…by getting to know your hvac system

What Do You Know About Your HVAC System?

If your answer is, “not much, why?” Well, then, Desert Dweller, you’re not alone. But… you’re probably not that cool either. I know, you’re probably thinking that was a real nasty (and, well, an uncool) thing for me to say, but hold on for a second; don’t be such a hot head! I’m not trying to offend your sensibilities here. If you would just read on for a bit, you’ll get my meaning about being cool.

Can My HVAC System Really Help Me Be Cool?

We’ll get to that, but to begin with, please understand that if you haven’t gotten to know your HVAC system, you really shouldn’t feel badly. There are many others just like you. However, and more importantly, the superb fact that you are still reading this article, tells me that you don’t want to stay a part of that uncool group! How do I know this? Because those that want to be cool are, like you, among the growing trend of internet searchers seeking knowledge of their HVAC. This article (along with others in this blog) will help you to get acquainted with your HVAC system. Then, you can leave behind all the dweebs who have yet to realize that not only can your HVAC system help you to Be Cool in Arizona, but many other things to help you live a life of comfort.

How Can My HVAC Help Me to Live a Life of Comfort?

Well, to answer that, let’s begin with what the letters HVAC represent. Because these letters truly do stand for a system that can help you to Live a Life of Comfort. And, yet the opposite is true too. Not knowing how this system works, can also bring you grave discomfort. Sounds vital, doesn’t it? Well, actually, it is. So, let’s not delay your understanding any further.

So, What Exactly Does HVAC Mean?

To define the meaning of HVAC, we just have to consider each of the individual letters. They each represent a particularly important unit within the system as a whole. The H stands for Heating, the V stands for Ventilation, and the A and C stand for Air Conditioning. This system, as a whole, is what controls and feeds the outside air into your living space, and then, returns it back out again. If you think of this overall system (the HVAC), as the respiratory system for your entire household, you may begin to give it the respect that it deserves. The truth is, whatever you and your household are breathing into your own personal respiratory systems, is coming directly from the overall respiratory system of the HVAC. In other words, there is absolutely no possible way for you to be breathing in clean, refreshing, untainted, non-toxic air, unless that is what your HVAC system is controlling and feeding you. Certainly, you can now understand how vital this system can be. And how important it is for you to become invested in the efficiency of this system.

Why Is It Important to Invest in My HVAC System?

The saying, “What Goes In, Must Come Out,” really bears true to the health, vitality, ease, and comfort we are experiencing in our daily living, due to the efficiency of our HVAC system. If our HVAC is struggling to feed us that clean, refreshing air that we expect, in the quality, quantity, and temperature that we need, then what goes in, will most certainly come out in many ways undesirable. Think increased health symptoms, such as fatigue, trouble breathing, heightened allergies, congestion, breathing problems, sore throats, dry coughs, headaches, skin conditions, eye irritation, and flu-like symptoms, to name just a few. And what about the house itself? Will the quality, quantity, and temperature of the air, that is being channeled throughout it, come out in ways undesirable there too? Well, how about a carbon monoxide leak? That alone, can be a fatal mistake, and not just a poor judgement in your HVAC investment. But, okay, that may seem drastic to some, so let’s just think about life every day in dust, mold, rooms too hot, rooms too cold, unfavorable humidity, dead, stagnant air, or perpetual stink? Does any of that sound desirable? I doubt that any of you would want to live in a home like that. And guess what? Neither would any prospective buyers, (just in case you were thinking of unloading your poor investment onto an unsuspecting blockhead). That brings us back to, “What Goes In, Must Come Out”, but this time… think of a healthy investment into your HVAC system, and the profitable return to your health, longevity, household quality, and home resale value. And I’m sure that you can now recognize many aspects to how your HVAC can help you to Live a Life of Comfort.

So, in summary, Desert Dweller, are you going to Stay Cool in Arizona and use good judgement with all of the new knowledge you have learned about your HVAC system and the importance of investing into it? I’m sure that you can realize the value in understanding it, along with some measure of regard for, each of the individual units in your HVAC system. And for that purpose, you may want to continue to read other blogs about these specific components and how best to invest in their efficiency. Afterall, we expect them to keep us in a constant state of comfort in our homes (and with, of course, the least amount of adjustment). Yet, all the while, our summer temperatures are rising considerably, here in the Valley of the Sun, and our HVACs are still working extremely hard to meet our expectations of comfort. Let us not wait any longer; now is the time to come to the aid of our HVACs. For, if we do not give of our time now, by getting to know what they need to continue to do their job efficiently, and investing in them as needed, what then comes out in the end may not be the means to Live a Life of Comfort, nor even to Stay Cool in Arizona.

