Author Archives: CoolBlew

Safety Tips for Your Home’s Heating Equipment

This entry was posted in Heating on by .

Fall is a fantastic time of year here in Arizona. The leaves are starting to change colors. And the weather is cooler—opening up the possibilities for a bounty of outdoor activities.
Yet, evenings can be chilly, with temperatures dipping down into the 50s or below. This means you may want to consider turning on the heat—making it the perfect time to remind you of a few safety tips for your home heating equipment.

Most homeowners are surprised to learn that heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires. With home fires happening every 87 seconds, heating products caused an estimated 34,000 residential fires in 2019 according to data from the U.S. Fire Administration. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to keep you, your loved ones, and your home safe.

Schedule a Tune Up

First and foremost, schedule a tune-up with your local HVAC professionals to check for problems like cracked heat exchangers, damaged wires, and other hazards that can potentially cause a home fire. A qualified technician can ensure your system is working efficiently and safely throughout the season.

Make Room

Keep the area around any heating equipment or vent clear. This means removing blankets, toys, furniture, clothing, and other items that can potentially catch fire.

Be Especially Cautious with Space Heaters

When buying a new or used home space heater, make certain it carries the mark of an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories. Whether your space heater is portable or installed, read the manufacturer’s instructions closely before using it.

All space heaters should be kept at least three feet away from any combustible material, including clothing, bedding, mattresses, draperies, upholstered 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. Plug the power cord only into electrical outlets with sufficient capacity and never plug into an extension cord.

Do not use space heaters in any part of the house where children and pets are not properly supervised, nor any areas in your home near water sources like sinks or indoor water fountains. Heaters should never be used in bathrooms or kitchens. Turn off space heaters whenever the room they are in is not occupied. If you use a space heater in your bedroom, turn it off at night before going to bed to avoid knocking over the space heater in the dark.

Call Cool Blew

These home heating safety tips can help keep you and your family safe through the cooler fall days and evenings ahead.
Whether you have a heating 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.

Autumn Home Maintenance Checklist

This entry was posted in HVAC Systems on by .

Feel that chill in the morning air? Fall has arrived in Arizona, and there are probably at least a few tasks on your to-do list to prepare for the changing season. Here’s a short checklist of autumn chores to help prepare your house:

Gutter Clutter

Clean debris from your home’s gutters. If you’re the DIY type, you can use common items, such as a broom or even an old spatula or wooden spoon to clean gutters. Renting a power spray washer is another way to easily clean gutters, and you won’t have to climb a ladder or go on your roof. There are even gutter cleaning robots you can rent or purchase!

Chimney Sweep

On cool mornings and evenings, you may want to light up your fireplace for extra warmth. Before your first-of-the-season fire, check to make certain that your chimney is clear of debris and then test it for proper ventilation. Probably best to hire your local chimney sweeper to make a clean sweep of your chimney and fireplace.

Battery Check

Check all the batteries in your home safety devices, including smoke detectors, carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, and radon detectors. Smoke detectors running on batteries typically last for up to 10 years, CO detectors last about six years before needing replacement, and radon detectors are accurate for approximately two years.

Fire Extinguishers

Home fire extinguishers should be checked regularly to make certain they are ready to be used in case of a fire. The National Fire Protection Association recommends the following steps in your fire extinguisher inspection:

  • Ensure easy access to all your home’s fire extinguishers.
  • Check the pressure gauge to ensure the device is in the proper operating range.
  • Look for signs of physical damage.
  • Clean the outside of the fire extinguisher.
  • Replace fire extinguishers over 10 years old.
  • Check your local fire department’s website for additional resources like a home safety and evacuation plan.

Schedule a Fall Tune Up

Fall is the time to test out your home’s heating system, and more importantly, schedule a fall tune up of your HVAC system. This allows time for any necessary repairs or maintenance. Don’t wait until temperatures dip to freezing levels.

Need professional advice, maintenance, or repairs for your home? Call Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900 to schedule a visit. Our experts will gladly help you complete your fall home checklist.

