Keep your home or business running smoothly with our services and tips and tricks for all your HVAC and Plumbing needs. Subscribe to our blog and stay in the loop on HVAC maintenance and home comfort advice.

Subscribe Today for the Latest Tips

The “H” in HVAC Is for Halloween – A Great Reminder Winter Is Not Far Off

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .


The signs of autumn are everywhere. Pumpkins for carving, fall decorations and Halloween costumes are on display in stores. Children are choosing their favorite scary characters in preparation for the big night of trick or treating. And you are correct, the “H” in HVAC is not for Halloween – it’s for heating. However, Halloween serves as a great yearly reminder that the extreme 100+ degree temperatures of summer will soon be replaced by the cooler nights of fall. That means winter is not far off.

October is the perfect month to schedule an appointment to have your furnace inspected. The “H” in your HVAC system has been idle for months. After avoiding the extreme Arizona heat for six months, many Phoenix area residents forget winter nights in the desert can get very chilly.

Your Furnace Has Been on Summer Vacation

HVAC systems are complex, and your AC has been getting heavy use throughout the summer. Switching to heat means engaging a separate component that has not been used for a long time. Here are a few reasons why October is the perfect month for a fall HVAC checkup:

  • The Heat Is On – The first time you turn on your furnace each year can bring an unwelcome smell of burning dust. A fine layer of desert dirt and grime from summer wind storms can cover your heating elements and cause problems. During a fall service call, our technicians will inspect your furnace and remove any dust or debris from inside your heater. Also, it’s not uncommon for us to find evidence of furry friends making a home for themselves in your furnace. Air filters, which are also dust magnets, will be replaced. Remember, whenever you notice a burning smell, it’s always a good idea to have it checked out.
  • Gas Furnaces – Gas furnaces are generally very reliable. With their igniters and gas burners, they are slightly more complex than electric heaters. Unfortunately, with months of sitting idle, they don’t always fire up perfectly the first time. There is nothing more annoying than trying to figure out the instructions for lighting the pilot with a flashlight in your hand on the first cold night. To ensure a safe, first time start up for your gas furnace, have it checked in advance.
  • Have You Checked Your Thermostat Lately? – One of the most unsung and underappreciated elements of any HVAC system is the thermostat. Because they tend to work reliably and trouble free for years and years, we often inspect thermostats that are decades old. Replacing your old thermostat with a new smart thermostat can save money and make it easier to program your settings. Our service techs can explain the many options available. However, if your happy with your current thermostat, we’re happy to check it out and make sure it’s working properly.
  • Thinking Ahead to the Holidays – If you schedule a fall HVAC checkup for October or November, you can put your mind at ease knowing you’re set the holidays ahead. Now is truly the best time to get prepared for winter.

Happy Halloween

Each year, October 31st marks the start of the holiday season. We wish you and your children a safe and happy Halloween. For service so good that it’s scary call Cool Blew today for your fall tune-up.

Electricity and Your Air Conditioner – The Shocking Truth

This entry was posted in Electrical on by .


The U.S Census Bureau reported that Phoenix recently surpassed Philadelphia as the fifth largest city in the United States. 50 years ago, the number of residents in the Valley of the Sun hovered around 500,000. The current population of Phoenix is 1.6 million. This astonishing growth can be attributed to many factors. Perfect winter weather, a general migration in the U.S. from the colder Northeast to the warmer climates of the Southwest, the abundance and availability of affordable electric power and, of course, two very important words: air conditioning. Reasonably priced home air conditioning systems popularized in the 60’s and 70’s made it possible for Arizona’s exponential population growth. Air conditioning made the population grow. But, it’s electricity that makes your air conditioner go.

Facts About Air Conditioning and Electricity

It takes a fair amount of electricity to power the air conditioning system that cools your Arizona home. In fact, your AC unit uses more electricity than any other appliance (approximately 3000 to 5000 watts of power for every hour of use). This translates into extremely high energy bills during the summer months. Two-thirds of all homes in the US have air conditioning. However, in Phoenix it’s over 90 percent. Nationally, over 11 billion dollars per year is spent on electrical power for air conditioning.

