Goettl Air Conditioning Tucson Blog

Commercial AC: Why Choose a Rooftop Unit?

HVAC-rooftop-UnitsLiving in Arizona doesn’t mean that you want to be in the heat every moment of every day. That is why we have air conditioners installed in our home, right? Well, just as homeowners expect to be comfortable in their homes, they too expect to be comfortable when they venture out to a restaurant, store, or any other commercial property. As a commercial property owner and/or manager, it is up to you to guarantee that there is a comfortable environment awaiting their arrival.

This begs the question, of course, of how you choose to cool your commercial property. A lot of this is going to depend upon the size of your property, as well as its design. One option that is definitely worth considering is the rooftop unit. It is important that a professional handles the installation and servicing of a rooftop unit if you want it to function as well as possible, and we can make sure that your rooftop unit in Green Valley, AZ excels.

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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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How Does Ductless Air Conditioning Work?

ductless-blower-cold-airIngeniously is one way to answer the question posed in the title of this post. Outstandingly is another. If you have visited this blog before, however, you know that we do not just expect you to take our word on any given subject. We’re here to provide you with the information that you need to better understand these systems, the way in which they work, and whether or not a system is right for you. As such, we’re going to give you some more details about the way that ductless AC actually works.

We also want to remind you that no air conditioner, regardless of make, model, or overall quality, is going to function at peak operational levels if not expertly installed, well-maintained, and professionally repaired when needed. Our technicians have years of experience in working with ductless mini splits in Benson, AZ and the surrounding areas. When you are ready for ductless AC services, count on us to get the job done right the first time, every time. 

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Cooling Efficiency Tips

money-in-grassWe are approaching the middle of August, and in many other parts of the country that means that homeowners are already looking forward to coming cooler temperatures of fall. Here in Arizona, of course, there is really no such respite in the forecast. There is plenty more heat to come, and that means that it is not too late for some more helpful air conditioning tips! Today, we want to help you understand how you can scale back on your cooling costs — without having to replace that old AC entirely.

Even the most high-efficiency air conditioning systems are going to cost some money to run, obviously. No matter how efficient your air conditioner may be, there are likely still ways in which to roll back your energy costs a bit more. Considering just how much we run our air conditioning systems in Tucson, AZ, pretty much throughout the year, it only makes sense to ensure that you are able to enjoy the greatest efficiency possible from yours.

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

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

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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Dispelling a Common Refrigerant Myth

dispelling-common-refrigerant-mythThere is a fairly common myth going around about refrigerant. Its importance is often undervalued—but as we alluded to in a post earlier this summer about the current refrigerant phaseout, refrigerant is a chemical blend of heat transfer fluids vital to the functionality of your air conditioner or heat pump system.

The myth we’re referring to, is that refrigerant is something that gets used up, and therefore has to be refilled—recharged—on a regular basis. On the contrary, however, if your cooling system is losing refrigerant, it means that you have a leak. Refrigerant continuously cycles through your AC to effectively transfer heat to bring you a comfortable indoor climate—but it’s not like gas in a car where it gets used up.

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AC PSA: Ice Is Not Normal!

AC-technician-workingConsidering the blistering heat that we’ve been dealing with this summer season, you may see ice on your air conditioner and think, wow, that old beast is really working hard! Well, you are partly right — the system is working hard if it has ice on its evaporator coil or any other component. However, this is due to the fact that ice on an AC is a sign of trouble, and can put a lot of strain on the unit when it is already working under incredible stress.

But what causes this ice to form in the first place? Is it always cause for concern? And, wait a minute — where is the water that is freezing coming from, anyway? We’ve got all of those answers and more for you in this week’s blog post. Whether you are looking for great AC information or outstanding air conditioning services in Marana, AZGoettl Air Conditioning is the company to call. And now, let’s get to the bottom of this strange scenario.

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The Heat Is On – Is Your Air Conditioner Off?

Hopefully not! Unfortunately, this summer season seems to be a bit more extreme than most, and that is leaving many homeowners dealing with broken down ACs done in by the heat. In a summer so hot that the county has opened cooling stations to help protect those without AC or those unprepared for the heat, this is obviously a serious problem. In fact, Goettl Air Conditioning is looking to hire new, qualified technicians just to keep up with the demand!

With temperatures well over 100˚ regularly, we really want to remind homeowners just how vital it is that they schedule routine heating maintenance. There is just no better way to not only keep your air conditioner in great working condition, but also to catch problems early on. As you can see in this video, our business these days is just one broken AC after another. Don’t let yours be the next on our call list!

G-O-E-T-T-L it’ll keep you cool but it’s hard to spell.

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