Common Signs that You Need Heating Repair

December 16th, 2014

If you find that your heating system fails to work as it should, then just let us know. We specialize in restoring the effectiveness and efficiency of nearly all makes and models of heaters. We can do the same for you. Here are some common signs that you should get in touch with your local HVAC professional.

  • Insufficient heating. One of the most common signs that you need immediate heating repair is insufficient heat. Because the entire purpose of a whole house heater, such as a gas furnace, heat pump or ductless mini split, is to keep you warm, this problem can be particularly frustrating, especially considering that you’re still paying good money for heat you’re not getting. There are plenty of causes for this problem, but the solution is always hiring a local technician to examine the problem and fix it.
  • Uneven heating. If you find that your home has numerous hot and cold spots throughout the various rooms, then it’s important to seek professional assistance. If you have a ducted heater, such as a gas furnace or heat pump, then this could be an airflow problem, related to impeded or leaky ductwork. If your system is also zoned, then it could be an issue with one of the electronically controlled dampers therein. Whatever the problem is, it’s important to get it fixed immediately so that your heating system works properly at all times.
  • High energy bills. One of the most common signs that your heater is acting up is a raise in your energy bills without a corresponding increase in the amount of heating that you require. Sure, you should expect your heating to fluctuate slightly, but if you notice a spike, then it’s important to take care of it straightaway. It could be a rather serious problem that requires immediate attention if you want to avoid premature replacement and other issues.
  • Cold air. If you experience cool air coming out of the ducts instead of warm air, then it could be a number of different issues, including thermostat malfunction or a more serious problem with your heat pump or furnace.

We can make sure that your heating repair service is carried out properly. Contact our techs today.

Should You Upgrade Your Heating System?

December 9th, 2014

Whether you’ve moved into a new home with a heating system that fails to get the job done, or you’ve lived in your home for years and years, and you know it’s time to upgrade your heater, it’s important that you choose wisely. After all, a heating system is a large investment of your financial resources, and it’s also something that you don’t want to do very often. With that in mind, you want to find a system that is appropriately sized for your home and one that works for your budgetary requirements. Only a professional can guide you toward the successful installation of a new heater.

But how do you know when upgrading is the right choice? Perhaps, your system could simply be repaired? While the line between replacement and repair is fuzzy, there are some clear indications that heating system replacement is the right choice for you.

  • Frequent repairs. Does your heater seem to break down too often for your liking? This can be truly frustrating, and it’s important that you put your money into a system that is worth having. Frequent issues with your heating system are more often than not a sign that your heating system is on its way out. Even if it’s still possible to squeeze a few more years out of the system, it’s also important that you invest your money into the future of your heating system rather than the past.
  • Energy efficiency. If you find that your energy efficiency leaves much to be desired, then you might want to consider upgrading to a different heating system entirely. For example, if your air ducts are old and leaky, and your gas furnace is no longer cutting it, then investing in a ductless heating and cooling system may drastically reduce costs in the long-term, and also provide to be beneficial in terms of indoor air quality.

Contact our friendly technicians today to learn more about your heating upgrade options. We’re always happy to sit down and speak with customers about how to effectively and efficiently heat their homes.

Why Insulation is Important

November 25th, 2014

Considering where we live, you may not be entirely convinced that your insulation needs are all that, well, necessary. Isn’t insulation primarily for areas with brutal winters? Isn’t the insulation in my home sufficient for my needs? There are plenty of misconceptions out there when it comes to energy efficiency and the way that your building envelope controls the flow of thermal energy, but it’s important to realize the critical significance that insulation plays in your home. Without it, you simply cannot expect your HVAC system to function effectively or efficiently.

Insulation comes in various types. There is, of course, the pink or yellow cotton-candy-like material, which is typically installed in rolls. This batt insulation remains a standard in the industry, and its shape reflects its installation location: in between wall and ceiling framing. There are also plenty of other options as well, including spray foam insulation that can come in handy for renovations and retrofitting, as well as foam boards that are typically installed on the building’s exterior in new construction projects.

But all of these materials share a common trait: limiting the passage of thermal energy from areas of heat to areas of cold. During the summer, your insulation prevents the hot outdoor air from entering your home, and during the winter, it prevents your heated air from escaping into the cold outdoors. It is crucial, therefore, to your year-round indoor climate.

