Goettl Air Conditioning Phoenix Blog

Goettl Air Conditioning helps victims of hurricane in Puerto Rico

Business News | 18 Oct |

An employee of Goettl Air Conditioning in Phoenix has been leading a donation drive to help people in the hurricane-ravished island of Puerto Rico.

Fernando De La Garza, a native of Puerto Rico, has been rallying employee efforts to donate clothing and other personal items for those still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria. Besides the clothing donations, Goettl Air Conditioning is also sending 610 flashlights to Puerto Rico. Other donations include blankets, powdered Gatorade and various toiletries and personal hygiene items.

Goettl Air Conditioning is known for giving flashlights to customers and neighbors while doing AC repairs in the field. Goettl Air Conditioning also uses flashlights in its marketing efforts, which outline how Goettl owner Ken Goodrich would hold a flashlight while helping his father complete AC repairs when Ken was a small boy.

“We hope to bring some light and comfort to people still struggling in Puerto Rico,” said Goodrich. “I’m happy to see our employees jumping in to help and I’m proud of Fernando for stepping up to lead the charge.”

Since Hurricane Maria made landfall on Sept. 20, it has wreaked havoc on the island prompting food and water shortages while destroying much of Puerto Rico’s communications and power networks.

Garza, who hails from Puerto Rico, has family and friends who are still trying to recover and make ends-meet.

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AC Repair Warning Signs: Strange Sounds

service-timeWhen it comes to living comfortably in our area, your air conditioning system is a major player. With weather as hot as ours is for much of the year, your air conditioner is going to be putting in a lot of working hours. That is exactly why it is so important that you take every precaution possible to keep your system functioning properly and reliably. This includes taking care of any problems with your air conditioner as soon as you have any reason to believe that there is a problem to begin with.

While a malfunctioning air conditioner is always bad news, the good news is that there are generally some warning signs that your system is struggling. Among the most common of these red flags are strange operating sounds. If your air conditioner doesn’t sound the way it usually does all of a sudden, don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s no big deal. Dial our number to have the problem resolved with professional AC repair in Mesa, AZ.

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What You Can Do to Prevent AC Problems

AC-technician-manifoldWhen you run your air conditioner as hard as we have to in this part of the country, you have to expect that you are going to run into trouble with that system at some point. There are a lot of different components in your air conditioner, and trouble with any one of them will spell trouble for the system at large. Today, we are going to share some tips with you that will help you to keep the occurrence of air conditioning problems to a bare minimum.

Now, it is important to reiterate that no amount of care, no preventative measures, will make your air conditioner 100% reliable. At some point, you’ll still find yourself in need of professional air conditioning repair in Chandler, AZ. When you do, we strongly recommend that you schedule any necessary repair services as soon as possible. That will help to limit the extent of any damages to your system. And now, here’s what you can do to keep the need for repairs at bay.

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AC Repair Warning Signs: Hot Spots

comfortable-womanWhen you live in a climate as hot as ours, any problems with your air conditioning are cause for concern. The last thing that you want to do is to let problems get to a point where your system breaks down entirely. There are a lot of warning signs that your air conditioner may be in trouble, and one of the most obvious of these warnings are hot spots throughout the house. When properly sized and installed, your air conditioner should be capable of cooling your home effectively and evenly throughout.

Now, not every instance of hot spots in your home is going to be the result of air conditioning problems. Some are, though, and having the problem diagnosed professionally is a must if you want to resolve it before further issues develop. Leave your air conditioning repairs in Phoenix, AZ to the pros on our team, and know that your system will get the attention that it needs to succeed throughout the hottest time of the year. 

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Goettl gives gift of cool air to Arizona Animal Welfare League

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AC FAQ: What’s Up with These Hot Spots?

AC-techniciansFor those of us that have made Arizona our home, high temperatures are a part of daily life. Just because we choose to live in this climate, of course, does not mean that we are immune to the discomfort that the heat can cause. Even those of us that can appreciate the heat of summer the most need to be able to keep cool and healthy. That is why running into trouble with our air conditioning systems is so alarming in this area.

Remember, an air conditioner does not — and really should not — need to break down entirely before the homeowner takes the initiative to schedule service. Typically, there are several warning factors that can warn of trouble brewing with an air conditioner. Sometimes, though, such symptoms may not be a result of a malfunctioning air conditioner itself. Following are some reasons why you may encounter hot spots in your home, and what that may mean for your air conditioner in Chandler, AZ.

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By Ken Goodrich as featured in The Arizona Republic 8/26/2017

Why is the cost to recharge your AC unit going up?

