Cool Touch Air Conditioning and Heating Blog: Archive for the ‘Indoor Air Quality’ Category

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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Should Two Level Homes Have More Than One A/C Unit?

Friday, August 15th, 2014

It can be challenging to maintain a comfortable temperature in an older two-level home with only one central air-conditioning unit. Using two systems has many advantages over a single unit, but it is not always the best choice. The age and design of your house may affect your decision, along with the costs of purchasing and running a second central air-conditioning unit.

Costs to Consider

Purchasing two central air-conditioning units can be more expensive initially than purchasing a single unit, but the cost difference may not be as much as you think. You need either two smaller units or one larger unit to run the entire house. The added cost of the second unit may be offset by the energy savings. Much depends on your house and how you use the air conditioner.

Balancing Your Home’s Temperature

In many older homes, it is difficult to keep the entire house at the same temperature. The second floor is often much warmer than the first, so one area of the house often seems too hot or two cold. Using separate central air-conditioning units for each floor allows you to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the entire house.

Saving Household Energy

A single non-zoned central air-conditioning unit requires you to keep all areas cool, even when some are not in use. In many homes, the first floor can be cooled during the daytime and turned off at night, while the upstairs bedrooms may only need to be cooled at night. In this situation, separate central air-conditioning units can result in significant energy savings. This situation can also be solved with a zoned air-conditioning unit.

Cooling System Failure

If one of the central air-conditioning units goes out, you may be able to keep the house cool enough with the other unit until repairs are made, though this is only important in areas where summer temperatures are extreme. Having two units also doubles the chance of system failure and increases the cost of repairs overall.

Advantages of a Household Zoning System

It is possible to install a single central air-conditioning unit, with two or more thermostats, that can cool the house equally. A zoned system includes dampers within the ductwork that open and close to regulate the flow of air and temperature in each zone. A regular central air-conditioning system, by contrast, pushes cool air to all parts of the house. A single zoned system has many of the advantages of a two-unit system: The house is divided into two or more zones — in this case, upstairs and downstairs. Each zone of the house can be turned down or closed off to save energy. The thermostat in each zone controls the temperature in the zone. A zoned system costs more to install than a regular single air-conditioning unit, but the energy savings may make up the difference over time.

If you have any questions regarding your current cooling system, how to program your thermostat, or if it’s time for a new A/C unit, please give us a call. One of our experienced technicians would be happy to answer your questions and explain the options that might best suit your family’s needs. Please visit https://www.cooltouch.us.

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The Advantages of Using a Humidifier in Your Home

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

People are usually more concerned about overcoming humid air than dry air. A “dry heat” means a more comfortable heat, after all. However, humidity levels that are too low can cause as many health and comfort problems as humidity levels that are too high. You can purchase small portable room humidifiers to deal with the low humidity trouble on a small level, but to take care of dry air throughout a home, you need to contact professionals in indoor air quality and have them install a whole-house humidifier.

Arizona Home

Arizona Home

There are a number of good reasons for you to consider humidifiers in Phoenix AZ. We have many decades of experience finding comfort solutions for homes and businesses in Phoenix and Peoria Arizona, and we’re ready to help you find the ideal balance of humidity in your home.

Some benefits of installing a humidifier

Increased comfort: High humidity makes you feel hotter because the moisture in the air slows down your body’s ability to release heat. Low humidity does the opposite. It draws water—and therefore heat—rapidly from your body, making you feel cooler. This is an advantage during the summer, but a severe handicap during our winters. A humidifier will give the balanced “just right” moisture level to keep you comfortable.

Decreased health issues: Low humidity causes problems from dried-out skin, causing itching and flaking. It will also lead to eye-irritation, nose bleeds, and sore throats. In addition, the dry environment makes the transmission of illnesses easier, and a number of viruses thrive in arid atmospheres. You can eliminate these discomforts and dangers with humidity raised to a safe, balanced level.

Protect you home and furnishings: When the air in a home becomes excessively dry, it will begin to cause cracking and splintering in wood. This will not only damage your floors and wooden furniture, but it can ruin precision devices such as wooden musical instruments. Low humidity will also cause paint to peel and chip and wallpaper to peel. Keep all this from happening with the right humidifier working to keep the humidity at a safe level.

A whole-house humidifier goes into your HVAC system, and a professional installer will make sure that the unit will function well with your heater and air conditioner and not make your home too damp.

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Is Turning Off Your A/C a Smart Idea?

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

A recent Slate article made fun of a new trend in the Northeast. Apparently, homes and businesses are shutting off their air conditioning in the middle of summer as a way to save the environment. Supposedly, air conditioning is an unnecessary “comfort” and people should simply learn to adjust to whatever temperature is outside.

