Tag Archives: Tucson

What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?

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156534187The indoor air quality in your home affects the way you breathe. If you do not have good indoor air quality, you and your family might be exposed to potentially harmful contamination that can spread germs and cause certain air problems. Keep reading to learn about the major causes of poor indoor air quality.

Pollutants
Mold, bacteria, and viruses are some of the leading biological pollutants that affect the air quality in your home. Pollen, animal dander, and even dust mites or cockroaches might also affect the way you can breathe at home. If these biological pollutants affect your air quality, it might lead to infections, allergic reactions, or even asthma attacks.

Smoke
If you or anyone in your home smokes, you probably have poor indoor air quality. Secondhand smoke has more than 200 poisons like carbon monoxide and 60 chemicals that increase the risk for developing cancer. If secondhand smoke is polluting your indoor air quality, it puts your lungs at serious risk for health problems like lung cancer, pneumonia, and respiratory tract infections.

Combustion Pollutants
Certain appliances like a furnace or a fireplace might release combustible pollutants that negatively affect your air quality. Most of the time, these combustion pollutants are the result of colorless and odorless gases. Carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide are impossible to see, but they can have a negative affect on your health. If you are exposed to extremely high levels, it can even cause death.

Asbestos
Older homes often have asbestos in the carpets, the particle boards, and plywood paneling. Asbestos is made with formaldehyde, which can pollute your air quality and lead to serious health issues.

The experts at Cool Breeze Comfort Solutions can come to your home to improve your indoor air quality. We provide air cleaners and air filtration systems that can improve the air that circulates through your home. We also offer air duct cleanings. To learn more about our indoor air quality or our heating and cooling services, call 1-844-550-5300.

A Homeowner’s Guide to Air Conditioner Maintenance

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AC-UnitAir conditioning is an invaluable treasure in Tucson, which is why it is important to maintain your unit. With regular attention, your air conditioner will continue to blow blissfully cool throughout the hot summer months. Use this guide to learn how to properly maintain your unit so it always works for you:

Change the Filters
Air conditioner filters have to work in overdrive when you use the unit on a regular basis. The more they work, however, the dirtier they get. When the air filters are too dirty, it can block air from flowing, which makes the entire cooling system less efficient. If the air conditioner has to work that much harder to send air through, it might even increase your energy costs. Regularly changing or cleaning the filters helps the unit function at its maximum potential and can even reduce its energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent.

Look at the Evaporator and Condenser Coil
When the air filter is clean and functioning properly, it keeps dirt away from the evaporator and the condenser coil. If the filter is dirty, though, the dirt can make its way to the coil and negatively affect the system’s heat absorption capabilities. You should check the coils at least once a year to ensure they are not covered in dirt. You might want to hire a professional air conditioning maintenance company that can look over the system once a year and make sure it is ready for heavy use.

Check the Condensate Drains
An air conditioner has a draining system that lowers the humidity levels in the room. If the drain is blocked, moisture might start to build up, which can cause discoloration on the floor or the walls. You can use a wire to check the condensate drains to make sure there is no clog.

Cool Breeze Comfort Solutions is your answer to everything air conditioning in Tucson. From yearly maintenance to system replacements, we know what it takes to keep you cool. To learn more about our services, call 1-844-550-5300.

Air Conditioning versus Evaporative (Swamp)

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Some common questions we might get is what the major difference is when choosing a way to cool your home, especially when it comes to certain climates like Tucson, Arizona. We hope to shed some light on some major differences, drawbacks, advantages and some information you previously may not have known.

When it comes to home comfort, the name of the game in the Southwest is getting the air cold. Tucson winters are fairly mild and rarely do temperaturs drop below freezing, so heating typically isn’t the number one consideration when desert climates are concerned.

We’ll try not to bore you with the a bunch of facts and introduce some basic concepts instead.

Evaporative (Swamp) Coolers
On the surface, swamp coolers sound like they might work really well for desert climates. They work by using a blower – a fan at one end of the box – to bring in air from the outside and push it into the structure at the other end. Before the air goes inside, it passes through a series of damp pads, where evaporation takes place, and a small pump keeps the pads moist so the water doesn’t just evaporate away. This essentially creates a flow of air that is cooler than when it first entered the box.

Swamp coolers are considered an an open system and rely on the flow of air throughout the structure to direct cool air. Air from the swamp cooler needs a way out and opening and closing windows and doors controls the air flow from the swamp cooler to different parts of the structure while central air conditioners use ducts to direct the flow. Swamp coolers can also use ducts in some cases, but they need to be larger than traditional air conditioner ducts to account for a greater flow of air from the swamp cooler.