Indoor Air Pollutants

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

According to the 2021 American Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report, Phoenix-Mesa is ranked number seven for the most year-round particle pollution and ranked number five for the most pollution from ozone. High pollution advisories, issued by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, are an ongoing concern for homeowners because high levels of outdoor air pollution can contribute to indoor air pollution. What are other factors that may contribute to poor indoor air quality?

Home Construction Materials

Houses built after the mid-1990s are constructed to be airtight. Product enhancements in construction materials, such as weather-stripping, window panes, insulation, door seals, and caulking mean homes are sealed from outside elements. Your house has very few cracks or crevices that allow indoor air to exit or outside air to enter. In the continuing effort to increase air conditioning and heating energy efficiency, these newer construction materials have contributed to decreased indoor air quality.

Indoor Air Pollutants

Common indoor air pollutants include cooking fumes from your stove and oven, mold spores from indoor plant soil, and outdoor allergens like pollen which make their way inside your house when doors are opened. Two other common indoor air pollutants are:

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – Construction materials, furniture, kerosene, flooring, new carpeting, electronic products, and many household cleaning solutions emit odors and VOCs into the air that can be hazardous to your health. Formaldehyde is of particular concern.
Formaldehyde is a strong-smelling, colorless VOC gas commonly used in manufacturing building materials, including particleboard, plywood, glues, adhesives, and insulation materials. Even some brands of home products include formaldehyde, such as towels, cleaning products, baby shampoo, diapers, makeup, nail polish, toothpaste, and air fresheners.

Pet Dander – Cat and dog owners know that pet hair and dander can cause strong allergic reactions. Using a HEPA vacuum and changing your air filters more often can help reduce indoor air pollution from animals.

Though the inside of your home will never be completely free from indoor air pollutants, Cool Blew professionals can provide you with additional information on how you can control indoor air pollution and create a preventive plan. We want to help keep your indoor air as clean as possible. Call us today at 623-872-2900.

Does a Tankless Water Heater Make Sense for You?

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

Many homeowners aren’t aware that water heating systems are the second biggest user of electricity in homes after air conditioning and heating. Yet, they are often overlooked when it comes to improving efficiency—only being replaced when they cease working.

Most homes in greater Phoenix have traditional gas or electric tank water heaters. You know them as the big white tanks typically installed in your garage. While this type of water heater is ubiquitous in homes across the Valley, it’s not the only option. A tankless water heater system is an alternative that a growing number of homeowners are exploring and installing because of the advantages over natural gas (methane), propane (LPG), solar, or electric water heaters.

What is a tankless water heater?

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

What are the advantages of this alternative to traditional tank water heaters?

Here are three key benefits of tankless water heaters to consider before it’s time to replace your existing system:

  1. Lower costs
    Because tankless systems heat water as needed, rather than keeping an entire tank hot for your use, it typically costs much less to operate. There is also less water waste, as you don’t have to run the tap while you wait for water to warm up. This results in lower monthly utility costs. Over time, this monthly savings offsets the cost of a new tankless water heater system.
  2. Continuous flow of hot water
    It’s certainly a big surprise when you’re in the middle of a shower, and the hot water runs out. With a tankless system, you’re not using a limited tank of hot water. So, there’s never any risk of running out of water. As long as the tankless water heater is functional, you’ll always have plenty of hot water.
  3. More space
    If you have your water heater tank in your garage, you’re aware of the space it takes up. In many smaller, older homes, available space is tight for accommodating a bulky water heater. When every square foot counts, a tankless system is the right choice.

Are you ready to learn more about replacing your water heater with a new tankless model? Call the plumbing experts at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

Fall is Almost Here and Your HVAC System Needs to be Prepared

This entry was posted in HVAC Systems on by .

Fall is nearly here, and temperatures throughout the Phoenix area will thankfully begin to cool down soon. By mid-autumn, it may even be time to turn off the air conditioning and flip the thermostat to “heat” as morning and evening temperatures begin to drop. In other words, it’s now the perfect time to get your HVAC system ready for fall and winter months. Here are the priority areas to focus on.

