Category Archives: HVAC Systems

How to Calculate the True Cost of Your HVAC

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Arizona homeowners understand the critical nature of having trouble-free, reliable air conditioning all summer long. And yes, studies have shown, temperatures in the Southwest are getting hotter, and summers are getting longer. As CEO of your household, you are called upon to make all kinds of decisions. From the seemingly insignificant to major improvements, such as when to replace your HVAC. It’s your job to do the research and allocate your resources wisely. Choosing the right time to install a new HVAC system will make the difference between a cool, carefree summer or a series of HVAC mishaps requiring service while you swelter in the heat. Because of the lower temperatures and lighter workload in the winter, the months between January and March are ideal for a new system installation. If you’re considering replacing your HVAC system in 2019, calculating your energy costs can be an important factor in making the right decision.

Energy Costs Continue to Go Up

Utility bills and energy costs are a significant part of any family’s budget. In 2017, Arizona state utility regulators approved a $95 million rate hike for APS, which was later challenged in court and featured heavily on the news. The US Department of Energy says air conditioning can account for more than half of the monthly energy use in a typical home and up to 70 percent in hotter climates. You need only review your own electric bill to understand the trend is headed one way – up. To calculate how much you are spending each month to cool your home, the US Department of Energy has created this Energy and Cost-Savings Calculators for Energy-Efficient Products.

What Is the Life Span of a Typical Air Conditioner?

HVAC units are built to last a long time. In moderate climates, some units provide service for 10 years or more. However, summers in Arizona are extremely tough on hard working air conditioners. A typical life span for an air conditioner running nonstop in the desert would be approximately seven to eight years. Depending on when your home was built and when your air conditioner was installed, your AC unit may be nearing the end of its useful life. You’ll know it’s time to consider purchasing a new air conditioner when the service calls and maintenance bills start piling up.

SEER Ratings, BTUs and Air Conditioners

SEER ratings provide guidelines for energy efficiency. If you have an older air conditioner, the SEER rating may be six or lower. Purchasing an AC unit with a higher SEER rating means a more efficient use of energy to displace heat in the process of cooling your home. That’s how a new, energy efficient AC unit can save you money on your electric bill. The higher the SEER rating, the better. BTUs stands for British thermal units, which in simplified terms, is a standard of measurement for the amount of heat your air conditioner can remove from a given room or area. The higher the BTU rating, the more cooling power of the air conditioner. At first glance, these calculations may seem a bit confusing. Give us a call to schedule an overall HVAC consultation, and we’ll be happy to explain the fine points of saving you money on your utility bills.

Let One of Our Experienced Professionals Explain Your Options

If you are considering a new HVAC unit for your home or you are convinced you may need major service on your current air conditioner, give us a call for friendly, informative and expert advice. After performing a thorough inspection, our experienced professionals will provide you with information and options. Give us a call today.

HVAC Holiday Gift Ideas

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With the holidays here, the December ritual of finding something unique for family members poses a puzzle that an army of elves can’t solve. Hold the socks with the whacky designs and skip the last-minute scarves. Leave the goofy battery powered sweaters in the bin and just say no to another bottle of celebrity perfume. Consider a climate comfort alternative instead!

Temperature Affects Every Aspect of Our Lives

At first glance, heating and air conditioning gifts may seem a bit unusual. After all, desert temperatures in December are moderate and delightful. However, when you consider how much time Arizonans spend indoors (over 90 percent in the summer months) and just how important temperature is to personal comfort, then it starts to make sense. If you’ve got someone in your life who’s always a little too hot or too cold, giving the gift of temperature control could be just the right move.

HVAC-Related Gifts – The Sleeper Hit of the Year

This year, why not give a gift that truly keeps on giving all year long. Consider these offerings for the temperature sensitive VIP in your life.

