Category Archives: HVAC Systems

Optimizing Your HVAC for Distance Learning

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Here, in the greater Phoenix area, it’s back to school time. Yet it certainly doesn’t feel like a normal start to the school year. In-person classes are being delayed until at least August 17th due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And with children remaining at home for now, parents are tasked with creating designated areas that support effective learning. This includes providing a space with a flat surface, comfortable seating, good lighting, and a place to store class materials. It also means ensuring that the indoor temperature is comfortable, which can sometimes be a challenge when it’s well into the triple digits outdoors.

While optimizing your indoor temperature might not have been at the top of your to-do list when it comes to your child’s remote learning, it is an important factor. Just as temperature affects worker productivity, it also impacts children’s learning. Whether too hot or too cold, temperature can be a real problem when it isn’t properly regulated.

According to many workplace studies, the sweet spot of indoor temperatures is between 72 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, there are other factors at play. Children who have a lower-than-average body mass index (BMI) often get cold easier. And humidity can also affect how children perceive temperature. If the air is overly humid, it can impact the ability to sweat – making it feel warmer. Low humidity can cause skin, throat and nasal passage irritation. Most experts will tell you that a relative humidity level of 40 percent is optimal for year-round comfort in a home.

So, as you set up your home classroom for your children this school year, make sure to consider the temperature. Take time to set your thermostat, change the air filter and, if you haven’t already, call for a tune-up. A malfunctioning air conditioner definitely isn’t something you’ll want to deal with while trying to support your at-home student.

Want to learn more about how to optimize your home’s comfort? Call Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

HVAC Tips – How to Stay Cool this July 4th

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The forecast is for sizzling hot temperatures this 4th of July. That’s no surprise here in the Valley of the Sun. With monsoon storms not here yet, there’s little relief from the heat. In other words, it’s a good time to take some extra steps to stay cool.

Take Advantage of Your Window Coverings

Sun streaming through windows can quickly heat up a room, working against your air conditioner. During the peak sun hours between 10:00 and 2:00, keep blinds or curtains closed. This can lower indoor temperatures by up to 15 degrees!

Turn on Your Ceiling Fans

Like window coverings, ceiling fans offer a low-tech, low-cost way to stay cool. Make sure to turn the directional switch on fans to rotate counterclockwise. This will enable air to blow downwards, helping to keep you and your loved ones cool and comfortable.

Change Your HVAC Filters

When was the last time you replaced your HVAC filter? If you can’t remember, there is no better time than the present. A clogged filter not only hinders your air conditioner from working effectively, it also can reduce the quality of your indoor air. Nearly every local grocery store and hardware store carries air filters. Make it a point to have a couple on hand at all times, so that you can get into the habit of filter replacement once a month.

Take the Cooking Outside

Boiling pots and a hot oven can quickly increase temperatures throughout your home. And, of course, isn’t the 4th of July the perfect time to fire up the grill? Take advantage of this holiday weekend and enjoy some al fresco meal prep.

We’re Here If You Need Us

Unfortunately, air conditioner failures can happen – even during holidays. If you experience an unexpected malfunction, give us a call at 623-872-2900. We offer valley-wide emergency HVAC service even on Independence Day.

From all of us at Cool Blew, we wish you a fun and safe 4th of July.

Emergency HVAC Call from the North Pole

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We recently received an emergency call from the North Pole. It seems a certain S. Claus is having trouble with the furnace in his workshop, and his elves are getting cranky. They’re shivering and sneezing, coughing and wheezing and planning a work stoppage – which would be disastrous. You might say their relationship with their employer has grown a little frosty. “Do you work over the holidays?” Mr. Claus inquired. We told him our lines are always open – 24/7, 365 days a year. And that goes for anyone in the Valley who might need our services over the holiday season.

We Pause to Reflect

During this time of year, we like to take the time to reflect on our many blessings. Arizona is a special place, and we feel lucky to live and work here. As reports of arctic blasts and winter snowstorms keep our northern neighbors indoors, we smile and say, “Looks like another perfect day in the Valley.” We’re happy to be here. We love working on heating and air conditioning issues. Every system is different, each presenting its own unique challenge. Believe it or not, providing truly great HVAC service is like figuring out a series of interesting puzzles every day. Our job never gets boring.