Change Out Your Air Filter

Summer monsoon dust storms can wreak havoc on your HVAC system. Your air filter likely is loaded with dust, dirt, and pollen. Simply remove and dispose of your dirty air filter and replace with a clean filter. This small step takes less than two minutes and can have you and your family breathing cleaner air.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Fall means lower nighttime temperatures, a substantial drop in humidity, and a cooler home interior. Go ahead and turn your air conditioning off when daily temperatures are below 85 degrees or whatever temperature is most comfortable inside your home. You’ll notice a rapid decline in monthly energy bills versus what you encountered during the late spring and summer months. If you’re getting chilly overnight or in the mornings, you may even want to switch your thermostat to the heat setting in November.

Clean Out Debris Around Your HVAC

Even though days will be mostly sunny, you may still see rain, even a random hailstorm or high winds impacting your exterior air conditioning unit. Take a bit of time or ask your landscaping company to clear away vegetation that has grown over the summer, monsoon storm debris, tree limbs, fallen fruit from your trees, and other potential hazards that may obstruct your HVAC system’s blower and evaporator coils.

Time to Schedule Your HVAC Check Up

Just like scheduling a yearly physical with your health provider, scheduling maintenance for your HVAC system can add years of efficient cooling, heating, and your interior air quality. While many homeowners schedule an AC tune-up before summer starts, fewer homeowners take the time to schedule an autumn maintenance check to ensure the 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 the most during the Valley of the Sun’s cooler months.

Call Cool Blew Now

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

Preventing Plumbing Problems

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

Are you experiencing pesky plumbing problems now that summer is almost over? The most annoying plumbing-related issues are often the preventable problems that make homeowners want to pound the table and yell when they realize an ounce of prevention would’ve saved a lot of time, trouble, cost, and frustration. Here are some plumbing situations that you can check on and prevent.

Defective Washing Machine Hoses

Here’s a question for you. When was the last time you thought about your washing machine water hoses? The answer is probably, “Not in a very long time.”

Would you guess that faulty or bursting basic, plain black, rubber washing machine hoses are one of the most common causes of catastrophic water damage in houses? You cannot ignore two to four inches of water on the floor. Old rubber hoses tend to lose flexibility with age and are subject to a fair amount of stress as the water repeatedly turns on and off. These hoses have a track record for springing leaks. Carefully check your hoses showing any signs of cracks, bulges, or abrasions. Over the course of time, these hoses can simply fail without warning and cause expensive flooding. It’s a great idea to have your washing machine hoses replaced with leak-free stainless steel braided hoses. These hoses are inexpensive, and DIY easy-to-install, or have your local handyman or plumber replace them for you.

Toilet Handle Stuck

Familiar with these phrases, “Don’t forget to jiggle the handle” or “Make certain to hold the handle down” in your household? This is a very common plumbing issue where water spills into the overflow tube and the toilet does not shut off properly. Most often, moving the handle will alleviate the noise. If the water in your tank runs continuously, you may be in store for a high dollar water bill. Another problem may occur If the float in the tank is out of adjustment. Water will fill up the tank for about twenty seconds, shut off, then the toilet tank will fill up again with water. This cycle can go on endlessly until the toilet float is replaced or set correctly.

If you’ve got plumbing issues or if you have questions about plumbing problems you’ve noticed in your home, call Cool Blew today. We’ll do a complete inspection and professionally repair all your plumbing problems quickly, efficiently, and affordably. Call us now at 623-872-2900 to schedule your appointment.

What’s the Big Deal about Spray Foam Insulation?

This entry was posted in Insulation on by .

Looking for ways to lower your energy bill? One option may be to upgrade your home’s insulation. There are many types of insulation for residential use including blanket, structural insulated panels, foam board, loose-fill, and blown-in fiberglass.

