Air Conditioning & Energy Audits Print

7:00AM - Arizona Staycation Hour

Broadcasting on KTAR: Click the segment links below to listen to the archive or click the iTunes icon to the right to download this hour's Podcast.



Segment 1 (running time 11:03)

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We're celebrating the 50th anniversary of the "National Historic Preservation Act" with Dr. David Dean, professor of history at Grand Canyon University.

  • How it got started and why.
  • Average age of homes being remodeled around the country.
  • How codes are adjusted to accomodate historic home preservation and restoration.
  • What goes into getting a building designated as "Historic"

Segment 2 (running time 8:46)

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More with Dr. Dean on Historic Homes:

  • How Phoenix homes are considered historic. 
  • John Long designed Arizona homes were innovative for their time.
  • Choosing the best example of a type of home to represent a particular time period.
  • Community building has changed in the last 50 years.
  • Tours around the state you can take to see examples for yourself.

Segment 3 (running time 14:30)

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  • Other notable moments from 50 years ago.
  • Air conditioning made the population explosion possible in Phoenix.

Historic Homes & Buildings in Arizona:

Sign Up for the Sanderson Ford Arizona Staycation!!!

*Stay at the Arizona Mountain Inn & Cabins in Flagstaff!

More Historic destinations with Dr. Dean:

Segment 4 (running time 6:36)

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Thanks to Dr. David Dean for stopping by today!

8:00AM - Outdoor Living: Notes from the Nursery with Jay Harper

Broadcasting on KTAR & KNST, KAFF & KGVY: Click the segment links below to listen to the archive or click the iTunes icon to the right to download this hour's Podcast.



Segment 1 (running time 11:54)

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Harper's Nursery & Landscaping Company owner & plant expert, Jay Harper, is here to talk about everything out in your yard!

  • Sticking with the theme of historic homes last hour, Jay talks about "historically accurate" plants for historic homes.

Tip of the Week: We're still right in the middle of spring planting season! Listen as Jay gives the list of all the plants to be planting and fertilizing in March.

  • Olive trees should be treated right now too.
  • Controlling bugs & pests too.
  • The problems with diagnosing pests without actually seeing them.
  • We're ahead on the growing season compared to averages.
  • Rose care, plus a little on winter lawns.

Segment 2 (running time 6:54)

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  • Kenny - His bermuda lawn is lined with cottonwood trees and he's losing them one by one. He's been told it's an iron deficiency. Is it too much water? What could he be doing wrong?

Recommendation - Cottonwood's need a ton of water, so it's unlikely it's overwatering. He might try granular soil sulfers. Jay talks through liquid & granular options, including Biofeed Products or Hickman's All-Purpose. If it's iron chlorosis, he may need a few more supplements Jay talks through.

*Jackrabbit Nursery might be a good resource for Kenny too.

  • Marty - He's got 5 new Texas Mountain Laurel trees. Tell the listener's about the great blooms and then tell him what should he do to keep caterpillars off them?

Recommendation - Jay loves the fowers too! They smell like grape bubble gum or soda. Very heat tolerant and great for smaller spaces. Unfortunately, they are attractive to certain caterpillars. They get active right about this time of year. Treat it with BC or Thuricide & he should be good to go.

Segment 3 (running time 12:55)

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Text from Listeners:

  • From Tucson, he wants to spread burmuda grass seed to let goats loose on it. When is it a good time to do that?

Recommendation - Right about now is great. When temps reach the 90's during the day and 60's at night they'll start germinating. Jay doubts it will ever go bad & he can grow "pasture burmuda" that grows longer and is better for livestock.

  • Dave - He heard us talking about the lost cottonwood trees and he lost his to gopher's.

Recommendation - He's right! We didn't cover it too much with the previous question, but it can definitely be a concern. He could use Mole Max by Bonide to make sure it's not causing stress to his trees.


  • Deb - She has 10 citrus trees and the bark is peeling on some and is spreading to the other trees.

Recommendation - She has sunburn on the trunk. If it's too damaged, there is not a lot she can do. Treat it with trunk paint and the guys discuss her options.

  • Bob - His tipu tree and is not progressing. Any idea what could be stunting it's growth?

Recommendation - Jay asks about new growth and it sounds like he needs to fertilize it with Fertilome Tree & Shrub, Biofeed Products or Hickman's Fertilizer. It should take a lot of water, so make sure it's a deep and slow watering. Try pulling the rock back away from the trunk, add mulch and try a deep watering.

*Make sure you don't plant trees too deep. It suffocates the tree!

Segment 4 (running time 6:54)

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Text From a Listener:

  • He has a block wall and wants to know what he can do about the efflorescence buildingup on it?

Recommendation - Water is getting to the block somehow. Either from sprinkler's, the ground moisture or a neighbor on the other side of the wall is causing it. He can seal it wtih products from Marvel.

  • What's the best type of shrub for a living privacy fence?

Recommendation - There are several options. Jay likes sour orange bushes, oleander, common myrle or Texas Sage. Consider vines too.

  • I recently planted a sago palm....what should I know?

Recommendtion - There slow growing and do great in containers on a patio. They can struggle in full sun. They really like regularity, so good on east/west orientation.


  • Wayne - He has some low spots on his burmuda lawn. Can he put soil over the top or should he wait?

Recommendation - Jay would wait until it's really growing strong, like May. Use a sandy soil, mulch mix, not straight soil. If it's really deep, it might take some stages, not all at once. Avoid burying the seed too deep.

  • Mary - Every spring her mesquite tree has caterpillar's and critters. Should she treat it or leave it alone?

Recommendation - If it's not effecting the tree, leave it alone. Mesquite trees are pretty tough, so let it be if it looks healthy otherwise.

