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Eco-Friendly Home Tips to Make the Most of Earth Day 2021

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance and tagged on by .

April 22nd will mark 51 years of Earth Day celebrations. It’s a wonderful opportunity to take small steps toward changing your consumption habits. The ability to positively impact the environment around your home through simple fixes can mutually benefit your family, neighborhood, and ultimately our world. Let’s look at some ways to get involved besides classic Earth Day activities like picking up trash and tree planting campaigns. Here are eight eco-friendly home tips to save energy and natural resources.

Fix Leaky Faucets

A slow drip from one leaky home faucet can waste 7-10 gallons of water every day. That’s over 3,600 gallons a year, increasing your water bill by over 10% each month. That’s more than 60 showers annually! In other words, learn how to stop the drip and call in the experts, like Cool Blew, to ensure the water is only flowing when you want it to.

Turn the Faucet Off

What’s the best way to save up to eight gallons of water a day? Shut off the sink faucet when brushing your teeth! You can also conserve water while washing your hands. Turn off the tap when scrubbing your hands with soap before washing for 20 seconds.

Clean Refrigerator Coils

The condenser coils on the back of your refrigerator should be cleaned every six months by dusting or vacuuming. Keeping your freezer and refrigerator full helps to retain cold air better, utilizing less energy. Inspect and clean gaskets periodically to help your refrigerator operate more efficiently.

Vary Cooking Times

By cooking early in the morning or at night, you’ll reduce energy consumption especially if you’ve signed up for off-peak hours energy plans with your local utility company. When using your oven, turn it off 15 minutes before the timer is up. Your food will continue to heat up.

Turn on Ceiling Fans

According to Energy.gov, when using air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees Fahrenheit with no reduction in comfort.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Did you know you can save up to 8% on home cooling costs for every degree set above 78 degrees? By replacing your thermostat with a smart thermostat, you can earn even more energy savings with an environmentally friendly system which pays for itself.

Wash Laundry in Cold Water

Your washing machine uses almost 90% of its energy-related consumption towards heating the water. Choose the energy saving setting for your clothes. Hot water also can fade, shrink, or wrinkle certain fabrics. So stick to the cold.

Turn Dishwasher Heat Dry Off

One of the easiest ways to save about 15% of your dishwasher’s energy usage is to turn off the heat dry function. The air-drying cycle will dry your dishes and save money. If your dishwasher doesn’t have this function, simply crack open the door to let dishes dry once the load has finished washing.

It makes good sense for Earth Day to implement these simple, cost-effective, home lifestyle changes. It’s more important than ever to be environmentally friendly, and every tiny bit helps to save planet Earth.
Not everyone wants to take a DIY approach for Earth Day 2021. We get it! That’s why Cool Blew offers a team of licensed professionals to help you. Call the experts at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

HVAC Unit Recycling – What You Should Know

This entry was posted in HVAC Systems on by .

Here in the desert, we all heavily rely on cooled air to keep us comfortable for an extended part of the year. It’s hot here, and air conditioning is essential to making it livable.

With the relentless heat that we experience, our HVAC systems work hard and often need to be replaced sooner than they do in other parts of the country. With Earth Day later this month, here’s what you need to know about recycling an aging HVAC system to ensure you’re also protecting the environment and using resources wisely.

Most HVAC contractors, including Cool Blew, remove old equipment as part of the process of installing a new system. HVAC system parts can then be recycled, including steel, aluminum, copper, and brass components. No, it’s not as simple as tossing components into a recycling bin. Materials must be separated and organized by metal type. The specific components that can be recycled include:

  • Motors
  • Coils
  • Sheet metal
  • Compressors
  • Brass fittings
  • Copper tubing
  • Furnaces
  • Metal duct work
  • Cardboard boxes

The items that can’t be recycled include:

  • Fiberboard
  • Capacitors
  • Tiny plastic parts
  • Flex duct

What about Refrigerant?

