Arizona monsoon season officially started June 15. Scattered rain and wind gusts reached the Valley of the Sun early, kicking off an active 2021 monsoon season.
These immensely powerful summer storms are the result of a change in wind patterns, using the desert Southwest’s summer heat to bring moist wind currents north from Mexico. This time of year, the Sonoran desert bursts into a flurry of billowing cumulonimbus clouds, towering thunderstorms, pelting rain and hail, and severe flooding. These impressive summer storms can be preceded by haboobs, “massive dust storms” in June, July, August, and early September. A surprise to homeowners new to Metro Phoenix! It’s not a dry heat in the summertime with humidity levels elevated. These spectacular, violent, and dangerous storms can knock down trees and powerlines, cause flash flooding, and even damage air conditioning units. Don’t underestimate the power of monsoon storms, especially while driving or walking outside. They can also wreak havoc on your air conditioning system. At Cool Blew, we believe an ounce of prevention before monsoon storms strike is a smart strategy for keeping your home both cool and safe.
Check Your AC System
Check your outdoor AC unit to ensure there are no obstructions, rocks, tree branches, or plants growing close to the unit. Make certain if flash flooding does happen in your neighborhood, your AC unit is out of reach of any pooling water. Some homeowners keep a tarp or cover on hand to protect their exposed air conditioner when monsoons hit. Wind whipped dust, driving hail, and rain can damage your AC unit. If you do cover your air conditioner for the storm, make sure the power is turned off before covering it.
Check Your AC Drainage Lines
Not only does your air conditioner system keep you and your family cool, it also acts as a dehumidifier and removes moisture from the air in your house. During Arizona’s monsoon season, there is a significant increase in humidity, which means more moisture in your home. It’s important that the water drain line is clear and unclogged, so you don’t have water backing up or pooling near your AC unit.
Your AC System Experts
Your air conditioning system is vital for the comfort of you and your loved ones. Cool Blew gets a deluge of calls during monsoon season about damage done to AC units by monsoon storms. Why not have your air conditioning system checked by one of our professionals before a storm hits? We also love to provide ways to increase AC system efficiency during the summer monsoon season. Call us today to schedule a monsoon check-up at 623-872-2900.
Ice or frost on your air conditioner can be an unusual sight to behold in the heat of the summer. Yes, it can happen, and it’s not a good thing. So, what are the most common causes of this chilling problem?
One of the most frequent causes of your air conditioner icing up is low refrigerant due to a leak in the system. Leaks can happen due to constant wear and tear, along with system vibration and weather conditions.
Refrigerant transforms from a gas to liquid and back again in an endless loop, working with other HVAC components of your system to force cooled air into your house through air vents, lowering the temperature of cooling coils, and transferring heat from inside your home, which is blown outside as exhaust. When there is a leak or your AC system is low on refrigerant, the temperature will drop significantly on the coils containing the refrigerant. Condensation from the humidity in the outside air will form as ice on the coils.
Dirty Evaporator Coil
When your evaporator coil is dirty, you’ll experience less airflow throughout your AC system. More electricity is used to keep the system functioning, and there can be potential damage to the compressor.
Air Flow Restrictions
If the air flow is restricted due to blocked or extremely dirty air filters, damaged air ducts or damaged duct work, your AC unit will have difficulty lowering indoor temperatures and can produce frost or ice.
If the outside air temperature falls below 60 degrees, which can happen during a monsoon storm, it can be too cold for your AC unit to run properly. Frost or ice can form outside the unit.
When a fan motor or blower fan is damaged or if there are twisted refrigerant lines or blocked drains, your AC cooling system may ice over.
The bottom line—if you see ice or frost on your HVAC system, especially during the summer, it’s time to call Cool Blew. We can quickly diagnose and repair the root cause of the problem. Call us today at 623-872-2900.
Smelling something other than clean, fresh air blowing out of your AC vents? There are several causes for unusual scents emanating from your air conditioning system.
Electrical Burning Odors
An electrical burning smell will immediately get your attention. This odor may be serious and requires turning off your AC system at the circuit breaker and calling for AC service. Issues with wiring, an overheating motor, or a malfunctioning fan blade are some of the common causes. Keep in mind that wires, fans, or motors burning can cause extensive damage if ignored.
Mold and mildew thrives in dark, damp, cool environments. Your air conditioner’s drainage lines and pans provide just the right places for mildew to grow. Your air conditioning system works by removing excess heat and humidity from the air inside your home. When this condensation pools outside, it will smell like dirty socks!
