Goettl Air Conditioning Phoenix Blog : Archive for August, 2017

Short Cycling: What it Means for Your AC

Monday, August 28th, 2017

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

Monday, August 14th, 2017

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

Monday, August 14th, 2017

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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Goettl’s Tips to Beat the Summer Heat & Save you Money

Monday, August 14th, 2017

By Ravi Mandalia

With the heat of summer in full swing, it can be difficult at times to not long for a cooler place. But while the only way to get to that cooler place in reality might be using your HVAC system with Goettl, doing so doesn’t have to bust your budget. Financially responsible HVAC use involves nothing more than knowing and applying the following money-saving tips. Maybe you’ll save up enough to travel to that cooler climate in real life after all!

1. Choose a Programmable Thermostat

If you don’t have one of these, your HVAC unit will work overtime to keep your home at a specific temperature no matter what time of the day it is or who is actually home. With a programmable thermostat, you can set a different temperature for different times of the day, meaning your HVAC unit won’t be working in overdrive when you aren’t there. You can also program settings for different rooms.

2. Check the Vents

Vents that are closed or dirty can make it much harder for your HVAC unit to operate properly. If a particular room in your home seems warmer than the others, a closed vent could be to blame. Dirt and dust can also easily collect on vents, which makes it harder for that refreshing air to circulate in the room.

3. Change the Air Filters

The air filters in your HVAC system should be changed at least every six months and preferably every three. Some experts even suggest changing them monthly. If your filters are clogged or dirty, they will block airflow and reduce overall system efficiency. Just taking this step alone can reduce the energy consumption of your unit by up to 15 percent.

4. Block the Sun

If your unit is located in direct sunlight, you could be forcing it to work much harder than it actually needs to. An awning or tree to cover the unit might do the trick, although it’s important not to let parts from any trees get into the unit. Blocking the sun inside your home by keeping blinds and curtains closed is also important since direct sunlight through a window can easily heat up rooms inside your home and make your unit work that much harder.

5. Keep It Clean

It is a good idea to keep both the indoor and outdoor components of your HVAC system clean. Keeping the outdoor condenser fan clean helps it run efficiently, and cleaning the indoor evaporating coil means that your system can do a much better job of keeping the air that moves through it cool.

6. Use Ceiling Fans

Hot air rises, meaning that during those hot summer months, you can expect to find more heat near the ceiling or on the upper floors of your home. Ceiling fans can help move this air out of your home. They also help circulate the cool air coming from your system around the room.

7. Replace Older HVAC Units

Just like any other kind of machine, HVAC systems wear out and break down over time. They become less efficient at doing their jobs and need replaced. Technology has also improved over time, so newer HVAC models are generally more efficient than their older counterparts.

Goettl Air Conditioning is an HVAC company that has been around since 1939. Based out of Phoenix, Goettl serves the areas of Phoenix, Tuscon, Northern Arizona, Las Vegas, and Southern California. The company was founded by brothers Gust and Adam Goettl and is currently owned by Ken Goodrich.

Goettl provides a full range of HVAC services. Some of the services they provide include:

Air Conditioning

Goettl installs new air conditioning systems as well as repairs and maintains existing units. They offer cleaning services, check refrigerant levels and perform a complete inspection of your air conditioning unit to ensure it is in good working order.

Heating

You also need your HVAC system to work in the winter, and Goettl is here to help with that as well. They can install new heating systems as well as inspect and maintain existing ones.

Heat Pump

If you are looking for something that combines heating and air conditioning into one unit, a heat pump is the way to go. It looks like a standard air conditioner but is capable of moving heat both into your home and out. Goettl can install and maintain these units.

Thermostats

A smart thermostat is a smart way to save money, and Goettl both sells and installs these products. Take complete control of your HVAC system no matter where you are with a smart thermostat.

