Category Archives: Air Conditioning

How Will the Upcoming Ban on R22 Freon Affect My Air Conditioner?

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As a reminder to all our customers, in approximately 90 days, R22 freon (once an industry standard) will be prohibited from use in the United States. As part of a continuing, multinational effort to protect the earth’s ozone layer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been steadily phasing out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) over the last decade. As of January 1st, 2020, a complete ban on the production and importation of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b will go into effect. Once the new year begins, servicing of HVAC systems with R-22 will rely strictly on recycled or stockpiled quantities of R22. This ban will mainly affect older air conditioners. In fact, AC units using R22 have not been manufactured in the U.S. since 2010. It is quite possible the ban on R22 will not affect your system at all. However, if you have an older AC unit, you may want to schedule a fall service so we can check your refrigerant.

What Are HCFCs and How Do They Affect Our Ozone?

The EPA’s website has the following to say about HCFCs; “The stratospheric ozone layer shields the Earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation. Emissions of certain synthetic chemicals—including CFCs, halons, and HCFCs—destroy the ozone layer, and have created an “ozone hole” over the South Pole.” Essentially, by using HCFCs, we are destroying the very stratosphere which protects us.

Options to Remedy the R22 Ban

Here are a few options for dealing with the R22 ban which will go into effect in three months:

Replace Your Air Conditioner

Replacing your older, R22 freon based AC unit with a new, energy efficient air conditioner could be a sensible option. If your air conditioner uses R22 that means, it’s more than ten years old. Given Arizona’s extreme summers, your air conditioner probably has a lot of miles on it, so to speak. A new air conditioner will save you money on energy expenditures and give you peace of mind going forward. The best approach is to have one of our friendly service techs inspect your current system to evaluate the overall condition of your air conditioner and to provide you with information so you can make an informed decision.

Retrofit Your R22 Equipment

Retrofitting and upgrading to the most common alternative to R-22 (which is R-410A) might be an option if the rest of your system is in excellent condition. As air conditioners get older, they tend to break down and require more and more service. Retrofitting might make sense if your AC unit has not gotten heavy use over the last seven to ten years. A review of your recent service calls will tell the story of which components have been replaced and how many more years your AC unit has left.

Cross Your Fingers and Hope for the Best

If your AC has been running smoothly on R22 without any leaks or issues, you just might be able to squeeze another year of service out of your air conditioner. It’s important to note, the ban is on the production and importation of R22. It’s perfectly legal to continue to run your air conditioner with R22, as long it’s not leaking. However, supplies of R22 will dwindle as we go forward. It’s best to have a plan (just in case something goes wrong), and remember it’s much easier to replace a system in the off season – so don’t wait until next summer to make your move.

The Move to Non-Ozone-Depleting HFC Refrigerants Is Good for Our Environment

We support the ban on R22 and believe the switch to non-ozone depleting HFC refrigerants is the right move for protecting the earth’s ozone. After all, we want to leave a better, healthier environment for our children and grandchildren. If you have questions regarding the refrigerant in your air conditioner, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to explain it all.

Financing a New Air Conditioner This Fall

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Let’s face it. Fall is just around the corner, but you still are reliant on your air conditioner to keep your home cool and comfortable. If you’ve been reluctant to invest in a new system this summer, despite frequent breakdowns or rising utility bills, you may want to consider an installation this fall. In fact, fall is the ideal time for air conditioner installations!

And at Cool Blew, we make financing a new air conditioner fast, simple and easy. We offer a range of financing arrangements with leading lenders, including Wells Fargo, GE Capital, Synchrony Financial, Microf and RedBrick Financial Group.

Wells Fargo

If you’re considering the purchase of a new air conditioner, you may want to consider the Wells Fargo Home Projects Card, which offers a fast, in-home, in-store or online application and credit decision. By applying, you’ll have instant access to a revolving credit line that you can leverage for home improvement purchases, including HVAC-related projects. You’ll enjoy low monthly payments and competitive interest rates, as well as no annual fee or pre-payment penalty.

Synchrony Financial

Synchrony Financial is another option with a low interest rate. Cool Blew customers enjoy up to 18 months of financing at a low rate. Credit can be used to purchase a new system which will instantly help to reduce your monthly bill and eliminate the need for costly repairs.

Microf

Don’t want to undergo a credit check? Consider Microf, a unique, rent-to-own program which gives homeowners the ability to enjoy a new HVAC system with affordable monthly payments and a range of convenient payment terms and options. The application process is simple, and you can be enjoying cool air with greater efficiency sooner than you think.

