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

When Should You Call for Commercial Air Conditioning Repair?

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Commercial air conditioning in Gainesville operates according to the same principles that govern residential air conditioning systems. But there are definitely differences, and a good air conditioning repair service will keep them in mind when conducting air conditioning repairs. With an eye on the bottom line, a canny building superintendent may be tempted to conduct repairs with his own staff rather than calling for a professional. This can often be a mistake. Not only do general handymen lack the expertise required to properly diagnose a given problem, but trying to repair it could make the issue worse. When should you call for commercial air conditioning repair? The short answer is, anytime there’s trouble.

More specifically, look for moments when your costs start to spike. This can stem from a lack of cooling power, a lack of fan power, or anything that results in a higher monthly bill than you’re expecting. Commercial air conditioning systems will often demonstrate a significant swing in monthly costs when problems arise, and even if they continue to cool the building, those higher monthly bills can eat at you. More importantly, they could be a precursor to more substantial breakdowns in the future. Dealing with them now rather than later will save you on repair costs, as well as ensuring that your building doesn’t suffer an unexpected loss of cooling power.

Beyond that, look for any signs that the cooling power has dropped – such as the air feeling warmer when it comes out of the vents – or reduced air speed that may stem from a blockage in the ducts. Both typically signal fairly significant problems, and usually require the services of an expert to treat.

Luckily, when it comes to commercial air conditioning, Gainesville has a company of qualified professionals with Touchstone Heating and Air Inc. Our trained staff understands the specifics of commercial systems and can perform repairs swiftly in order to keep your business cool and comfortable in the heat of summer.

If you know when to call for commercial air conditioning repair, there’s only one number to dial. We’re dedicated to your complete satisfaction, call us today!

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3 Common Problems With Condensate Overflow

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

One of the basic parts of air conditioning operation is the removal of heat from the inside of a house. The evaporator coil absorbs heat, and as it does so it collects moisture condensation. This water has to go somewhere, and ACs are designed to catch the excess water in a condensate drip pan along the bottom of the evaporator unit. A pump and drain line then remove the water from the shallow pan and out into the standard plumbing wastewater system.

Insufficiently sized and pitched drainage lines and algal growth in the drain can cause the condensate pan to overflow. This can potentially damage your air conditioner, but it will create even larger problems outside the AC. If you notice water dripping from your AC, call for professionals right away to solve the problem.

You can reach the Gainesville, FL air conditioning repair team at Touchstone Heating and Air Inc. 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Don’t let any of these problems from condensate overflow affect your home:

  • Water damage: The immediate effect of condensate overflow is damage to your property from standing water. Depending on the location of your air conditioning system’s indoor unit, this can rapidly add up to thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs. It will also attract destructive vermin like cockroaches and rats.
  • Raised humidity: Humidity is already a significant problem in Florida during the summer. The last thing you want to do is let humidity increase inside your home. But it only takes a few standing pools of water around an air conditioner to create a source for a spike in indoor humidity, leading to decreased comfort that will defeat the purpose of having an AC.
  • Mold and mildew growth: There is another potential threat to your air because of dripping water, and that’s how it encourages the growth of mold and mildew. Not only are these organic pests unpleasant to look at, they can also have a toxic effect on indoor air quality. Mold remediation is often a difficult process; if possible you want to cut mold and mildew off at the source before they can take hold by stopping excess water anywhere in your home. Because air conditioners are often located in shadowy places, they are especially susceptible to developing mold in the areas when leaking starts.

It’s a good idea to make an occasional visual check of the indoor and outdoor cabinets of your central AC to look out from problems such as leaking. Should you see the indoor unit leaking, or if you detect a rise in humidity in your home and see mold growth, call for repair technicians right away.

Touchstone Heating and Air Inc. is ready any time of day or night and year-round to help you with regular or emergency air conditioning repair in Gainesville, FL.

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How Ductless Air Conditioning Works

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Traditional air conditioning systems need ductwork to deliver cool air. In an effort to help cool ductless commercial spaces, ductless air conditioning was developed. This innovation has now moved into residential spaces, offering non-ducted homes the possibility of having manageable, efficient, whole-home air conditioning during the summer months. So how exactly does ductless air conditioning work? Here’s an overview from our Jacksonville ductless air conditioning experts at Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc.

The Components

A ductless system operates with 4 main components:

  • Condenser and compressor unit
  • Evaporator coils
  • Refrigerant lines
  • Conduit connecting the in-and outdoor parts

How It Works

The condenser and compressor are housed in an outdoor unit, very similar to that of a standard split-system air conditioner, and it functions in almost the same way, delivering refrigerant to the indoor air blower. Each ductless system has at least one indoor air blower, if not several, to which the outdoor unit is attached.

The evaporator coils are housed in the inside blower unit, along with a fan and the system’s air filter. In a standard split-system air conditioner, the evaporator unit is also indoors, but is usually larger and part of the heating system. This is one of the main differences between a ducted system and a ductless one.