Air Conditioning Breaker Switch

In the summer, when your AC unit is running constantly for weeks at a time, it is not uncommon for the breaker switch to be tripped – sometimes for no apparent reason. Possible explanations for your breaker switch to go off might be power dips or surges on the power grid or electrical issues due to lightening from storms. When your air conditioner mysteriously stops working, always check the breaker switch first. If your breaker switch is constantly going off, that might be an indication of a more serious electrical problem. You may have an undersized breaker, a faulty breaker switch or a loose breaker, which might need to be replaced.

Common Electrical Problems with Your Air Conditioner

Air conditioners are loaded with electrical circuits, wires and parts as well as fans and compressor motors. Over time, these components are subject to wearing down and may be degraded by heat, sunlight, extreme weather, gnawing critters, etc. You may be tempted (after reading a book or watching a YouTube video) to work on your own electrical issues. However, if you’re not an electrician or an AC technician, it’s best not to mess with wires, connectors and electrical problems in general. The advice we give our customers is to stick to changing the air filters and resetting the breaker switch. Electrical issues can cause serious damage to your air conditioning unit and more importantly, to you. Please be safe and call us immediately when you notice electrical issues.

What’s a Capacitor?

Capacitors are quite common, critical parts, central to all electrical motors, including the ones in your air conditioner. Capacitors regulate the start energy for the electric motors. Capacitors come in many shapes and sizes. Used mainly to store and release electric charges (similar to a short-term battery) capacitors regulate the motors in the compressor, blower and fan. If you have a faulty capacitor, you may notice a clicking sound upon start up or a loud hum if the motor can’t get going. Both sounds mean you should call for service immediately.

Leave Electrical Problems to the Professionals

When it comes to electricity and your air conditioner, the shocking truth is many people are injured each year in home repair related electrical accidents. Please remember electrical accidents can cause serious damage to you, to your air conditioning unit and to your home. When you have electrical issues, call the professionals at Cool Blew.

Illnesses You Can Get from a Poorly Maintained Air Conditioner

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .

If you’ve ever caught a summer cold, you know how surprisingly bad they can be. In fact, these nasty viruses often last longer than winter colds! Why? In many cases, the culprit is an air conditioner circulating less than pristine air. The reality is a poorly maintained air conditioner can cause a range of very unpleasant health problems.

Even if you keep your home pristinely clean, unseen pollutants can circulate through your HVAC system if it’s not clean. Often, these go under the radar because they’re not visible to the naked eye. And, their effects are usually associated with other conditions or causes.

Is Your Air Conditioner Making You Sick?

Of course, not every illness can be traced back to your HVAC system, but the following symptoms could indicate the possibility of an AC-related illness:

  • Frequent colds
  • Ear infections
  • Chronic headaches
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Lingering cough
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Irritated nasal passages
  • Sore throat
  • Dry or watery eyes

Mold, dust, dander, bacteria and viruses can all circulate through your HVAC system. Individuals living or working in an environment where these particulates are in the air frequently report health problems ranging from allergies to serious illnesses. For those with weakened immune systems, young children and the elderly, symptoms can often be more pronounced.

What You Can Do

Air conditioner filters are designed to clean inside air and prevent the circulation of symptom-causing particulates. However, as they collect pollutants, they become less effective. Not only does this decrease the air quality, it also causes an air conditioner to work less efficiently. An easy and simple way to prevent symptoms from occurring is to change filters on a monthly basis.

Professional HVAC System Maintenance

Although changing your filter is an important step in preventing illnesses, it’s not enough to eliminate all pollutants. HVAC systems require regular maintenance. This includes cleaning the system and, if necessary, using a chemical cleaner to kill fungi, bacteria and viruses.

Learn more now about preventing illness by maintaining your HVAC system. Call the experts at Cool Blew today!

