Cool Touch Blog: Archive for the ‘Go Green’ Category

Air Duct Leaks – Is There A Leak Test For My Home?

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

How can I find out if my duct system is leaky?

So how do you know if your duct system has leakage?  If your home seems dusty, or has dust around registers, there may be leakage.  If you have rooms that are too hot or too cold in comparison to the rest of the home, you may have duct leakage.  The best way to determine if a duct system has leakage is by performing a duct leak test on the home.  First, one of our home comfort specialists will take measurements of your home and system, and visually inspect the ductwork for any problems.  We then install an infiltrometer into an outside door on the home.  The infiltrometer is basically a giant fan that will suck the inside air from the home and blow it outside, causing a vacuum in the home.  While the home is in a vacuum, our home comfort specialist will test each supply register and return grill for any air leakage using special tools.  After getting the needed measurements, our specialist will check the shell of the home for any leakage that could have a negative effect on the system.  Once he has completed his inspection, he uses advanced computer software to calculate how much air is being lost from the duct system, and determine the overall effect it is having on the efficiency of the unit.  Our specialist will then explain the situation and give you options on how to solve the issues. The cost for Cool Touch to perform a duct leak test is just $99.00 per system, and usually takes about 2-3 hours to perform the test.

What Causes a Leaky Duct System?

In many cases the duct system is leaky because it was never sealed when the home was built.  It wasn’t code to seal ductwork until recently, and most contractors didn’t fully understand the effect that a leaky duct system had on the unit.  There are also many duct systems that were sealed using inferior products such as duct tape.  The brutal Arizona summers tend to deteriorate many products that contractors use to seal ductwork, and the ducts separate from the seal or the product falls off of the connections.  Even new homes will occasionally have severe leakage, depending on the materials used by the contractor who installed the duct system.  It is important to use the proper materials when sealing the duct system, because of the heat created in the attic.  Many contractors today will use a sealer that is not designed for extreme temperatures in order to save money.  This allows the contractor to pass the code requirements when the job is inspected, but the seal cracks and separates after being exposed to the extreme heat during the first summer.

It is actually somewhat rare to find a duct system that is leaking because of disconnected ducts or crushed and torn ductwork.  In those cases, it’s usually because someone was in the attic (like a cable guy or phone repair tech) and accidentally caused the damage.  We usually find that leaky duct systems don’t have one certain spot where there is excessive leakage.  It’s usually several very small leaks throughout the entire system that gradually add up to become the equivalent of a large hole.  In most cases, the existing ductwork is still in good condition, and the leaks in the duct system can be repaired without replacing the ductwork.

Find out if your home has air duct leaks

Contact Cool Touch today or contact our office team at (623) 584-3762. Cool Touch, an Arizona LLC serves the entire state of Arizona for residential HVAC service and commercial HVAC service, repairs, replacements, installations and regular maintenance. We also offer great deals on new HVAC unit sales, as an Authorized Dealer for Amana.  Need a new air conditioner?  Then our deals are the best in the west! A family owned business with an excellent reputation in business since the 2002 located in the Phoenix West Valley city of Peoria Arizona. Our service area extends all over the Phoenix Valley including Scottsdale, North Phoenix, Surprise, Buckeye, Goodyear, Tolleson, Laveen, Avondale, Estrella Mountain, Verrado, Vistancia, Peoria, Sun City, Sun City West, Sun City Festival, Sun City Grand, Glendale, Deer Valley, Arrowhead, Marley Park, and many more.  For more information or to schedule an appointment —  contact us, visit our website or call us at (623) 584-3762.

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One Of The Best Warranties In The West

Friday, June 24th, 2016

Air Conditioner Warranty On Parts And Labor ~ We Offer The Best

At Cool Touch, we stand behind our service, parts & equipment.  That is why we offer some of the best warranties on parts and labor, in the entire Phoenix West Valley.  Dependable & reliable, that’s Cool Touch! We are so confident that you will be happy with our service, that is why we are able to offer some of the best warranties. 

Let’s take a moment and break it down.  Our new 18 SEER equipment has a LIFETIME CONDENSER REPLACEMENT if the compressor ever fails plus 16 YEAR parts & labor warranty – WOW, that’s a great warranty! See what I mean? But, for those of you that don’t need a new air conditioner or new HVAC unit, perhaps you simply need repairs? Then, this is the warranty for you:  Our 5 YEAR parts and labor guarantee on repairs is for you. For details, please call the main office.  We want to be your first choice for all things HVAC related.