The chief reason to consider upgrading your insulation, or for making sure that it’s completed by a professional in the first place is that it will keep your energy bills to a minimum. You insulation materials need to be of high quality, but the installation also needs to be completed properly to ensure adequate coverage and spacing. A properly insulated home should have no trouble keeping warm and cool throughout the years.

Insulation is also about keeping your home consistently comfortable. You don’t want to have to worry about drafty areas of the home and other problems related to efficiency.

Contact our friendly technicians today to get started on your insulation service.

Check Out Our Blog for the Latest in HVAC Technology

November 18th, 2014

Be sure to bookmark the Magic Touch Mechanical blog for updates on the latest advances in HVAC technology.

We’ll feature money saving promotions here as well.

Call Magic Touch Mechanical for all your air conditioning, heating, indoor air quality, home performance, pool heater, and commercial service needs.

Welcome to Our New Website

November 18th, 2014

iMarket Solutions has launched Magic Touch Mechanical a new custom website. To learn more about how iMarket Solutions can expand your presence on the web visit: www.imarketsolutions.com

How Often Do I Need To Have My Air Conditioning & Heating Unit Checked?

August 29th, 2014

How Often Do I Need To Have My Air Conditioning & Heating Unit Checked?

Magic Touch Mechanical’s offices are located in Mesa, Arizona where today in late August it is 109 degrees Fahrenheit! So, it may seem a little unusual to some that we have already begun contacting our clients to schedule their fall heating tune-ups.

Granted, we are scheduling heater tune-ups for late October and early November right now so that we can be sure all of our clients enjoy quick service when the mad rush begins, but that’s not the only reason we are contacting our clients right now.

Many of our clients when calling in are saying; “I think you sent us this reminder by mistake…you guys did our maintenance in the spring”. We explain that it was not a mistake, as most HVAC equipment manufacturers now require both a cooling and heating tune up before each season in order to keep their warranty in good standing.

In fact, the majority of manufacturers print this right in the Homeowner Operation Manual as can be seen in the photo below.

Caption from a Lennox unit Users Manual

Caption from a Lennox unit Users Manual

Some manufactures have taken it a step further by adding a warning in the same manual that not being able to provide documentation proving maintenance has been done twice a year will void the warranty.

In recent years we have seen more and more examples where not only standard parts warranty claims were denied due to a homeowner failing to have the system maintained…we’ve even seen a few cases where homeowners had purchased additional extended parts and labor coverage and had their claim denied thinking they were covered and didn’t need to have maintenance performed.

Heating Tune Up Mesa AZ

Excerpt from a heat pump users manual

Our philosophy at Magic Touch Mechanical is to provide a higher level of service than our competition and for that reason we make it our mission to keep our clients informed and protected.

So…if you are a Magic Touch client and have received something in the mail from us about scheduling your system maintenance, it’s because we are making sure you are well taken care of!

If you are not a Magic Touch client and you live in the Phoenix, AZ area…maybe you should be ☺

Some of our long time clients have also asked why cant we simply check the air conditioning and heating systems in one visit. Seems like a logical question to me!

Without getting overly complicated, let me explain why that’s not possible. In the first scenario, let’s discuss a heat pump. A heat pump utilizes all of the same components in the cooling mode that is does in the heating mode, just in reverse.

A heat pump cools and heats by utilizing a refrigerant gas that is constantly changing from a gas to a liquid and back again. This gas is under pressure. Pressures rise when heated and lower when cooled. So, to try to check how a system is heating when it’s hot outside, or cooling when its cold outside not only cant give a true indication of performance, it can actually cause damage to components like the compressor.

An air conditioning system connected to a gas heating system works differently and utilizes different components for heating than it does for cooling. Testing a gas unit in the summer also presents some problems but more so the concern is safety.

It’s important to check a gas unit in the fall before the heating system begins to assure you and your family are safe from potential fire hazard, carbon monoxide poisoning, and dangerous gas leaks.

Each year in the fall we discover several bird nests and rodent nests inside the flue pipes of our clients gas furnaces. These animals nest there in the summer and their nests block dangerous carbon monoxide gasses from exhausting properly.

