Category Archives: Heating

Six Home Heating Blunders to Avoid

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With colder than average temperatures, you’re probably spending more time indoors. To help you keep energy costs in check while maintaining home comfort, we’re sharing six of the most common home heating mistakes and how you can avoid making them.

1. Don’t Heat When No One Is Home

Are you regularly out of the house for more than a few hours at a time? Whether you’re at work, running errands, or away for the weekend, it doesn’t make sense to heat a home when no one is there. A programmable thermostat can help you regulate the temperature to your daily schedule. You can also program it to warm up the house before you return home or wake up in the morning. Making this one change can save you substantially on your monthly utility bill.

2.Don’t Leave Windows and Doors Open

Besides being a safety concern, open and unlocked windows let in cold air. If it’s cold enough to turn on the heat, first check to make sure windows are securely closed to prevent cold air from infiltrating your home and letting warm air escape.

3.Turn Off Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans are great for reducing moisture and unpleasant odors from your home. However, they also draw warm air out. So, make sure to turn off exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen once you’re finished using them.

4.Don’t Crank the Thermostat

Turning your thermostat to a temperature higher than you need doesn’t heat your home faster. You’ll only be running it longer than you need to, resulting in higher utility bills. In other words, only turn the thermostat to the temperature you want.

5. Layer Up

Wearing layers of clothing indoors, as well as outdoors, is actually one of the top ways to stay comfy during fall and winter. That’s because clothing traps heat close to your body, which helps you stay warm instead of having to crank up the thermostat. Next time you’re feeling chilly, put on a sweater or a hoodie.

6.Skipping Regular HVAC Maintenance

Your heat pump or furnace is a complex piece of equipment that requires regular upkeep to properly function. If you haven’t scheduled a tune up since spring, give Cool Blew a call today at 623-872-2900. A tune up of your heating unit includes identifying and addressing small issues before they become major problems, helps extend the lifespan of your HVAC system, and keeps your monthly utility costs down.

How to Avoid a Holiday Season Furnace Failure

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How to Avoid a Holiday Season Furnace Failure

What happens when an appliance that rarely causes problems goes out? In Arizona, your furnace plays a distant second fiddle to the air conditioner, but it can cause problems—and Murphy’s Law dictates that it will most likely cause you grief during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Freshen Up Your Furnace

The fact that furnaces are so dependable can lull even longtime homeowners into a false sense of security. Here are five reasons to have your furnace inspected sooner than later, even if it appears to be working just fine:

  1. Detect Carbon Monoxide Leaks – One of the most important reasons for a yearly furnace inspection is to check for carbon monoxide leaks. An odorless, colorless gas, it can be potentially dangerous (even deadly) to you and your family.
  2. Check Igniters and Clean the Burners – Whether you have an older gas furnace with a pilot light or a newer electronic ignition system, it is essential that the igniting sequence of your furnace works perfectly. If you notice a hesitation or delay in the ignition process of your furnace once it’s turned on, your burners might need to be cleaned. Our technicians will inspect this crucial part of your furnace.
  3. Inactivity Often Leads to a Dusty, Dirty Furnace – When your furnace sits inactive for many months, dust and dirt builds up, settling into the moving parts and fittings of your furnace. Occasionally rust will appear on the burners. You may notice the first time you fire up your furnace after months of inaction, there is a funny odor. That smell is the dust being burned off the exposed surfaces of your furnace.
  4. Thermostat Checkup – The key to proper home heating starts with your thermostat. We will check the calibration, the wiring and the accuracy of your thermostat and make sure it’s working properly.
  5. Replace Dirty Filters with Clean Air Filters – Air filters keep your home free from indoor air pollutants, such as dust, dander, and the fine Sonoran Desert dirt that tracks into your house. Replacing your air filters is a priority for any service inspection.

Heat is On

With Thanksgiving behind us, and the new year just ahead, take the time to have your furnace checked before you experience any problems. Give us a call at 623-872-2900 and one of our expert technicians at Cool Blew will inspect your furnace and your entire HVAC system for you.

Fire Up the Heat

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With temperatures dropping, and Thanksgiving just around the corner, most Phoenix metro homeowners will soon be firing up their furnace for the first time since spring. To get ready for the holidays while avoiding common furnace frustrations, it’s helpful to take a few minutes to schedule a seasonal maintenance visit. You’ll ensure the safe and successful operation of your furnace and go a long way towards enabling it to last for years to come. And it’s important to remember, where there is heat, there may be a potential for danger.

Turn on the Gas

Gas furnaces do a dependable job of economically heating homes. With gas being highly flammable, you should always maintain a safety-first attitude. If you notice the smell of gas at any time, immediately open doors and exit your home before calling for emergency services. The ignition sequence for your gas furnace is triggered by the pilot light, which should be on and ready to go. Until your pilot light is on, your furnace will not work at all. If you’re having difficulty lighting your pilot, just give us a call.