RedBrick Financial Group

Want a simple, short-term financing option on your next air conditioner? Take a look at RedBrick Financial Group which offers 90 days with no interest and no down payment.

Don’t Put Off the Inevitable

In the Valley of the Sun, air conditioners work hard and occasionally need to be replaced. If you’ve been struggling with rising repair costs, sky-high utility bills and sleepless nights worried about a system failure, why wait another day? Call Cool Blew today to schedule your free in-home estimate on a new system. We’re happy to share details on available financing options, as well as opportunities to help you save on your home cooling.

By Late Summer, Air Conditioning Compressors Are Pushed to the Limit

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Water is wet. The sky is blue. The desert is dry, and Phoenix runs H-O-T (at a High Operating Temperature). As summer winds down through September, we receive calls from nervous customers who are worried their air conditioner may not make it to the end of summer. July (which is statistically the hottest month), August and September are the toughest months of the year on your AC unit. If your air conditioner is making odd noises, or if your AC unit is not cooling your home properly, you might want to consider having a late summer AC check-up.

Why Is an AC Compressor So Important?

Air conditioning systems have many major parts, all of which are important. One of the largest components in your HVAC system and certainly the most expensive to replace is the AC compressor, sometimes referred to as the heart of an air conditioner. Located up on the roof or placed on the grounds outside your home, the compressor functions at the core of the cooling cycle. As is indicated by its name, a compressor pressurizes refrigerant gas and propels it through highly pressurized pipes throughout your entire system, in order to reduce the temperature inside your house and to transfer (remove) unwanted heat outside. There are many factors that can cause your compressor to break down, including:

  • Low Refrigerant Levels

    Refrigerant lines are a closed system under pressure and demand very specific amounts of gas to operate efficiently and correctly. Too little refrigerant indicates a leak and will cause problems within your system. Conversely, too much refrigerant can also be an issue. Checking refrigerant levels requires special equipment and should be handled by a professional technician.

  • Leaks or Punctures in the Coils

    The system of coils in your air conditioner are designed with twists and turns, which makes it easy for leaks to occur. Miniscule punctures on the coils, barely perceptible to the human eye, can be caused by corrosion. These tiny holes are almost impossible to detect, yet gas slowly escapes. Depending on the age of your air conditioner, corrosion may be affecting the refrigerant level in your compressor.

  • Dirt and Grime Create Clogged Coils

    The coils in your compressor expedite the transfer of heat out of your house where it is released to the outside. Unfortunately, coils often attract dirt, debris and grime. When coils acquire a layer of thick grime, it almost acts like a layer of insulation and impedes the heat transfer process. As a result, your compressor ends up working harder to achieve the same level of cooling. Over time, clogged coils can harm your compressor.

  • Electrical Power Problems

    Electrical power and the correct voltage (not over, not under) is crucial to the normal operation of your compressor. Over time, depending on how old your AC system is, wires can degrade, and other electrical issues may arise simply due to normal wear and tear. Power surges, which are fairly common during the summer in Phoenix, especially during monsoon season, can cause electrical issues with your AC system. As with all electrical problems – please do not try to handle these repairs on your own. When it comes to electricity, call in the professionals.

Have Your Compressor and Entire AC System Checked Before a Major Breakdown Occurs

Of course, we’re in the business of servicing air conditioners so it might seem self-serving for us to advise you to schedule a checkup at the end of the summer if you’re worried about your air conditioner. However, it is much better for us to catch compressor problems before you reach the point of total breakdown. Remember, you can drive your car with the oil light on for only so long. At a certain point, it’s going to grind to a halt, and you’ll need to replace the entire engine. If you’re concerned about your AC unit, give us a call and we’ll be happy to send someone out to check on it.

Summer Crunch Time – Air Conditioning Parts Most Likely to Breakdown

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Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer for most regions of the US. However, this isn’t the case in the 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 late August/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 air conditioner is, some components may falter, and you may experience service issues with your AC before the end of the season. This is the time of year when air conditioners are really put to the test.

Customers Always Ask – What Are the Most Common Reasons for Air Conditioner Breakdowns?