We also find several units a year where the natural gas line connected to the furnace or gas pack has become loose and is slowly leaking gas into the home.

Bottom line, if your one of the lucky people in Arizona with toasty warm gas heat…you have more to be concerned about than just a denied warranty claim.

No matter which type of unit you have or whether or not you are still covered by a factory warranty or not, having your air conditioning and heating unit checked before the start of each season is a good investment. It’s the only way to avoid costly breakdowns, assure your equipment is operating as efficiently as possible and is safe to operate. Two visits a year from a professional HVAC Contractor will give you peace of mind!

 

Lennox Air Conditioner Maintenance

From Lennox Air Conditioning Website

 

 

 

Is Air Duct Cleaning A Scam?

August 25th, 2014

Do I really need to clean my air ducts? Those of us in the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) business have heard this question a thousand times. My answer has been the same for many years…don’t bother!air-duct-cleaning_phoenix

OK, there really is more to my answer. Don’t bother…cleaning your ducts if you don’t have them sealed as well. Cleaning your duct work without first sealing them so new dust, dirt, insulation and other airborne particles doesn’t get right back in, is like showering with your clothes on…it just doesn’t make sense!

It’s relatively inexpensive to have a professional seal all the air leaks in your duct system, and the payback can be extremely quick in most cases. Add cash-back rebates offered by many utility companies (both SRP and APS here in Arizona*), and it becomes pretty apparent that NOT sealing your ducts is a waste of money.

*APS and SRP both have a rebate program called the Duct Test and Repair Rebate Program available to Arizona homeowners. SRP customers can receive a check up to $250 and APS customers up to $400.

After an air duct system has been properly sealed, then it’s a great idea to have your ducts cleaned. This way you wont have to have your ducts cleaned again for another 10 to 15 years…usually when you are having a new air conditioning and heating system installed is an opportune time.

For a limited time, Magic Touch Mechanical, your Mesa, AZ hometown air conditioning and heating company (Valley-wide Service) is offering our “Never Clean Again” Package.

The Never Clean Again Package includes:

• A Complete Level III Air Duct Sealing of One Entire Air Duct System

• A Complete Extreme Clean Duct Cleaning of One Duct System

• Air Duct System Chemical Sanitization

• Air Duct System Chemical Bonding (keeps duct system clean longer)

dust storm phoenix az

Join Magic Touch CEO In Kicking Prostate Cancer In The Junk

August 24th, 2014

On September 28th, 2014, kickstands will go up all over the world in an effort to raise money to fight prostate cancer.

Magic Touch Cancer Charity

1 out of every 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime…233,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014 in the United States alone…29,480 of those men will die from prostate cancer!

Magic Touch CEO, Rich Morgan will be one of the thousands of riders participating in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride on September 28th to help raise money for not only the research needed to rid the world of this horrible disease, but also to help many currently battling this cancer.

Rich’s goal is to raise $1,000 towards the cause and we are proud to say on day 2 of the fundraising, your generous donations have gotten us more than 25% of the way towards reaching that goal! But we need your help!

You most likely have lost a loved one to cancer in your lifetime. What better way to honor their memory than by making a donation in their name? Who knows…that money may help save someone else that is special to you from losing his or her battle with cancer…or maybe it will help save you!

Any amount helps! Even if you can only afford to give $1, $5, or $20, millions will appreciate your support! To pledge your donation, visit Rich’s sponsorship page

https://www.gentlemansride.com/rider/RichMorgan

Central Air Conditioner Evaporator Coil Leaks and Warranties

August 10th, 2014

A quick Internet search of words “class action suit” with any of the major air conditioning equipment manufacturer’s names in front, i.e. “Carrier class action suit”, “Trane class action suit” or “Lennox class action suit” reveals story after story of the lawsuits arising due to refrigerant leaks in evaporator coils in brand new to fairly new air conditioning and heating units.

While you probably can’t find an air conditioning contractor in Phoenix, or anywhere else in the country for that matter, that isn’t painfully aware of this epidemic problem, you are a little harder pressed to find a homeowner who is aware this can happen to them…unless it already has.

