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

3 Common Heat Pump Repair Needs

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Heat pumps are very energy efficient and have a long life span – usually 15-20 years when they are well-maintained – but they will still require repair at some point during your ownership. While many parts of a heat pump are similar to the outdoor unit of a traditional air conditioning system, there are some heat pumps repairs in Jacksonville that are different from traditional systems. It is important to hire professionals who have experience repairing heat pumps, which is why you want to call a company like Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc., for all your heat pump repair needs.

Common Heat Pump Repairs

Following are three common heat pump repairs our technicians see frequently:

  • Issues with the reversing valve – heat pumps can heat and cool because they are equipped with a valve, known as a reversing valve, which allows you to switch between heating and cooling. This valve can become stuck in 3 different positions: heating, cooling, or in between. In certain instances, the valve can be repaired, but sometimes replacement of the valve is required.
  • Low and high pressure – among the major causes for heat pump problems with low head pressure are defective compressor and evaporator issues. When it comes to high head pressure, it is usually due to contaminated condenser and overfeeding of refrigerant in the unit.
  • Refrigerant leaks – refrigerant leaks affect how the cooling and heating process in your system works. Leaks can occur anywhere in the system, and can be difficult to locate. In addition, a person needs to be certified to handle refrigerant, so it’s important to call a professional to handle any issues you may experience with refrigerant.

Heat pumps are great options for homeowners, especially those looking for a single device to provide both heating and cooling. Because heat pumps run year-round, it is important to have reliable, qualified help when problems occur.

Take care of your heat pump repairs in Jacksonville, FL with a company you can trust: Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc. Call us today.

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Why You Need to Eliminate Mold from Your Ductwork

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Your ductwork can become the perfect place for mold growth if not cleaned and maintained. Mold thrives in areas that are cool, dark and moist, and it only takes a single spore and a little bit of moisture to develop a mold problem. Mold is a biological organism, so simply cleaning it off may not completely remove the spores; to truly eradicate mold, it needs to be destroyed. UV germicidal lights can be great weapons against mold growth in Jacksonville, and Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc., can help you with professional installation. Mold can cause a number of health hazards and greatly decrease your indoor air quality, so it’s important to remove it as soon as possible.

Health Issues That Can Develop from Mold Growth

Mold can be tremendously inflammatory for a lot of people, causing discomfort and potential health problems. Here are just a few issues that can be caused by mold growth:

  • Aggravation of allergies – mold spores irritate a wide range of people, particularly those who have allergies. Sneezing, coughing and wheezing are all typical allergic reactions to mold.
  • Asthma attacks – mold spores can bring on asthmatic reactions, resulting in attacks.
  • Exposure to mycotoxins – mycotoxins are harmful metabolites produced by mold spores. There are a wide range of reactions people can have to mycotoxins, including skin rashes, respiratory issues, vision impairment, neurological issues, fatigue, circulatory problems and others.

How UV Germicidal Lighting Helps with Mold

UV germicidal lighting uses UV-C lights rays to destroy the DNA of biological pollutants like mold. The radiation from the UV-C rays kinks a cell’s DNA, while also destroying the life-sustaining proteins the cell needs to survive. As such, UV lights not only destroy living cells: they ensure that these cells cannot replicate, thereby eradicating further growth and infestation. UV lights are over 99% effective in destroying biological contaminants. Typical placement for UV lights is in ductwork and over the evaporator coils in your indoor unit.

Smelling Something Musty? It May Be Time For UV Lighting

The most common sign of mold growth in ductwork is a musty, stale odor that you’ll smell when your air conditioner cycles on. If you are smelling this odor coming from your vents, it may be time to consider the installation of UV germicidal lights in Jacksonville. Have questions?

To learn more about UV germicidal lights call Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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Upgrades for Your Air Conditioning

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

We are more than half way through summer, and your air conditioning in Gainesville has probably been running full-time. As you’ve gone through the summer, have you wondered if there are ways to increase your energy efficiency or improve your indoor air quality? Upgrades to your existing AC can offer these kinds of increased benefits, and Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc., has the team to help you choose and install the upgrades that can most help you and your home.

What Kinds of Upgrades Are There?

There are many different kinds of upgrades you can add to your air conditioning system, but here are 3 to consider:

  • Air cleaners/purifiers
  • Thermostats
  • Dehumidifiers

Air Cleaners/Purifiers

Do you have allergy sufferers in your home? Or family members with asthma? Are you concerned about biological pollutants? Then you may want to consider adding an air cleaner or purifier for your home. Air cleaners refer to mechanical filters and ion generators, and air purifiers are UV germicidal lighting. There are several different types of air cleaners available, so it’s important to work with a professional to understand exactly what each can do for you and your home.


It may seem like a small thing, but having an efficient, precise thermostat can save you energy, money and time. First, dial and slide thermostats typically group degrees in sets of five, such as 65-70 degrees, etc. – this makes for imprecise setting and energy efficiency. Second, these types of thermostats are not programmable. Programmable thermostats allow you to create 7-day programs that can help you reduce or increase temperatures as needed, which can help a great deal with energy efficiency. Third, “smart” thermostats, which use wi-fi, can be accessed from any smart device, virtually anywhere at any time. This gives you incredible control over your entire system.


We get pretty sticky here in Gainesville, and your AC feels it, too. Adding a whole-home dehumidifier can help you and your air conditioner by removing excess humidity from the air before it gets into your air flow.

Whether you want to have cleaner air to breathe, use energy more efficiently, or do both, upgrades to your air conditioning in Gainesville from Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc., can help get you there.

If you are interested in learning more about what Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc. can do for you call us today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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3 Benefits of Installing Air Purifiers

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Good indoor air quality is a big part of your indoor comfort, but it’s also important for health. One of the best ways to improve your indoor air quality is to add a whole-home air purifier to your air conditioning system. While room air purifiers can help with some indoor air quality issues, the best way to truly improve indoor air quality is to upgrade to a whole-home air purifier. There are a couple of choices when it comes to choosing an air purifier in Lake Butler, which is why it’s important to work with professionals like the ones at Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc. to choose the air purifier that’s best for you.

3 Benefits of Installing an Air Purifier

  • Better health – if you are concerned about biological pollutants such as bacteria and/or viruses, an air purifier will destroy these kinds of particles.
  • Odor removal – do smells from activities like cooking tend to linger far longer than they should? An air purifier can help remove offensive odors from your indoor air.
  • Prevention of biological growth – mold, mildew, fungi and algae all thrive in cool, dark and moist environments, making your air conditioner a great place for them to thrive. Using UV germicidal lighting can stop this kind of growth from developing and proliferating.

Types of Air Purifiers

There are 3 common types of air purifiers on the market:

Electronic precipitators clean the air by sucking air into an ion field, charging the particles, and then attracting the charged particles to oppositely-charged plates that should be cleaned every 3 months. An ion generator is similar to an electronic precipitator in that it charges particles in an ion field, but it does not capture the particles; rather, the charged particles attach to surfaces throughout the home, such as counters and walls. UV germicidal lights are different from the electronic filters. UV germicidal lights use UV-C light to destroy the DNA of biological pollutants (like mold, mildew, bacteria, viruses, etc.) to prevent them from reproducing and surviving. UV lights do not have the ability to attract particles, so they are usually placed in specific areas such as over the evaporator coils or in ductwork.

If it’s time to improve the indoor air quality with an air purifier in Lake Butler, call on installation experts you can trust: Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc.

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