READY TO SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT?  Visit our website or contact our office team at (623)584-3762.

Cool Touch, an Arizona LLC serves the entire state of Arizona for residential HVAC service and commercial HVAC service, repairs, replacements, installations and regular maintenance. We also offer great deals on new HVAC unit sales, as an Authorized Dealer for Amana.  Need a new air conditioner?  Then our deals are the best in the west! A family owned business with an excellent reputation in business since the 2002 located in the Phoenix West Valley city of Peoria Arizona. Our service area extends all over the Phoenix Valley including Scottsdale, North Phoenix, Surprise, Buckeye, Goodyear, Tolleson, Laveen, Avondale, Estrella Mountain, Verrado, Vistancia, Peoria, Sun City, Sun City West, Sun City Festival, Sun City Grand, Glendale, Deer Valley, Arrowhead, Marley Park, and many more.  For more information or to schedule an appointment —  contact us, visit our website or call us at (623) 584-3762.

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Sweet 16 – The last A/C you’ll ever need!

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Sweet 16 Winter Savings Promotion – The Last Air Conditioner You’ll Ever Need!

 

Winter Savings Sweet 16 Deal at Cool Touch HVACPurchase a 16 SEER Total Comfort System with a variable speed furnace – or Variable Speed Air Handler.  This system carries a lifetime unit replacement guarantee and qualifies for up to a $300 utility rebate.  Have it installed by March 30, 2016 to receive an installed price that is absolutely ironclad guaranteed to be the best value at the lowest cost you can get in the Central Arizona in that time period.

At a 20% discount from our normal price. Normally $9,850 we will discount 20% to $7,880 PLUS a $200 Cash Rebate and $300 from our utility so $7,380 installed after rebates.  16 SEER package unit is $6,728 after 15% Discount & Rebates  (3 ton/80,000 BTU, same discounts and rebates apply to all tonnages. Plus tax).

Here’s how we make the offer even sweeter….

This system comes with a 16 years parts and labor warranty for service and repairs. That’s right – 16 full years of no worries, in writing 10 Year Parts and 16 Year Labor Warranty on Package Equipment.  No one offers this — no one!

You will also receive a 3 Year Maintenance Agreement and we will add one High Tech Honeywell Vision Pro 8000 Touch Stat Thermostat.Amana Equipment

ON TOP OF ALL THAT – Cool Touch Ironclad Peace of Mind Guarantees:

  • 2 Year Money Back No Questions Asked Test Drive Guarantee
  • Best Value at the Lowest Cost in Writing Guarantee
  • 2 Year Hotel Guarantee
  • Both the A/C and Furnace come with a LIFETIME UNIT REPLACEMENT guarantee should a compressor or heat exchanger fail you get a brand new unit (On Split Systems, 99 Year Compressor Warranty on Package Equipment).

HURRY! OFFER EXPIRES 3/30/16

 

Cool Touch Logo Contact Cool Touch today!  ON CALL 24 HOURS (623) 584-3761

Cool Touch is a family–owned, Phoenix area business established in 2002. The owners, Chris & Charmaine Funk, have over 20 years of experience in the air conditioning, heating, plumbing and electrical industry.  We install American Standard, Goodman, and Amana equipment, but we service almost all other makes and models. We also offer service agreements for preventative air conditioning and heating maintenance. Cool Touch installs and repairs air conditioning and heating systems throughout the greater Phoenix and surrounding cities. Our air conditioning and heating technicians are highly skilled and provide exceptional customer service to both our residential and commercial clients. The team at Cool Touch has a combined 50 years of experience in the Arizona heating and cooling, plumbing and electrical industry. To learn more about us CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR WEBSITE.

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Air Duct Leaks – Is It Happening In Your Home?

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

AIR DUCT LEAKS – HOW A LEAKY DUCT SYSTEM AFFECTS YOUR HOME AND UNIT

    Air leakage in your duct system can have a poor effect on your heating or cooling unit, reducing the efficiency, lifespan, and performance of the system.  Air duct leaks can increase your energy bills, create excessive dust, and cause poor indoor air quality.

