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

Holiday Decorating Electrical Safety Tips

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on by .


Safely decorating your home for the holidays should be the top item on your holiday wish list. To have a healthy and happy holiday before you deck the halls, follow these important tips to keep your tree glowing and outdoor lights impressive.

Christmas Tree Electrical Safety

Check all your lights for any damaged plugs, frayed or bare wires and loose connections. Light string defects may possibly cause fires or electrical shocks. Make sure the lights and decorations have certification labels from UL, CSA or other accredited inspection agencies. Look for lights certified as safe for indoor use. You might want to use LED lights which are cooler to the touch, more energy efficient and last longer than incandescent bulbs. Replace burned out bulbs, and do not leave any empty sockets.

When using extension cords, make certain cords are not a tripping hazard across open spaces. Do not place cords under rugs, by any heat sources or attached to any metal, such as staples or nails. As well, uncoil extension cords completely before use.

Turn off all electrical decorations before going to sleep or leaving home. Keep Christmas trees and wrapped gifts at least three feet from heat sources, such as space heaters, radiators and fireplaces. Don’t let young children and pets play with or pull on Christmas lights.

For a live Christmas tree, check for freshness and refill the tree stand daily with water. If using an artificial tree, choose one with a fire-resistant label, and avoid hanging lights on artificial trees with metallic branches or leaves. And, of course, a good rule of thumb any time of the year is to test all smoke alarms and replace batteries if not functioning.

Outdoor Decoration Safety

Be certain extension cords and electrical decorations are rated for outdoor usage and inspect for any damage before using. All outdoor lights and extension cords should be plugged into GFCI protected outlets for safety. Avoid plugging in more than three light strings to a single extension cord. Do not extend the length of an extension cord by connecting it with another extension cord.

Keep lights and cords away from standing water and securely fasten lights to trees, shrubs and your home’s exterior to protect from wind damage. Use only fiberglass or wooden ladders when hanging electrical decorations outside. Metal ladders will conduct electricity. If you use spotlights for illuminating decorations, make sure they are protected from weather conditions and a safe distance from flammable items.

Have a joyous holiday season. For your holiday electrical questions, call Cool Blew at 623-872-2900.

Drop the Drip: Overcoming a Common Plumbing Problem

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

Drip, drip, drip. The sound of a leaky faucet is unarguably one of the most annoying sounds known to mankind. Tiny drops of water steadily hitting a sink or shower can keep you up at night and waste a surprisingly large amount of water. But, what exactly causes a leaky faucet? We have answers.

In the vast majority of leaky faucets, the cause is simply wear and tear on your faucet. Continuously turning it on and off can cause faucet washers and stems to wear out. It can be a problem with an O ring which is an integral point wherein dripping can occur or a corroded valve seat which serves as the connection between the faucet and the spout. Over time, an accumulation of water sediments can cause the valve seat to corrode and leak. Worn out or improperly installed washers, loose parts and worn out seals can also be the culprit. In rare cases, a leak can be caused by a broken pipe or fitting. Regardless of the cause, a leaky faucet is undoubtedly irritating. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to repair. In nearly every case, a skilled plumber can replace worn out parts without requiring you to invest in a new sink or faucet.

The Water Adds Up

Not only is a leaky faucet incredibly annoying, it can cost you big on your water bill. Even a small drip can add up to gallons of water wasted each day. Here in the Phoenix area where water is hard, a steady drip can also damage your faucet and sink. So, even if you aren’t bothered by the relentless noise of a drip, there are plenty of other reasons to get it fixed promptly.

Be Proactive with Plumbing Problems

Like with many household issues, dripping faucets and other plumbing problems should be fixed as quickly as possible to avoid water waste and to protect fixtures. Taking a wait and see approach will likely lead to a higher water bill and the potential for having to replace fixtures instead of just a minor part. Leaky faucets do not repair themselves!

