Category Archives: Air Conditioning

How to Optimize Your HVAC Vents

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How to Optimize Your HVAC Vents

We totally understand. You’ve been paying even higher summer cooling costs to keep your house comfortable during this long, sweltering Arizona monsoon season. Temperatures are still consistently ranging from 100 degrees to over 110 degrees, even though fall is right around the corner. You want relief and may be tempted to close room vents to help save some of those precious, hard-earned dollars.

Don’t go down this path.

It may make sense that if you shut room air vents, you’ll be using less air to cool down your home. Unfortunately, air conditioning doesn’t quite work that way. Room vents are not installed in your house to restrict airflow. Rather, their purpose is to control the direction of air movement as it passes into a room.

Shutting a vent all the way doesn’t provide an effective seal, and it can cause damage to your HVAC system components. The motor that powers the blower fan in your system’s air handler is designed to push against a maximum air pressure. If the pressure is increased due to a blocked vent, it impacts the motor and will result in a drop in airflow throughout the system. If your system’s blower has a variable speed motor, this pressure will cause the motor to ramp up to its highest power level, which will result in higher monthly utility bills and even greater stress on the AC motor. Over time, this can lead to problems with the compressor and evaporator coils.

Better Ways Than Closing Vents

Now that you know that shutting vents isn’t an effective way to save money and may actually cause additional issues with your HVAC system, it’s good to know that there are some simple DIY tips you can do to lower your home cooling costs. Here are four easy strategies that you can complete quickly.

  1. Maintain a thermostat reading around 78 degrees during the day.
  2. Change air filters at least once a month through the end of October.
  3. Clean vent covers and ensure they’re not blocked.
  4. Keep your outdoor AC unit clean so that it can expel heat properly.

We’re Here for You

Would you like to learn more about reducing your monthly home cooling expense? Call your expert technicians at Cool Blew at 623-872-2900 today. Even though it’s late in the Valley of the Sun’s air conditioning season, it’s never too late to call for maintenance or service. You still need your AC unit to run in tip top shape to keep cooling costs in check. Take this opportunity now to pick up the phone and call your locally owned air conditioning business, Cool Blew.

AC Components Most Likely to Malfunction Over the Labor Day Holiday

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Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer for most regions of the US. However, summer heat is far from over in the Desert Southwest. Phoenix residents understand there are at least six more weeks of hot weather ahead before the temperatures start to slide into fall. At this point in early September, air conditioners have been operating full tilt for months. Like an automobile running at an extremely high rpm on a long trip through the sweltering desert, the motors and moving parts of AC systems are being pushed to the limit. Not surprisingly, depending on how old your AC unit is, some components may fail, and you may experience service issues with your AC before the end of summer. This is the time of year when air conditioners are really put to the test.

Components Most Likely to Breakdown

Of course, every air conditioner is unique with its own set of challenges and issues. Over the years, Cool Blew has noticed certain patterns in terms of components wearing out in the late summer. Here’s a list of the some of the parts most likely to need replacement:

Air Filters

Critical to the smooth operation of your AC unit, air filters are supposed to filter out dust, dirt, dander, and other particulate pollutants from the air that circulates in your home. However, filters that aren’t changed can impact the efficiency of your HVAC unit while also creating less than ideal indoor air conditions. HVAC air filters require regular replacement and ideally should be changed out once a month—even more if you have pets or if one of your family members suffers from a respiratory condition.

Capacitors, Contactors, and Wiring

Malfunctioning capacitors, contactors, motors, and fans, as well as electrical wiring issues, are responsible for over 80 percent of all HVAC service calls. Capacitors and contractors are some of the most heavily used parts in your AC unit. Constant wear and tear on electrical parts, along with extreme heat, which dries out and degrades the plastic insulation around wires, means problems are bound to come up over time.

Evaporator Coils

Here’s the dirt on evaporator coils. Over time, they get covered with dust and grime which reduces their effectiveness. Cleaning the evaporator coils on a twice-yearly basis is the solution to the problem. Rust and corrosion can cause tiny pinholes in the sealed system, which will allow refrigerant to escape into the air. Low refrigerant causes your AC unit to work harder and ultimately can cause it to break down.

