This year on April 22, we celebrate the 49th Earth Day. Created to increase awareness about the environment, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the planet by taking part in eco-friendly activities. Because we, at Cool Blew, focus on conserving water and other “green” plumbing-related strategies each and every day, we wanted to share a few tips that can help you save water. And, as an extra bonus, these tips can help you save some “green” in your wallet, too!
Switch to a Low-Flow Showerhead
Consider that a conventional showerhead uses approximately four gallons of water per minute. With a low-flow showerhead, you can slash this in half. This means that this one simple change can save nearly 3,000 gallons of water per year for a family of four.
Check Toilet Tanks for Leaks
You may be surprised to learn that water leaks account for about 12 percent of all water use in the average American home. One of the most common sources of leaks is toilets. Take a few minutes and test for leaks. Simply remove the tank lid and drop a dye table or a couple of drops of food dye into the upper tank. Wait about 15 minutes. If you see color in the toilet bowl, your toilet is leaking.
Consider a Water Heater Upgrade
If you have an aging water heater, you’re likely using more water and energy than you need to be. Today’s tank water heaters and tankless water heaters can help you save substantially on your water and energy consumption.
Get Faucet Leaks Fixed
Do you have a faucet that drips? This is a major contributor to water waste. Call Cool Blew, your local plumbing experts, to look for and stop leaks throughout your home. You’ll start seeing the savings on your water bill immediately.
Make the message of Earth Day something that’s with you every day by preventing water loss around your home. Call Cool Blew today to schedule an appointment. We can help you with everything from toilet and faucet leaks to water heater replacement.
Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is a highly complex, mechanical, electrical and engineering marvel – a large, multi-component appliance installed inside and outside your house. For most homeowners, air conditioning is the mysterious, essential, unseen magic trick that turns a hot house into a cool desert sanctuary. With summer on the way, you have to ask yourself, where would Arizona be without AC?
7 Major Components in Your Air Conditioner
There are seven major components (and many smaller ones) that make up an air conditioning system. Each component is critical to the overall successful operation of your AC. It takes years of study and apprenticeship for service techs to gain the knowledge required to service and install HVAC systems. As a homeowner, you can’t possibly be expected to know how all these components work or the proper way to fix them. Similar to an automobile, most people don’t understand how their car parts work, they just know when they turn the key, the car starts up and off they go. When it comes to automobiles and home air conditioning systems, the most important thing to know is the phone number of a great service tech (that’s Cool Blew for AC!)
It can be useful to have a general understanding of the major components in your air conditioner. It will help reduce some of the confusion when your service tech gives you an evaluation of your system. We’ve all heard these terms at one time or another. Here’s a brief description of the major parts and the functions they perform:
Blower – Air conditioning is a continuous process of removing heat from the warm air inside your home. The cycle of cooling begins with the blower circulating cold air through the vents into the rooms in your home and pulling warm air back through the supply register/return ducts for heat and humidity extraction and cooling.
Evaporator Coils – Refrigerant flows through the evaporator coils and absorbs/extracts heat and humidity from the air in a process known as phase conversion.
Compressor – The compressor, which is the pumping heart of the cooling cycle, circulates refrigerant (now in a gaseous state) under extreme pressure until it is super-heated, then the super-heated gas travels to the condenser coils. As the gas releases heat it turns back into a liquid. It’s important to note, the compressor is the most expensive component in your system.
Condenser Coils – While the evaporator coils pick up heat from air inside your home, the evaporator coils release the heat into the outside air. Due to high pressure and corrosion, condenser coils can be susceptible to pinhole leaks which can cause loss of refrigerant.
Fan – Sometimes referred to as the condenser fan, intense heat surrounding the condenser coils is dispersed by a fan that blows outside air across the coils. Though the fan is protected by a grill, high winds and severe storms can blow leaves and debris into the fan, which should be checked.
Air Filter – Air filters are an extremely important component of your air conditioning system because they form a shield of protection against dust, pollen, dander and other particulate irritants and pollutants. Air filters are crucial to your indoor air quality and should be replaced often.
Thermostat – As the main controlling device for your complicated HVAC system, the thermostat is the focal point for your home air conditioner. New Wi-fi enabled smart thermostats provide more options for energy savings and allow you to change the settings on your thermostat from your mobile device. This can be an incredibly useful tool when your plans change, or you go on a trip.
Time to Check the Components of Your Air Conditioner?
In Arizona, trouble-free air conditioning is essential to the enjoyment of summer, which is not far off. As the days get warmer, people start turning on their air conditioners. In many cases, the AC has been off for months and can benefit from a spring service tune up. Give us a call, and we’ll be happy to check your system before the big heat rolls into Phoenix.
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.