Leftover refrigerant in HVAC systems must be reclaimed, so that it isn’t left to evaporate and contribute to ozone depletion. Reclamation is required by the EPA, and HVAC technicians carry licenses to do it following specific safety guidelines. Air conditioning technicians are also required to keep logs about refrigerant usage. This includes details on storing, reclaiming, and charging air conditioners with refrigerant.

Get a Free Estimate

If you’re ready for a new HVAC system, call Cool Blew today. We can help you determine which products will work best for your home. Call us at 623-872-2900 to obtain a free estimate and to get more details on recycling your existing system.

What to Do about a Clogged Shower Drain

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

Tired of taking a shower and being ankle deep in a murky, soapy pool of unpleasant looking water? If your shower water is draining slowly, or not draining at all, it’s a sign your shower drain is clogged.

A clogged shower drain may be caused by a small blockage or a major obstruction in your main sewer line. It’s important to determine the source of the blockage as it could cause extensive damage over time. When a drain cleaner, like Drano, doesn’t work to unclog your drain, and you’re continuing to wade in a puddle of water, it’s time to call a professional.

Here are some of the common causes of clogged shower drains:

Mineral Deposits

Most Arizona residents know we have some of the hardest water in the United States. Hard water has a high percentage of calcium and magnesium ions dissolved in it. Studies have shown the Phoenix Metro area has water hardness, measured in grains per gallon, ranging from 12 to 18 grains. Considered by water quality guidelines to be exceedingly high hardness and without a properly functioning home water softening system, mineral scaling over time on the insides of your pipes will cause drain clogs.

Hair

When you take a shower you naturally shed hairs and millions of dead skin cells. Hair and skin cells can wrap around waxy deposits or stick to grease from soap or even dirt. Over time these hairs and dead skin cells can stick to the walls of your drainpipe causing shower drain blockages.

Soap

You’re probably well acquainted with a white chalky residue on the shower surface. It’s not just an eyesore. A build-up of soap scum from the fats and wax in soap combined with minerals, dirt and hair, can cause the drain to clog and be a serious plumbing problem.

Tree Roots

Believe it or not, tree roots are a common cause of drain clogs. Tree roots in search of water sometimes grow into small underground pipe cracks over time obstructing the flow of water. A big problem you can’t fix yourself.

Smells

An unpleasant smell may emanate from your drain. This is another sign of a blocked drain, caused by the debris clogging the inner walls of the pipes. Large drain blockages may cause bathroom flooding or leaks due to standing water seeping through shower joints. Shower caulking or grout may weaken allowing standing water to migrate into the shower walls resulting in serious, costly damage.

If your shower drain repeatably clogs, and chemical drain cleaning products don’t resolve the problem, call a professional. These drain cleaning chemicals may seem like an inexpensive easy fix, but continued use of these caustic chemicals can damage your shower fittings, pipes, contaminate the environment, and be hazardous to your health. Cool Blew has years of experience dealing with shower drain maintenance, drain cleaning, and main line sewer blockage repair. Call Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

HVAC Strategies to Prevent Hay Fever

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .

Hay fever season is here for an estimated 40 to 60 million Americans. If you’re one of the unlucky sufferers of this common condition, you’re probably already suffering from sneezing, sniffling, and itchy, watery eyes. Luckily, spring HVAC maintenance can remove many of the allergens that can cause symptoms of hay fever. Proper maintenance can remove pesky allergens like dust mites, mold, and pollen, helping you avoid irritating allergic symptoms. In fact, these common home contaminants found in your indoor air can be easily controlled.

Use high quality air filters

You know air filters are your first line of defense against poor air quality in your home. MERV is the filter industry standard. Filters with higher MERV ratings offer increased filtration. Look for MERV ratings of at least 8, with 20 being the highest rating. This will go a long way toward reducing indoor allergens. Replace air filters every month for best results. Dirty air filters not only will contribute to seasonal allergy symptoms, they also decrease HVAC system efficiency.

