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

3 Ways to Lower those AC Bills This Summer

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

air-conditioning-systemSummer will be here soon, and hot weather seems to come earlier and earlier every year. Your air conditioner is more than just a luxury in these cases, and you’re going to need it to perform reliably every day without fail in order to keep your home cool and comfortable.

That means you’re very likely going to pay more for your air conditioning bills than you would during cooler parts of the year. Some of that is inevitable and unavoidable. You’re running your system for longer periods of time by necessity in the summer, and that’s going to cause your bills to spike. But just because you’re paying more doesn’t mean you should pay more than is absolutely necessary.

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Heating Tip: How to Choose a New Furnace

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Are you thinking of purchasing a new furnace? Are you not sure what features to look for or how to get the most efficient furnace for your home? Whether you are in the market for a furnace replacement, or you are looking for the most cost-effective way to heat a new home, there are several features to look for to ensure that you get an efficient furnace.

Call the Scottsdale heating experts at Cool Touch if you want to know more about choosing the right furnace for your home. Here are a few things to look for as you start your search.

The first is the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating, or you can simply look for the Energy Star label to know whether you are getting a high-efficiency system. If you aren’t sure how to interpret the AFUE ratings, call a heating contractor with questions. All new furnaces should be rated above 80%, but if you want a high-efficiency furnace, look for ratings above 90%, which means that at least ninety percent of the fuel is being used for actual heat.

New furnaces will also have variable speeds so that the system can run at lower speeds for longer to help maintain comfortable temperatures more efficiently. Look for models that have multiple speeds for the fans. This feature is usually listed as a multi-stage furnace or variable speed fans. These multispeed furnaces are more efficient because the various fan settings use less energy to get the temperatures at the desired setting.

The last thing to consider besides the size and output is the condition of your ductwork and how well you home is insulated and sealed. We can help you determine this and size the furnace according to your square footage, number of windows, etc. If your ductwork needs improvements, this should be taken care of prior to the installation in order to get the most out of your new high-efficiency model.

Feel free to contact Cool Touch to discuss your options with one of our Scottsdale furnace specialists. We can help you select the right furnace for your home, and we’ll make sure that it is installed properly and maintained for years of efficient heat.

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Furnace Tip: Common Furnace Repairs

Monday, October 15th, 2012

With routine maintenance, the furnace in your Sun City home is less likely to need repairs; however, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong, or perhaps your furnace is simply old and has more issues than it did in previous years. In any case, furnace repairs should be handled by a professional who is trained to work with this type of equipment.

Call Cool Touch for all your furnace repair needs. Here are a few reasons your furnace may need repair.

Cracked Heat Exchanger

If you own a gas furnace, always make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home in case of carbon monoxide intrusion. The heat exchanger is a common cause of this problem. When it is damaged or cracked, the waste fuel can seep into the living spaces. Your heating technician should always check the heat exchanger during any type of service. You can also routinely inspect your heat exchanger if you know where to locate it. Call a professional if you notice any damage, such as large holes, cracks, corrosion, or other issues. Newer furnaces often feature heat exchangers made of stainless steel and other durable materials to prevent this.

Broken Pilot Light

The pilot light on your furnace should always burn blue. If it is burning orange or yellow, you could have an issue. One way to check for other flame issues is to perform a flame test. First, you’ll need to shut down the furnace for about ten minutes or so, and have someone slowly turn up the thermostat as you watch the flame for any changes in color or flickering. If you suspect any issues, call a professional heating contractor. Gas furnaces should be repaired and maintained by a certified technician who is trained to work with gas-burning appliances.

Don’t hesitate to call the Sun City heating experts at Cool Touch if you have any issues or would like to schedule a furnace repair service.

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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 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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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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AC Q/A: What Are Common AC Fan Problems?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

It is common for central air conditioners to make a small amount of noise while running, such as a small humming sound when the fan blows.  However, excessive noise is a sign that something has gone wrong: possibly a blower problem or a fan problem.  When think you have a fan problem, contact the Scottsdale air conditioning professionals at Cool Touch and have your AC system inspected, fixed and running efficiently.

What Is An AC Blower?

The air conditioner blower is actually the fan inside the AC unit which sends cool air through the cooling coil and into an indoor space.  It keeps the air moving.  When it doesn’t work the air conditioning system tends to not work as well.