Blower and Fan Motors

The fan in your AC system keeps the air moving and runs constantly throughout Arizona’s extended summer. Depending on the age of your air conditioner, it’s only a matter of time before an AC fan may require adjustment, lubrication or sometimes, the fan motors simply burn out. If that happens, give us a call immediately.

If you forgot to schedule HVAC servicing before summer began, it’s never too late to call. If you’ve noticed ongoing or new issues with your AC unit, don’t hesitate to give our professionals a call today. Call Cool Blew at 623-872-2900 to schedule your appointment. We’re the coolest team around!

Keeping Cool and Safe during an Active Monsoon Season

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Beating the heat during monsoon season in the Valley of the Sun is a continual effort. The predictive map published by the Climate Prediction Center, a branch of the National Weather Service, correctly showed higher than normal probabilities for above-normal rainfall in the desert Southwest this year with 2022 being the third consecutive La Nina year. Lower surface water temperatures near the equator in the Pacific Ocean have contributed to a summer of excessive heat followed by punishing rains and flash flooding in the Southwest. Interestingly this summer, drought conditions have dramatically improved in most areas of Arizona, which goes against the typical La Nina weather woes thanks to our good monsoon season. What does this all mean for you to keep cool and safe the rest of this sizzling summer?

Batten Down the Hatches

To best help prevent damage to your home during a storm and potentially knocking out your outdoor AC unit, safely secure or put away outdoor furniture, pool items, and pool umbrellas. Gusty winds driven by monsoon thunderstorms can pick up items of any size, weight, and shape slamming them into your sliding glass doors, windows, BBQ grill, and possibly your AC equipment. If the items can’t be moved, secure them with tarps, ropes, and tie-downs.

Pool Water Away from Your House

Monsoon downpours can clog your home’s drainage system. Clean out gutters and water downspouts to provide rainwater a clear path to storm drains and monsoon culverts. Pooling water in your backyard after storms means you need to call a local landscaping business or utilize your landscapers to provide an improved drainage solution.

Weatherize Doors and Windows

Weather stripping doors and windows keeps precious AC-cooled air inside your home. You’ll save money on utility bills and keep out monsoon rains and windstorms.

Trim Trees

High winds and microbursts can quickly snap tree branches and even bring down trees of all sizes on top of your home. It’s never too late to trim or remove drought weakened branches, broken tree limbs, or split tree trunks.

Cool Blew is On Call for Emergency AC Services

Even following these monsoon thunderstorm safety tips may not completely keep your AC unit in the clear. If a monsoon thunderstorm has damaged your air conditioner, call your local expert technicians at Cool Blew 24/7 at 623-872-2900 to schedule your appointment. Don’t fear the monsoon, we have your AC unit covered.

Ways to Help Escape Expensive Summer Energy Bills

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Keeping cool during Arizona’s brutal summer heat has always come at a cost. But with electricity rates rising, turning up the AC can now really hit your household budget. To help, we have a few simple tips to reduce those dreaded summer energy bills.

1. Run Your Air Conditioning Economically

Set your thermostat comfortably higher during summer months. And use a programmable thermostat to automatically increase the indoor temperature when you’re away from home which will easily reduce cooling bills by 10%. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, setting your AC thermostat to 78 degrees instead of 72 degrees can slash monthly electricity charges up to 18%. That’s a significant savings!

2. Use Ceiling Fans to Keep You Feeling Cooler

You’ll dramatically improve your comfort level by using those ceiling fans. In fact, running them can make you feel four to six degrees cooler via the wind-chill effect. Ceiling fans also allow you to raise the thermostat by as much as four degrees with little or no discomfort.

3. Close Shades, Blinds, and Drapes during Daytime Hours

The more sunlight shining through windows during the heat of the day, the more your AC unit works harder at keeping your home indoors cool. You can easily block this passive heat from entering your house by keeping shades, blinds, and drapes closed on summer days. This can save up to $135 per year for a standard-size home.

4. Clean up the Area Surrounding Your Outdoor AC Unit

The more clutter free space around your outdoor AC unit, the more efficient it will operate. By allowing plenty of room for your unit to breathe, the condenser will be better at circulating air without any obstruction or disruption.

