Touchstone Heating & Air Inc Blog : Archive for February, 2015

How Duct Cleaning Helps Allergy Sufferers

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Poor indoor air quality can be hard on everyone, but it can be especially difficult for those who suffer from allergies. This is because many HVAC systems are forced air systems that circulate air around and around, and also because much of our year is spent indoors with closed doors and windows, trapping this air inside. One way to help the allergy sufferers in your home is to start at what can often be the source of allergy problems: dirty . And one of the best ways to manage dirty air ducts is with a professional duct cleaning for your Jacksonville home. The trained experts at Touchstone Heating and Air Inc., have been serving customers in the Jacksonville area for 15 years, and we can help you have clean, refreshed air ducts that will help improve your home’s indoor air quality. Just call us today!

Allergens That Can Linger in Ductwork

Your ducts provides a hiding place for a great many things, many of which people can be allergic to:

Dust

Your HVAC system comes with a standard air filter, but dust can still get into your system and create a layer that coats the inside of your air ducts. If left to accumulate over time, this layer can become thick, and the dust will blow directly into your living space.

Mold/Mildew

If enough moisture gets into your duct system, it can spawn mold and mildew growth; when your HVAC system cycles with mold or mildew internally, the spores get blown directly into your living spaces. Mold and mildew spores are highly allergic organic material, and can cause allergy sufferers a great deal of agitation.

Pet Dander and Fur

Pets can be great additions to many families, but their dander and fur aren’t so great for your ducts. Not only does the fur and dander become easily lodged in your ducts, they mix easily with other contaminants like dust, creating a whopper of a mix for the allergy sufferers in your home.

When you hire a Touchstone Heating and Air Inc., expert to clean your ducts, you aren’t scheduling a simple vacuum of your system.

The cleaning is thorough and reaches every inch in order to remove any build-up. Think a duct cleaning in Jacksonville might help your allergy sufferers? Call us today!

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Why Consider a Whole-Home Generator

Friday, February 20th, 2015

It’s no secret that Florida can be on the end of some pretty challenging weather, particularly during hurricane season. Power outages from weather events like hurricanes can be much longer than hours – sometimes these outages can last days or even weeks. But there is a way to keep your home up and running, even if the power isn’t: using a whole-home generator. If you’ve had growing concerns about potentially losing power to your home for an extended period of time, call the experts who can help you with a new generator installation in Lake City: Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc.

How Does a Whole-Home Generator Work?

When your power goes out with a whole-home generator, a monitoring switch that is part of the whole-home generator alerts the generator that the power has cut off; this is because a whole-home generator is wired directly into your home’s electrical box. As soon as the power outage is detected, the generator turns on and starts providing power to your electrical panel automatically, making the process seamless. As soon as power is restored, the generator turns off so that your electrical panel can go back to work.

Why Not Use a Portable Generator?

Our technicians hear this a lot, and there are a number of reasons why a whole-home generator can be a better choice. First, whole-home generators have the capability to operate all the major systems of your home; a portable generator can only handle 2-3 appliances at a time. Second, portable generators have to be handled manually, from fueling to usage; there is no automatic switching, and fuel can run out. Most whole-home generators use natural gas or propane (some run on diesel, which needs re-fueling), and the generators are connected to either your natural gas main line or your propane tank, allowing for convenient and automatic fueling. Lastly, many whole-home generators come with safety switches and controls that won’t allow the generator to overload your electrical panel.

Losing power to your home for an extended period of time can put your home at risk for damage and threaten your security.

Let your lights stay on through the next power outage with the installation of a while-home generator in y our Lake City home!

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Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at Touchstone Heating & Air hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

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Options for Air Conditioning Replacement

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

It wasn’t too long ago that your option for whole-home air conditioning was limited to a single type of system. These days, homeowners have multiple choices, and knowing which one will be the best fit for your home takes some research and help from a trained expert. It may seem like you should wait until the warm weather hits before installing or replacing an existing unit, but the truth is that off-season installation can often be better than waiting until the warm weather comes. The experts at Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc., can help you with your air conditioning installation or replacement in High Springs, FL, from start to finish, so call us today.

Available Options

Here are the air conditioning options available from Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc.:

Traditional Split System

Traditional split system air conditioners are one of the most common types used in homes. A split-system AC has an outdoor unit that contains the compressor and condenser and an indoor unit that contains the evaporator unit and blower. Ductwork is needed to disperse the air with this type of system.

Heat Pump System

Heat pumps do not generate cool air; instead, they move heat from one place to another with the help of refrigerant. Heat pumps look very similar to traditional systems in that they have an outdoor unit and an indoor blower, however, heat pumps can also offer heating thanks to a component called a reversing valve. Heat pumps can be part of a ducted or ductless systems.

Geothermal System

Geothermal systems use a ground-source heat pump, so they can also offer heating and cooling. However, the set-up is different. Geothermal systems use a ground loop buried below the frost line to transfer heat back and forth, with the help of an environmentally-friendly fluid inside the loop. During winter, the latent heat in the ground is absorbed and transferred into your home; in summer, the heat from your indoors is absorbed and transferred to the ground loop and absorbed by the surrounding ground, known as a heat sink.

Ductless System

Ductless air conditioners have an outdoor unit that contains a compressor and condenser and individual indoor blowers that deliver the cool air. The blowers are about 35” long and connect directly to the outdoor unit via a conduit in an exterior wall. Ductless blowers operate individually, which allows you to use only the amount of cooling you need.

As you can see, there are a number of choices available for your air conditioning replacement in High Springs, FL.

Call Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts.

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