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Improve Your Home’s Value and Comfort with These Electrical Improvements

This entry was posted in Electrical on by .

Just venture into your local home improvement store, and you’ll be bombarded by a bevy of options to enhance the aesthetics of your home. Everything from new flooring to the latest paint shade can add value and pizzazz to your residence. Yet, one of the most impactful improvements that you can make is often overlooked. By focusing on home electrical improvements, you can not only improve the look of your home, but also increase its value and comfort.

  • Fans

    The days of brass and fake wood ceiling fans are thankfully over. Today’s fans come in a wide variety of styles that can fit everything from an Asian-inspired bungalow to an ultra-modern loft. The key is choosing one that fits your room and offers the low-cost cooling that you’re looking for. Whatever style you settle on, remember that ceiling fans are well worth the investment and should be used in living rooms, bedrooms and more because of their ability to help control AC costs.

  • Pendant Light Fixtures

    Choosing pendant light fixtures can definitely jazz up the look of a kitchen, dining space or office. They also create ambiance and can be matched with whatever décor you have. From retro to classic style, you can find pendant lighting to complement your décor.

  • Dimmer Switches

    Turn a ho-hum room into a romantic space while lowering electrical costs by dimming the lights. In fact, the use of dimmer switches in your home can save up to 10 percent on your energy bill while reducing the wear and tear on lighting and bulbs.

  • Smart Technology

    The Internet of Things has hit the residential market – and in a big way! Smart technology is being incorporated into lights, thermostats, appliances and even plumbing to make your home more functional and energy efficient.

Want to make electrical improvements to your Phoenix area home in 2020? Call the experts at Cool Blew at 623-872-2900 today!

Temperature Tussles – Couples Who Thermostatically Disagree

This entry was posted in Heating on by .

The concept that opposites attract has been featured in many poems, songs and movies. To be sure, relationships run hot and cold. However, when it comes to room temperature and thermostat settings, many couples have strongly differing opinions. Even though there’s little science to support it, in many cases, the guy would like it to be cooler, and she can never get warm. Because it is so central to comfortable living, temperature sensitivity can sometimes cause discord in the home.

Is Temperature Perception a Scientific Fact or a Matter of Opinion?

Do men and women maintain the same core body temperature under controlled circumstances? As we all know, internal body temperature for humans, men and women, hovers around 98.6 degrees. The National Institute of Health (NIH) asserts differences do arise within various groups depending on age, race, gender and physical condition. The main point is, when it comes to temperature, it’s all about perception – how your body perceives the atmosphere around you. Factors such as body weight, muscle mass, level of activity, person metabolism all contribute to feeling warm, hot, or cold. So, a “perfect” 70 degrees affect you one way and your spouse, another.

January is the coldest month of the year in Phoenix. As temperatures drop and night’s dip below freezing, waking up to a cold house can be bothersome. Unfortunately, cranking up the heat all night can get expensive. Here are some options which will give you more control over the temperature in your home:

  • Smart Thermostats Make Your Life Easier

    If you have an older, single thermostat located in one part of your home, it may be time for an upgrade. New Wi-fi enabled “smart” thermostats save you money and allow you to heat your home more efficiently by making it easy to tailor temperature settings throughout day and night. These digital wonders actually learn your schedule and tendencies and adjust accordingly. You can install multiple smart thermostats throughout different areas of your house, so they communicate with each other. This is especially important for expansive homes with a furnace on one end of the house and bedrooms on the opposite side of the house. It’s important to remember, various brands will provide different options. Our friendly service techs will be happy to explain the advantages to you.

  • Zone Heating and Cooling

    By creating separate, dedicated areas, zone heating and cooling allows you to adjust individual rooms to a higher or lower temperature depending on how you or your spouse (or children) prefer it. If you’d like your master suite to be 5 degrees warmer 30 minutes before you wake up, just program it in. Zone heating and cooling puts tremendous control in the homeowner’s hands.

  • Increased Efficiency of Your Current HVAC System

    When people experience temperature fluctuations from room to room, they are often surprised to find that an HVAC system inspection may reveal certain problems or deficiencies which can be repaired and remedied quickly. Over the years, we’ve found disconnected or crushed air ducts, faulty fans, gaping leaks or holes and all other kinds of impairments to free-flowing air. If your system has not been checked lately or if it has been years since your ducts and vents were inspected, please give us a call.