3 Reasons to Choose a Tankless Water Heater

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .


The vast majority of homes in Phoenix, Arizona have traditional gas or electric tank water heaters. These are the big white tanks typically installed in garages or basements. While this type of water heater is ubiquitous in homes across the valley, it’s not the only option. A tankless water heater system is an option that a growing number of homeowners are moving to because of the notable advantages.

What Is a Tankless Water Heater?

Also called instantaneous or continuous flow, tankless water heaters heat water as it flows through the device. They do not retain any water internally, except for what is in a heat exchange coil. A tankless heater can be installed either at the point-of-use or in a central location to provide hot water for an entire home.

What are the advantages of this alternative to traditional tank water heaters? Here are three benefits to consider:

Lower Costs

Because tankless systems heat water as needed, rather than keeping an entire tank hot for your use, it typically costs much less to operate. There is also less water waste as you don’t have to run the tap while you wait for water to warm up. Over time, this monthly savings offsets the cost of a new water heater system.

Never-Ending Hot Water

It’s definitely no fun when you’re in the middle of a shower, and the hot water runs out. With a tankless system, you’re not using a limited tank of hot water. So, there’s never any risk of running out. As long as the tankless water heater is functional, you’ll always have plenty of hot water.

More Garage Space

If you have your water heater tank in your garage, you’re well-aware of the space it takes up. In many smaller, older homes, there’s simply not enough room to accommodate a bulky water heater. When every square foot counts, a tankless system is the right choice.

Are you ready to learn more about replacing your water heater with a new tankless model? Call the plumbing experts at Cool Blew today!

Does Closing Room Vents Lower Cooling Costs?

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

We get it! You’ve been paying high cooling costs for months to keep your home comfortable during the long, sweltering Arizona summer. And, temperatures are still climbing above 100 degrees even though fall is just around the corner. You want relief and may be tempted to shut room vents to save a few dollars.
Don’t do it!

But, It Seems Logical…

It may make sense that if you shut room vents, you’ll be using less air to cool down your home. Unfortunately, air conditioning doesn’t quite work that way. Room vents are not installed in your home to restrict airflow. Rather, their purpose is to control the direction of air movement as it passes into a room.

Shutting a vent all the way doesn’t provide an effective seal, and it can cause damage to your HVAC system. Why? The motor that powers the blower fan in your system’s air handler is designed to push against a maximum air pressure. If the pressure is increased due to a blocked vent, it impacts the motor and will result in a drop in airflow throughout the system. If your system’s blower has a variable speed motor, this pressure will cause the motor to ramp up to its highest power level which will result in higher utility bills and greater stress on the motor. Over time, this can lead to problems with the compressor and evaporator coils.

Alternatives to Shutting Vents

Now that you know that shutting vents isn’t an effective way to save money and may actually cause problems with your HVAC system, it’s good to know that there are some ways you can lower your home cooling costs. Here are some easy strategies that you can use:

  • Maintain a thermostat reading around 78 degrees during the day.
  • Change air filters once a month.
  • Clean vent covers and ensure they’re not blocked.
  • Keep your outdoor unit clean so that it can expel heat.

Want to learn more about reducing your monthly home cooling expense? Call the experts at Cool Blew.

Capacitor – New Marvel Superhero or Essential Air Conditioning Electrical Part?

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .


Ninety-three million miles away, at the center of the solar system, this perfect sphere of blazing hot plasma (5800 degrees Kelvin) beams relentless heatwave after heatwave to the innocent and perspiring residents of Phoenix. As the Arizona desert becomes super-heated with no end to summer in sight, a sizzling city pins its hopes on the diminutive electrical legend, CAPACI-TOR! Able to start air conditioning motors in a flash, CAPACI-TOR’s electrostatic field is essential in cooling homes and buildings in the Valley of the Sun.

No, “capacitor” is not a new Marvel character for summer release but rather your air conditioner’s electrical superhero. Electric motors within your air conditioner rely on capacitors to run smoothly. Did you know that over three quarters of all AC service problems and repairs are related to electrical issues?