Understanding why a faucet is leaky is necessary for fixing it effectively. This is why it’s important to call a qualified plumber who has the expertise to identify a problem and make the necessary repairs. In other words, call Cool Blew if and when you are dealing with a leaky faucet.

Should You Replace Your Air Conditioner in the Winter?

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

Temperatures in the Valley of the Sun have finally dipped into the comfortable zone. During the fall and winter, Arizona homeowners rejoice in switching off their air conditioners for at least a couple of months. While it’s easy to turn your attention away from your air conditioner when you don’t need it, it may be the ideal time to consider replacement. If you’ve already identified that you will soon need a new unit because it’s old and beginning to malfunction, there are significant benefits to replacing it now, rather than waiting until the spring or summer.

Most HVAC experts will tell you that mid-October through April is the right time to replace your air conditioner for several important reasons. First, fewer homeowners and business owners are replacing units during these months. This means that you won’t have an extended wait for an estimate or for installation. Replacing your unit while you’re not reliant on it also means that you won’t be caught unexpectedly with a system failure. As anyone who has survived the heat of an Arizona summer knows, an air conditioner failure can be very disruptive.

Is It Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner?

Of course, it’s important to know when it’s time to invest in a new air conditioner. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to predict exactly when your air conditioner will stop functioning.  However, there are some indicators that signal that you should consider a replacement.

Greater than 10 Years Old

Although some air conditioners will function seamlessly for decades, others don’t. A good rule of thumb is to begin considering the possibility of replacement when your unit hits 10 years in service.

Efficiency Issues

Have your utility bills increased considerably despite no change in your usage pattern? Has your unit always underperformed or cycled excessively? It may be time to call out an expert for a load calculation. An HVAC professional can help you understand what size unit you need, based on your square footage, insulation, windows and other factors.

You may also be struggling with an older air conditioner with a low Seasonal Energy Efficiency (SEER) ratio. Today’s air conditioners must have a rating of at least 13, and many quality units will have ratings well above 14.  A higher SEER rating means greater efficiency and a lower monthly utility bill.

Extend the Lifespan of Your Air Conditioner

While a new air conditioner can ensure you’re cool for many years to come, you may still have plenty of years of life left in your existing unit. If so, the best way to maximize its lifespan is to get it serviced regularly. Air conditioners in the hot temperatures of the greater Phoenix area work hard to keep your home cool. By keeping your HVAC system well-maintained, you can extend its usability dramatically.

Want to learn more? Call your cooling experts, Cool Blew, for a home energy evaluation.

Pros and Cons of Having Two Air Conditioning Units for a 2-Story Home

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

Here in the greater Phoenix area, there are neighborhoods that primarily have 2-story homes. These include many of the relatively newer communities in Ahwatukee, Gilbert and Peoria. While these homes can be great for growing families, they can be challenging when it comes to maintaining a consistent, comfortable temperature with a single air conditioning unit.

Balancing Temperature

There’s the obvious issue of warm air rising. In general, upstairs bedrooms will be warmer than the rest of the house. Thus, one area of the house can seem too hot or too cold. With separate central air conditioning units for each floor of your home, you can maintain a comfortable temperature for each defined space. This not only improves comfort but can also enable you to save money on utility bills.

Energy Savings

With a single, non-zoned air conditioning unit, you have to keep every area cool at the same time. With a second unit, you can choose to cool just the upstairs bedrooms at night. Or, if you primarily spend your time downstairs, you can turn off your upstairs unit when you’re not up there. This can reduce the square footage you’re regularly cooling considerably.

System Failure

As many Arizonans know, air conditioners have a habit of failing at the worst possible time. With two units, you can at least keep the house cool enough while repairs are being made. However, it’s also important to note that two units double your chances of a system failure and increase your overall cost of repairs over time.

Other Cost Considerations

Yes, two air conditioning units are more expensive than one to purchase, too. But the cost difference is often not as high as you think. This is because you will need two smaller units compared to one larger unit to cool the entire home. The added cost of the second unit can also be offset by the ongoing energy savings. Much of this depends on your home’s floorplan and how you plan to use the air conditioner.