At Cool Blew, We’re Grateful for You

Many good things have happened this year. We are, most of all, grateful for you, our wonderful customers. All that we have and all that we do is because of you. We never forget that you are the very reason our company exists. We’re grateful that this area has prospered and grown. We’re happy the phone never stops ringing, and service requests keep coming in. Thanks for another great year!

If You Need Us Over the Holidays – We’re Here

The next few weeks will be filled with family, fun and good cheer! We hope you don’t need service on your HVAC system, but if something goes wrong – we’re always here. We wish you and your family all the best over the holidays. We’ll take care of Santa – you have a blast!

Repair or Replace – Important HVAC Factors to Consider Each Spring

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These days it’s plug and play. Televisions, cell phones, laptops, electronic gear, home office equipment and kitchen appliances – just about everything in your home is delivered in a box and installed in a snap. Sure, when breakdowns occur, some items can be repaired, but more often than not, repair shops are a thing of the past. The refrain for our order-the-newest-model-online culture is rarely repair and primarily replace.

Your Air Conditioner Is Extremely Complex

Without a doubt, the most complex, repairable appliance in your home is your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Your HVAC system, including ducts and vents, extends from outside or above your house (if your air conditioner is installed on the roof) into every room in your home, providing environmental comfort for you and your family. There are many elements, motors, fans and electrical parts in an HVAC system. So, when something goes wrong, it’s difficult to know if a component should be repaired or replaced.

That’s where we come in.

At Cool Blew, we take the time to get to know your HVAC system completely. Our friendly service technicians have years of training and experience to know when it’s best to repair a component or replace it.

Why a Spring HVAC Inspection Is Money Well Spent

Even without global warming, summers in Phoenix have always been extreme. From May to October, air conditioners are pushed to the limit. Scheduling a spring inspection is one of the wisest things a homeowner can do to avoid service failures during the summer months. We all know, living without AC during an Arizona heatwave is a most unpleasant experience. Here are factors to consider during your HVAC yearly evaluation:

  • What Is Your Air Conditioner’s SEER Rating? – If your air conditioner is older, you may have an AC unit with a less desirable SEER rating, which translates into lower efficiency and higher monthly utility costs. Our specialists will inspect your AC system and inform you of the SEER rating on your unit and explain the cost benefits of having an air conditioner with greater efficiency.
  • Ducts and Vents – When a home is built and the original HVAC system is installed, ducts and vents are checked and inspected multiple times. However, once a home is sold, the ducts and vents are mostly forgotten. If you’ve noticed excessive dust, musty smells or if your home has uneven cooling from one room to the next, it’s time to have your ducts and vents inspected. As part of a full springtime HVAC evaluation, our technicians will evaluate the ducts and vents and check for any problems that may have developed over the years.
  • Zone Controls – In years past, many Phoenix air conditioning systems were installed without zone controls. If you’ve added a master suite or remodeled your home extensively or if you notice large discrepancies in temperature in different areas of your house, you may want to consider zone controls. The design of your original HVAC system may, at this point, be many years old and not optimal for the square footage you are trying to cool today. Let us provide you with a system evaluation that will include options to get more cool air to the rooms that need it.

When It Comes to Air Conditioning, There’s So Much More

There are many more factors to consider when reviewing your home’s HVAC system. Let us take the time to get to know your air conditioner and get you ready for the summer ahead. Why not give us a call today.

90 Percent of All HVAC Breakdowns Are Related to This

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Your HVAC system is a complicated collection of component parts working in harmony to provide environmental comfort in your home. This complex array of motors, fans, compressors, valves, condensers and more are all powered by electricity. Capacitors, contactors, relays and wiring are crucial to the smooth operation of your HVAC system. So, it only makes sense that over 90 percent of all air conditioner and heater breakdowns are related to electrical issues.

