Category Archives: Electrical

What Electricians Want You to Know about Electrical Storms

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Monsoon season is in full swing, and it’s difficult to not be in awe of the amazing displays of lightening that happen during our impressive summer storms. Yet, those lightning strikes can also cause costly damage to homes. With every home in the greater Phoenix area at risk of a strike’s electric surge, our team of professional electricians wanted to share some basic precautions to keep you, your loved ones and your home safe.

What to Do Before a Storm

Protect Appliances
A safe home begins with having proper copper grounding and wiring. If your home was built before the 1970s, you may have wiring that puts your appliances, including your HVAC system, at great risk. Not sure if your home is properly grounded? Check your wall outlets. If you see three-prong outlets, you’re in good shape. If there are two prong outlets, you could have a problem.

Consider a Whole Home Surge Protector
You probably already have surge protectors for some of your home’s electrical appliances and equipment, but did you know you can protect your entire electrical panel? A whole home surge protector absorbs the electricity from a lightning strike so that it doesn’t damage your home’s electrical system. These incredibly useful devices offer a tremendous amount of assurance for a relatively low price.

Check Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage
There are wide variances in coverage when it comes to damage caused by lightning strikes. Considering we live in an area where lightning is common, it’s a good idea to know what your policy will cover if your home is hit.

What to Do During a Storm

Unplug Appliances and Electronics
Power surges can quickly destroy appliances, computers, TVS, modems and other electronic devices. Before a storm hits, unplug items. Because electricity can travel through electrical wiring and phone lines, do not touch any outlets or landline phones during a storm.

Avoid Water
Electricity can also travel through plumbing. So, avoid the bathtub, shower and indoor swimming pools and spas while there is lightning.

Stay Inside
Lightning can continue to strike from a departing storm. To stay safe, stay inside at least 30 minutes following the last strike.

Want to learn more about protecting your home from lightning during electrical storms? Call the experts at Cool Blew. We can provide you with the information and solutions you need to stay safe through monsoon storms and all year long.

Protect Your Home Electrical System This Monsoon Season

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Are you ready for monsoon 2018? The damaging storms that come with summer monsoon season in the Valley of the Sun can wreak havoc on your home electrical system. Lightning strikes that hit power lines can send surges of electricity down the wires into your home. Most household appliances running on a 120-volt alternating current can handle surges up to 169 volts. Yet, surges caused by electrical storms can far exceed this. In fact, lightning-caused surges can reach up to several hundred volts.

Throughout the season, which runs from mid-June through mid-September, large storms are nearly guaranteed to cause at least one power outage, either from lightening or a dust storm. And, there is a higher potential for damage to your home’s electrical system, as well as to household electronics.

The following are some tips to help protect your home during a monsoon storm:

  • Watch current weather forecasts on TV or the internet.
  • If a storm is approaching, turn off and unplug appliances, including your computer, TV and other media equipment. Voltage fluctuations can occur during an electrical storm, causing circuits to overload following an outage.
  • Use plug-in surge protectors for cable TV and phone lines.
  • Turn of your AC during a storm to prevent damage from a power surge. If there has been an outage, wait several minutes before turning on your system. It only takes one power surge to lead to costly repair bills.
  • Turn off other electrical appliances but leave one light on to serve as an indicator for when power is restored.
  • Invest in a whole house surge protector to prevent surges in electrical current from reaching your appliances, including your HVAC system.

Summer storms in the greater Phoenix area are amazing to experience. By taking the steps to protect your home against unexpected power surges caused by the storms, you can enjoy the show and avoid costly repairs. Call Cool Blew today to schedule an appointment to discuss your home electrical system.

Should You Replace Your Electrical Panel?

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Your electrical panel is a vital part of your home and something you want to ensure is working properly. As the location where the main power line from outside enters your home and routes power through your electrical system, it’s important to watch for problems. Particularly if you have an older service panel, you should be looking for signs of failure and perhaps even consider a replacement. Here are some of the warning signs that indicate you may need a new panel:
Regularly Tripping Circuit Breakers A panel that is past its prime may not be able to handle a power surge and will start to disconnect circuits. This can also occur because your home energy needs have exceeded the capacity of the panel. If breakers require resetting more than once a week, this is an indicator that it’s time for a new panel.

Charred or Discolored Marks Around the Circuit Breakers

Worn down wires inside the electrical panel can spawn fires that often burn themselves out. The most common indicator is charring around the circuit breakers or an unusual smell from the panel. If you suspect a panel fire, even a small one, take it seriously and get help from a licensed, professional electrician right away.