Keep the Air Flowing

The importance of unobstructed airflow in forced air heating cannot be overstated, both in terms of exhaust and distributing heat throughout your house. The danger of gas heaters is real. Burning fossil fuels produces carbon monoxide (CO), which can be lethal if not properly vented from your home. It’s highly recommended that you have professionals check your HVAC system once a year to guard against CO poisoning. During a fall tune-up Cool Blew will inspect your draft inducer fan which feeds air to the heat exchanger. Our professionals will check your blower fan which pushes warm air throughout your house.

Be Smart

One of the most common problems we encounter in service calls this time of year is the case of mistaken identification. Many times, homeowners go to turn on their heat and nothing happens. People often assume something is wrong with their furnace. However, many times the issue is with the thermostat and not the furnace. It may be time for you to replace your old thermostat with a new wi-fi enabled smart thermostat.

Cool Blew is Hot

Making certain your HVAC heat is working properly and safely in your house is a top priority. Call our Cool Blew professionals today at 623-872-2900 to schedule your appointment.

We salute our veterans and active-duty members of the military on November 11 for Veterans Day. Thank you for your service.

When Should You Replace Your Furnace with a Heat Pump

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Summer seems to never end in Arizona. Then October rolls around, nighttime temperatures begin to drop below 80, you wake up chilly, and your thoughts turn to heat. For some Phoenix metro residents, the old gas furnace has been doing a serviceable job of heating the house for years—in some cases, decades. Exactly because furnaces tend to operate trouble free, furnaces are hardly given a thought until something goes wrong, or their useful service lifespan has ended. Depending on when your house was built, how old your furnace is, and its type, you may want to consider making the switch from a gas furnace to an energy efficient heat pump.

Gas Furnace

Phoenix has experienced many homebuilding booms since the 1970s. Depending on when your home was constructed, you may have a gas furnace that’s well past its prime. The fact is heat pumps are very efficient and cost less to run than most gas-powered systems.

Heat Pump

Heat pumps operate through heat exchange by transferring heat from one place to another—like an air conditioner in reverse. When in heat mode, they move heat from the outdoors to the indoors which turns out to be a very efficient way to heat your home. Studies have shown that heat pumps can save homeowners up to 30 percent annually on their energy bills.
Any time a combustible fuel is involved, there’s always the chance for accidents. Heat pumps have a better safety record than gas because there’s literally no chance for gas leaks or fires. Whether you choose to go with a heat pump or stay with your gas furnace, you should have your HVAC system checked every fall to make sure it’s in safe, working condition.

Cool Blew Can Help You

The best way to evaluate what form of home heating you have and what type of replacement system is best for you is to schedule a visit with one of our service technicians. Our experts will perform a home heating assessment which can be done in conjunction with your fall service tune up. Our friendly service professionals will provide you with all the information you need to make the right decision.
As the temperatures drop, your need for effective, efficient home heating will be on your mind. If you’ve got questions about heat pumps, we have answers. Give Cool Blew a call today to schedule your consultation at 623-872-2900. Your comfort is our business 24/7.

Get Ready to Fire Up the Heater

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Get Ready to Fire Up the Heater

Arizona is known for its sunshine, with over 300 days on average of sunny days in some areas. Yet, new residents are often surprised to discover that it can get downright chilly in the Sonoran Desert during the late fall and winter months. This is the primary reason why it’s important to ensure your heater is functioning and ready to go when the temperatures begin to dip.

Too often, homeowners are unpleasantly surprised that their heater is malfunctioning or not working at all when they turn it on for the first time in months. Here are two things you want to be aware of when you flip the switch.

Burn Out

After months of a heater sitting unused, it can collect excessive dust and debris. When you turn on the heater for the first time on a cool fall evening, don’t be surprised to catch a whiff of burning dust. It’s not a pleasant odor, but it usually dissipates within the first few minutes. However, if you continue to smell something burning, there could be a problem, and it’s worthwhile to call a technician to find out what’s going on. Cool Blew’s skilled contractors will blow out dust and debris inside your furnace and change air filters, as well as fix any problems causing the smell.

No Sounds of Silence

Arizona homeowners are often so accustomed to the sound of the air conditioner humming along that they barely hear it. However, a furnace or heater is a different story. They can thump or clunk when you turn on the heat. But this shouldn’t be as loud as a bang. If this is what you’re hearing, you could have a problem with an ignitor. Time to call Cool Blew.

Schedule A Tune Up with Locally Owned Cool Blew

Here in the Valley of the Sun, you probably won’t need to flip on the heat until November, but you will want to be ready when chilly evening and colder morning temperatures arrive. By scheduling a tune up today, you’ll gain peace of mind when the weather shifts to cooler daily temperatures. Your HVAC system will be thoroughly checked with an extra emphasis on ensuring the heater is ready to fire up. This includes viewing the gas pilot to make certain it’s lit and ready to go.

