Cool Touch Air Conditioning and Heating Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Air Conditioning’

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality Using Your Central AC

Monday, October 1st, 2012

The air quality in your Phoenix home is impacted by many things, and there are many ways to try and improve it. One such way is by servicing and making some modifications to your central AC. Because your air conditioning system is at the center of air circulating through the living spaces of your home, it’s in the ideal place to target and remove all types of contaminants before they reach the rooms of your home.

Keep Up with Maintenance

One of the best ways to make sure your air conditioning system is not contributing to poor indoor air quality in your home is to have it serviced regularly by a professional Phoenix AC technician. This type of service will ensure that all filters are cleaned and replaced and that no debris has accumulated in various areas of your system from which it can reenter your indoor air circulation.

Upgrade Air Filters

In addition to preventing your central AC from worsening your indoor air quality, you can actually use it to remove more contaminants by upgrading the air filter from the stock version that came with the system to a higher rated product. This simple exchange and allow your air conditioning system to remove many more of the contaminants that pass through it every day, and that means those contaminants won’t be finding their way into your indoor air.

For more tips on how to improve the air quality in your Phoenix home, give Cool Touch Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing & Electrical a call today!

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Air Conditioning Guide: Common Reasons Your AC Freezes

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Air conditioning has changed our lifestyle a lot in Phoenix. It lets us stay comfortable indoors, while doing anything from working to sleeping. However, there is nothing worse than your Phoenix air conditioner freezing up on a hot day. Many common problems can cause your air conditioner to freeze.

  • Lack of Sufficient Air Flow

If the air filters in your air conditioner get clogged, collapsed or obstructed or you have undersized air ducts, the air flow from the air conditioner will be restricted, causing the system to freeze. Dirt build-up on the evaporator coil and humidity in the air collected on the coil causing ice build-ups can also restrict air flow.

  • Problems in the Refrigerant

Your air conditioner may end up freezing, if the amount of refrigerant in it is not balanced. If there is very little refrigerant in the coil, it will be extremely difficult for it to absorb heat. This can cause the air conditioner to freeze.

Air conditioners use refrigerant to cool the air that circulates through their system. If the refrigerant level becomes very low, the air conditioner will need to work overtime to circulate cool air. This can cause your AC to freeze. If you suspect that your AC has a low level of refrigerant, it is advisable to get the help of a licensed Phoenix AC professional immediately. Refilling the refrigerant can help you fix this problem. However, it is not advisable to attempt to refill your system on your own, as should be handled only by licensed technicians.

  • Outside Temperature

If there is extreme change in the outdoor temperature within a short period of time, there’s a good chance your air conditioner will freeze up. This problem can be prevented, however, by turning off your AC when the outdoor temperature drops significantly.

A frozen air conditioner causes cooling problems. Regardless of the reason that your Phoenix air conditioning system developed this problem, it is worth getting the help of a certified professional to fix it. This not only helps you restore a comfortable environment in your home, but it will also save you a lot of money in energy bills.  For any AC repair in the Phoenix area, give Cool Touch a call!

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Air Conditioning Guide: Programmable Thermostats and Your AC

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Programmable thermostats offer many advantages over traditional mechanical thermostats that measure the temperature in your home with expanding and contracting metal coils. While the latter is perfectly accurate most of the time, it requires that your entire Phoenix air conditioning system turn on at the same time and remain on, even if you are not home. A digital thermostat, however, can be programmed to turn on under certain circumstances and be put on a timer for when you are not home.

What this means for your cooling system is that you can set you thermostat to turn on and off for different parts of your home based on when you will be there and when the temperature will get high enough to warrant it.

For example, if you are away from the house every day between 7:30am and 6pm, you can set your programmable thermostat to 85 degrees during those hours when you are away. This will save you money on your cooling bill while ensuring the home doesn’t get so hot that it is dangerous or uncomfortable for pets or plants. The programmable thermostat can then be set to turn on 30 minutes or so before you return home so that it is cool in the house by the time you arrive at 6pm.

This system works in a number of ways. Some thermostats are available with 7 day programming while others offer 5+1+1 programming, allowing you to set different temperatures for weekdays and each day of the weekend. Certain models will even integrate with whole-house control systems so you can turn the thermostat on and off with a computer remotely – setting a number of carefully controlled variables for when it will be on and off.