Breakers That Won’t Reset

Usually, if a circuit breaker trips, you can flip the switch, and the problem is solved. However, if the circuit breaker won’t stay reset, or if it just doesn’t restore power, the problem can be in your panel.

Have an Old Fuse Box?

Antiques around the house can be charming, but not when they can cause electrical fires. Old fuse boxes are hazardous and insufficient for supporting today’s electrical needs. It’s time for a new, more modern electrical service panel.

Electrical Panels Aren’t DIY Projects

This isn’t the project to attempt by yourself. If you’re struggling with problems with your electrical panel, or if it just looks antiquated, it’s time to call in the experts. At Cool Blew, we’re here to help with all your electrical needs. Call us at 623-872-2900 today.

How to Choose an Electrician

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Although many homeowners enjoy tackling DIY projects, most choose to call in a professional electrician when it’s an electrical job. This makes sense when you consider the serious consequences if something goes wrong. So, the question is who to call when you have an electrical issue.

Unfortunately, there are many unskilled, unlicensed electricians out there who are more than willing to take a job, even if they’re not qualified for it. Because safety is a big part of electrical work, it’s important to vet anyone who you’re considering whether it’s for a simple task like hanging a ceiling fan or more complex work like rewiring. Here are a few things to look for:

Education

A reputable electrical contractor will gladly provide you with details on the education they require for their electricians. This includes ongoing training courses to stay current with the National Electrical Code.

License

In Arizona, it’s required for electricians to be licensed. Bad wiring, overloaded circuits and problems with an electrical panel due to poor workmanship can all cause serious injuries and fires. So, it’s important to only work with a licensed contractor. For additional protection, make sure they are also bonded and insured.

Specialization

There is a broad spectrum of electrical work. Some specialize in smaller, household tasks like replacing switches and outlets while others are focused on commercial projects that involve wiring large buildings. You will want to make sure you choose an electrician who is well-matched with the work you need done.

Permits

For some electrical work, a county permit is required. The cost of the permit is typically included in the bill for work, but not always. Make sure to find out.

Warranty

Any qualified electrician will offer a warranty on parts and labor because they stand behind their work. Get clarification on the specifics of a contractor’s warranty before you give the go-ahead.

As a licensed electrical contractor, Cool Blew is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality work and customer service. We work with both residential and commercial customers in Peoria, Surprise and throughout the greater Phoenix area. We even offer emergency electrical repair. Call us now at 623-872-2900.

Winter Electrical Safety Tips

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Home fires are more common during the winter months than any other time of the year – even in the greater Phoenix area. The increase in electrical product purchases along with colder weather means an unfortunate jump in electrical fires, electrocutions and injuries. Many homeowners are surprised to learn that heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires. In fact, over 65,000 home fires are caused by heating equipment every year. Other electric appliances are also a leading cause of fires. Thus, it’s necessary to be extra vigilant during the winter months.

The following are some electrical home safety tips that can help keep you and your family safe through the cool winter months.

Space Heaters

Follow the manufacturer’s instruction manual before using any space heater. All space heaters should be kept at least three feet away from any combustible material, including clothing, bedding, draperies, furniture and rugs. Test the shut-off function of any space heater you’re using to ensure it automatically turns off when tipped or knocked over.

Do not use space heaters in any part of the house where children are not supervised, along with areas near water. Heaters should never be used in bathrooms or kitchens.

Electric Blankets and Heating Pads

Heating pads and blankets can warm you up on a cool evening, but they are not risk-free. Don’t use any heating pad or electric blanket that is worn or frayed. Don’t fold when in use and avoid placing other blankets or other items on top of them when in use.

Furnaces

Fall is the right time to ensure your furnace is working properly. Schedule a tune-up to check for problems like cracked heat exchangers, frayed electrical wires and other hazards that can potentially cause a fire. Keep the area around your furnace clear and change the air filter to eliminate any restriction to your furnace. Test your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms to ensure they are functioning properly.

Call Cool Blew

Whether you suspect a heater or electrical problem or just want a maintenance check, Cool Blew is your resource for all your home electrical and heating needs. Call us today to schedule an appointment at 623-872-2900.

Should You Get a Home Energy Audit?

During the summer months, Arizona homeowners are often shocked and dismayed by sky-high utility bills. Air conditioning costs to keep a home cool can jump up tremendously when temperatures are over 100 degrees. What if there was a way to potentially reduce these costs? There is, and it starts with a home energy audit.

