Tiny Homes & Air Conditioning Innovations Print

7:00AM - The Weekend Wake Up

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Segment 1 (running time 12:33)

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Rosie is in-studio & Romey joins us from the NAU Campus, where the Arizona Tree Council is holding their annual tree climbing competition.

*Sedona recently won an international award. as the #1 City in the World for "Giving the Best First Impression"   It's not hard to see why!

*Rosie sends a musical tribute to Jennifer this weekend.

*We discuss the housing industry and it looks like it's a good time to buy a home.  Costs will start increasing soon.  Banks are lending, rates are good and Rosie thinks it's time to move!

*It's the last week to win our Arizona Photo Contest.....email your AZ Wildflower pics here!

Segment 2 (running time 7:27)

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Romey has some fun interviewing a few competitive climbers at the Arizona Tree Council's Annual Competition;  Dan Stevens from Living Tree Service, Andy Young with Tree Amigos and Jesse Huffman, owner of Arborvision Tree Service.

*Skills, "What part of the tree are you, "Tree Climbing Hero's & fun/silly questions!

*Learn about the different events involved and how tree climbing competitions work.

Segment 3 (running time 11:28)

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We update you on happenings all across Arizona!

  • Fishing Activities, etc.

Caller:

  • Judy - She wants to remove her wood burning fireplace and wants to convert it to an ethanol burning "candle light" setup. She's heard that the chimney flu needs to be locked close. What does that entail?

Recommendation - It actually needs to be locked open when you add gas to a fireplace. She can convert to a gas log fireplace that looks natural, but she has electric and that's it.  If there's no gas used, she doesn't need to lock open the flu and just set it up and be done with it.

Rosie teases one of our topics for the day....Trends in Tiny Homes. 

  • What constitutes an actual home?
  • City Regulations are different everywhere.
  • Reasons people are jumping on this trend.
  • People are even converting Tuff Shed's into a home.
  • Tucson has the "smallest home" in the world. 

Segment 4 (running time 7:51)

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Caller:

  • Chris - He has a ranch brick home with metal windows that need to be replaced. He has a Pella bid for the Architecture Series Windows and has another bid on hand for vinyl. He doesn't want them.....what should he do?

Recommendation - He needs to check out Pella's Impervia Fiberglass Line.  They look like wood and have a textured look, plus they're perfect for the AZ summer heat. He can have Freelite install the windows or Pella will do it.

*John Jay from Harper's Nursery & Landscaping Company joins us by phone to talk about the "The Great Pumpkin" event this weekend. 

(Did you know Phoenix was almost named "Pumpkinville?"  It's true!)

8:00AM - Outdoor Living: Talking Trees with John Eisenhower

Broadcasting on KTAR, KQNA, KAZM, 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.

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Segment 1 (running time 12:00)

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Romey & John Eisenhower with Integrity Tree Service talk trees and take questions about your landscape.

*John shares information about the Arizona Tree Council and the 5 different climbing events in their Annual Tree Climbing Event.

*How does an arborist know where to climb...what limbs will hold your weight and how to safely ascend a tree.

*There are beginner climbers all the way up to "master climbers" with decades of experience.

Tree of The Week:
The Ponderosa Pine - Arizona has the largest single stand of ponderosa pines in the world.  They're very hearty and tough, but beautiful too.

Segment 2 (running time 6:48)

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Romey sits down with Arizona Community Tree Council President, Bonnie Irvine.

*Bonnie & her Husband own Arizona Big Tree Mover's.  It's just another aspect of being an arborist.

  • Technology helps keep tree climbers safe.
  • There are a lot of "fly by night" tree trimmers.  This isn't safe and they don't have the knowledge to treat trees properly and could damage your trees.
  • If you're interested in tree trimming,  the AZ Community Tree Council puts on classes the day before.  Join them next year if you're interested.

Segment 3 (running time 14:02)

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Trying to get rid of critters in your yard?  Find Bonide Products at Treeland Nurseries in Mesa, Summer Winds in Phoenix and Watters Garden Center in Prescott.

Caller:

  • Mike - He wants to put a lemon and lime tree next to his driveway and wants to know if it's too late in the year to plant citrus? 