Let Our HVAC Experts Solve Your Temperature Tussles

Our experienced technicians will review your entire HVAC system and solve the mystery of fluctuating temperatures from room to room. We will be happy to discuss your heating and cooling challenges with you. We’ll prepare a detailed HVAC plan to end your temperature tussles once and for all. Why not give us a call today.

8 Plumbing New Year’s Resolutions for 2020

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

With Christmas over, our thoughts turn to the new decade ahead and New Year’s resolutions. Of course, we all want to exercise more, spend less and enjoy each and every day in 2020. But, you may want to add a few plumbing-related resolutions to your list, too. Not only will they help improve your home’s comfort-level, they can save you money by reducing your water consumption.

Here are eight plumbing resolutions that every homeowner should try and stick to:

  1. Proactively fix leaky faucets, toilets and clogged drains before they become bigger, more costly plumbing problems.
  2. Only put human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Nothing else – ever!
  3. Turn off water while shaving and brushing teeth.
  4. Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when there is a full load.
  5. Use drain guards to prevent harmful material from sliding down drains.
  6. Consider installing a water filter and/or softener. Although we’re fortunate enough to enjoy clean, drinkable water, the quality can be significantly improved with the addition of a whole house water filter or softener.
  7. Flush your water heater and have it professionally inspected at least once a year. Don’t forget that Arizona’s hard water can really wreak havoc on water heater tanks.
  8. Consider having your sewer line rodded to prevent an inconvenient and costly backup.

Here in the desert, water is our most precious natural resource. We can’t live without it, and there’s a limited supply. We encourage you throughout the year to follow these resolutions and to share them with family, neighbors and friends. Together, we can all help our environment.

And don’t forget to call us at 623-872-2900 for any and all of your plumbing needs in 2020. At Cool Blew, we’re your go-to provider of professional plumbing service throughout the Valley.

Happy New Year from our family to yours!

Emergency HVAC Call from the North Pole

This entry was posted in HVAC Systems on by .

We recently received an emergency call from the North Pole. It seems a certain S. Claus is having trouble with the furnace in his workshop, and his elves are getting cranky. They’re shivering and sneezing, coughing and wheezing and planning a work stoppage – which would be disastrous. You might say their relationship with their employer has grown a little frosty. “Do you work over the holidays?” Mr. Claus inquired. We told him our lines are always open – 24/7, 365 days a year. And that goes for anyone in the Valley who might need our services over the holiday season.

We Pause to Reflect

During this time of year, we like to take the time to reflect on our many blessings. Arizona is a special place, and we feel lucky to live and work here. As reports of arctic blasts and winter snowstorms keep our northern neighbors indoors, we smile and say, “Looks like another perfect day in the Valley.” We’re happy to be here. We love working on heating and air conditioning issues. Every system is different, each presenting its own unique challenge. Believe it or not, providing truly great HVAC service is like figuring out a series of interesting puzzles every day. Our job never gets boring.

At Cool Blew, We’re Grateful for You

Many good things have happened this year. We are, most of all, grateful for you, our wonderful customers. All that we have and all that we do is because of you. We never forget that you are the very reason our company exists. We’re grateful that this area has prospered and grown. We’re happy the phone never stops ringing, and service requests keep coming in. Thanks for another great year!

If You Need Us Over the Holidays – We’re Here

The next few weeks will be filled with family, fun and good cheer! We hope you don’t need service on your HVAC system, but if something goes wrong – we’re always here. We wish you and your family all the best over the holidays. We’ll take care of Santa – you have a blast!

The Great Escape – Where Does All the Heat Go?

This entry was posted in Heating on by .

Arizona’s climate is so varied. Record high and low temperatures can occur within the state on the very same day. As the valley gets colder, and winter approaches, Phoenix residents’ thoughts turn to heat. We’ve already had a few calls from concerned homeowners awakened in the middle of the night by the smell of burning dust when their heater kicks in for the first time. With the holidays approaching, and temperatures dropping, it’s a good idea to schedule your winter HVAC tune-up to make sure your furnace is working properly, and the heat you are paying for is being delivered efficiently to every room in your house.

