Category Archives: Air Conditioning

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.

What’s an AC Compressor Starter Kit?

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The air conditioning unit’s compressor is one of the vital components of your HVAC system. It works hard to keep you cool. As the system workhorse, this part uses its power to move air and keep all the other components running. Think of the AC compressor as the heart and maintaining it properly is key to having a comfortable house. Let’s look at why adding an AC compressor starter kit may potentially reduce wear and tear on the compressor.

Extra Starting Power

A compressor can be very expensive to repair or replace. They degrade over time and may have difficulty continuing to spin properly to keep your home cool. Potential failure signs can include the AC pumping out less cool air, no air at all, or the fan inside your AC unit will spin very slowly, or not at all.

Also called a hard start kit, an AC compressor starter kit essentially jump starts the AC compressor. Air conditioning systems with a starter kit generally start up 30% to 50% faster. With the compressor consuming the most energy at startup of any device or appliance in your home, it can also break down faster than other component parts. The electrical heat occurring at start up can damage electrical components over time. The AC compressor, contact points, wiring, and the AC capacitor are impacted most.

The AC compressor, on average, uses 10 times more wattage when the motor starts than when it’s running cool air throughout your house. Combined with an air conditioning unit starting up more than 7,000 to 9,000 times every year, adding an AC compressor starter kit may increase the lifespan of your HVAC.

Other Benefits

The relay and large capacitor add extra torque, making the startup phase much more efficient. Electrical efficiency can be increased as high as 98%.

Adding a hard start capacitor can eliminate light flicker in your house when the air conditioning system is turned on. By minimizing energy consumption, you’ll no longer hear clicking or stuttering noises when your AC turns on, and your compressor will no longer trip the circuit breaker.

Contact Cool Blew for an HVAC inspection to determine if an AC compressor starter kit may be needed to help prolong the lifespan of the compressor. We’re here to help with all your air conditioning needs. Call us today at 623-872-2900 to schedule your appointment.

Should You Replace Your Compressor or Your Air Conditioner?

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One of the most vital and expensive to replace components of your HVAC system is its compressor. It’s the key part circulating refrigerant throughout the system helping to keep your home cool. What do you do if it breaks down? Should you have the compressor replaced? Or will it be more economical to replace the entire air conditioner? Deciding when to repair or replace can be a challenging decision for homeowners to make. The correct choice depends on your situation. Here are some considerations to discuss with your local HVAC professionals at Cool Blew.

Would the AC compressor be covered under warranty terms and conditions?

If the compressor is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, it can be replaced with a new compressor. You’ll only have to pay labor costs unless the AC unit is relatively new and the labor warranty from the installing contractor is still active. Your local expert technicians from Cool Blew will be able to determine if the compressor is still covered.

How Old Is Your Air Conditioner?

Generally, the lifespan of an air conditioner is 10 to 15 years. By paying close attention to the performance of your AC unit, you’ll be able to make the right decision by answering these questions:

  • Is your AC unit more than 10 years old?
  • Has your AC unit been breaking down more frequently or making unusual noises?
  • Have your monthly utility bills been rapidly increasing for unknown reasons?
  • Has your AC suffered from a refrigerant leak in the past few years?

Usually, the cost of a new AC unit will be less than what you’ll spend on frequent repairs on an aging, less efficient unit. A new unit will have vastly improved energy efficiency, a new long-term warranty, and possibly rebates from the manufacturer, installation company, and your local utility company.

Should the entire outdoor condensing unit be replaced?

You should only select this option if the AC compressor is still under warranty, the inside AC unit was replaced recently, and there are no major problems with the current unit. The inside unit (evaporator unit) and the outdoor unit (condensing unit) are matched units. Replacing with a newer mismatched unit may cause premature failure of the older unit due to better functionality and efficiency of the newer outside unit.

Considering whether to replace the AC compressor or a complete AC replacement? Don’t wait another day. Call your Valley of the Sun experts today at Cool Blew at 623-872-2900 for a free quote.

Monsoon Season and Your Air Conditioning System

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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.

It’s Summer. Why is There Ice on My Air Conditioner?

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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?

Refrigerant Leak

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.

Cold Temperatures

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.

Mechanical Issues

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.

Air Conditioning Smells to Be Concerned About

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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.

Mildew Smells

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.

Poor Ventilation

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.

Why Install or Upgrade Ceiling Fans?

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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.