  • Wi-fi Enabled Smart Thermostat – Creating a comfortable home environment starts with your thermostat. Because most thermostats are extremely reliable, homeowners rarely think about replacing them. However, new smart thermostats give you more control over your HVAC, allow you to heat or cool your home more efficiently, help you save money on energy costs and even let you adjust settings from your phone. Sounds like a great tech gift for dad that the whole family will enjoy.
  • Ceiling Fans – If you struggle with heat during the summer, installing ceiling fans can make a huge difference. Ceiling fans not only make rooms more comfortable to be in, they also help reduce your utility bill. Though ceiling fans do not actually lower the temperature in a given room, they make you feel cooler by moving air across your skin. Ceiling fans come in a multitude of styles, shapes and sizes and will add value to your home.
  • Cooling Mattress Pads – The recent rise of popularity in memory foam mattresses has brought along an unintended consequence. At night, as you sink into the memory foam, your body tends to generate more heat because there’s less air moving around your skin for cooling. Hi tech cooling mattress pads are the answer. This is a “cool” gift for anyone who perspires while sleeping.
  • All New HVAC System – Depending on how old your air conditioner is, it may be time for an all new HVAC system. This is understandably a large purchase and would definitely not fit under the Christmas tree. However, the winter months are the best time to install a new system, so you’ll be cool and worry-free when the hot weather comes along in spring. If you’re not ready to replace the entire system, you can always get dad a new set of air filters just for fun!

Happy Holidays from All of Us at Cool Blew

If you have HVAC questions or you’d like to have a system inspection before the holidays, give us a call. Our experienced professionals are ready to help with all your heating, air conditioning and HVAC-related holiday shopping needs!

Do You Need a Ductless Mini-Split System?

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Ductless mini-split systems are becoming increasingly common for good reason. They offer a range of benefits that are worth considering – especially if you struggle with temperature variances in your home or are looking for a simplified cooling/heating solution for a room that’s not connected to your HVAC system.

What Are Ductless Mini-Split Systems?

Mini-split systems have two parts. A unit is installed outside, called the condenser. There are models that only cool and those with a heat pump that offer both cooling and heat. The part of the system that gets installed inside your home on a wall is called an air handler. The temperature is adjusted by a remote control. Each air handler is referred to as a “zone.”

Unlike standard HVAC systems, mini-split systems don’t require ductwork. This means that systems can be installed in a number of places, like room additions, offices, converted attics and storage rooms.

The Benefits of a Ductless Mini-Split System

Quick and Simple Installation – A ductless system requires a relatively easy installation with no need to update existing ductwork or to cut into walls.
Temperature Control – With a ductless system, each room has its own system, so each person can have their desired temperature.
Reduces Humidity – Most mini-split systems have a dry mode feature to eliminate excess moisture from a room. This is particularly beneficial during monsoon season.
Lower Monthly Costs – If central air is cost-prohibitive in a new addition or other space within your home without ductwork, a smaller ductless system may be the answer. One condenser can handle up to four indoor air units.

Types of Mini-Split Systems

There are a variety of options when it comes to mini-split systems that are worth considering, including single-zone and multi-zone condenser units, ceiling cassettes and wall units.

At Cool Blew, we’re here to help you with all your heating and cooling needs. Call us today to learn more about ductless mini-split systems and to find out if this is a good option for your specific needs.

The Benefits of a Smart Thermostat

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For most homeowners, controlling the temperature in your home means manually adjusting a thermostat that regulates your heating and air conditioning system. If you have a programmable thermostat, you have the benefits of setting the temperature for different times of the day. The next step in the evolution of heating and cooling is smart, wi-fi-enabled thermostats that enable you to control your home’s climate remotely, learn from your habits and behaviors, monitor your energy consumption in real-time and even adjust the temperature based on ambient conditions like humidity.

This means you don’t have to turn the dial from a panel on your wall to change the temperature. Instead, you can tell your HVAC system to turn on or off from an app on a mobile device. Your smart thermostat will not only adjust the temperature. It will also show you how long it will take to make the change you requested. And, you can keep track of how much you’re really spending on cooling and heating costs.

Could a Smart Thermostat Save You Money?