Keep More Heat Inside Your Home – After All, You’re Paying for It

Whether your home has a gas furnace or electric heat, energy costs are significant (and just like heat, they keep rising). Retaining the maximum amount of heat in your home is the name of the game. Here are a few places where heat is escaping from your house:

  • Heat Loss Is Going Through the Roof

    Your roof takes a beating from the sun all summer long. It’s a shame that heat can’t be magically stored for the colder months. In most houses, there is significant heat loss through the attic and roof. Heat rises, so it stands to reason that an uninsulated roof can cost you up to 25 percent loss of the heat generated by your furnace. If you haven’t already done so, and especially if you live in an older home, you may want to consider installing insulation in your attic.

  • Significant Heat Loss Through Walls

    Current homebuilding techniques include extensive insulation and home wrapping, which does a good job of preventing heat loss. Older Arizona homes, however, have gaps, cracks and uninsulated areas where heat escapes. The good news is cavity walls can be easily insulated by injection method and will not only save you money on heat but also help keep cold air inside during the summer. You might want to consider a home energy audit in 2020.

  • Doors, Windows and Your Garage Door

    The usual suspects – older doors, windows and the garage door can be problem areas for heat loss. A simple visual inspection will let you know if you need to consider window replacement. Kids playing outdoors during winter often leave the garage door open for hours. Stop heating the great outdoors and tell your kids to shut the door!

There’s Still Time to Schedule Your Winter Service Before the End of the Year

We know everyone gets busy this time of year. Shopping, concerts, school events and parties make the season bright. One thing you don’t want to deal with is a faulty furnace. Give us a call and make sure your holidays are carefree.

Top HVAC Gifts for the Holidays

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .

Black Friday has come and gone. The holiday shopping season is in full swing. As your go-to HVAC professionals, we’re not always thought of as Santa’s little helpers. However, we specialize in gifts that keep on giving all year long. In fact, if you’ve got a certain someone in your home who is always cold or, during the summer months, forever complaining about the heat – we’ve got you covered. There may be flashier presents stashed under your tree, but possibly none will be more appreciated than the gift of year-round temperature comfort and control.

Pre-Winter Walk Through

By December, your furnace has been sitting idle for many months. Taking the time to go through your house and check all the various elements of your heating system will pay big dividends when the cold weather rolls in. A seasonal system check is a great gift for any homeowner.

Digital Thermostat – A “Smart” Gift

Here’s a great tech gift for dad that will benefit the entire family. If you’ve been resisting upgrading to a Wi-Fi enabled, digital smart thermostat, all we can ask is what are you waiting for? These thermostats are easy to use, allow you to adjust temperature and make changes to your system over your cell phone and can save you significant money on your energy costs. It’s finally easy to manage your HVAC system from wherever you are.

Cold Hands – Warm Heart

Many Phoenix homeowners are converting little used spaces or storage rooms into home offices. The problem is many of these rooms are not heated or cooled properly. Want to be an HVAC hero? Consider giving a ductless mini-split heat pump to your sweetheart and keep him or her warm all through the winter.

Stop Worrying About Maintenance

It may sound funny, but busy people really love this gift. When you give the gift of a service contract, your HVAC troubles are over for an entire year. We will schedule the maintenance of a system and keep your loved ones toasty warm in winter and cool as a cucumber in summer.

A Brand New HVAC System

Maybe you’ve been putting off this big purchase for a year or two. We understand, a new HVAC system for your home is a considerable investment. However, we have many homeowners who choose to buy at the end of the year and schedule installation early the next year. It’s a great gift to give, especially if your current system has failed you this past summer.

While You’re Shopping, the Temperature Will Be Dropping

Remember, temperatures usually drop significantly in December, and January is the generally the coldest month of the year. Why not schedule a pre-holiday HVAC checkup to make sure you’re ready for the cold weather ahead? And for goodness sakes, don’t use the fireplace on the evening of December 24th!

Think Outside the Furnace – Is A Heat Pump Right for Your Arizona Home?

This entry was posted in Heating on by .

What looks like an air conditioner, sounds like an air conditioner and cools like an air conditioner? A heat pump. When customers see heat pumps sitting next to air conditioners, they are often confused because the two are identical. Around this time of year, with temperatures dropping fast, many Phoenix homeowners realize it’s time to retire the ol’ reliable gas furnace. If your home was built in the 80s or 90s, your gas furnace is way past its prime. If you’re considering replacing your fossil fuel burning furnace with a new model, you might want to explore an energy efficient alternative to gas – a heat pump.