By 2020, Arizona air-conditioning users will be forced to find new sources of refrigerant to recharge their systems as R22, a popular Freon now in use, will be phased out by order of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA believes R22 harms the ozone layer and its use will be banned forever in January 2020. There are other types of less harmful refrigerants that will replace R22, but homeowners today need to make informed decisions when servicing and replacing their AC units.

Here are some common questions:

I keep hearing about R22. What is it and how does it impact air-conditioning in my home? R22 is a type of Freon refrigerant that helps your air conditioning produce cool air. The EPA has determined R22 harms the ozone layer and has ordered it to be phased out of use by 2020. Once this happens, R22 will no longer be produced or imported and will be replaced with R-410A. Air-conditioning manufacturers stopped production of R22-charged systems in 2010.

Why is the EPA phasing out R22? Hydrochlorofluorocarbons, or HCFCs, are chemicals that are mainly used as refrigerants. Unfortunately, the EPA has found the releases of HCFCs can deplete the Earth’s protective ozone layer and contribute to climate change.

What should I do? Do I need to replace my AC unit? No, you don’t have to replace your AC system at this time. You can continue to use R22 in existing systems, however, it will be available only from older systems that have been recycled, reclaimed or recovered. Lower supply of R22 is already resulting in much higher costs to recharge AC systems, and there will be no guarantee that R22 will be available in the future. In fact, R22 costs 10 times what it did five years ago. According to the EPA, “as a homeowner, you need to consider and balance several key factors in your decision to purchase a new unit, such as energy efficiency, performance, reliability, cost and the refrigerant used.”

Should I buy a new unit now or wait until 2020? It really depends. You’ll need to balance the age of your system with cost benefits realized from new systems. New, energy-efficient air-conditioners save on energy costs. Even if your air conditioner is less than 10 years old, you may save significantly on your energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model, according to the EPA.

How do I know what kind of AC unit I should consider buying? A central air-conditioner that has earned the ENERGY STAR label is at least 14 percent more efficient and will save you money. Ken Goodrich is owner and CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning.

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Short Cycling: What it Means for Your AC

woman-with-fanIn our area, it is obviously incredibly important to have a great air conditioner that you can rely on in order to make it through the days not only comfortably, but safely as well. The heat is just too intense to take any chances with your air conditioner in Mesa,  AZ. Considering all of the hard work that your air conditioner has to do each and every day, it should really come as no surprise to hear that it may encounter operational problems at some point.

If and when you do run into trouble with your air conditioner, remember that it is always in your best interest to schedule prompt, professional air conditioning repairs. The longer that you wait to have your system professionally repaired, the worse off it is likely to be. Never assume that you should just wait for the system to break down entirely before you bother to have it repaired.  That will only lead to greater inconvenience.

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AC Tip: Keep the Filter Fresh

Air-filterQuick — what’s the best way in which to keep your air conditioner in the best working condition possible? If you answered “with routine air conditioning maintenance,” then you are correct! What if we asked you what role you yourself should be playing in the maintenance of your air conditioning system, though? Yes, you should leave the bulk of this to your AC tune-up technician. However, there is one vital step that must be completed much more frequently than once a year during this tune-up.

That step? Replacing the air filter in your air conditioner. If you really want your air conditioner in Maricopa, AZ to function at peak performance and efficiency levels — which we can safely assume is the case — then you are going to need to keep a clean filter in the system. While it may not seem like that major a component, the air filter in your air conditioner can have a very negative impact on your system at large if it is not kept fresh.

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Here’s what you need to know about phase-out of A/C Freon

The year 2020 will capture attention for being an election year and perhaps for the summer Olympics in Tokyo. On the homeownership side of things, however, it’s the year that an old ozone-eating refrigerant long-used in American home air conditioning units is finally retired for good.

R-22 refrigerant, commonly known by brand name Freon, will no longer be imported or produced in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2020. With that, homeowners will see already escalating R-22 prices continuing to climb as supplies dwindle. Meanwhile, they will also be faced with questions about when to replace an aging system running on R-22.

The good news is, that in many cases, there are ways to tend to repairs that won’t require replacement of older systems using R-22 right away. Still, it’s important to find an honest air conditioning contractor who won’t try to talk you into an unnecessary replacement, said Dennis Soukup, director of the air conditioning technologies program at the College of Southern Nevada, which has educated thousands of valley air conditioning technicians through the years.

“I’m concerned about service technicians forced to be salesmen, and they’re telling people doom and gloom and that they need to buy a new unit when it’s really only a very common repair,” Soukup said.

Soukup, along with other experts, weighed in on what consumers should know about the potential effects of the coming R-22 production deadline.