Although a smart thermostat is more expensive than your standard wall-mounted, programmable model, it may be able to save you dollars in the long run by enabling you to better manage your energy consumption. This is particularly true if you’re forgetful about adjusting a programmable thermostat and choose a learning type smart thermostat that can eliminate the hassle out of managing your home’s temperature.

While cost-savings is certainly a perk, the real benefit of a smart thermostat is automating a task that you previously had to do manually. Not having to adjust your wall-mounted thermostat every time you leave, come home or go on vacation may be well worth the investment.
At Cool Blew, we sell and install a variety of wireless and wi-fi-enabled thermostats. Call us today at 623-872-2900 to learn more about this advancement in your home’s comfort.

HVAC Related Fires and How to Prevent Them

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If you have a relative or a friend who’s been through the extreme misfortune of a house fire, you know it’s one of the most traumatic experiences a homeowner will ever go through. Seeing a family’s possessions, hopes and aspirations go up in flames is utterly tragic. In the United States, over 350,000 homes are affected each year with fires causing billions of dollars in damages. Fires caused by HVAC related issues are particularly frustrating because many, if not most HVAC fires are utterly preventable. It’s ironic that the very appliance charged with cooling your home can also, if faulty or left neglected, be responsible for torching your dreams.

As any fireman will tell you, most fires would never happen if homeowners would simply pay attention to typical home danger zones and fire hazards and practice solid home maintenance preventive measures. Oddly, when queried, most homeowners feel that though they are aware house fires occur, it will never happen to them. Why is that?

Optimism Bias

The term, “optimism bias” (also known as unrealistic optimism) states most people believe they are at less risk of going through a negative experience, like a fire, than their neighbors or someone on the news. The danger of this kind of rosy thinking is it gives people a false sense of security and blinds them to taking basic steps to protect their homes.

Home HVAC Fire Hazards

When a fireman walks through your home, he sees things differently than you do. Here are some of the most common HVAC related fire hazards:

  • Electrical issues are the number one reason for HVAC-related fires. When people purchase homes, they don’t always know the history of their HVAC units. As appliances get older, the wear and tear can cause issues with electrical wiring or circuits. HVAC units pull a lot of power, and they can overheat when they are running full tilt for hours or even days at a time during a summer heatwave. Knowing the condition of your HVAC unit, inside and out is essential to preventing dangerous situations. If your unit has not been serviced recently, it’s a good idea to have a professional check it out. Maybe you haven’t had any problems with your unit in years. Don’t let your optimism bias prevent you from having regular checkups for your HVAC unit.
  • HVAC units in the garage or basement are sometimes incorrectly used as shelves or “temporary” storage areas, which is especially dangerous in cramped quarters. Setting boxes, paints, chemicals, cleaning solutions or anything at all on an HVAC unit is a very bad idea. The area surrounding your HVAC unit should always be completely clear.
  • Improperly installed units with poorly fitted connections can sometimes go unnoticed for years. Many HVAC related fires are the result of a mistake made by an installer which went undetected until some other factor (such as an earthquake) occurs. A good technician will check all the fittings, gas and electrical lines connecting to your unit.

Schedule an AC Home Inspection with a Professional

Springtime is a great season to schedule a home inspection. Don’t wait for the first heatwave to hit when HVAC companies are deluged with calls. Call Cool Blew today!

Does Your HVAC System Need a Surge Protector?

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Power surges can happen anywhere, at any time. Here in the greater Phoenix area, they’re most often due to summer monsoon, electrical storms, downed power lines and faulty wiring. However, they can also be caused by local outages and even wide-scale power-grid issues. When you consider the cost of an HVAC system, you don’t want to take chances with the potential of a damaging power surge.

Most likely, you’ve taken steps to protect valuable electronics in your home, such as computers and televisions. However, you may not have thought of your heating and cooling system which can also be impacted by an unexpected power surge. Because you can’t predict a large spike in voltage to your home, it’s important to protect sensitive household equipment, including your air conditioner and heater.

