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Summer Crunch Time – Air Conditioning Parts Most Likely to Breakdown

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer for most regions of the US. However, this isn’t the case in the Southwest. Phoenix residents understand there are at least six more weeks of hot weather ahead before the temperatures start to slide into fall. At this point in late August/early September, air conditioners have been operating full tilt for months. Like an automobile running at an extremely high rpm on a long trip through the sweltering desert, the motors and moving parts of AC systems are being pushed to the limit. Not surprisingly, depending on how old your air conditioner is, some components may falter, and you may experience service issues with your AC before the end of the season. This is the time of year when air conditioners are really put to the test.

Customers Always Ask – What Are the Most Common Reasons for Air Conditioner Breakdowns?

No one wants to deal with an AC breakdown in the heat of the summer. Air conditioners are highly complex, multi-component systems operating under extreme conditions with very little protection from the elements. Rooftop AC units bake in the sun all day long in temperatures easily exceeding 140 degrees, unless there’s a monsoon which brings wind-whipped dust storms and driving rain. With so many fans, motors, capacitors, condensers, compressors, electrical parts, intricate wiring, and pressurized lines, it’s easy for AC systems to get out of synch. Most HVAC service technicians will tell you that they wish there was a simple answer. However, the most common reasons for air conditioner breakdowns are simple to wear and tear due to extreme conditions, ignoring early warning signs and irregular service.

What Parts Are Most Likely to Breakdown?

Of course, every air conditioner is unique with its own set of challenges and issues. Over the years, we’ve noticed certain patterns in terms of components wearing out. Here’s a list of the some of the parts most likely to need replacement:

  • Air Filters

    Critical to the smooth operation of your AC unit, air filters remove dust, dirt, dander and other particulate pollutants from the air that circulates in your home. Air filters require regular replacement. Ideally, AC air filters should be swapped out once a month. Even more, if you have pets or if one of your family members suffers from a respiratory condition. Replacing air filters is not a difficult task to perform.

  • Capacitors/Contactors/Wiring

    Electrical problems, such as replacing capacitors, contactors, motors, and fans, as well as electrical wiring issues, are responsible for over 80 percent of all service calls. Capacitors and contractors are some of the most heavily used parts in your AC unit. Constant wear and tear on electrical parts, along with extreme heat, which dries out and degrades the plastic insulation around wires means problems are bound to come up over time. As always, when it comes to electric issues, it’s best to let experienced professionals handle the electric repairs.

  • Evaporator Coils

    Here’s the dirt on evaporator coils. Over time, they get covered with dust and grime which reduces their effectiveness. Cleaning the evaporator coils on a regular basis is the solution to the problem. Rust and corrosion can cause tiny pinholes in the sealed system which will allow refrigerant to escape into the air. Low refrigerant causes your AC unit to work harder and ultimately can cause harm. Pinhole leaks are not easily detected by homeowners, although if you hear a slight hissing sound, that might be an indication of a leak. Our specialists will check for refrigerant leaks during a late summer service inspection.

  • Blower Motor / Fan Motor

    The fans in your AC system keeps the air moving and run constantly throughout Arizona’s extended summer. Depending on the age of your air conditioner, it’s only a matter of time before an AC fan may require adjustment, lubrication or sometimes, the fan motors simply burn out. If that happens, give us a call immediately.

  • Is It Time for a Late Summer Service Call?

    If you forgot to schedule a HVAC service or if you’ve noticed issues with your air conditioner in the extreme heat of August, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re always happy to check your entire system and restore your air conditioner to top form. Why not give us a call today?

High Humidity, Extreme Heat and Leaking Air Conditioning Systems

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

Though rainfall due to monsoon season has been down this year, prevailing winds and established weather patterns are still transporting low level moisture up from the Gulf of California as they do every summer. Phoenix is known as the hottest city in America, and this year, we’ve had record-setting heat to prove it. We’ve also had plenty of humidity which can cause problems for air conditioning systems. Leaking air conditioners, unpleasant musty smells associated with standing water, sweating AC ducts and mildew are all a result of extra moisture in the air. If you’ve noticed leaking or water-related issues with your air conditioner, it’s best to deal with them as soon as possible.