Clean the outdoor unit

The outdoor HVAC unit pulls in air circulating throughout your home. Airborne particles make the air in your home harder to breathe. Check for dust, dirt, and debris and clear it away from the unit frequently to keep allergens from being pulled into the system and entering inside.

Dust house vents

Even if you make it a habit to dust weekly you may forget to dust air return vents. Dust mites are the most common hay fever trigger, so cleaning your air ducts will get rid of dust mites and help reduce allergy and breathing symptoms. Cool air transported through air ducts can also lead to condensation and mold which is a major irritant for many allergy sufferers. Dust lingering in home vents and registers will blow throughout your home, so clean them on a regular basis. Use a damp or treated cleaning cloth to keep from kicking up dust particles and worsening your allergy symptoms.

Schedule an annual maintenance appointment

Spring allergy season is a great time to schedule HVAC maintenance.. Servicing by an HVAC professional will help reduce indoor allergens and ensure your system is healthy, and your air filtration system is dust and blockage free.

Cool Blew offers expert maintenance services, which can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. Call Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

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

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .

You enjoy being handy around the house, making common household repairs with a wrench or screwdriver. We get it! Saving yourself a great deal of money and honing your handyman skills is rewarding. However, HVAC maintenance and repairs simply shouldn’t be something to add to your list of do-it-yourself projects.

The following are just a few of the many reasons why it’s wise to only let a skilled, experienced HVAC technician maintain and repair your system:

1. HVAC Systems Need Professional Tools

HVAC systems need to be periodically serviced, repaired, and carefully calibrated with equipment and tools designed specifically for HVAC specialists. Everyday tools are not only impractical when it comes to fixing your HVAC system, they can be risky.

2. Safety Threats

HVAC systems require knowledgeable and experienced technicians who are trained to minimize the risks of working with flammable, pressurized gas, high electrical voltage and environmentally toxic combustion fumes that have the potential of causing injury or even death.

3. Decreased HVAC System Capacity

Do-it-yourself repairs and system tune ups have a high likelihood of decreasing the operating life and efficiency of your system. Without professional training, you can make mistakes with the system that could prove to be difficult to resolve in the future. And there’s always the chance that you can unknowingly turn a minor problem into something major, which can lead to expensive repairs down the road.

4. Voided HVAC Warranty

Replacing parts on your HVAC unit with generic parts or performing any do-it-yourself maintenance will likely result in a voided warranty. You must work with an HVAC trained and licensed professional as all repairs and maintenance usually require documentation by the HVAC manufacturer. In other words, to maintain your warranty, don’t do the job yourself.

Call Cool Blew Instead

We know that it can be appealing to attempt a DIY project like HVAC maintenance. But, stop before you start. For expert HVAC maintenance that will keep both your warranty protected and give you peace of mind, call Cool Blew instead at 623-872-2900.

A trained professional can detect HVAC issues before they cause bigger system problems. The benefits of using a trained HVAC professional will far exceed the potential damage you may incur by doing DIY servicing and cleaning of your system.

Dirty Evaporator Coil? How to Clean an AC Evaporator Coil

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

A well-functioning evaporator coil is essential to the operational efficiency of your furnace or air conditioning system. It also impacts how your heating system works if you’re using a heat pump. If your evaporator coil is dirty, that keeps it from absorbing enough heat, which means the refrigerant running through the evaporator coil isn’t warming up as much as it should. That’s very bad news, as a cold refrigerant creates water vapor in your air to freeze, instead of condensing that into a liquid. As a result, the evaporator coil can end up frosting over. Don’t let that happen. Cleaning the coil will do a lot to restore function and ensure a longer service life for your AC. If you’re wondering how you could go about cleaning that AC component, here are a few tips to help you.

