Variable Speed AC Worth The Money?

February 19th, 2018

The Truth About Variable Speed Air Conditioners

variable speed ac like cruise control

“Think about variable speed like cruise control”

I have a bone to pick with some of the AC Companies in Phoenix! I’ve now heard more than a few homeowners my company, Magic Touch Mechanical, has visited with, tell us that another Arizona HVAC company advised them that; “variable speed air conditioners are not worth the money”.

I have some questions for anyone in the air conditioning and heating industry making this statement to consumers:

How do you determine what someone else’s comfort is worth to them?

How do you determine that lower electric bills every month aren’t worth it to them?

How do you determine that a quieter AC unit isn’t worth it to them?

I have many more questions, but the bottom line in my mind is – our job as experts in the air conditioning and heating contracting business is to educate consumers about the technology and options that are available to them and then let them decide if the features and benefits of said technologies are worth their hard-earned cash or not.

Continue Reading

29.95 AC Tuneup APS / SRP Customers

February 16th, 2018

APS / SRP 20-point AC checkup only $29.95 

Magic Touch Mechanical is a SRP & APS Certified Contractor and are offering this special pre-season reduced price to all new and existing customers. You save $50.00 off our our regular price of $79.95! We will perform an in-depth inspection and checkup of your AC unit to ensure it’s in tip-top condition.

Your HVAC service technician will complete the following 20-points as part of your air conditioner maintenance / tuneup special:

Continue Reading

Mitsubishi Ductless and Trane Air Conditioning Join Forces

January 20th, 2018

Mitsubishi Ductless and Trane Air Conditioning Announce Joint Venture

mitsubishi mini split and trane air conditioningEarlier this week, Mitsubishi Electric, manufacturer of USA’s best-selling ductless mini split air conditioners and heat pumps, and Ingersoll-Rand, mother company of popular air conditioning brands like Trane and American Standard announced a joint venture.

Frankly I’m surprised it has taken so long for the major HVAC equipment manufacturers to join the rest of the world, where ductless mini splits are more common than conventional central air conditioning units.

My company, Magic Touch Mechanical based in Mesa, AZ (a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona – and for out-of-staters; yes…near Scottsdale) installed our first ductless ac unit over twenty years ago. Since then, we have installed hundreds of these units all over the Valley of the Sun. If you are a regular reader of our blog, you know our claim to fame is the fact that we take great pride in leading the pack in emerging technologies, and love the complicated high-tech projects our competitors steer clear of. Nothing gives me more pleasure than our competitors employees recommending Magic Touch for these types of jobs!

Continue Reading

Why Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners Just Make More Sense

January 16th, 2018

ductless_mini-split_mesa_azAllow me to make the case as to why ductless air conditioners aka mini split ac’s, make more sense in most homes than old school central air conditioning systems that utilize ducts to distribute the air. Although this applies in most climates, I can make the case as to why these systems are best in the desert especially.

In an extremely hot place like Mesa, AZ (a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona) where the Magic Touch Mechanical offices are located, we rely on our AC units from late March to late October. According to our two largest power companies, SRP (Salt River Project) and APS (Arizona Public Service), our air conditioners account for approximately half of our power consumption – and according to the Department of Energy, and our own findings from conducting thousands of home energy audits, that number is possibly even slightly understated.  Continue Reading

Price vs. Cost of a New AC Unit and Heating System

January 14th, 2018

new ac unit cost mesa azI know the title of this article, “price vs. cost of a new AC & heating system” is a bit of a conundrum so I’m going to ask you all to bear with me for a moment while I explain. I do however promise to make this worth your time if you are considering purchasing a new central air conditioner and heating system.

If you are not doing your due diligence because you are replacing your homes AC & heating unit, this seems like a strange article for you to be reading, but what the heck…thanks for joining us!

No doubt you have seen, or perhaps already been quoted prices for new HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning) ranging anywhere from $5,000 to above $10,000 – for the same home! You want to make sure you are doing the right thing for your home, family, and budget but there’s so much to consider. There are a multitude of brands to choose from, efficiency ratings, single-stage, two-stage, variable speed this and that – and that’s all from one AC Contractor – you planned on getting quotes from several!  Continue Reading

There is a Burning Smell When I Turn On My Heater!

