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Protect Your Home Electrical System This Monsoon Season

This entry was posted in Electrical on by .


Are you ready for monsoon 2018? The damaging storms that come with summer monsoon season in the Valley of the Sun can wreak havoc on your home electrical system. Lightning strikes that hit power lines can send surges of electricity down the wires into your home. Most household appliances running on a 120-volt alternating current can handle surges up to 169 volts. Yet, surges caused by electrical storms can far exceed this. In fact, lightning-caused surges can reach up to several hundred volts.

Throughout the season, which runs from mid-June through mid-September, large storms are nearly guaranteed to cause at least one power outage, either from lightening or a dust storm. And, there is a higher potential for damage to your home’s electrical system, as well as to household electronics.

The following are some tips to help protect your home during a monsoon storm:

  • Watch current weather forecasts on TV or the internet.
  • If a storm is approaching, turn off and unplug appliances, including your computer, TV and other media equipment. Voltage fluctuations can occur during an electrical storm, causing circuits to overload following an outage.
  • Use plug-in surge protectors for cable TV and phone lines.
  • Turn of your AC during a storm to prevent damage from a power surge. If there has been an outage, wait several minutes before turning on your system. It only takes one power surge to lead to costly repair bills.
  • Turn off other electrical appliances but leave one light on to serve as an indicator for when power is restored.
  • Invest in a whole house surge protector to prevent surges in electrical current from reaching your appliances, including your HVAC system.

Summer storms in the greater Phoenix area are amazing to experience. By taking the steps to protect your home against unexpected power surges caused by the storms, you can enjoy the show and avoid costly repairs. Call Cool Blew today to schedule an appointment to discuss your home electrical system.

The Mighty Ducts – How Dirty Ducts Can Affect Your Indoor Air Quality

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

An important yet invisible part of your HVAC system plays a critical role in distributing clean, cooled air to every room in your house. Your mighty ducts wind their way unseen through the walls, floors and ceilings of your domain. Most people never give them the slightest consideration. However, here’s an inconvenient truth. Dirty air ducts can negatively impact the indoor air quality (IAQ) of your home. As homeowners strive to create better, healthier environments for themselves and their children, IAQ has grown in importance. People spend over 90 percent of their lives indoors, and air ducts deliver the air they breathe.

Dust to Dust – What Is It and Where Does It Come From?

Did you ever walk into a sunlit room or turn your head at just the right moment in time to notice a shaft of golden sunlight illuminating all the particles of dust hanging in mid-air. You think to yourself, “Geez, I keep this place clean – what is all that?” Dust is comprised of many thousands of particles. A smorgasbord of potential irritants including soil dragged in from outdoors (in Arizona, desert dirt is literally blown in during monsoons and dust storms) pollen, ragweed, mold, cigarette smoke, particulate smog floating in air from automobile and gas engine exhaust, tiny threads and fibers from rugs and furniture upholstery, indoor pollutants from household activities like cooking and using cleaning products, pet dander and let’s not forget, a fair amount of your dead, exfoliated skin! A typical household can generate up to 40 pounds of dust per year.

Having Your Ducts in a Row

All that dust in your home is circulated through your air conditioning system and carried from room to room by your air ducts. In a perfect world, air filters would be changed routinely. Dust and allergens would be, for the most part, eliminated. And, your air ducts would remain clean, aligned and relatively airtight. Unfortunately, as all homeowners know, stuff happens. Over the course of years, dust and dirt will build up inside air ducts. Sometimes filters don’t get replaced in a timely manner. Air ducts can get damaged due to remodeling, or a house settling. Leaks from the roof can introduce water into your air duct system. We’ve even heard of less-than-knowledgeable contractors moving ducts in order to deal with a problem in the ceiling rafters or behind a wall and simply forgetting to reconnect the duct and put it back in place correctly.

At the end of the day (or thousands of days – some systems haven’t been checked in years) your duct system is probably the most forgotten and ignored place in your home, even though it delivers precious air throughout the house.