What’s the Differences Between a Heat Pump and a Gas Furnace?

Air conditioners cool your home by transferring heat from inside your house to the great outdoors. A heat pump has the ability to reverse the process and extract heat from the outdoors and “pump” it into your home. The big difference between a furnace and heat pump is a gas furnace burns fossil fuels to generate heat while the heat pump extracts surrounding heat from the outdoors and brings it inside. The reason heat pumps are rated so highly for energy efficiency is that it’s generally cheaper to move heat around than it is to create heat, whether from burning fossil fuels or by electricity.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Heat Pumps?

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of using heat pumps in Arizona:

  • Pro – Heat Pumps Are Energy Efficient

    The Department of Energy states, “Heat pumps can reduce your electricity use for heating by approximately 50% compared to electric resistance heating such as furnaces and baseboard heaters. High-efficiency heat pumps also dehumidify better than standard central air conditioners, resulting in less energy usage and more cooling comfort in summer months.” Heat pumps only use electricity to power the fans, condenser and pump – not to create heat – which is a more efficient usage of energy.

  • Pro – Heat Pumps Are Safer Than Gas Furnaces

    Heat pumps are a safer alternative to gas furnaces because whenever you have a combustion-based heating element in your home, the potential for danger exists. Gas furnaces produce carbon emissions and CO (carbon monoxide) which can be harmful and even fatal to your family if not vented properly. Heat pumps are installed outside your home and use electricity.

  • Con – Heat Pumps Are at a Disadvantage in Extremely Cold Weather

    The main knock on heat pumps is they have a difficult time extracting heat from the outside air when the temperatures drop below 20 degrees. The good news is, winter weather in the Valley is mostly moderate to ideal with a few cold snaps thrown in for good measure. Occasionally, when temperatures dip below freezing, added electrically powered heat strips and heating elements warm up the air delivered into your home.

Winter Is Almost Here

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and winter is almost here. Why not have one of our friendly service technicians drop by to check out your heating system and get you ready for winter? We’ll be happy to explain all the pros and cons of heat pumps versus gas furnaces. Whichever you choose, we’re ready to service your needs.

Avoid These Common Thanksgiving Electrical Problems

This entry was posted in Electrical on by .

Thanksgiving is that time of the year when our thoughts turn to family and feasts. It’s not the time when you want to be struggling with an electrical problem. Yet, the holidays are primetime for “technical issues.” Here are some helpful tips to ensure an electrical malfunction doesn’t throw a monkey wrench into your Turkey Day.

Don’t Overload Outlets

There’s a lot going on in the kitchen with Thanksgiving meal preparation. Simultaneously plugging in the mixer, electric knife, food processor and can opener can overload outlets and cause a short. Before cooking comes to a screeching halt, carefully consider what you’re plugging in and where. In some cases, it may be necessary to rotate countertop kitchen appliances being used to not cause an overload.

Be Careful with Electric Ranges

Your stovetop and oven are absolute essentials when it comes to holiday food preparation. It goes without saying that you want to ensure your electric range is working properly prior to Thanksgiving. If it’s not, make sure to check for a blown fuse before calling for appliance repair. There are also safety issues to consider. With all the holiday kitchen commotion, accidents can happen – like throwing a dish towel accidentally onto a burner or grabbing a pan out of the oven without a potholder. Throughout the day, use caution around heat and limit the number of people around the electric range.

Limit Energy-Thirsty Decorations

Decorations requiring electricity are very common during Thanksgiving and throughout the holidays. Tree ornaments and strings of lights, both indoors and out, create a festive atmosphere. But, they also can increase the risk of electrical problems like overloads, blown fuses and even fire.

The best way to avoid a holiday electrical problem is to use non-electric holiday décor when possible. If you are going to use lights, choose low-wattage, LED lights that draw less energy and produce less heat. This will reduce the risk of overloads and fires. Electric lights and decorations should also be spread across multiple circuits to avoid placing too large a load on a single circuit. Finally, don’t use damaged or tattered lights with frayed or torn insulation.

At Cool Blew, we wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones. And, if you run into an electrical issue, remember to call us at 623-872-2900.

