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Monsoon Season and Your Air Conditioning System

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

Arizona monsoon season officially started June 15. Scattered rain and wind gusts reached the Valley of the Sun early, kicking off an active 2021 monsoon season.

These immensely powerful summer storms are the result of a change in wind patterns, using the desert Southwest’s summer heat to bring moist wind currents north from Mexico. This time of year, the Sonoran desert bursts into a flurry of billowing cumulonimbus clouds, towering thunderstorms, pelting rain and hail, and severe flooding. These impressive summer storms can be preceded by haboobs, “massive dust storms” in June, July, August, and early September. A surprise to homeowners new to Metro Phoenix! It’s not a dry heat in the summertime with humidity levels elevated. These spectacular, violent, and dangerous storms can knock down trees and powerlines, cause flash flooding, and even damage air conditioning units. Don’t underestimate the power of monsoon storms, especially while driving or walking outside. They can also wreak havoc on your air conditioning system. At Cool Blew, we believe an ounce of prevention before monsoon storms strike is a smart strategy for keeping your home both cool and safe.

Check Your AC System

Check your outdoor AC unit to ensure there are no obstructions, rocks, tree branches, or plants growing close to the unit. Make certain if flash flooding does happen in your neighborhood, your AC unit is out of reach of any pooling water. Some homeowners keep a tarp or cover on hand to protect their exposed air conditioner when monsoons hit. Wind whipped dust, driving hail, and rain can damage your AC unit. If you do cover your air conditioner for the storm, make sure the power is turned off before covering it.

Check Your AC Drainage Lines

Not only does your air conditioner system keep you and your family cool, it also acts as a dehumidifier and removes moisture from the air in your house. During Arizona’s monsoon season, there is a significant increase in humidity, which means more moisture in your home. It’s important that the water drain line is clear and unclogged, so you don’t have water backing up or pooling near your AC unit.

Your AC System Experts

Your air conditioning system is vital for the comfort of you and your loved ones. Cool Blew gets a deluge of calls during monsoon season about damage done to AC units by monsoon storms. Why not have your air conditioning system checked by one of our professionals before a storm hits? We also love to provide ways to increase AC system efficiency during the summer monsoon season. Call us today to schedule a monsoon check-up at 623-872-2900.

It’s Summer. Why is There Ice on My Air Conditioner?

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

Ice or frost on your air conditioner can be an unusual sight to behold in the heat of the summer. Yes, it can happen, and it’s not a good thing. So, what are the most common causes of this chilling problem?

Refrigerant Leak

One of the most frequent causes of your air conditioner icing up is low refrigerant due to a leak in the system. Leaks can happen due to constant wear and tear, along with system vibration and weather conditions.

Refrigerant transforms from a gas to liquid and back again in an endless loop, working with other HVAC components of your system to force cooled air into your house through air vents, lowering the temperature of cooling coils, and transferring heat from inside your home, which is blown outside as exhaust. When there is a leak or your AC system is low on refrigerant, the temperature will drop significantly on the coils containing the refrigerant. Condensation from the humidity in the outside air will form as ice on the coils.

Dirty Evaporator Coil

When your evaporator coil is dirty, you’ll experience less airflow throughout your AC system. More electricity is used to keep the system functioning, and there can be potential damage to the compressor.

Air Flow Restrictions

If the air flow is restricted due to blocked or extremely dirty air filters, damaged air ducts or damaged duct work, your AC unit will have difficulty lowering indoor temperatures and can produce frost or ice.

Cold Temperatures

If the outside air temperature falls below 60 degrees, which can happen during a monsoon storm, it can be too cold for your AC unit to run properly. Frost or ice can form outside the unit.

Mechanical Issues

When a fan motor or blower fan is damaged or if there are twisted refrigerant lines or blocked drains, your AC cooling system may ice over.

The bottom line—if you see ice or frost on your HVAC system, especially during the summer, it’s time to call Cool Blew. We can quickly diagnose and repair the root cause of the problem. Call us today at 623-872-2900.

Stay Safe This Summer with Cool Blew

This entry was posted in Safety on by .

With the heat high and summer monsoon storms now here, here’s how you can mitigate the risk of electrical and fire hazards.

Electrical Hazards

Many of us take our home’s electricity for granted. Electrical shocks from your home’s power sources can cause skin burns, loss of consciousness, and more. So, prevention is definitely the best strategy when it comes to electrical safety.