With Halloween and the start of November just around the corner, avoid the maintenance rush and schedule your autumn HVAC tune-up today. Call Cool Blew’s expert technicians at 623-872-2900.

The Smells of a Failing Furnace

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Chilly winter temperatures mean you’re probably running your furnace in the morning and evening. As a reminder, it’s important to pay close attention to unusual smells from your home’s furnace. A malfunctioning furnace can actually be dangerous and pose hazards to your house and family. When in doubt, turn off the furnace and immediately call your local HVAC professionals. Here are some faulty furnace smells to watch out for.

Burning Smell

An overpowering burnt smell from your furnace may mean a blower motor has overheated. An excessively clogged air filter can cause dust and dirt to rapidly collect on the furnace. A dusty, burning smell when the furnace is running, lasting over an hour, may swiftly turn into a fire danger.

Electrical Smell

A burning electrical smell from your home’s air vents requires immediate attention. Electrical components may be broken or the blower motor may be overheating. The risks for an electrical fire or blower motor fire rapidly increase and may put your family in danger.

Gunpowder Smell

Do you sense a gunpowder odor when your furnace is running? An overheated circuit board or an overheated fan motor can create a smell similar to gunpowder. It’s another sign that it’s time to call for service sooner than later.

Plastic Smell

Burning plastic smells are immediately noticeable. A myriad number of things can cause this smell. Some type of object may have fallen into the furnace or have been placed next to it. The causes may range from a plastic bottlecap, a children’s or pet’s toy in or near the furnace, rubber or plastic casing from electrical wiring, an overheated furnace motor or a cracked heat exchanger. The fumes created by burning plastic are not safe to breathe in.

Metallic Smell

Smelling or tasting an acrid, metallic-like smell from your home’s air vents? Some parts of the furnace made entirely of metal may overheat or furnace insulators may be burning. The metallic odor is unmistakable and requires immediate attention.

Rotten Egg Smell

If your furnace is running on natural gas and you’re getting a rotten egg smell from the air vents, there’s most likely a leak. Shut off the furnace, evacuate your home, call your gas company immediately, so they can inspect for a gas leak, and notify your HVAC company.

Call Cool Blew

Call your HVAC technicians for further investigation and repair with any unusual odor coming from your furnace. Until the professionals arrive at your home, turn off the furnace. Remember – you can call us anytime of the day or night at 623-872-2900 for all your heating and air conditioning issues. Call Cool Blew today to schedule an inspection appointment with one of our certified professionals.

Home Heating Safety Tips

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Even in the desert southwest, home heating is necessary this time of year. Yet, safety should always be a paramount focus while using furnaces, heat pumps, and space heaters. Why? Home heating-related fires account for nearly 50% of all home fires in the winter months. By implementing a few safety tips and precautions, you can prevent most home heating fires from happening while keeping you and your loved ones comfortably warm and safe this winter season.

Safety Tips

Did you know that approximately half of all home heating fire deaths were caused by having heating equipment too close to household items that can quickly burn, such as mattresses, bedding, clothing, upholstered furniture, and drapes? Even though there are several safety features built into home heating systems, accidents do happen. But by following these safety tips, you can dramatically lower the risk of them happening.

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Always have a qualified, licensed professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Test smoke alarms and CO2 (carbon monoxide) detectors once a month.
  • Check and replace any dirty HVAC air filters monthly.
  • Don’t overload electrical extension sockets.
  • Make certain there are working fire extinguishers on hand and know how to use them.

Space Heaters

Another fact to keep in mind during winter is that portable and stationary space heaters cause over 80% of home fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Here are some important tips to keep in mind.

  • Don’t leave a space heater on while you sleep.
  • Never leave a space heater running in an empty room.
  • Use a safety gate around any space heaters to keep children and pets safe.
  • Make certain that your space heater has an auto shut off mechanism when it’s tipped over.

Call Cool Blew

By following these tips and precautions, along with having your HVAC system professionally inspected at least twice yearly, you’ll be safely prepared for the chilly months.
For additional questions, call Cool Blew, your locally owned experts in HVAC, at 623-872-2900.

Easy Ways to Save Money by Regulating Your Indoor Temperatures

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In between running your dishwasher, washing machine, and the oven, it can be challenging keeping your home’s indoor temperature comfortable, without causing a large increase in monthly utility bills. Here are some simple adjustments that can help without having to change your thermostat setting.

Area Rugs

Flooring, such as Saltillo tile, linoleum, bamboo, natural and engineered, hardwood can be chilly to walk on during cooler months. If you want a warm, comfortable experience for your feet, place area rugs in strategic locations throughout your home to keep heat from escaping through the tile and floorboards.