Do-It-Yourself Vs. Hiring Professionals

Many homeowners derive great satisfaction from being do-it-yourselfers. The joy of performing routine maintenance, making home improvements and completing home decorating or restoration projects greatly increases their pride of ownership. However, certain types of home repairs are best left to professionals with training and expertise. In the case of air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces and wiring, unless you happen to be an electrical engineer or electrician, you’ll want to hire an expert to handle your HVAC related electrical issues. It’s important to remember, electricity can be dangerous, and it’s very easy to get in over your head.

Here are three of the most common electrical breakdowns we deal with time and again:

  • Faulty Capacitors – Capacitors store and release electrical energy and are used to start up or run motors on the compressor, blower and the fan of your air conditioner unit. There are many different types of capacitors, and they require a specific meter to check whether they are working or need to be replaced. Capacitors generally last from five to seven years. Although in Arizona, the extreme climate can push them to the limit, so they may fail sooner.
  • Failed Contactors – The contactor is a crucial device that receives information from the thermostat and controls the flow of electricity to your air conditioner’s components. The most common issue is, after years of normal wear and tear, contactors burn out or they get stuck in one position (up or down). Replacing a contactor is not a do-it-yourself job.
  • Wiring and Connector Issues – In Arizona, HVAC systems frequently are installed on the roof, which means the unit is exposed to extreme temperatures, intense UV rays, wind, rain and monsoon dust storms. As well, there are squirrels and other furry creatures that occasionally treat wires like chew toys. Frayed wires can be dangerous and cause a lot of damage. Our service technicians are trained to check all wiring and connectors to make sure they are clean, intact and working properly.

If you’ve ever received an electrical shock from a home wiring project, you know it can be a very unpleasant experience. We encourage our customers to be do-it-yourselfers when it comes to replacing air filters and other less challenging jobs. However, when it comes to electrical repairs and the safety of your family and your home, let the experts handle it! Give Cool Blew a call today to set up a full inspection of your HVAC system.

Your Yearly Planner for Trouble Free HVAC in 2019

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In the Arizona desert, air conditioning is not merely a convenience or an important home appliance. It’s more like a quality of life issue. A matter of health and happiness. If you’ve lived through a summer in Phoenix with a substandard HVAC system or owned an air conditioner that was constantly breaking down, you know how miserable it can be. During a mid-summer heat wave without air conditioning, homes heat up in a hurry. Air conditioners seem to have a knack for breaking down at the worst possible times, such as Fourth of July weekend or when you return home from a long trip and discover it’s 98 degrees in your living room.

Management Is Planning Not Reacting

The ideal way to manage your HVAC system is to get out in front of any issues you may encounter during the year. Take care of your air conditioner the same way you would maintain a cherished automobile. Track the mileage, note when scheduled service is required and only allow the best technicians to take care of your unit. You wouldn’t embark on a long drive through the desert without having your car checked first. That would be reckless. Likewise, you shouldn’t head into summer without having your air conditioner tuned up. Let’s face it, randomly calling for repairs once a breakdown has occurred in the middle of summer puts you in the worst possible position.

Let Us Get to Know Your HVAC System

When it comes to flawless air conditioning, one of the most important calls you can make is to a top-rated, experienced and reliable service provider who will take the time to assess your entire HVAC system and provide you with a full evaluation. This will give you insight into what to expect in the coming year.

Here are some other handy tips to keep you cool and comfortable when the hot temperatures return:

  • Create Your HVAC File –Take a few moments to compile the information you have on your current system. Owner’s manuals, service records and warranties should be filed in one place. If you have old receipts and invoices, those are helpful, too. The more information you have at your fingertips, the easier it will be to answer questions. Remember, your HVAC system has many component parts and it’s very worthwhile to keep track of when they were repaired or replaced.
  • Schedule a System Assessment – January is a great month to schedule an appointment. Our friendly service technicians will inspect your entire HVAC system and evaluate the condition of every component to ensure smooth operation and the safety of your family. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your air conditioner, which parts are in great shape and which parts need to be replaced means you’ll be heading into summer with an air conditioner in top form.
  • Get to Know Your Air Filters – Replacing your HVAC air filters is another important part of maintaining your system and keeping the air you breathe clean and dust free. It’s not a difficult job to do, but because it’s an occasional task, it’s very easy to forget or put off. Take the time to look up the correct air filter on your owner’s manual or ask our service tech which air filters are best for your system. Try to keep filters handy and put a reminder on your calendar to switch them out on a regular basis.
  • Consider Installing a New, Wi-fi Enabled Smart Thermostat – Newer models of smart thermostats are easier to use than the earlier generation and give you more control over your HVAC system. Once installed, they learn your preferences and provide you with increased energy saving options. They also do a great job of tracking information regarding how you use your AC. Our service techs can explain all the ways a smart thermostat can make your life easier and more energy efficient which will save you money on your monthly utility bills.

At Cool Blew, we recommend a twice-yearly approach to maintenance. One service call in spring to prepare for the summer ahead and again in fall, for the coming winter months. Our staff of experienced professionals takes pride in knowing your system and anticipating problems and solving them before they occur. Why not give us a call today?

Plan Now for Home Comfort This Summer

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As the holiday draws near, it signals the end of another year. Many homeowners set aside time in late December to consider the status of their home, review minor and major improvements needed and to plan for the year ahead. If the summer of 2018 wreaked havoc on your air conditioner, or if your entire HVAC system is getting old and requires major upgrades or replacement, now is an excellent time to schedule an HVAC system inspection and estimate. Winter months are ideal for upgrading or replacing your air conditioner.

HVAC – An Intricate and Complex System

Home Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems and components (thermostat, air conditioner, furnace, ducts, condenser, refrigerant lines, fans, electrical motors and more) are very complex and need to be working perfectly for the entire system to deliver proper cooling and heating. Getting it just right can be extremely challenging for many homeowners. If your HVAC system and ducts were designed and installed correctly from the time the house was built, and you have a good, reliable well-serviced unit, then you’re probably not experiencing a lot of problems. However, if your system suffers from poor design or there were flaws in the initial installation you may be finding yourself in HVAC limbo. In other words, you’re not sure if you should repair and despair or invest in replacing the entire system.

A complete and thorough review will help you establish the status of your HVAC system. One thing is for certain, multiple service calls during the heat of the summer is not fun for anyone. Reactive maintenance means doing without AC while your unit is being repaired. It’s better to plan ahead and have your air conditioner in top form when the heat hits in spring.

Your Home’s HVAC System

Most air conditioners are built to last for 10 years or longer. However, the average life span of an AC unit in Arizona is shorter due to the extreme temperatures and heavy use for half the year. There are many items to consider when assessing whether to repair or replace your HVAC system, including:

  • The Major Components – The major components of your air conditioner are; compressor, fan, condenser, evaporator coils and refrigerant lines. It helps if you have a detailed service record and history of these parts. If not, our service techs will establish whether they can be reliably trusted.
  • Electrical Motors and Wiring – Electricity is not to be taken lightly. Motors and wiring can cause serious damage not only to your HVAC unit but to your house as well.
  • Ventilation and Ductwork – Houses don’t breathe like they used to. Airtight doors and windows, and heavy insulation ensure that outside air stays out. This means your inside air delivery and return system must be perfect (no rips, tears or leaks) in order for your AC to be delivered properly to each room.
  • Choosing the Right System – If your system is old and needs to be replaced you will be faced with numerous choices. Our experienced service techs will review options with you and help you decide which system is best for your home, be it:
    • Split Systems
    • Heat Pumps
    • Single-Stage vs Two-Stage Air Conditioners
    • Zoned HVAC Systems
    • Gas Furnaces
    • Electric Furnaces

The best way to digest this huge amount of information is with expert advice from an experienced professional who can explain not only the systems, but also which ones would work in your home.

We’re Happy to Provide You with All the Information You Need

If you’re in the process of looking ahead to 2019 and deciding what is best for your HVAC system, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions and provide the information you need. Why not call us today?

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.