How Refrigerant Works in Your Air Conditioner to Keep Your House Cool

May 4th, 2015

Electro-mechanical air conditioning was invented in 1902, and in the following century-plus they have become a ubiquitous part of daily life—especially in desert cities like Phoenix, AZ. But how much do you really know about the AC that keeps your home pleasant even when the thermometer outdoors rises up toward a sweltering 120°F? In this post we’ll talk a bit about one of the essential “ingredients” of the modern air conditioner that lets it keep your home comfortable all through the summer.

The power of refrigerant

The “magical elixir” of an air conditioning system is refrigerant, which is sometimes known by the trademarked named Freon. Refrigerant is a chemical blend designed to transition easily between liquid and gaseous states. The most common type of refrigerant found in contemporary air conditioners is R-410A, a blend that replaced the older R-22 because it creates far fewer ozone-depleting emissions. All new residential air conditioners currently manufactured use R-410A.

As this refrigerant moves through the components of an air conditioner, it changes between gaseous and liquid states, a process of condensation and evaporation. When it condenses, it releases heat; when it evaporates, it absorbs heat. The compressor in the outdoor unit is responsible for supplying the energy to the refrigerant in the first place that turns it into a hot gas and sends it through the system. In the outdoor coil, the hot gas goes through condensation, releasing heat to the outside. The cooled refrigerant changes into a liquid, then moves to the indoor coil where it goes through evaporation, removing heat from the indoor air. It then returns to the compressor to restart the cycle.

It is the indoor evaporation that cools down your home. The air passing the refrigerant in the evaporator coil loses its heat, and it continues on into the ventilation system to the rooms. So the air conditioner does “create” cold air, it removes heat from the air to make it feel colder.

Refrigerant does not dissipate as it moves between liquid and gaseous states, so your AC should keep the same level of refrigerant throughout its service life. However, leaks can occur, and should your air conditioner begin to lose refrigerant, call on a professional HVAC technician right away to fix the trouble.

Magic Touch Mechanical provides Phoenix, AZ with high quality air conditioning repair service. Call us whenever you need help staying cool in your home.

Is Dryer Vent Cleaning Really Necessary?

April 27th, 2015

The clothes dryer in your home must exhaust heat and moisture through a hose out its back and to a vent that opens on the outside. You probably don’t give this ventilation system much thought on a regular basis, but ignoring it can lead to serious problems—and not just to how efficiently your clothes get dry. Over time, lint from dryer loads will start to develop inside the hose and vent, and unless professionals regularly clean out this debris, it can lead to unfortunate consequences. Continue Reading

Spring Repairs Your Air Conditioning System May Need

April 20th, 2015

The summer heat arrives long before the summer itself does in Phoenix. You probably have already had your air conditioning system running to keep your home cooled down. To make sure that the AC continues to run and is ready for the even more intense heat of the summer, keep a close watch for any warning signs of malfunctions. If you catch faults in your air conditioner during the spring, you will have enough time to schedule repairs before they become worse and before the AC undergoes even greater stress during the summer heat waves.

Continue Reading

3 Reasons Why You Need Annual Spring Maintenance for Your Air Conditioner

April 13th, 2015

The hot weather in Phoenix, AZ arrives early, so you probably already have your home’s air conditioning system running on a regular basis. Of course, the heaviest heat is yet to come, and right now is when you should arrange to have a professional inspect and tune-up your AC. This annual service is essential for many reasons, and here are three of the big ones: Continue Reading

Reasons That a Pool Heat Pump May Be Right for You

April 6th, 2015

If you have a swimming pool for your home in Phoenix, AZ, you can enjoy warm temperatures from it during much of the year thanks to the radiant heat from the sun itself. But a luxury like a pool is something you should enjoy throughout the year, as well as during warm nights when the sun isn’t around to heat up the pool to comfortable levels. With a pool heater installed, you will always have your swimming pool at a relaxing temperature.

There are many choices for pool heaters available, but at Magic Touch we suggest you look into installing a pool heat pump. These devices work the same as the heat pumps used to heat or cool the inside of a house: they remove heat from the ambient air, and then release it in another location—in this case, in the water of your pool.

Why pool heat pumps are a great idea

There are a number of reasons that pool heat pumps are a excellent idea for your home pool:

  • Safety: Heat pumps rely on electrical power to run, not natural gas as is the case with most other types of pool heaters. If you are concerned about the safety of using natural gas for your home, a pool heater is a good alternative.
  • Available anywhere: Because a heat pump runs from electricity, you don’t need to have a natural gas line. You also won’t need to run any new pipes and vents for it to work.
  • Energy efficient: Drawing heat from the air to move it to the water consumes less energy than burning fuel to create heat; this is the same reason that indoor heat pump are such cost-friendly options for home comfort. Because of the warm weather in Phoenix that lasts most of the year, a pool heat pump will have little trouble drawing sufficient heat from the air and using it to heat up the water.
  • Quiet: A pool heat pump works in the same fashion as an air conditioner and makes no more noise than a typical AC.