Too much humidity can prevent perspiration, which is how we cool ourselves naturally. Since swamp coolers work by putting water into the dry air, they act as humidifiers. This is great in dryer climates, because humidity can also be too low for comfort. Under the right conditions the water-laden breeze also can have a secondary effect of helping the skin’s perspiration, resulting in an even cooler feel than the swamp cooler would give on its own.

Air Conditioners
Standard air conditioners also dry the air, condensing water vapor from the cooled room as it passes over the cold coils. The water drains outside, which is what the distinctive drip you feel if you stand under a window air conditioning unit long enough comes from. The result is a dryer room, and in humid climates, that can be a good thing. Under the right conditions the water-laden breeze also can have a secondary effect of helping the skin’s perspiration, resulting in an even cooler feel than the swamp cooler would give on its own.

Standard air conditioners also dry the air, condensing water vapor from the cooled room as it passes over the cold coils. The water drains outside, which is what generates that distinctive drip you’ll feel if you stand under a window air conditioning unit long enough. The result is a room that is more dry. In humid climates, or in Tucson during the entire monsoon season, this is a huge advantage in comfort.

Air conditioning units have also become amazingly energy efficient over the years. When comparing systems, make sure you are using data from newer systems that have much higher energy ratings than older legacy systems that use much more energy. This has also caused AC systems to become more affordable and smaller as well.

Our Conclusion
At the end of the day, our recommendation for the comfort of your home for you and your family is an air conditioning unit. Despite the lure of purchasing a less expensive evaporative cooling system, it is true you get what you pay for. You will likely never meet a home owner that has gone from Air Conditioning to a Swamp Cooler and was satisfied with the change.

You also can’t really combine the best of both worlds – the way each system works would cancel each other out, similar to running a dehumidifier and a humidifier in the same room.

Don’t completely keep evaporative coolers completely off the table however. In cases where you have a small workshop, they can work pretty effectively. Because workshops typically have large openings like a garage door, these provide an effective source of airflow that basic cooling needs can be met. If the area does not need to be closed completely off like a detached office where a ductless air conditioning system, a swamp system might make sense.

If you currently have a swamp cooler and are looking to significantly improve the interior climate of your home, give us a call at 1-844-550-5300 today and we would love to talk to you about your options. AC systems are far more affordable than people give them credit for, so don’t believe it’s out of your budget!

Several Energy Saving Tips for Winter Months

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We have compiled a list of quick tips that everyone can use during the winter months to save where they can. These tips can apply to different types of homes so please take your time to read down the list:

  • Reversing the direction your ceiling fan spins on low can help circulate warm air around the room.
  • Homes can easily dry out in the winter months. Moisture in the air helps bring back warmth and to accomplish this, a simple humidifier running during winter months can keep the interior air from being dryer than usual.
  • Also, from a comfort level, humidifiers can improve basic ailments like sinus problems. Since air with moisture in it holds heat better, a lower temperature can be just as comfortable and you can save in energy costs.
  • If you find that a humidifier serves your needs well, consider getting a whole house humidifier.
  • On sunny days (easy enough to find in Arizona), take advantage of the natural sunlight to bring in heat by adjusting blinds so they open and are tilted toward the ceiling. But make sure you remember to close the blinds at sundown.
  • Fireplaces can waste a lot of energy. By pulling warm air out of the house through the chimney when not in use, it is an easy measure to forget. Make sure you close the damper when not using the fireplace, or you can install glass doors to help keep heat in the home.
  • Exhaust fans, such as those found in kitchens, can pull warm air out of the home through the vent. Exhaust fans can also cause negative pressure inside your home that can lead to back drafts from your fireplace and can cause drafts through the walls, windows and un-insulated outlets in your home. Use them sparingly in colder months to save even more on energy costs.

The best defense against heating problems is regular maintenance. We recommend year-round care with our home care packages. Having heating equipment serviced by a reputable company at least once a year could reduce your heating bill and prevent costly repairs and replacements in the future.

A big part of our recommended plan is regular equipment inspections. Cool Breeze Comfort Solutions has been serving Tucson and Southern Arizona for years and our service is courteous and timely. Catching a potential problem early enough to either prevent a catastrophe or simply save a lot of money on a failing component, we are ready to serve you during the winter months!

Central Air Conditioning and Heating, Tucson AZ

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Goodman provides both residential and light commercial air conditioning units for heating, air conditioning and products that maintain good quality indoor air. Goodman provides some of the most economical units in the entire industry.