Whatever you decide to do with your thermostat, know that having a programmable system offers many benefits to you as a homeowner, not only in terms of comfort but also in how much you spend each summer on your cooling bill. For more tip on how to use your Phoenix air conditioning system effectively, give Cool Touch a call!

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AC Guide: Air Conditioning Performance Issues

Monday, August 27th, 2012

When an air conditioning system begins to have performance issues, it can be due to a number of common causes.  Whether your AC has stopped cooling, simply will not turn on, or has water pooling around it, the Anthem AC professionals at Cool Touch can help you understand your air conditioning performance issues while also providing quick solutions.

AC Not Cooling

An air conditioner that isn’t cooling can indicate a couple of key problems.  If there is not enough refrigerant,  the AC will stop cooling.  If there is debris causing reduced airflow anywhere in the AC, including clogged air filters, dirty condenser coils, or dirty evaporator coils, it can cause your AC to work much less effectively.

AC Doesn’t Turn On

It could be a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker that shut power off to the AC.  It could also be a drainage problem – if the drain pan got too full, it triggers an automatic shut off so that a water leak does not occur.  It could also be a broken thermostat which needs to be replaced.

Water Pooling Around Air Conditioner

When water pools around the actual air conditioner unit, there could be a drainage clog.  It could also be a condensate drain tube leak, which would mean a tube replacement.  There could also be ice buildup on coils that has defrosted and melted, causing water to pool around the AC.  If this is the case, the cause of the ice buildup should be determined to prevent the problem from reoccurring.

No matter what your particular air conditioning performance issue happens to be, Cool Touch has a qualified team of Anthem AC technicians that can help. Call us today!

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Air Conditioning Pointer: AC Condensate Drain Problems

Monday, August 20th, 2012

When trying to determine whether or not you have an AC condensate drain problem, there are a few signs to point you in the right direction.  If you are experiencing any of these warning signs call for professional help immediately. A leak can do damage to your Phoenix air conditioner, so it is important to have them fixed quickly.

Water Leaks

Water leaks can be caused by a number of condensate drain problems, including a clogged drain line trap, a failure of the condensate pump, a missing overflow pan or drip tray, a kink in the drain line or a puncture in the condensate drain line. Whether you see water leaking from the air conditioner, notice water stains around the AC equipment or even corrosion in the area surrounding the AC, then you know that there is most likely an AC condensate drain problem. These problems must be addressed by a well-trained AC professional in Phoenix such as those at Cool Touch.

Loss of Cooling

Loss of cooling can also indicate that something is amiss with the air conditioning condensate drain.  This is because a clog in a drain will often trigger a device which is installed to shut off an air conditioner when the drain pan is full.  This prevents damage to the air conditioner and the building itself which would occur with a water overflow.  A professional AC technician can identify whether the loss of cooling is a result of the condensate drain and then fix it properly.

When you have problems with your Phoenix home cooling system, call Cool Touch Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing & Electrical for help. If you notice leaking water or a loss of cooling power from your system we can inspect, identify and solve the problem with the reliable service that we’re known for.

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AC Question: Why is My AC Cooling Slowly?

Monday, August 13th, 2012

The purpose of owning an air conditioning system is to have comfortably cooled air in a home or office.  Cool Touch has air conditioning technicians in Scottsdale that understand the most common reasons an air conditioner does not cool fast enough and can easily fix any AC problems which arise.

Reasons for AC Systems Not Cooling

AC systems are created with a number of mechanical and electrical systems which work together to air condition the air, and as such any number of variables can go wrong to cause an AC to not cool as it was designed to.

A clogged condenser or dirty evaporator coil could have caused insufficient air flow through the air conditioner, and thus the air coming out of it is not as cool as it could be.  A refrigerant leak can also cause low refrigerant levels or refrigerant which is not fully charged, this will result in air that is not cooled sufficiently.  If a ventilator fan fails, cooled air will not be properly pushed through the ducts and into various rooms, making rooms feel warmer.