Call us for pool heat pump installation and other services

Do you want your pool heated every day of the year and through the nights? Then give our pool heat pump professionals a call today. Magic Touch offers full pool heat pump service, including installation, repairs, and maintenance.

Indications that You Need Furnace Repair

March 30th, 2015

Furnace issues, like many home heating issues, are largely progressive in nature. The longer they are left alone, the worse they are likely to get.

This means that the sooner you catch furnace problems, the more damage you can prevent to your system. If you own a furnace, it pays to be able to recognize when it needs repairs. Let’s take a look at some of the indications that you need furnace repair, so that you’ll be able to react to them as quickly as possible.

Odd Noises

Furnaces naturally make a decent bit of noise during operation. However, it doesn’t take long to recognize which noises are part of natural operation and which are indicators of a problem. Grinding noises are an indication that the bearings in your air handler motor are wearing out. If they aren’t replaced as soon as possible, the motor will burn out and require replacement. Booming could be the result of delayed ignition of your burner assembly. Carbon particles commonly collect on the burner assembly and prevent it from igniting when it should. When the burner finally does ignite, it burns through the excess gas all at once. If the assembly isn’t cleaned, the carbon buildup could eventually prevent it from igniting at all.


If your furnace keeps turning itself on and off every few minutes, that means it’s short-cycling. Short-cycling is caused by the system overheating, which activates a safety measure that turns it off to protect it. When the system restarts, it overheats again and gets shut down again. This continues as long as the source of the overheating problem remains unaddressed. Short-cycling is a very big problem, as it can increase the chance of a breakdown and shorten the lifespan of the furnace. If you notice your furnace doing this, you should call a professional immediately.

These aren’t the only symptoms that could indicate that your furnace has a problem. If you suspect that your furnace needs repairs, even if you’re not sure, it’s a good idea to give us a call. Magic Touch offers heating services throughout the Mesa area.

How Does a Heat Pump Actually Work?

March 24th, 2015

Heat pumps are gaining more and more popularity among homeowners looking for an energy efficient and environmentally friendly home heating system. That’s all well and good; heat pumps are certainly high quality heating systems.

However, many homeowners are completely unaware of how a heat pump actually works. The more you know about your heating system, the better prepared you’ll be to evaluate the benefits it provides. You’ll also be better able to recognize problems when they occur, and have them repaired. With that in mind, let’s examine how a heat pump actually operates.

Parts of a Heat Pump

A heat pump is comprised of two units, with one installed inside the house and the other installed outside. The two are connected by power and refrigerant lines, allowing them to operate as once system. Inside each unit is a coil, which is connected to the refrigerant line that they both share. Also connected to the refrigerant line is a 4-way valve called a “reversing valve,” which controls the flow of refrigerant through the system.

Heat Pump Operation

When the heat pump is turned on, one of the units begins evaporating refrigerant inside its coil. The refrigerant becomes a heat sink when it transitions into gas, absorbing thermal energy from the air around it. Then, the refrigerant gas is sent down the refrigerant line to the other unit. The other unit then uses its coil to condense the refrigerant back into a liquid. This releases the thermal energy into the air.

One of the biggest advantages of a heat pump is that it can alternate between being a heating and cooling system. This is accomplished by the reversing valve, which reverses the flow of refrigerant through the system depending on the mode the heat pump is in. This determines which unit is the evaporator, and which is the condenser.

Heat pumps are great home heating systems, but you should still consult with a professional before installing one in your home. If you’d like to know more about how a heat pump can benefit you, call Magic Touch. We provide heat pumps throughout Gilbert, AZ.

Ways That a Humidifier Can Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

March 18th, 2015

Low humidity can be just as much a problem as excessive humidity, as many of our Magic Touch clients have seen. One of the best ways to battle low humidity in your home is to use a whole-home humidifier, which can be integrated seamlessly with your existing HVAC system.

As part of your HVAC system, a whole-home dehumidifier works automatically to add the correct amount of moisture to your home’s air; you won’t have to manage the dispersal yourself, and the humidistat on your thermostat ensures that the humidifier maintains your set humidity level around the clock.

Why install a whole-home humidifier in your Tempe home?

