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Stay Cool and Save with a Solar Attic Fan

This entry was posted in Solar on by .

Temperatures are rising once again in the Valley of the Sun. While we are gearing up for another long, hot summer in the greater Phoenix area, there is a solution that ironically uses the sun that to help keep your home cooler and more comfortable. It’s a solar attic fan, designed to ventilate your attic which can quickly reach over 140 degrees on a hot summer day. With this cost-effective, solar solution, you can substantially lower the temperature inside your home. The benefits of a solar attic fan also include:

  • Reduced energy usage, resulting in lower utility bills
  • Less wear and tear on your HVAC system
  • Reduced aging of roof shingles

How a Solar Attic Fan Works

Powered by the sun, this attic fan creates air circulation which pulls hot air and moisture out of your attic. The result is a cooler home and a reduced load in your air conditioning system. There are solar attic fans for nearly every type of roof found in Arizona homes and commercial buildings. The most popular residential model is installed directly on the roof and is powered by a remote solar panel. Running on solar energy, it is small, quiet and reliable – especially here in sunny Arizona! Solar attic fans can be attached to shingle, shake and tile roofs and have a low profile so they blend seamlessly with the roof line.

Remove Moisture during Monsoon Season

Along with hot temperatures, Valley homeowners know that it can get downright muggy during the upcoming monsoon season. Moist air rising from the inside of a home can condense and cause mold and mildew to form inside your attic. With a solar attic fan, moisture is removed so that humidity can’t lead to costly damage to insulation, sheetrock, trusses and drywall.

Advanced solar attic fans include real-time status updates to intelligently run the fan at the most optimal times to reduce attic temperature and moisture. They can also be powered after dark with electricity to enable attic temperature to continue to cool after the sun sets.

Learn more about the benefits of solar attic fans from the experts at Cool Blew. We’re here to help you stay cool all summer long!

Is It Time to Call a Licensed Electrical Contractor?

This entry was posted in Electrical on by .


Like plumbers and HVAC repair technicians, electrical contractors are often only called when there is a problem. Yet, how do you know if your electrical problem warrants a service call? Here are a few telltale signs that it’s time to make that call to a licensed electrical contractor to prevent any risks and hazards to you, your family and your home.

Your Circuit Breakers Keep Tripping

Having a circuit breaker trip is actually a safeguard from a dangerous electrical overload. Yet, ongoing issues with breakers and fuses is a serious problem that can lead to shocks, fires and even electrocutions. Before there is a potentially dangerous circuit-breaker tripping issue, call a licensed electrical contractor to determine the source of the problem and make safety-driven repairs.

You Need GFCI Outlets Installed

The National Electrical Code now mandates that outlets in certain areas of the home where is water, including the kitchen, bathrooms and garages, have extra protection. This requires installing outlets with ground-fault circuit interrupters which you’ll recognize by their test and reset buttons. If you live in an older home that doesn’t have these outlets, it’s time to call an electrician.

Is Your Electrical Service Panel or Its Wiring and Fuses Old?

Metal electrical service boxes can take a beating, especially when they’re located on the outside of Phoenix area homes. At the first signs of deterioration or rust, you may have a moisture or aging problem that could lead to serious electrical problems. Also, beware of old wiring and fuses in the electrical service panel. Antiquated wiring is a safety risk and requires updating. If your home is more than 25 years old, and you haven’t upgraded your electrical system, don’t delay and call today to bring your home up to today’s electrical code standards.

Do Your Lights Dim When You Turn on Your Dryer or Other Appliances?

Many large household appliances, such as air conditioners, clothes dryers and washing machines, require additional power to start. This can draw current away from lights and other electrical items, which can eventually cause damage to them.

You Are Using Many Accessory Plug-Strips

Too many items plugged in at one outlet can increase the current demand to a level that it can’t safely handle. Adding more multiple plug-in strips doesn’t solve this problem. You need more outlets and potentially new wiring to support them.

Have a home electrical question or concern? Call the expert licensed electrical contractors at Cool Blew. We’re here to help with answers and service that you can depend on.

5 Ways to Cool Down Your Air Conditioning Costs

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning on by .