The Ins and Outs of a Home Energy Audit

A home energy audit is a multi-step inspection of the potential drains on the energy efficiency of your home. This begins with carefully looking at your entire HVAC system to ensure it’s running efficiently. Often, there are simple efficiency issues, like clogged filters, that can be replaced to make your system more efficient.

During the audit, your home will also be evaluated to identify hold and cold spots that could indicate costly leaks. This includes windows, doors, attic, ductwork and other areas throughout your home. A window or door that isn’t properly sealed can be a big source of wasted energy. Simple repairs can make a big difference on your utility bill each month!

It’s Not About Pushing New Products

Unfortunately, many companies offer home energy audits with a single goal of selling products. This deters many homeowners from scheduling an audit on their home. At Cool Blew, Inc, this isn’t our goal. We are focused on finding the deficiencies in your home that can be driving up your energy expenses. We are also dedicated to educating and empowering homeowners to make the decisions that are right for them and their budget. Yes, we have the HVAC and indoor air quality products that can improve your home’s efficiency, but we also offer do-it-yourself tips that can save you money.

Get Ready to Start Saving!

Most homeowners are surprised at the level of savings they’ll experience following upgrades prescribed during a home energy audit. Customers have saved up to 30 percent by making just a few quick and easy improvements to improve their home’s energy efficiency.

Don’t spend another month paying more than you should for energy costs. Call Cool Blew’s Home Energy Audit Service today at 623-872-2900.

Is It Time to Call a Licensed Electrical Contractor?

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Like plumbers and HVAC repair technicians, electrical contractors are often only called when there is a problem. Yet, how do you know if your electrical problem warrants a service call? Here are a few telltale signs that it’s time to make that call to a licensed electrical contractor to prevent any risks and hazards to you, your family and your home.

Your Circuit Breakers Keep Tripping

Having a circuit breaker trip is actually a safeguard from a dangerous electrical overload. Yet, ongoing issues with breakers and fuses is a serious problem that can lead to shocks, fires and even electrocutions. Before there is a potentially dangerous circuit-breaker tripping issue, call a licensed electrical contractor to determine the source of the problem and make safety-driven repairs.

You Need GFCI Outlets Installed

The National Electrical Code now mandates that outlets in certain areas of the home where is water, including the kitchen, bathrooms and garages, have extra protection. This requires installing outlets with ground-fault circuit interrupters which you’ll recognize by their test and reset buttons. If you live in an older home that doesn’t have these outlets, it’s time to call an electrician.

Is Your Electrical Service Panel or Its Wiring and Fuses Old?

Metal electrical service boxes can take a beating, especially when they’re located on the outside of Phoenix area homes. At the first signs of deterioration or rust, you may have a moisture or aging problem that could lead to serious electrical problems. Also, beware of old wiring and fuses in the electrical service panel. Antiquated wiring is a safety risk and requires updating. If your home is more than 25 years old, and you haven’t upgraded your electrical system, don’t delay and call today to bring your home up to today’s electrical code standards.

Do Your Lights Dim When You Turn on Your Dryer or Other Appliances?

Many large household appliances, such as air conditioners, clothes dryers and washing machines, require additional power to start. This can draw current away from lights and other electrical items, which can eventually cause damage to them.

You Are Using Many Accessory Plug-Strips

Too many items plugged in at one outlet can increase the current demand to a level that it can’t safely handle. Adding more multiple plug-in strips doesn’t solve this problem. You need more outlets and potentially new wiring to support them.

Have a home electrical question or concern? Call the expert licensed electrical contractors at Cool Blew. We’re here to help with answers and service that you can depend on.

What’s The Difference Between Electronic And Manual Controls On A Thermostat?

If you have ever considered making modifications to your HVAC system as a way to save money, you have probably been told to invest in a newer thermostat. Years ago, the choice of thermostat was simple, the only option you had was a manual thermostat. Now, you can choose from a variety of thermostats that can make the average person’s head spin.

Electronic Thermostat vs. Manual Thermostat Controls - Cool Blew AZ

What is the difference between a manual thermostat and an electronic one? Learn the benefits of both now! Continue reading

5 Home Electrical System Problems Not To Ignore

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5 Home Electrical System Problems Not to Ignore

5 Home Electrical System Problems

Your home’s electrical system has many components. When all are working properly, electricity seamlessly is distributed throughout your home. However, when a problem arises with just one component, it can cause a variety of issues that could potentially cause a fire or a serious electrical shock to you or a loved one. The following are five problems that you should definitely not ignore. If you’re experiencing any of these, it’s time to call an experienced, skilled Phoenix electrician who can identify what’s wrong and make repairs. Continue reading