Author Archives: CoolBlew

Why Install or Upgrade Ceiling Fans?

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

One of the smartest ways to cool your home during the summer months is to install ceiling fans. And, if you’ve had a ceiling fan for over 10 years, it may be time to upgrade to a more energy efficient, stylish fan. Here’s why:

Reduced Energy Costs

Installing ceiling fans can provide a cooler interior air environment and reduce your energy costs. The draft created by the moving blades makes a room feel cooler by up to five degrees. This calculates to a 15% or more savings on energy bills. You can adjust your thermostat accordingly and save additional energy. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests homeowners purchase ceiling fans with the ENERGY STAR symbol to save the most on monthly bills. Certified ENERGY STAR fans run 60% more efficiently than conventional fans/light units.

Easy Comfort

Ceiling fans are fantastic at keeping your family cool during Arizona’s hot weather. Later in the year when Phoenix Metro temperatures dip below 85-90 degrees, you may be able to turn off your AC system and feel comfortable using only ceiling fans, extending the life of your HVAC system by using it less.

Added Style

Fans can complement your home’s décor and are a wonderful way to add additional lighting to a room. Ceiling fans work well in other areas of your home, too, such as a home office, kitchen, Arizona sunroom, or a covered patio.

Just like buying a new air conditioning system, you need to purchase a ceiling fan that is properly sized for the square footage of the room and ceiling height. Consulting a professional electrician can help guide you in this process.

When to Upgrade Your Ceiling Fan

Is your ceiling fan making loud noises? The average ceiling fan lifespan is about 10 years depending on the frequency of use and quality. Buzzing noises, grinding, clicking, knocking, or the fan continuing to make a humming noise when you turn it off may be signs of one or more faulty electric capacitors or motor bearings overheating.

Is the ceiling fan speed decreasing? Another common issue of aging ceiling fans is diminishing speed. A fan with reduced speed will be unable to properly circulate the air around a room.

Is the ceiling fan wobbling or shaking? A slight wobble running on the highest fan speed is normal. If the blades are cracked or warped the ceiling fan can wobble uncontrollably, damaging not only the fan but possibly something else in the room. If the ceiling fan is shaking, it may possibly fall at any moment.

Is your ceiling fan broken? Are you renovating a room or redecorating your home? Then it’s probably time to buy a new fan or upgrade to an aesthetically pleasing model that fits your new decor. Call Cool Blew’s team of residential electricians for more information on ceiling fans at 623-872-2900.

How to Clean Evaporator Coil Without Removing?

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

Regular maintenance ensures problem-free operation of your air conditioner. That’s why it’s important that you keep an eye on your AC unit and schedule the proper maintenance, but sometimes life happens. With the way things get busy every day, it’s not surprising how some things get lost in the cracks, including remembering your next AC maintenance check. What can help is setting up a calendar with your maintenance dates. That way, you won’t ever have to forget when it’s time to clean up essential AC components.

This should include the evaporator coil in your AC system. The evaporator coil captures the heat from the air circulating in your home. You also have a condenser coil that helps deliver the hot air outside your home. That’s how your AC unit cools your interiors. An evaporator coil is an important part of the heat transfer process. A dirty coil can lead to a drop in your unit’s efficiency levels. Here are helpful tips in how to keep the coil clean.

What happens when it gets dirty?

 When the evaporator coil is dirty, it compromises several things. First, it negatively impacts the air blowing process. Since the coil might contain pollen and dust along with other particles, that gets in the way of efficient air blowing.

  • A clogged or dirty evaporator coil results in reduced air flow to your home. Reduced air flow can lead to inefficient cooling times. That’s one of the reasons why your rooms seem to take forever to cool.
  • In some cases the room might never achieve maximum level of cooling. In that case the problem is now more than a delay in the cooling performance; rather it’s an irreversible effect on the cooling capacity of the unit.
  • Another issue is the increased operating pressures. That means your unit is working at much hotter temperature levels. That’s anything but good as more heat is bad for the rest of your AC components.
  • Wear on system. With a failing part, the rest of the components in your AC unit are forced to work much harder to compensate for the dirty evaporator coil. As a result, they tend to be more likely to succumb to component damage. With parts failing, you’ll end up with a system malfunction on several levels.
  • A compromised evaporator coil affects the performance of the rest of the parts. That leads to shorter unit expectancy. If you want your AC system to last you much longer, then you’ll need to start paying more attention to your maintenance schedule.