Condensation and Removing Humidity from the Air in Your Home

Humidity causes our bodies to feel warmer because our natural ability to dissipate heat through perspiration is inhibited when there is extra moisture in the air. A simple example of this is taking a shower in a bathroom with the windows closed and the exhaust fan off. You will notice yourself perspiring almost as soon as you get out of the shower. Your air conditioner removes unwanted humidity from your home through the normal cooling process. As warm air passes over your cold evaporator coils, condensation occurs and water drips from the coils to the drain pan below. If you notice extra humidity in the air inside your home, you should give us a call.

Here are some of the most common reasons for leaking air conditioners and moisture-related problems:

  • Clogged Condensate Drain

    One of the most common reasons for leaking AC units is caused by a clogged condensate drain line. The condensate drain line can get clogged with debris or gunk which builds up over time. If the drain line is clogged, the water will back up and the pan will overflow.

  • Dirty or Clogged Air Filters/Low Refrigerant

    Proper airflow is critical to the normal operation of your air conditioner. When your air filters are clogged with dirt, airflow is reduced. This can lead to a chain reaction which may result in the evaporator coils freezing. If you have ever noticed ice on your AC unit, it is usually due to reduced airflow or low refrigerant. Either way, when the ice melts, you generally will have a problem with leaking. If you notice ice on your air conditioner, turn off your unit and give us a call.

  • Improperly Installed Ducts and Vents

    Ductwork is a mystery to most homeowners because they rarely see them. Tucked away in the rafters or hidden behind walls, it’s hard to know if your ducts were installed correctly. However, if you notice water stains on the plaster in your ceilings or water dripping down the walls near your vents, it’s a good bet your ducts were not insulated properly. Water dripping from attic ducts onto plaster or insulation can cause mildew and mold and pose a serious health concern, not to mention the unpleasant musty odor.

Humidity Can Wreak Havoc on Your Air Conditioner

Leaks, water damage and excess condensation can cause problems that you might be tempted to overlook. However, if you see water leaking it won’t be long before you start smelling the accompanying mildew. Once that smell gets into your AC system, it’s difficult to get out. Give us a call and we at cool blew will be happy to send a skilled, experienced service technician out to inspect your entire HVAC system.

One Part of Your House Is Definitely “Not Cool” – Is A Portable Air Conditioner the Answer?

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

In a perfect world, your air conditioning unit would quietly do its job and provide cool comfort to every part of your house efficiently and evenly to the prescribed temperature setting on your thermostat. However, many Phoenix-area homes experience uneven cooling from one part of the house to another, often throughout different periods of the day. Especially in August and September, when soaring temperatures consistently exceed 105 degrees.

Why Is One Room in My House Cool and Another Uncomfortably Warm?

Many factors go into uneven cooling. The position of your home relative to the sun, amount of shade trees alleviating direct sunlight hitting your house, the amount of insulation in your walls and roof, sun streaming through your windows (especially on the south and west-facing side of your home), unbalanced, improperly installed AC vents not delivering the cool air where it’s supposed to go and more. Uneven cooling, particularly in bedrooms, can be an unpleasant daily or nightly annoyance.

Is a Portable Air Conditioner the Solution to Uneven Cooling?

The reason we receive so many uneven cooling complaints in August and September is simple – it’s crunch time. This is the hottest part of summer. The shortcomings of your air conditioning system may have gone unnoticed when temperatures hovered in the low 90s. However, weeks of 105 to 110 degrees will test even the best AC systems. The first and most obvious solution is to schedule a service call, so we can inspect your system and see if there’s a problem such as low refrigerant, a malfunctioning fan or a disconnected vent.

If your AC system checks out, and you are still experiencing warm rooms, a portable AC unit, used during the hottest part of the year, maybe the answer. Here are a few points to keep in mind when considering a portable AC unit.