“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” – Will Rogers

Future articles you may want to check out:

  • How do the individual units in my HVAC system work together?
  • Where is my HVAC system?
  • When should it be checked?
  • How can it be checked?
  • Who should install, clean, repair, and replace my HVAC components?

New Year, New Logo (Same Great Service)

The Story

Valley Services was started as an idea in a small appliance repair shop in Glendale Arizona way back in the mid 70’s when Larry Callaway was apprenticing for his Uncle Mack. Larry was learning the appliance repair trade while also attending college for a degree in business management and trade school to learn the HVAC industry. By 1978 the groundwork was laid and he and his new business partner Jerry started A-1 Speedy Service, Inc. The name was selected to get top billing in the local yellow pages but the business would be known officially as Valley Services.

The Logo

With a ruler and a pen, Larry created the original logo which was an inverted triangle with a lightning bolt streaking through the middle. The idea was to convey fast and precise service which is what our company built on and is still how we operate today.

In 2007 the business was passed down after the loss of both Larry and Jerry and Valley Services in its second generation, is still family owned and operated. With Brianna and Curtis now at the helm, the logo was updated in 2014 to a cleaner, newer look.

Fast forward to 2020 and after surviving the tragedy of losing the founders, two recessions and the roller coaster ride of a global pandemic, Valley Services is introducing the first ever major logo redesign.

The new logo better reflects the Phoenix community that we have had the pleasure of being a part of for so long and the phoenix bird was also selected because, symbolically, Valley Services has survived and adapted through amazing circumstances.

Staying Cool During Monsoon Season

We are going to tackle this topic today because we get a lot of phone calls, texts, emails and social media posts about air conditioning units not keeping up during the hot and humid Phoenix monsoon season.

Before you dive into this article be aware that the following conditions are not normal and should be addressed by an HVAC contractor:

  • The thermostat never drops below 80°
  • The unit blows room temperature or hot air
  • The unit is loud or sounds different than normal
  • The air inside is too humid
  • The air coming from the vents smells musty or moldy

First and foremost… Only buy the cheap fiberglass filters and change them religiously!

Dirty HVAC air filter

A dirty filter caused this system to stop working

A dirty or thick restrictive filter will seriously hinder your air conditioners ability to work properly and in many cases will cause ice and excess water to collect on the indoor coil or the fat copper line on your outdoor unit. We see many water damaged ceilings every monsoon cycle because of this.Your air conditioner might not be physically able to keep your home or business as cool and dry as you’d like. Up to 25% of your air conditioners capacity can be used just to remove moisture from the air. This means that a unit that normally works really well may struggle and or fail to reach the desired thermostat set point and it may not be able to keep the air dry enough to feel comfortable. This means you must have your HVAC system serviced so that it can be in peak form when it is needed the most. Common problems we find are:

  • improper refrigerant charges
  • dirty or restricted indoor and outdoor coils
  • leaking ducts
  • clogged drain lines

Lets take a look at each of these problems individually.

Digital gauges with temperature clamps to ensure proper charge.

Digital gauges with temperature clamps to ensure proper charge.

Most air conditioners in Arizona are split systems, meaning there’s a condensing unit located outside and an air handler or furnace and coil inside. Research has shown that from the day of installation most split system air conditioners either have too little or too much refrigerant. This issue increases the amount of electricity the unit consumes, reduces the lifespan, and negativity effects how well the unit works.



This unit didn't perform well until this was cleaned.

This unit didn’t perform well until this was cleaned.

Secondly, overtime the indoor and outdoor coils will become dirty which slows down airflow and also reduces how well the unit cools or heats the air.If dirty, a professional cleaning will increase your air conditioners capacity, increase the life of the unit, and save you money on the electric bill.



A very poorly installed duct system leaking air in the attic.

A very poorly installed duct system leaking air in the attic.

The third one on this list is a no brainier. Leaking ducts will either pull the hot humid air from your attic and bring it into your home or business or it will take the cool dry air that the unit just conditioned and then blow it into the attic. We recommend having your duct system checked and if needed repaired in the cooler months.



The Primary and Secondary drain pans and lines.

The Primary and Secondary drain pans and lines.

The last monsoon concern we have is the air conditioners condensate drain lines. These are the white plastic PVC lines that carry the water from the air conditioners evaporative coil to the outside of the home. Most units have two lines that attach to separate water collecting drain pans. More water is creates when the air is humid and if the lines are clogged or if the unit is producing moisture faster than the lines can drain you will get water overflowing the pans. We recommend having the drain pans and condensate lines treated and flushed yearly. It’s also a good idea to have a flood protection switch installed by a certified HVAC technician. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!