Why keep the coil clean?

Maintenance comes with a lot of benefits. Regular AC maintenance keeps your unit working with little to no hassle and issues. It keeps your unit working as good as new, for as long as possible, and that’s ideal, since it means fewer repairs. Fewer repairs mean lower repair costs. Regular maintenance checks nip problems in the bud. Contractors have a chance to fix them before they turn into bigger problems that require a costlier approach. Lastly, with routine maintenance, you keep the unit working without a hitch. It lasts you longer, so not only do you save on AC repairs, you also save on a replacement. That means you won’t need to start looking for and spending money on a new unit any time soon.

How do you keep the coil clean?

  • First, remove the access panel. That will expose the evaporator coil. Make sure you go over your manual first, though, before you proceed with anything. The manual should make it easier for you to find the access panel and where your evaporator coil is.
  • Turn off the AC. Don’t take chances. Remove it from the plug. You don’t want it to accidentally turn on.
  • Get the access panel off. Just remove the screws or fasteners. However, make sure you go about this in a tidy and organized way. This means setting the panel and screws or fasteners aside in one spot. That way, you won’t lose anything. You’ll find it easy and convenient to secure the panel back when you’re done if you aren’t looking for every lost screw or missing fastener.
  • Use a compressed air canister. One of the best ways to get the dirt and other debris out is to use compressed air. Blow the air into the coil to loosen the dirt. If there’s stubborn dirt, though, you might need to put the nozzle close to the bottom of the debris, along its side. You can also go with a 90-degree approach if you’re using high pressure air.

 Related Read: Dirty Evaporator Coil? How to Clean an AC Evaporator Coil

 What do you need?

 You’ll have to put on protective goggles and gear when you clean the coil. It’s just a precaution, but is a good habit to be in. Clearing the dirt from the coil means you could accidentally blow it into your eyes. The goggles protect your eyes in case that happens. Make sure you also follow all the instructions when attempting to clean the coil, or ask an expert to come help.

Common Household Products That Can Pollute Indoor Air

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

Who would guess that indoor air pollution levels in our homes can be two to five times higher than outdoor levels? In some some cases, indoor air quality can be much worse. Environmental Protection Agency studies have shown levels of indoor air pollution can be more than 100 times higher than outdoor air!

With many of us spending over 90 percent of our time indoors during the hot Arizona summer months, indoor air quality is a very real concern. And one of the biggest culprits of indoor air pollution is cleaning products. Household cleaning products, even those with labels that state “green” or “natural” may contain ingredients that can cause headaches, eye or throat irritation, aggravate asthma or COPD, and even promote cancer with long term use.

By U.S. law, manufacturers are not required to list all ingredients in consumer products. Doing a bit of research from reliable sources can reduce the chances of your indoor air being polluted. Look for products listed on the EPA Pollution Prevention website that contain ingredients safe for human and pet health.

“Safer Choice” labeled cleaning products have been EPA-reviewed for all chemical ingredients meeting pH standards to minimize potential for eye and skin irritation or injury. Alternatively, selecting household cleaning products derived from plant-based ingredients can also clean effectively and be safe around your house with family, children, and pets. Even warm water and soap can clean your home. Baking soda can be used for scrubbing. White vinegar and water can clean glass.

Ammonia and bleach are common over-the-counter cleaning chemicals, but they release harmful gasses which can lead to chronic breathing problems or even death if mixed. Carefully checking the product label will help you determine the safest cleaning products for your home.

Air fresheners are another source of indoor air pollution, especially those from aerosol sprays and plug-in solids. Many people think these are essential home cleaning products, but they often contain pesticides like Dichlorobenzene and Phthalates used in the production of PVC plastics.