Here are some reasons to consider:

Better Health

When the air inside your home becomes too dry, your skin and mucous membranes can also dry out. The result of this can be itchy, dehydrated skin, nose bleeds and dry eyes. You may also be more prone to sickness for two reasons: first, dry air can help bacteria and viruses thrive, and second, dry mucous membranes can’t help your body defeat these contagions as well as they should. The excessive dryness can also exacerbate chronic respiratory problems such as asthma. However, when your humidity is balanced, you can avoid many of these issues.

Better Comfort

Humidity holds heat, and in order to feel comfortable, you need a certain amount of humidity in the air. When you don’t, the temperature of your warm and cool air can feel inadequate, i.e., not warm or cool enough.

Reduces Damage to Wood Products

Wood needs a certain amount of moisture to maintain its state; without it, wood will dry and splinter. This means that your furniture, flooring, molding and other wood items can become damaged or even ruined because of too little humidity.

Because a whole-home humidifier becomes part of your entire HVAC system, it’s critical to hire an expert to install, repair, replace or maintain it. The trained professionals at Magic Touch can help you with all your humidifier needs in Tempe, so give us a call today!

How Duct Cleaning can Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

March 9th, 2015

As you may or may not know, the air inside your home is full of pollutants. Microscopic particles like dust, pollen, germs, and mold spores are constantly circulating through your indoor air. They are responsible for causing hay fever, sinus inflammation, cold and flu symptoms, and all sorts of other nasty health effects.

There are several ways to deal with these contaminants and improve your indoor air quality. Air purifiers are capable of removing some pollutants from your air over time, for example. However, the best way to remove the threat of airborne contaminants is to have your ducts cleaned. Read on to find out how duct cleaning can improve your indoor air quality.

Ducts and Contaminants

So, if you’re inhaling all of these contaminants with every breath you take why are you not sneezing and coughing all the time? Well, a lot of that has to do with your allergy sensitivity. However, part of it is also that the levels in the air you breathe are not consistently high. Lower concentrations of these contaminants can be beaten by your body’s natural defenses. There is a pretty easy way for pollutants to get around these defenses, though.

The ducts in your home are naturally dark, and often left untouched by house cleaning efforts. Those two factors make them a prime place for these contaminants to build up. Over time, a sizeable number of these contaminants will accumulate in the ducts. Then, when you turn on your heater or air conditioner, all of those pollutants are blown out into your house at once. This sudden, high dosage makes it much more likely that you will experience a negative effect from the contaminants.

Duct Cleaning

Duct cleaning removes the risk of suddenly being exposed to a large amount of airborne pollutants by removing them from your ducts entirely. As long as you have your ducts cleaned every couple of years, your indoor air quality will improve dramatically and your health might do the same.

If you haven’t had your ducts cleaned in a while call Magic Touch. We provide indoor air quality services throughout the Phoenix area.

When Should I Install a New Thermostat?

February 27th, 2015

Your air conditioning and heating system contains several pieces of equipment that work together in order to get your home to the proper temperature. Compressors, heat exchangers, refrigerant, coils, and burners may all participate in heat production or heat exchange, and as long as all of the parts are in top shape, your AC equipment should remain efficient. But none of these parts can operate correctly without a functioning thermostat.

Choosing An Efficient Thermostat

Thermostat Installation, Phoenix

The thermostat is most likely the part of your AC and heating system that you are most familiar with. What you may not know about your thermostat, however, is that it might not help your air conditioner or heater to run as efficiently as possible. When this is true of your thermostat, call on the friendly technicians at Magic Touch to get a thermostat that better suits your needs.

You may find yourself in need of a new thermostat if your old one isn’t functioning quite as well as it could. The thermostat is supposed to communicate to your unit that it is time for it to switch on. If your heating and AC unit does not turn on at all. Alternatively, poor thermostat wiring may force the unit to turn on and off repeatedly, shutting down before the heating or cooling cycle is complete, an issue known as short cycling. Both of these problems may be indicative of other system troubles, so consult a technician before assuming a new thermostat is the best fix.

Types of Thermostats

You may decide to install a new thermostat simply because your current model is outdated. Today, there are many different types of thermostats you may choose between, including standard digital models, wireless thermostats, and smart thermostats. Wireless thermostats may perform more efficiently than other models, and smart thermostats allow you the ability to control your HVAC system from anywhere via an application on your smart phone.

In short, you should install a new thermostat when you decide you want greater performance and better efficiency from your heater and AC. A new thermostat may have advanced programming settings, so you can make sure your system saves energy and remains at the most efficient temperature at all times.

Thermostats are more likely to perform at their best when trained technicians put them into place and make sure they’re properly calibrated. Call the friendly technicians at Magic Touch today for professional thermostat installation in Phoenix.