Touchstone Heating & Air Inc Blog : Archive for the ‘Heating’ Category

A Lowdown on Using an Electric Furnace

Monday, January 27th, 2020

heating-elementWhat’s the most common type of home heating system in the U.S.? The natural gas furnace by a wide margin. Gas furnaces produce large amounts of heat and can warm up a house faster than almost any other type of heater. The lower cost of natural gas makes them attractive as well.

Gas furnaces aren’t as common in Florida. Their heating power is often too intense for our mild winters, and the lower cost of natural gas often makes little difference when furnaces don’t run often. This makes electric furnaces a frequent alternative. For homeowners without any gas connection, electric furnaces may seem like the only central heating option. They’re not, but they’re still popular choices.

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How Furnaces Have Gotten Better and Better

Monday, January 13th, 2020

gas-burnersOnce upon a time, the most common furnace for a house was a ghastly monstrosity known as an “octopus furnace.” It sat in the basement of the home, burned coal, and distributed heat by letting it rise through large pipes that crawled up through the house. Inefficient, unreliable, costly, dangerous.

Obviously, furnaces have come a long way since then. We don’t have old octopus furnaces around in Florida (we rarely have basements!), but the changes in furnace technology over only the last two decades are impressive. If you have an older furnace (15 years or more), we recommend looking into the new models with their superior efficiency.

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Changing the Air Filter Monthly Over Winter

Monday, December 16th, 2019

Wet Air FilterThe air filter for your HVAC system is a critical component for it to operate well. It isn’t there to clean your household air but to protect the interior of the cabinet from all the dust, lint, and other particles the blower fan draws in through the return air ducts.

Just as important as the job of the air filter is changing the filter regularly. The filter isn’t self-cleaning, so it has to be replaced with a new filter to prevent air blockage. Unfortunately, homeowners often forget to do this job, especially during the winter when the HVAC system won’t run as often in the mild Florida weather. But even during winter, regular filter changes are essential.

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Answering Your Questions About Ductless Cooling and Heating

Monday, November 18th, 2019

ductless-mini-split-on-the-wallWe’re advocates for ductless heating and cooling systems, also known as ductless mini split heat pumps, or just ductless mini splits. Homes that were built without ducts can enjoy excellent comfort with a ductless mini split, and new homes can be designed without having to hand over valuable space to ducts.

Ductless systems are new to many homeowners, so we receive plenty of questions about them. We’ve answered the major ones below.

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Your Furnace Is Older Than 15: A Few Things to Know

Monday, October 21st, 2019

furnace-oldOne of the best ways to tell when a heating system is ready for a replacement is basic age. Each heater comes with a manufacturer’s estimated service life. Once the system is beyond that age, we advise you to think about replacing it, even if the unit still seems to function well. It doesn’t mean you should automatically replace it. But it’s time to ask yourself serious questions about the heater’s performance so you’ll know when to pull the trigger on a new system.

Since it’s now fall and you’re preparing for cooler weather, it’s the right point to address the furnace in your home. If you have a furnace that’s older than 15 years (the usual estimated service life for a gas furnace), there are a few important things for you to know.

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Fall Is the Best Time for an HVAC Tune-Up

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

service-blue-marketSeptember is coming to a close, and hurricane season along with it. As the evacuation orders lift and the weather becomes a little less aggressive, you may consider giving your AC system a short break.

The start of fall might offer your HVAC unit a little bit of relief after it has been working hard all summer. The heat and humidity that Florida is known for may not be going anywhere, but these conditions are often more bearable than a month ago.

As the temperature drops, you may not be as concerned by the idea of your HVAC system suffering a breakdown. However, this is the best time of year to pay the most attention to your AC unit.

The temperate weather that begins in fall signals the best time of year to give your system a little TLC with some HVAC maintenance.

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Why Is the Furnace Turning On and Off So Frequently?

Monday, January 28th, 2019

covering-earsIf you’re asking this question, then you’re doing a good job of paying attention to the behavior of your home’s heating system. Detecting early indications of malfunctions in a heater is essential to ensuring you arrange for repairs to fix the problem when it’s still small and to avoid potential health hazards. Odd sounds, strange smells, high bills—all are warnings you may need professional service for your furnace in Starke, FL.

Now, about that problem you’ve noticed with the furnace turning on and off rapidly …

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How Leaky Air Ducts Can Be Making Winter Worse

Monday, December 31st, 2018

duct-sealing-with-caulkingWinters here in North Central Florida are mostly pleasant, but we do have stretches of days when the temperature drops to the point where heating systems have to come on. Most people have heaters that use ductwork to move heat to the various rooms, such as furnaces (electric or gas) and heat pumps. Unfortunately, no matter how well your home’s heater works, you’ll run into trouble if the ductwork is leaky.

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Have Your Furnace Maintained Before the End of the Year

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

furnace-oldThe best way to prevent any serious issues with your furnace is to schedule routine maintenance for it. A qualified technician should thoroughly inspect the entire system to ensure that everything is working properly. With routine maintenance, your furnace will work more effectively. In addition, you will likely spend less money on furnace repair. The longer a problem with your furnace continues, the more likely it is to cause further damage. Proper maintenance allows HVAC technicians to diagnose any problems that you might be unaware of.

Here in Florida, it doesn’t get too cold, but it does get a touch chilly. By now, you have probably turned on your furnace. Before we get too far into the season, call to schedule professional maintenance services. A technician can make sure your system is up to speed.

If you notice anything that suggests an issue with the furnace, such as a strange noise or a lack of heat, don’t hesitate to call a professional for repairs. It is easy to push an issue off until next year, especially with such mild winters. However, we often forget about the problem until next winter rolls around, and we are caught in the same predicament. Remember, the sooner you schedule professional service, the less severe the problem is going to be.

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To Repair or Replace That Older Furnace

Monday, March 12th, 2018

furnace-heating-maintenanceThe furnace may be the most common heating system in the country, but it’s still got its share of problems. In truth, furnaces only have a lifespan of about 10-15 years, at least if you expect it to run efficiently. Then again, heaters in Florida do not get as much of a workout as they do in other parts of the country, so it’s not too surprising to have heaters last longer than expected.

How do you know which is the right choice for your furnace? We want to help point you in the right direction. Think carefully about the condition of your furnace, and follow our advice in the guide below. When you’re ready to find out for certain, contact our team and we will give you an honest assessment of your home furnace.

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