How to Clean the Evaporator Coil

This task is easy enough to do. If you want to try a DIY approach to the problem, then follow these steps on how to clean evaporator coils:

  • First, turn off the air conditioning system. Switch the thermostat to off and unplug the unit. That way, you won’t need to worry about the AC accidentally turning on while you’re tinkering with its parts.
  • Once that step is done, remove the access panel on the furnace. It’s the same if you have an air conditioning system. Lift that panel and you’ll expose the coil.
  • Spray a no-rinse cleaner on the fins of the evaporator coil. Make sure you read through the instructions properly, though, before you direct the spray cleaner can to the coil.
  • If there’s debris that just won’t let go, then use a gentle nylon brush or paintbrush to clear that away.
  • Put the access panel back once the coil is clean, turn the AC back on, and you’re done.

If you want to try your hand at taking care of this task on your own, then these are the steps you’ll need to follow. However, if you have no time for this, or you’d rather let a professional handle this in case you’re afraid of making a mistake—perfectly reasonable concerns, of course—then start looking for a technician. Here are other reasons why you’ll want to get a pro for the job.

Why Should I Hire a Service Contractor?

The task might seem easy enough to handle. And if your only issue is with cleaning the coil, then you can expect to spend no more than a few minutes on the task or at the very least, the better part of an hour. However, if there are other issues that arise, or already existing problems, you’ll need to do more than clean the coil to get your AC unit working without a hitch. That’s where a professional comes in. Hiring a service contractor means you have an expert who can look at the problem, determine what’s causing the issue, and provide a solution. Pros also know what signs to watch out for, what faulty components are likely at the root of your problems, and what can be done to fix the situation.

Should I Repair or Replace?

In some cases, though, repairs can only get you so far. If you’ve hired a proto look at the problem and the contractor points out reasons why it’s better to replace your AC unit rather than spending money on one repair after another, listen to that advice. Take it to heart. If the repairs have been more frequent lately, then you’re only doing stop-gap measures. Stop throwing money down the drain and start looking around for a replacement AC unit. The sooner you get a new unit in place, the sooner you can forget your worries.

Related Read: Replace the Air Conditioner or Just the Evaporator Coil?

Should I Get a Maintenance Plan?

One of the best things about hiring service providers these days is that many of them offer maintenance plans. Anyone with an AC unit knows how inconvenient it can be to keep tabs on your AC’s maintenance schedule. Paying for a maintenance plan, though, means that someone else will handle that from now on. They’ll take it off your hands, so you won’t need to worry about forgetting to hire a service contractor to clean and perform maintenance service on your unit.

How Do I Choose a Technician?

Now all that’s left is for you to hire the right technician for the job. There are plenty of options, for sure, but not all of them will be the right ones for your needs. Here’s a list of tips to make this easier for you:

  • Ask around. It wouldn’t hurt to reach out to people you know and trust in the area. Reach out to them for recommendations and suggestions on which service companies for AC repairs and maintenance satisfy their needs. What company do they call?
  • Do your homework. Start looking for companies that fit the bill. Which ones offer the services and maintenance plans you need? Be sure to go over the plans. What are the terms and conditions?
  • Check the reviews. What’s the reigning feedback about the company? Are there a lot of positive comments or are there a ton of negative reviews?If there are even complaints lodged against the company, then spare yourself the trouble. Look elsewhere.
  • Hire local. When you hire a service provider, start with local options. They’re much more likely to make room for you on their calendar, especially if you’re close by. The proximity means that they can get to your home with ease. Take advantage of that.
  • Know the signs. Be on the lookout for any signs that you might be dealing with a dodgy service provider. Listen to your instincts. If they’re telling you that something is off, walk away and start looking for a trusted technician.

Whether it’s to clean the coil, perform repairs or maintenance, and even install a new unit, hiring the services of a professional technician will go a long way to giving you peace of mind.

Schedule Your Spring HVAC Maintenance

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .

Spring is rapidly approaching with temperatures climbing, and flowers already in bloom. As you prepare for the seasonal shift, don’t forget HVAC maintenance.

