Touchstone Heating & Air Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Generator’

Why a Portable Generator Will Not Do the Job

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Here in Lake City, FL,  a generator is a great addition to any home. Hurricanes are a regular fact of life here, and while our civic electrical system does a great job, occasionally losing power is to be expected. A generator means keeping food cold and comfort levels high, as well as maintaining contact with the outside world through radio, television and the internet. Some residents opt to use portable generators for such circumstances, which allow them to take the generator with them when they move. This can be a mistake. Here’s a list of reasons why a portable generator in Lake City will not do the job.

  • Size. Portable generators are usually very small, which will do in pinch but will struggle to meet your power needs for an entire household. A permanent generator, on the other hand, can be properly sized to meet the needs of your entire household, ensuring that you always have power when you need it.
  • Hazards. Portable generators can create toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, which can be a health hazard if the generator is run inside. Every time you use your generator, its imperative that you ensure it is vented properly. A permanent generator, on the other hand, will have its own venting system set up when it is installed, keeping you and your family safe while still providing reliable power.
  • Resale value. If you move away from hurricane country, chances are your need for a generator will diminish significantly, eliminating one of the big benefits of a portable model. A permanent model, on the other hand, will improve the resale value of your house, helping to cover the costs of installation.

For more on why a whole house generator is better than a portable one,  contact the experts at Touchstone Heating & Air, Inc. We handle Lake City, FL generator issues of all varieties, and will install a permanent generator in your home that will make those hurricanes much easier to endure. We’re standing by to take your call, so don’t hesitate!

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Things to Look for in a New Generator

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Florida means hurricanes, and hurricanes mean a loss of electrical power just when people need it the most. In cities like Gainesville, FL, generators are practically a necessity for any responsible homeowner. Generators can keep you warm and comfortable in the midst of a crisis, as well as maintaining key parts of your household such as a refrigerator (storing food) and radio or Internet services (keeping you in contact with the outside world). Buying a new generator is an important process, almost as important as keeping it fueled and maintained in anticipation of hurricane season. Her’ a list of things to look for in a new generator.

  • Sizing: By this, we don’t mean physical size (though that could come into play depending on where you wish to install the generator), but rather the amount of power it generates. You should determine exactly how much of a load you intend to place on your generator, then resolve to never go over it. Beware of ordering a generator that’s too small. Better to err on the side of a larger size and keep the generator operating than finding you need more power in the middle of a torrential rain.
  • Maintenance and fuel issues: Make sure you know what kind of fuel your generator uses and what its rate of fuel consumption is. Generators can run off propane, diesel, gasoline or similar fuels, and you want to make sure you have plenty stored with it. Calculating fuel consumption is just as important: you don’t want to run out of gas in the middle of a storm.

If you need Gainesville, FL generator service, talk to the experts at at Touchstone Heating & Air. We can discuss things to look for in and new generator, then perform an installation with courtesy and care. Pick up the phone and give us a call today!

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How a Generator Protects Your Comfort and Your Convenience

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Hurricanes. If you’ve lived in Florida for any stretch longer than a year, you don’t need a reminder of the No. 1 natural disaster threat we face in this state. Just as northern states face power outages from blizzards, down here we face losing power for extended periods because of the fury of high-speed tropical winds.

Hurricanes are one reason you should consider a backup generator in Gainesville, FL. However, generators have more purposes than insurance against a natural disaster like a hurricane. They protect your comfort and convenience from regular power outages that can occur from heavy rains or during hot summers. A generator will ease your mind about your comfort during any part of the year.

If you are interested in getting a generator, contact Touchstone Heating & Air. We install a number of whole-house generators and can find the right size one to power your home through emergency outages.

This is where we need to emphasize the term whole-house generator. People often think of generators in terms of small, portable units. This is not what you want connected to your home. A portable generator is great to have in a car, while camping, or if you only need to power a single appliance or a laptop computer; but it will not power all your residential essentials. A whole-house generator, if sized correctly, will run all the important appliances in your home to give you the comfort and convenience you need: the lighting, the electrical heating system, the refrigerator, the air conditioner. You can choose a smaller system if you only want the essentials to work during an outage.

The major difference between portable generators and whole-house generators isn’t size. A whole-house generator is actually wired into your home’s electrical panel, integrating into the electrical system. For automatic start-up generators, an electrical failure will cause the generator to turn on without any instructions, saving you from the inconvenience of going outside to activate it—during probably less than ideal weather conditions. You can remain in the comfort of your home and let the generator handle the work until the power comes back on. (There are also manual models available.)

You can’t simply a buy a whole-house generator on your own and expect to get it to work properly. It takes the skill of HVAC and electrical experts to pick the right model for you and to hook it up to your home’s electrical panel. You don’t want to discover that your backup generator needs a backup generator of its own when the power goes out!

Look to Touchstone Heating & Air for quality selection and installation of whole-house generators in Gaineville, FL—whatever the season.