AC Costs
Triple digit temperatures return this month and that means opening those dreaded triple digit utility bills. While we Arizonans are used to the heat, we still need a little cool relief. Yet, the challenge is keeping our home while not breaking the bank. While it’s almost inevitable that you will use more electricity during the summer months due to air conditioning usage, there are plenty of ways to help keep energy consumption under control. The following are 5 simple ways to keep your cool and your money, too!

  1. Manage Your Thermostat
    You can save up to 15 percent of our total air conditioning bills by raising the temperature on your thermostat when you’re away and don’t need cooling, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. When you are home, the optimal temperature for most individuals ranges from 75 to 80 degrees.
  2. Turn on Your Fans
    Air circulation is the key to keeping your home cool. Turn on ceiling fans and consider purchasing smaller, portable fans for other rooms. Moving air also helps to evaporate sweat from your skin which can provide an extra cooling effect.
  3. Keep Your Meals Cool
    Stop-top cooking and oven baking can increase the temperature inside your home. During the hottest days and evenings, consider eating salad or sandwiches instead of flipping on the kitchen heat. If you must cook, make sure to use the kitchen exhaust to remove heat and moisture at its source.
  4. Add Window Screens
    Mesh window screens can block up to 70% of solar energy before it can heat up your home. While it’s great to place screens on every window, it’s most important on east and west-facing windows that obtain the most sun exposure. If you don’t like the aesthetics of window screens, consider window film which can be virtually transparent yet block the sun’s rays.
  5. Maintain or Replace Your Air Conditioning Unit
    Your air conditioner’s efficiency can drastically impact how much electricity you’re using. Keep the filter clean and obtain regular preventive maintenance to ensure your AC unit is working properly. If you are regularly calling for repairs or if your utility bills are climbing quickly, it may be time for a new unit. By choosing an air conditioner with a high SEER rating, you can save up to 50 percent on your monthly air conditioning costs.

It’s also important to have a trusted provider of HVAC repair in the Phoenix metro area who you can count on when you need maintenance, repairs or installation. Call Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900 to schedule an appointment.

The Value of an Air Conditioning Preventive Maintenance Agreement

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .

You’ve probably heard the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This certainly rings true when it comes to the function of your air conditioning system. In other words, it’s much easier to obtain preventive maintenance on your air conditioner than to deal with costly repairs. Unfortunately, air conditioners have a habit of breaking down at the most inopportune time – like during a holiday weekend when the temperatures are soaring into the triple digits. The fact of the matter is that it’s always easier to proactively prevent a problem than to deal with it after it has happened.

With a Residential Preventive Maintenance Agreement from Cool Blew for your home in Peoria, AZ or anywhere in the Phoenix area, you’ll gain the advantage of regular inspections and maintenance to ensure your air conditioning system is working optimally. This includes cleaning and inspecting the air filter, as well as checking the operation of the thermostat, wiring, connections, fuses, coils, amps, motor bearings and more. You’ll also enjoy priority service, if and when you need it, as well as a 15 percent discount on all parts and labor, access to emergency service, no overtime charges, and scheduled service reminders.

Measurable Cost Savings

You’ll enjoy considerable savings by investing in a preventive maintenance agreement. This includes lowering the number of repair calls you’ll need over the lifetime of your air conditioner, as well as decreasing repair costs and lowering the risk of a system failure.

Yet, perhaps the most important benefit of a preventive maintenance agreement is gaining the peace of mind knowing that Cool Blew technicians will identify problems before they turn into system failures. We are the experts in Arizona air conditioner repair. And, if you need a new system, we are a certified American Standard Customer Care Dealer.

What to Consider

Before signing any preventive maintenance agreement, you’ll want to evaluate the cost of routine maintenance for your unit to make sure the cost of the service contract is comparable. Ask if emergency repairs are included and carefully read the fine print before signing any contract. Remember – a maintenance contract is only as good as the service provider who is backing it.

Learn more about residential preventive maintenance agreements. Call the experts at Cool Blew today to find out more about the benefits of a preventive maintenance agreement.

The Dollars and Sense of a Solar Water Heater

This entry was posted in Solar on by .


Are solar water heaters worth the investment? Arizona homeowners commonly ask this question. Thanks to the warm climate in Peoria and throughout the greater Phoenix metro area, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” A solar water heater offers more benefits than most home improvements and can even deliver a significant return on your investment. Here are a few of the many reasons why it makes dollars and sense to make the switch.

Did you know? Solar water heaters may seem like new technology, but they’ve actually been commercially available since the late 1800s.

