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

Using Your AC Less Not Only Saves Money, It’s Better for Your Health!

Monday, June 3rd, 2019

woman-with-thermometerWhat’s the best way to lower how much you pay to run your air conditioner during the summer? That’s an easy one to answer: run the air conditioning system less often!

That’s a bit easier said than done, but if you remember to raise the thermostat to higher levels (such as around 78°F during the day when people are home), you’ll see a noticeable drop in your cooling costs.

However, this post isn’t focusing on saving money by using the AC less often. It’s about the health benefits of running your air conditioner less often.

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Questions to Ask Your Maintenance Tech About Your Old AC

Monday, March 25th, 2019

AC-technician-at-the-doorThe time is here once again—time to schedule your air conditioning maintenance in Lake Butler, FL or elsewhere in North Central Florida. If you’ve signed our Energy Savings Agreement, then you’re ready to go! Just call our office to set up your maintenance appointment. If you haven’t signed up yet, then you’re almost ready to go! Just call our office to sign up, and we’ll take it from there.

Spring AC maintenance is usually straightforward. Our techs inspect your cooling system, clean and adjust it, and then inform you about anything they’ve noticed that may require repair work (such as a loss of refrigerant to leaks). However, if you have an air conditioning system that’s in the 10 to 15-year range (or older) and/or you’ve noticed it isn’t working as well as it once did, we recommend asking the tech a few questions about the AC’s future. It may be time to have it replaced.

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Summer Winds Down: Time to Think About Your AC’s Future

Monday, September 24th, 2018

woman-surprised-glassesSummer never truly ends in Florida. We move through rainier, cooler periods, but the work of an air conditioning system in a Florida home is never fully done for the year.

But the official calendar end of the summer is a good time to take stock of a residential air conditioning system and pretend that it’s come to the end of its annual service. We encourage you to take a moment to think about your AC’s performance and age so you can make important choices about its future—such as if you need a new air conditioning system installation in Lake City, FL before the next long stretch of heat arrives.

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How Corrosion Can Affect Your AC

Monday, September 10th, 2018

ac-units-scrapyardCorrosion is a major enemy of most metal devices and appliances. With air conditioners, corrosion along the evaporator or condenser coils is responsible for 40% of system failures. Corrosion can happen quickly and may result from years of moisture exposure.

If you notice corrosion starting anywhere on your home’s cooling system, call for professional AC repair in Alachua, FL. The sooner you have the problem dealt with, the less likely you’ll need to replace the air conditioning system years before its time.

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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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Tools Used for Professional Duct Cleaning

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The ducts that lead from the air handler to your home are vital to proper heating and air conditioning, but they can also contribute to poor indoor air quality. Contaminants like dust, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, and viruses can dwell in the ducts and may be forced into your home as you run your heating and air conditioning system. But professionals are equipped with the proper tools to eliminate these pollutants and help you to maintain the quality of your home.

  • Access Tools: First, a technician must access the remote areas of the ducts by using some sort of tool to access the inside of the ducts from multiple locations. They may use these tools to pierce a small hole in the ducts to seal up later or to remove an entire section of ductwork to replace afterwards. First, however, they must access the type and design of the ductwork in order to determine the proper steps to follow.
  • Inspection Materials: A quality technician will inspect your ducts before any cleaning takes place to make sure there are no areas with major leaks or portions of ductwork that require a particular set of tools for cleaning. They may use anything from small handheld mirrors to video cameras, depending on the size of the job, the level of experience of the technician, and the tools they have on hand.
  • Vacuums: Perhaps the most important tool at a professional’s disposal is a high-pressure vacuum. This vacuum creates negative pressure in the ducts so that debris is knocked loose from the lining of the ductwork and gets sucked into the hose. These vacuums have far more power than home vacuum cleaners, and are rather difficult or homeowners to access themselves.
  • Brushes: During, before, or after the duct cleaning, the technician will also use soft brushes or other cleaning tools to rub off any remaining dirt and contaminants. Contaminants may cling to the ducts even after the powerful vacuum is employed, but a simple brush and perhaps a non-toxic cleaning agent can take care of anything that remains. However, the technician will need to make sure that the brush is soft enough not to damage the ducts, particularly if your home uses a flexible ductwork that can easily collapse.

The professionals at Touchstone Heating and Air Inc. can ensure that your next duct cleaning in Fort Worth is handled with care and that no harmful contaminants threaten to enter your home. Give our team a call today!

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How Can You Tell Your Ducts Are in Need of Repair?