A Zoned System

Another option is to install a single air conditioning unit with two or more thermostats. This is particularly beneficial for larger homes. A zoned system uses dampers within the ductwork that open and close to control the temperature and flow of air within each zone. This type of system costs more than a regular zone-less system, but the energy savings can add up over time.

Call Cool Blew today for a free estimate on cooling equipment for your home at 623-872-2900.

Thanksgiving Plumbing Tips

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

It may surprise you, but Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the busiest day of the year for plumbers, across the United States. We, plumbers, jokingly refer to it as “Brown Friday.” Yuck!

Now, why do you think plumbers are so busy after this particular holiday? Well, there are two common problems that occur. Clogged or broken garbage disposals often happen during this food-focused holiday. Sewer line backups are the other frequent issue. Because a holiday plumbing problem can quickly turn into a plumber-worthy emergency, we’ve provided some preventive tips that hopefully will keep everything smooth-sailing throughout Thanksgiving and the holiday season.

Don’t Put Bones or Peels in the Garbage Disposal

After ten hours of cooking, we understand it’s tempting to shovel what’s left on plates right into the disposal. Don’t do it! Your garbage disposal was never intended to grind bones, or mounds of potato peels for that matter. By doing so, you’re creating a recipe for your disposal’s grinding halt.

Don’t Pour Grease or Oil Down the Drain Either

You would think that pouring a liquid down a drain wouldn’t cause a problem. Think again! The problem with grease and oil is they coagulate, becoming solid and sticky. A lump of grease in your sewer pipe can quickly cause a not so pleasant sewer line backup. Instead, pour unwanted oil and grease in a coffee can or other metal container. Let it cool off and throw it in your garbage can.

Don’t Put Trash or Food Down the Toilet

This seems only logical. Right? Well, a house full of people often leads to guests using toilets as garbage cans. The only thing that should be flushed down is toilet paper and biological waste which dissolves quickly. Anything else can stick around in your sewer pipe and cause a backup. This Thanksgiving give thanks to all guests who only use the toilet for what it was intended to be used for.

Get a Plumbing Check-Up

Do you have frequent sink backups? Do pipes make weird noises or leak? Don’t wait for the busiest day of the year to make that call. Before you are cooking that Thanksgiving turkey, ensure your plumbing is working properly. Call Cool Blew today to schedule a plumbing check-up at 623-872-2900.

Yes, this is not the most pleasant topic, but it’s better to learn these tips and follow them than having sewage bubbling up in your guest bathroom on Thanksgiving evening. By doing so, you won’t have to experience the hassle of Brown Friday.

Winter Electrical Safety Tips

This entry was posted in Electrical, Safety on by .

Home fires are more common during the winter months than any other time of the year – even in the greater Phoenix area. The increase in electrical product purchases along with colder weather means an unfortunate jump in electrical fires, electrocutions and injuries. Many homeowners are surprised to learn that heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires. In fact, over 65,000 home fires are caused by heating equipment every year. Other electric appliances are also a leading cause of fires. Thus, it’s necessary to be extra vigilant during the winter months.

The following are some electrical home safety tips that can help keep you and your family safe through the cool winter months.

Space Heaters

Follow the manufacturer’s instruction manual before using any space heater. All space heaters should be kept at least three feet away from any combustible material, including clothing, bedding, draperies, furniture and rugs. Test the shut-off function of any space heater you’re using to ensure it automatically turns off when tipped or knocked over.

Do not use space heaters in any part of the house where children are not supervised, along with areas near water. Heaters should never be used in bathrooms or kitchens.

Electric Blankets and Heating Pads

Heating pads and blankets can warm you up on a cool evening, but they are not risk-free. Don’t use any heating pad or electric blanket that is worn or frayed. Don’t fold when in use and avoid placing other blankets or other items on top of them when in use.