Cost Savings

Perhaps, the most important benefit of a solar water heater is that you’re going to save money each month on your electric bill. In colder, less sunny areas of the United States, solar water heaters need to be augmented considerably by water-heating electricity. This means the cost-savings is less impressive. However, Arizona homeowners can expect a water-heating bill decrease of 90 percent or more! In hard numbers, you can expect to save $50 or more per month, depending on your family’s size and average water usage. You may also be able to reduce the cost of your initial investment. There are utility rebates, as well as federal and state tax incentives that can help make a solar water heater very affordable.

Reduction in Your Carbon Footprint

By relying on the sun to heat your water, you are also conserving nonrenewable fuels every time you turn on your shower, washing machine or dishwasher. This results in a corresponding reduction in pollution. Thus, a 90 percent decrease in energy use results in a 90 percent reduction in CO2 emissions. Over time, this really adds up!

Increased Home Value

Installing a solar water heater definitely increases a home’s value in sunny Arizona. In fact, homeowners often regain the full cost of their investment once they sell because homeowners will pay a premium for green energy features, such as a solar water heater.

Considerations

Like with any home improvement, it’s important to weigh the cost of the investment versus the benefits. You’ll also want to consider your community’s building codes and regulations, as well as the construction of your roof. Ideally, solar thermal collectors should face south to maximize the amount of solar radiation reaching the collectors. You will also want to ensure there is plenty of space on the roof that isn’t obstructed by shade, trees, electrical cables or vents. Your best bet is to work with a professional solar water heater installer who can help ensure you gain the full benefits of this smart home improvement. Call the experts at Cool Blew today to find out more about the benefits of solar water heaters.

The Future of Smart HVAC Systems

This entry was posted in HVAC Systems on by .

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.

Why It’s Worth It To Have Your Air Ducts Sealed

Did you know that you could save up to 30% off your home’s energy bill ,and all it requires is a call to your AC service in Peoria?

Air duct cleaning is an important part of keeping your ductwork in optimal condition. Though it’s not necessary to do it all the time, you should have your air ducts cleaned by a professional as needed. If there is mold in your ductwork, excessive debris or pests, it’s a good time to call in an HVAC company.

Another way to keep your air ducts in good working condition is to have them sealed. A duct system that is properly sealed makes your home more comfortable and energy efficient. This is how you can see up to 30% savings on your monthly utility bill and enjoy continued comfort and safety for years to come.

What is Duct Sealing Exactly?

Over time, ductwork can develop a number of leaks and creases that let out cool air. This can lead to multiple problems such as making your AC unit work harder than it needs to, extra humidity in the ducts, indoor air quality issues and higher energy costs. Since you can’t see these leaks, the only way to determine if you have a problem is by being proactive.

If you’ve noticed unusually high energy bills or if your ductwork is old, it might be time to seal things up. Thanks to improved technology, sealing up air ducts is simpler, cleaner and easier than in years past.

How are Air Ducts Sealed?

Many trusted HVAC companies used a product called AeroSeal to seal up ductwork. With AeroSeal, a technician doesn’t have to crawl through your ducts, which means less work and lower costs for you. Not to mention, places that would otherwise be unreachable can be sealed. The product also comes with a 10-year warranty.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits to having your ductwork sealed by an HVAC service in Peoria.

Increased Comfort

Your home is your comfort zone, so should it feel like anything less? When your air ducts are properly sealed, you can enjoy consistent temperatures throughout the home. Living in sunny Arizona, you can expect to see the most difference in the summer.

Improved Indoor Air Quality

Plenty of things enter your duct system, including insulation particles, dust and fumes from household cleaners. When these pollutants build up, they blow back out into the air and can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. With sealed ductwork, you can improve indoor air quality by decreasing the number of pollutants circulating in your home.

Enhanced Safety

You might not think that having your ductwork sealed by AC repair in Peoria would offer safety benefits, but it does. When your appliances are running, they release combustion gases through their ventilation systems. If you have leaky ductwork, your system might cause “backdrafting” which is when gases are pushed back into the home rather than outside.

Reduced Expenses

Sealing your ductwork pays for itself in a short time. At Cool Blew, our air duct sealing can save up to 30% off your home’s energy bill. By sealing up leaks and creases, you save energy consumption and keep your home more comfortable. Your AC system won’t have to work as hard, either.