5. Replace Air Filters to Help Your HVAC Unit Run Efficiently

Cooling and heating use the most energy in the average Arizona home—up to 50% of total home energy usage. By changing out your AC air filters on a monthly basis, you can simultaneously improve indoor air quality and energy efficiency.

Cool Blew is Your Guide to a Cooler Summer

Get the information you need now to decrease your summer energy expenses from the experts at Cool Blew. Call us today at 623-872-2900 to get the answers to all your energy related questions. We’re all about HVAC done right. Guaranteed.

Best AC Settings for Distance Learning and Working from Home

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While it has been more than two years since the beginning of the pandemic, many of us still are working and learning from home. If this sounds like you or a family member, your home’s indoor temperature is an important consideration. Too hot or too cold can quickly translate into a drop off of productivity. While optimized indoor temperatures might not be top-of-mind, it’s vitally important for work and school success. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to properly regulate indoor temps.

Best AC Settings

Here’s a cool idea to help keep costs down all summer long without having to crank up your thermostat settings. Both the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program recommend 78 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal cooling and energy efficiency comfort when you’re at home and awake. Investing in a smart or programmable thermostat is the easiest way to match your cooling needs to your family’s daily schedule, yet still allowing you to adjust temperatures manually to suit your situation.

The EPA suggests increasing the thermostat temperature by four degrees when you’re sleeping. Of course, not everyone finds those awake and sleeping temperatures comfortable. According to a Consumer Reports national survey in 2021, the average temperature that Americans keep their thermostats set to is 71 degrees during daytime and nighttime hours. If your family is less heat tolerant to the suggested AC settings, try lowering the thermostat one degree at a time. Allow your AC system time to optimize your home to the new setting before ratcheting the thermostat down another degree or two.

When you’re away from home, depending on whether you have furry pets or heat sensitive plants and home furnishings, you can try raising the thermostat to 85 degrees. You can utilize the smart thermostat’s smartphone app to adjust thermostat temps on the fly in case you’ll be returning home earlier than planned.

It’s best during the summer in Arizona to avoid using your washer, dryer, and oven during the heat of the day, because usage during this time means your AC unit needs to work longer to keep indoor temperatures cool and comfy.

Keep Cool with Cool Blew

Would you like to know more about how to best optimize your home’s indoor temperature for your working or learning success? Call your local expert technicians at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900. We’re your nonstop AC leaders in keeping Valley of the Sun residents cool and calm all summer long.

Best Settings for Your Thermostat When It’s Blazing Hot Outside

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Staying cool and keeping your AC costs under control in the blazing Arizona summer heat is top of mind now for every homeowner. Your HVAC system is busy working overtime to keep your home comfortable and cool—but at a cost. Here are some ways to beat the heat in the Valley of the Sun while keeping your utility bill under control.

Beat The Heat Tips

Adjust the Thermostat

For home comfort, most experts agree that 78 degrees is a good temperature for your house. Of course, you’ll probably want to lower the thermostat to between 72 and 76 degrees while entertaining guests for their comfort. Turning on ceiling fans will help keep you feeling cooler by three to four degrees. By continuously circulating the air, ceiling fans create a sense of coolness through evaporation. Remember to turn off ceiling fans when leaving a room for additional energy savings.

When you’re away from home, you can save electricity by raising the thermostat to 85 degrees. If you have pets, heat sensitive heirlooms or plants, it’s best to leave the temperature setting at 78 degrees.

Consider installing a smart thermometer that you can set to accommodate your schedule. Then, you won’t be coming back home to a hot house. Smart thermostats enable you to schedule temperature settings fitting your lifestyle. You’ll easily be able to make changes on the fly with the associated smart app on your mobile phone. These smart-enabled thermostats can even learn from your daily patterns. For instance, you can set your thermostat to cool down your home 20 minutes before you arrive and increase the temperature automatically when you’re away for work, errands, or a vacation.

Take Shorter Showers

The EPA says showers are the fourth largest household use of water, as well as a major use of electricity if you have an electric water heater. Making small changes, such as reducing your water heater temperature to 120 degrees and reducing the length of your showers, can significantly help reduce monthly electricity charges.