The optimal time to schedule air conditioning maintenance is now. Damage or stress placed on your system over the past months can be addressed with some springtime attention. Air conditioning maintenance includes a professional inspection, tune up, and cleaning by a trained Cool Blew technician. We highly recommend scheduling bi-annual HVAC system tune ups—one in the fall for heating, and one in the spring for your air conditioner.

Why Is Spring the Right Time for HVAC Service?

Triple-digit temperatures will be here soon, requiring you to flip the switch on your air conditioner. It’s no surprise that late spring and summer are peak times for HVAC repairs, placing HVAC technicians in high demand.

When you schedule a professional tune up prior to when the peak temperatures hit, you’ll be guaranteed a convenient appointment. You’ll also gain the peace of mind knowing that your system is ready to keep you cool all summer long. Post-winter repairs can also be handled proactively.

Why put off HVAC maintenance for when we’re in the midst of a scorching heat wave? Be prepared by taking the preventive route. Schedule professional maintenance now, and you’ll be glad that you did this summer.

Springtime Maintenance Checklist

During maintenance service, one of our technicians will perform a tune up and cleaning that includes:

  • Air filter – Clean or replace if needed
  • Bearings – Inspect for wear and lubricate
  • Blower motor – Measure amperage and voltage
  • Capacitors – Inspect and test
  • Compressor – Monitor, measure amperage and volt draw, and wiring connections
  • Condensate drain – Flush and treat with anti-algae
  • Condenser coil – Clean and remove debris
  • Contactors – test and inspect for burned or pitted contacts
  • Duct work – inspect for energy loss
  • Electrical disconnect box – Inspect for proper rating and safe installation
  • Electrical wiring – Inspect and tighten connections and inspect for exposed wiring
  • Fan blade – Inspect
  • Indoor coil – Inspect
  • Refrigerant – Monitor operating pressures
  • Safety devices – Inspect for proper operation
  • Service valves – Inspect for proper operation
  • Thermostat – Test for proper operation, calibrate, and level

Residential Preventive Maintenance

Don’t forget to ask about our residential preventive maintenance agreements. You can gain valuable benefits, including priority service, discounts on repairs, no overtime fees, and more.

Call today to schedule your spring maintenance with Cool Blew at 623-872-2900.

Understanding Home Electrical Outlets

This entry was posted in Electrical on by .

Did you know that the average home has nearly 70 electrical outlets? Cool Blew’s team of licensed and insured electricians can expertly repair and install outlets throughout your home or business. Here’s a brief list of the most common types of outlets:

Three-Prong Standard Outlets

Standard outlets are key to providing power to your plug-in devices and appliances. This type of outlet provides two long uppers slots and a bottom u-shaped slot for grounding to help prevent electrical shock. Typically, home outlets are either 15-amp or 20-amp. High demand appliances, such as cooking ranges and clothes dryers, may require outlets for 30 to 50 or more amps of power. It’s important to install the right outlet amp, so the outlet can provide electricity without tripping your home’s circuit breaker.

GFCI Outlets

Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) need to be installed in areas of your home near water or prone to moisture, such as kitchens, bathrooms, crawlspaces, laundry rooms, and outdoor areas. Cool Blew has the expertise to install outlets that must have GFCI protection. They are easily identifiable by the two small buttons in the center and cut off power to equipment if current leaks or spikes to hazardous levels. GFCIs have a “test” button and a “reset” button. When you want to test the outlet, push the “test” button and if power to the device shuts off, it’s working correctly.

Tamper-Resistant Outlets

These specialty outlets protect children from electrical injury blocking insertion of almost all small objects by a built-in shutter mechanism. These essential tamper-resistant outlets offer continuous electrical injury protection and are safer than plastic outlet caps that can be removed.

Specialty Outlets

Rotating outlets are perfect for accommodating large plug types such as cell phone chargers and hair dryers in the same outlet. USB outlets offer an easy solution to mobile device charging overload. Surge suppression outlets protect electronic equipment from power spikes, avoiding the need for power strips. Switch outlet combos allow you to add an additional switch for a light fixture to the outlet without the need for additional wiring.

