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

Air Conditioning Repair Question: Why Is My Fan Running but AC Not Cooling?

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

In matters of air conditioning repair, Gainesville FL know they need to schedule cerise right away. The sooner you can spot a problem, the more rapidly you can contact a qualified service technician to help. It helps to know the signs that you need AC repair, so that you can spot them early and call in the cavalry before something worse happens. For example “why is my fan running but AC not cooling?” is a common question we experience in our work. The answer is pretty straightforward.

The fan serves to blow cool air into your home. As refrigerant moves through the evaporator, it goes from a liquid state to a gas state, absorbing heat from the surrounding air in the process. A blower then moves the air through your ducts into your home. If the fan is running, the problem obviously lies elsewhere, and if you’re getting a good flow through your vents, there isn’t any blocked in your ducts.

The problem therefore lies in the cooling cycle itself. In some cases, it may be that the refrigerant levels have dropped below acceptable levels. Ice will form on the evaporator coils: which insulates them and prevents them from absorbing heat. Another problem may arise with the compressor motor itself. If it isn’t running, the refrigerant isn’t circulating and the air isn’t getting cooled.

Regardless of the causes, a good repairman can hunt the problem down and fix it quickly. When dealing with air conditioning repair, Gainesville FL has a team of experts ready to help. Touchstone Heating & Air has served North Central Florida since 1998, and offer 24-hour service for emergencies. We pride ourselves on your complete satisfaction, and we know how important it is to get your air conditioner up and running again. If you’re asking, “why is my fan running but AC not cooling?” contact us today!

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Air Conditioning Tip: When to Use the Fan Only

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

We experience some seriously hot and humid weather around here, and a reliable air conditioning system is often your only weapon against the soaring temperatures outside. That air conditioning system uses a lot of energy, however: as much as 16% of your total household electricity, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You can cut that down by using your system’s “fan only” feature, which stops the cooling process but continues to circulate the air in throughout your home.

The most obvious period is right after you’ve shut your air conditioning down for the day. With the cooled air still in your house, you can turn on the fan and help circulate it, staying cool for longer. This can keep your house from becoming stuffy when the AC is not running, and also make sure your air is going through your air filtration system.

You might also consider using the fan only after the sun goes down, or when cooler breezes blow near your house on days when the humidity levels are lower. The flow will refresh the existing air while keeping your temperatures down to agreeable levels.

You can help this process by ensuring that your air conditioner is functioning as it should and that the blower fan isn’t bent or damaged. Knowing when to use the fan only won’t do you much good if the air conditioner itself is broken. For expert service and advice, contact Touchstone Heating & Air! 

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Heat Pump FAQ: Will My Heat Pump Really Keep Me Warm this Winter?

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

“Will my heat pump really keep me warm this winter?” It’s a fair question, and if you look at various forums and discussions across the Internet, you might conclude that it won’t. That assumes a generic staring point however: a world where the heating needs of New England are exactly the same as they are here in Gainesville, FL. They’re not, and things that work down here won’t work up there. If you’re looking for a heat pump, Gainesville FL presents an almost ideal environment, which means you won’t need to worry about sufficient heating in the winter.

Heat pumps operate according to the same principles as traditional air conditioners. Refrigerant is cycled through condenser coils, which place it under tremendous pressure and heat it up. The heat is dispersed in the condenser coils to outside of the unit, turning the refrigerant into a liquid state which keeping it under high pressure. It’s then passed into an evaporator coil, which allows it to evaporate and cool the surrounding air. The cooled air is then pushed into your home with a blower fan, which the refrigerant returns to the condenser to begin the cycle anew.

With a heat pump, this cycle is essentially reversible. In the winter, it can be used to bring warm air into your home, instead of just cool air. This makes it work well regardless of the weather, and because it uses less energy than a traditional central air conditioning system, it can save you considerable money in your monthly heating and cooling bills.

Perhaps most importantly, heat pumps work extremely well in climates like ours. Their effectiveness hits its peak in areas where the temperatures don’t drop below 40 degrees (like, say, Florida’s). Beyond that, their efficiency begins to suffer, making them less enticing as an option. Down here, however, our warm weather makes for an ideal fit, and if you’re willing to put up a little more for the installation itself, you could save a great deal in monthly energy bills.

If you’re asking “Will my heat pump really keep me warm this winter?” You needn’t worry. The experts at Touchstone Heating & Air can explain the benefits to you, then discuss options for installation and upkeep. If you’re looking for a heat pump, Gainesville FL makes a great fit. Call us today and let us show you how.

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Air Conditioning Repair: Causes of Grinding Sounds

Monday, October 7th, 2013

If you live in Gainesville, FL, you know that air conditioning repair is not something you want to put off. We need a swift repairman to correct any problem before the next heat wave hits and we need to be able to spot signs of trouble before they lead to bigger issues. Otherwise, our cool, comfortable homes will be at the mercy of our patented muggy weather. A prudent homeowner will notice when his or her air conditioner isn’t performing as it should. To cite one obvious example, spotting the causes of grinding sounds when your air conditioning unit turns on can help get the issue resolved that much more quickly.

Obviously, grinding sounds aren’t good when they’re coming from your air conditioning. The sound usually results from metal parts rubbing up against each other, a sure sign that something is broken. The blower fan is one common cause of grinding sounds. When it’s bent or misaligned, it can scrape up against nearby parts, causing friction and resulting in serious damage. In some cases, debris such as twigs can get caught in the fan blade as well, resulting in damage to the fan itself.

Grinding noises aren’t limited to the fan, however. They can occur in motors in the system which overheat or otherwise malfunction. With some air conditioning units, these components have automatic shut-off systems that kick in whenever they malfunction. Those that don’t will continue to run, however, making that awful grinding noise and causing further damage each moment.

Whenever you hear that noise, don’t hesitate. Shut off the unit and call an air conditioning expert. A qualified professional should be able to isolate the problem and correct it with a reasonable amount of expediency. If you have any questions about Gainesville FL air conditioning repair, call Touchstone Heating & Air for help. Our staff of trained professionals will track down the causes of grinding problems, then give you an accurate assessment before conducting repairs with speed and accuracy. If your AC unit is making sounds that it shouldn’t, don’t hesitate to call us today.

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