Cool Touch Blog: Archive for the ‘Heating’ Category

An A/C Units Biggest Predator

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

With all the building continuing throughout Phoenix and the valley, especially on what was once farmland, wildlife has been pushed off of that and into the suburbs. In regards to the HVAC industry this usually wouldn’t be anything to regard, however, one type of wildlife that has made its home around many homes here in Phoenix and it’s surrounding cities are rats.

Rats generally are not a welcomed sight for any home owner. However, they may be even more despised if the wires of your AC unit are being chewed up by them. In most homes in Arizona, AC Units consist of a Split Unit system where the Air Handler unit is inside the house, within the attic. The Condenser Unit is placed either on the roof, or beside the house. Both of these areas are prime areas for rats to attack exposed wiring that is connected to the units. While it may be difficult to look at your AC Unit to inspect if wires are being chewed on, most home owners are unaware there’s been rodents in the area.

 

 

Chewed A/C Wires

Chewed A/C Wires

As the weather is now cooling off and your air condition is not being used, this is a great time to consider AC Service and Repairs and to have an inspection done to see if rats are an issue. Cool Touch A/C and Heating has a team of professionals that can come to your home and provide a complete inspection of your AC Unit. If we suspect that your system has been effected by rats or any other type of rodent we can suggest ways to protect your unit from them.

If there has been any issues with the unit whether from rodents or just from heavy use in the summer, we can service the unit and get it primed for next year. While we’re there, you may even want us to double check your heating system to make sure that is ready for winter. The cold weather is now here, the nights are about to drop to the 40’s and 30’s, and you don’t want to wake up to a very cold home in the morning.

Protected A/C Unit

Protected A/C Unit

Call Cool Touch and schedule your cooling and heating system maintenance check today! 623-584-3762

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Top Tips to Use When Looking for a New Heater

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Installing a new heating system can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $3,500, depending upon the complexity of your specific installation. High efficiency models might cost an additional $500 to $1,000 for the added efficiency. If your family has high annual heating bills, a higher efficiency system is going to make more economic sense than it would for a family that has very small heating bills. So when determining what type of furnace to buy, take into account what you are spending on your annual energy bills. If you are going to be in your home for a period of time that would justify these additional expenses, it makes sense to install the highest efficiency heating system that you could afford.

A new heater is a significant investment, and if you make the decision to put one in, you need to do so only after careful consideration. This means more than just deciding your old heater isn’t good enough. It means knowing exactly what you want in a new heater and ensuring that you find the make and model with those qualities.

The Top Three Tips to Look for in a New Heater

1. Size. Furnaces should be neither too small nor too large, but just right. You need a heater that creates 50 BTUs (British thermal units) of heat for every square foot of your home, modified for such factors as sunlight exposure and insulation.

2. Efficiency rating. Furnaces are rated in AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency), listed as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the more effectively the furnace does its job.  The highest rated furnaces earn an EnergyStar sticker, denoting their status as particularly efficient units.

3. Type of system. Most people think of traditional gas furnaces when they think of heaters, and those models do the job very well. You might want to consider alternate models, such as heat pumps (which combine the features of a heater and an air conditioner). Both are extremely effective in places with mild winters like ours in Phoenix.

Tips to Determine the Size of Furnace You Should Buy

1. The size and configuration of your house

2. The levels of insulation in your walls, ceilings, 2nd floors

3. The number and type of windows in your home

4. The orientation of your home to the sun

5. The size and configuration of your house

For more things to look for in a new heater, or to talk to someone about installing a new heater, contact Cool Touch Air Conditioning & Heating for help. We serve all of Phoenix,AZ, heating installation is our specialty, and we dedicate ourselves to doing the job right every time. Pick up the phone and give us a call today 623-584-3762 or visit us here!

 

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Look for These Six Furnace Warning Signs

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

It is important to know the six warning signs that your furnace may be on it’s last legs. It is especially important not to wait until a crisis occurs as this could lead to higher costs . A cold night in January, with the furnace not running efficiently or worse, completely broken down, is not the time to assess your heating system. Start now!

1. Age of your furnace

A good place to start is to compare your furnaces age to the national average. The average life expectancy of furnaces in homes today is between 16 and 20 years. If your furnace is close to this age or older, you should begin shopping. Shopping for a replacement furnace in an emergency does not allow time to make your best decision. Most people prefer to replace their furnace as a planned home improvement rather than a panic replacement when your furnace is faltering or failed.

2. Gas & Electric Bills Increasing

Increase in gas and electric prices are not the only reason for high bills. Furnaces often lose their efficiency as they age especially if they have not been properly maintained. As a result your furnace may run longer to provide the same amount of heat. This will cause your gas & electric bills to go up.