The best way to maintain an odor-free home is to open windows to circulate fresh air. Opening a box or two of baking soda or using a diffuser to release essential oils can also help. Plants are an effective toxin-remover too. Placing air-purifying plants throughout your home will naturally clean your indoor air safely. They also will help remove pollutants, such as formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, carbon monoxide and benzene. Just make sure the indoor plants are safe and non-toxic to pets and children.

At Cool Blew, we believe everyone should be breathing clean indoor air. We’re here to answer all your questions. Call us today to learn more at 623-872-2900.

Common Plumbing Situations

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

Plumbing problems are never fun to deal with and usually happen at the most inconvenient times. If you’d like to prevent a minor problem like a clogged kitchen sink or a leaky faucet from becoming a major plumbing issue, focus on these five plumbing situations. You’ll prevent costly repairs and home plumbing fixture replacements.

Kitchen Clogs

Thinking of putting coffee grounds, pasta, potato peelings, or rice down your kitchen disposal or drain? Think again! The best rule to avoid clogs is the less you put down your kitchen drain, the better. Don’t put medication, flour, eggshells, cooking fats, or cooking grease down the drain. They can all clog drains and potentially block pipes. Food scraps can be composted to be environmentally friendly and used in your garden. Medications can be dropped off at collection points, so pill residue doesn’t enter public wastewater treatment systems and eventually wind up in our tap water.

Annual Water Heater Inspection

Water heater maintenance ensures your system is operating at peak efficiency and helps avoid costly repairs or premature replacement. Whether it’s gas, electric, or solar, water heaters need to be checked for sediment buildup that may clog water lines or cause the tank to leak or not properly heat your water.

Liquid Drain Cleaners

Your shower drain or kitchen sink is backing up. Don’t automatically reach for those handy liquid drain cleaners. These inexpensive cleaners can weaken pipes from the chemical reaction taking place inside your drainpipe. The chemical heat reaction may even cause plastic plumbing pipes to melt or crack in some circumstances. When a plunger doesn’t resolve the clog, it’s best to contact your local plumbing expert.

Low Water Pressure

Notice your bathroom sink has intermittent water pressure? If you’ve checked under the sink and the water supply shut off valves haven’t been turned off and the spout faucet screens aren’t restricting water flow, it’s best to contact a plumber to investigate and repair. Ongoing low water pressure can quickly become a serious plumbing problem.

Toilet Flapper

Is your toilet running continuously or leaking water? Running toilets contribute to about 60% of water waste in US homes, according to recent studies. The toilet flapper may be the culprit. One easy way you can check for a leak is by dropping food coloring inside the toilet tank. After 30 minutes, if the toilet bowl has colored water, it means a leak generally around the flapper.

Cool Blew’s knowledgeable plumbers have the training and expertise to diagnose and repair any plumbing issues. Whether you are experiencing a clogged drain or a leaky faucet, trust Cool Blew to fix it. Call our expert plumbers today at 623-872-2900.

6 Spring Cleaning Electrical Safety Tips

This entry was posted in Electrical, Safety on by .

Spring is the perfect time to ensure your home’s electrical safety. Overloaded circuits, loose connections, short circuits, and splitting power cords are commonly overlooked and can cause property damage and injury. Inspecting your electrical system is an often overlooked, but critically important part of any home’s spring cleaning and maintenance.

House electrical fires accounted for hundreds of thousands of fires each year in the US, causing property damage, injury, and even death. You can substantially reduce your risk of an electrical fire by using the following electrical safety tips.

Inspect Electrical Cords

Check all your home’s electrical cords for frayed wires, cord pinching, loose-fitting plugs, or anything metal holding cords in place. If you see any damage, do not use them and replace as soon as possible. Overloaded cords may trip home circuit breakers or blow fuses. Unplug and move electrical items to a different outlet if they are overloading outlet panels or surge protectors.

Test GFCI Outlets

Walk around your house and check all GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlets. These outlets in areas near water, such as bathrooms, kitchens and outside your house, help protect you from electrical shock. You’ll see a “Test” and “Reset” button and possibly an indicator light built into the outlet. Press to confirm your GFCI outlets are working properly.