Most homeowners are under the impression that since they just spent anywhere from $6,000 to as much as $13,000 on average to replace an older central heating and cooling system that they are “covered” in this scenario, only to find out that they may not be!

Let me explain:

Most of the major air conditioner manufacturers include anywhere from a five to ten year limited parts warranty with all new equipment purchases installed in a residential (home) application. The key words being “limited” and “parts”. Let’s look at the details of that warranty.

1. “Limited” – It’s important to know that almost all of the manufacturers stipulate that the equipment purchase be “registered” online within 60 days of purchase or the warranty automatically reverts to a shorter time period; usually five years, but with some as short as one year.

2. “Parts” – Most homeowners do not realize that if they did not opt to purchase a manufacturer “extended labor warranty”, that the manufacturer will provide the part at no cost under warranty, but do not pay for the labor or other materials needed to complete the repair. In the case of an evaporator coil replacement, this cost can be anywhere from $1,200 up to $2,500 or more depending on the model, access and other conditions.

3. Maintenance – Most manufacturers require proof that the unit has received all recommended routine maintenance every six months (some only require proof of annual maintenance), or they can and will deny a warranty claim. In most cases the manufacturer requires the contractor submit copies of maintenance records and invoices for proof.

4. Shipping – Most manufacturers limited parts warranties do not cover the cost of shipping and charge very high amounts to expedite shipping. In the case of coils which come in large, heavy boxes; these charges can be in the hundreds of dollars.

5. Lead Time – A manufacturing trend in the last decade known, as “real time manufacturing” has become the norm with heating and cooling equipment manufacturers. Real time manufacturing is a way for manufacturers to keep costs down by not stocking replacement parts and manufacturing them on an as needed basis. This means when an air conditioning company calls to order a part such as an evaporator coil, the manufacturer starts building it when it is ordered…usually after a few days! Recently, we ordered a part for a client that purchased a lesser-known brand air conditioner a year prior from another air conditioning company who went out of business. Unbelievably, the manufacturer said their policy was they would not even begin manufacturing the part until paid in full, and only after a 3 day waiting period after the check had cleared! Our poor client waited almost one month for her part to arrive in 100-degree weather. Luckily we were able to provide her with some temporary cooling, but needless to say this whole situation just seems wrong no matter how you think about it!

So what can or should a homeowner do to insure themselves against these added expenses and aggravation?air-conditioner-repair

1. If you are about to or have recently purchased a new air conditioning and heating system, strongly consider purchasing a labor warranty. Depending on the system and type of coverage, an extended warranty can cost a few hundred dollars to as much as $2000. While that seems like a lot of money, if you consider the monthly cost over the course of a ten-year warranty, even the highest cost of $2000 works out to be less than $17 per month. Earlier in this article we gave an example of an evaporator coil replacement (a known problem) costing as much as $2500, making the decision to purchase an extended labor warranty a good investment.

2. Make sure your contractor provides proof they registered your equipment with the manufacturer, or has provided you with the information needed for you to do it yourself. At Magic Touch Mechanical, we register all equipment we install on behalf of our client as a value added service, however we have clients who purchased equipment from other air conditioning companies that did not register the equipment or tell the homeowner they needed to. That is not news you want to find out when a repair is needed and you realize you are not covered for parts or labor!

3. Have your central cooling and heating system checked and serviced twice a year. A good way to remember is call your HVAC Contractor the first time you consider turning on your air conditioner for the season, and again when you are thinking of turning on your heat. Consider purchasing a routine maintenance agreement from your contractor; at Magic Touch, we call and send mailers to our maintenance plan members so they don’t forget its time for their routine maintenance.

4. Consider hiring a contractor who has their own brand of air conditioning and heating units. These brands are sometimes referred to as “private label” or “white label” brands. For example, Magic Touch Mechanical offers several brands of equipment from the major manufacturers, but we also carry our own brand called; Magic Touch Air.

There are a few advantages to purchasing a private label brand:

a. In order for an air conditioning contractor to get a private label agreement with an equipment manufacturer, the contractor has to have proven the company is financially sound, purchase a significant amount of HVAC equipment, and have an excellent track record and longevity in the community.

b. Because of the large financial commitment the contractor needs to make with the manufacturer, the company usually gets preferential treatment meaning the manufacturer will jump through hoops to make the company happy…which includes quick turnaround times.

c. Because it’s the contractors name on the line, they are going to do everything in their power to provide a great experience for their client.

d. Because the contractor knows they are going to sell specific models of their own equipment, they usually keep spare parts for those models in stock to avoid long wait times caused by real time manufacturing.

