Tag Archives: Arizona

Is Your Home a Good Candidate for Solar Panels?

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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

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