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You may decide to install a new thermostat simply because your current model is outdated.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.

How an Air Purifier can Improve Your Health

February 20th, 2015
  • Are you an allergy sufferer?
  • Do you find yourself getting sick with the flu or the common cold often?
  • Does it seem like it’s easier for you to breathe when you’re outside your home than when you’re inside?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you should be concerned about the quality of your indoor air. Let’s take a look at why your indoor air quality is probably lower than you think, and how an air purifier can help improve it.

Airborne Contaminants

The air in your home is actually infested with millions upon millions of microscopic contaminants, most of which have an adverse effect on your health if inhaled. Dust, dust mites, insect dander, pet dander, mold spores, bacteria, and viruses are all very commonly found in the air of the average home. Most of them are lung irritants, often causing allergy attacks in people whom are susceptible to such things. The rest are biological contaminants, causing illnesses ranging from mild colds to more serious afflictions.

Air Purifiers

There are quite a few different kinds of air purifiers on the market today, each designed to remove a different set of contaminants from the air in your home. One of the most important kinds of air purifiers is the UV germicidal light. Many of the more dangerous airborne contaminants in your home, like germs and mold spores, are extremely phobic of ultraviolet light. That’s part of why they tend to thrive in indoor environments, which are more sheltered from the sun. Too much exposure to certain kinds of ultraviolet light can sterilize or even completely destroy these organisms. The UV air purifier does exactly that, by exposing the surrounding area to ultraviolet radiation. While harmless to humans, this radiation destroys most of the biological contaminants in the air.

So, if you find yourself feeling under the weather often, consider installing an air purifier. Chances are good that you’ll notice an increase in your health after utilizing one. If you’d like to know more, call Magic Touch. We provide indoor air quality services throughout Phoenix, AZ.

Lupercalia: The Origin of St. Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015

Many people may think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday essentially created by card and gift companies, but the truth is that the holiday has long-standing roots going back to the Roman Empire. The name “Lupercalia” has its origins in the word “lupus”, which means wolf, and the reason for this is that according to Roman pagan religion, the she-wolf Lupa nursed the two orphaned infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.

The Festival

The Festival of Lupercalia spanned two days each February, from February 13th to 15th. The festival was about fertility and was led by Luperci priests, known as “brothers of the wolf”. The festival was serious with intention (fertility) but was executed as quite a romp for both the priests and citizens of Rome. The process was this: two male goats and a dog were sacrificed at the beginning of the festival by the priests; two young Luperci were then anointed with the blood from the animals, and the hides of the animals were cut into straps. As food and drink flowed, the male priests would run around the city wearing nothing but thongs made from the animal skins, and they also carried a strap from one of the sacrificed animals. The strap was used to strike the palms of Roman women waiting for the priests in the city, as it was believed that being hit with the strap could help with infertility issues and a safe, healthy labor for women who were pregnant.

The Transition to St. Valentine’s Day

The Christian influence of the holiday came around the 5th century. The Roman Empire was still strong, but Christianity was rapidly taking hold throughout the world. It is believed that to try and remove the paganism from the holiday, the deaths of two men, supposedly both named Valentine, were added into the mix. During the 3rd and 4th centuries, a law created by Claudius II forbade young men eligible for military service to marry, because Rome wanted a strong army. The two men named Valentine were priests, and married young couples in secret. Both were found out and executed on February 14th, although in separate years. The Church made Valentine a saint (they chose one), and Lupercalia became St. Valentine’s Day.

Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Does Insulation Matter in a Hot Place Like Mesa?

February 9th, 2015

Talk of insulation may seem more suited to the cold weather and areas of our country because using insulation is perceived as the way to stay warm. The truth is that insulation is important for year-round comfort, including very hot-weather places, because of what it does: slows the transfer of heat. So how does insulation help your home in Mesa, AZ? Let’s take a look.

The Movement of Heat

Heat moves in three ways: radiant heat, which is direct from the sun as it heats surfaces and objects in its path; convection heat, which moves through gases (including air) and liquids; and conduction, which is how heat moves from one object to another, such as how a metal spoon in a hot cup of tea gains heat. The reason it is important to understand how heat moves is because insulation slows all heat movement; without insulation, or without proper insulation, heat will make its way into your home.

Two Simple Laws of Thermodynamics

Why does heat so stubbornly try to invade your home? It has to do with two laws of thermodynamics: the first states that heat will always move toward cooler air; the second states that heat rises. When considering the first law in terms of cooling, heat that enters your home from your roof, attic space and exterior walls will naturally try to move toward the cooler air inside. Having the correct amount of insulation blocks heat from moving into your home. The second law comes into play in the cooler months as you try to keep the warmer air in your home: you want to slow the movement of the heat into the cooler places of your home, like the attic space. As you can see, insulation isn’t just about keeping warm; it’s also about keeping cool.

Do I Have Enough Insulation?

The best way to determine whether or not your home has enough insulation is to work with a specialist who can physically measure and gauge the level of insulation currently in your home. If you need more insulation, or the technician has found damaged insulation that should be replaced, you’ll be alerted and able to move forward with the improvements.