No one wants to deal with an AC breakdown in the heat of the summer. Air conditioners are highly complex, multi-component systems operating under extreme conditions with very little protection from the elements. Rooftop AC units bake in the sun all day long in temperatures easily exceeding 140 degrees, unless there’s a monsoon which brings wind-whipped dust storms and driving rain. With so many fans, motors, capacitors, condensers, compressors, electrical parts, intricate wiring, and pressurized lines, it’s easy for AC systems to get out of synch. Most HVAC service technicians will tell you that they wish there was a simple answer. However, the most common reasons for air conditioner breakdowns are simple to wear and tear due to extreme conditions, ignoring early warning signs and irregular service.

What Parts Are Most Likely to Breakdown?

Of course, every air conditioner is unique with its own set of challenges and issues. Over the years, we’ve noticed certain patterns in terms of components wearing out. 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 remove dust, dirt, dander and other particulate pollutants from the air that circulates in your home. Air filters require regular replacement. Ideally, AC air filters should be swapped out once a month. Even more, if you have pets or if one of your family members suffers from a respiratory condition. Replacing air filters is not a difficult task to perform.

  • Capacitors/Contactors/Wiring

    Electrical problems, such as replacing capacitors, contactors, motors, and fans, as well as electrical wiring issues, are responsible for over 80 percent of all 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. As always, when it comes to electric issues, it’s best to let experienced professionals handle the electric repairs.

  • 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 regular 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 harm. Pinhole leaks are not easily detected by homeowners, although if you hear a slight hissing sound, that might be an indication of a leak. Our specialists will check for refrigerant leaks during a late summer service inspection.

  • Blower Motor / Fan Motor

    The fans in your AC system keeps the air moving and run 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.

  • Is It Time for a Late Summer Service Call?

    If you forgot to schedule a HVAC service or if you’ve noticed issues with your air conditioner in the extreme heat of August, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re always happy to check your entire system and restore your air conditioner to top form. Why not give us a call today?

High Humidity, Extreme Heat and Leaking Air Conditioning Systems

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Though rainfall due to monsoon season has been down this year, prevailing winds and established weather patterns are still transporting low level moisture up from the Gulf of California as they do every summer. Phoenix is known as the hottest city in America, and this year, we’ve had record-setting heat to prove it. We’ve also had plenty of humidity which can cause problems for air conditioning systems. Leaking air conditioners, unpleasant musty smells associated with standing water, sweating AC ducts and mildew are all a result of extra moisture in the air. If you’ve noticed leaking or water-related issues with your air conditioner, it’s best to deal with them as soon as possible.

Condensation and Removing Humidity from the Air in Your Home

Humidity causes our bodies to feel warmer because our natural ability to dissipate heat through perspiration is inhibited when there is extra moisture in the air. A simple example of this is taking a shower in a bathroom with the windows closed and the exhaust fan off. You will notice yourself perspiring almost as soon as you get out of the shower. Your air conditioner removes unwanted humidity from your home through the normal cooling process. As warm air passes over your cold evaporator coils, condensation occurs and water drips from the coils to the drain pan below. If you notice extra humidity in the air inside your home, you should give us a call.

Here are some of the most common reasons for leaking air conditioners and moisture-related problems:

  • Clogged Condensate Drain

    One of the most common reasons for leaking AC units is caused by a clogged condensate drain line. The condensate drain line can get clogged with debris or gunk which builds up over time. If the drain line is clogged, the water will back up and the pan will overflow.

  • Dirty or Clogged Air Filters/Low Refrigerant

    Proper airflow is critical to the normal operation of your air conditioner. When your air filters are clogged with dirt, airflow is reduced. This can lead to a chain reaction which may result in the evaporator coils freezing. If you have ever noticed ice on your AC unit, it is usually due to reduced airflow or low refrigerant. Either way, when the ice melts, you generally will have a problem with leaking. If you notice ice on your air conditioner, turn off your unit and give us a call.

  • Improperly Installed Ducts and Vents

    Ductwork is a mystery to most homeowners because they rarely see them. Tucked away in the rafters or hidden behind walls, it’s hard to know if your ducts were installed correctly. However, if you notice water stains on the plaster in your ceilings or water dripping down the walls near your vents, it’s a good bet your ducts were not insulated properly. Water dripping from attic ducts onto plaster or insulation can cause mildew and mold and pose a serious health concern, not to mention the unpleasant musty odor.

Humidity Can Wreak Havoc on Your Air Conditioner

Leaks, water damage and excess condensation can cause problems that you might be tempted to overlook. However, if you see water leaking it won’t be long before you start smelling the accompanying mildew. Once that smell gets into your AC system, it’s difficult to get out. Give us a call and we at cool blew will be happy to send a skilled, experienced service technician out to inspect your entire HVAC system.

