Cool Touch Blog: Archive for the ‘Home Improvement’ Category

A/C Blower System Repairs

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Your air conditioner blows cool air into your home from the indoor unit, where the evaporator and blower are stored. When there are problems going on with your blower, you can experience significant decreases in air flow, warm air, or even system failure. As we head into the hot Phoenix AZ summers, which happens to be the busiest time of year for HVAC contractors, there are a few common problems in regard to your system’s blower that we see a lot of while performing a/c repairs in Phoenix.

Fan Problems

The blower in your unit is a fan that blows the cooled air into your duct system. The fan has its own motor that is wired into the system. There are a few common problems that can happen with fans, including your blower:

Bent, loose or broken fan blades
Worn-out or broken fan belts
Motor issues, such as overheating
Wiring issues, including shorts, frays, corrosion and disconnections

Any one of the above can affect how the fan functions, from turning slowly to not turning at all. All of them will affect the air flow in your system, which can lead to other problems, so an issue with the blower shouldn’t be ignored.

Fan repairs can be challenging, particularly if the problem involves the wiring, so it’s best to call your Alaskan Home Services expert to inspect and repair any fan issues you may be experiencing.

Dirty Evaporator Coils

Like the outdoor unit, the indoor unit of your air conditioner contains coils that help circulate the refrigerant in your system. These coils can collect a lot of dust and dirt, and when this debris isn’t removed, they form a layer that acts as an insulator. If the coils become insulated, the heat release and cooling process won’t work as it should and icing can occur.

As long as the refrigerant level is normal, the repair for this involves giving the coils a thorough cleaning, which should always be done by an air conditioning specialist.

Identify Potential Blower Issues with Consistent Maintenance

Scheduling bi-annual maintenance in spring and fall is the best way to catch these kinds of problems before they have the chance to grow into bigger ones. Why? During an Alaskan Home Services maintenance call, we’ll inspect your entire system, check the wiring and components, and clean the coils, fans and condensate drain.

Have you scheduled maintenance for your air conditioning system yet? Don’t put it off until next year. Contact Cool Touch Air Conditioning and Heating today and help yourself avoid AC repair in Phoenix.

Continue Reading

How to Avoid Heat Related Illnesses During A/C Failure

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Phoenix Arizona is one of the hottest places in the country from May to September. Heat related illnesses are common during the summer months and year after year, nearly 2,000 people visit Arizona emergency rooms because of heat-related illnesses. Some heat illnesses could even be fatal. Over 1,500 deaths from exposure to excessive natural heat have occurred in Arizona from 2000 to 2012.

If you’re beginning to hear weird sounds coming from your A/C unit that’s a sign it’s time to have it checked. Letting whatever the issue is, even the smallest of issues, can cause further damage down the road, leading to breakdowns or even worse replacement.

Phoenix Arizona

Phoenix Arizona

In the event your system fails during a hot day, or perhaps you just get back from vacation and your system isn’t running, call Cool Touch immediately so we can get your cool air flowing again. While your waiting for a technician to get there please follow the tips below to keep your family safe.

Tips to Keep Cool in the Event of A/C System Failure:

– Drink water. Be heat safe and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.

– Dress for the heat. Get into lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun’s energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella. If you need to go outside always apply sunscreen to exposed skin. Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein which increase metabolic heat.

– Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. Do not workout while waiting to have your A/C unit checked. This will cause your body’s temperature to rise and you want to stay as cool as possible.

– Use box fans and ceiling fans to promote air circulation throughout your home.

– Take advantage of the cooling power of water. Fill buckets or basins and soak your feet. Wet towels and bandannas can have a cooling effect when worn on the shoulders or head. Take cool showers or baths, and consider using a spray bottle filled with cold water for refreshing spritzes throughout the day.

– Head downstairs. Since hot air rises, the upper stories of a home will be warmer than the ground floor.

– Eliminate extra sources of heat. Incandescent light bulbs can generate unnecessary heat, as can computers or appliances left running. Eat fresh foods that do not require you to use the oven or stove to prepare.

– For a homemade “air conditioning” system, sit in the path of a box fan that is aimed at an open cooler, or pan filled with ice.

– Try to visit public buildings with air conditioning during the hottest hours of the day if the heat becomes unbearable. Libraries, shopping malls, and movie theaters can all be good places to cool down.

– Be able to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and true heat emergencies (heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion, heat stroke). Call emergency services (911) in the event of a heat emergency and try to cool the victim until help arrives.