    In order to fully understand how air duct leaks and a leaky duct system can affect your unit, it is important to know how the duct system works in conjunction with the unit to heat or cool your home.  We will use the example of cooling your home, rather than heating, because we have such harsh summers it helps put things into perspective.  When you turn on your A/C at the thermostat during the summer, the unit turns on and a motor turns a fan to suck air through the “return” ductwork to the inside of your unit.  The air from inside your home is sucked in through that “return” duct and passes over a filter to catch dust particles. The air is then blown over a coil that is made of copper and aluminum, and looks similar to a giant radiator.  That coil has refrigerant inside of it that cools the coil ice cold in the summer.  The air gets sucked through that coil and cooled down.  After the air gets sucked through the coil and is cold, it gets pushed out the other side of your unit into the “supply” ductwork.  The ductwork is either made of metal tubes or rectangular boxes that are connected together in sections, or it can be flex tubes that are like a giant slinky wrapped in insulation, or sometimes a combination of both.  The air travels through the “supply” ductwork and is spit out of all the different registers in your home.  

    You also have a “return” duct that connects to a filter box and grill.  Some homes have multiple return ducts, each connecting to a box with a filter grill.  In many cases, those “return” boxes are leaking at the seams and at the main collar connection where the ductwork is attached to the box.  The return ducts may also be leaking at various connections in the ductwork, and at the main connection at the unit.  The unit should pull air from the inside of your home over the filter to remove particles, and blow it over the coil to be cooled and distributed throughout the home.  If the return ducts have leakage it causes some of the air to bypass the filter.  That means that the unit is sucking in some air from your home and the filter is catching the particles, and some of the air is sucking in through all of the seams, gaps, and holes in the “return” ducts from the attic.  That attic air is full of dust and debris, as well as fiberglass insulation that you don’t want to breathe.  Also, the attic air is usually between 120-170 degrees in the summer, much hotter than the 75-85 degree air inside your home.  So the unit has to work much harder to cool down 120-170 degree air, rather than 75-85 degree air.  That reduces the lifespan of the system and increases your energy bills.  The system is also affected by the particles that bypassed the filter.  You don’t want to breathe the attic air full of dust and fiberglass, but it also hurts the unit.  The air from the attic gets blown over the coil to be cooled, and that causes the coil to sweat condensation.  Some of the dust and fiberglass particles from the attic air end up sticking to the wet coil, and it creates build up, sort of like a lint trap in a dryer.  Most manufacturers recommend that you clean the indoor coil every 2-3 years, and APS and Energy Star recommend cleaning it every 2-4 years, but with leakage, it needs to be cleaned more often.  Cleaning the coil is difficult and costly, so sealing the ductwork will help keep that coil cleaner.  When the coil gets residue and build up, it causes the motor to run harder in order to suck the air through that coil because it’s impacted with debris so the airflow is restricted.  When the motor runs harder, the amp draw increases, and so does your energy bill, not to mention the fact that it reduces the lifespan of the motor.  The dust and fiberglass particles that make it through the coil are pushed through the “supply” ducts and distributed in the air throughout your home.  Those particles also build up in both your “return” and “supply” ducts as well.  So if you have leakage in your “return” ductwork, it creates poor indoor air quality, an increase in dust throughout the home, an increase in your utility bills, and it reduces the efficiency and lifespan of the unit.

    There can also be leakage from the “supply” ductwork.  The leaks are usually also found at connections, as well as the seams and gaps inside the trunkline, distribution boxes, or the “supply” boxes that have the registers attached to them.  So after the air is sucked through the unit and cooled from the coil, it travels into the supply ductwork and some air just blows into the attic.  So besides cooling down your home, you’re also cooling down your attic, which is a waste of money.  

    The other issue is that the leakage from the supply ductwork will cause a vacuum effect on the home.  A five ton unit is made to suck in 2,000 cfm of air through the filter, and spit out 2,000 cfm through the registers.  So if that five ton system has 10% air leakage from the “supply” ducts, it’s sucking in 2,000 cfm, but it’s only blowing about 1,800 cfm into the home, and 200 cfm into the attic.  The unit still needs to suck in 2,000 cfm, and since it can’t get all of the air back that it spit out because 200 cfm went in the attic, it causes a vacuum in the home.  That vacuum pulls in warm outside air from doors and windows, and it also pulls in dusty and polluted air from behind electrical outlets and switches, as well as from any gaps at plumbing penetrations, light fixtures, ceiling fans, recessed can lights, and so on.  So once again, the leakage is affecting your indoor air quality.

HOW DO YOU REPAIR A LEAKY DUCT SYSTEM?