In Arizona, homeowners most commonly notice this odor when they first turn on their air conditioners in late winter or early spring. However, moisture can build up in your HVAC system any time of the year. Another serious issue with excess moisture is it can lead to mold growth, which can be a serious issue when it comes to your family’s health. Whole home dehumidifiers can help by removing moisture from your home’s indoor air. Call your local pros to investigate where the smell is coming from and how it’s impacting your home’s AC system and inside air quality.
Stinky Trash Smell
A rotting critter that has died in your air conditioning system will result in a smell difficult to ignore. Rats, mice, and other furry friends can unfortunately invade HVAC ducts and even living critters can lead to foul smells inside. Turn off your AC unit and open your windows for ventilation. Contact your local HVAC technicians or pest company immediately.
Stuffy air can be caused by a lack of fresh air circulating in your HVAC system. When your house is not properly ventilated, the reduction in circulation can cause poor indoor air quality and foul odors. This is the time to count on your local HVAC pros to service your AC system.
Is Your AC Failing the Smell Test?
A wide variety of smells can be associated with your AC system. Many of these odors are best tackled by the experts at Cool Blew. When you need to know the cause of a foul odor, call the Cool Blew professionals at 623-872-2900.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A well-functioning evaporator coil is essential to the operational efficiency of your furnace or air conditioning system. It also impacts how your heating system works if you’re using a heat pump. If your evaporator coil is dirty, that keeps it from absorbing enough heat, which means the refrigerant running through the evaporator coil isn’t warming up as much as it should. That’s very bad news, as a cold refrigerant creates water vapor in your air to freeze, instead of condensing that into a liquid. As a result, the evaporator coil can end up frosting over. Don’t let that happen. Cleaning the coil will do a lot to restore function and ensure a longer service life for your AC. If you’re wondering how you could go about cleaning that AC component, here are a few tips to help you.
First, turn off the air conditioning system. Switch the thermostat to off and unplug the unit. That way, you won’t need to worry about the AC accidentally turning on while you’re tinkering with its parts.
Once that step is done, remove the access panel on the furnace. It’s the same if you have an air conditioning system. Lift that panel and you’ll expose the coil.
Spray a no-rinse cleaner on the fins of the evaporator coil. Make sure you read through the instructions properly, though, before you direct the spray cleaner can to the coil.
If there’s debris that just won’t let go, then use a gentle nylon brush or paintbrush to clear that away.
Put the access panel back once the coil is clean, turn the AC back on, and you’re done.
If you want to try your hand at taking care of this task on your own, then these are the steps you’ll need to follow. However, if you have no time for this, or you’d rather let a professional handle this in case you’re afraid of making a mistake—perfectly reasonable concerns, of course—then start looking for a technician. Here are other reasons why you’ll want to get a pro for the job.
Why Should I Hire a Service Contractor?
The task might seem easy enough to handle. And if your only issue is with cleaning the coil, then you can expect to spend no more than a few minutes on the task or at the very least, the better part of an hour. However, if there are other issues that arise, or already existing problems, you’ll need to do more than clean the coil to get your AC unit working without a hitch. That’s where a professional comes in. Hiring a service contractor means you have an expert who can look at the problem, determine what’s causing the issue, and provide a solution. Pros also know what signs to watch out for, what faulty components are likely at the root of your problems, and what can be done to fix the situation.
Should I Repair or Replace?
In some cases, though, repairs can only get you so far. If you’ve hired a proto look at the problem and the contractor points out reasons why it’s better to replace your AC unit rather than spending money on one repair after another, listen to that advice. Take it to heart. If the repairs have been more frequent lately, then you’re only doing stop-gap measures. Stop throwing money down the drain and start looking around for a replacement AC unit. The sooner you get a new unit in place, the sooner you can forget your worries.
One of the best things about hiring service providers these days is that many of them offer maintenance plans. Anyone with an AC unit knows how inconvenient it can be to keep tabs on your AC’s maintenance schedule. Paying for a maintenance plan, though, means that someone else will handle that from now on. They’ll take it off your hands, so you won’t need to worry about forgetting to hire a service contractor to clean and perform maintenance service on your unit.
How Do I Choose a Technician?
Now all that’s left is for you to hire the right technician for the job. There are plenty of options, for sure, but not all of them will be the right ones for your needs. Here’s a list of tips to make this easier for you:
Ask around. It wouldn’t hurt to reach out to people you know and trust in the area. Reach out to them for recommendations and suggestions on which service companies for AC repairs and maintenance satisfy their needs. What company do they call?