A duct system that has not been taken care of can cause cold air to be pushed into unused spaces through holes in ducts and duct leaks.  If ducts need repair some rooms will feel cool while others will not.  This is also the case with dirty filters, as they can block air flow to not only the air conditioner itself but to various rooms depending on their location.

If a building is poorly insulated an AC system will never properly cool it, because air that it cools is immediately met with much higher temperatures from the outdoors that have pushed their way into the walls of the insufficiently insulated building.

A broken thermostat or a thermostat that is not set to appropriate temperatures will also make the air feel as if it is not being properly cooled.  Additionally, a tripped breaker could have turned off the outdoor condenser and compressor unit but still left the indoor air handling unit blowing air that has not been cooled.

These are just a few of the standard reasons for an AC not cooling indoor air fast enough.  Because it could be any number of causes, it is important to work with a well-trained air conditioning professional in Scottsdale such as those at Cool Touch Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing & Electrical who have the experience and education necessary to properly diagnose AC cooling problems and fix them speedily.  Contact us today!

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Pay Attention to the Warning Signs and Call for an Air Conditioning Service

Monday, August 6th, 2012

In the desert it is essential to remain comfortably cool when indoors, and having an efficiently operating air conditioning system is an important for you and your family.  No matter what type of AC problems you encounter, the Phoenix air conditioner technicians at Cool Touch are always ready to help!

Warning Signs of AC Problems

Paying attention to the warning signs that you have AC problems is the key to knowing when an air conditioning service is required.  By catching air conditioner problems early, you can ensure that your AC doesn’t get overworked when components are not working properly.  Here are some warning signs that your AC need professional service:

  • An air conditioner that will not turn on at all
  • A decrease in AC capacity: no longer cooling every room properly
  • A reduction in temperatures or complete loss of cold air coming from vents
  • A loss of air-flow from vents
  • Clanking, grinding, squealing, rattling noises, or louder than normal noises made by the AC
  • Unusual smells such as carbon monoxide or smoke coming from vents

These are each signs that an air conditioning problem has already occurred and needs to be handled by a professional AC technician.  By paying attention to these AC issues, a the repair can be completed before the problem affects additional electrical or mechanical systems within the air conditioner.

Contact Cool Touch for any air conditioning service in Phoenix and surrounding areas.

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AC Tip: Central Air Conditioning Components

Monday, July 30th, 2012

In understanding how air conditioners work, as well as what internal systems affect each other, it is important to know about some of the main central air conditioning components.  It can also help you decide when it may be time for a repair or maintenance tune-up. Cool Touch Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing & Electrical provides air conditioning repair and maintenance to Scottsdale, AZ and the surrounding areas in Sun City, Arizona. Call us if you have questions about your AC system.

Air Conditioning Parts and Components

Some of the most essential air conditioning parts include the compressor, the condenser coil, and the evaporator coils.  There are also air filters, coil fins, contactor relays, time delay, and the compressor power pack.

The compressor is one of the hardest working central AC components.  It pressurizes the refrigerant causing it to turn into a vapor, and then pushes it toward the condenser. The condenser coil soaks up heat, where it becomes superheated, and the vapor is pushed into the condenser coil where the vapor hits outside air and all that heat is removed.

The evaporator coils takes over after that previous vapor turns back into a liquid.  The liquid hits the evaporator coils and mixes with hot air.  The refrigerant in liquid form soaks up moisture and heat and then condenses it, draining it from the system.  This leaves the air cooled.

Air filters keep unwanted particles, dust and debris from entering into the air conditioner and causing clogs in the system. Coil fins are a part of the evaporator and condenser coils and are essential to those AC parts properly functioning. Contractor relays control the fan and compressor, turning it on an off as necessary. Time delays will protect the contactor from any power surges which might occur, as well as creating a space between when the contractor turns on and off in order to prevent short cycling.

All of these are essential central air conditioning components that work together to keep your AC system running efficiently.  Let the Scottsdale, AZ air conditioning technicians at Cool Touch Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing & Electrical help with all your air conditioner repair and maintenance needs this summer. Call now!

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Central Air Conditioning Installation in Phoenix: Factors to Consider

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Opting for central air conditioning is a big step, and one that many Phoenix homeowners take happily as they look forward to the comfort that the cool air will bring. But there is the little matter of installation to consider, and some less known factors that are tied up in that.