How a Surge Protector Works

Because every home is vulnerable to a power surge or spike, the best line of defense is a surge protector for your HVAC system. This inexpensive device will shut off your system and save its electrical components.

At Cool Blew, we are focused on ensuring your HVAC system is maintained and protected. We’re here to provide you with the information you need to protect your heating and cooling investment. Along with installing a whole-home power surge protector, placed near your main breaker box, we can fit your HVAC system with individual surge protectors. And, we’re always here to help you restart your system following a power surge.

Don’t take chances in 2018 with your air conditioner and heater. Protect your home from external and internal sources of power surges. With many years of industry experience and deep expertise, we’re the right choice for all your HVAC and electrical needs.

Want to learn more about surge protection? Call Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900 to schedule an appointment.

Preparing Your HVAC System for the Fall

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Yes, it’s finally happening! Temperatures in the greater Phoenix area are finally cooling down. Soon, it will be time to turn off the air conditioning and even flip the thermostat to “heat” as morning and evening temperatures begin to dip. In other words, it’s now the perfect time to get your HVAC system ready for the fall and winter months.

Start with Your Air Filter

Summer dust storms can wreak havoc on your HVAC system. Your air filter likely is loaded with dust and needs to be replaced. A simple swap with a new, clean filter can take you less than two minutes and can have you breathing cleaner air.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Lower night time temperatures will keep it much cooler in your home. Go ahead and turn your air conditioning off or set the temperature for what feels comfortable. You definitely will save money over what you’ve been spending throughout the summer months. If you’re getting chilly over night or in the mornings, you may even want to switch your thermostat to the heat setting.

Remove Debris Around Outdoor HVAC Equipment

While summer winds and rain are now over, you may continue to see their impact around your exterior air conditioning unit. Take a few minutes and clear away vegetation, debris, tree limbs and other things that could potentially obstruct your HVAC system’s blower and evaporator coils.

Schedule a Maintenance Check

Regularly servicing your air conditioner, heater and ductwork can add years to your HVAC system, as well as improve your interior air quality. While many homeowners get tune-ups on their air conditioners before the hot summer months begin, far fewer take the time to schedule a fall maintenance check to ensure their heat pump or furnace is working as it should be. This can be a costly mistake that can leave you in the cold when you need heat.

Call Cool Blew today to schedule your fall tune-up. As a leader in preventive maintenance plans for residential and commercial property owners, we encourage you to call us to learn more about how to keep your HVAC system working efficiently for as long as possible.  Call us now at 623-872-2900.

Maximizing Your Air Conditioning Efficiency during the Monsoon Season

The monsoon season is officially here, and in full force. It’s hot and muggy out with plenty of wind, dust and rain, too. These aren’t the most optimal conditions for running your air conditioner. Yet, with a few simple strategies, you can stay cool while ensuring your unit is functioning efficiently.

Remove Tree Branches and Yard Debris

One of the biggest risks to air conditioners during monsoon season is flying tree branches and other items caused by high winds. Because gale force winds are not uncommon, it’s important to remove any dead branches and items from near your air conditioner. Because leaves and twigs can also be blown into the unit, it’s also wise to thin out trees and cut back surrounding vegetation.

Be Proactive with Air Filters

We’ve all seen how dust can blanket the entire Phoenix metro area during a haboob. With each one of these weather events, dust collects in your air conditioner’s filter. This is why it’s important to replace or  clean filters at least once a month or even more often if there is a series of dust storms.

Check Drain Lines

Dirt and dust can also clog your air conditioner’s drain lines. If water is collecting in the drain pan, you probably have a clogged line. You can unclog it using a wet/dry vacuum or call us to help you. It’s important to not ignore this problem. A clogged line can cause your unit to work harder than it needs to and can even result in a complete system failure.

Don’t Take Chances

Has it been years since your air conditioner was last serviced? Don’t try and make it through the remainder of the season without a tune up. You could already have an underlying problem which could be effecting your unit’s efficiency. During a tune up, problems can be identified and repaired proactively so that your air conditioner is working optimally now and will function next season, too.