As you can see, there are many benefits to having your ducts sealed. This simple procedure can be done during one visit, so give Cool Blew a call for an estimate on air duct sealing services.

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/SeanOkihiro

Is Your Home a Good Candidate for Solar Panels?

This entry was posted in Solar and tagged , , on by .

Solar Panels

Are you considering solar for your home? Some homes are better candidates than others, although living in sunny Arizona is usually enough in itself! There is plenty of sun to provide energy, and the facing of your home isn’t as important as you might think. You can have solar panels installed southeast, east and north-northwest.

It’s not just which properties are a good fit but also which households. Homes with large families consume a lot more energy than a couple of empty nesters and are probably going to see more benefits from going solar.

In this post, let’s look a few of the most important factors that determine whether or not your home is a good candidate for solar power.

How much are you currently paying for energy?

The purpose of going solar is to pay less than you currently pay for electricity, lock in your electricity rates and generate your own clean energy.

To determine if solar energy will be a cost effective switch for you, calculate how much energy you use on a monthly basis and how much your utility company charges. Many areas have different tiers of usage and are charged differently depending on the tier they’re in.

The general rule of thumb is that if you spend $100 or more on electricity each month, solar is a good investment. Going solar replaces utility energy with solar energy, and you want to see a return on this investment. If you’re already paying $100 or more each month, you will see a reduction on your energy bills.

What type of roof do you have?

The type of roof that your home has makes a difference, as it impacts the cost of installation. It’s easier and more cost effective to install solar panels on Spanish tile or shake compared to asphalt shingles since they are more brittle.

On the other hand, asphalt rooftops are generally stronger and more durable, so they make a good choice for solar panels, too. The difference is that installation takes more time and is more labor intensive, so it costs more on the front end.

How old is your roof?

Aside from the type of rooftop that you have, it also matters how old it is. If your roof is near the end of its lifespan, it’s recommended that you replace it. Solar panels have an average life expectancy of 30+ years, so a roof that is at the end of its life won’t hold up to a brand new solar panel installation.

Additionally, solar panels should always be installed on roofs that are in good condition. As long as you choose a qualified installer, the solar panel installation won’t harm your roof.

How much sunlight does your home see?

Living in Arizona, there is no limitation to sunny skies. That said, some homes naturally receive more sunlight than others. Consider the amount of shading that your home receives from nearby trees or obstructions. The more clear space, the better.

We also talked about the direction that your home faces. South facing is ideal, but this makes more of a difference for homes in the Northern hemisphere. There are many other options you can go with – east and north – and still receive plenty of energy.

If you are considering adding solar to your home, we recommend calling Cool Blew for a consultation. One of our installers will be happy to come out, take a look and provide you with a custom quote.

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/NevilleMicallef

Are Home Energy Audits Worth the Cost?

Home Energy AuditsWould you know if your home was wasting energy?

Many homeowners say yes.

In many cases, you will notice something obvious, such as a draft coming through the window or sunlight shining from underneath the door. When this occurs, you can fix the problem and make your home more efficient. However, it’s possible that your home has dozens of other leaks that you’re not seeing. These leaks could be draining the heating and cooling from out of your home – and taking your dollars with it.

How can you tell where these vulnerabilities are located? By scheduling a home energy audit with an HVAC service in Peoria.

What is a Home Energy Audit? Is it Worth the Cost?

A professional energy audit will identify the areas in your home that are losing energy, as well as the best methods for fixing them and your potential savings. The question that many homeowners have is whether or not a home energy audit is worth it. Well, that all depends on how energy savvy you are and how much you can afford.

When we say “afford” we don’t just mean the cost of the energy audit, which usually runs from $300 to $500. You must also factor in what it will cost to make the necessary repairs. Some suggestions may be cheap and include placing caulk around windows or doors, while others might be more costly (i.e., new windows, new insulation). If you’re not ready to make these commitments, then a home energy audit probably isn’t worth it.

If you do choose to hold off on an energy audit, our HVAC repair company in Peoria recommends that you perform your own home energy check to spot obvious problems, such as air coming from windows, doors and electrical outlets. You can buy kits and fill these areas so you’re saving some energy. Of course, many things you can’t see without the proper tools, so this is only a short-term solution.

9 Times Out of 10 – Energy Audits are Worth It

If your budget allows, and you’re open to making the necessary improvements, a home energy audit is very worth it. Here’s why.