Insulation Home Uses

Your home’s insulation is like an extra layer of skin, shielding the interior of your house from weather elements and acting as a barrier to unwanted air leakage. Often, gaps, holes, breaks, warps, uncovered interior nooks, concrete exterior blocks, unreached corners and unseen crevices compromise your home’s insulation integrity.

Here’s a statistic to consider when thinking about reaching out to any local professional company to do the work: the average American home loses 20-30 percent of its heated or cooled air due to leakage.

The Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation

One of the best options available is spray foam insulation as a potential solution for your home’s energy plan. Spray foam insulation is a liquid foam sprayed into specific areas of your home to form an insulating layer. Used for over 30 years, this type of insulation can be used to insulate your roof, walls, floors, and anywhere you need to plug and prevent air leaks.

Spray foam insulation has distinct advantages over other types of insulation, including:

  • It can be used in hard-to-reach places.
  • It can provide additional interior sound insulation.
  • It is highly effective in eliminating costly air leakages.

In addition to its usefulness for indoor climate control, spray foam insulation also helps head off rodent and insect invasions, reduces contamination by airborne pollen during allergy season, and prevents water leaks that can cause mold, mildew, wood rot, and a subsequent increase in your water bill.

The holes, gaps, and breaks that allow air to escape your house, sneak into your home’s interior, and ultimately prevent your insulation layer from performing optimally can be filled with this type of insulation, allowing you to save on your heating and cooling bills over time. Ready to contact an expert for additional details about spray foam insulation and how it can fit your budget? Call your local Metro Phoenix HVAC professionals at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

Home Plumbing: Don’t Sweat It

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

Does it feel like it will not stop raining? Arizona’s monsoon season has been impressive so far, producing lots of water and an interesting plumbing dilemma – damp, dripping pipes. When your home’s pipes start dripping, that’s when the amount of precipitation may have gone a bit too far. Notice moisture on or around your plumbing, pipes, or fixtures? Keep reading.

Drip, Drip, Drip

Have a pipe in your home that’s dripping water? Yet when you examine the pipe closely, the pipe is not actually leaking. The dripping water could be caused by condensation, often referred to as sweating. Your pipes do not actually sweat, though. Pipes can collect moisture when the warm, moist air surrounding cold water pipes interact with one another. Voila! Condensation will result. On hot humid summer days in the Valley, cold water in your pipes will cool the air surrounding your pipes and condensation will form on the outside of your pipes. In simpler terms, this moist air is water vapor wanting to become water once again.

The downside is pipe sweating which can create damage to your house over time. Furniture, carpet, flooring, ceilings, and walls can be damaged from pooling water and mold, and may even increase the likelihood of a termite invasion.

Drying things Out

So, what do you do now? Take the cure! It’s as simple as insulating the sweating pipes. Just like your hot water tank is insulated with a blanket. Foam insulating pipes works the same way. If you’re a DIYer, there are self-adhesive or “drip tape” types of insulation at your local hardware store that adhere to pipes to prevent moisture. Make certain to wipe down the pipe and thoroughly dry it before applying the tape. Wind the pipe tape until it covers both fittings and pipe. Of course, beforehand turn off the water supply to the affected areas. Cutting water at the main source outside your home may be the easiest.

If you need to reduce humidity created by sweating pipes, use a portable dehumidifier. Depending on your HVAC system, you can turn on the thermostat setting to take care of this issue, too.

Whatever your plumbing issue is, your local experts at Cool Blew can fix it. Keep puddles outside where they belong. Call us today at 623-872-2900.

What Are They All About: Water Filtration Systems

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

Ever experience a “funny” taste or smell to the water pouring out of your tap? Depending on where you live in the greater Phoenix area, your drinking water may have taste, water hardness, or odor variations. If you moved to Greater Phoenix from a region with great tasting tap water, the City of Phoenix tap water may not be up to your standards. Don’t worry. The water is safe to drink! And drinking plenty of water is a must during our hot weather season running from April to October.