These are just some of the many services Goettl has to offer to those in need of a good quality HVAC system. However, it’s not just their expertise and range of services that makes Goettl shine. Goettl’s work ethic is also superior within the industry. Their skilled and highly trained technicians take pride in doing a job right the first time, meaning you get more value for your money. They also seek to provide an unmatched quality of customer service to all of their customers. Goettl’s goal is to have customers seek them out again and again for their HVAC system needs, and they know the best way to make that happen is to do an excellent job the first time.

While summer is hot and generally means cranking up the AC in order to make it a little more bearable, draining your bank account in order to stay cool is not something you have to bear. With a little knowledge of how to keep your system running efficiently, saving money while still running the AC is still very doable. Goettl can help you keep your system in top shape with the unique blend of expertise and customer service that only they can provide.

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Goettl leaving a legacy as a longstanding cooling company in EV

Monday, August 7th, 2017

For 78 years, Goettl Air Conditioning has been cooling off the sweltering East Valley. Now, the hard-to-spell company is adjusting to new consumer needs and technology while expanding its footprint to Southern California and Nevada.

Gust and Adam Goettl developed the Phoenix area’s first evaporative cooler and refrigerated air conditioning unit in 1939 to battle the severe desert temperatures, according to the Goettl website.

Dan Burke, chairman of Goettl, joined the company in 1989.

“At the time I came, the business was focused on building and manufacturing of air conditioning equipment,” Burke said of the Tempe-based firm. “As time went by, we could see there was a growing need for high-quality and expert contracting to repair and replace units.”

Goettl survived and thrived in its small-business phase.

“We were one of the fewer smaller manufacturers still operating,” he said. “Most had already been gobbled up by bigger companies. In this business, you can’t be a small manufacturer.”

Times have changed for Goettl.

“We’re a big contractor but we’re a relative small company and we do what we can,” Burke said.

“We do have a shortage of technicians and will probably always have that going forward. There is a lot of movement of employees, and a lot of competing for technicians.”

Burke listed reasons Goettl is a great place for an air conditioning tech to work.

“We have work year-round, at a level that will keep anybody who is good and wants to be successful in this industry busy,” he said. “We have a great operation here.”

The company’s unique Southwestern base helps it approach the job differently.

“For us, it’s not a hobby,” Burke said. “Back East and in the Midwest, you can open a window. But here, it’s not that way.

“It’s not just temperatures but dust storms and the monsoon. You need compression systems to deal with that. Otherwise, your utilities bills will continue to increase.

“Goettl provides comfort at a decent price.”

The company also made the shift to service because of government regulation.

“I’m not sure the typical homeowner realizes the regulations in this business,” Burke said. “We had to shift our focus to become expert in service. That has allowed us to grow.

“We decided to let the bigger companies make the best equipment and we would focus on the best service and installation. That was a good decision for us.”

Goettl and Burke have seen a lot of new innovations in their years. Among the most current are variable-speed and variable-capacity units.

“Now, units can operate at a lower performance level when you have less areas to cool or the temperature is less demanding,” Burke said. “That saves money and gives more comfort.

“Having it not run, then run like hell, then not run doesn’t provide the best comfort.”

Networked units and apps are also changing the game.

“Another thing being implemented now is self-diagnostics systems that will alert the homeowner or service company to things it detects,” he said.

“Now, you can get applications through your wireless device to control the thermostat. When you’re getting on an airplane, you can tell your home in Phoenix to turn on the air conditioning.

“It’s really a wireless thing. The next generation of people are quite comfortable with those kinds of apps.”

Despite all the new tech, gadgets and gizmos, the best thing a consumer can do to help keep the air conditioner in good shape is a simple one.

“Make sure the filters are changed regularly,” Burke said. “If you don’t do that, you can get debris, cat hair and dust into the coils of the equipment, and that reduces the efficiency and slows down air flow.”

Burke also recommends maintenance.

“Units should be checked every year,” he said. “Refrigerant, tuneups and a general tightening would avoid a really extensive, serious failure later.

“Relatively modest repairs can help avoid major repairs.”

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