  • Never handle anything electrical with wet hands or while standing in water.
  • Avoid talking on landline phones, using electric appliances or taking a bath during a lightning storm. The electrical current can be carried through water pipes or landline wires.
  • Don’t use appliances such as a hair dryer near a sink or bathtub filled with water. You could be electrocuted if the appliance falls in and you’re holding on to it.
  • Turn off the circuit breaker before attempting to repair anything electrical inside or outside your house, to avoid an electrical shock.
  • Never run extension cords or surge protector cords under a throw rug or beneath the carpet. People walking on top of the cords can cause frayed and broken wires, potentially causing electrical shocks and fires.

Fire Hazards

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research shows four out of five fire-related deaths occur in the home. Most causes of fire related deaths are due to smoke inhalation and the lack of oxygen. Here’s what you can do to prevent fire in your home.

  • Never use fireworks near your house.
  • Don’t use a higher watt lightbulb than a lamp manufacturer suggests.
  • Never overload circuits by putting too many plugs in an outlet.
  • When using small appliances and lamps, avoid any dangling extension cords.
  • Check smoke detectors and replace batteries annually.
  • Don’t throw water on a grease fire in your kitchen.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from curtains or anything else that can burn.
  • Clean your dryer lint filter after every use and check the dryer air exhaust vent to make certain it’s not restricted.

Celebrate the summer safely and enjoy it with your family, friends, and neighbors! If for any reason your home is experiencing an electrical, plumbing or HVAC issue, call the experts at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

Air Conditioning Smells to Be Concerned About

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

Smelling something other than clean, fresh air blowing out of your AC vents? There are several causes for unusual scents emanating from your air conditioning system.

Electrical Burning Odors

An electrical burning smell will immediately get your attention. This odor may be serious and requires turning off your AC system at the circuit breaker and calling for AC service. Issues with wiring, an overheating motor, or a malfunctioning fan blade are some of the common causes. Keep in mind that wires, fans, or motors burning can cause extensive damage if ignored.

Mildew Smells

Mold and mildew thrives in dark, damp, cool environments. Your air conditioner’s drainage lines and pans provide just the right places for mildew to grow. Your air conditioning system works by removing excess heat and humidity from the air inside your home. When this condensation pools outside, it will smell like dirty socks!

In Arizona, homeowners most commonly notice this odor when they first turn on their air conditioners in late winter or early spring. However, moisture can build up in your HVAC system any time of the year. Another serious issue with excess moisture is it can lead to mold growth, which can be a serious issue when it comes to your family’s health. Whole home dehumidifiers can help by removing moisture from your home’s indoor air. Call your local pros to investigate where the smell is coming from and how it’s impacting your home’s AC system and inside air quality.

Stinky Trash Smell

A rotting critter that has died in your air conditioning system will result in a smell difficult to ignore. Rats, mice, and other furry friends can unfortunately invade HVAC ducts and even living critters can lead to foul smells inside. Turn off your AC unit and open your windows for ventilation. Contact your local HVAC technicians or pest company immediately.

Poor Ventilation

Stuffy air can be caused by a lack of fresh air circulating in your HVAC system. When your house is not properly ventilated, the reduction in circulation can cause poor indoor air quality and foul odors. This is the time to count on your local HVAC pros to service your AC system.

Is Your AC Failing the Smell Test?

A wide variety of smells can be associated with your AC system. Many of these odors are best tackled by the experts at Cool Blew. When you need to know the cause of a foul odor, call the Cool Blew professionals at 623-872-2900.

10 Common HVAC Issues & How Pros Troubleshoot Them

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .

It’s important that you reach out to a trustworthy service technician when you come across signs that your AC unit isn’t working as well as it should. To make that happen though, you need to recognize the signs. Here are common HVAC issues—and how they look like or what their signs are—to help you. By knowing what to watch out for, you’ll know right away if you need to reach out to an HVAC service technician as soon as possible.

Clogged Filters

This is a common HVAC problem. Signs include compromised airflow. If there are hot and cold spots in your room or stuffy air, that’s a sign that you have clogged air filters. You’ll need to replace the filter to fix this issue. However, it’s easy enough to do. Have pros do this every two to three months on average. You can do this yourself but if you aren’t sure what to do, it’s better to hire pros of an HVAC repair company in Peoria to do the job.

Obstructed Condenser Unit

The condenser unit is typically located outside your home. However, being outside means it could get crowded around the unit. If there plants around the condenser, then that could cause the unit to get overheated. Is the unit always hot to the touch? Is it smoking? Don’t let it worsen. Before those things even happen, clear out the clutter around the unit.