– Finally, remember that pets also suffer when the temperature rises. Cooling animals (dogs, rabbits, cats) by giving them a “cool” bath or shower will help keep their body temperature down. A cool towel on a tile floor to lay on, a cool towel or washcloth laying over the skin next to a fan will also help cool the animal. Make sure they have plenty of cool water to drink as well.

Cool Touch is just a phone call away seven days a week. If your cooling system fails call us immediately so we can get you, your loved ones, and pets into cool air as fast as possible. Your health is important to us and it’s not worth risking it during the Phoenix summer heat. Contact us today to have your system checked by visiting our website at https://cooltouch.us.

Continue Reading

When the A/C Unit Blows Warm Air or Sounds Strange

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

In Phoenix Arizona the summer days feel like an oven. Literally, you feel like you just walked into one of those big pizza ovens all the mom and pop pizza shops have across town. The sun is so direct out here and very powerful that anything exposed to sun light all day can take a serious beating.

You air conditioning unit is no different than anything else sitting out in the sun. Wear and tear on your cooling system can start to take place and before you know it, Wham, your system has started showing signs of trouble.

Follow these tips to prevent air conditioning system breakdown.

To keep your home comfortable you need your air conditioning running at it’s best!

What to do if you find that you air conditioning unit is making loud noises?

– This could be caused by a low refrigerant charge. A dirty air filter of evaporator coil or undersized duct work.

– This could be an indication of an impending system failure!

– Shut off your system immediately to avoid more serious problems!

– Your air conditioning system should be checked and diagnosed by a professional technician at Cool Touch!

What to do if you find that you air conditioning unit is blowing warm air?

– This could be caused by many factors ranging from a refrigerant leak to a mechanical or electrical problem.

– There’s a good chance that your condenser is simply dirty. If cleaning the condenser unit doesn’t solve your problem, then you likely need to have your refrigerant recharged. This is something best left to a professional.

– Often, a simple human error in the AC settings could be the reason for a hot air blowout. You might have flicked the selector switch to “heat” instead of putting it on “cool”. If such is the case, the heat mode sets on and you automatically receive warm air from the AC. All you need to do is to switch it back to “cool” mode again to resume proper functioning.

Below is a video with basic air conditioning maintenance steps. This outlines the basics in keeping your cooling system running efficiently and should be used to give you a better idea and understanding of your unit. In Phoenix AZ, an A/C system generally needs a thorough check up due to all the dust and debris we have out here that could get into your system. Never try to perform professional maintenance to your system if you haven’t been trained to do so. Leaving that for a certified technician at Cool Touch is the safer way to go.

Call us today at 623-584-3762!

Continue Reading

Trusting Your A/C & Heating Contractor is Important

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

We’ve all heard the stories about home owners and commercial businesses getting ripped off by their local HVAC contractor. Too many times people have called upon A/C and heating companies to come to their home or business for what they thought would be a simple tune up only to be taken for hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars. We’ve even heard of a homeowner who’s issue had to do with a simple adjustment to their thermostat, however, the HVAC company they called told them they needed a whole new cooling system which ended up costing them a few thousand. Ridiculous!!

Cool Touch A/C & HeatingCool Touch Air Conditioning and Heating is proud to state that we have a perfect rating with the Phoenix Better Business Bureau. We also have an outstanding reputation on the social website Yelp. Our technicians are professionally trained and certified and offer the best customer service you will find around Phoenix and the east and west valleys. If a customer doesn’t need an expensive part, repair or system replacement, our techs will be the first to tell them. We’re not in the business of increasing profits through lies. Cool Touch is in the business of gaining our customers trust so they become a customer for life.

In order to prevent getting ripped off by a dishonest air conditioning & heating company in Phoenix, please follow the list of tips below.

How to Find a Credible Air Conditioning & Heating Company:

— Find out about license and insurance requirements for contractors in your state. And before you call a contractor, know the model of your current system and its maintenance history. Also make note of any uncomfortable rooms. This will help potential contractors better understand your heating needs.

– Ask for referrals — Ask friends, neighbors, and co-workers for contractor referrals. You can also contact local trade organizations for names of members in your area.

– Check your local Better Business Bureau and popular local business social websites (Yelp, Magic Yellow, Brown Book, Angies List, Google Plus, etc)

– Call references — Ask contractors for customer references and call them. Ask about the contractor’s installation or service performance, and if the job was completed on time and within budget.

– Find special offers — A heating and cooling system is one of the largest purchases you’ll make as a homeowner. Keep your costs down by checking around for available rebates on energy-efficient ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling equipment. Begin your search at www.energystar.gov.

