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

10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at Touchstone Heating and Air Inc., we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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How Does a Zone Heating System Improve Efficiency?

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Heating efficiency is a priority in most homes, and there are a number of tools and upgrades homeowners can utilize to achieve better energy efficiency through the winter. One such upgrade is a zone heating system. Zone heating systems are easy to use but relatively complex to install, so if a zone heating installation in Jacksonville seems like a great idea for your home, call the people who can install the system quickly, correctly and efficiently: Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc.

How Does a Zone Control System Work?

The first step with the installation of any zone control system is to designate the zones. Zones can be a single room, a group of rooms, a floor or wing of your home – the decision is yours. Once the zones are designated, the technician installs motorized dampers into the supply ducts of your ductwork; these dampers are connected to a main control panel. Each zone is outfitted with its own thermostat that also connects to the main control panel. The main control panel controls the opening and closing of the dampers to maintain the temperature set in each zone.

How Can a Zone Control System Help Heating Efficiency?

With a zone control system, you use only the heating you need. For instance, with a zone control system, you can turn off heating to the areas of your home that are unused or unoccupied; you can’t do this with regular ductwork. By reducing the amount of heating you use, you use less energy, making your home more energy efficient.

A second way a zone control system can help with heating efficiency is by reducing operational time. Being able to customize your heat means you use less heat; this means your system doesn’t need to generate as much heat, and as such, it operates for less time. Less operation means more energy savings for you. 

If you are interested in seeing what a zone heating installation in Jacksonville can do for you and your home, call Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc., today.

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Key Components Involved in a Ductless Heating System

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Ductless systems have become very popular with homeowners, offering both cooling and heating to homes. Some people wonder how ductless heating in Lake City works; not only are the systems ductless, but they offer both heating and cooling, making them 2-in-1 devices. We’ll explain the components and how the system works in more detail below. For all of your heating needs, call the people you can trust: Touchstone Heating and Air Inc.

Components of a Ductless System

Here are main components of a ductless system:

  • Outdoor unit – contains the compressor and condenser
  • Indoor blowers – small blowers, about 35” long, that operate independently of one another
  • Conduit – the indoor blowers and outdoor unit are connected by a conduit drilled into an exterior wall; this conduit holds the power cord, condensate drain line, and the refrigerant line

How Does the System Work?

When you turn on an indoor blower, the refrigerant begins to flow and the heating or cooling cycle begins. A small coil and fan reside inside each indoor blower, allowing the system to heat and cool your home.

How Does the System Heat?

Ductless systems that heat your home can do so because of heat pump technology. Heat pumps are equipped with a component called a reversing valve that can change the direction of the refrigerant flow. This allows the heat pump to change modes between heating and cooling. Inside your home, a dual-mode thermostat controls what mode the heat pump is in; when you need to change modes, you simply press the button and the heat pump does the rest.

What Are the Benefits of a Ductless Heating System?

  • Zoned heating – each blower operates independently of the others, allowing for customization of your heating.
  • Energy Efficiency – with a ductless system, you only use the heating you need, which helps save energy. In addition, not having to use ductwork means there is no chance of air loss due to faulty ductwork.
  • Limited Space/Expansion – whether your home has limited space or you are looking at expanding, a ductless system has the flexibility to handle both scenarios. The air blower for a ductless air conditioner is quite small and is typically placed flush against a wall or mounted to a ceiling; if you are expanding your property, adding an additional air blower to the space is not a difficult task as long as there is an outdoor unit to support it.

To find out if ductless heating in Lake City is a good fit for your home, call Touchstone Heating and Air Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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3 Common Furnace Repairs

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Furnaces are reliable heating systems, but at some point during your ownership, it is likely your furnace will need repairs. A number of problems can develop with your furnace, but there are some furnace repairs in Gainesville that our technicians see with relative frequency. The repair of a heating system is complex, so it’s important to hire trained technicians for all your heating repair work. For almost 15 years Touchstone Heating and Air Inc., has helped numerous customers with their furnaces, and we can help you, too. Call today!

Repair 1: Blower Fan

The blower fan is responsible for pushing the warm air from the heat exchanger into your ductwork. Different problems can arise with the blower fan, such as motor issues, problems with dry ball bearings, bent or loose fan blades and worn fan belts. Many of these types of issues can be detected during a routine maintenance appointment, which is one of the reasons why fall maintenance for your furnace is important.

Repair 2: Ignition Issues

There are 3 ways a furnace can ignite:

  • Standing pilot light – with a standing pilot light, a dirty nozzle can inhibit the flame, weakening it or even putting it out. A more complex problem with a standing pilot light may involve the thermocouple.
  • Intermittent pilot light – intermittent pilot lights ignite a small flow of gas from an electronic spark; as such, one of the common problems with this type of ignition is an issue with sparking. Another common problem has to do with positioning: if the pilot is too far away from the spark, it may not ignite. An intermittent pilot light can fail for a few reasons, so it’s best to allow a technician figure it out.
  • Hot surface ignition – a hot surface igniter is a small, silicone-encased probe that heats via electric current. Once the surface of the igniter reaches the right temperature, the gas flowing from the burner is ignited. It is very common for hot surface igniters to crack after a period of continual use, due to the high fluctuation in temperatures the component experiences.

Repair 3: Cracked Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger in your furnace heats the warm air for your home while simultaneously venting the toxic fumes created during the combustion process. One of the most common problems that develops with heat exchangers is cracking. Cracked heat exchangers can allow toxic fumes, such as carbon monoxide, to escape from the inside of the heat exchanger tubes. Cracked heat exchangers cannot be repaired, so it’s important to hire professionals for replacement.

If your furnace isn’t working properly, call Touchstone Heating and Air Inc., and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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