    Sealing air duct leaks in your duct system is usually an all day job, and in some cases it may take 2 or 3 days.  The total cost to make the necessary repairs depends on the size of the home, the type of ductwork used in the system, the amount of air leakage detected during the negative pressure test, and the overall condition of the duct system.  The cost can be as little as a few hundred dollars, or as high as several thousand dollars.  The good news is that both APS and SRP offer rebates to homeowners who have their duct system properly sealed by a certified contractor.  APS will refund up to $325.00 towards repairs and SRP will refund up to $400.00 towards repairs.  In many cases, customers who seal their duct system see a reduction in their utility bills and a return in their investment in just a few years.  Our home comfort specialists seal all of the supply and return ductwork in the attic at all seams, connections, and collars using a high temperature fiberglass reinforced elastomeric sealer.  We also seal any distribution boxes and trunklines at seams, collars, and end caps using the same sealer.  Our specialists then remove all supply registers and seal the ductwork from the inside at seams, joints, collars, and connections with a high temperature fiberglass reinforced elastomeric sealer.  Then we fill up any gaps in the drywall behind the registers using a silicone latex caulk, and reattach the registers.  They also seal inside all return boxes at seams and collars with the sealer, and fill up the gaps in drywall around the filter grills using a silicone latex caulk.  Some circumstances require additional sealing.  Duct systems that use return air platforms may require plating off areas using duct board or sheet metal and sealing over the plates.  Systems with fresh air return ductwork also usually require plating off areas and sealing over the capped section with sealer.  Sometimes leaks in the duct system are located at torn or deteriorated flex duct runs, or damaged hard duct runs or distribution boxes that cannot be properly sealed.  In those cases we replace or repair the ductwork as needed, and proceed with sealing the ductwork after making the repairs.

    Some homeowners have conditioned air loss from the shell of the home, referred to as the home envelope.  In some cases, customers request that Cool Touch make the necessary repairs to reduce the conditioned air loss as well as seal the duct system.  Our specialist can explain the benefits of sealing the home envelope after performing the negative pressure test, and inform you of the priority of the repairs, depending on the issues (allergies, asthma, COPD, dust, warm or cold rooms, energy consumption, etc.) each customer is concerned about the most.  There are a variety of repairs that can be made to the home to help reduce conditioned air loss, ranging from replacing leaky can lights with air tight can lights and sealing around plumbing pipe penetrations and installing weather stripping around door frames, to sealing inside electrical outlets and switches and sealing around speakers, sky lights, and light fixtures.  In some circumstances Cool Touch is unable to repair the issues we locate, such as replacing a leaky window.  In those cases, our specialist will inform you of the problem, and recommend a company that can perform the repairs.

    Once we have completed all of the necessary repairs to all of the leaky ductwork and conditioned air loss that we detected in your home, we perform the air duct leak test again to ensure that the duct system is properly sealed.  We guarantee that you will have a 60% or more improvement in air loss from the duct system after we have completed the sealing, and in many cases we have made a 70%, 80%, or even 90% improvement in the leakage.  We use high quality products when sealing your duct system, so the seal should last decades, and you will most likely never need to seal your ductwork again in the future.

FIND OUT IF YOUR HOME HAS AIR DUCT LEAKS – Contact Cool Touch today!  ON CALL 24 HOURS (623) 584-3761

Cool Touch LogoCool Touch is a family–owned, Phoenix area business established in 2002. The owners, Chris & Charmaine Funk, have over 20 years of experience in the air conditioning, heating, plumbing and electrical industry.  We install American Standard, Goodman, and Amana equipment, but we service almost all other makes and models. We also offer service agreements for preventative air conditioning and heating maintenance. Cool Touch installs and repairs air conditioning and heating systems throughout the greater Phoenix and surrounding cities. Our air conditioning and heating technicians are highly skilled and provide exceptional customer service to both our residential and commercial clients. The team at Cool Touch has a combined 50 years of experience in the Arizona heating and cooling, plumbing and electrical industry. To learn more about us CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR WEBSITE.

 

 

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Global Warming in Arizona

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

The impact of global warming is becoming increasingly apparent in many parts of the nation, and Arizona is no exception. Already plagued by droughts that some scientist lay at global warming’s feet, Arizona residents can expect a variety of issues to become more important as average temperatures in the region continue to increase.

The most known effects of global warming are the increases in average temperatures, combined with growing unusual weather. This is especially serious for south western states such as Arizona, which are already subject to very hot summers. In fact, some groups estimate that Arizona’s average temperatures are increasing faster than any other part of America.