Harold Goodman, founder of Goodman, began as an air conditioning contractor. His credo is based on manufacturing only the finest, but, at a price more affordable than other heating and air conditioning systems. Goodman Global Group, Inc. has met the founder’s goal by achieving the following:

  • Products come with solid warranties
  • Products offer greater reliability
  • Products offer long-lasting operation
  • Products offer smooth installation
  • Products remain within an economical price range

All Goodman air conditioning products are constructed to meet the original standards put in place by our founder. The warranties are among the finest in the entire industry. These factors have boosted Goodman brand products into a respected position in the heating, air conditioning and ventilation business today.

Tucson Central Air Conditioning Facts

  • A central air conditioning system is referred to as a split system. It has both outdoor and indoor components. Outdoors you have the compressor bearing unit. The coil is the indoor component. It is most often installed on top of the furnace.
  • The compressor is powered by electricity. As it pumps refrigerant through the unit it gathers moisture and heat from inside the home and removes it, releasing it outside the home.
  • The temperature inside the house is kept at a comfortable level due to the hot air and humidity being removed. When the warmer air from inside is blown over the indoor coil, the heat is transmitted to the surface of the coil. This is what cools or conditions the air.
  • The heat collected on the coil is pumped to the outside and dispersed.
  • The cool air is pumped back into the house to maintain the comfortable temperature the owner has selected.
  • Another method of air conditioning the home is done through a package unit or heat pump.

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How Do You Measure Your Air Cleaner’s Performance? A Question from Tucson

Your air cleaner is designed to keep your family comfortable and healthy, regardless of what contaminants make their way inside in your Tucson home. This is important because homes these days are sealed up tightly to minimize the loss of heating or cooling, but as a result they have poor ventilation and frequently they will suffer a buildup of excess contaminants like mold, dust, pollen and dander.

To ensure you get the best possible air cleaner for your home, there are a number of measurements available to help you in the purchasing process. Let’s take a look at a couple of those measurements and what they mean.

MERV

MERV ratings are used to measure the ability of a filter to remove dust from the air that passes through it. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter works at removing particles. The MERV rating scale goes from 1-16 with 16 being the best possible rating you can obtain from a residential (non-HEPA) grade filter. Usually, they are designed to measure things like dander, dust, smog, wood smoke, spores, bacteria and mold.

When choosing an air cleaner, it is recommended that you look for a MERV rating of at least 8, which is good enough to remove almost all common household contaminants. Higher MERV ratings (17 and up) are found in HEPA filters which are considered among the best on the market, able to remove particles as small as 0.3 microns.

CADR

This rating stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate and is a measurement of how efficiently the air cleaner delivers clean air for tobacco smoke, pollen and dust (the common measurements given for each device). This is not a measurement of the efficiency of the device, so much as the speed of it the device. So, the higher the CADR measurement for all three contaminants, the faster those particles are removed from the indoor air.

The best way to choose a device to match your needs is to look for a CADR rating of at least 2/3 of the size of the room you are cleaning. So, if you are cleaning the air of a 150 square foot bedroom, you should get a device with a CADR rating of at least 100.

When choosing a good air cleaner for your home, make sure you do your research and choose on the best possible option for the space you need to clean. MERV and CADR allow you to do this.

Testimonial – Jack W. from Tucson

We at Cool Breeze Air Solutions always try to offer superior customer service, and our expert technicians do their best to arrive promptly and answer all your questions. Here is what Jack W. from Tucson wrote to us about his air conditioning repair and heat pump installation:

Thank you for the great service that your company provided for me. Your company came out to service my air conditioner, it was making a loud noise. Your service technician was at my house within the hour from when I called to set up my appointment. He was very helpful and professional. He was neat and lean he also left my house in perfect condition! I am amazed at how quiet our new heat pump system is. I just wanted to let you know that we are very happy with the service Cool Breeze provided for us. And I would recommend your services to anyone.

– Jack W., Tucson area

Why is My Central Air Conditioner Making Noise? A Tip from Tucson

A good air conditioner is a life saver in the midst of a hot and sticky day in Tucson, but just because the system makes you comfortable and makes the hottest months bearable doesn’t mean you want to hear it clanging and banging all the time. If you notice excess noise coming from your air conditioner, it might be a problem that can be fixed by your technician. Here are some common causes of excess noise from an air conditioner and what you can do to fix them.