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Your ductwork is the delivery system for your home’s heating and cooling, and when something is wrong with it, you’ll see the effects in a few ways. It can sometimes be hard to tell when your ductwork has become faulty, so here are some signs to look for if you suspect you may need duct repair in Starke:

  • High energy bills – faulty ductwork can account for up to 30% of your home’s total air loss – a pretty significant amount that can seriously increase your energy bills.
  • Poor indoor air quality – are you noticing large amounts of dust and/or dirt in your home? Particles can enter through cracks and holes in the ductwork and accumulate in your home. If you are seeing a great deal of dust and dirt settling on your furniture, it may be time to have a professional take a look at your ductwork.
  • Strange odors – just as dust and dirt can enter your home through faulty ductwork, so, too, can odors and fumes. Additionally, mold is more likely to grow in faulty ductwork due to extra moisture and contaminants entering the system, so if you smell a stale odor coming from your vents, it may indicate that mold is present.
  • Uneven heating and cooling – ductwork doesn’t corrode or disconnect uniformly; as such, one of the telltale signs that you may have ductwork issues is uneven heating and cooling. Some of your vents may be in good working order while others won’t be, causing uneven heating or cooling in your home.
  • Not enough heating or cooling – depending on the level of air loss, your living spaces may not receive the volume of warm or cool air they need to be comfortable.

Why Hire Professionals for Duct Repair?

Ductwork can be long and complicated, and reach to the deeper parts of your home, including crawl spaces and attic spaces. It is also important to know what to look for and to understand how to repair the ductwork so it lasts a long time. Trained professionals have the expertise and knowledge to be able to repair your ducts in Starke quickly and efficiently.

If you are seeing the signs of faulty ductwork, call Touchstone Heating and Air, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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Here’s How Professional HVAC Maintenance Can Save You Money

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Air conditioning and heating systems use up a large portion of any home’s utility bills every month, and sometimes, it seems like the easiest way to save money is by shutting off your system entirely. Of course, doing so means sacrificing comfort—and a lot of complaints from the members of your household.

Another easy way to save is by scheduling HVAC maintenance every year. With professional maintenance, a technician cleans, inspects, and makes adjustments for your heating and cooling system. All it takes is one phone call and a bit of your time, and the savings will surely make up for the low cost of maintenance.

Steps of Maintenance that Help You Save

Every part of the maintenance process is intended to protect your air conditioner from costly future repairs and to help keep energy costs low. Although there are many other components to the process, here are the details of just a few of the most important steps of HVAC maintenance.

  • Adjust Thermostat Calibration: If your thermostat is inaccurate, you may be setting your thermostat too low in the cooling season or too high when it’s cold outside. Even if you are only one or two degrees off, it could mean you are spending a lot more on your energy bill. A technician will clean or adjust the thermostat, and may recommend replacement in some cases.
  • Inspect and Clean the Filters: A dirty air or furnace filter could reduce the required amount of airflow to your system, resulting in poor efficiency and possibly leading to repairs. You should replace or clean the filters in your HVAC maintenance system about once every month, but a maintenance technician can ensure that this is completed properly.
  • Inspect and Tighten Electrical Components: Electrical problems could lead to issues with fan motors or the compressor, both of which may need replacement. Technicians check for wiring problems and tighten electrical components when needed, in order to prevent costly repairs later on.
  • Visually Check the Ductwork: The ductwork in your home may have leaks, and leaks can cause up to 30% of the air from your HVAC system to escape from the ducts in some homes. A technician can tell you if duct sealing will have a significant impact on your cooling and heating costs.

At Touchstone Heating and Air Inc., our maintenance program includes a twice yearly tune-up and discounts on services.

For these offers and more, call Touchstone Heating and Air Inc. today and ask about scheduling HVAC maintenance in Lake Butler.

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Is It Too Late for Air Conditioning Maintenance

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Air conditioning maintenance is a sort of tune-up session, designed to spot potential problems before they get out of hand and perform a lot of little things that help improve efficiency in your system. Most experts recommend having a maintenance session performed at least once a year, ideally in the spring before summer starts. But summer is here and with our heat and humidity rising, a maintenance session may force you to shut down your air conditioning system at a point when it’s needed almost every day. Is it too late for air conditioning maintenance in Jacksonville FL? Should you schedule a session now or wait until the fall when you don’t need your system as often?

In point of fact, it’s never too late – or too early – to schedule a session. While you should ideally get to it earlier in the spring, we all know how life has a way of prioritizing work and family issues. Just because the summer is here, that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from immediate maintenance service. How? In two distinct ways:

1)      Lowering monthly bills. Maintenance sessions clean direct and dust off of the interior components, as well as recharging refrigerant and replacing used filters. All of that helps the air conditioner function more efficiently, and use less energy to cool your home. The longer you wait, the more you’ll feel the pinch on those monthly bills. A maintenance session will help cut into those bills, and scheduling in June means seeing the savings as early as July. With lots of summer left to go, the savings could help pay for the cost of the session itself.

2)      Preventing bigger repairs. More importantly, a maintenance session can help you stop big repairs before they get started, ensuring that you can rest a little easier during the remainder of the summer.

Give us a call today to make an appointment and lets us help you save money and energy this summer!

The experts at  Touchstone Heating and Air Inc. know that it’s never too late for air conditioning maintenance in Jacksonville, and we have the skills you ned to ensure that the job is done right.

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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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