Turn off the Lights

With the cost of electricity bills rising this summer, along with rising inflation, turning off lights when they’re not needed will reduce the load on your budget. Flipping off light switches is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint too. Implementing small changes will add up to big savings on your monthly utility bills.

For additional information on cost-saving tips and ideas to keep you cool without breaking the bank, call the professionals at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900. We’re here to help you this summer and throughout the year.

Tips to Stay Cool for July 4th

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Your home’s air conditioning system is likely working full force around the clock this time of year, keeping you and your family comfortable. If you’re hosting a 4th of July get-together, here are a few tips to ensure your guests are comfortable inside while reducing the strain on your cooling system.

Use Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans help keep air circulating and provide an easy way to quickly cool down indoors. Turn on your ceiling fans to keep each room of your house feeling up to four degrees cooler. This way you can avoid adjusting your smart thermostat and ceiling fans are a great way to be more energy efficient. Remember to turn off ceiling fans running in any empty rooms.

Close the Blinds

Whether you’re hosting guests inside or outside, blocking out the sunlight from heating up your home’s interior is a great way to keep guests happy and reduce your utility bills. Draw blinds, close sliding glass doors, shutters, and drapes to keep the heat out.

Use Heat Generating Appliances Less

The 4th of July holiday weekend is a wonderful time to fire up the outdoor grill instead of cooking indoors. You’d probably be surprised how much heat ovens, clothes dryers, and dishwashers emit as they run. Try to avoid using these appliances during daytime hours. Run full loads of dishes and laundry in the evening. This will decrease wear and tear on your appliances, keep your home cooler, and decrease energy usage.

Maintain Your AC

You don’t want to have your AC breakdown during July 4th celebrations nor anytime during Arizona’s sweltering summer. You can help keep mechanical and electrical issues in check by having your system properly serviced. Scheduling a twice-yearly air conditioning tune-up and inspection with a trusted local HVAC company can extend the lifespan of your unit and help steer clear of unwanted surprises during the summer. The inspection can alert you to potential issues that can be easily repaired before they turn into expensive problems. Regular tune-ups keep the AC components running smoothly all summer long.

Schedule AC Service Today

Looking for an HVAC company you can trust with keeping your AC system running 24/7? Cool Blew has you covered with experienced technicians available year-round, including the July 4th holiday weekend. Call Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900 to schedule servicing or to find out more about our home services. Have a happy 4th of July!

Four Questions to Ask Prior to Your Next AC Repair

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Want to ensure you get the right HVAC provider performing the right service? Here are four questions to ask:

1. Should I repair or replace?

In some situations, repairing your air conditioning unit isn’t enough to have it properly functioning. There are a few signs that indicate you may need to replace your AC.

  • Your air conditioning system is 10 years or older.
  • You’re paying a lot of money for constant repairs.
  • Repairing your AC unit will cost more than purchasing a new unit.

If you’re unsure if you need a replacement, have a licensed HVAC professional inspect the unit. A trustworthy, certified technician will only propose replacing it when it’s really required.

2. Do You Offer a Free Quote?

No matter if you require maintenance, repair, or replacement, professional HVAC contractors always provide pricing upfront. A legitimate contractor will offer a concise, accurate, and justifiable quote to make a service call, perform repairs, or install a new system.

3. What About Regular Maintenance Compared to Repair Expenses?

Regularly scheduled maintenance for your air conditioning system ensures you’ll lessen the need for costly repairs. Scheduling twice-yearly inspections by Cool Blew’s technicians to check, clean, and perform necessary repairs costs significantly less than costly, unexpected repairs when systems are not maintained. Regular maintenance also helps to decrease your monthly energy bills.

4. Are you Insured and Bonded?

It’s always important to do your due diligence when it involves any company or technician who will be working in your home. Not all HVAC companies are insured and bonded, and some are fly-by-night operations that disappear once you’ve used their services. Take the time to do your homework and ensure that the business you’re considering is committed to 100% customer satisfaction.