Want to learn more about electrical outlet service from Cool Blew, including the installation of specialty outlets? Call us today at 623-872-2900. Our team is here to answer your questions and schedule service at your convenience.

HVAC Filters Explained

This entry was posted in HVAC Systems, Uncategorized on by .

With hay fever season approaching rapidly, it’s a great time to showcase one of the most integral components of your HVAC system—the air filter. HVAC filters help keep your home clean and healthy. But there is more than one option when it comes to choosing a filter. Here are the types of air filters to choose from and a few details to help you make the right choice for your household.

Fiberglass

These are the most common and most affordable option. Fiberglass air filters are effective in helping to keep your system efficient, but they’re not the best choice for removing dust and pollutants from your indoor air. If you’re prone to allergies or other respiratory problems, you may want to consider a higher-grade filter.

Pleated

Fabricated from polyester or cotton folds, pleated air filters are more effective at filtering particulates than those made from fiberglass. Filtering performance of pleated filters is determined by the number of pleats. The more pleats, the greater the performance. Both fiberglass and pleated filters should be swapped out at least once a quarter. Here in the desert, it’s a good idea to get on a regular monthly schedule of changing your air filter.

Washable

Although more expensive than disposable fiberglass or pleated filters, washable filters can save you in the long run. They can be easily cleaned, so you don’t need to replace them. It’s important to clean them according to the recommended schedule determined by the manufacturer. You’ll want to ensure the filter is completely dry before using it to prevent mold and bacteria growth.

Electrostatic

Electrostatic air filters attract dust and airborne particulates through electrostatic charge, preventing them from being blown through your home. These filters come in both washable and one-use models.

HEPA

High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are a good choice for homeowners with allergies and respiratory conditions. They have been proven to be effective in screening up to 99.97% of contaminants. The US Department of Energy recommends this type of filter in homes and businesses.

UV

Using ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses, UV filters have become more popular since the start of COVID-19. However, it’s important to note that these filters are better at killing microorganisms than screening dust and other pollutants. This is why some recommend using a UV filter in conjunction with a standard air filter.

Cool Blew – Your HVAC Experts

Have questions about HVAC filters? Call Cool Blew today. We’re here with the answers and the service you need to ensure your home is comfortable 24/7/365.

3 Things to Know about Garbage Disposals

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

If there’s one appliance that probably gets ignored the most around the house, it’s the garbage disposal. This trusty, hidden appliance works hard every day and deserves some recognition for the role it plays in your kitchen and in the environment. So, in this post, let’s take a closer look at some interesting garbage disposal facts and figures.

1. Food Waste Reduction

You may never had considered the fact that a garbage disposal is beneficial to the environment. Yes, food waste is the single largest type of waste in our landfills, and 30 to 40 percent of the United State’s food supply is thrown in the trash every year. With the installation of a garbage disposal, you can grind food waste and help reduce this amount. Using a garbage disposal instead of throwing food in the trash also helps reduce the prevalence of rodents and other unwanted critters that tend to enter garbage bins. So consider yourself eco-friendly every time you flip the switch on your disposal.

2. Garbage Disposal Prevalence

You may be surprised to find out that only half of US homes have garbage disposals. But what’s even more surprising is that half of those homeowners with garbage disposals aren’t even aware of the waste-diverting power of this appliance, according to research from InSinkErator Disposers. So, if you haven’t already, take a few minutes to get to know this appliance and how it can help make clean up around the kitchen much easier.

3. Be Careful!

While garbage disposals are powerhouses when it comes to grinding up food waste, there are some items that are better off placed in the trash. These include:

  • Grease, fats, and oil
  • Egg shells
  • Pasta, rice, and potatoes
  • Bones
  • Celery and other fibrous foods

Struggling with a sink clog or garbage disposal malfunction? Call Cool Blew. We’re here for all your plumbing repairs and replacements every day of the year. Our certified and experienced technicians are ready to help. Call us at 480-610-2100.