Purchasing a new HVAC System is one of the largest investments homeowners ever make, and knowing manufacturers are facing legal battles for manufacturing defects like coil leaks doesn’t exactly boost one’s confidence in the decision.

In a place like Phoenix, Arizona, air conditioning is a necessity not a luxury. Hopefully armed with this information, you are now empowered to make the best decisions for you and your family!

 

 

 

 

How To Choose and Hire the RIGHT Contractor

July 26th, 2014

Hiring The Best Contractor

Last week I read with great dismay a Facebook post from a Phoenix area homeowner that had been ripped off by a person calling himself a contractor. The reason I say, “calling himself a contractor” is; this person did not have an Arizona Contractors License…so he was NOT a “contractor”, he was a criminal!

Hiring The Best Contractor in Phoenix

Don’t Let the Rat-Finks Get Ya’!

Her comment stated that she felt this “contractor” ripped her off because she was a single woman who didn’t know any better.

Unfortunately because my Facebook friend had identified this “criminal” as a “contractor” in her post, many other people commented with similar stories and comments about how “contractors” like “auto mechanics” can’t be trusted.

In defense of my very livelihood and the many high caliber people I know who earn an honest living as air conditioning and heating contractors, plumbing contractors and general contractors…as well as auto mechanics, I posted the following comment:

“Having worked for, and been an air conditioning and heating contractor for the last twenty six years, and knowing MANY decent contractors in all trades I can attest to how many are trustworthy, honest, caring people just earning a living.”

“These individuals have widowed mothers, single sisters and daughters themselves and are not out to scam people. They are craftsmen who love building things with their hands and saving the day by fixing things and providing solutions for peoples problems.”

“Every time I’ve seen a situation like this and unfortunately I’ve seen too many, it’s always because the homeowner did not do their due diligence before handing over a check.”

Certainly my Facebook friend did not deserve to be ripped off, but had she done even a little research, chances are she would never have hired this person in the first place.

I gave the following advice and am sharing it again with the hopes that it saves somebody else from the same rotten experience:

Take the following steps prior to hiring an air conditioning company or any type of contractor:

• ONLY HIRE A LICENSED CONTRACTOR – The Arizona Registrar of Contractors requires proof of a persons experience in the trade in order to get licensed. They also perform criminal background checks and assure the individual has the financial stability needed to work with the general public. In addition there is a reserve fund to reimburse a homeowner if a contractor doesn’t do the right thing. These funds are ONLY available to consumers who hire a licensed contractor!

top hvac contractor, best hvac contractor

Magic Touch named 2013 National Contractor of the Year by ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America)

• CHECK WITH THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU – Bottom line, if the business management doesn’t have enough faith in their company or product to commit to adhering to the core values and business practices required become a BBB Accredited Business…why should a consumer have faith in them. Check that they’ve maintained a high grade with the BBB over the years…if they haven’t there’s a reason!

• CHECK OUT WHAT OTHERS SAY – Check the online review sites like Kudzu.com and AngiesList.com, and see what the businesses past customers have to say about their experience with the company. Some reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt, but if the majority of past customers are happy…or unhappy…chances are you’ll have a similar experience.

• LOOK UP THE COMPANY ADDRESS – If a company doesn’t have a brick and mortar physical address, they may not have ties to the community or be financially stable and could be a “flight risk”. If the address is a home and not a commercial building, proceed with caution! Be sure to use Google Maps or similar “street view” app to make sure the location is real and not an empty lot somewhere or a different business.

• SEARCH FACEBOOK & TWITTER – See what consumers have posted about their experience with the company on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and associated comments. Also see how the company has responded to people’s comments and questions.

• DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST! – If you do your research BEFORE calling the company out to provide an estimate, you will save time by not wasting it sitting down with a company representative you wouldn’t use anyway.

 If you’re in the Phoenix, Arizona area and looking for the best air conditioning contractor…you’re already here!