Call the Professionals at Cool Blew

Take time to ask the right questions. Not all HVAC companies are created equal. Don’t sweat it before your next AC repair. Cool Blew’s industry certified technicians are here to help you 24/7 including holidays. Call us today at 623-872-2900 to schedule your appointment. Keeping you cool is our business!

What Is the Best Thermostat Setting for Summer?

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With daily temperatures in the Valley of the Sun now hovering above 100 degrees, you may wonder what’s the target setting for your thermostat during summer. Before you start randomly lowering your thermostat setting, let’s look at some recommended temperature settings.

Home Thermostat Settings

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says 78 degrees for warmer months is the best setting when you’re at home. You may be tempted to set your thermostat even lower to 68 or 70 degrees when you’re home or sleeping. This will require a great deal of energy for your AC to maintain these temperatures even with a well-insulated home. Your monthly energy bills will skyrocket!

Instead, when you’re home, turn on the ceiling fans. Fans help occupied rooms feel cooler by blowing air downwards without having to lower the thermostat on your AC unit. In fact, ceiling fans help to make you feel up to four degrees cooler indoors. By circulating air around your house, your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain a consistent temperature. Best of all, ceiling fans can save four to eight percent on cooling costs when combined with your air conditioning unit.

Away Thermostat Settings

EnergyStar.gov studies have shown that you can save three to five percent on air conditioning costs for each degree you raise the thermostat. If you have pets, you can increase the thermostat up to four degrees from its normal setting when you’re away from home. This ensures a safe, comfortable environment for your furry family members. If you have indoor plants, but no pets, you can safely increase your thermostat to a high of 85 degrees. Using a programmable thermostat, you can set it to run six or more pre programmed temperature settings. This is the best way to ensure against unpredictable surges in your utility bills.

Don’t be tempted to set your thermostat to an excessively cold setting when you return home to quickly cool down your home. Your house will not cool down any faster, and it will result in excessive cooling and extra energy expenses.

Call Cool Blew

Cool Blew’s team of technicians are ready to answer additional questions on thermostat settings for your AC unit. Call us today at 623-872-2900 and one of our industry certified professionals will be glad to help you.

Air Conditioning Issues That May Spring Up

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With the heat on in the Valley of the Sun, the need for staying comfortable and cool is a necessity. Your AC needs to run efficiently all spring long. For the most part, air conditioning units operate smoothly, but Sonoran Desert conditions can result in accelerated wear and tear on your HVAC system. You may be experiencing more problems depending on how many years your air conditioner has been operating. Here are some of the most common problems:

Fans and Blowers

After months of not running, AC fans and blowers may have issues firing up in spring. When there’s arcing or pitting on the motor contactors, it can be difficult for the motors to start up. Sometimes with servicing, fans and blowers can start working again, but many times these components need to be replaced at some point during the lifespan of your AC.

Condensation Drain Line

The condensation drain line may become clogged for a few reasons. There may be water around or beneath the drain pain under the evaporator. Typical causes include algae or mold in the pipes blocking the drain line.

Refrigerant

Even though air conditioning refrigerant lines are completely sealed, over time leaks can start in the coils or fittings through very tiny holes. It can be difficult to visually spot or even hear any refrigerant leaks except for a hissing sound which may or may not be audible. The best way to detect refrigerant line leaks is during a springtime HVAC system tune-up.

Breakers or Fuses

Breakers and fuses keep the AC motor and compressor from overheating. When triggered, your AC unit will not work.

Condenser Coils

The most common cause of condenser coils leaking is when the coils are dirty due to dirt, dust, and debris. When cleaning with a water hose doesn’t resolve the issue, an HVAC technician will have to service the coils. Another cause of condenser coil leaks is traces of fluoride in household water causing the coil to become corroded over time.

Capacitor

Failed capacitors can occur from wear and tear, electrical power surges, or other fluctuations in power. Sometimes, a visual inspection can spot a burned-out capacitor. Other times, the capacitor appears fine, but isn’t functional. With electrical problems causing about 80 percent of AC repairs, fixing them is best left to trained professionals.

Call Cool Blew

Your safest bet is to schedule a spring AC servicing appointment with your trusted technicians at Cool Blew. Call us today at 623-872-2900.