Recommendation - It is a little past the prime time and we're about to enter the summer heat.  It's possible to plant them now, but the foliage needs to cover the trunk of the tree and protect it from the sun. Otherwise, it might not survive.

*Memorial Day Weekend is one of the times you should be fertilizing citrus trees.

*John shares tips on successfully planting different citrus varieties.

Letters From a Listener:

  • Clint - His ash tree is dropping thousands of seeds and driving him and his neighbor's crazy. Is there anyway to control it, because he doesn't want to give up the shade?

Recommendation - This is a common problem and not much you can do. Fast growing trees end up leaving a lot of litter, so it's a trade-off on shade versus litter. There's also tree law and trees can be deemed "a tree nuisance" and land you in court. 

*More information on the Tree Climbing Events and This Week's Tree of the Week, the Ponderosa Pine.

*Bark Beetles are threatening large areas of Arizona forests.

Caller:

  • Mark - Should he trim the lower branches on his orange tree or leave them?

Recommendation - Leave them!  The branches protect the sensitive trunk from burning and help add nutrients as it grows. As the canopy grows and shades the trunk, those branches can be taken out.

Segment 4 (running time 6:17)

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*Romey & John discuss more information about citrus and fruit harvests from this year.  Canning tips and how to capitalize on a large fruit harvest. Jams vs. Jelly.

Romey likes the Squeezo Strainer for eating his fruit. John loves freezing fruit, especially for summer.

Caller:

  • Ann - The lower branches on her fir tree are really taking off. Can she trim it back in the fall or even now?

Recommendation - She can trim some now, just don't get too aggressive. Trim it back enough for clearance and leave the rest. 

If you're in the Phoenix area and have questions or need work done on your trees, call John at Integrity Tree Service.

9:00AM - Open Lines

Broadcasting on KTAR, KQNA, KAZM, 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.

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Segment 1 (running time 12:08)

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We're talking Air Conditioning with Andrew, owner of Intelligent Design Air Conditioning and Heating from Tucson and Jeff with Reeis in Phoenix.

Here's a great place to start....Rosie's Consumer Guide on Choosing an Air Conditioning Contractor.

  • The guys discuss the true cost of Air Conditioning and empty promises companies make.
  • Defining "Air Conditioning" and how understanding the process will save $$$.
  • Jeff shares the first thing you should look at when saving money on utility bills. The #1 thing is obvious, the AC Unit.   Before insulation....windows need to be the focus first.
  • Attic Fans are NOT usually a good idea. (it's sucking air out of the house and creating negative pressure that makes your AC unit work harder.
  • Andrew talks about duct work.  93% of homes lose between 30 to 40 percent of cooled air through the ducts.  (Some Warning sings: Hot and Cool spots in the home, a lot of dust and high electric bills)  Testing ducts will determine your efficiency..
  • Phone estimates are a HUGE RED FLAG!  A tech NEEDS TO DO A HEAT/LOAD CALCULATION and you can't do that over the phone. This usually leads to an over-sized unit that will cost you more money than they should.

Segment 2 (running time 6:40)

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Romey checks in from Flagstaff and also gives a testimonial about the great service Andrew provides in Southern Arizona.

Rosie shares a trick question to ask Air Conditioning Contractor's..."If the contractor simply looks at the size of your existing unit and quotes an estimate for that same unit without testing for a proper size"  Over-sized AC units are far too common in AZ and Andrew talks about how this leads to inefficient systems that waste homeowner's money.

  • The unit cools the home too quickly and shuts off/on.
  • It doesn't take moisture out of the air.
  • It costs too much to buy too.
  • "It's like driving your car around town in 4th gear and shutting off your car at every light, then starting it and flooring the gas"  
  • The units are quieter too.
  • Most homes could take a ton off of the cooling load of their AC Units. 

Segment 3 (running time 12:01)

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Rosie's article in the Arizona Republic talks about the "tiny home" movement and the guys discuss how the AC units would work in these homes.

  • A Mini-split unit would work great for this.
  • There's no duct work with mini-splits. (no cool or heated air loss)
  • Cool different zones of the home with new systems.
  • The only downside is the initial cost of a split system (mini-split)

Caller:

  • Mike - He heard us talking about attic fans and wants to verify what we were discussing. He has one and thought he was saving money....