Schedule a Duct Walk Through Your Home with One of Our Experts

Clean, cool indoor air is a high priority and a gift you can give to your family. Call the pros at Cool Blew, and we’ll perform a thorough duct and HVAC system inspection. The air you breathe should be as clean as can be. We can help you achieve that goal.

Miffed About Myths – 5 Myths About Air Conditioning That Just Aren’t True

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .


Here are five common myths about air conditioning that will make you a crusader for the truth in air conditioning.

As Long as I Change My Filters My System Will Be Fine

Many do-it-yourselfers are satisfied that they’ve done an adequate AC maintenance job by installing new filters once a year. In fact, filters should be changed about once a month and even more often if there are pets in the home. In addition to changing filters, refrigerant levels should be inspected at least once a year. Other parts of an air conditioner need to be cleaned and checked regularly, such as the blower. Certain moving parts also may require routine lubrication. Unless you are a trained technician with the proper tools, you are not going to have the expertise to maintain your HVAC system.

All New Central Air Conditioning Units Are Created Equal

One is as good as another. They’re all basically built on the same principles. It’s true that there are many similarities across manufacturers and brands. However, different companies have strengths in different areas. The main component that is unique in every case is the customer. What are your needs? If you are searching for a new air conditioning unit, it’s in your best interest to speak with a professional who brings years of experience to the table. Choosing the right unit for your home is critical, and proper installation is crucial.

Bigger is Better

It’s as American as hot dogs on the Fourth of July. Everyone knows bigger is better. A large engine makes your car go faster. A bigger fan moves more air than a tiny one, so why not super-size your air conditioning system? Funny thing about air conditioners and cooling power – size matters – the correct size. Consult with our AC experts to see if you have the proper sized unit for your home. Have you added a room or remodeled extensively? It may be time for an air conditioning inspection.

Closing Vents Will Save Me Money by Pushing Cold Air to Other Rooms

Not true. Air conditioning systems are based on balance and pressure. By shutting off one room, you are creating an imbalance in the entire system which does not help and in fact, hinders the effective cooling of your home overall.

If You Wait Long Enough, That Weird Noise Will Go Away

This is one of those enduring myths in life which starts with a different version in childhood. If I hide under the covers, and keep my eyes shut, the monster under the bed won’t be able to get me. If your air conditioning unit is making a horrendous noise when it starts up, it’ll probably work itself out if I just let it run long enough. Sorry, both are not true. Ignoring warning signs from your AC unit can lead to bigger problems down the road.

Service Contracts Are a Bad Idea

In Arizona, where air conditioners are pushed to extremes every summer, service contracts are a wise idea. Like your car, it doesn’t make sense to drive your air conditioning unit as hard as you can for years in a row without service. It’s bound to break down. Don’t be fooled by air conditioning myths. And, don’t take chances with your home comfort. Call Cool Blew today.

Holiday Horror Show – Avoid This Air Conditioning “Nightmare on Your Street”

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .

Fright night is a lot of fun at the movie theater, which is a place, by the way, where many Arizonans go to avoid the heat. Years ago, there was an amusing ad campaign for a scary movie. In the radio commercials, the announcer implored, “When you get to the theater, just keep reminding yourself, it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie!” With Memorial Day approaching and the Fourth of July just around the corner, here’s an air conditioning summer holiday “Nightmare on Your Street” that’s unfortunately going to be all too real for some Arizona homeowners.

A Four Day Holiday Weekend with No Air Conditioning

In fact, one Phoenix area resident recently recalled a long and scary Fourth of July holiday weekend (Thursday through Sunday night) that made her think she was starring in her own horror show. A heatwave had descended on the Valley with temperatures hovering around 114, her air conditioner started pumping not-so-cool air on Thursday night then completely stopped working by early Friday morning and (cue the shrieking violins from Psycho) all of the air conditioning companies she called were booked solid. The combination of a heatwave and a holiday weekend meant every available service tech was working overtime. By Friday afternoon, her house was hotter than (well, you know), and there was no repairman in sight. Even with windows open and fans blowing, the inside temperature reached 98 degrees. Sleeping was almost impossible. It took four days, numerous phone calls and multiple appointments to get her problem resolved.