Call us today to schedule your HVAC maintenance at 623-872-2900.

Why You Should Choose a N.A.T.E. Certified HVAC Technician

When it comes to HVAC service providers in the greater Phoenix area, you have no shortage of options. You’ll find everything from national companies to single operators. With so many choices, many homeowners are uncertain who to turn to when they need service on an air conditioner or heater. Industry experts will tell you that your best choice is choosing a technician with certification from the North American Technician Excellence, the largest non-profit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians.

There are many reasons why it makes dollars and sense to choose a NATE certified technician. Here are just a few of the many reasons:

Time Savings – Because technicians are tested in an extensive range of complicated situations, NATE certification means they have the capabilities to quickly identify the source of a problem and determine the right solution.

Cost Savings – With this higher degree of knowledge, NATE certified technicians know how to optimize the efficiency of your HVAC system. This translates into less energy waste and more money saved on utility bills.

Peace of Mind – NATE certification is the top technician certification in the industry. By hiring a NATE certified technician, you’ll gain the peace of mind that your HVAC system is in good hands and that work will be done right the first time.

Don’t take chances with less-than-qualified HVAC companies and technicians. Yes, there are plenty of them out there. Don’t be tempted by the lowest price on service or installation. Instead, select the service provider that takes pride in their work and has invested the time and money to become certified in this highly specialized field.

At Cool Blew, our technicians are NATE certified and 100 percent dedicated to your satisfaction – guaranteed! We’re here for you 365 days a year with unbeatable knowledge and experience. Call us today to learn more about our home and commercial air conditioning installation and repair services.

The Future of Smart HVAC Systems

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Smart devices are now commonplace items in our homes. From smartphones and tablets to security systems and TVs, we have become increasingly accustomed to being connected to the Internet over the past decade. Home appliances are the latest products to join the “Internet of Things.” Refrigerators, washing machines and even HVAC systems are becoming wired to increase the level of automation in our homes.

For HVAC manufacturers, the potential of integration with smart devices and the Internet is vast. The industry is beginning to see the tremendous opportunities in developing innovative new smart features that will increase the value of their products and improve the overall customer experience. Early examples of this include thermostats with applications to enable users to operate them via smart devices, such as smart phones, tablets, or even Amazon Echo or the Google Home speaker. It may be hard to believe, but it’s now becoming as easy as saying “lower the temperature to 68 degrees” to get relief from the Arizona heat.

However, this is just the beginning of the level of connectivity we will likely see in HVAC systems. Air conditioning and heating units soon will likely be able to notify a homeowner via a smart device when there is the possibility of a malfunction or when it’s time for service. The notification will be sent to your service provider who will proactively call you to schedule an appointment and order any necessary parts. This has the potential of eliminating the majority of unexpected system malfunctions. It will also mean that your technician will have a diagnosis of a problem before arriving to your home and will have the exact parts needed to make the repair. Additionally, reminders to schedule seasonal tune-ups can be even better coordinated to increase the efficiency and lifespan of a unit.

What If Your Air Conditioner’s Compressor Could Talk?

The level of connectivity of products is becoming increasingly granular in many industries. With so many working parts, it’s likely that each component of an HVAC system will be linked to the Internet. For example, your air conditioner’s compressor may be wired to signal to a local service provider when there is a low level of refrigerant and requires immediate service to avoid a system failure. Even an inexpensive air filter that is no longer functioning properly can signal to a homeowner or to a service provider that it needs to be replaced. When you consider how much we rely on cooling and heating in the Phoenix area, you can begin to see the potential for these amazing new technological advancements.

We’ll Keep You Up to Date

At Cool Blew, we stay current on the latest industry innovations to ensure you get the highest quality products and services available. Whether you’re in need of a tune-up or repair on an existing system or want to discuss replacing a unit that is past its prime, our team of experts is here to help. Call us at 623-872-2900 today.