One Part of Your House Is Definitely “Not Cool” – Is A Portable Air Conditioner the Answer?

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In a perfect world, your air conditioning unit would quietly do its job and provide cool comfort to every part of your house efficiently and evenly to the prescribed temperature setting on your thermostat. However, many Phoenix-area homes experience uneven cooling from one part of the house to another, often throughout different periods of the day. Especially in August and September, when soaring temperatures consistently exceed 105 degrees.

Why Is One Room in My House Cool and Another Uncomfortably Warm?

Many factors go into uneven cooling. The position of your home relative to the sun, amount of shade trees alleviating direct sunlight hitting your house, the amount of insulation in your walls and roof, sun streaming through your windows (especially on the south and west-facing side of your home), unbalanced, improperly installed AC vents not delivering the cool air where it’s supposed to go and more. Uneven cooling, particularly in bedrooms, can be an unpleasant daily or nightly annoyance.

Is a Portable Air Conditioner the Solution to Uneven Cooling?

The reason we receive so many uneven cooling complaints in August and September is simple – it’s crunch time. This is the hottest part of summer. The shortcomings of your air conditioning system may have gone unnoticed when temperatures hovered in the low 90s. However, weeks of 105 to 110 degrees will test even the best AC systems. The first and most obvious solution is to schedule a service call, so we can inspect your system and see if there’s a problem such as low refrigerant, a malfunctioning fan or a disconnected vent.

If your AC system checks out, and you are still experiencing warm rooms, a portable AC unit, used during the hottest part of the year, maybe the answer. Here are a few points to keep in mind when considering a portable AC unit.

  • Portable Air Conditioners

    Portable air conditioners are generally less than three feet tall, are equipped with casters for easy rolling from room to room and can be plugged into any electrical wall outlet. They are most effective cooling one room and will come with a BTU rating that will guide you as to the size of the area to be cooled.

  • What Are the Advantages to Using a Portable?

    Some homes are designed in such a way that certain rooms say the Arizona room, an office, bedroom or master suite facing south and west (getting maximum sun) will always feel hotter than the rest of the house. A portable AC unit can help cool down the area of your house that is not being sufficiently cooled by the main unit. Many Phoenix residents will crank up the AC overall to deal with hotter parts of the house, however, this means you are paying extra for electricity.

  • What About Humidity in the Air?

    In Phoenix, humidity is high during monsoon season. Portable air conditioners generally have a plastic receptacle located inside the unit to collect moisture. The options are to manually empty the reservoir when it is full or install a drain.

The Long, Hot Arizona Summer Is More Than Half-Way Through

In the seasonal rhythms of Arizona, it’s a sign that summer is more than half-way through when the kids go back to school. Hopefully, your AC system is working like a champ and will faithfully see you through August, September and the rest of the year without any problems. If you do require service, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to send a friendly service tech to restore your air conditioner to top form!

A World Without Air Conditioning

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Surviving summer in the Arizona desert without air conditioning is a scary thought. However, there are occasions when the power goes out for hours at a time or your air conditioning unit malfunctions in the middle of the night, and you find yourself temporarily living in a world without air conditioning. One of the most distressing situations for a homeowner is returning from a weekend trip or vacation only to find the air conditioner has not been working, and the house has been roasting for days. Consider yourself lucky if you’ve never had this stifling experience.

No Air Conditioning Can Go from Unpleasant to Unhealthy

Because we all take air conditioning for granted, it’s very likely you may not have a plan in place for when your AC fails. However, it’s important to note, during a heatwave, when the temperatures climb above 100 degrees (especially above 110 degrees), lack of air conditioning can become a genuine health emergency. We always stress safety first, so please set aside some time to consider what steps you’d take in a dire situation. If you have an infant or small child, an elderly parent or someone with a respiratory condition such as asthma or COPD, extreme indoor temperatures can be devastating. Dehydration and heat stroke can sneak up and often occurs at a faster rate than most people imagine.

Steps to Take When Your Air Conditioner Stops Working

If there’s a power outage you may want to report it to the power company. Obviously, if your AC unit is broken, you’ll want to give us a call. We’re available 24/7. Here are steps you can take to minimize the unpleasant, rising heatwave inside your home:

  • Close All the Blinds and Shades

    Up to 30 percent of the heat inside your home comes from the sun shining through the lovely large windows facing east, south and west. Close all the doors and blinds as soon as possible.