  • Portable Air Conditioners

    Portable air conditioners are generally less than three feet tall, are equipped with casters for easy rolling from room to room and can be plugged into any electrical wall outlet. They are most effective cooling one room and will come with a BTU rating that will guide you as to the size of the area to be cooled.

  • What Are the Advantages to Using a Portable?

    Some homes are designed in such a way that certain rooms say the Arizona room, an office, bedroom or master suite facing south and west (getting maximum sun) will always feel hotter than the rest of the house. A portable AC unit can help cool down the area of your house that is not being sufficiently cooled by the main unit. Many Phoenix residents will crank up the AC overall to deal with hotter parts of the house, however, this means you are paying extra for electricity.

  • What About Humidity in the Air?

    In Phoenix, humidity is high during monsoon season. Portable air conditioners generally have a plastic receptacle located inside the unit to collect moisture. The options are to manually empty the reservoir when it is full or install a drain.

The Long, Hot Arizona Summer Is More Than Half-Way Through

In the seasonal rhythms of Arizona, it’s a sign that summer is more than half-way through when the kids go back to school. Hopefully, your AC system is working like a champ and will faithfully see you through August, September and the rest of the year without any problems. If you do require service, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to send a friendly service tech to restore your air conditioner to top form!

A World Without Air Conditioning

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Surviving summer in the Arizona desert without air conditioning is a scary thought. However, there are occasions when the power goes out for hours at a time or your air conditioning unit malfunctions in the middle of the night, and you find yourself temporarily living in a world without air conditioning. One of the most distressing situations for a homeowner is returning from a weekend trip or vacation only to find the air conditioner has not been working, and the house has been roasting for days. Consider yourself lucky if you’ve never had this stifling experience.

No Air Conditioning Can Go from Unpleasant to Unhealthy

Because we all take air conditioning for granted, it’s very likely you may not have a plan in place for when your AC fails. However, it’s important to note, during a heatwave, when the temperatures climb above 100 degrees (especially above 110 degrees), lack of air conditioning can become a genuine health emergency. We always stress safety first, so please set aside some time to consider what steps you’d take in a dire situation. If you have an infant or small child, an elderly parent or someone with a respiratory condition such as asthma or COPD, extreme indoor temperatures can be devastating. Dehydration and heat stroke can sneak up and often occurs at a faster rate than most people imagine.

Steps to Take When Your Air Conditioner Stops Working

If there’s a power outage you may want to report it to the power company. Obviously, if your AC unit is broken, you’ll want to give us a call. We’re available 24/7. Here are steps you can take to minimize the unpleasant, rising heatwave inside your home:

  • Close All the Blinds and Shades

    Up to 30 percent of the heat inside your home comes from the sun shining through the lovely large windows facing east, south and west. Close all the doors and blinds as soon as possible.

  • Ceiling Fans

    Obviously, you’re going to want to crank up your ceiling fans. Did you know, for maximum cooling efficiency, your ceiling fans need to rotate counterclockwise? It might be wise to check all your ceiling fans, particularly the older ones and the uneven fans that wobble.

  • Get Out the Portable Fans

    Creating air flow across your main living area will provide a cooler space for your family. Having multiple portable fans in your garage will make it easier to deal with the heat while your AC is being fixed or when the power is out.

  • Close Off the Sun Room, Arizona Room or Extra Rooms

    Rooms facing south and west will get the hottest so it’s best to close them off and minimize the heat coming from that part of your home.

  • Stay Out of the Kitchen and Don’t Do Laundry

    Turning on the stove to cook is a bad idea. Take out might be the best solution. Doing laundry will add to the humidity in your home and the dryer is going to heat up your laundry room.

  • Consider Cooling Off with a Cold Shower

    Short, cold showers and light clothing will allow your skin to breathe and give you some relief from the heat. Ice packs and cold compresses might actually be fun for the kids. Eliminate exercise or yard work (for the day) and try to minimize physical activity.

In A World Without Air Conditioning – You Need an AC Service Company You Can Count On

We always say regular service calls are the best defense against unwanted AC breakdowns. However, sometimes emergencies are unavoidable. When that happens, you’ll want to call the best, most reliable HVAC company in the valley. When your AC is down, you can count on us to get it working as fast as possible. Call us today.