Check Fire Extinguishers

Your fire extinguisher hose, nozzle, and pressure gauge should be checked yearly. The pressure gauge needs to be in the “green” range, and the extinguisher will need replacement if past its expiration date. Properly rated fire extinguishers marked “C” can prevent small electrical fires from growing into large ones in a matter of seconds.

Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Test smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors every 30 days by holding down the “Test” button to ensure they’re working properly. Dust can clog the sensors, so clean with a soft cloth and replace the batteries annually. Remember to replace any smoke or CO detectors 10 years or older.

Examine Appliances and Devices

You probably have quite a few appliances and electrical devices plugged into your home outlets. Check all appliances and devices including TVs, laptops, and stereo equipment for cord or plug damage. Move any appliances in the kitchen area away from water and make sure cords are not near heat sources, such as a stove or oven.

Schedule An Annual Home Electrical Safety Inspection

Before summer arrives, have your home inspected by a qualified electrician to ensure it is current with local electrical codes. Your expert electrician will troubleshoot and discuss with you how to safely fix any potential electrical hazards.

Call today to schedule your spring home electrical maintenance with Cool Blew at 623-872-2900. Our team of professionals are here to answer your questions and schedule service at your convenience.

Eco-Friendly Home Tips to Make the Most of Earth Day 2021

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance and tagged on by .

April 22nd will mark 51 years of Earth Day celebrations. It’s a wonderful opportunity to take small steps toward changing your consumption habits. The ability to positively impact the environment around your home through simple fixes can mutually benefit your family, neighborhood, and ultimately our world. Let’s look at some ways to get involved besides classic Earth Day activities like picking up trash and tree planting campaigns. Here are eight eco-friendly home tips to save energy and natural resources.

Fix Leaky Faucets

A slow drip from one leaky home faucet can waste 7-10 gallons of water every day. That’s over 3,600 gallons a year, increasing your water bill by over 10% each month. That’s more than 60 showers annually! In other words, learn how to stop the drip and call in the experts, like Cool Blew, to ensure the water is only flowing when you want it to.

Turn the Faucet Off

What’s the best way to save up to eight gallons of water a day? Shut off the sink faucet when brushing your teeth! You can also conserve water while washing your hands. Turn off the tap when scrubbing your hands with soap before washing for 20 seconds.

Clean Refrigerator Coils

The condenser coils on the back of your refrigerator should be cleaned every six months by dusting or vacuuming. Keeping your freezer and refrigerator full helps to retain cold air better, utilizing less energy. Inspect and clean gaskets periodically to help your refrigerator operate more efficiently.

Vary Cooking Times

By cooking early in the morning or at night, you’ll reduce energy consumption especially if you’ve signed up for off-peak hours energy plans with your local utility company. When using your oven, turn it off 15 minutes before the timer is up. Your food will continue to heat up.

Turn on Ceiling Fans

According to Energy.gov, when using air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees Fahrenheit with no reduction in comfort.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Did you know you can save up to 8% on home cooling costs for every degree set above 78 degrees? By replacing your thermostat with a smart thermostat, you can earn even more energy savings with an environmentally friendly system which pays for itself.

Wash Laundry in Cold Water

Your washing machine uses almost 90% of its energy-related consumption towards heating the water. Choose the energy saving setting for your clothes. Hot water also can fade, shrink, or wrinkle certain fabrics. So stick to the cold.

Turn Dishwasher Heat Dry Off

One of the easiest ways to save about 15% of your dishwasher’s energy usage is to turn off the heat dry function. The air-drying cycle will dry your dishes and save money. If your dishwasher doesn’t have this function, simply crack open the door to let dishes dry once the load has finished washing.

It makes good sense for Earth Day to implement these simple, cost-effective, home lifestyle changes. It’s more important than ever to be environmentally friendly, and every tiny bit helps to save planet Earth.
Not everyone wants to take a DIY approach for Earth Day 2021. We get it! That’s why Cool Blew offers a team of licensed professionals to help you. Call the experts at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

HVAC Unit Recycling – What You Should Know

This entry was posted in HVAC Systems on by .

