Author Archives: CoolBlew

Don’t Ignore Toilet Leaks

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .


You may be surprised to learn that water leaks account for more than 10 percent of all water use in the average American home. And, toilets are among the most common sources of these leaks. Just one toilet leak can waste up to five gallons of water a minute. That adds up to 7,200 gallons of water each day! This isn’t just wasted water, it’s wasted money.

How can you tell if your toilet has a leak? The most common sign is the sound of running water. This can be a subtle hiss or an irritating trickling sound. Yet, water can also flow through the tank silently. This is why leaks often go unnoticed for an extended period of time.

Check for Leaks

If you suspect a toilet leak, there’s an easy test that you can do to check. Remove your toilet tank lid and drop 10 drops of food coloring into the tank. Put the lid back on, but do not flush. Wait 20 minutes and then look in the toilet bowl. If you see colored water, you have a leak.

Another way to identify a leak is to check your water meter. First, make sure no water is being used inside or outside of your house. Locate your water meter and check the leak indicator to see if it’s moving. If the dial is moving, you have a leak.

Causes of Toilet Leaks

Leaky flapper valves and fill valves are among the most common causes of a leaking toilet. Flush handle problems are also common. If the handle needs to be jiggled to stop the toilet from running, the flush level bar and chain may be sticking. Overflow tube leaks can also occur. The water level should be set so that it is about even with the fill line on the back of the toilet tank. If the water is too high in the toilet tank, the water level can be adjusted by turning the adjustment screw or by bending the float arm down so that the water shuts off at a level below the overflow tube.

While some homeowners tackle toilet leak repairs as do-it-yourself projects, Cool Blew also provides professional toilet repair and replacement services.

Icy Air Conditioner? What Does That Mean

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .


This time of year, it’s hot by anyone’s standards. This makes it all the more striking when you notice ice on the exterior of your air conditioner. Yes, it happens, and it’s an indicator that there’s a problem that you need to address sooner than later.

Low Refrigerant

The most common cause of ice buildup on your air conditioner is a refrigerant leak within the system. This is often due to wear and tear and ongoing vibration of the unit. High winds, dust and pounding rain associated with monsoon storms can also be contributing factors.

When a refrigerant leak occurs, the temperature will drop on the coils containing the refrigerant. Condensation from the humidity in the air will then form ice on the coils. This kicks off a bad cycle of increasing ice buildup that results in your air conditioner working harder to maintain a cool temperature in your home. Over time, this can lead to the complete failure of your air conditioning system.

Clogged Filters and Coils

Refrigerant isn’t the only problem related to icing of your air conditioning unit. Those monsoon storms can also cause dirt, dust and debris to clog filters and coils, producing inefficient air flow. With reduced air flow, the outcome is the same as with low refrigerant – ice on your air conditioner.

What Should You Do?

While the sight of frost or ice on your air conditioner may initially make you think that the unit is functioning to full capacity, it’s important to know it’s a signal to call for service. Don’t wait for the situation to change. It will, but the next indicator of a problem will likely be an air conditioner that isn’t working at all. If you’ve detected ice on your air conditioner, or if you’ve noticed that the unit is working harder than it used to, don’t delay in calling Cool Blew. Our team of highly trained HVAC technicians has the experience and expertise to diagnose and repair any and every air conditioning problem – including icy coils. Call us today to schedule a service call at 623-872-2900.

Go Solar Now or Wait?

This entry was posted in Solar on by .


Solar panels have become commonplace on the roofs of homes and businesses in the greater Phoenix area. This certainly makes sense when you consider that we get more than 320 days of sunshine per year. Yet, switching to solar energy isn’t always a simple decision. There are important considerations to weigh before going solar.

Your Roof

Some roofs are more conducive to solar panels and will deliver better returns than others. Those that are north or northwest facing are optimal. You also don’t want the solar system to be shaded by trees or other buildings.

Your Panel Options

Traditional, roof-mounted solar panels are the most common option, but, you may want to consider a ground-mounted system that can be installed anywhere on a property. This is often a good choice if there isn’t sufficient roof space. Panels also come in different levels of efficiency. Higher efficiency panels have a higher upfront cost but offer greater returns.