The experts at Magic Touch bring years of experience to each job, so if you have questions about your home’s insulation, call us today!

Does My Heat Pump Need Repair?

February 2nd, 2015

Heat pumps are pretty unique as far as heating systems go, which means that it can be hard to tell if one needs repairs or not.

They have no pilot lights to check, no burner assembly, no other familiar parts that can be easily examined to tell if there’s a problem. Fortunately, you can still identify repair needs pretty easily if you know where to look. Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems with heat pumps, and how you can identify them.

Refrigerant Leaks

Heat pumps are able to heat a space by moving heat from one area to another. In the case of home heating, this heat is siphoned from the outside air and into the home. The medium for transporting this thermal energy is refrigerant, which travels between the inside and outside units.

Refrigerant is not used up by the heat pump, and is instead simply transferred between a liquid and gaseous state during operation. This makes leaks in the refrigerant line extremely dangerous, as they rob the heat pump of its refrigerant charge. Without refrigerant, the heat pump will be unable to move thermal energy to heat the home.

Refrigerant leaks are commonly indicated through gurgling noises or pooling liquid around the heat pump. If you notice either of those things, or a steady drop in heating ability, call a professional to inspect your heat pump.

Stuck in One Mode

Heat pumps are capable of both heating and cooling modes, which is a big reason for their popularity. This ability is possible through reversing the direction that refrigerant flows through the system, thus changing which unit siphons heat in and which expels it. The part that enables this ability is called the reversing valve, which sits at a 4-way junction in the heat pump’s refrigerant line.

Inside the reversing valve is a slide, which determines the mode that the heat pump is in by its position. If the slide becomes stuck, as can sometimes happen, the heat pump will become stuck in heating or cooling mode. If your heat pump is stuck in heating or cooling mode, you’ll need to have a professional examine your reversing valve.

If you’re having problems with your heat pump, call Magic Touch. We provide heating repair services throughout Phoenix, AZ.

Benefits of Fireplace Cleaning

January 26th, 2015

Any heating system requires regular maintenance in order to run safely and efficiently, and your fireplace is no exception.

In fact, cleaning a fireplace from time to time is vital for your family’s safety at home, and can help to prevent chimney fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and poor heating capacity.

Cleaning a fireplace properly can be difficult for the average homeowner, however, as it can be difficult to differentiate between what is a normal sign of wear and tear and what types of damage indicate an area that requires additional attention.

When you call a professional for chimney cleaning, you can rest easy knowing that an expert in the field has taken the time to not only make sure the firebox area is clean, but also to inspect for anything that may turn into a larger problem later on. Read about the benefits of regular fireplace cleaning in Gilbert in this guide.

Prevent Chimney Fires

Chimney fires are one of the leading causes of home fires in the United States, and preventing this from occurring begins with professional fireplace cleaning. The biggest risk to your safety is if creosote has built up in the flue, which makes it highly combustible. Sometimes, a chimney fire can do major damage to a home, while in other cases it can be small and nearly undetected. But even a small fire can have a lasting effect on your fireplace, causing it to run inefficiently and allowing the potential for carbon monoxide leaks.

Find Out about Potential Trouble with the Fireplace

During fireplace cleaning, a professional should also perform a thorough inspection, during which you may learn about any potential signs of trouble such as a carbon monoxide leak or any damage to the firebox (the area in which the fire burns), flue, or fireplace inserts,

Improve Efficiency

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, even a seemingly small amount of soot can reduce a fireplace’s ability to transfer heat by up to 50%. With a thorough fireplace cleaning, your fireplace will perform better and run more efficiently, allowing more heat to radiate into the room.

Calling the experts at Magic Touch helps to prevent fires and improve heating performance when you schedule fireplace cleaning in Gilbert. Contact our skilled team today.

Why Can’t a Swamp Cooler Cool a Swamp?

January 23rd, 2015

It’s not entirely clear why the “swamp cooler” was named as such, because this misleading term suggests that this is a type of HVAC system intended to cool a swamp. Despite this misnomer, it stands as an attractive name, partially because it sounds so exotic, especially where we live. A swamp cooler is an unusual type of cooling system that works much differently than ordinary central air units, ductless mini splits and heat pumps. Instead of utilizing a chemical refrigerant to transfer thermal energy from one place to another by means of compressing and decompressing it through liquid and gaseous states, the swamp cooler uses an evaporative cooling method.

On a hot day, the presence of moisture on the skin cools the body when wind passes over it. This is precisely the principle behind perspiration, which is that evaporation cools the body. When water molecules evaporate into the surrounding air, they release thermal energy, thus removing it from the body. Evaporative cooling methods have been around for a very long time, but this method of cooling is not designed to work in climates that are particularly humid. When there is a lot of moisture in the air already, the evaporation does not work as effectively or efficiently. This is why it’s hard to cool down on those particularly humid days (or if you’re in a swamp).

The basic setup of the swamp cooler is very simple, especially when compared to systems that use refrigerant. Air passes over moistened pads, thus being humidified and cooled during the process. That’s it, in a nutshell. It’s an ideal system for our climate because we tend to have low humidity year-round, whereas other parts of the country have high humidity levels during the summer months. If you want to make sure that your swamp cooler works well for years to come in your home, then hire a pro.