Here in the desert, we all heavily rely on cooled air to keep us comfortable for an extended part of the year. It’s hot here, and air conditioning is essential to making it livable.

With the relentless heat that we experience, our HVAC systems work hard and often need to be replaced sooner than they do in other parts of the country. With Earth Day later this month, here’s what you need to know about recycling an aging HVAC system to ensure you’re also protecting the environment and using resources wisely.

Most HVAC contractors, including Cool Blew, remove old equipment as part of the process of installing a new system. HVAC system parts can then be recycled, including steel, aluminum, copper, and brass components. No, it’s not as simple as tossing components into a recycling bin. Materials must be separated and organized by metal type. The specific components that can be recycled include:

  • Motors
  • Coils
  • Sheet metal
  • Compressors
  • Brass fittings
  • Copper tubing
  • Furnaces
  • Metal duct work
  • Cardboard boxes

The items that can’t be recycled include:

  • Fiberboard
  • Capacitors
  • Tiny plastic parts
  • Flex duct

What about Refrigerant?

Leftover refrigerant in HVAC systems must be reclaimed, so that it isn’t left to evaporate and contribute to ozone depletion. Reclamation is required by the EPA, and HVAC technicians carry licenses to do it following specific safety guidelines. Air conditioning technicians are also required to keep logs about refrigerant usage. This includes details on storing, reclaiming, and charging air conditioners with refrigerant.

Get a Free Estimate

If you’re ready for a new HVAC system, call Cool Blew today. We can help you determine which products will work best for your home. Call us at 623-872-2900 to obtain a free estimate and to get more details on recycling your existing system.

What to Do about a Clogged Shower Drain

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

Tired of taking a shower and being ankle deep in a murky, soapy pool of unpleasant looking water? If your shower water is draining slowly, or not draining at all, it’s a sign your shower drain is clogged.

A clogged shower drain may be caused by a small blockage or a major obstruction in your main sewer line. It’s important to determine the source of the blockage as it could cause extensive damage over time. When a drain cleaner, like Drano, doesn’t work to unclog your drain, and you’re continuing to wade in a puddle of water, it’s time to call a professional.

Here are some of the common causes of clogged shower drains:

Mineral Deposits

Most Arizona residents know we have some of the hardest water in the United States. Hard water has a high percentage of calcium and magnesium ions dissolved in it. Studies have shown the Phoenix Metro area has water hardness, measured in grains per gallon, ranging from 12 to 18 grains. Considered by water quality guidelines to be exceedingly high hardness and without a properly functioning home water softening system, mineral scaling over time on the insides of your pipes will cause drain clogs.

Hair

When you take a shower you naturally shed hairs and millions of dead skin cells. Hair and skin cells can wrap around waxy deposits or stick to grease from soap or even dirt. Over time these hairs and dead skin cells can stick to the walls of your drainpipe causing shower drain blockages.

Soap

You’re probably well acquainted with a white chalky residue on the shower surface. It’s not just an eyesore. A build-up of soap scum from the fats and wax in soap combined with minerals, dirt and hair, can cause the drain to clog and be a serious plumbing problem.

Tree Roots

Believe it or not, tree roots are a common cause of drain clogs. Tree roots in search of water sometimes grow into small underground pipe cracks over time obstructing the flow of water. A big problem you can’t fix yourself.

Smells

An unpleasant smell may emanate from your drain. This is another sign of a blocked drain, caused by the debris clogging the inner walls of the pipes. Large drain blockages may cause bathroom flooding or leaks due to standing water seeping through shower joints. Shower caulking or grout may weaken allowing standing water to migrate into the shower walls resulting in serious, costly damage.

If your shower drain repeatably clogs, and chemical drain cleaning products don’t resolve the problem, call a professional. These drain cleaning chemicals may seem like an inexpensive easy fix, but continued use of these caustic chemicals can damage your shower fittings, pipes, contaminate the environment, and be hazardous to your health. Cool Blew has years of experience dealing with shower drain maintenance, drain cleaning, and main line sewer blockage repair. Call Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

HVAC Strategies to Prevent Hay Fever

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .

Hay fever season is here for an estimated 40 to 60 million Americans. If you’re one of the unlucky sufferers of this common condition, you’re probably already suffering from sneezing, sniffling, and itchy, watery eyes. Luckily, spring HVAC maintenance can remove many of the allergens that can cause symptoms of hay fever. Proper maintenance can remove pesky allergens like dust mites, mold, and pollen, helping you avoid irritating allergic symptoms. In fact, these common home contaminants found in your indoor air can be easily controlled.

Use high quality air filters

You know air filters are your first line of defense against poor air quality in your home. MERV is the filter industry standard. Filters with higher MERV ratings offer increased filtration. Look for MERV ratings of at least 8, with 20 being the highest rating. This will go a long way toward reducing indoor allergens. Replace air filters every month for best results. Dirty air filters not only will contribute to seasonal allergy symptoms, they also decrease HVAC system efficiency.

Clean the outdoor unit

The outdoor HVAC unit pulls in air circulating throughout your home. Airborne particles make the air in your home harder to breathe. Check for dust, dirt, and debris and clear it away from the unit frequently to keep allergens from being pulled into the system and entering inside.

Dust house vents

Even if you make it a habit to dust weekly you may forget to dust air return vents. Dust mites are the most common hay fever trigger, so cleaning your air ducts will get rid of dust mites and help reduce allergy and breathing symptoms. Cool air transported through air ducts can also lead to condensation and mold which is a major irritant for many allergy sufferers. Dust lingering in home vents and registers will blow throughout your home, so clean them on a regular basis. Use a damp or treated cleaning cloth to keep from kicking up dust particles and worsening your allergy symptoms.

Schedule an annual maintenance appointment

Spring allergy season is a great time to schedule HVAC maintenance.. Servicing by an HVAC professional will help reduce indoor allergens and ensure your system is healthy, and your air filtration system is dust and blockage free.

Cool Blew offers expert maintenance services, which can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. Call Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

Why You Shouldn’t Tackle Do-It-Yourself HVAC Maintenance

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .

You enjoy being handy around the house, making common household repairs with a wrench or screwdriver. We get it! Saving yourself a great deal of money and honing your handyman skills is rewarding. However, HVAC maintenance and repairs simply shouldn’t be something to add to your list of do-it-yourself projects.

The following are just a few of the many reasons why it’s wise to only let a skilled, experienced HVAC technician maintain and repair your system:

1. HVAC Systems Need Professional Tools

HVAC systems need to be periodically serviced, repaired, and carefully calibrated with equipment and tools designed specifically for HVAC specialists. Everyday tools are not only impractical when it comes to fixing your HVAC system, they can be risky.

2. Safety Threats

HVAC systems require knowledgeable and experienced technicians who are trained to minimize the risks of working with flammable, pressurized gas, high electrical voltage and environmentally toxic combustion fumes that have the potential of causing injury or even death.

3. Decreased HVAC System Capacity

Do-it-yourself repairs and system tune ups have a high likelihood of decreasing the operating life and efficiency of your system. Without professional training, you can make mistakes with the system that could prove to be difficult to resolve in the future. And there’s always the chance that you can unknowingly turn a minor problem into something major, which can lead to expensive repairs down the road.

4. Voided HVAC Warranty

Replacing parts on your HVAC unit with generic parts or performing any do-it-yourself maintenance will likely result in a voided warranty. You must work with an HVAC trained and licensed professional as all repairs and maintenance usually require documentation by the HVAC manufacturer. In other words, to maintain your warranty, don’t do the job yourself.

Call Cool Blew Instead

We know that it can be appealing to attempt a DIY project like HVAC maintenance. But, stop before you start. For expert HVAC maintenance that will keep both your warranty protected and give you peace of mind, call Cool Blew instead at 623-872-2900.

A trained professional can detect HVAC issues before they cause bigger system problems. The benefits of using a trained HVAC professional will far exceed the potential damage you may incur by doing DIY servicing and cleaning of your system.