Early Warning Signs Your Air Conditioner Might Need Service

Some might consider this story a “scary” tactic, but unfortunately, it’s all true and in Arizona, it happens every year. If your air conditioning system is causing you concern, please don’t wait for a breakdown to occur. Some warning signs your AC may need a service check include:

  • Major red flag – warmer air (not as cold as it usually is) coming out of your vents
  • Decrease in airflow or a noticeable increase in your energy bill over same time last year
  • Loud thumping, straining or unusual noises coming from your air conditioner
  • Musty smell or excessive water leaking from AC unit
  • Unusual electrical or burning smell from AC unit (important to call for service immediately)

If you are experiencing any of these problems, your air conditioning system may need to be checked. With Memorial Day and Fourth of July coming, make sure to get out in front of this situation so your holiday weekends are cool, and the only horror shows you see are at the theater. Call Cool Blew today to schedule a summer tune-up.

3 Signs Your Water Heater Is Going to Tank

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

With temperatures creeping up into the triple digits, the last thing on many homeowners’ minds is their hot water heater. Yet, even during the hottest days, we still rely on this household workhorse. This is why it’s important to keep tabs on it year-round and to know the signs when it’s time for a replacement.

Sign One: It’s Old

Your typical water heater will last about 10 years. Not sure about the age of your tank? Usually there will be a serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker that will tell you its age. Often, the date is within a code that can look like G0425783. In this case, the G represents the month. As the seventh letter in the alphabet, G indicates that it was manufactured in July – the seventh month of the year. The first two numbers are 04 for 2004. In other words, the water heater was manufactured in July 2004, and it’s probably in need of being replaced sooner than later.

If the code doesn’t follow this convention, check the manufacturer’s website for clarification.

Sign Two: It’s Noisy

Aging water heaters often have a build up of sediment at the bottom of the tank. Here, in Arizona, our water is hard which can lead to even faster sediment build up. With the ongoing heating of water in the tank, the sediment hardens and can cause rumbling or banging sounds. These are the sounds of a water heater that is crying out for replacement.

Sign Three: Rusty-Looking Water

Red rocks in Sedona are among the most stunning features of our wonderful state. Red water pouring out of your faucets isn’t quite as amazing. In fact, it’s a signal that the interior of your water heater tank is rusting. With rust, comes weakness that will eventually give way to a leak.

Don’t Take Chances with Your Water Heater

A water heater leak can ruin flooring, and furniture in the escaped water’s path. Why wait for this to happen? If you have any of the above signs of a potential water heater failure, call Cool Blew today.

We’ll provide you with a detailed quote and seamless installation of a high quality, durable water heater.

Return on Investment of a High Efficiency Air Conditioner

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

You’re struggling with a failing or non-working air conditioner. And, it’s only getting hotter here in the Valley of the Sun. It’s time to make a decision on what to do now. Here’s how to evaluate the purchase of a new high efficiency air conditioner as an investment rather than just another household expense.

Energy Savings

Maintaining a cool, comfortable home in the greater Phoenix area is costly by anyone’s standards. But, you’re already well aware of this. For most of us, the benefits of living in the desert far outweigh a higher than average utility bill. Yet, the good news is that you’ll start reducing your energy consumption and saving on your monthly bill the moment you swap out your system for a new high efficiency air conditioner.

AC systems manufactured more than a decade ago are dramatically less efficient than today’s models. On average, you can expect to see about a 20 percent drop in your utility bill following the installation of a new system. In other words, each month you’ll have a little more in your pocket, and this can lead to long-term savings.