Generally, before autumn arrives, algae and minerals start accumulating in the rivers where the tap water for Phoenix originates. The water is filtered and treated many times before reaching your home, yet the taste or smell doesn’t always go away completely. That’s why the water can develop an odor or a bad taste.

The City of Phoenix Water Services Department conducts over five million tests and measurements each year throughout its treatment and distribution systems. The water is analyzed using state of the art equipment and laboratories. Phoenix continues to improve water aesthetics using carbon during treatment, highly advanced water monitoring and sampling techniques, blending of Central Arizona Project (CAP) and Salt River Project (SRP) water, and canal brushing by SRP to lessen taste and odor-causing harmless algae.

Select the Best Water Filtration System

Although you can find pitcher filter systems and bottled water everywhere, a whole-home water filtration system is your most convenient and affordable option in the long run When evaluating the best filtration system for your house, there are several system options to consider:

  • Carbon filters use carbon to ensure your water tastes chemical-free.
  • Reverse osmosis systems make water safer to drink by transferring it from a high ion concentration to a low ion concentration.
  • Water softeners with no-salt conditioners remove minerals like calcium and magnesium, increasing the lifespan of your appliances.
  • Bacteria and toxin shields ensure your water is safe to drink.

Installing a water filtration system also helps protect our environment by eliminating the need to purchase water bottles. With plastic accounting for a substantial percentage of environmental pollution, a home water filtration system is a great way to decrease your family’s carbon footprint.

At Cool Blew, our locally owned business has over 19 years of experience as trusted valley-wide HVAC and plumbing specialists. In other words, you can count on us to provide you with convenient, healthy, whole-home water filtration systems. With a skilled team of professionals and fair, upfront pricing, you can feel comfortable and confident inviting us into your house to make certain the water your family uses for drinking, cooking, and bathing is the purest it can be. We follow established guidelines regarding Covid-19 safety protocols before entering your home. Call us today at 623-872-2900 to schedule service.

Common HVAC Issues in Phoenix

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .

Daily temperatures in the Valley of the Sun during the summer are usually either hot, very hot, or extremely hot. Too often, air conditioning systems develop problems during the season which must be dealt with quickly and professionally. No homeowner wants to be without their HVAC unit in the summer, so let’s explore two of the most common problems affecting HVAC systems and how to deal with them.

Thermostat-related Problems

Air conditioning systems are built to operate automatically with minimal maintenance. The thermostat’s main role is switching the HVAC system between heating and cooling. When the thermostat is faulty, it can lead to overheating or excessively cool rooms.

Any type of thermostat is subject to dust, dirt, and grime problems. And Arizona homes are notorious for dust, no matter how well they are sealed or how frequently they are cleaned. It’s important to note that the buildup of dust around the contact points can cause problems even with smart thermostats.

As well, with some newer HVAC thermostats, when the power goes out to your home, there may be issues with certain types of thermostat memory chips losing their programmable settings. Frequent adjustment, low batteries, or dead batteries on thermostats that use them, and mechanical damage from impact also can be responsible for issues associated with malfunctioning thermostats. Make sure to have extra AA or AAA batteries on hand in case of battery malfunctions.

Coolant Problems

The cooling system in air conditioners works on the same engineering principle as refrigerators. On older HVAC units, coolant runs through the evaporator and condenser, absorbing and carrying away heat to the outside. If this coolant leaks, cooling will not take place, and your home will get hot. A good indicator of coolant problems are abnormal temperature spikes that occur when the temperature outside gets hotter. The air conditioning system may be running but the temperature of the room may not be dropping to the desired level. While this may also indicate a faulty thermostat, the level of the coolant in your air conditioner needs to be checked. This is when you need to call the professionals to inspect your HVAC system.

At Cool Blew, we specialize in HVAC preventative maintenance and repair. Regular maintenance helps improve the efficiency of your cooling system and helps to minimize summer breakdowns and repairs. Valley of the Sun residents can count on Cool Blew to meet your cooling and heating needs year-round. Call us today at 623-872-2900.