The indoor blowers and outdoor unit are connected via a conduit placed between them through an exterior wall. This conduit holds a power cable, refrigerant line, suction tubing and a condensate drain. The indoor blowers are mounted and then connected to the outdoor unit.

Each blower is programmable. When the temperature in a room becomes higher than the temperature set on the blower, the system turns on: the outside compressor is activated and refrigerant begins to circulate. The refrigerant passes through the compressor, releases its heat through the condenser and then flows to the indoor air blower where it begins to circulate through the evaporator coils. The fan of the indoor blower turns on, blows over the evaporator coils and sends cool air into the room. While it seems that these units simply blow cool air into the space, what they actually do is remove the heat and humidity from the room, run it through the system, and bring it back into the room as cool dry air.

Is a Ductless Air Conditioner Right for Me?

Choosing an air conditioner that works best for your property is a multi-step endeavor that should be handled with the help of a trained professional.  Any of our experts at Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc., are happy to answer any questions you may have about ductless air conditioning.

If you think your property could benefit from ductless air conditioning in Jacksonville, FL, but you still have questions, call us today to get the answers you need. 

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What to Look for in an Air Conditioning Professional

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Spring is here and summer won’t be far behind. That means that you need your air conditioner to function at peak capacity. If your current model is old or shows signs of serious wear, now is the time to consider new air conditioning installation in Gainesville FL.  And anyone considering a new unit needs to find an installation services that knows how to do the job. You can select from a number of different companies, many of whom possess adequate credentials. But to get a really great service, you have to go beyond that. Here’s a short list of what to look for in an air conditioning professional.

  • Affiliations. Proper licensing and certification is a basic necessity, but quality organizations will have affiliations that go beyond that. In particular, look for companies that are endorsed by a local Chamber of Commerce, which provides a third-party assurance that your air conditioning professional is up to snuff.
  • Longevity. Companies that are just starting out may be quite reliable, but a company that has been in service for a fair amount of time – at least a decade – has a proven track record for success.
  • Free estimates. A reputable company will always provide estimates in advance, so you know what the financial picture looks like before installation begins on your new air conditioner.
  • Emergency services. You never know when you might need a trained technician and breakdowns don’t always follow 9-to-5 hours. A company that offers 24-hour emergency service is thoroughly dedicated to customer satisfaction.
  • Positive reviews. Even in the information age, good word of mouth is still an excellent means of determining quality. Look for air conditioning companies that post positive reviews from satisfied customers: indications of a history of quality service.

If you know what to look for in an air conditioning professional, then Touchstone Heating & Air Inc. has what you need. If you’re interested in new air conditioning installation in Gainesville, FL, call us today to set up a consultation. You’ll be glad you did!

We’ve been in business since 1998, we offer emergency service and free estimates, and we proudly stand by affiliations from Chambers of Commerce and happy customers alike.

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Some Benefits of Air Conditioning Maintenance

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Did you know that a 10% loss of refrigerant in your air conditioning system can cost you up to 20% more to operate it? Or that getting a programmable thermostat can save you annually on energy bills?

These types of savings come from a simple source: routine air conditioning maintenance in Starke. Here are a few reasons why Touchstone Heating and Air Inc. highly recommends regular air conditioning maintenance:

Reduced energy bills – when your air conditioner is not running optimally, it needs more energy in order to achieve the temperature you want. This means it costs you more to run it. There are two culprits that frequently contribute to this: a dirty air filter, which constricts the air flow in your system, and/or dirty condenser coils, which put stress on the compressor to run harder. In either case, you are running up your energy bills. Monthly checking and changing of your system’s main air filter eliminates a dirty filter problem, and a routine maintenance check by a specialist will keep the coils clean and stress free.

Better indoor air quality – when vents, ducts and filters become dirty and clogged, the air quality in your property reflects this. This can be especially uncomfortable for those with allergies. As stated above, your system’s main air filter should be changed monthly, and a regularly scheduled cleaning of your vents and ducts will keep them free of dust and dirt.

Lower repair costsregularly scheduled maintenance means you have a much better chance of catching a small problem – such as a loose belt or faulty switch – before it turns into a much bigger, more expensive problem. It’s a lot less expensive to replace a belt than it is to repair a broken down system.

Extension of system life – regular maintenance means that all components in your system are properly tuned up. This cuts down significantly on the wear and tear of the entire system, extending its life and your investment in it.

When Should You Schedule Your Maintenance?

Most air conditioning maintenance should be performed by a specialist, but there are a few things property owners can do to help maintain their systems:

  • Replace disposable filters once a month
  • Wash out washable filters once a month
  • Keep outside, ground-mounted units clear of any kind of yard debris, including grass, branches and leaves

Touchstone Heating and Air Inc. recommends a bi-annual inspection of the entire system, in the spring and fall.

Need to have your air conditioning checked by professionals in time for summer? Call and schedule air conditioning service in Starke today.

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