Preparing for Winter – Cold Winds from the North, Gas Furnaces and CO Poisoning

This entry was posted in Heating on by .

Last week, wintertime paid an early visit to the central and northern US, as well as parts of the west. A massive arctic blast blew frigid winds from the north and brought record-breaking low temperatures as far south as the Grand Canyon. For what it’s worth, the Farmer’s Almanac predicts a “polar coaster” winter for 2019-2020. As the days get shorter and the nights grow colder, many Phoenix homeowners will be firing up their furnaces for the first time in November.

A Word of Caution

Here at Cool Blew, we always stress safety first. Heating equipment, such as gas furnaces as well as wood, coal or oil burning appliances produce an undetectable odorless, colorless, tasteless, silent killer – carbon monoxide. Every year, carbon monoxide poisoning causes hundreds of fatalities, thousands of hospitalizations and countless visits to emergency rooms across the country. Animal lovers should know that CO, (the chemical symbol for carbon monoxide) is also toxic and harmful to pets. One of the most common causes of carbon monoxide poisoning in homes is faulty, obstructed or improperly vented furnaces. Here are some important facts on a subject which only gets negative press:

  • What Produces Carbon Monoxide?

    Burning combustible fuels causes fumes which contain CO. Gas furnaces, water heaters, gas stoves, fireplaces and of course, exhaust fumes from cars and trucks all contain carbon monoxide. For HVAC, a yearly check-up of your gas heater is advised to ensure the safe venting and operation of your heater.

  • What Symptoms Are Associated with CO Poisoning?

    The great danger of carbon monoxide poisoning is that people don’t realize what is happening to them until it’s too late. Symptoms can include headache, feeling disoriented, confusion, weakness, nausea, vomiting and chest pain. People rarely connect the symptoms to the cause because they have no experience with CO. Accidents can occur particularly at night when people are sleeping.

  • What Can I Do to Protect My Family?

    We recommend a fall HVAC tune up to make sure your furnace is checked out and working properly. We also advise you install a carbon monoxide detector in your home, preferably with a digital readout that will inform you of the concentration of CO in your home. It’s important to place the CO alarm near your bedroom so it will wake you up if problems occur while your asleep.

An Ounce of Prevention

No one ever expects to have a carbon monoxide problem in their home. However, fire departments know that accidents happen all the time. If you haven’t already done so, consider installing a carbon monoxide alarm to safeguard you and your family from this elusive danger. Our friendly service techs will be happy to advise you during your fall HVAC inspection. Give us a call today.

The Latest in Smart Plumbing Technology

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

Smart technology is being integrated across our daily lives in a wide range of ways. From wearable devices that track our steps to home security systems and virtual assistants, there’s not shortage of products that are designed to make our home and lives easier and more efficient. Among some of the most intriguing products on the market today involve plumbing.

Smart Faucets

Leading plumbing fixture manufacturers are introducing faucets that integrate smart capabilities that enable them to be turned on or off with just a voice. Some even have intriguing features that let users request a specific temperature or quantity of water to be dispensed.

Advanced Toilets

The humble toilet has become increasingly advanced with smart features enabled by Bluetooth technology. These include lighting, heated seats and automatic flushing. Along with more streamlined designs, today’s advanced toilets are a quick way to enhance the look of any bathroom.

Voice-Controlled Showers

Like with other plumbing fixtures, shower faucets have entered the Internet age. Homeowners can opt for a system that turns on or off the shower by voice. They also can help manage water efficiency by enabling users to choose a specific amount of time for a shower.

Home Leak Detection

Leaks are among the most frustrating aspect of homeownership. They can cause water waste and damage before you even know anything is wrong. Today’s smart water alarm systems can help minimize these occurrences. With internet-enabled sensors placed near common sources of leaks, including water heaters, dishwashers and washing machines, a system’s sensors can identify a water leak, trigger a water supply shut down and send you a notification before the damage is done.

If you’re considering upgrading to any smart plumbing capabilities, you’ll want to include a smart phone hub that connects all your home’s systems. Options from Amazon, Google or Samsung are all solid choices and can serve as the central solution for enabling all your smart home features to work together.

Find out more about the many smart plumbing options available for your home. Call Cool Blew today at 480-610-2100.