Furnaces

Fall is the right time to ensure your furnace is working properly. Schedule a tune-up to check for problems like cracked heat exchangers, frayed electrical wires and other hazards that can potentially cause a fire. Keep the area around your furnace clear and change the air filter to eliminate any restriction to your furnace. Test your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms to ensure they are functioning properly.

Call Cool Blew

Whether you suspect a heater or electrical problem or just want a maintenance check, Cool Blew is your resource for all your home electrical and heating needs. Call us today to schedule an appointment at 623-872-2900.

6 Scary Things That Can Happen without HVAC Maintenance

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .

It’s Halloween, the time for scary, spooky things like ghosts, goblins and ghouls. Yet, for homeowners, there are few things more haunting than an HVAC problem that could have been prevented with regular HVAC maintenance.

With temperatures beginning to drop in the Valley of the Sun, it’s the ideal time to schedule preventive HVAC service. This can greatly reduce the risk of your system experiencing a frightful malfunction. Here are 6 scary things you can avoid by scheduling an HVAC maintenance appointment.

  1. Unexpected Loss of Heat or Cool Air

    Minor issues can be identified early during an HVAC maintenance check and repaired so they don’t turn into system failures. This can prevent the unexpected frustration of having a home without heat or air conditioning.

  2. Reduced Efficiency

    Without regular maintenance, you can have a host of issues that impact your HVAC system’s efficiency. The result can be one downright frightening utility bill! Cleaning, early identification of problems and proactive repairs are fundamental to ensuring your system is functioning at full capacity.

  3. Compressor Failure

    Dirty condenser coils cause your compressor to work harder than it needs to, shortening its lifespan and putting you at risk for a costly system failure. During regular HVAC maintenance, your coils are cleaned, greatly reducing your chance of a compressor failure.

  4. Leaking Refrigerant

    Your air conditioner requires a set amount of refrigerant to properly function. Even with a minor leak, your system efficiency can be reduced by 20 percent or more. Don’t take chances with this easily corrected problem. During a system-wide tune-up, leaks can be identified and repaired.

  5. Heater Exchange Failure

    Do you have a gas heater? A failing heat exchanger can result in the seeping of dangerous carbon monoxide into your home. Besides having working carbon monoxide detectors, it’s vital to get regular maintenance on your heating system to ensure your heater exchanger is functioning properly.

  6. Motor and Bearing Malfunctions

    Like with any piece of machinery, HVAC equipment requires lubrication to keep the motor and bearings operating smoothly. Without this, the motor can heat up and result in a completely preventable system failure.

Schedule your fall maintenance appointment today with Cool Blew. We’re here to help you maximize the life and efficiency of your HVAC system.

5 Home Heating Safety Tips Every Family Needs to Know

This entry was posted in Safety on by .

We’re finally past the summer’s triple digit heat and enjoying the amazing fall weather that Arizona is famous for. Soon, the temperatures will drop enough that you may want to turn on the heat. Before you dial up your thermostat, it’s important to remember some critical home heating safety tips.

It’s a sad fact that the majority of home fires occur during the winter months, and many are due to heating-related factors. The following tips can help you and your family stay safe this season.

Keep Household Items Away from Heating Equipment

Newspapers, holiday decorations, clothing, toys and other household items can be extremely flammable when they’re placed too close to heating equipment like furnaces, fireplaces and portable space heaters. To avoid this common cause of house fires, keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from sources of heat.

Install Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms

Avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning by installing alarms that can alert you and family members that there is a leak. Test these alarms monthly to ensure they’re working properly. Remember, if you smell gas in your home, leave your home immediately and call either your local fire department or your gas provider.

Use Only Qualified Professional Installers

Whether it’s a heat pump, water heater or stationary space heater, choose a qualified professional who installs equipment according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.

