Touchstone Heating & Air Inc Blog : Archive for April, 2014

How High Humidity can Damage Your Air Conditioner

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Believe it or not, high temperatures aren’t the only thing that your air conditioner must fight. High humidity plays a big part making our homes uncomfortable too, and unless your air conditioner can combat it, it’s not going to do its job. Air conditioning repair in Gainesville must often deal with overworked A/C units, whose components have worn down under the strain and need to be replaced before the unit will function again. Our stifling Florida mugginess often plays a large role in that, and understanding the reasons why can help you get a jump on correcting the problem.

How Humidity Damages Air Conditioning

We stay cool by sweating, which sends moisture to the surface of our skin and cools us off when it evaporates into the air. As long as relative humidity levels stay below about 55 percent or so, that biological process isn’t unduly affected and your body can sweat normally. When humidity levels increase beyond that, however, there’s too much moisture in the air to absorb the sweat off of your skin, and your body won’t cool down the way it should. Needless to say, our relative humidity levels are often higher than 55 percent here in Florida, especially during the hot summer months.

Ostensibly, your air conditioner can pull humidity from the air in your home and help keep it comfortable. That process, however, often forces your air conditioner to work harder in order to lower that humidity level. As a result, the various components undergo greater strain, which increases the likelihood of a breakdown somewhere along the line.

In some cases, your AC unit may be powerful enough to handle the additional workload that our muggy atmosphere provides. In other cases, however, you might want to consider upgrading your air conditioner, which can help prevent high humidity from damaging it.

Touchstone Heating and Air Inc. handles air conditioning repair in Gainesville, and can fix the issue of high humidity in your home with ease. Pick up the phone and give us a call today.

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How Clean Ducts Lead to Better Efficiency

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Your duct system helps transport conditioned air (both hot and cold) from your HVAC unit into the various rooms of your home. In the process, dust and dirt can build up inside your ducts, as can bacteria and other biological contaminants that flourish in our Florida humidity. This can lead to poor performance from your heating and air conditioning system over time. A good duct cleaning service can get rid of all that, and here in Lake City FL, duct cleaning is offered by a number of reputable companies. More than just cleanliness and the lack of dust spreading throughout your home, clean ducts lead to better efficiency for your HVAC unit overall.

Why Duct Cleaning Means Higher Efficiency

Build-up in your ducts tends to have two specific effects that damage your system’s efficiency. Firstly, it blocks the flow of air through the system, forcing the HVAC unit to work harder to get the conditioned air into your home. Second, depending on the nature of the build-up, it can affect the temperature of the conditioned air, making it warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. In both cases, it can have a detrimental effect on your central unit. The lowered efficiency means that it must work harder to do its job, raising your monthly energy bills and adding unnecessary strain on individual components. That, in turn, will increase the likelihood of a major breakdown taking place, as well as costing you more than you should be paying to operate your HVAC system.

Dirty ducts don’t simply spring up over time, and most can go for quite a while before requiring a cleaning. Because clean ducts lead to better efficiency, you should definitely plan for the operation to be performed by a company that knows what it’s doing. Here in Lake City FL, duct cleaning services are offered by the trained professionals at Touchstone Heating and Air Inc. We have the personnel and the experience to perform the operation with courtesy and care, and our dedication to your satisfaction means that we’ll treat your home like our own.

Give the experts at Touchstone Heating and Air a call today to set up an appointment and let us help ensure that your system is as efficient as it can be!

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What Are UV Germicidal Lights and How Do They Work?

Monday, April 14th, 2014

UV germicidal lights sound like some complicated piece of equipment out of a mad scientist’s lab. In fact, they operate according to very simple principles and can do wonders for your home if properly installed. They improve the quality of your air inside your Gainesville, FL home, connected to your HVAC system and filtering out all manner of contaminants. What are UV germicidal lights and how do they work? A brief rundown follows.

UV stands for “ultraviolet,” a part of the light spectrum that we can’t see, but which has a profound effect on germs and bacteria. Exposure to UV light renders germs unable to replicate. The light basically acts as a sterilizer for your home without resorting to harmful chemicals. Air passes through the light, exposing any bacterial or other pathogens to it and effectively destroying them in the process. When attached to a centralized furnace or air conditioner, it can process a large percentage of the air in your home, improving the air quality immeasurably.

This is beneficial to all members of your household, but especially those who suffer from allergies or possess similar sensitivities. Here in Florida, allergens are everywhere, and the presence of mold and bacteria can pose an active health risk for certain individuals. UV germicidal lights form a strong line of defense against sickness and disease, as well as making your home a more comfortable place to live.

For more on UV germicidal lights and how they work, contact the experts at Touchstone Heating and Air Inc. We handle UV lights and other air purifiers in Gainesville, FL, and we can perform both installation and repair services with the professionalism and courtesy you expect. Give us a call today!

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How Electronic Air Purifiers Clean Your Air

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Your heating and cooling system does more than just condition the air. It can also help you maintain high levels of air quality in your home. Without that, you may experience increased levels of dust in the air, leading to irritated noses and throats, higher levels of dust on furniture and allergy attacks in sensitive family members. Most heating and air conditioning systems contain a replaceable filter which you can switch out for a fresh one when it becomes dirty. You can do more with an electronic air purifier however.

Here’s how electronic air purifiers clean your Starke, FL home’s air in ways that less advanced purifiers don’t:

Electronic air filters often contain a regular filter or “pre-filter” which traps large particles of dirt and dust. (In some cases, these are designed to work in conjunction with your existing filter). Smaller particles will often slip through, however, which is where the electronic section of the filter goes to work. Each particle is ionized with a positive electrical charge, then enters a collecting section which contains plates that are alternately charged positive and negative. That acts as a magnet, pulling the positively charged particles away from the positively charged plate and towards the negatively charged plate. That pulls contaminants out of the air, leaving clean air behind to enter your household.

Electronic air purifiers aren’t necessary in all households, but if you have pets or your track a lot of dust in – and particularly if you have anyone in your family who suffers from allergies – then it can make for a demonstrable improvement in air quality. For more on how electronic air purifiers clean your air, or to schedule installation, contact the experts at Touchstone Heating and Air Inc. We handle all kinds of home heating and cooling issues for residents of Starke, FL, air purifiers included. Give us a call today and let us show you what an electronic air purifier can do for you!

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