Why Are Capacitors So Important to My Air Conditioner?

HVAC systems contain many electrical circuits, parts and components. If circuit boards can be considered the brains of the unit, then capacitors are the instigators. Capacitors regulate the “start-up” and “run” energy for the electric motors. Capacitors come in all shapes and sizes and are found in virtually all electric motors. In air conditioners, capacitors are small cylinders about the size of a Dixie cup used mainly to store and release electric charges not unlike a short-term battery. Capacitors regulate the motors in the compressor, blower and fan. If the capacitor fails, then the motor will soon stop working, and you may notice a clicking sound or a loud hum. Either noise is, unfortunately, not a good sign and you should call for service immediately.

What Can Cause A Capacitor to Fail?

The electrical system in your air conditioner is built to last. However, Arizona is a tough environment for your most important summertime appliance. Electrical thunderstorms, lightening, power failures and resulting power surges (when the power grid goes back on) can wreak havoc on capacitors. Like all the components in your air conditioner, capacitors can wear down over time. AC units operate six months or more in Phoenix year in, year out. All that heavy use and vibration takes a toll, especially on precision electronic parts.

What Should I Do If My Air Conditioner Becomes “In-Capacitated?”

Electrical problems and capacitor repairs are not for do-it-yourselfers. As capacitors fail, they often open up which, if not handled properly, can result in leakage of toxic materials. Our trained technicians will perform a detailed inspection and restore your capacitors and air conditioner to top form. Just like your car, regular maintenance on your HVAC unit will help prevent major problems from occurring. Why not call the experts at Cool Blew today!

Desert Dust, Asthma, Fall Allergies and Your Air Conditioner

This entry was posted in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) on by .


As the Labor Day weekend approaches, Arizona school children have been attending classes for almost a month. Along with returning to school, comes inevitable sick days. Did you know, one of the leading causes of absenteeism due to illness is asthma? On average, almost ten percent of all school children experience asthma or some form of respiratory distress during their formative years. However, children are not the only ones affected by respiratory conditions.

Arizona is home to legions of retirees, many of whom escaped to Phoenix for warmer winters and the desert climate. Unfortunately, due to dust, pollution and plenty of pollen, the air quality in Phoenix is not the best. What does that have to do with your air conditioner? Plenty! Your air conditioner filters the air you breath. Indoor air quality is crucial. Given the fact that most people spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors, properly filtered air is vital for the care and comfort of your family. Homeowners are generally on alert for allergens in springtime, but autumn presents its own set of challenges.

Autumn Ragweed and Other Allergens

The University of Arizona Health Science Allergy Advisor states that pollen and particulates from Bermuda grass, ragweed, Russian thistle, pigweed and desert broom all are of concern in the fall. These tiny particulates can irritate respiratory passages and cause problems for those who suffer from asthma. Replacing your air conditioning filters on a monthly basis is advised, especially if you have someone with a respiratory condition living in your household.

Is Phoenix the Dustiest City in America?

There’s no doubt, Phoenix is the hottest city in America. It might also be the dustiest. If you’ve been outside during a dust storm or observed monsoon coverage on TV, you’ve seen the awe-inspiring dust clouds that extend for miles across the Phoenix metroplex and hundreds of feet into the air. Tons of wind whipped desert dust flies through the air, and some of that dust makes its way into your home. As your air conditioning filter fills up with dirt and dust, the quality of your indoor air goes down. If you’ve noticed your child wheezing or coughing more than usual, it might be time for a service checkup on your AC unit.

The Air We Breathe

Though most of us are guilty of taking oxygen for granted, the air we breathe is the most important factor to a healthy life. The Survival Rule of Threes states; you can go three weeks without food, three days without water but only three minutes without air. If you or a loved one has experienced shortness of breath due to asthma or a respiratory disorder, you know how precious air can be. Most air conditioners do a great job of cooling the indoor environment throughout the scorching Arizona summer and blazing temperatures in fall. However, regular AC service calls are essential to maintaining a high-quality, dust and particulate-free indoor environment.