We’re here to take care of your swamp cooler services, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today.

4 Signs that You Need an Air Purifier

January 16th, 2015

We’ve all seen portable air purifiers. Whether you’ve searched for them online or at your local home improvement superstore, there is no shortage of options when it comes to portable air purifiers. They promise quite a bit, and many of them work fairly well in small, confined spaces. But they’re hardly a total house solution. If you want to make sure that your indoor air is thoroughly cleaned and the presence of airborne contaminants and pollutants neutralized, then you must seek a whole house air purifier. Only then will you feel confident that your indoor air quality problems have been abated.

So how do you know that you could benefit from a whole house air purifier? Let’s have a look at 4 common signs.

  • Allergic reactions. If you suffer from allergies, life is hard enough without having to worry about the influx of noxious particles coming through the air ducts into your living space. Whether during the winter or summer, our doors are tightly sealed against the elements, and this can lead to poor conditions for clean air.
  • Foul odor. Another issue related to poor indoor air quality is a foul odor wafting through the living space. While it could be your toddler or even your visiting brother-in-law, it could also be an indication that your air has biological contaminants floating throughout your home, such as mold, mildew, and bacteria, among others. A whole house air purifier can do wonders for such issues.
  • Stuffy or stale air. A related problem is the presence of stuffy or stale air. If you find that your air is less than fresh, then this may also indicate that your indoor air quality is suffering. If it’s simply a ventilation issue, then you might wish to consider an energy recovery ventilator or heat recovery ventilator, but a whole house air purifier may be helpful in some cases as well.
  • Visible dust, dander and other debris. If you can see dust and other debris plume out of your air ducts, then that’s not a good sign. An air duct cleaning may be in order, but that won’t do much to eliminate the dust already floating throughout your space. An air purifier installed within the air ducts can eliminate this issue and also prevent it from happening in the future.

Contact our team to get started on the path to cleaner indoor air

Choosing the Right Wine Refrigerator

January 6th, 2015

Wine is an ancient delicacy, and for wine lovers throughout the area, it’s an experience to be savored. That’s what makes having a professionally installed and service wine refrigerator so important. You need to protect your investment, whether your restaurant’s sommelier needs to have options at his disposal for your guests’ discriminating palette, or you run a large wine shop that needs several refrigerators to feature its most expensive product. You need an excellent wine refrigerator (or perhaps multiple models) to ensure that your wine sales are successful.

Whether you’re in the market for a new wine refrigerator, or you find that your existing wine refrigerator no longer functions as it should, and you’re looking to replace it, here are some considerations to take into account.

How many bottles of wine do you have?

This likely fluctuates quite a bit throughout the year, depending on your rotation of stock, the timing of shipments, and so on. But you probably have some sense of how many bottles you need to keep at perfect temperature. Refrigerators come in a wide variety of sizes, mostly determined by the number of bottles they can hold at any given time. Whether you need a relatively modest 80-bottle unit or a large unit that will hold well over 300 bottles, our professionals can help you decide.

How many zones do you need?

Another consideration is how many zones the wine refrigerator has. This comes in handy when storing wine, rose, and red wines in the same unit. This typically ranges from one to three zones, although further options are available for those looking for customized systems. This ensures that each type of wine is stored at an optimal temperature.

Where will it be located?

Location is key. Whether you need a simple unit to sit behind closed doors away from your customers, or an elegant front-room statement, a local wine refrigerator specialist can help you determine the best option.

There are additional considerations, of course, including your budget as well as the various features available in today’s wine refrigerator market. Call our team today to get started.

Common Reasons to Call for Freezer Repair

December 30th, 2014

Running a business is hard work, particularly in the food industry, when controlled temperatures are absolutely critical to maintaining your product. Whether you run a high-end restaurant that serves exceptional cuisine, or you need to feed a lot of hungry kids each today for lunch, it’s important that you hire a professional to keep your freezer in good working order from day one. Whether you have several reach-in freezers or one large walk-in freezer, it represents a serious investment in your commercial freezer operation.

But over time, you may find that your freezer no longer functions quite as it should. There are plenty of reasons for this, and there is really no determining what the problem is until it is looked at by a professionally trained technician. What may seem like a relatively minor problem could turn out to be serious, while what looks serious could be a relatively quick fix or part replacement. But whatever the issue is, it’s important that you recognize it as soon as possible.

One of the most common reasons to consider freezer repair is the presence of frost inside the temperature-controlled compartment. Because it’s important that your freezer be a sealed compartment, frost is also an indication of a lack of performance and energy efficiency. It could indicate a leak somewhere in the seals of the door or perhaps elsewhere in the system itself. Whatever the issue may be, it’s important to have it looked at immediately so that you can avoid further issues down the line. This is the type of problem that does not go away on its own.

Another sign that you need freezer repair is a strange or unusually loud noise coming from your freezer. While you should expect your system to make a certain amount of sound during operation, if it sounds bad, it likely is. It’s important to catch such problems early on so that you can make sure your freezer lasts as long as possible.

Contact our team today so that we can get started on your freezer repair.