Secondly, global warming is also likely to result in chaotic weather, including long droughts, unexpected rain and damaging storms. This will impact both residents and farming activities in the state, as it will be harder to predict the weather and make plans outdoors. This will dramatically change the working patterns of many residents, especially those who work in professions that require them to be exposed to the elements.

Because global warming is likely to lead to more and longer droughts, the cost of water will continue to rise. A major component of rising water costs will be the growing demand for water, not simply in Arizona, but in other western states. This will result in increased competition for available water supplies, and will limit the amount of water that is available to Arizona citizens and businesses. When coupled with Arizona’s rapidly growing population, it is certain that Arizona will have to husband its water resources with increasing care.

This will result in more cities enacting drought ordinances that require homeowners and businesses to work to control their water usage. Homeowners may have to start using desert plants for gardens rather than the current water intensive landscaping that is popular in many parts of Arizona. In addition, it is likely that evaporative coolers will become less attractive as the rising cost of water makes them more expensive to use. In many cases, they will likely be replaced by energy efficient air conditioning systems. This will be especially important for households and businesses that serve the elderly and young alike, as those two groups are vulnerable to high heat.

In addition, global warming is likely to drive power costs up. Like California, Arizona may find itself experiencing brownouts and rolling blackouts in the summer months, especially in urban regions where many businesses and homes will be using coolers and air conditioners during the hottest parts of the day. Homeowners will have to be certain to ensure that their air conditioning repair Phoenix contractors keep their systems running at peak efficiency during the day.

Finally, the rise in power costs will likely contribute to the growing popularity of home photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, which will allow homeowners to reduce their utility bills. It is likely that most new homes will eventually be built with PV panels already installed. These systems will become especially useful as they are most effective during the daytime, when power usage is at its greatest. The general adoption of PV systems will help reduce strain on the power grid, reducing the danger of blackouts during the hottest part of the day.

Effective air conditioning will become a vital part of most Arizona homes and businesses. When combined with insulation, modern air conditioning installations will allow home life to continue normally, even in the face of rising temperatures. The use of more effective insulating materials will also help to keep energy bills low. However, in order for these measures to remain effective and economical, home and business owners must make certain to ensure that their Phoenix air conditioning repair services keep their equipment in excellent working order.

Global warming will represent a variety of challenges to Arizona residents and businesses alike. While it will be possible to mitigate the financial and environmental consequences of global warming, it is important to start doing so as soon as possible. In this way, Arizonans can ensure that their future remains a bright one, no matter how hot it gets outside.

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Why the Use of R-22 Refrigerant is Declining

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Older air conditioning units that still use R-22 refrigerant can develop leaks that slowly attack the earths ozone layer. It results in the creation of a dangerous by-product that is harmful to the environment and for this reason we’re seeing it’s decline within it’s manufacturing and is not used in newer a/c units.

R-22 is considered a greenhouse gas and newer a/c units now use ozone-friendly refrigerants rather than the dangerous R-22 refrigerant. In January 2010 the United States issued an order that all new HVAC system manufacturers could not use R-22 in their new equipment. Unfortunately many consumers have been sold older R-22 units and were told that they could find the refrigerant online. When an air conditioning company offers you free Freon or a cheaper repair on an AC unit that runs with R-22 be wary and politely decline. R-22 is being phased out and you should take that into consideration when you consider repairing an existing a/c unit. Consider what the cost will be to continue to run an AC unit that uses R-22, because in most cases, it will be more cost effective to buy a newer unit than it will to continually run an older one on R-22.

The Clean Air Act will not allow refrigerant to be released into the atmosphere during installation, service, or retirement of air conditioning equipment. R-22 will need to be caught and recycled in order to be reused, reclaimed, or destroyed. If you need to dispose of your R-22, please contact an A/C professional who knows what they’re doing to make sure that you do not break any laws or harm the environment. If you have an older AC unit and want to upgrade but have price concerns, consider the price of continual R-22 purchases versus a newer unit. Upgrading to a newer unit will come with less headaches and won’t require you to use cooling agents that carry rising costs due to the decline in their usage. Also, many A/C contractors offer financing options on new air conditioning units so you don’t have to worry about the cost all at once. And if they don’t offer financing, they will have other options that work with your budget in order to make it more convenient for you.

If you have any questions regarding your Phoenix air conditioner, or would like to determine whether it’s time to repair or replace your unit, please call the experts at Cool Touch. We will help you determine which option makes most sense for you. Cool Touch 623-584-3762!

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