Clean Air and Expert Service Is Just a Phone Call Away

At Cool Blew, our experienced air conditioning professionals are experts at spotting small problems before they turn into big breakdowns. Regular maintenance is the key to enjoying excellent air quality in your home environment. Why not call us today for a fall checkup?

Is It Time to Consider a New Air Conditioner for Next Summer?

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .


Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer for most regions in the U.S. However, for Arizona residents, summertime extends well beyond September with triple digit temperatures registering in October and November. The unrelenting desert environment and extreme temperatures push your air conditioning unit to the limit. If you’ve had a difficult summer due to air conditioner issues and downtime, you know how frustrating it can be to live without proper home cooling while your air conditioner is getting repaired. If your unit is nearing the end of its useful service life, now might be the perfect time to consider your options and plan ahead so you have a trouble-free summer in 2019.

I’ve Paid a Lot of Money for Repairs – I Don’t Even Want to Think About My AC

Human nature tends to deal with problems as they present themselves. If an issue has been solved, most people move on. If you’ve paid for air conditioner repair bills, logic would seem to dictate trying to squeeze another year out of your current unit. Depending on the age and service record of your air conditioner, that may or may not be a good idea. In other words, repair bills tend to increase as your air conditioner nears the end of its life. Here are five questions to consider regarding this essential home appliance.

  1. What Are the Benefits of Purchasing A New Air Conditioner?
    Probably the number one benefit to purchasing a new air conditioner versus continued repairs on your old unit is peace of mind. AC units seem to break down at the absolute worst times (during heatwaves, long holiday weekends, just before family events.) If you are living under the constant fear of not knowing what will happen next, it might be time to opt for a new unit. Other advantages include cleaner air and significant energy savings. Choosing a new AC unit with a high SEER rating will give you better energy efficiency which will result in lowering your monthly electric bill.

  2. How Old Is Your Air Conditioner?
    Phoenix has experienced incredible growth over the last decade. Many residents are new to the area. Unless a homeowner purchased their air conditioner, most people are not aware of the exact age of their unit. Air conditioners are manufactured to high standards with many AC units lasting 10 years or more. However, the severe desert climate, with its dust storms, high winds and intense heat, punishes your air conditioner and makes it work much harder. In fact, most AC units run full blast for six months out of the year. That’s a lot of wear and tear. Much like an automobile that has been driven hard for many years in a row, at a certain point, major components start to breakdown. It is not uncommon for Arizona air conditioners to need to be replaced after seven or eight years of service.

  3. When It Comes to Repairs – How Much Is Too Much?
    The nightmare scenario for homeowners is paying thousands of dollars for major repairs two or three years in a row only to find out you need to replace the entire unit anyhow. There is a general rule of thumb that states if your estimated repair bills are going to exceed a third of the cost of a new unit, you might be better off to skip the repairs and opt for a brand-new air conditioner. Remember, if your unit is eight, nine or ten years old, many of the major components will need to be replaced.

  4. I Don’t Know Anything About Air Conditioners – How Can I Make an Informed Decision?
    As with any major purchase, knowledge is your best friend. The perfect place to start is with a complete HVAC inspection and check up by the experienced professionals at Cool Blew. You’ll want to establish the general condition of all phases of your HVAC system. If you have service records, you can discuss them with our experienced service professionals and add up how much has already been spent and what costs you might expect to incur over the next two to three years. Possibly the most important decision you will make is which company you choose to hire. At Cool Blew, we pride ourselves on providing great service and honest advice. We will review your situation with you and recommend the best possible course of action.

  5. Do I Need to Decide Right Now?
    Summers are extremely busy for HVAC companies. Things generally start to slow down in the late fall. For many homeowners, it can take a long time to research, consider all options and complete the decision-making process regarding the purchase of a new air conditioner. Winter in Phoenix (November through March) is the ideal time to have a new unit installed.