3. Furnace Repairs in the last 2 years

It doesn’t take long to spend $500 just to keep an old furnace running. Furnaces incur the most breakdowns in the last 2 years of their lives. Another repair sign is whether you had to wait to get parts replaced. As a furnace ages, it gets harder to get replacement parts.

4. Is your burner flame yellow instead of blue

A yellow or flickering flame may be a sign that poisonous carbon monoxide could be created by your furnace.

5. Is your furnace making strange noises

Old furnaces often start to make some strange noises as they get toward the end of their life. Have you heard any banging, popping, rattling, or squealing noises coming from your furnace? This is a sign that your furnace definitely needs to be looked at and may need to be replaced.

8. Is your house dry or dusty

Old furnaces often lack the ability to moisturize and clean the air in your home. Your house air may feel stuffy or stale. Does anyone in your family suffer from allergies to airborne dust, mold, pollen, viruses or dander? Or does anyone suffer from dry nose, dry throat, or dry skin? These signs all suggest that your old furnace is not capable of providing you with the comfort you and your family may want.

If you feel your furnace may be on its last legs or would like a professional to come out and inspect your heating system, please call Cool Touch 623-584-3762. Don’t get stuck in the cold this winter. Let Cool Touch keep your household warm.

 

 

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Smart Shopping for a New Furnace

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

There are probably more questions you could come up with to ask a dealer but if you get good answers for these eight questions you have probably found a reputable dealer who will take care of your needs.

If you’re like most homeowners you have never purchased a new furnace. While the task may seem to be daunting, it can be boiled down to five simple steps. Taken one at a time, in a relatively short period of time you will have a new furnace installed in your home and you will feel good about your decision.

Find a reputable dealer you can trust. This is the most important task in the process. This is the company who will have workers in your home during the installation. It is also the company you will expect to be around when you need service on your furnace.Once you have your short list of one to five potential dealers, do a little homework and life will be simpler. Call or go online with the Phoenix Better Business Bureau and check the records of your potential contractors.

Invite reps from your list to your home. Watch and listen carefully to them while they are in your home. Do they take the time to find out what you really need or do they just march to the furnace, look around for a few minutes, and then go upstairs with you and fill out a proposal and give you some brochures? A good company’s representative will do a heat loss calculation and discuss several potential furnaces for your consideration. That person will also discuss additional comfort components with you. If you are replacing a furnace it’s a good time to consider a new air conditioner if the current unit is more than ten years old. It’s also a good time to look at an air cleaner, a humidifier, ductwork additions, or other devices that will make your home more comfortable.

Check references. Any company that is unwilling to give you references to check is a potential problem. If the representative can’t give you the names on the spot, see if that person calls you with names and addresses.

Determine if the proposal meets your needs and is affordable. Don’t be surprised if your representative offers you several financing choices. Most established dealers have financing available through their manufacturers. Some of the larger dealers may have even better financing options through local or national banks. Don’t hesitate to consider the financing options offered because they are often better than you can arrange on your own with your local banker.

Sign an agreement with the dealer you have chosen. This proposal should spell out model numbers, and a detailed listing of the work to be done. It should outline warranty terms and the final cost. It should indicate the method of payment that has been agreed upon. While the sales representative may not able to schedule your actual installation date you should at least be told the process that the dealer will follow from the time of signing your agreement through your final payment after installation.

Call Cool Touch for additional questions or to schedule an appointment. Our technicians are professional, honest, and always happy to help. 623-584-3672

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The 5 Most Common Causes of Furnace Breakdowns

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

With the fall season upon us, it’s a good time for you to know common heating problems and the most popular causes of furnace and heating system failure.

Although there are potentially hundreds of reasons why your home’s furnace or heating system may need to be repaired, there are a few reasons that are very common.

These are the top five problems that may cause your furnace or heating equipment to break down:

5. Thermostat malfunctions causing no heat, fan, or comfort problems

4. Air flow problems from fan motors, belts and bearings, causing furnace overheating or poor heating control

3. Dirty or clogged filters resulting in air flow and comfort problems

2. Furnace or heating system pilot or ignition control problems, resulting in intermittent or no heat

1. Lack of maintenance may cause unexpected breakdowns, poor comfort or increased energy costs (not to mention homeowner frustration!)

For these common issues, a professionally qualified, HVAC certified technician can quickly diagnose the problem areas and make the necessary repairs. Having a tune up by Cool Touch or signing up for our maintenance plan could prevent nearly all heating problems that result in no heat or low comfort levels. 

During a tune-up, all of the components of your system are checked and serviced so they operate correctly and at peak efficiency during the heating season. Important items like Carbon Monoxide checks, adequate combustion air, equipment clearances, and equipment safety are also key elements of our check list.