– Look for ENERGY STAR — ENERGY STAR qualified products meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and offer significant long-term energy savings. Contractors should be able to show you calculations of savings for ENERGY STAR heating and cooling equipment.

– Expect a home evaluation — The contractor should spend significant time inspecting your current system and home to assess your needs. A bigger system isn’t always better; a contractor should size the heating and cooling system based on the size of your house, level of insulation, and windows. A good contractor will inspect your duct system (if applicable) for air leaks and insulation and measure airflow to make sure it meets manufacturers specifications.

– Get written, itemized estimates — When comparing contractors’ proposals (bids), be sure to compare cost, energy efficiency and warranties. A lowest price may not be the best deal if it’s not the most efficient because your energy costs will be higher.

– Get it in ink — Sign a written proposal with a contractor before work gets started. It’ll protect you by specifying project costs, model numbers, job schedule and warranty information.

– Pass it on — Tell friends and family about ENERGY STAR. Almost one-quarter of households knowingly purchased at least one qualified product last year, and 71% of those consumers say they would recommend ENERGY STAR to a friend. Spread the word, and we can all make a big difference.

– Don’t Assume The Lowest Price Company Is The One You Should Hire. While price matters, don’t let the initial price be the only consideration when choosing a heating and cooling contractor. As with most things in life, price is usually an indication of quality. And high quality is essential for a new heating and cooling system. The long term costs to own it usually far exceed the initial cost to buy it. Another concern is that the low price you see advertised or are quoted may not be the price you end up paying. Some contractors offer an unrealistically low price to get the job and then pressure you into paying a lot more after starting.

If you want to get the best value for your money, solve existing discomfort or dust problems, fix repairs and prevent them, or end up with a new comfort system you’ll be proud to own and enjoy for many years to come, take the time to identify one of the few contractors who can really put your new system in right. This is a unique opportunity. Don’t waste it.air-conditioning by Cool Touch

And always remember Cool Touch is one of the highest rated HVAC contractors in Phoenix AZ. We have a solid reputation and our customers always do repeat business with us. If you have any questions please visit our website https://www.cooltouch.us.

Continue Reading

Air Cleaners and How They Work

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Low indoor air quality poses a major health threat in the U.S. today, especially since Americans spend approximately 85% of their time indoors. One of the best solutions for improved indoor air quality is to ventilate a house with open windows and doors for a few hours. However, this is not always an option, especially in a city like Phoenix, Glendale, Tempe or Scottsdale, which often experiences blistering hot days. Letting this much heat enter your home also puts tremendous strain on your AC.

However, there are methods to improve your indoor air quality with upgrades to your HVAC system. At Cool Touch, we recommend our customers look into installing air cleaners into their ductwork. These devices filter the air passing from your air conditioner (and heater) to remove the contaminants that may enter it, such as dirt, dust, pollen, dander, bacteria, and residue from construction. There are two main types of air cleaners, and we’ll go over how they work. Call the pro’s at Cool Touch (623-584-3762) for more information about air cleaners in Maricopa County.

Mechanical Filters

The basic air cleaner catches particles in a filter. The most common type of filter is the HEPA filter, which is composed of a mat of randomly arranged fibers, usually made of fiberglass strands between 0.5 and 2.0 microns. These filters do not work like strainers however, where some particles are stopped while others are allowed to flow through. The HEPA filters instead catch even smaller particles, down to 0.3 microns, through a process where particles that pass within one radius of a fiber will adhere to it. Although HEPA filters can stop most physical particles from passing through, they are not effective at stopping gas and odor molecules.

Electronic Filters

The next level up from mechanical filters are the electronic filters, which can catch particles down to 0.1 microns and can affect smoke, gas, and even bacteria that would otherwise escape a mechanical filter. Electronic filters work through static charges. The fibers of an electronic filter generate a strong static charge as air passes through them. This positively charges the particles in the air, and when those particles pass through a layer in the filter with negatively charged fibers, they are drawn toward them and trapped.

Find The Right Filter

Which type of filter should you have installed? It depends on the sort of contaminants in your home (and there’s certainly nothing preventing you from having both installed). Call an indoor air quality specialist from Cool Touch AC & Heating to see what sort of air cleaners will provide the most benefit for your home, and then rely on our team to properly install them. Make us your top choice for improving your indoor air quality for Phoenix,AZ and the entire East and West Valley.