Choose a Sturdy Fireplace Screen

A fire can be a cozy treat on a cold winter’s night. But, it can also be a fire hazard. Make sure that your fireplace has a sturdy screen that prevents sparks and embers from flying into the room. Let fire ashes cool completely before putting them into any kind of container, and always keep ashes a safe distance away from your home.

Schedule Regular Maintenance on HVAC Equipment

HVAC equipment requires regular maintenance to ensure its safety. Call Cool Blew today to schedule a seasonal tune-up at 480-610-2100.

Is It Time to Consider Solar Panels?

This entry was posted in Solar on by .

There is no metro area more suitable for solar panels than Greater Phoenix. With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, we’re ideally situated to capture the power of the sun. Yet, many homeowners are reluctant to make the shift to solar because they believe it’s too expensive. The good news is solar is more affordable than ever.  There are low-cost loans, rebates and even 3rd-party-ownership models that can let you lease a solar power system without having to commit to buying one.

What Is the Savings?

Here in Arizona, the average solar system will save you nearly $33,000 over 20 years. This savings is seen each month in your utility bill. In other words, you can say goodbye to those frustratingly high summer electricity bills that are a result of air conditioning usage.

Most solar experts will tell you that the system typically pays for itself within five to seven years. When you consider that the average system has a 25-year expected life-span, you can begin to calculate how much you’ll save over time. It’s substantial!

Many homeowners wonder if there’s value if they don’t plan to be in their home for 20+ years. The answer is still yes, it’s worth it. Solar adds considerable value to a home which means that it will sell faster at a higher price with functioning solar panels on the roof. And, solar doesn’t add anything extra to property tax. At Cool Blew, we can help you calculate your planned electricity demands to help you gain a clear idea of your long-term savings from adding solar to your home.

Solar Panel Maintenance

Unlike many other home improvements, solar panels require surprisingly little maintenance. Because there are no moving parts, there’s little to do except a quick rinse with a garden hose every few months. And, solar panels can even help protect the areas of your roof located under the panels. It’s important to work with an experienced solar installer to ensure panels are placed in the optimal location on your roof.

Want to find out more? Call Cool Blew today to speak with a solar expert. We’re here to answer your questions and to help you determine the best option for your home and family.

Preparing Your HVAC System for the Fall

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

Yes, it’s finally happening! Temperatures in the greater Phoenix area are finally cooling down. Soon, it will be time to turn off the air conditioning and even flip the thermostat to “heat” as morning and evening temperatures begin to dip. In other words, it’s now the perfect time to get your HVAC system ready for the fall and winter months.

Start with Your Air Filter

Summer dust storms can wreak havoc on your HVAC system. Your air filter likely is loaded with dust and needs to be replaced. A simple swap with a new, clean filter can take you less than two minutes and can have you breathing cleaner air.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Lower night time temperatures will keep it much cooler in your home. Go ahead and turn your air conditioning off or set the temperature for what feels comfortable. You definitely will save money over what you’ve been spending throughout the summer months. If you’re getting chilly over night or in the mornings, you may even want to switch your thermostat to the heat setting.

Remove Debris Around Outdoor HVAC Equipment

While summer winds and rain are now over, you may continue to see their impact around your exterior air conditioning unit. Take a few minutes and clear away vegetation, debris, tree limbs and other things that could potentially obstruct your HVAC system’s blower and evaporator coils.

Schedule a Maintenance Check

Regularly servicing your air conditioner, heater and ductwork can add years to your HVAC system, as well as improve your interior air quality. While many homeowners get tune-ups on their air conditioners before the hot summer months begin, far fewer take the time to schedule a fall maintenance check to ensure their heat pump or furnace is working as it should be. This can be a costly mistake that can leave you in the cold when you need heat.

Call Cool Blew today to schedule your fall tune-up. As a leader in preventive maintenance plans for residential and commercial property owners, we encourage you to call us to learn more about how to keep your HVAC system working efficiently for as long as possible.  Call us now at 623-872-2900.