Jiggling the Handle and Other Common Toilet Problems That Drive You Crazy

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

In 2018, Bill Gates spoke at a conference in Beijing entitled the Reinvented Toilet Expo. Long a concern of the Gates Foundation, reinventing the toilet for billions of people around the globe who don’t have access to safe, clean sanitation systems will help eliminate diseases associated with poor sanitation. Though not a glamorous subject, working toilets are essential to healthy families and communities no matter where you live.

Reinventing Your Toilet with Ingenious Home-Made Fixes

Here in the US, reinventing your toilet could mean fixing the annoying little problems that are driving you to distraction, such as jiggling the handle to get the toilet to stop filling the tank. The toilet is one of those indispensable household devices that somehow never seems to get the respect it deserves. When your refrigerator breaks down, you call to have it fixed immediately. Same with your air conditioner. However, people develop ingenious ways to temporarily fix their toilets when they malfunction – and then learn to live with the fix for months on end. Here are a few of the most common problems associated with “the porcelain throne” in your bathroom:

  • Broken Handle Mechanism

    When you push down on the handle mechanism on your toilet, it makes the trip lever rise, which in turn pulls the chain inside the tank and lifts the flush ball which releases the water to flush the bowl. Jiggling the handles helps pull the chain and reposition the flapper. Replacing a broken toilet handle can be a fun little Saturday afternoon do-it-yourself project if you enjoy doing handyman work. If not, we’d be happy to replace your handle and check your toilet for any other problems.

  • Toilet Keeps Running and Won’t Stop Filling With Water

    This is one of those annoying problems you notice a few minutes after your trip to the bathroom. You hear the noise and ask yourself, “Shouldn’t the toilet be done filling up by now?” The reason your toilet tank is continuously filling is the flapper is not properly sealing the flush valve opening. This usually means replacing the flapper and if that doesn’t solve the problem, the entire flush valve assembly may need replacement.

  • Toilet Randomly Runs for 5-6 Seconds, Then Shuts Off Again

    This is caused by a slow leak from the tank to the bowl. In other words, when your tank is full, the toilet shuts off. A few minutes later, as water from the tank slowly seeps into the bowl, your tank needs to be refilled again and you hear that aggravating high-pitched noise. This problem is generally caused by crud on the flapper seal, which is easily cleaned.

  • Toilet Is Leaking

    A leaking toilet can do damage to your floor and is not something you should ignore. One of the most common causes for a leaking toilet is a loose or worn out seal at the base. This can be due to years of use and normal wear and tear. There are many other reasons for a leaky toilet. This is not a DIY job, and we recommend you give us a call.

Is It Time to Fix or Replace Your Toilet?

Many of us have co-existed with a semi-functioning (translation: annoying) toilet for months or years. If you’ve had enough of jiggling the handle or reaching into the cold water in the toilet tank to lift the float ball, why not give us a call. Our friendly plumbing experts will solve your toilet woes quickly, and you’ll be glad they did.

Your Air Conditioner’s Compressor – How to Prevent a Critical Summer Service Outage

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

The summer heat in Phoenix can be merciless. Can you think of a home appliance more useful or more complex than your air conditioning system? Air conditioners are comprised of multiple components located both inside and outside your home. One of the most important components often referred to as the “heart” of your AC system, is the compressor, which is found on the side of your house or up on the roof. Aptly named because it compresses the refrigerant and pumps the gas under pressure as it cycles endlessly throughout your entire AC system. The refrigerant picks up heat from inside your home and magically transfers that heat outdoors, leaving you cool, calm and collected indoors.