Outdated HVAC Design

When you renovate your home, it’s smart to upgrade your HVAC unit too. An outdated HVAC system won’t be able to handle the needs of your home. If your unit isn’t cooling the room as well as before, or it doesn’t get as cold as before, then it’s time to replace that with a new one.

Slow Fan

Blower fans should work efficiently. If yours is slow and sluggish, that could be due to the grime and dirt that’s accumulated on the fan. This can also be one of the reasons why you’ve got poor airflow. Have a pro clean the fan to restore its smooth, efficient operation.

Low Refrigerant Levels

If your AC is leaking, that’s usually a refrigerant problem. Signs of this are compromised airflow and reduced cooling comfort. If this isn’t fixed right away, it could lead to the unit’s gradual decline in performance.

Related Read: Why You Shouldn’t Tackle Do-It-Yourself HVAC Maintenance

Blocked Vents and Registers

These are other common problems that HVAC owners find themselves dealing with sooner or later. One way to fix this is to check if you’ve misplaced rugs or furniture. Check if anything is blocking your vents or registers and then remove them.

Wrong Size

Big isn’t always better. You need a unit that’s just the right size for your property or rooms. Anything that’s too small won’t be able to provide the level of cooling comfort that you want. On the other hand, if you pick an oversized unit, it might often cycle on and off and might not remove the humidity in your space. The result is that you’ll end up feeling like your room is even stuffier or more uncomfortable than before. Pick a unit that’s properly sized.

Leaky and Blocked Ducts

Are your ducts leaky? Are they blocked? That’s another common problem that you’ll want to look into. Dust and dirt build up over time. That’s why you need to hire pros to check the condition of your ducts. If the airflow is impeded, then that means there’s a blockage that needs to be removed. It’s easy enough to get your ducts cleaned. Also, some ducts might have cracks or holes. That will affect the airflow of your unit as well. A professional service technician, though, will know what to do to repair the damage. Don’t try to DIY by putting duct tape on the cracks or holes, since it doesn’t really work well and is only a temporary measure. Stop-gap measures won’t help you in the long run. You’ll need to hire a professional to deal with the problem. Also, old ducts require a light touch. That’s another reason why you’ll need pros with expertise and the proper tools to make sure the ductwork isn’t damaged any further.

Related Read: Why Should I Purchase An HVAC Service Agreement?

Dirty Coils

Dirt on the coils can lead to airflow issues. That’s why it’s best that you check the coil for dirt since dirt and dust build up over time. If there’s too much dirt and dust, the coil won’t be able to release the heat effectively and that’s why the air’s cooling comfort is compromised. If you don’t want that to happen, then clean those coils regularly. Hiring a pro to take care of this is convenient, though, as you can ask the technician to take care of all the other issues that need to undergo troubleshooting. To make it easier, you might want to come up with a list of the issues that you think your unit has. That should give the technician a bit of a guide on where to get started.

Warning Signs of Home Electrical Problems

This entry was posted in Electrical on by .

Over 24,100 residential electrical fires happened in 2019, according to U.S. Fire Administration statistics. Warning signs of most electrical hazards can be recognized early before they become major issues. Take a few moments to learn about some of these warning signs.

Burning Smells

Do you smell something burning other than food in your kitchen? A burning or smokey odor is a warning signal to immediately pay attention to. It may be an exposed wire, an outlet sparking, or other fire hazard in the kitchen or laundry room. Unplug everything from an outlet if it is the source of the hazard and immediately contact an electrician. If it’s something more extensive, don’t wait; call the fire department.

Erratic Flickering or Dimming Lights

Flickering lights may mean a power surge due to a weather event or an electrical system malfunction. Dimming lights may mean the lights are not receiving enough electricity. Faulty wiring or an appliance on the same circuit, using up the majority of the available power, is the most likely causes of dimming lights. When you cannot accurately diagnose the lighting issues, it’s time to reach out to an electrician.

Getting Shocked

When there are electrical wiring grounding issues, you’ll receive shocks when touching metal objects. Anything metal connected to your house’s electrical system can result in these shocks. In worst case situations, wiring not properly grounded may result in a fire or severe electrocution.

Damaged Wiring

Check your house’s power strips, surge protectors, appliances, and light fixtures for split, frayed, chewed or smashed wiring. Pulling on cords over time can split wires or fraying may be caused by wires deteriorating. If you notice electrical cords looking like they’ve been chewed, you may have rats or other vermin inside your home. Rats often chew on wires until they’re exposed to trim their teeth. Now you may need both an exterminator and an electrician if the damage is extensive.