Reach Jay during the week at Harper's Nursery & Landcsaping Company!

9:00 - Housing Topic

Broadcasting on KTAR & KNST, KAFF & KGVY: Click the segment links below to listen to the archive or click the iTunes icon to the right to download this hour's Podcast.



Segment 1 (running time 12:41)

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Before we get to Air Conditioning, Rosie talks about our article in the Arizone Republic about cool new Apps by Valspar Paint & others.

Experts, Jeff Carmichael from REEis Home Performance & Air Conditioning in Phoenix, plus Andrew Dobbins with Intelligent Design Air Conditioning & Heating are here to get you ready for the summer heat!

  • Defining "Air Conditioning"
  • Gas heat vs. using a heat pump.
  • Combating hot and cold spots in your home.
  • How windows and doors effect indoor temps.
  • What "pressure tests" can tell you and how it causes inconsistent temps in the home. 

Segment 2 (running time 6:06)

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  • More impressions on using Apps in home improvement.
  • We discuss "Whole Home Energy Audits" & talk about specials you can take advantage of.


  • Anthony - He was told about a sealant you can use in an AC unit, so you don't have to use freon. Have we heard of this?

Recommendation - The EPA requires companies to find the lead first. Andrew talks about that process. If that doesn't find it, there is a product you can use that "sometimes works."

*We talk through the danger of AC leaks and how the coils can get damaged.

Segment 3 (running time 13:18)

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Continues with our caller, Anthony

Recommendation - The dye used is to find the leak and the sealant is used to fix the leak.

  • We discuss why leaks on an AC system are the toughest fix for contractors. It's expensive too!
  • Replacing the A-C coil versus replacing the entire unit.


  • Pam - She needs to replace 2 heat pumps and wants some insight on the 1 versus 2 stage compressors.

Recommendation - Andrew digs into her home's situation. When desiging the size, your sizing for the worst situation. He describes how both work and when it is right for certain situations. She could probably downsize her AC unit. Read this Consumer Guide first

  • Cindy - She had an energy audit & ductwork reworked and now her home seems way more dusty. What could be causing it?

Recommendation - It's going to take a visual test and a pressure test to check all the air intakes and ducts to determine where the leak is happening and if it's sealed properly. We talk through it with her and what type of filter is best for homes.

Segment 4 (running time 6:22)

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  • Specials for spring from both of our guests. Tucson or Phoenix!


  • David - Right outside his master bedroom is his AC compressor and it's really loud, making it hard to sleep. What goes into moving it?

Recommendation - The only major problem is cost. It's very expensive to do. It won't lose any efficiency being moved away from the house or into the direct sun.

*We discuss how to care for an A-C compressor on the ground. Rosie loves a new product that covers the unit.

10:00AM - Open Home Hour

Broadcasting on KTAR & KNST, KAFF & KGVY: Click the segment links below to listen to the archive or click the iTunes icon to the right to download this hour's Podcast.



Segment 1 (running time 11:07)

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  • Dan - What do our experts recommend for air filter's in Air Conditioning systems?

Recommendation - First, Jeff......He is AGAINST washable units. They create too much resistance, in his opinion. Allergies can determine an upgrade, but generally speaking a 1 inch paper pleated filter is the way to go. Rosie talks about the drawbacks of electro-static filters. Next, Andrew talks about his preferrances. "Spun fiberglass" filters. Some high-end air filters he likes, but requires an installation upgrade to hold it.

  • Home Energy Audit specials you can take advantage of in Phoenix and Tucson areas.

Beware of Red flags when it comes to A-C service companies:

  • Avoid technicians that are paid on very high commissions. They'll ALWAYS find something under those conditions.
  • Andrew avoids dishonesty by having homeowners right beside their techs. Parts that are replaced can be kept to be tested to verify.
  • Home warranty companies can cause issues that cost you, the homeowner.

Segment 2 (running time 7:17)

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  • Raul - What's the best way to run ductwork.....rigid or flex?

Recommendation - Energy audits will help solve any questions. Sealing ductwork is a great 1st step. Andrew talks about his preferences.....rigid is more expensive, less transitions and opportunities for leaks. Flex is much less expensive and he thinks this is the best way to get it done. Correct installation is the key! The fewest turns and cuves, the better.

*Duct-less Systems. Efficiency, costs and more control.

Segment 3 (running time 13:24)

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  • Jim - He's concerned about the air quality in his home. Certain areas of the home are 8 to 9 degrees warmer. What can he do?

Recommendation - If it's western or southern facing walls, he'll need to get more air to the room. Simply adding a return might not be good enough. An analysis by REEis could determine whats going on. It's the supply air and Jeff talks about avoiding returns in kitchens or bathrooms! Odors....good & bad!

  • We define "Seer rating" (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) Why bigger isn't always better and how sealed ductwork will make your system more efficient and it will cost less.
  • Why we use the term "tons" in Air Conditioning.
  • The 1st residential Air Conditioning unit was at the White House


  • Tom - He put in brand new A-C units in his home and his electricity bill is still $500 a month.

Recommendation - It sounds like something is wrong in the installation. $500 is way to expensive for the Tucson area.

*Rosie talks about his mini-split unit to cool his garage.

Segment 4 (running time 6:25)

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  • Lee - He's considering buying a new A-C unit and is concerned about insulation and the ductwork. Should he replace the entire duct system while he does this too?

Recommendation - If you're concerned about air quality, Jeff would absolutely recommend replacing the ductwork. This will hit everything...efficiency, air quality and comfort.

*Ask for guarantees on comfort throughout the whole house. If they can't, be wary.

Thanks to Jeff & Andrew for joining us today! Get your AC checkup with REEis in Phoenix or Intelligent Design in Tucson.

Join Rosie On The House Every Saturday Morning!!!