  • Ceiling Fans

    Obviously, you’re going to want to crank up your ceiling fans. Did you know, for maximum cooling efficiency, your ceiling fans need to rotate counterclockwise? It might be wise to check all your ceiling fans, particularly the older ones and the uneven fans that wobble.

  • Get Out the Portable Fans

    Creating air flow across your main living area will provide a cooler space for your family. Having multiple portable fans in your garage will make it easier to deal with the heat while your AC is being fixed or when the power is out.

  • Close Off the Sun Room, Arizona Room or Extra Rooms

    Rooms facing south and west will get the hottest so it’s best to close them off and minimize the heat coming from that part of your home.

  • Stay Out of the Kitchen and Don’t Do Laundry

    Turning on the stove to cook is a bad idea. Take out might be the best solution. Doing laundry will add to the humidity in your home and the dryer is going to heat up your laundry room.

  • Consider Cooling Off with a Cold Shower

    Short, cold showers and light clothing will allow your skin to breathe and give you some relief from the heat. Ice packs and cold compresses might actually be fun for the kids. Eliminate exercise or yard work (for the day) and try to minimize physical activity.

In A World Without Air Conditioning – You Need an AC Service Company You Can Count On

We always say regular service calls are the best defense against unwanted AC breakdowns. However, sometimes emergencies are unavoidable. When that happens, you’ll want to call the best, most reliable HVAC company in the valley. When your AC is down, you can count on us to get it working as fast as possible. Call us today.

Your Air Conditioner’s Compressor – How to Prevent a Critical Summer Service Outage

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The summer heat in Phoenix can be merciless. Can you think of a home appliance more useful or more complex than your air conditioning system? Air conditioners are comprised of multiple components located both inside and outside your home. One of the most important components often referred to as the “heart” of your AC system, is the compressor, which is found on the side of your house or up on the roof. Aptly named because it compresses the refrigerant and pumps the gas under pressure as it cycles endlessly throughout your entire AC system. The refrigerant picks up heat from inside your home and magically transfers that heat outdoors, leaving you cool, calm and collected indoors.

COM-PRESSING PROBLEMS

Compressors are manufactured to strict standards and built strong to last a long time. Many of the problems that occur are preventable or fixable – if caught in time. Depending on the age of your compressor and the service history, you may have experienced some of these compressor issues early warning signs. It’s important to remember, as of August and September approach, extreme heat will put your compressor and your entire AC system to the test. Here are some of the problems which can take your compressor down:

  • Low Refrigerant

    Many people think adding refrigerant once or twice a year is no big deal. However, AC refrigerant is encased in a closed system with pressurized lines, which requires an exact amount of gas to run properly. Too much or too little can cause issues with your compressor. Only trained service technicians with the proper equipment can ascertain whether you have the correct amount of refrigerant in your system.

  • Clogged Coils

    The good news is, compressor coils are a brilliant way to facilitate the transfer of heat from the inside of your house to the outside air. The bad news is, coils are an absolute magnet for dirt and grime. If your coils get clogged with dirt, it makes your compressor work harder to lower the temperature in your home. If left neglected, clogged coils can cause severe damage to your compressor. Regular service includes cleaning your coils and prevents the layer of grime that inhibits the cooling process.

  • Leaks and Pinholes in the Coils

    One of the subtle ways your compressor loses refrigerant is through tiny pinholes barely noticeable to the naked eye. Corrosion can occur in the multiple bends and turns of the coils and cause leaks. Depending on the age of your air conditioner, rust may be creating tiny leaks allowing the refrigerant to escape.

  • Electrical Issues and How Wear and Tear Affects Your Compressor

    Electrical issues cause more than 80 percent of all air conditioner repairs. It’s no surprise that proper wiring, clean power, and accurate voltage are all crucial to the successful operation of your compressor. One compressor killer we’ve seen over the years is wiring problems due to extreme heat, the fact that compressors are located outside and plain old wear and tear. As wires age, they get old and brittle and can be the root cause of electrical issues. Power surges, which happen often during the monsoon season, can cause electrical issues with your compressor.

Is It Better to Repair or Replace a Compressor?

Replacing an AC compressor is one of the most expensive repairs a homeowner can undertake. Whenever possible, we at cool blew prefer to repair. We only recommend replacement when it’s truly unavoidable. We recommend regular service checks in order to catch small problems before they become big ones. If you’ve been noticing performance issues with your air conditioner, why not give us a call and we’ll perform a mid-summer checkup.