Do your homework. Start looking for companies that fit the bill. Which ones offer the services and maintenance plans you need? Be sure to go over the plans. What are the terms and conditions?
Check the reviews. What’s the reigning feedback about the company? Are there a lot of positive comments or are there a ton of negative reviews?If there are even complaints lodged against the company, then spare yourself the trouble. Look elsewhere.
Hire local. When you hire a service provider, start with local options. They’re much more likely to make room for you on their calendar, especially if you’re close by. The proximity means that they can get to your home with ease. Take advantage of that.
Know the signs. Be on the lookout for any signs that you might be dealing with a dodgy service provider. Listen to your instincts. If they’re telling you that something is off, walk away and start looking for a trusted technician.
Whether it’s to clean the coil, perform repairs or maintenance, and even install a new unit, hiring the services of a professional technician will go a long way to giving you peace of mind.
After a long, incredibly hot summer with record-breaking temperatures, we’re thankfully seeing the first glimpses of relief. Temperatures are beginning to drop, making it an ideal time to begin the process of purchasing a new air conditioner. The following are just a few of the key advantages of buying a new AC unit in the coming months, rather than waiting until next spring.
You’ll Eliminate Any Chance of Installation Delays
Spring and summer are incredibly busy seasons when it comes to air conditioner installations for good reason. Many homeowners wait until their unit has failed before they purchase a new one. Thus, when temperatures rise, and they experience a system failure, Cool Blew is called. A simpler option is to buy a new air conditioner now, so that you don’t have to deal with the problems of a failed air conditioner.
Consider that a new air conditioner will run between 10 and 20 years, depending on usage, maintenance and environmental factors. If your system is approaching or past this mark, you may want to start planning on a replacement sooner than later. By buying a new system in the fall, you’ll not only avoid any potential installation delays, you’ll also set yourself up for lower cooling bills with a higher efficiency system.
You’ll Have Time to Research Your Options
Buying an air conditioner while dealing with an unexpected breakdown is stressful by anyone’s standards. In the heat of the summer, when your indoor temperature is climbing, it’s easy to get sucked into purchasing a larger, more expensive unit than you actually need. By planning your air conditioner replacement while your system is still running, you can carefully compare your options and make a decision based on facts, rather than urgent need.
Your Best Pricing
While we, at Cool Blew, always strive to deliver the best pricing options for your next air conditioner, lower demand in the fall can often add up to greater savings. HVAC suppliers often have systems on hand that didn’t sell over the summer that they’re willing to discount to make room for new models in the spring.
Your Residential Air Conditioner Specialist
At Cool Blew, we understand that purchasing a new air conditioner is a big decision that requires careful planning and evaluation. This is why we offer access to our experts by phone and free estimates on new air conditioners. Call us today at 623-872-2900.
Don’t let the summertime heat or winter season get the best of your air conditioning system. Keep your unit working without a hitch with routine maintenance. That includes having the evaporator coils cleaned at least once a year. However, if the dust levels are high in your home or facility, then you need to get the coils cleaned more often.
What are evaporator coils?
Air conditioners don’t actually create cool air in your home, contrary to what some believe. What the system does instead is to condition your air or cool it by removing heat from the air that’s already inside. There are two types of air conditioner coils that do this: the evaporator and condenser.Evaporator coils—located inside the AC assembly—remove the heat and humidity from inside your home. Condenser coils, on the other hand, are units outside of the AC system that use refrigerant to transfer heat from inside to the outside of your home.
Why keep the coils clean?
Clearing the coils of dust allows the heat exchange to occur much more efficiently, allowing it to power through the coils. Dirt and debris can block the exchange, though, which could be why your energy bills are so high. Dirty coils force your unit to work so much harder, so you also get higher energy consumption levels and bills.
How often should they be cleaned?
You’ll want to get those coils cleaned at least once every year along with a seasonal tune-up. However, if there are high levels of dirt and dust at your location or site, you’ll need to get the coils cleaned with greater frequency.
How do I clean the coils?
Evaporator coils are inside the unit, which means you’ll need to open up your AC system to get to the coils. That’s easy enough with DIY manuals and online tutorial videos. However, only attempt a DIY approach if you are confident about your ability to follow instructions. If that isn’t the case, it’s best to hire pros. An expert knows how to clean evaporator coil.
Why should I hire a pro?
A professional has the experience to pull this off. The right credentials and qualifications mean that if something comes up during the cleaning process, an expert is in a much better place to address or resolve those issues or even nip potential problems in the bud. A proalso has better tools along with considerable industry knowledgethat’s up-to-date and accurate that ensures safety during the installation as well as stellar results.