Compressors are manufactured to strict standards and built strong to last a long time. Many of the problems that occur are preventable or fixable – if caught in time. Depending on the age of your compressor and the service history, you may have experienced some of these compressor issues early warning signs. It’s important to remember, as of August and September approach, extreme heat will put your compressor and your entire AC system to the test. Here are some of the problems which can take your compressor down:

  • Low Refrigerant

    Many people think adding refrigerant once or twice a year is no big deal. However, AC refrigerant is encased in a closed system with pressurized lines, which requires an exact amount of gas to run properly. Too much or too little can cause issues with your compressor. Only trained service technicians with the proper equipment can ascertain whether you have the correct amount of refrigerant in your system.

  • Clogged Coils

    The good news is, compressor coils are a brilliant way to facilitate the transfer of heat from the inside of your house to the outside air. The bad news is, coils are an absolute magnet for dirt and grime. If your coils get clogged with dirt, it makes your compressor work harder to lower the temperature in your home. If left neglected, clogged coils can cause severe damage to your compressor. Regular service includes cleaning your coils and prevents the layer of grime that inhibits the cooling process.

  • Leaks and Pinholes in the Coils

    One of the subtle ways your compressor loses refrigerant is through tiny pinholes barely noticeable to the naked eye. Corrosion can occur in the multiple bends and turns of the coils and cause leaks. Depending on the age of your air conditioner, rust may be creating tiny leaks allowing the refrigerant to escape.

  • Electrical Issues and How Wear and Tear Affects Your Compressor

    Electrical issues cause more than 80 percent of all air conditioner repairs. It’s no surprise that proper wiring, clean power, and accurate voltage are all crucial to the successful operation of your compressor. One compressor killer we’ve seen over the years is wiring problems due to extreme heat, the fact that compressors are located outside and plain old wear and tear. As wires age, they get old and brittle and can be the root cause of electrical issues. Power surges, which happen often during the monsoon season, can cause electrical issues with your compressor.

Is It Better to Repair or Replace a Compressor?

Replacing an AC compressor is one of the most expensive repairs a homeowner can undertake. Whenever possible, we at cool blew prefer to repair. We only recommend replacement when it’s truly unavoidable. We recommend regular service checks in order to catch small problems before they become big ones. If you’ve been noticing performance issues with your air conditioner, why not give us a call and we’ll perform a mid-summer checkup.

When It Comes to Home Electric Repairs – It May Be Wiser to D-DIY (Don’t Do It Yourself)

This entry was posted in Electrical on by .

The popularity of HGTV’s home renovation network indicates that there are more do-it-yourselfers with fixer-uppers out there than anyone ever suspected. Completing home repair projects can be both satisfying and financially rewarding. Who doesn’t like saving money on expensive remodeling projects? Painting and plastering, simple plumbing jobs, such as replacing a toilet seat or fixing a leaky faucet, door jamb or deck repair, and general fix-it jobs can make for a fun Saturday or Sunday afternoon. One thing is for certain if the faucet still leaks, or if you have streaks on the wall confirming your amateur status as a plasterer, you can learn to live with it. However, some home repair jobs carry heavy consequences if not done correctly and are best left to professionals. Unless you are a trained technician and for the safety of you and your family, home electric repairs should be performed only by certified, insured and bonded electricians.

Some Shocking Home Electric Accident Statistics

The Electrical Safety Foundation International reports that every year, electrical issues cause over 50,000 fires, resulting in loss of property, physical injury and even death. Last year, home electrical fires caused over $1 billion dollars in property damage. Damage to your home is unacceptable. However, injury to a family member is unthinkable. Yet, emergency rooms all over the U.S. treat children and adults for electrocutions every day. Is it really worth taking a chance?

Common Electrical Home Repair Danger Zones

Electricity is so incredibly useful and omnipresent, we tend to take it for granted. However, one should never underestimate the potential danger electricity represents. Defective wiring, exposed wires, overloaded circuits, broken lamps or light switches – all are accidents waiting to happen. If you have an electrical issue at your home, we urge you to take action, as soon as possible. Here are some of the most common home electrical problems that may require immediate attention:

  • Uncovered Light Switches or Junction Boxes

    Open junction boxes or uncovered light or dimmer switches and other unfinished home electric projects can pose a serious danger, especially to curious children. Electrical outlet covers and light switch covers are often removed during the process of remodeling, however, they don’t always get put back on in a timely manner. Believe it or not, thousands of children (and adults) are shocked every year due to exposed outlets and switches.