 1.       What you can afford

Before making any major purchase, including central air conditioning, first create a budget for yourself. Determine how much you can afford and let that drive and inform your decision making, rather than falling in love with a particular model or set of features regardless of price.

 2.       Getting the right size

If you ask a Phoenix AC professional, he will tell you that getting air conditioning equipment that has been properly sized is essential. To get an AC system with the right capacity, you must consider not just the size of the rooms to be cooled, but also the local climate, the function of each room (bathrooms and kitchens require extra cooling), the usual number of occupants of a given room, the quality of insulation in the house and other factors. The best way to do a thorough job with this step is to have a professional do a load calculation for our whole home.

 3.       Working with what you have

Many homes have ductwork already in place, which is great for adding central air. If your home does not have ductwork installed already, then consider a ductless mini-split system as an alternative to the expensive and time-consuming task of installing new ductwork.

 4.       Where to place the outdoor unit

The outdoor condenser/compressor unit should be carefully and strategically placed for optimal operation and functionality. It should be on a concrete or vinyl pad, with space between it and the house and with no vegetation encroaching upon it. Consider all these things when choosing a place for it to rest. A professional installer will know how to place it properly.

You can see that purchasing and installing central air conditioning is not a particularly simple process, but that’s only because there are these important things to consider. With careful consultation with a Phoenix air conditioning professional like Cool Touch Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing & Electrical to guide you, it does not have to be a stressful or frustrating task.

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Air Conditioning Guide: Causes of AC Short Cycling

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Air conditioning short cycling is a common problem wherein an air conditioning unit will have either short run times or short off times.  This type of quick movement back and forth between being on and off–or rather starting and stopping rapidly–can be detrimental to the overall life of an AC unit, and is also not energy efficient.

AC short cycling can have many causes, and many fixes.

  • AC Refrigerant Leak:  There could be a refrigerant leak somewhere within the AC unit.  A temporary fix might be to add refrigerant and recharge the air conditioning unit, but long-term, a Phoenix air conditioning specialist will need to be contacted in order to find and fix the leak properly, ensuring excess money is not paid to continually add an unnecessary amount of refrigerant.
  • AC Coil Icing: This means that the evaporator coil or cooling coil has become encrusted with ice or frost and is causing the unit to malfunction by turning on and off in short bursts.  Turning off the unit completely and letting the ice melt, then checking and replacing dirty filters can oftentimes fix this problem.
  • AC is Oversized:  The amount of power needed (or the BTUs needed) to cool a space is directly proportional to the size of the space or room which is being cooled.
    • If AC short cycling has been a constant problem since day one of an AC system installation, it is entirely possible that the A/C unit is too large for the space which it is cooling.  This could mean contacting an HVAC technician to have the unit analyzed and a new, smaller unit put in.
    • If A/C short cycling is a relatively new problem, some possible causes could be: closing or opening doors which previously were not closed or opened frequently, or the addition of partitions within rooms which effectively makes the room size smaller.  This could mean simply adjusting the thermostat, or the blower fan to a lower speed to compensate for the change, or opening interior doors to increase the size of the space which is being cooled by the AC unit.
  • AC Control Board Problem:  While less likely, the problem could be in a control board or control switch which has been damaged, thus causing erratic and rapid starting and stopping cycles.  In this case an air conditioning technician would need to be contacted in order to replace the broken control switch.
  • AC Compressor Damage or Start-Up Issues:  Some AC systems have hard-starting compressors which take time to re-pressurize properly after shutting down.  If the AC system is being turned on or off manually on a frequent basis, the compressor might have a hard time restarting because the high pressure which had built up on the previous on-cycle had not had a chance to come down to normal levels again.  An easy way to diagnose this problem is if after leaving the AC unit shut off for thirty minutes, the unit works properly after being turned on again.  To help this compressor issue, an HVAC service technician can add a starter capacitor to the AC unit.

These and other AC short cycling causes can be checked, diagnosed, and fixed quite easily by an experienced HVAC professional, so call Cool Touch Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing & Electrical if you are having any problems with your Phoenix air conditioning system!

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