As Arizonans, we all just shake our head at this logic. It would be absolutely crazy to turn off our a/c in the middle of a Phoenix AZ summer. While “adjusting” to an “extreme high” of ninety degrees for a few days each summer is certainly possible in New York, residents of Phoenix, Arizona have to deal with temperatures and a heat index that regularly go over 109 degrees for months at a time.

With these kind of really extreme temperatures, it’s dangerous to turn off an air conditioning system. Every year, thousands of people who live in the lower latitudes die because they are unable to cool down. This isn’t just limited to third-world countries. Several years ago, a heat wave in France was blamed for the deaths of over 3,000 people. Despite the country being very developed, too many homes and small businesses did not have an air conditioning system and many were exposed to severe heat exhaustion. When the body uses up it’s energy sources and electrolytes to keep the body hydrated and cool, you can go into shock or suffer from heat stroke.

Air conditioning is more than a comfort. Just last September, Chicago Public Schools had to close several of their schools and send students home early because temperatures inside the classrooms reached unsafe levels. Administrators and teachers reported that students were fainting and getting nosebleeds, even though they had opened windows and passed out cold water. Elementary schools without air conditioning were hit the hardest. Because young children cannot cool themselves through sweating as efficiently as adults, they are much more prone to heat stroke and other heat related problems.

Even empty buildings can be damaged by a lack of air conditioning. Most computer equipment and modern electronics such as television sets has to be kept at a temperature below ninety degrees. Many of these items contain rare earth metals and gases that have very low melting points. That means that getting these devices too hot will cause circuitry and other components to melt. A non-air conditioned building in the middle of summer can easily get over 110. By turning off an air conditioner to save money, it is possible to cause thousands of dollars of damage to the equipment inside a house or business.

While preaching that everyone should turn off their air conditioners might make some people sound environmentally conscious, the truth is that residents of Phoenix,AZ should not even think of attempting this. If you’re looking to save money, make sure your system is operating at peak efficiency (a licensed HVAC technician like Cool Touch can help with this) or consider making an investment in a programmable thermostat. Our professionally trained technicians could help you program your thermostat so you know how to do this efficiently all year round.

Contact our office today and we’ll help you get the most from your air conditioning system as well as help you save money. Our recommendations will not only be cost effective but will also aid in helping the environment.

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Watch Out for these Air Conditioning Nightmares

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Living in Phoenix AZ has many luxuries. We get seven months of really awesome weather which makes up for the other five months of really intense heat. In Phoenix we have all major sports teams, all the big concerts, beautiful lakes and mountains, and if you want to ski in the winter you can drive two hours north and get radical, and when you’re done, you can drive back down to the valley back into seventy degree temps. The valley of the sun also offers some of the best fine dining in the country and we’re becoming more well known for our micro brews and wine.

Having many luxuries in our large city can also have it’s negatives. As mentioned above, our summers are brutal with temps reaching as high as 115 degrees. With so many people living out here and so many HVAC contractors to choose from, sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming to choose the most qualified and most honest and trustworthy.

Making sure our air conditioning units are running efficiently before the summer heat get’s here is very important. Having an a/c unit breakdown in the middle of 115 degree heat is no fun at all. You can put your family and pets in a lot of danger if your home does not having cool air flowing through it during these hot summer days. That’s why it’s so important to research the local air conditioning repair and installation companies in your town. Here’s at Cool Touch we have a perfect rating with the Phoenix Better Business Bureau and a perfect rating with YELP. Yelp is a very popular website that people use to check out the local services in their cities. You can get reviews from people who have used your services and usually if you come across a company profile like ours, you’re more than likely to call and use our services.

Back in May 2014 (this year), a woman in Florida needed to have an air conditioning repair technician come out to her home for what was supposed to be a quick fix of her stuck thermostat. When the a/c tech got to her home he tried to pull a fast one. Just because this was in Florida does not mean that Phoenix Arizona does not have these types of con artists. You need to do your due diligence and select only the local HVAC contractors that have good track records, even if that means paying a little more. Get it done right the first time and protect yourself from being swindled out of thousands of dollars.

Check out this video http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Team-6-Investigation-AIr-Repair-Nightmares-258050741.html.

Remember, sometimes you may pay more for a service call, but usually if the company has a solid history, you’re not going to pay much more than the service call fee or for service work that may need to be done. I’d rather pay for those things than get hosed out of a few hundred or even thousands of dollars for equipment that I never even needed in the first place. Contact Cool Touch today for an honest assessment of your cooling system. Please visit our website https://cooltouch.us.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Change Your Air Filters Every Thirty Days

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

How often do you replace your air filters within your home? The rule of thumb is to change them every 30 days. Let’s be honest, most of us forget and let it go much longer than it should. We all have busy lives and we end up putting it off for whatever reasons. It’s such a simple task that we cannot afford to let this happen, it’s far too important to let it go.