December 21st, 2017

It smells like something is burning when I turned my heat on for the first time, should I be worried?

furnace_reapir_mesa_azWe don’t use our heat in Phoenix, AZ nearly as much as we use our air conditioners, but we definitely get cold enough for a few months of the year to require running our heating systems. My heat pump is running as I type this because it is currently 52 degrees and windy at 11am in Mesa, and the forecast calls for temperatures in the 30’s tonight.

While this article is probably going to put you at ease that there is not a risk of fire from that odor you are smelling, it would be irresponsible for me to advise you not to have it looked at…especially if you have a gas furnace which utilizes an open flame to heat. Continue Reading

How Much Do Christmas Lights Cost?

December 11th, 2017

How Much Do Christmas Lights Cost to Operate?

christmas light energy useWe don’t sell or install lighting products at Magic Touch Mechanical, but we do conduct hundreds of home energy audits in the Mesa – Phoenix, Arizona area every year, and lighting costs are one of the things we calculate when modeling a home’s energy usage and carbon footprint.

The most common types of light bulbs we see being used in most of the homes we test in recent years are:

  • Incandescent (old-school light bulbs)
  • CFL (Compact Fluorescent)
  • LED (Light Emitting Diode)

Continue Reading

The Benefits of Heating Your Pool with a Pool Heat Pump

December 4th, 2017

pool-at-nightThe sun here in Phoenix does an excellent job of warming up outdoor pools. This is an example of solar energy working at its most direct. But we can’t always count on the sun to heat up our pools—especially for people who enjoy using their pools in the evenings and use them as a center for entertaining at nights. Getting the most use out a pool requires having a pool heater of some type to provide heat when the sun isn’t around to do the job.

The most common type of pool heater is gas-powered. But homeowners who are interested in alternatives to using a gas pool heater—usually because their house doesn’t have access to a gas line—often have a pool heat pump installed, which uses the technology of the home heat pump and applies it to a pool. If you have a pool heat pump, you can entrust any repair or maintenance service it may need to our technicians. Continue Reading

Do Electric Furnaces Need Maintenance?

November 20th, 2017

question-mark-badgeElectric furnaces are common in older homes and manufactured homes in Phoenix, AZ. They typically aren’t as powerful as natural gas furnaces, but the mild winters usually don’t require the same high heat output for comfort in Arizona as they do in other parts of the country. Electric furnaces usually cost significantly more to run than gas furnaces because electricity is more expensive than natural gas, but the low level of use they receive compensates for this—and they cost less to install initially. Electric furnaces also need fewer repairs over their lifetime.

Because electric furnaces aren’t on the top of most homeowners minds when it comes to items requiring maintenance around our homes, it can be easy to neglect to have them checked and cleaned each fall. If you feel that this “simpler” type of furnace, that doesn’t present any gas leak dangers, doesn’t require maintenance as frequently as other types of heating systems–or maybe at all, this article is for you.  Continue Reading

Smart Thermostat Comparison – Nest vs Ecobee vs Honeywell vs Lennox

November 17th, 2017

Nest Learning Thermostat vs Nest E Thermostat vs Ecobee 4 vs iComfort E30 vs Honeywell Lyric T6

nest_vs_ecobee4_vs_lyric_vs_nesteIn this article, we chose five popular smart thermostats to go head to head in our latest thermostat comparison. Two offerings from Nest Thermostats, one from Ecobee Thermostats, one from Lennox’s iComfort model line, and of course one from the big boy in thermostats, Honeywell.

We chose five that were similar in cost (including installation) from the more basic of the bunch; the Nest E, to the most advanced; the iComfort E30 – the price range swinging about $80 each way from the median price. The only other requirement was that the thermostats be compatible with most typical air conditioning and heating equipment. None of these thermostats are proprietary to a specific air conditioner manufacturer like the Nexia 1050 is to Trane or the iComfort S30 is to Lennox. Continue Reading