Thermostat Placement

A thermostat placed on an interior wall will operate at higher efficiency levels when it is not in direct sunlight emanating from a skylight, nearby windows, or exposed to frequent air drafts from opening doors. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “Thermostats should be located where natural room air currents — warm air rising, cool air sinking — occur,” Your local handyman or certified HVAC professional can help you with the optimal thermostat location.

Seal Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are the biggest offenders for heat loss. The best way to check for heat loss is to use a flashlight. When light shines through frame cracks or caulking, it means your home is losing heat. In other words, it’s a clear signal that it’s time to add caulk and sealant.

Change Filters

Dirty, clogged HVAC air filters can contribute to uneven indoor temperatures. Changing your home’s air filters regularly will save you money on utility bills and reduce mechanical strain on your HVAC system.

Smart Home

A smart, long-term investment would be to consider installing a home automation system to save even more on monthly expenditures. A home automation system may include smart thermostats, smart power strips, smart lighting, smart appliances, and any other home automation technology that will remotely monitor and control your house. You won’t have to remember whether you turned off the oven or dryer after leaving home. There are upfront costs of purchasing and installing home automation systems, but you’ll save money in the long run-on utility bills and make your life easier.

Call Cool Blew

These helpful tips will save on your energy costs. How to skillfully manage indoor temperatures, recommend, and install smart automation products is what your local professionals at Cool Blew do best. Call us today at 623-872-2900 to schedule your appointment with our expertly trained technicians.

Safety Tips for Your Home’s Heating Equipment

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Fall is a fantastic time of year here in Arizona. The leaves are starting to change colors. And the weather is cooler—opening up the possibilities for a bounty of outdoor activities.
Yet, evenings can be chilly, with temperatures dipping down into the 50s or below. This means you may want to consider turning on the heat—making it the perfect time to remind you of a few safety tips for your home heating equipment.

Most homeowners are surprised to learn that heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires. With home fires happening every 87 seconds, heating products caused an estimated 34,000 residential fires in 2019 according to data from the U.S. Fire Administration. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to keep you, your loved ones, and your home safe.

Schedule a Tune Up

First and foremost, schedule a tune-up with your local HVAC professionals to check for problems like cracked heat exchangers, damaged wires, and other hazards that can potentially cause a home fire. A qualified technician can ensure your system is working efficiently and safely throughout the season.

Make Room

Keep the area around any heating equipment or vent clear. This means removing blankets, toys, furniture, clothing, and other items that can potentially catch fire.

Be Especially Cautious with Space Heaters

When buying a new or used home space heater, make certain it carries the mark of an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories. Whether your space heater is portable or installed, read the manufacturer’s instructions closely before using it.

All space heaters should be kept at least three feet away from any combustible material, including clothing, bedding, mattresses, draperies, upholstered 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. Plug the power cord only into electrical outlets with sufficient capacity and never plug into an extension cord.

Do not use space heaters in any part of the house where children and pets are not properly supervised, nor any areas in your home near water sources like sinks or indoor water fountains. Heaters should never be used in bathrooms or kitchens. Turn off space heaters whenever the room they are in is not occupied. If you use a space heater in your bedroom, turn it off at night before going to bed to avoid knocking over the space heater in the dark.

Call Cool Blew

These home heating safety tips can help keep you and your family safe through the cooler fall days and evenings ahead.
Whether you have a heating 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.

Heat Pumps vs. Gas Furnaces

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Heat pumps have become increasingly popular for home comfort – and for good reason. They offer both heating and cooling in just one unit and typically cost far less to operate than gas furnaces. In fact, heat pumps can save a typical household up to 30 percent off their annual heating bills, according to a US government study.

What’s the Controversy with Heat Pumps?

Some homeowners are reluctant to choose a heat pump because they’ve heard that they don’t effectively heat in all climates. It is true that heat pumps aren’t ideal for temperatures that fall below freezing. However, this is seldom the case in sunny Arizona. In other words, you’re highly unlikely to have a situation when a heat pump would have difficulty providing ample heat. And the cooling ability of a heat pump is the same as any air conditioner of the same size.

Heat pumps are also durable and long-lasting. They typically last 15 years or more for a unit that is well maintained.

What About a Gas Furnace?

Gas furnaces are another option for Arizona homeowners. They work by heating cool air from inside the house and distributing it into living spaces. A furnace requires a fuel source, such as propane or natural gas, to warm the air.
Gas furnaces are effective in warming a home, but they also pose more health risks due to improper handling and maintenance. These include fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Which Is Better?

Here in the Valley of the Sun, a heat pump is typically the better option considering our warm climate and mild winter. Of course, you’ll want to factor in your upfront and operating costs. Want to learn more about heat pumps or gas furnaces? Call the HVAC experts at Cool Blew at 623-872-2900. We provide maintenance, repair and installation throughout the greater Phoenix area.