  • Blower – The blower is a motor and fan blade assembly. If the blade touches the housing or if the motor needs a tune up, it might start to make excess noise. Loose screws, foreign objects, or a need for oiling or new parts will all cause noise problems but they are all easy fixes.
  • Ductwork – If the sounds you’re hearing are in the ductwork or vents, it may be due to expansion and contraction in your ventilation system. This is normal and while it may be obnoxious, it tends not to persist during the hottest months as temperature won’t fluctuate as much.
  • Bubbling Sounds – If you hear a gurgly or bubbly noise coming from your indoor unit, it may be due to a blockage in the condensate line. The easiest solution is to clean the condensate line and check for any clogs or blockages in the system.
  • Clicking Sounds – If you hear a clicking sound, it is likely from the relay or contractor in the system. If this is the case, have a professional check it right away. Electrical problems are not to be taken lightly where your air conditioner is concerned.
  • Foreign Objects – Sometimes, the condenser fan will make a lot of loud noise because foreign objects get stuck in there. Sticks, leaves, toys, food from small animals – it can all get stuck in the fans and make a tremendous amount of noise. Keep the area around your condenser unit clear of debris and check it often if you hear loud noises.

Most noises from your central air conditioning unit are explainable and can be fixed relatively easily. If you cannot find the source of the noise, however, and it is only getting worse, call a professional before the problem grows.

What Does an Air Handler Do? A Question from Tucson

Your Tucson home’s HVAC system is a complex system filled with vital components tasked with keeping you comfortable. One of the most important of those component is the air handler – the device responsible for circulating the heated or cooled air produced by your system through the vents in your home and into each of your rooms.

The air handler is a metal box, usually consisting of a blower and the heating or cooling elements. It might also include dampers and sound attenuators along with an air filtration and humidity control system. The simplest air handlers are designed only to transfer the heated or cooled air to the various parts of your home, while the most advanced devices are designed to perfectly condition and clean that air as it is circulated.

Types of Air Handler

There are a few different types of air handler as well, depending on the size of the HVAC system and the nature of the heating and/or cooling used. Most homes, for example, use terminal units which consist of just an air filter, blower and coil. This very simple system is all you really need to heat and transmit air through your ductwork.

However, for larger systems, there are also makeup air units which use outdoor air instead of recirculated indoor air. There are also packaged and rooftop units which are designed to be placed outside. These devices are most commonly used for commercial applications when space is limited.

How the Air Handler Works

An air handler’s most basic component is a blower fan. This device is run by an AC electric motor and can be either single speed or variable speed depending on the size and scope of your air handler. The dampers on the fan will control the flow rate of the air going through the blower fan. Most residential blowers are part of the air conditioning or furnace system, while commercial systems often have multiple blowers to maintain steady airflow for a larger space.

Because an air handler passes all of the air that will go through your vents, it is the best place to install high quality MERV or HEPA filters to remove pathogens and contaminants. It is also a good place to install humidity control devices to either raise or lower humidity depending on the time of the year.

Your air handler is an incredibly important component in your home heating and cooling system. Without it, all that heated and cooled air you pay for each year wouldn’t reach you. So, make sure to keep your system in tip top condition.

We are in for a treat tomorrow, as AZ Pro Plumbing will be sharing some great plumbing tips with us!

How Much Ventilation Do I Need for My House? A Question from Tucson

By now you’ve probably heard how important it is to have good ventilation in your Tucson home. Especially if your home was built in the 1980s or early 1990s when ventilation issues were prevalent, you may not have enough clean air moving through your home. But, how much ventilation do you need? What is enough and if you don’t have it, how do you ensure your home is retrofitted properly?

How Much Ventilation?

Most recommendations for ventilation come from the Home Ventilation Institute, which provides a series of standards of measurement for builders and contractors retrofitting homes for better ventilation. Here are some of their recommendations and how they might apply for your home:

  • Bathroom – Small bathrooms (less than 100 sq. ft) need 1 CFM per square foot of bathroom. The number goes up for each fixture if you have a large bathroom.
  • Kitchens – Your kitchen range needs at least 100 CFM if against the wall and upwards of 150 CFM if on an island.
  • Ventilators – If you have an HRV for your home, you should have at least 100 CFM for 2,000 square feet and another 50 for every 1,000 square feet of home size being ventilated.
  • Home Ventilators – The actual volume of CFM for ventilators depends on the type of ventilator being used. For example, a whole house ventilator needs upwards of 6,000 CFM for a 2,000 square foot home. Attic ventilators need 1,400 or more.

So, what does this mean for your home? It means in general that you need a lot of ventilation and that the best way to get it is through mechanical ventilation techniques combined with your air handler and ductwork.

Especially if you recently added insulation and weather proofing to your home but have not yet updated your ventilation, you might have a major air quality problem, so have a Tucson professional measure your home’s air flow as soon as possible.