We always stress safety to our customers during the heating season. The health and safety of our clients and their loved ones is more valuable than any holiday gift. Always remember that furnaces of any age may pose safety hazards from combustion or gases, particularly if a certified technician has not maintained the equipment regularly.

Do you have furnace problems or heating questions? Look to Cool Touch to answer your questions and put you at ease this winter. Call us today at 623-584-3762

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When to Replace Your Furnace

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Buying a new furnace can cost a lot of money! Purchasing a high-efficiency model can run a homeowner a lot more. If your existing unit is starting to show signs of giving out, or if it is costing you a fortune in heating bills each month, a replacement may be your best bet.

Keep in mind that many new furnaces qualify for tax credits, particularly if they are ENERGY STAR rated. Installing an energy-efficient heating system in your home can save you a lot of money, so it would be in your best interest to replace it if you are financially able to. Unfortunately, sometimes a broken furnace is an unexpected circumstance so be sure to contact a professional HVAC contractor that offers a financing plan. Most companies will work with the monthly payments to find an option that works best for you.

Is it Time to Replace Your Furnace?

  • You will need to replace your furnace if the repair cost exceeds the replacement cost
  • If an inspector has deemed the device in violation of safety codes, you will have no choice but to buy a new unit
  • If your existing furnace is costing too much money to run each month, a replacement should be in order
  • high heating bills are often the result of poor furnace efficiency

 

In a nutshell, there are three factors that will determine whether you need to replace your home’s existing furnace.

1. If the unit has incurred significant mechanical damage and you are faced with a lofty repair bill, buying a new furnace may be the cheaper option. A reputable HVAC contractor will recommend the best option in this regard.

2. If your furnace is leaking gas, it poses serious safety hazards. As such, it may be condemned by an inspector and red flagged for removal. Failing to comply with these ordinances can lead to hefty fines.

3. Lastly, your furnace may just be an energy hog. A newer energy-efficient model can drastically lower your monthly heating bill, so this is definitely worth considering!

If you feel your furnace may be on it’s last legs please give Cool Touch a call. One of our experienced technicians will be happy to assist you and answer all of your questions and concerns. 623-584-3762

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Tips to Use When Fixing Your Household Heating System

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

When a homeowners heating system breaks down it can make the inside temperatures drop to almost fifty degrees. You’ll feel like you’re visiting the North Pole during the coldest parts of winter and your family will be huddled up like little polar bear cubs. For those of us living in Phoenix, AZ, fifty degrees is really cold! Most of us will be searching our homes for extra blankets and other sources of heat to warm our toes back up from the chill.

Here are some easy heating repair tips that can quickly get your home warm again. Although some of these tips may seem obvious, they’re common sense things to check before having to make a service call to your Phoenix heating repair specialist.

Thermostat

The first thing you should check is the thermostat. Checking the thermostat is the first thing a professional service technician is trained to do and so should you. Make sure the thermostat is set heat mode and that the temperature set-point is above the inside temperature.

Air Filter

After checking the thermostat you should inspect the condition of the air filter. A professional service technician would likely check the air filter after inspecting the thermostat. If the air filter is dirty then replace it and check if the heating capacity has been restored to a comfortable level.

Visual Inspection

Next, perform a visual inspection of the heating system. If you notice anything out of the ordinary be sure to report your findings to a local heating professional for advice. It’s important not to touch any of the internal components, just look and listen.

Breaker Panel

The breaker panel has a breaker that turns power on and off to your furnace or air handling unit. If the breaker is off or tripped, it will need to be reset. The breaker should be marked to indicate the appliance in which it controls.

Diffusers

Diffusers are commonly know as registers or vents. The vents are adjustable to open, closed or in-between. The diffusers should always be in the open position. Closing the diffuser to stop airflow creates greater resistance on the blower motor and can have an adverse effect on your heating system.

If you still feel that something may be wrong with your heating system please call Cool Touch at 623-584-3762. One of our experienced technicians will be happy to take a look and help restore your home with heat.

 

 

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Your Water Heater May Have Impurities

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Never use hot water from the tap to cook with.  The water in your hot water heater very likely contains contaminants that shouldn’t be ingested.  Your water heater contains metals that will corrode over time, and can leach into the water in the tank.  Also, certain contaminants, like lead solder, can be found in older pipe systems.

The lead ban wasn’t enacted until 1986, and even today many plumbing parts contain small (“acceptable”) amounts of lead.  Some contaminants will dissolve more rapidly in hot water than in cold, so the hot water you’re drawing from your water heater might contain some lead, metal from plumbing fixtures, or other impurities.