Your Rebate Eligibility

It’s important to factor in any potential rebates and tax credits that can reduce the total cost of your solar installation. Take the time to review state and federal options, as well as utility company incentives. Your Cool Blew solar expert will also help you gain a better understanding of these savings. The Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit is the largest source of cost savings, providing a 30% credit on qualified expenses. The State of Arizona also offers a $1,000 credit. If you’re considering solar, you may want to act sooner than later. Some of these incentives will be going away within the next two years.

Your Solar Contractor

Not all solar contractors are created equal. It’s a wise decision to choose an installer with the credentials and experience to maximize your return on your investment. Cool Blew is an SRP certified contractor and was named a top ten qualified contractor by APS. Offering top-of-the-line products from leading brands, including GreenSky and SUNPOWER, we can help you start gaining the significant savings of solar.

Call Cool Blew today to schedule a consultation at 623-872-2900.

Should You Get a Home Energy Audit?

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .


You can’t step outside this time of year and not be very aware of the tremendous summer heat. When average daily temperatures are in the triple digits, it can be difficult to keep your home comfortably cool while containing your utility bill. This is when an energy audit can come in very handy.

What is a Home Energy Audit?

An energy audit is a thorough inspection and analysis of energy uses in your home to determine the amounts of energy used and the costs. These findings can guide strategies to reduce energy use through energy efficiency improvements and conservation.

What to Expect During Your Home Energy Audit

At Cool Blew, we take a comprehensive approach to home energy audits. We don’t just look for locations of leaking air. We’re here to provide you with the latest information on ways to increase efficiencies while empowering you with the knowledge and tools you need to make them happen. Because we’re also specialists in HVAC systems, we assess your air conditioning and heating units to ensure they’re running efficiently. We also check for sufficient insulation, while identifying issues with windows, doors, attics, ductwork and more.

Customers are often surprised by the savings found with an energy audit and upgrades. While we offer plenty of products to help improve efficiencies, we also offer highly effective, yet simple DIY tips that can boost savings. In fact, the savings can be up to 30 percent or more on utility bills. Often, a few minor fixes can produce significant savings.

Are you tired of that continuously climbing, monthly utility bill? Don’t wait another month. Call Cool Blew today to schedule an energy audit. Whether you’re in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria or any other city in the Greater Phoenix area, we’re to help you save money and stay comfortable all year long.

Humanity Verses Humidity – How Moisture Affects You and Your Air Conditioning System

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .


Air conditioning experts often ponder a simple question – what is the perfect temperature?

It’s All Relative

Albert Einstein’s celebrated general theory of relativity transformed the world of physics and astronomy. Not considered light reading, it is complex and difficult to understand. In the hopes of simplifying his concepts, this humorous anecdote has often been told, “When you place your hand on a hot stove for a minute, it feels like an hour; yet when you spend an hour with someone you’re attracted to, it goes by in a minute.” This comparison illustrates the point that the perception of time is relative. So too, is the perception of temperature.

Consider these examples. A round of golf in 80-degree winter weather in the dry Arizona desert (humidity less than 20 percent) feels comfortable. However, in the summer months, 80 degrees in muggy weather with the humidity climbing to 95 percent feels oppressive and stifling. It’s the same temperature, but the difference is the humidity. That’s why people from all over the world flock to Phoenix in winter. The weather is near perfect. Average daytime temperatures hover between 68 and 75 degrees while the relative humidity is an ideal 40 to 50 percent. As we all know, summer in Phoenix is another story.

What Is Humidity?

Humidity is the measure of moisture or water vapor in the air, which can be expressed in absolute humidity or, more commonly, the term most often used on TV weather forecasts, relative humidity. The higher the number, the more water vapor in the air. In Arizona, the months of July, August and September bring monsoons which carry moisture from the Gulf of California north over Mexica to Arizona. Monsoons greatly increase the amount of moisture in the air which you can feel as the storm approaches, and the outdoor temperature drops.

Why Does Humidity Make Humans Feel Hotter?

The human body has a built-in temperature regulator. As our bodies heat up, the hypothalamus triggers our perspiration response, and we start sweating. The water in sweat absorbs heat energy from inside the body and releases that heat as sweat, which evaporates through the pores in your skin (forehead, palms, arms and feet mostly.) If there is extra moisture in the air, your sweat doesn’t have the opportunity to evaporate as quickly, increasing your internal temperature and causing you to feel hot and sticky. Not unlike stepping out of the shower on a hot day in a closed bathroom. Though the water temperature was cool in the shower, upon getting out you notice perspiration on your forehead almost immediately, defeating the purpose of taking a shower in the first place.