  • Extension Cord Overload Due to a Shortage of Outlets

    With an endless array of mobile devices, laptops, TVs and appliances all requiring electricity, many households over-use of extension cords can cause problems. If you find yourself constantly running extension cords because you have a shortage of electrical outlets, why not give us a call?

  • Old, Worn, Questionable Wiring

    This is a problem exacerbated by the dry, desert heat in Arizona. If your home is older, the extreme temperatures (especially in the attic) may cause the insulation around your electric wires to dry out and become brittle. If it has been many years since your wiring has been checked, it might be time for a home electric general inspection.

Let the Pros at Cool Blew Handle Your Electrical Repairs

We at Cool Blew understand that electrical issues often get overlooked because many homeowners simply are not aware of the potential problems that may exist in their home. If you have electrical issues, lights dimming, power surges or other potential electrical problem areas, please give us a call today.

Talking Frugal When It Comes to Your Air Conditioning

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

Staying cool in the hottest city in the United States doesn’t come cheap. In fact, utility costs often skyrocket when temperatures soar above 100 degrees. Of course, savings starts with having an energy-efficient air conditioner and energy-efficient tips for Your HVAC system But what if you have an older model that still performs well but isn’t as efficient as it should be. Here are a few tips to help you save on AC until it’s time for a replacement.

Turn on the Fans

Almost every Phoenix-area home has ceiling fans. Turn them on! While they don’t actually lower the temperature in your home, they make you feel more comfortable. For maximum efficacy, make sure they’re turning in a counter-clockwise direction. You want that air to blow down on you!

Create Shade

Whether you have blinds, curtains, shades or some other window covering, they should be closed during the peak sunny hours of the day. Follow the sun around the house and open and close as needed to keep the sun’s rays from heating up your home. This one action can have a profound impact on your ability to keep your home cool.

Turn Off Heat-Generating Appliances

Run your dishwasher at night and consider cooking al fresco when it’s hot outside. And by all means, take advantage of the power of the sun to dry your clothes by hanging them outside instead of using that heat-producing dryer.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

By gaining control of the temperature in your home, you’ll reduce wasted energy and lower your monthly costs. A new thermostat is an inexpensive device that offers tremendous savings. If you’re not home during the day, turn the AC up to 85 while you’re gone. There are big savings to be gained!

Change Those Filters

Go buy a stack of air filters for your air conditioner. Change the filter once a month to keep your airflow efficient.

And when you’re ready for that new energy-efficient air conditioner, Cool Blew has you covered with free estimates, the latest information on rebates and discounts and plenty of helpful advice to make sure you get the best possible system for your home.

Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Refrigerant?

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Depending on the age and condition of your home air conditioner, you might have a refrigerant issue. One indicator of leaking refrigerant is a noticeable decrease in the amount of cool air your air conditioner is pumping into your home. Another sign you might be losing refrigerant is the formation of ice on your evaporator coils. Or you might hear a faint hissing sound coming from your unit. If you’ve noticed that something is not right with your air conditioner, or it doesn’t seem to be working as efficiently as usual, you may want to give us a call.

What Is Refrigerant and How Does It Work?

Many people mistakenly believe air conditioners pump cold air into their homes until the temperature goes down to their desired setting. However, the key to modern air conditioning is removing heat from the air inside your home and transferring that heat to the outside. Refrigerant is the central element in this ingenious transfer of heat. Refrigerant is a fluid or compound which has a very low boiling point and can easily transform from liquid into gas and back to liquid again. In an endless cycle, refrigerant passes through your AC system’s main components – from the evaporator to the compressor to the condenser, etc. and (to oversimplify) picks up the heat from inside your home and “carries” it to the condenser (which is designed to dissipate heat and is located outside your home and) where it is blown away.