Dirty air filters restrict airflow and cause your unit to over work. This results in you overpaying on your energy bills and can lead to other major problems including compressor damage. The air filter is literally the most important part of an air conditioning system. It doesn’t just clean the air that you breath, it prevents dirt and debris from clogging your evaporator coil. When an evaporator coil becomes clogged the air conditioning system loses its capacity and efficiency. This is exactly what you don’t want to happen.

Running your air conditioning system without air filters is a major no-no. Even for just one day while you drive to pick a new one up at the store. This is not recommended. You see evaporators are wet because they condense the moisture that exists in your home. So when dust hits the evaporator is tends to cake on especially when dog or cat hair is present. We don’t want this to happen, this is the foundation for more dirt and debris to build upon. One day the air blows from the ducts at 55 degrees then the next month it blows at 57 degrees, then 59, 62, 66 and up, until you call because it’s no longer blowing cold. As the dust accumulates on the evaporator the air conditioner slowly becomes less and less effective. Now you have a service technician at your home trouble-shooting the problem and he finds that the compressor has failed. This can happen because if air is not able to pass across the evaporator then the refrigerant from the evaporator returns to the compressor as a liquid.

When liquid refrigerant returns to the compressor it damages the compressor. Compressors are not very forgiving to liquid refrigerant. Compressors are designed as vapor pumps, the refrigerant needs to be in vapor form. The return air is what makes the refrigerant in the evaporator boil into vapor. If the evaporator is clogged this process is limited causing this type of problem. We all have enough on our plates, let’s not neglect our air conditioning units and cause ourselves more to deal with. Change your air filters every thirty days. It’s the best thing a homeowner can do to maintain their air conditioners operating condition.

A simple video on how to change your air filters for those who need a refresher. If you have any questions please call Cool Touch at 623-584-3762 and one of our experienced team members will gladly assist you.

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Air Ventilation in Your Home

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Often times if our homes aren’t being properly heated and cooled, we assume the issue lies with the furnace or air conditioner. This is a good place to start and by no means should it be neglected, however your home’s ductwork and ventilation system plays an important role in keeping your home at a desired, comfortable temperature.

A professional HVAC technicican should be the one to properly asses your home’s ductwork. Based on the overall square footage of your home, square footage of each individual room, and the insulation of each room, there are specific requirements for the size of the duct leading to the room, and the dimensions of the register that acts as a gateway for air to be dispersed throughout the room. If the size of the duct and register are either too large or too small, the wrong amount of air will be delivered to that room. For example, a bathroom and a bedroom should not have the same capacity ventilation network distributing air to each room, and if that is the case, the bathroom ductwork and register should be reduced in accordance with the room’s size so the bedroom is not being forfeited the proper amount of air.

Common Sources of Low Air Flow

* Blockage and build ups. Dirt and dust can build up on your air filter, as well as clogging tight lines and even wider spots like your ducts. The net result – besides spreading dust and dirt throughout your home – is to lower the overall flow of air, forcing your air conditioner to work harder to do its job and increasing the risk of future repairs.

* Fan motor problems. Faulty electrical wiring or an internal problem with the fan motor will cause it to turn more slowly, lowering the flow of the air. In the case of a damaged wire, the problem is easy for a professional to correct, but a burnt-out motor is a serious repair that may necessitate replacing the whole air conditioner.

* Bent or misaligned fan blades. Fan blades can become misaligned through damage, or individual blades may become bent. The fan may also run into trouble if a foreign objects like a twig or loose screw gets jammed into its mechanism.

When your ductwork is inspected by a professional, they will also check to see if any areas have begun to sag and if they are in need of a cleaning. When ductwork sags, it becomes susceptible to joints opening and leaking air into the dead spaces of your home. If this is the case, then you are paying for air that isn’t being delivered to your living space, and your HVAC unit is working harder than it should be to maintain an appropriate temperature. Over time, dust and debris will collect in your ducts, compromising the quality of the air you’re breathing. You ducts should be cleaned regularly, with the frequency depending on the factors within your home, like number of occupants and pets and allergy concerns.

A useful video from Angie’s List

When you want to make sure that your ducts are indeed blocked or are the cause of your home’s air flow issues, call Cool Touch Air Conditioning and Heating. Our professional team of technicians will come out and give you an honest assessment and determine if your ducts need to be cleaned or if there are other factors involved with your air flow. Call today 623-584-3762.

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