Hot Fixtures

Lights can become dangerously hot to the touch when bulbs are too high in wattage. For example, using a 100-watt bulb instead of a 60-watt bulb recommended by the light fixture manufacturer. Improperly installed bulbs can overheat. Even long-lasting energy efficient LED lights can overheat. Halogen light bulbs burn hotter than LED and incandescent bulbs and they can become extremely hot. Incandescent bulbs left on continuously may overheat. Electrical outlets and light switches should never be hot to the touch unless they are dimmer switches.

Be on the lookout for subtle odors or signs of electrical problems. When you see or smell any electrical warning signs, call the professionals. Cool Blew’s team of expert electricians are here to inspect and repair any type of home electrical wiring issues. Call us today at 623-872-2900.

Benefits of Professional Drain Cleaning

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

Few things are more frustrating than a clogged drain in your home. Is your kitchen or bathroom sink draining slowly? The best way to avoid a plumbing emergency is to proactively have professional drain cleaning. You’ll save money in the long run and avoid a late night or holiday weekend plumbing call. Here are just some of the benefits of drain cleaning by the expert plumbers at Cool Blew.

Eliminate Clogs

What goes in your drain may eventually cause a slow or blocked drain. Mineral deposits, hair, food, and soap scum can build up inside the pipes, restricting water flow and potentially backing up your drain. Clogs show up as slow drainage. And many clogs will not resolve through plunging. Brand name drain cleaners contain chemicals that are not only harmful to your plumbing system; they’re also harmful to your health and the environment. When your drains are professionally cleaned, it’s more effective and safer than pouring in liquid drain cleaner or using a plunger.

Stop Fruit Flies and Drain Flies

You’ll find fruit flies on over ripe fruits and vegetables not refrigerated. The fermentation process attracts these bugs. You will find these insects hovering near your sink or around your house. Phorid or scuttle flies feed on decaying matter in your pipes, and these insects run rapidly across surfaces rather than flying to escape. Drain flies gorge on the debris that builds up on the inside of drains. Sewage or septic leaks feed another type, called coffin or mausoleum flies, which can emerge back up the pipes and fly out of drains. To the untrained eye it can be difficult to distinguish these types of flies. That’s when it’s time to contact a professional plumber as there may be broken underground pipes to repair and just cleaning out the sink trap may not resolve the situation.

Your Health

Bacteria and mold thrive in clogged kitchen and bathroom sinks. Stinky odors emanating from food and organic debris decaying in pipe drains can cause foul odors throughout your house. Clearing the standing water inside your pipes prevents the growth of bacteria, mold, and the associated unpleasant smells.

Healthy Pipes

Pipe corrosion and leakage happen when organic materials and chemicals get trapped in your pipes. Over time, this can potentially cause slab leaks and burst pipes which are expensive to fix. Having a trusted plumbing contractor you can count on to inspect and maintain your drainage system is the best solution—saving you money and time. Removing blockages and attending to small leaks, regular drain cleaning, using high powered water to wash the insides of your pipes and performing a video inspection of the drain lines, are what professional plumbers do best.

Choose the experienced plumbers at Cool Blew. Please call us Valley-wide at 623-872-2900.

HVAC Tips: Ideas on Keeping Your House Cool

This entry was posted in HVAC Systems on by .

The first day of summer is just around the corner. To be exact, summer arrives with the solstice on Sunday, June 20, 2021 at 8:32 p.m. Arizona time. It’s the longest day of sunshine hours and the shortest noontime shadow of the year! With all the optimal sunlight, keeping your house cool will be a priority. Here are a few tips from the HVAC experts at Cool Blew:

1. Keep your shades, blinds, or curtains closed during the day to keep direct sunlight out of your house. Install blinds on any windows or window doors without them to reflect the sun’s heat. You can even apply reflective window tint to keep you even more comfortable and save a bit of money on your energy bills.

2. Have a flat roof? Consider painting it white. The Climate Change Research Conference advises covering your roof with any of the available reflective white paints. These paints can reflect 80-90% of sunlight and protect your roof from UV light damage.

3. Don’t over cool your house. Every degree of cooling below 78 degrees can add six to eight percent to your monthly energy bill.

4. Keep the air moving in your house. Ceiling fans and portable fans help to increase air movement which increases evaporation from your skin, making the room you’re in feeling two to three degrees cooler than it is. Remember, ceiling fans help keep you cool, so there’s no reason to leave them on if you leave the room.