If you’ve already started researching your air conditioning options, you’ve probably noticed the acronym SEER which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the AC system. Older systems usually have SEER ratings of less than 12. To gain any amount of energy efficiency, you’ll want to choose a model that has a rating of at least 13. Ratings go as high as 25. You will pay more for a unit with a higher SEER rating, but you will also save more monthly on your utility bill.

But There’s More

The benefits of a high efficiency air conditioner go far beyond energy savings. Today’s systems are much more efficient at controlling the cleanliness of your indoor air and do a better job of managing humidity, temperature and odor. A new system also doesn’t run on Freon, which is being slowly eliminated by the US Environmental Protection Agency. By 2020, there will be no more Freon available for air conditioners. So, you’re better off replacing your air conditioner sooner than later.

Still not sure? Call the experts at Cool Blew today for a free in-home estimate on a new high efficiency air conditioner. We’re here to help you get the perfect system for your specific needs.

Does Air Conditioning Cause Summer Colds?

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

Cold and flu season finally is coming to an end. While summer is usually the time when you’re less likely to catch a bug, it can still happen. And, many believe that the cause of summer colds is air conditioning in homes or offices that is too cold. Could this be true?

Cold Doesn’t Cause Colds

While there are plenty of people who will believe cold causes colds no matter what evidence they receive to the contrary, the reality is that cold temperatures aren’t the direct culprit. You can thank viruses for those miserable cold symptoms like coughing, runny noses and sore throats.

However, cold temperatures are not completely off the hook. There can be certain environmental conditions which make cold and flu viruses more likely to spread. Cold, dry indoor conditions can irritate eyes and disrupt the protective mucous barrier in your nose. This can make you more vulnerable to acquiring viruses.

Also, viruses are more likely to attack those who have weakened immune systems. Stress, caused by rapid changes in temperature and humidity, like what you experience when shifting between scorching outdoor heat and chilly indoor spaces, can impact your immune system.

Symptoms of a Cold May Not Be a Cold

Sneezing, runny noses, watery eyes and coughing are all common symptoms of colds. Yet, allergy symptoms, caused by airborne contaminants, can feel strikingly similar. Pollen, mold, dander blowing from an HVAC system with a dirty air filter can cause a host of very unpleasant symptoms that can feel just like a cold that never quite goes away.

Keeping Colds and Allergies Away

Although air conditioning does play a part in summer colds, it’s still a must-have here in the Valley of the Sun. The benefits of cool indoor air certainly outweigh the risks of developing a virus. However, there are ways to mitigate these risks while still staying cool and comfortable.

  • Keep the temperature at a comfortable level, between 72 and 78 degrees.
  • Open windows and doors in the early morning and evening to get rid of existing air pollutants.
  • Clean or replace air filters at least once a month.

Have questions about your air conditioning system? Call the experts at Cool Blew at 623-872-2900.

3 Common Summer Plumbing Woes

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

Here in the Valley of the sun, we fortunately don’t have to deal with winter plumbing issues, like frozen pipes that impact homeowners in other parts of the country. However, we do have unique issues that are more likely to occur in the summer.

  • Garbage Disposal Disasters – Many of the favorite foods of summer can wreak havoc on your garbage disposal. Corn husks, watermelon rind, chicken bones and celery all should be thrown out and never placed in your garbage disposal. If you aren’t sure if something can be ground up or not, err on the side of caution and toss it in the trash.
  • Sewer Line Backups – During the winter and spring, tree root growth can hinder your sewer lines. If you’re experiencing regular backups from drains or toilets, it’s a good time to get your sewer line pipes professionally inspected.
  • Irrigation System Leaks – The scorching Arizona sun in the summer can do a real number on your drip system. Make it a point to regularly check your system for areas of pooled water or dead vegetation – both indicate the potential for an irrigation system leak.
  • Washing Machine Hose Failures – You’re likely washing more dirty clothes and towels in the summertime. You don’t need the unexpected and unwanted surprise of a washing machine hose that can quickly flood a laundry room or hallway. Because pool towels are heavy and can easily cause your washing machine to spin off balance, it’s important that your machine is placed several inches away from the hose. This will prevent hoses from kinking or breaking. And, a best practice for everyone to follow – don’t use your washer or dryer when you’re not at home.
  • Water Heater Waste – Are you fleeing the Phoenix triple-digit heat for cooler temperatures of the beach or mountains? You can save energy and money by turning down the temperature of your water heater before you head out of town.