  • Removes the guesswork. Rather than taking wild guesses on what could be sapping energy from your home, you have the answers in front of you. This saves time, money and aggravation. After all, why install new windows if you don’t need them?
  • Smarter decisions. You wouldn’t buy parts for your car without having it checked first, right? The same is true for your home. Until you know what vulnerabilities your home has, you shouldn’t be buying expensive equipment.
  • Fast energy savings. When the problem areas are repaired, your home saves energy, and you save money. It doesn’t take time for this to show, either. You can start enjoying more affordable utility bills right away!
  • Longer lasting HVAC equipment. All HVAC equipment is an investment that you want to see the greatest return on. But, if your home is not operating efficiently, your equipment has to work harder. A home energy audit extends the lifespan of your HVAC equipment.

Not All Home Energy Auditors are Created Equally

At Cool Blew, we provide comprehensive audits that check your heating and cooling equipment, windows, doors, attic, ductwork and more. Our auditors are friendly and professional, and they are happy to provide you with DIY tips to execute on your own. We are conscious of your budget, and we will work with you to make the process economical. Call Cool Blew to schedule an assessment and start working toward a more efficient household.

Photo Credit: Jack Moreh

80% of Americans Have Hard Water. Should You Invest in a Water Softener?

This entry was posted in Plumbing and tagged , , , on by .

You have probably heard many great things about water softeners and how they can improve the texture of your hair, boost skin appearance and extend the lifespan of your custom appliances. Yet water softeners are also an investment, and not all households necessarily need them. How do you know if you could benefit from a water softener? Let’s find out!

What are Water Softeners? How Do They Work?

Water softeners have an important job: they remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium from the water and replace them with a softer mineral like sodium or potassium. Not all water is created equal, however. Some states and some communities have softer water than others.

In Arizona, hard water is a given. The Water Quality Association states that water is moderately hard when it contains 3.5 to 7.0 grains per gallon of calcium and magnesium ions. In some parts of Arizona, these levels can be as much as 20 grains per gallon. Though not dangerous, this can make your water hard, causing effects on your hair, skin, appliances and plumbing.

Is Hard Water Really That Bad?

It’s estimated that approximately 80 percent of the water in America is hard. If the majority of Americans are living with hard water, then what’s the big deal?

Some people don’t like that hard water can cause things like the following:

  • Mineral buildup occurs in plumbing and appliances, creating rust, corrosion and shortened lifespans.
  • Some appliances – specifically dishwashers, washers and water heaters – can be shorted because of the excess of minerals.
  • When doing laundry, whites look grayer after being washed.
  • Drinking hard water can have a mineral-heavy taste. A distillation unit or reverse-osmosis system can help.
  • It’s more difficult to clean showers, tubs and sinks because of the buildup of soap scum.
  • Hard water doesn’t thoroughly rinse away soaps, detergents and shampoos, creating skin irritation and dryness.
  • Adverse health effects have been documented from increased exposure to calcium and magnesium, such as increased cardiovascular disease, reproductive failure and cancer.

Can You Benefit from a Water Softener?

A water softener installed by an HVAC service in Peoria is guaranteed to offer some benefits because of the hard water in your home. One of the key advantages is that it will increase the lifespan of your appliances. Though water softeners cost an average of $1,000 to $2,000, they can double the lifespan of some appliances.

Installing a water softener prevents calcium and magnesium from building up in your plumbing, meaning that you will see less corrosion and clogs. Plus, cleaning your showers and tubs will be easier thanks to less soap scum, and you’re bound to see softer skin, hair and clothes, cleaner glassware and whiter fabrics.

When it comes to your health, things aren’t quite as clear. First, calcium and magnesium are essential elements to the body, so an immediate decrease in them may cause adverse health effects. Second, if you are on a strict low-salt diet, talk to your doctor about adding a water softener to your home. The additional salt in your water supply could be cause for concern.

Bottom line: If you’re only concerned about the chemicals in your water, use a water filtration system and not a water softener. If you’re looking to see more life from your appliances and enjoy softer skin, hair and linens, opt for a water softener installed by an AC service in Peoria.

Cool Blew has a great team of technicians who can answer your questions about water softeners and help you choose one that is right for your needs and budget. Call us today for an estimate!

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/BrunoRebelo