Continue Reading

Differences Between Furnaces & Heat Pumps

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

From the point-of-view of a person standing in a room where a vent is sending out warm air, there seems to be little difference between a heat pump and a furnace. The end result is the same: heated air. The two units, wherever they are housed, may make different sounds, but otherwise nothing else is.

There is an illusion however, that almost all furnaces and heat pumps are vastly different devices that operate on separate principles. We’ll go into a bit more details about the differences between the two comfort systems. We hope this will help you if you’re trying to make a choice between the two for your home. But to make a final decision, you should have expert guidance: Cool Touch Air & Heating. Our experience will help you decide if a furnace or heat pump is right for you.

Furnaces create heat and then transfer it to the air. In a general sense, they are similar to ovens in which they heat up the air using their fuel source. Most furnaces either use electricity or natural gas to create this heat. The heat is transferred to the air, and then fans blow that air into the ducts that send it through your home. Natural gas furnaces have to vent away the exhaust from combustion. All this occurs inside a single indoor cabinet.

Heat pumps do not create heat at all, however, they move heat from one place to another, using separate units: one indoors and one outdoors. The outdoor unit draws heat from the air, then transfers it indoors using refrigerant. The inside unit then releases the heat to the indoors, which blowers send through vents. Heat pumps use electrical power to run and do not create any emissions from burning fuel.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is that the heat pump can also serve as an air conditioner: if it reverses the direction of heat exchange, drawing heat from indoors and putting it outdoors, it will cool down the inside of a home. Furnaces will only heat, heat pumps can heat and cool.

They sound a bit too good to be true, don’t they? But heat pumps are not ideal for every home or every climate. Sometimes they have trouble providing enough heat, something at which furnaces excel. However, the easiest way to know which system will work the best for you is to consult with experts, such as those at Cool Touch Air and Heating (623-584-3762). Our specialists are devoted to bringing you the best comfort they can, and they’ll help you decide which one is best for your Phoenix, AZ home.

 

Continue Reading

Heating System Maintenance & Repair Can Prevent House Fires

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

As temperatures stay cool in the evenings and mornings here in Phoenix, many homeowners find themselves turning up the thermostat before heading to bed. Before February hits, have Cool Touch come out to your home to look at your heating system. If any heating repairs need to be performed, we’ll be sure and take care of it as this simple action may save your life and your home this winter.

The Leading Cause of House Fires

The U.S. Fire Administration reports that heating is one of the top causes of house fires nationwide, especially during the winter months. In order to keep themselves and their homes warm, many people use a variety of devices, such as fireplaces, home heating systems, and space heaters that could potentially cause a detrimental house fire, injuries, and even death.

You can easily reduce this high risk by having heating repair done on your heater before you start using it regularly and taking other protective measures. For example, if you choose to use a space heater, never leave your home with it turned on, and keep it at least three feet away from anything flammable. Space heaters cause approximately 90,000 house fires each year so be careful with these devices and use other heating methods with care.

You should also have your ducts inspected to make sure debris, lint and large quantities of dust aren’t clogged up in them. Having debris and lint clogged in your household ducts could be an easy way for a fire to start.

When looking at your heating system, make sure the flame is blue, a yellow flame may be a sign that the burner could be out of adjustment.

If your home has a fireplace have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually for creosote build-up and cracks in the mortar or chimney flues. Do not exceed the fuel capacity of your fireplace.

Protect Your Home and Your Safety

Don’t go any longer without having heating repairs done by us at Cool TouchContact us at 623-584-3762 to schedule heating maintenance and repair, serving the entire valley to protect the safety of your home and your loved ones this winter.

 

Continue Reading

Poorly Sized Ducts Can Lead to Heating Repair

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

You probably haven’t considered how important your ductwork is for your heating system. If it’s a gas furnace or a heat pump the reason people often forget about ductwork is because most of the ducts remain out of sight, hidden in walls, floors, ceilings, and rooms you rarely go in.  Ductwork that suffers from leaks, bad connections, or poor construction, can have a large negative impact on your heater, possibly leading to it requiring repair.

Another problem with ductwork that can affect your heater is improper sizing. If the installers who put in your ducts in the first place picked the wrong size, too large or too small, your heater will struggle. Here are some of the heating repairs that we often encounter because of poorly sized ductwork.

If your ducts are too large, you’ll probably notice the issue right away, because the system will make noise from the restriction on the air flow. The reduced air flow from the constriction will build up pressure inside the ductwork.

If the ducts are too large for your heating system, they will cause low airflow, and this will result in uneven heating throughout your home, since the air will not reach all the vents.