Look for a business that offers AC maintenance & cleaning services. Ask them if they clean evaporator coils just to make sure you’re covered. One way to solve all your AC maintenance problems, though, is to go for a maintenance plan. That way, even when you’re busy, your AC unit won’t be neglected. You won’t have to worry about forgetting the next tune-up or having your unit checked for issues. The maintenance program should take care of that for you.
Before you ask about how a kVAR unit works, it’s essential to know a few things first. Let’s start by being clear about what kVAR is. That means talking about the power factor.
What is the power factor?
The term refers to the ratio between active power and apparent power. Apparent power is the power we supply and is also called kVA. Apparent power is then broken down into two types: active power, which is symbolized kW, and reactive power, which is symbolized with kVAR. Essentially, though, the power factor is the measure of how effective the incoming power in your electrical system will be.
What are kW and kVAR?
Active power—or kW—is the one that supplies the energy for heat, sound, motion, and light. Reactive power, on the other hand, is inductive and is the energy that powers magnetic fields that are essential in rotating equipment. So, if something in the equipment moves, it’s likely operating under the inductive load. These are often in the form of compressors, refrigerators, freezers, motors, washers, dryers, dishwashers, pool pumps, and computer fans along with furnace blow motors, air conditioning units, well pumps, ceiling fans, and more. Now that you’ve answered the question: what is kVAR?, the next thing you should know about is a kVAR unit.
What is a kVAR unit?
You already know what the power factor is and its ratio of working power to total or Apparent power. To understand that with greater ease, the higher the kVar percentage in your load, the lower the ratio of the kW to the kVA. The result is a poor power factor. That’s where a kVAR unit comes in. It essentially reduces the reactive power that is supplied by the Utility. With the unit in place, you get to effectively use your electricity, reducing the amount of energy supplied to your system.
What does a kVAR unit do?
It increases the power factor, allowing you to make optimum use of your electricity. That matters because the reduced energy consumption levels mean that you save on electricity and energy costs. Installing a kVAR unit, then, is a smart cost-saving measure, one that you’ll want to take advantage of, so you won’t need to pay more than you need to.
Where is a kVAR unit usually installed?
Both residential and commercial spaces can benefit from the installation of a kVAR unit. Any facility or location that has a circuit breaker panel that comes with breaker switches is a good candidate for it. However, homes or facilities that still rely on the old screen-in type of switch will need to upgrade their systems before they think about installing a kVAR unit.
How do you install the unit?
Look for a reputable installation service that offers kVAR unit installation assistance. It’s always ideal to rely on the expertise and knowledge of industry pros. With their help and guidance, you can rest easy in the background. You know you can trust them to get the job done and done right.
As we continue to experience record-breaking heat in the greater Phoenix area, the possibility of power supply shortages grows. This week, both APS and SRP have asked customers to conserve energy to balance supplies. While we are not yet experiencing rolling blackouts like those in California, they are a possibility. To minimize the chance of experiencing an outage, we can all do our part to reduce our energy consumption. Here are a few strategies which can help:
Increase Your Thermostat Setting
Maintain a thermostat setting no lower than 80 degrees. To keep things cool, use ceiling or portable fans in occupied rooms.
Close Blinds, Drapes or Shades
Blocking the sunlight will help prevent your indoor temperature from soaring during the hottest part of the day.
Turn Off Lights
Check around your home for lamps and overhead lighting that are switched to on. Use only the lights that you need and consider switching to energy-conserving bulbs.
Use Your Outdoor Grill or Toss a Salad
Instead of turning to your oven or stove for meals, choose your outdoor grill or microwave. Or better yet, enjoy the bounty of summer fruits and vegetables and prepare a healthy salad that requires no cooking at all!
Use Appliances in the Evening
Wait to wash clothes and dishes until after the sun goes down. This will help reduce your energy usage during peak consumption hours.
Reset Pool Pump Timer
Like with indoor appliances, it’s a smart strategy to have your pool pump operating after dark.
Change Your HVAC Filter
A dirty filter results in your HVAC system having to work harder to keep your home cool. This simple step can go a long way towards conserving energy while improving your home’s air quality and the lifespan of your HVAC equipment.
The good news is that by taking proactive steps to reduce our energy consumption, we likely won’t have to deal with the rolling blackouts currently occurring in California. And by pitching in right now to conserve energy, you may also see the benefit of a smaller utility bill next month.
Want more tips on how to maintain your home comfort? Call the experts at Cool Blew at 623-872-2900 today.
Call TODAY to schedule your Home Energy Evaluation