The important thing to know about replacing refrigerant is it’s not a job for do-it-yourselfers. Refrigerant is encased in a closed system and should be checked often (we recommend twice a year.) Detecting leaks and replacing refrigerant is best left to professionals. Here are just a few of the refrigerant related issues we inspect during a summer check-up:

  • Check Refrigerant Levels and Replace If Needed

    As mentioned, your AC system’s refrigerant is carried within a closed, pressurized system of pipes which should never leak. As we all know, refrigerant is toxic to the environment and bad for the ozone. Our expert technicians will check your refrigerant levels and replace if necessary. If there is a significant loss of refrigerant, that would indicate a leak in your system.

  • Check for Corrosion and Leaks

    Refrigerant leaks often occur in older air conditioning units due to corrosion. There is always a fair amount of moisture surrounding your AC components and the metal parts and pipes are susceptible to rust and corrosion. At a certain point, small leaks may develop as the corroded metal degrades. We’ll check all the pressurized lines and metal parts to verify if your system has any leaks.

  • Inspect the Components

    Evaporator coils and condenser coils are built with metal tubes and U-bends which are subject to constant vibration. Over time, the vibration of these tubes and joints can cause tiny pin hole leaks. Our technicians will check to see if your coils need replacing.<.li>

Summer Service Is the Best Way to Prevent a Summer AC Slump

In Phoenix, we all know the worst time of year to experience an AC slowdown or breakdown is the middle of summer. We’ve been lucky so far – June temperatures have been mild. However, the heatwaves are coming. Schedule a summer service call and we’ll make sure your AC system is full of refrigerant and operating efficiently.

What Is an Urban Heat Island and How Does It Affect You and Your Air Conditioner?

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

Phoenix residents know the drill during a heatwave. When the temperature climbs above 105, you do what you can to avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day. Occasionally, you may find yourself walking down a city street or making your way across a scorching, treeless parking lot. It’s then you realize what the term, “urban heat island” means. In the highly developed, greater Phoenix area, asphalt, concrete, metal and hardscape stone and gravel combine to absorb and then release the heat of the sun, often adding up to ten degrees of temperature during any given day. Urban heat island effect also keeps the entire city temperature warmer in the night. When you have the equivalent of three months of 100+ temperatures, that adds up to a lot of extra stress on your air conditioner – and on you!

Extreme Temperatures in Phoenix – The Heat Is Coming

So far this year, temperatures have been relatively moderate. With July, August and September just ahead, triple digit heat will be coming soon. Most desert dwellers are well aware of normal heatwave precautions. Drink plenty of water. Always keep extra water bottles in your car. Do your workouts or dog walking early in the morning. Protect yourself from the sun. Don’t forget sunglasses, hats and baseball caps. Keep sun block handy (especially for the kids, who don’t always want it.) Stay indoors during the afternoons and if you suffer from asthma or a respiratory condition, try not to exert yourself.

Here are a few precautions for your air conditioner:

  • Check Your Air Filters

    Your air filters form the first line of defense in your home against dust, pet dander, particulates and VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). Did you know that indoor air pollution can be worse than outside air? If you haven’t checked your air filters in a while, it’s a good idea to replace them before the big dust storms of monsoon season hit.

  • Clear the Area Around Your Air Conditioner

    If you haven’t done so already, take time to inspect the area around your air conditioner to make sure it’s free from obstruction and not overgrown with grass, bushes or tree branches. Free flowing air around your air conditioner makes the transfer of heat away from your home easier.

  • Schedule an Early Summer HVAC Checkup

    We recommend two service calls per year. One in spring to prepare for summer and another in fall. Our friendly service technicians will perform a full system inspection and make sure your air conditioner is ready for the hottest days of summer, which are just ahead. Remember, it is important to have your refrigerant checked (at the very least) once per year, as well as all the other critical parts of your AC system.

Your Home Will Be an Oasis of Cool Amid the Phoenix Urban Heat Island

When the heatwaves hit and the temperature climbs well above 100 degrees, our phone rings off the wall. Don’t wait until your air conditioner breaks down to schedule service. Be proactive and give yourself and your family the gift of cool AC all summer long. Call us today.