Talking Frugal When It Comes to Your Air Conditioning

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Staying cool in the hottest city in the United States doesn’t come cheap. In fact, utility costs often skyrocket when temperatures soar above 100 degrees. Of course, savings starts with having an energy-efficient air conditioner and energy-efficient tips for Your HVAC system But what if you have an older model that still performs well but isn’t as efficient as it should be. Here are a few tips to help you save on AC until it’s time for a replacement.

Turn on the Fans

Almost every Phoenix-area home has ceiling fans. Turn them on! While they don’t actually lower the temperature in your home, they make you feel more comfortable. For maximum efficacy, make sure they’re turning in a counter-clockwise direction. You want that air to blow down on you!

Create Shade

Whether you have blinds, curtains, shades or some other window covering, they should be closed during the peak sunny hours of the day. Follow the sun around the house and open and close as needed to keep the sun’s rays from heating up your home. This one action can have a profound impact on your ability to keep your home cool.

Turn Off Heat-Generating Appliances

Run your dishwasher at night and consider cooking al fresco when it’s hot outside. And by all means, take advantage of the power of the sun to dry your clothes by hanging them outside instead of using that heat-producing dryer.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

By gaining control of the temperature in your home, you’ll reduce wasted energy and lower your monthly costs. A new thermostat is an inexpensive device that offers tremendous savings. If you’re not home during the day, turn the AC up to 85 while you’re gone. There are big savings to be gained!

Change Those Filters

Go buy a stack of air filters for your air conditioner. Change the filter once a month to keep your airflow efficient.

And when you’re ready for that new energy-efficient air conditioner, Cool Blew has you covered with free estimates, the latest information on rebates and discounts and plenty of helpful advice to make sure you get the best possible system for your home.

What Is an Urban Heat Island and How Does It Affect You and Your Air Conditioner?

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Phoenix residents know the drill during a heatwave. When the temperature climbs above 105, you do what you can to avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day. Occasionally, you may find yourself walking down a city street or making your way across a scorching, treeless parking lot. It’s then you realize what the term, “urban heat island” means. In the highly developed, greater Phoenix area, asphalt, concrete, metal and hardscape stone and gravel combine to absorb and then release the heat of the sun, often adding up to ten degrees of temperature during any given day. Urban heat island effect also keeps the entire city temperature warmer in the night. When you have the equivalent of three months of 100+ temperatures, that adds up to a lot of extra stress on your air conditioner – and on you!

Extreme Temperatures in Phoenix – The Heat Is Coming

So far this year, temperatures have been relatively moderate. With July, August and September just ahead, triple digit heat will be coming soon. Most desert dwellers are well aware of normal heatwave precautions. Drink plenty of water. Always keep extra water bottles in your car. Do your workouts or dog walking early in the morning. Protect yourself from the sun. Don’t forget sunglasses, hats and baseball caps. Keep sun block handy (especially for the kids, who don’t always want it.) Stay indoors during the afternoons and if you suffer from asthma or a respiratory condition, try not to exert yourself.

Here are a few precautions for your air conditioner:

  • Check Your Air Filters

    Your air filters form the first line of defense in your home against dust, pet dander, particulates and VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). Did you know that indoor air pollution can be worse than outside air? If you haven’t checked your air filters in a while, it’s a good idea to replace them before the big dust storms of monsoon season hit.

  • Clear the Area Around Your Air Conditioner

    If you haven’t done so already, take time to inspect the area around your air conditioner to make sure it’s free from obstruction and not overgrown with grass, bushes or tree branches. Free flowing air around your air conditioner makes the transfer of heat away from your home easier.

  • Schedule an Early Summer HVAC Checkup

    We recommend two service calls per year. One in spring to prepare for summer and another in fall. Our friendly service technicians will perform a full system inspection and make sure your air conditioner is ready for the hottest days of summer, which are just ahead. Remember, it is important to have your refrigerant checked (at the very least) once per year, as well as all the other critical parts of your AC system.

Your Home Will Be an Oasis of Cool Amid the Phoenix Urban Heat Island

When the heatwaves hit and the temperature climbs well above 100 degrees, our phone rings off the wall. Don’t wait until your air conditioner breaks down to schedule service. Be proactive and give yourself and your family the gift of cool AC all summer long. Call us today.