Recent studies have shown that improper ductwork design can cause as much as a 60% loss in heating efficiency. This is not only bad news for your pocketbook, it’s also bad news for your heater, which will struggle to reach the temperature set for it and begin to degrade and age rapidly. This means more repairs to things such as motors, fan belts, and compressors. And it can also end up with a need for an early retirement for your heater and the expense of purchasing a new one.

You should never let any heating repair go without proper attention. Cool Touch knows both your heater and your duct work. Our professionally trained staff can provide repairs for your heating system and the correct cleaning and sealing services to take care of your ducts. Give us a call for your heating repair, serving Phoenix and the entire valley. Let us take a look at your ductwork so we can advise you on what you should do. You can reach us at 623-584-3762

 

Continue Reading

Capitalize on the Efficiency of Your Home’s Energy

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Imagine your home as a giant storage space with connected ducts, which are highly effective tools for accomplishing consistent energy efficiency.  Just as a business is only as strong as their employees, no overall energy system is more efficient than its most inefficient component.

Your home comfort system comprises about half of the full amount of your total residential energy usage.  It’s only logical and quite obvious that maximizing energy efficiency must also begin at the biggest source of waste – HVAC.

Below is a basic overview of the best ways to harmonize all systems in order to optimize overall energy efficiency.

Peak energy efficiency cannot possibly exist where inner air constantly seeps outside.  As long as warm air can escape during colder weather and enter throughout sizzling summers, your heating/air conditioning equipment must work overtime to compensate in order to maintain programmed interior temperatures.

Take a long stroll through the inside and outside of your house at least once a year to look for potentially air leaks, such as:

– Worn/damaged weather stripping around windows and door casings

–  Gaps between windows and/or doors and surrounding framework

– Cracking or gaps between exterior siding and underlying foundation

– Open spaces around holes bored into walls to provide entry points for pipes or wiring

Replace  Insulation

Insulation is designed to decrease heat entrapped within interior wall spaces.  Verify whether existing insulation complies with current Zone 1 and Zone 2 R-value specifications.  Start in the attic and work your way down into smaller areas and exterior wall insulation.

Duct Work

Schedule a professional duct inspection to ensure sufficient insulation, sealing, and absence of any blockage in your duct work. Cool Touch specializes in duct testing and will run a thorough test to determine where leaks and blocks may be coming from.

HVAC Machinery

If your HVAC system was installed more than fifteen years ago or requires excessive repair, consider replacing it.  Consider switching to an energy star unit and are easily identifiable by a bright yellow sticker on the side.  A large black number printed on its surface reveals the relative energy efficiency of the equipment it is attached to.   That number is far more important than the digits displayed on the price tag.

Cool Touch has been serving the valley for almost 10 years. We have a very strong reputation and have a team of professional technicians that will assist with any heating or cooling issue. Call us today to schedule an appointment 623-584-3762

Continue Reading

How to Clean Your A/C Condenser

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

For the most common homeowner, an air conditioning system is just a complicated appliance that requires a trained and certified HVAC professional to maintain and service it. While the bulk of this statement is true, there are definitely some procedures on how to clean the AC condenser that can be done by a careful and attentive do-it-yourselfer.

One of the most important factors that determines whether an AC system runs safely, reliably and affordably is the condition of the condenser unit. The condenser is the part of the air condition that is responsible for cooling off the refrigerant and thus the air. In actuality, the condenser merely removes the bulk of the heat form the air and then leaves a much cooler refrigerant behind.

The condenser is that part of your Phoenix AC system that sits outside your home. If you stand near it, you will notice that there is a substantial amount of heat that is generated by the unit. This heat needs to be rapidly dissipated for the condenser to work efficiently. Keeping the vents, tubes and fan blades clean and free of debris will improve your machine’s reliability, durability and affordability.

Cleaning the Condenser

AC condensers are self-contained units! As long as you keep any water or detergent away from the electrical connections, you will have no problems with cleaning it.

1) First, turn off the power to the unit to avoid any accidents.

2) Next, remove any debris like dirt, dust, sticks, stones, leaves or garbage.

3) Third, rinse the tubes and vents with water from a hose.

4) Finally, trim any trees, plants or shrubs that might be affecting the free and easy flow of air to and from the unit.

These few easy steps on how to clean an AC condenser can be accomplished in less than 20 minutes and will ensure a cool and stress free summer for your home. If there are additional issue with your system please call Cool Touch at 623-584-3762.

Continue Reading