Humidity in Your Home

Have you ever noticed water dripping from an air conditioner? Air conditioning systems not only lower the temperature, they also remove moisture from the air circulating inside your home. The evaporator coil of the air conditioner condenses excess water vapor (humidity) into liquid water which collects in the pan and is drained from the system. Think of a glass of iced tea on a hot, humid afternoon. Moisture (water vapor) in the air is condensed by the cold ice in your glass, creating drops of water which run down the side of the glass and pool on the table top.

Is Your Air Conditioning System Running at Maximum Efficiency?

Excess humidity, condensation, drips, drainage issues and standing water can present problems for air conditioning systems. With the monsoon season in full swing, don’t struggle with a malfunctioning air conditioner that isn’t reducing the humidity in your home. Call the pros at Cool Blew today.

Preventable Plumbing Problems for Perspicacious Property Owners

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

In life, and in plumbing, there are pressing problems that arise seemingly out of nowhere which demand immediate attention and prompt remediation. Take for instance, an Arizona resident who recently arrived home from a two-week vacation only to find three inches of water covering the kitchen and family room floor. Through absolutely no fault of the homeowner, the foundation had shifted, splitting a water pipe that caused the slab leak which resulted in expensive flooding. How do you prevent a problem like that?
However, the most frustrating plumbing related issues are the preventable plumbing problems that make homeowners want to scream out loud when they realize an ounce of prevention would’ve saved a lot of time, trouble, expense and frustration. Here are the preventable plumbing problems (also known as the three Ps) that you can check on immediately and hopefully save yourself some trouble and money down the road.

Faulty Washing Machine Hoses

When was the last time you thought about your washing machine water hookup hoses?
Answer:
a.) Never
b.) The last time I purchased a washing machine and they charged me for the hoses.
c.) The time my washing machine hose burst and caused a huge mess and cost a bundle.

Would you believe that faulty or bursting washing machine hoses are one of the most common causes of catastrophic water damage in homes? In a moment of understatement, an insurance agent once wrote, “Washer hoses are largely ignored until they fail.” It’s hard to ignore two to four inches of water on the floor. Old rubber hoses tend to lose pliability with age and are subject to a fair amount of stress as the water repeatedly turns on and off. 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 checked and replaced with stainless steel braided hoses, if need be.

Jiggle the Handle on the Toilet – Endlessly Filling the Water Tank

Have you ever been sitting in your family room watching television and vaguely noticed a high-pitched water noise coming from the toilet many minutes after you’ve used the bathroom? This is an extremely common problem where water spills into the overflow tube and the toilet does not shut off properly. Many times, you simply need to jiggle the handle to stop the water tank from over-filling. No big deal, right? Except for the times when you’re not there to jiggle the handle. Or your kids use the toilet and go outside to play, and the water runs unchecked for hours. You can literally waste hundreds of gallons of water without being aware of it until you get your water bill. There’s a second variation on this theme where the float in the toilet tank is not adjusted properly so water fills up in the tank for fifteen or twenty seconds, then shuts off, then resumes filling a few minutes later. This cycle can go on endlessly until the toilet float is replaced or set correctly.

Don’t Be Such a Drip

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the slow drip-drip of leaky faucets can add up to some staggering statistics. Did you know, ten percent of homes in the United States have leaks that waste up to 90 gallons of water per day? A leaky faucet dripping at the rate of one drip per second adds up to 3,000 gallons of water wasted annually. In the big picture, minor water leaks account for more than a trillion gallons of water wasted each year in the US. Though water leaks account for significant loss of this precious resource, many homeowners simply tell themselves they’ll fix it tomorrow (but tomorrow never comes.) Drips and leaks and the resulting water waste is a very preventable plumbing problem that will pay for itself in lower monthly water bills and you’ll rest easier knowing you’re conserving water.

If You’ve Got Pesky Plumbing Problems Call in the Professionals

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 will do a complete inspection and professionally repair all your plumbing problems quickly, efficiently and affordably.

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.