Touchstone Heating & Air Inc Blog : Archive for September, 2013

Why is a Professional Generator Installation Necessary?

Monday, September 30th, 2013

In Gainesville, FL, generator installation provides security and peace of mind for your family during inclement weather. We see our share of big storms and hurricanes here, which can wreak havoc on even the more reliable civic electricity system. With a good back-up generator, you can stay connected to the outside world while keeping lighting, air conditioning, and other vital equipment running. It can be enticing to try and install a generator yourself in order to cut down on costs, but that decision is usually a mistake. Why is a professional generator installation necessary? A few of the strongest reasons are listed below.

  • Sizing. Like air conditioning units, generators need to be a specific size to fit the power needs for your home. It can be a complicated equation, but trained experts know how to arrive at the most accurate conclusion and find a unit that is perfect for your needs. They can also recommend the most reliable and efficient brands for you, helping to eliminate some of the guesswork.
  • Installation. Installing a generator can be tricky, and will involve proper permits and other bits of paperwork. You also need to know where to place it on your property so that it will stay safe and dry, proper ventilation to let emissions clear your home, how it will handle the electrical load, what must be done to secure it in place and a host of similar issues. Experienced professionals know how to address them with speed and efficiency.
  • Insurance. Qualified professionals possess the correct certification and are usually backed by sound insurance. That protects both them and you in the event something unforeseen happens, allowing them to install your generator with confidence and assurance.

A professional generator installation in Gainesville, FL is not only necessary, but actively helpful in ensuring your generator is ready to go when the next big storm hits. Touchstone Heating & Air operates in Gainesville FL, generator installation is a cornerstone of our business, and our trained staff are dedicated to your complete satisfaction. Why go to anyone else? We’re here to help, so give us a call today!

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Air Conditioning: Reducing Energy Costs

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Did you look over your air conditioning bills after a muggy Florida summer and wonder what you could’ve done to lower them? Touchstone Heating & Air has some good advice on what you can do to get those AC electric bills down and keep them down. When it comes to air conditioning in Gainesville, FL, trust our experienced team to help you get the most from your system.

A very simple step you can take to use less power with your AC is to make more use of the “fan only” mode. Some people don’t realize that this mode uses significantly less power than when the unit is set to cooling. With the air conditioner set to “fan only,” no power goes to the compressor that sends refrigerant through the system. Although you won’t get cooled air from your vents, you will get excellent air circulation to provide you with relief from stagnant air.

Try to avoid the temptation to crank your AC to its coldest setting. According to the EPA, if you raise your thermostat a mere six degrees from 72° to 78°, you can save up to 18% on your electricity bill each year. Most people will find 78° comfortable no matter the weather outside. Stabilize your daytime use at this temperature, and then take advantage of the cool evening temperature to raise it further or to shut it off and you should see a positive effect on your monthly power bills.

Finally, have a professional complete preventive maintenance on your air conditioner to make sure that it operates efficiently. Dirt building up inside the case, overworked motors, poor connections, and refrigerant leaks will all lead to an AC that sucks up more energy than it should. The better your AC runs, the less power it will waste. Plan to get check-ups twice a year for your air conditioner. The fall is a good time to start, since technicians will have more open schedules.

Touchstone Heating & Air takes pride in making customer satisfaction our top priority. Your air conditioning in Gainesville, FL is in good hands when you call on us.

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Air Conditioning Repair: Fan Not Turning On

Monday, September 16th, 2013

With high levels of humidity and a warm season that lasts all year, living in Florida requires a reliable air conditioner to keep you comfortable. If an important part of your AC stops working, like the fan, you can’t afford to wait to do something about it. If you need air conditioning repair in Gainesville, FL, look no further than the skilled staff at Touchstone Heating & Air for professional help.

Your air conditioner needs two fans to operate, one each in the inside and outside units. The inside fan blows cool air through your vents, and the outside one takes care of removing the heat. If either fan stops working, you will not receive the cold air you expect from your AC.

The most common cause of the fans failing to turn on is a burned out motor. Without maintenance, the motors can run down from long use and overheat, damaging their wiring. It’s a good idea to have an HVAC specialist take a look at your AC after the intense summer months so you can avoid a motor failure that will leave your fans stuck in one place.

A problem with the capacitor could be one of the reasons for your fan not turning on. The capacitor is a small cylinder-shaped device that acts as the catalyst for the motors that run the fans as well as the compressor. If the capacitor is unable to send voltage to the fan motors, they won’t operate. Don’t try to repair a burned-out compressor on your own—there is a danger of electrical shock! Let a professional handle this problem.

It’s possible that all the components inside the air handler and the condenser are working fine—and the problem is actually the thermostat. If your thermostat is improperly calibrated, it might think that your home doesn’t need the fan in operation and won’t turn on. You might need to have the thermostat fixed or perhaps have an up-to-date unit installed in its place.

A non-working fan needs attention right away. Don’t hope that it will fix itself and start spinning the next time you turn on your AC. Regardless of the root problem, Touchstone Heating & Air can get your air conditioning repair needs taken care of in Gainesville, FL. Contact us today to schedule service.

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Air Conditioning Tip: Your AC and Your Generator

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Hurricane season is coming up, and power outages are something Florida residents need to seriously consider. Using an emergency generator or a standby generator is something many people rely on. But how does a generator affect your air conditioning system, and vice versa?

Touchstone Heating & Air has many years of experience with the air conditioning trouble you might expect with the troublesome hurricane weather in Gainesville, FL. Here are a few things you should know about your air conditioner and your generator:

  • Starting up your AC: Like many machines, the time where your air conditioner needs to draw the most power is when it turns on. When using an emergency or standby generator, try to avoid numerous start-ups with your AC. Think of it like flooding the engine of a car: too many tries, and the whole thing shuts down.
  • Know your power needs: How much energy does your AC require to run? How much can your generator give it? You don’t want your air conditioner overloading your generator, or your generator to fail to provide enough electricity to operate your air conditioner. An HVAC expert can help you determine the best fit between the two.
  • Prepare Your AC for the season: If your air conditioner has not received regular preventive maintenance, some of its components can cause serious problems when hooked up to a generator. An overloaded compressor, a malfunctioning capacitor, or overheated fan motors: any one of these could cause a power surge and damage your generator. You will need to call in a specialist to diagnose possible voltage issues with your air conditioner before hurricane season starts. With this kind of power involved, don’t risk trying to fix any the AC yourself!

Hurricane season can be a frightening time. But if you’ve taken care of your air conditioner, you shouldn’t have to worry about it causing trouble with your emergency or standby generator. To get ready for the season, call our Gainesville, FL air conditioning technicians. We can help you with the maintenance you need to feel secure. We also serve Lake City and the surrounding areas.

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Happy Labor Day!

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

On the first Monday of every September, we celebrate Labor Day in honor of workers everywhere who strive to make our local community and country great. We enjoy the holiday like any other business as a time for BBQ, hanging out with friends and family, and celebrating the end of summer. It also means the start of the NFL and college football seasons.

The origins of Labor Day are disputed, as is the case with many other holidays. Some cite Matthew Maguire, the machinist and secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York, while others cite Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor. By 1894, the holiday had become widely recognized and was designated a federal holiday by Congress and President Grover Cleveland immediately following the Pullman Strike, which pitted US Marshals and US Military against employees of Pullman Palace Car Company outside Chicago. At the time, it was a way of recognizing the importance of our workers’ contributions.

Today, we see Labor Day as an opportunity to recognize all the people who work hard to contribute to our county. Thank you, and Happy Labor Day from all of us! 

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