    Choose Comfort and Reliability for Your Family

    Whether you’re considering a new air conditioner, need AC repairs or just want to schedule a complete HVAC inspection to give you a clear picture of the status of your HVAC needs, give Cool Blew a call. We’re straight shooters, we’re friendly, and we love providing great AC service

What Electricians Want You to Know about Electrical Storms

This entry was posted in Electrical on by .


Monsoon season is in full swing, and it’s difficult to not be in awe of the amazing displays of lightening that happen during our impressive summer storms. Yet, those lightning strikes can also cause costly damage to homes. With every home in the greater Phoenix area at risk of a strike’s electric surge, our team of professional electricians wanted to share some basic precautions to keep you, your loved ones and your home safe.

What to Do Before a Storm

Protect Appliances
A safe home begins with having proper copper grounding and wiring. If your home was built before the 1970s, you may have wiring that puts your appliances, including your HVAC system, at great risk. Not sure if your home is properly grounded? Check your wall outlets. If you see three-prong outlets, you’re in good shape. If there are two prong outlets, you could have a problem.

Consider a Whole Home Surge Protector
You probably already have surge protectors for some of your home’s electrical appliances and equipment, but did you know you can protect your entire electrical panel? A whole home surge protector absorbs the electricity from a lightning strike so that it doesn’t damage your home’s electrical system. These incredibly useful devices offer a tremendous amount of assurance for a relatively low price.

Check Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage
There are wide variances in coverage when it comes to damage caused by lightning strikes. Considering we live in an area where lightning is common, it’s a good idea to know what your policy will cover if your home is hit.

What to Do During a Storm

Unplug Appliances and Electronics
Power surges can quickly destroy appliances, computers, TVS, modems and other electronic devices. Before a storm hits, unplug items. Because electricity can travel through electrical wiring and phone lines, do not touch any outlets or landline phones during a storm.

Avoid Water
Electricity can also travel through plumbing. So, avoid the bathtub, shower and indoor swimming pools and spas while there is lightning.

Stay Inside
Lightning can continue to strike from a departing storm. To stay safe, stay inside at least 30 minutes following the last strike.

Want to learn more about protecting your home from lightning during electrical storms? Call the experts at Cool Blew. We can provide you with the information and solutions you need to stay safe through monsoon storms and all year long.

Don’t Ignore Toilet Leaks

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .


You may be surprised to learn that water leaks account for more than 10 percent of all water use in the average American home. And, toilets are among the most common sources of these leaks. Just one toilet leak can waste up to five gallons of water a minute. That adds up to 7,200 gallons of water each day! This isn’t just wasted water, it’s wasted money.

How can you tell if your toilet has a leak? The most common sign is the sound of running water. This can be a subtle hiss or an irritating trickling sound. Yet, water can also flow through the tank silently. This is why leaks often go unnoticed for an extended period of time.

Check for Leaks

If you suspect a toilet leak, there’s an easy test that you can do to check. Remove your toilet tank lid and drop 10 drops of food coloring into the tank. Put the lid back on, but do not flush. Wait 20 minutes and then look in the toilet bowl. If you see colored water, you have a leak.

Another way to identify a leak is to check your water meter. First, make sure no water is being used inside or outside of your house. Locate your water meter and check the leak indicator to see if it’s moving. If the dial is moving, you have a leak.

Causes of Toilet Leaks

Leaky flapper valves and fill valves are among the most common causes of a leaking toilet. Flush handle problems are also common. If the handle needs to be jiggled to stop the toilet from running, the flush level bar and chain may be sticking. Overflow tube leaks can also occur. The water level should be set so that it is about even with the fill line on the back of the toilet tank. If the water is too high in the toilet tank, the water level can be adjusted by turning the adjustment screw or by bending the float arm down so that the water shuts off at a level below the overflow tube.

While some homeowners tackle toilet leak repairs as do-it-yourself projects, Cool Blew also provides professional toilet repair and replacement services.