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Why is a Professional Generator Installation Necessary?

Monday, September 30th, 2013

In Gainesville, FL, generator installation provides security and peace of mind for your family during inclement weather. We see our share of big storms and hurricanes here, which can wreak havoc on even the more reliable civic electricity system. With a good back-up generator, you can stay connected to the outside world while keeping lighting, air conditioning, and other vital equipment running. It can be enticing to try and install a generator yourself in order to cut down on costs, but that decision is usually a mistake. Why is a professional generator installation necessary? A few of the strongest reasons are listed below.

  • Sizing. Like air conditioning units, generators need to be a specific size to fit the power needs for your home. It can be a complicated equation, but trained experts know how to arrive at the most accurate conclusion and find a unit that is perfect for your needs. They can also recommend the most reliable and efficient brands for you, helping to eliminate some of the guesswork.
  • Installation. Installing a generator can be tricky, and will involve proper permits and other bits of paperwork. You also need to know where to place it on your property so that it will stay safe and dry, proper ventilation to let emissions clear your home, how it will handle the electrical load, what must be done to secure it in place and a host of similar issues. Experienced professionals know how to address them with speed and efficiency.
  • Insurance. Qualified professionals possess the correct certification and are usually backed by sound insurance. That protects both them and you in the event something unforeseen happens, allowing them to install your generator with confidence and assurance.

A professional generator installation in Gainesville, FL is not only necessary, but actively helpful in ensuring your generator is ready to go when the next big storm hits. Touchstone Heating & Air operates in Gainesville FL, generator installation is a cornerstone of our business, and our trained staff are dedicated to your complete satisfaction. Why go to anyone else? We’re here to help, so give us a call today!

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Air Conditioning Tip: Your AC and Your Generator

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Hurricane season is coming up, and power outages are something Florida residents need to seriously consider. Using an emergency generator or a standby generator is something many people rely on. But how does a generator affect your air conditioning system, and vice versa?

Touchstone Heating & Air has many years of experience with the air conditioning trouble you might expect with the troublesome hurricane weather in Gainesville, FL. Here are a few things you should know about your air conditioner and your generator:

  • Starting up your AC: Like many machines, the time where your air conditioner needs to draw the most power is when it turns on. When using an emergency or standby generator, try to avoid numerous start-ups with your AC. Think of it like flooding the engine of a car: too many tries, and the whole thing shuts down.
  • Know your power needs: How much energy does your AC require to run? How much can your generator give it? You don’t want your air conditioner overloading your generator, or your generator to fail to provide enough electricity to operate your air conditioner. An HVAC expert can help you determine the best fit between the two.
  • Prepare Your AC for the season: If your air conditioner has not received regular preventive maintenance, some of its components can cause serious problems when hooked up to a generator. An overloaded compressor, a malfunctioning capacitor, or overheated fan motors: any one of these could cause a power surge and damage your generator. You will need to call in a specialist to diagnose possible voltage issues with your air conditioner before hurricane season starts. With this kind of power involved, don’t risk trying to fix any the AC yourself!

Hurricane season can be a frightening time. But if you’ve taken care of your air conditioner, you shouldn’t have to worry about it causing trouble with your emergency or standby generator. To get ready for the season, call our Gainesville, FL air conditioning technicians. We can help you with the maintenance you need to feel secure. We also serve Lake City and the surrounding areas.

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Benefits of a Home Generator

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Electricity is the foundation of modern civilization, providing us with the power to run everything from our computers to our electric dishwashers. Most households get their electricity from the local power company, which in Gainesville, FL, likely means Gainesville Regional Utilities, which has served the city for over 100 years. However, you may wish to consider using a home generator to supplement your power needs. It can provide a number of benefits including (but not limited to) the following.

  • Emergency power: Gainesville is hurricane territory and when the rain starts falling you can’t always be assured that the lights will stay on. A home generator lets you power the your house during an emergency, keeping your house safe and comfortable.
  • Food storage: If your power goes out and the refrigerator isn’t running, you run the risk of losing your perishable food items. A generator will save you money by making sure that no matter how long the power is out, you won’t have to throw away all the food you have stored in the fridge.
  • Electrical appliances: Everything from your TV to your AC runs on electricity.  If you are in an area prone to power outages, a generator can keep them from disrupting your daily life. This is especially important if you have any medical equipment in the house that a family member relies on.

Hurricanes are no laughing matter and even during milder storms, the electricity can cut out at inopportune times. A home generator serves as important insurance against that happening, help to keep you home comfortable and safe when the weather takes a turn for the worst. If you live in Gainesville, FL, talk to the experts at Touchstone Heating & Air for advice on home generators. Not only can we find the right generator to fit your home and lifestyle, but we can set up a maintenance plan to ensure it’s always running at top efficiency when it’s needed. Contact us today to set up a consultation.

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