Conditioning System Has Its Limits

September 9th, 2019

young-woman-shiversIn the Florida fall weather, home air conditioners still put in plenty of work—and sometimes they’ll hit their limit and need air conditioning repair in Newberry, FL.

We want to discuss air conditioning system limits in greater detail so our customers can understand what their ACs can and cannot do. An AC is not an unending supply of cooling that works against the heat no matter what—it has limitations, and we’re going to look closer at them.

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The AC Cooling Cycle: How Long Should It Last?

August 26th, 2019

AC-plastic-grateA problem our technicians often address in air conditioning systems is short-cycling. This is when an air conditioner becomes trapped in the start-up cycle so it doesn’t complete a regular cycle. The thermostat activates the compressor to begin cooling down the house, but for some reason, the compressor shuts down early. Soon after, the compressor starts again, only to shut down early once more… and the process repeats.

Most of the time, short-cycling requires professional air conditioning repair in Alachua, FL to fix. No matter what, don’t allow your AC to continue this stop-and-start routine. It increases wear on the system and endangers the compressor. You might end up with a dead AC years before its time. And you will certainly have higher electrical bills because the start-up cycle uses the most amount of power of any part of an AC’s operation.

But to understand when an AC is short-cycling, you have to understand how long a “regular” cooling cycle lasts. Let’s get into the details …

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Air Conditioning Won’t Run? It May Be a Contactor Problem

August 12th, 2019

electrical-componentsThe “no cool” is the most common air conditioning emergency call we get. Our technicians are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to rush out to help with whatever has caused and AC to stop doing its job.

There are several reasons for an air conditioner to stop working. A common one we’re going to look at today is a problem with a contactor. What’s a contactor? That’s as good a place to start as any …

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The Moldy AC—It Happens!

July 29th, 2019

virus-cellsNobody likes talking about mold in homes. It’s icky and unpleasant. And, in the case of black mold, it’s downright dangerous. Unfortunately, living in a humid place like Florida means we have to confront the reality of mold and mildew sometimes cropping up in our homes. A good defense is the best way to keep these troubles away.

Our expertise when it comes to unwanted mold is when the mold occurs inside a home’s air conditioning system. This can happen, and happen more often than anybody would like. For a number of reasons, ACs can encounter bad mold and mildew problems, which hinder their ability to function, send awful smells around a house, and even spread black mold spores everywhere.

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