5. Buy an attic fan. Attic fans can reduce the heat in your attic, as well as the entire house. These devices operate using a thermostat, so they can automatically turn on and off. There are even solar-powered attic fans. An attic fan brings the attic space to match outside temperatures instead of having attic temperatures exceeding 150 degrees. Another added bonus is your air conditioner will not need to work as hard—saving you money.

6. Plant low water-use shade trees. Shade trees help to cool your house. The placement of shade trees is the key to energy savings. Planting trees on the south side and west side of your house provides the most energy benefits.

7. Add shade screens. Did you know 50% of the heat entering you home comes through your windows? Installing shade screens on east, west, and south facing windows may qualify for shade screen rebates with APS and SRP. Shade screens protect interior furniture from sun damage, reduce cooling costs, and provide privacy.

For the best service in the Phoenix area, call the professionals at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

Remembering and Honoring All Who Served this Memorial Day

This entry was posted in HVAC Systems on by .

This Memorial Day weekend, our entire team at Cool Blew would like to take this opportunity to honor the brave men and women of our armed forces who have sacrificed their lives to defend America’s freedom.

We appreciate you for trusting us to be your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC service provider in greater Phoenix. We know you have many companies to choose from, and we’re thankful for the opportunity to help you and your family.

We’re Here for You

With summer fast approaching, we know the busiest time of our service year is beginning to start. Service calls increase markedly during the summer when the temperatures heat up outside. Our friendly professionals have decades of experience servicing Arizona homes. We’re here to give you peace of mind that your home will be comfortable all summer long.

If you’re going away for the holiday, don’t be tempted to completely turn off your air conditioning system. Although you may want to set high, uncomfortable AC temperatures while you’re away, it’s not the best for your AC system. It will result in your air conditioner struggling to lower the temperature inside your home to a comfortable level upon your return, overworking your system.

Our Community

At Cool Blew, we’re proud to be part of this community. We understand that issues may come up at any time during the Memorial Day weekend. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call. As a locally-owned company, we’re here and ready to serve you—day or night.

Call us at 623-872-2900, 24 hours a day, if you run into any air conditioning, electrical, or plumbing issues.

What to Do Before Your Water Heater Breaks

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

You turn on your shower, and there’s no hot water. Or you open the garage door, and water comes gushing out onto the driveway. Many customers ask how they can prevent water heater-related problems. Here are a few things to consider.

You turn on your shower, and there’s no hot water. Or you open the garage door, and water comes gushing out onto the driveway. Many customers ask how they can prevent water heater-related problems. Here are a few things to consider.

Water Heater Inspection

On average, hot water heaters have a lifespan of 10 years. Summer heat in the Valley of the Sun, malfunctioning parts, and rust and sediment buildup can all cause premature failure. A visual inspection of your water heater only takes a few minutes. Be on the lookout for some of these common signs that indicate a possible water heater rupture.

Rust Colored Water

If you notice rusty water flowing out of hot water taps, a likely culprit is corrosion in your water heater—a clear signal to get your tank evaluated.

Pooling or Leaking

When you inspect the tank and notice water pooling underneath it or leaky pipe connections, it’s also time to call for plumbing help.

Hard Water Supply

More than 85% of America’s water is considered hard water. Phoenix is among the cities with the hardest water. Phoenix-area water has an abundance of calcium, iron, and magnesium, originating from the soil. It then travels to Phoenix area water treatment plants which contributes to hardness. Hard water minerals can build up on your water heater’s heating element. And sediment can collect at the bottom of the tank, causing the heater to run longer than necessary. As the water takes longer to heat, it causes the steel on the bottom of the water heater to deteriorate. Eventually your water heater will break whether it’s electric, gas, or solar.

Anode Rod Breakdown

Never heard of an anode rod? It’s actually a steel core wire with magnesium, aluminum, or zinc around it that protects the metal lining inside your tank to prevent premature rust and corrosion. The anode rod is designed to last about five years, but some things can shorten its lifespan. Soft water salts and well water can impact it. If your water heater is over five years old and hasn’t had the anode rod replaced, it’s time to call your local professional plumber.

Cool Blew’s expert plumbers can help to quickly spot any small leaks, check and replace the anode rod, or fix a malfunctioning part like a thermostat. We replace water heaters, too. Want to learn more about water heaters? Call the licensed plumbers at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900 for all your plumbing needs.