When an AC Blower Will Not Start

When you turn on the air conditioner and it doesn’t start, there tends to be no sound coming from the fan motor as well as no cold air moving into the building.  This could mean that the air conditioner is overheating, or even that a fan belt has stopped working.  Our air conditioning technicians can identify and resolve this type of AC blower problem.

When There is Ice Buildup on the Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner has begun to form its own colony of icicles, which can also cause it to not work as efficiently as it once did, this tends to be a sign of a fan problem.  Commonly this could mean that the air conditioner fan has become clogged with dust and dirt and is no longer efficiently allowing the cooled air out of the AC unit.  Or it could mean that a broken fan is no longer properly circulating air.  Either way, our experienced Scottsdale air conditioning technicians can diagnose and solve these air conditioner fan blower problems.

Contact Cool Touch and receive excellent air conditioning system services from our team of highly trained Scottsdale AC technicians.

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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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The Danger of Refrigerant Leaks in Phoenix

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Air conditioners in Phoenix are filled with a chemical compound called refrigerant. This substance is what allows air conditioners to remove heat from and dehumidify homes. It is a necessity, but it is also a dangerous chemical that, if released, can cause damage to the environment and pose health risks to your family.

Why Refrigerant Is Dangerous

There are many types of refrigerant but most air conditioners use either R-22 or Freon coolant – depending on their age. Newer air conditioners may use R410-A refrigerant, an environmentally safer, but still dangerous alternative.

All of these refrigerant types are chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs. These chemicals are controlled substances by the Environmental Protection Agency, meaning they must be properly removed and disposed of. Because your air conditioner does not consume any of coolant in operation, it should never need to be refilled unless there is a leak. Such a leak would require immediate air conditioning repair due to the immense damage CFCs can do to the environment.

If refrigerant leaks into your home it will evaporate as a gas and is harmful to inhale, causing a variety of health problems, including nausea, headache and in extreme cases asphyxiation. This is not a common occurrence but if you suspect a leak, you should call a professional immediately to inspect your air conditioner.

Damage to Your Air Conditioner

Beyond the environmental and health issues posed by a refrigerant leak, the biggest problem you will face is damage such leaks can cause to your air conditioner. Low refrigerant levels put undue stress on your compressor and can lead to damage in almost every part of the device.

Not only that but the air conditioner won’t work as efficiently. A 10% loss in refrigerant volume can result in up to a 20% increase in electricity cost to run your air conditioner.

What to Do in the Event of a Refrigerant Leak

If you suspect a refrigerant leak in your air conditioner, take action immediately. Call Cool Touch Air Conditioning & Heating Specialists so we can recapture the escaped gasses and seal the leak fast. It is important not just for your safety but for the wellbeing of the environment.

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Air Conditioning Guide: The Ins and Outs of Ductless Splits Air Conditioning

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

So, it’s time to install a new air conditioner and you’re pretty sure there just isn’t enough room in the walls or ceilings to place the necessary ductwork. No problem. There is a rapidly evolving technology that allows you to have air conditioning without ductwork. It’s called mini-split ductless air conditioning and it relies on individual units placed in key locations around your house. Here’s how they work.

Multi-Zone Cooling

The first step is to install a central unit. This is your compressor and condenser and is usually placed outside like the core of a central AC system. These units range between 15,000 and 40,000 BTUs depending on how much cooling your home needs and will support up to 4 zones within your house.

Once the central unit is installed, smaller room-sized units are placed throughout your house. These units are designed for between 9,000 and 18,000 BTU spaces and are usually placed high on the wall of your room to distribute cooled air. The smaller units are connected to the main unit by refrigerant lines that are run up the side of your house (or inside if you want them out of the elements).

Because each indoor unit is individual and has its own thermostat, you save electricity by having direct control over each part of your home. In fact, the average Phoenix ductless split system uses something like 30% less electricity than a standard Phoenix air conditioning system.

Is it Right for You?

This is the most common question we hear and to be honest, it really depends on your needs. If you have a large house – we’re talking 3,000 square feet or bigger, a multi-zone ductless system may not provide enough cooling on its own. Most systems only support up to 4 individual units and therefore cannot cool massive spaces. However, if you have a smaller home, or more importantly have no space for ductwork, these systems are much more efficient than installing multiple window units.

For more information about having a mini-split ductless air conditioning system installed in your home, give Cool Touch Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing & Electrical a call today!

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