Your water heater may also be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Bacteria can also build up in the water as it sits in the water heater tank.  Even though the water in the tank is heated to 140 degrees, the temperature isn’t constant. The water has periods of cooling down which allows bacteria to grow and all that bacteria may, or may not, be killed in the cooking process.

A water heater also contains sediment, rust and other impurities.

Check out this picture of water being drained from an older hot water heater.

This water heater had been drained twice each year, but was still full of rust and sediment.  Do you really want to cook with water that looks like this?

And, what about contaminants in the water supply coming into the water heater?

Any water supply, whether it’s from a private well or a municipal water source, will contain some impurities and these can accumulate over time as the water sits in your water heater.  Even if these impurities are not considered a health hazard or are at normal levels that are not considered a threat to your health, they can still alter the taste of the water, and consequently the food you’re cooking.

Cold water can also have impurities.
Of course, cold water from the tap will also contain some impurities and contaminants, but at much lower levels.  Even though it takes a little longer to bring cold water to a boil, starting with cold water is safer and better for your health and probably the taste of your food!

Questions? Give Cool Touch a call…..623-584-3762. One of our experienced technicians will be able to answer all of your questions and concerns.

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Heating System Maintenance Saves

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Just when you get through one hot summer and start thinking “thank God that’s over”….BAM, the cold winter nights hit you right between the eyes and your heater system fails.

Here at Cool Touch, there’s not one little thing we can do to brighten a cold Phoenix forecast.  We can, however, make all the extra time you spend indoors that much more relaxing and stress free:  and that’s with our home heating tune-up and inspection service.

Why You Need Cool Touch Home Heating Maintenance?

Since the average heating system lifespan is about 10-12 years, it needs all the help it can get  to perform at its best.

Even if your system is relatively new, it still needs its annual check-up to continue to perform at the top of its game.

What Benefits Does a Cool Touch System Tune-up Provide?

With our multi-point heating system tune-up and inspection, you’ll benefit in four major ways:

  • Fewer repairs
  • Improved safety
  • Longer system lifespan
  • Lower utility costs

During our tune-up checks, we’ll clean or, most likely, replace the filter and that means cleaner indoor air.  When the system fan is blowing against a dirty filter, dust, bacteria, mold, chemicals, and other contaminants are forced through your air ducts, into your living space, and into your lungs

We have other indoor air quality solutions we can tell you about, as well.

What Does a Cool Touch Heating System Tune-up Consist of?

We maintain and repair all makes and models of home heating systems.  During our annual tune-up and inspection, these are just a few of the critical steps in the process:

– We will check and clean the burners and heat exchanger, replace any dirty filters, lubricate the blower fan motor bearings and check the electrical connections throughout the system.

– We will check the ductwork and closely inspect the air handler and chimney flue to make sure they are working properly as well.

– Test for carbon monoxide leaks

– Check furnace filter

– Check ignition and firing

– Test for gas leaks

The entire process takes no more than 2–3 hours, but when done properly on an annual basis, it ensures that your system is in good working order for a long time to come and that you will get your money’s worth whenever you turn on that furnace each winter.

For a nice and steady winter season, instead of one with lots of ups and downs, contact Cool Touch today to schedule annual heating system maintenance.

 

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Why Schedule a Heat Pump Tune Up

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Think about it! When was the last time that you had your heat pump looked at? Now that September is winding down and your heat pump, which also serves as your home’s air conditioner, has been running through the hottest months of the year, it is the perfect time to give Cool Touch a call and schedule your tune up. Why? Here are three important reasons.

A Heat Pump Tune-up Can Save Homeowners $$

Tuning up your Phoenix home’s heat pump before the new heating or cooling season begins helps to keep things running smoothly. When your equipment has maintenance performed, it increases efficiency, which in turn decreases the amount of work it takes to heat up or cool down your home. When this amount of work is decreased, heat pumps use less energy and can save homeowners quite a bit of money!

 

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Avoid Expensive Repairs with Heat Pump Tune-ups

In the Phoenix, AZ area, homeowners tend to rely on heat pumps twelve months out of the year. While there are back up air handlers or furnaces for days when the weather drops below 35 degrees, heat pumps are typically the main source of heating and cooling year round. With this piece of equipment being used on a daily basis, it is important to get it checked out at least twice a year. This will make sure things are running efficiently and will allow technicians to fix small problems before they become big, costly ones.

Tune-Ups Help Extend the Life of Your Equipment

In the heating and cooling world, it is a fact that regular tune-ups extend the life of your equipment. When you give heating and cooling companies, such as Cool Touch, a call to perform regular maintenance, we ensure that your equipment is working effectively in your home. This helps you avoid spending extra money on repairs and even replacements down the road.

To stay ahead of the crowd and schedule your home’s heat pump tune up before the weather begins to change. Give Cool Touch a call today at 623-584-3762!

 

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