At Cool Blew, we offer a full range of home plumbing services – from sewer and drain cleaning to solar water heater installation and garbage disposal service. We also offer 100% customer satisfaction guaranteed on all our work. Call us today for a free plumbing estimate.

Should You Replace Your Electrical Panel?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on by .

Your electrical panel is a vital part of your home and something you want to ensure is working properly. As the location where the main power line from outside enters your home and routes power through your electrical system, it’s important to watch for problems. Particularly if you have an older service panel, you should be looking for signs of failure and perhaps even consider a replacement. Here are some of the warning signs that indicate you may need a new panel:
Regularly Tripping Circuit Breakers A panel that is past its prime may not be able to handle a power surge and will start to disconnect circuits. This can also occur because your home energy needs have exceeded the capacity of the panel. If breakers require resetting more than once a week, this is an indicator that it’s time for a new panel.

Charred or Discolored Marks Around the Circuit Breakers

Worn down wires inside the electrical panel can spawn fires that often burn themselves out. The most common indicator is charring around the circuit breakers or an unusual smell from the panel. If you suspect a panel fire, even a small one, take it seriously and get help from a licensed, professional electrician right away.

Breakers That Won’t Reset

Usually, if a circuit breaker trips, you can flip the switch, and the problem is solved. However, if the circuit breaker won’t stay reset, or if it just doesn’t restore power, the problem can be in your panel.

Have an Old Fuse Box?

Antiques around the house can be charming, but not when they can cause electrical fires. Old fuse boxes are hazardous and insufficient for supporting today’s electrical needs. It’s time for a new, more modern electrical service panel.

Electrical Panels Aren’t DIY Projects

This isn’t the project to attempt by yourself. If you’re struggling with problems with your electrical panel, or if it just looks antiquated, it’s time to call in the experts. At Cool Blew, we’re here to help with all your electrical needs. Call us at 623-872-2900 today.

It’s Cool to Be an Air “ConditioNerd”

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

Are you someone who never drives over the speed limit, religiously schedules dental cleanings every six months and files tax returns long before the April 15th deadline? While no one will deem you a rebel when you play by the rules, it can pay off in the long run – especially when it comes to diligent air conditioning maintenance.

By being the air “conditioNerd” who replaces filters every month, knows how to program the thermostat and sticks to a regular schedule for maintenance and tune-ups, you’ll ensure a long life for your air conditioner while saving on your monthly utility bill. And when you consider just how much you rely on this essential piece of home equipment, doesn’t this just make good common sense?

It’s Cool to Be Cool

Don’t let others make fun of your diligence and commitment to protecting this important investment. The irony is that those “rebels” who think it’s funny that you buy air conditioner filters in bulk and invest in a maintenance contract will likely want to hang out in your cool house when their air conditioner fails.

Ready to Become an Air ConditioNerd Too?

It starts with thinking of your air conditioner like a car. Give this complex system the attention it deserves. This includes ongoing maintenance. Without the twice-yearly tune-ups and inspections, you’re likely to run into issues down the road.

Your air conditioner can account for more than 40% of your total utility bill. And, the average new unit with installation can cost more than $5,000. Treat your unit right, and it will treat you right in return. Change air filters once a month and learn the basic components of your air conditioner. Take the time to learn how to program your thermostat so it is optimized for efficiency and be proactive if you suspect a malfunction. In other words, call for help sooner than later.

Want to learn more about caring for your air conditioner and preventive maintenance agreements? Call us today at 623-872-2900.