The what and why of it

R-22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon known to contribute to ozone layer depletion. The U.S. Clean Air Act under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer indicates that on Jan. 1, 2020, the U.S. will no longer produce or import the refrigerant anymore. Air conditioning companies will be allowed to sell their remaining supplies of R-22 produced prior to the deadline, said EPA spokesperson Enesta Jones.

Air conditioning system manufacturers stopped using R-22 in 2010, replacing it in new units with the more ozone-friendly R-410A refrigerant. But for those with older systems still using R-22, that doesn’t mean an immediate replacement is needed.

“R-22 that is recovered and reclaimed, along with R-22 produced prior to 2020, will help meet the needs of owners of existing R-22 systems well beyond the phase out date,” Jones added.

The pricing glitch

Using R-22, unfortunately, comes at a cost — a steep one at that. Because of diminishing supply levels, R-22, today, costs around $100 a pound to replace, said Ken Goodrich, president and CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning, a heating and air conditioning service company serving Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson.

“The price is about 10 times what it was five years ago,” Goodrich said.

The industry veteran also has seen home warranty companies institute clauses about R-22’s obsolescence and charge higher fees for repairs as a result, sometimes upwards of $1,000.

“I’ve gotten calls from about 25 people this summer with home warranties saying ‘I gotta pay $1,000 because of R-22,’” he said. “Some make the decision that they’d rather put that $1,000 towards a new high-efficiency unit rather than a $1,000 Freon drop.”

Goodrich agrees with Soukup, saying, “If someone says you need to replace a system just because of R-22, I’d say that’s not quite the case.”

Soukup says it’s important to watch out for common repairs such as fan motors, capacity relays, contactors and other system parts suddenly becoming a conversation about replacing a unit because of R-22.

“It’s 117 degrees out and people are scared. Someone says you need a new unit and it’s really only a routine item,” Soukup said. “You don’t need a new car when you only have a flat tire. … I tell people, ‘Don’t panic until you have a bad compressor.’”

 Alternatives to Freon

There also are several alternatives that R-22 systems can use without needing retrofitting. They are what the industry terms as “drop ins” not requiring changes to seals or oils within the sealed air conditioning system.

The most common alternative refrigerants are R-422D, R-427A and R-407C. Soukup categorizes them as “good, better, best” and routinely uses R-407C, saying it is very close in performance to R-22.

“If my unit was to leak and have a problem that’s routine and does not require a major component change, I’d use R-407C. It’s about a 98 percent spot-on identical replacement to R-22,” he said.

The alternatives come at about one-third the cost of today’s R-22 price, too.

While Soukup sees R-407C as a viable alternative, Goodrich prefers to top off systems, after fixing leaks with R-22, adding that in some cases systems can run up to 30 percent less efficient, particularly in extreme heat above 105 degrees.

“These drop-ins just aren’t going to have the same capacity. … The air tends to be about 3 degrees warmer. That’s the downside,” Goodrich said. “The upside is you can keep the old machine running and not have to spend $6,000 or $8,000. and you can push it off for a little while. … You just have to remember that it’s not going to be as good as putting in new Freon.”

Maintenance, things to watch for

The R-22 phase-out can impact a few maintenance and repair scenarios any homeowner might face. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

■ No either/or: If you have R-22 refrigerant in your system and levels are low, you must either refill with R-22 or, if you decide to use an alternative, the R-22 must be removed and completely recaptured and the system must be refilled completely with the alternative. It cannot simply be topped off with a cheaper alternative refrigerant, experts explained.

“A good technician should show you and break down the difference in price and clearly explain what they’re doing,” Soukup added.

■ R-22 certification: When selecting a contractor, make sure he or she has the EPA’s Section 608 certification, which is needed to service equipment containing R-22, Jones said.

“Homeowners should also request that service technicians locate and repair leaks instead of just ‘topping off’ leaking systems,” she added.

■ Watch the attic: If you have a unit where one part of it is outside and the other in the attic (most single family residences in Las Vegas do), make sure the technician also services the unit in the attic, Goodrich said. Just tending to the condenser outside of the home is not enough.

“Make sure they go up in that attic. That’s where a lot of leaks happen,” he said.

■ Tune-up time: An annual tune-up should occur in the spring when the weather first starts to warm up. “It’s that first time you reach to change the thermostat, that’s when I tell people to call someone out,” Soukup said.

■ Basic maintenance: Both Soukup and Goodrich also suggest other general maintenance to extend the life of the unit, such as regularly changing air filters, checking the thermostat battery annually and keeping the outside air conditioning coil free of weeds and bushes.

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