Recommendation - Jeff explains why they don't like it and Rosie gives a breakdown on pricing when homeowner's use attic fans.  (10% of heat gain comes through the ceiling making the attic fan a waste of money.)

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*Thanks to our sponsors Coyote Oaties Cookies and The Red Feather Lodge.

Caller:

  • Rob - He's had an AC tech come out to verify he's ready for the summer.  He was told it was time to replace it for $18,000 or spend a $1000 and try to get a few more years out of it. How does he know when it's time to replace?

Recommendation - We'll continue with this in the next segment.

Segment 4 (running time 7:33)

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Callers:

  • We continue with Rob's question.....


Recommendation - Jeff tackles it first...Average life of an AC unit is 10-15 years.  He would NOT put a hundred bucks at that old of a unit.  But, he does NOT need to spend $18k. That seems way too high to all of our experts.  Andrew recommends a specific Lennox Product and breaks down his best options.

  • Roland - He wants to cool his garage. It's uninsulated and he's considering insulating and extending his existing ducting to the garage. He heard us talk about the "Mini Split" AC system and wondered if this was a better option?

Recommendation - Both of those options could work. He'll need to verify that his existing system can handle the extra work load and that the ducting is efficient enough. The mini split can be wired to only cool or to cool and heat. He'll just need to have 220 power for both.  Evaporation Cooling Systems are a great option too.

(NOTE: NEVER PUT RETURN AIR DUCTS IN A GARAGE!!!  Your AC system will suck carbon monoxide into your home from your cars exhaust.  )

10:00AM - Housing Topic

Broadcasting on KTAR, KQNA, KAZM, 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.

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Segment 1 (running time 12:48)

Both Jeff & Andrew are Veterans. 

Thank you for your service Andrew & Jeff!!!

We discuss the pros and cons of Evaporative Cooling Systems:

*Always add electricity costs, water usage and all the parts and products required to run the system. AC systems keep your home cleaner, the air healthier and your home is always more comfortable.

Callers:
  • Roger - What's the difference between a curb and an elbow ac unit?

Recommendation - There are 2 different types of installs.  The package unit uses a metal duct coming out the side. The other sits the unit right on the opening into the home. It eliminates the sheet metal heating and making your ac unit work harder. Verify that the H.O.A. doesn't have rules against the visibility of the unit on pitched roofs.

Common Sources of Hot & Cold Spots in Your Home:

  • Over-sized AC units
  • Leaking Duct Work
  • Missing a variable speed blower.

(To verify your home is efficient, you must have a whole home energy audit. Don't spend a dime before you have a whole home energy audit.)

Click here for videos on Intelligent Design's website that explain energy audits and other basic AC concepts.

Segment 2 (running time 6:12)

What's a fair price to pay for a pre-season AC checkup?  Jeff thinks $80-$120 and if companies are offering a "free checkup" they're usually there to look for something wrong.  This is a red flag. Avoid it and go with a Rosie-Certified Contractor.

Callers:

  • Mike - When his unit kicks on, the first 5 minutes it blows air that's over 110 degrees. What's causing this?

Recommendation - His ducting is in the attic and he's absorbing heat into the duct work and it takes a few minutes to cool the ducting down before it can blow cool air in the home.   He can insulate the duct or replace it with flex duct work.

  • Terry -She just had his AC serviced and the tech told her that he should replace his paper air filter with a metal filter and to keep the fan running to stay cooler. Is that right?

Recommendation - After investigating, it sounds like bad advice. Leaving a fan on costs money and the metal filters make it harder for air to flow, costing her money.

Segment 3 (running time 12:02)

Terry provoked a lot of questions and we discuss her problem further. These are common problems and Rosie investigates more to try and help.

  • She's got a major issue because her costs are way too high for her situation. Just like most homes, she needs to start with a whole home energy audit. 
  • Jeff and Andrew both weigh in on metal filters....None of us are fans. "It's like sucking a milkshake through a coffee straw"  Properly cleaning a metal filter barely ever happens. They attract dirt and restrict air-flow.
  • Rosie pays for Reeis to have a whole home energy audit done. 

Rosie talks about "Super Cooling" and the benefits of using this method with "time of day" plans from the utility companies.  Save big money!


Callers:

  • Roger - He needs to run duct through his attic. Should he go with flex duct or sheet metal? 

Recommendation - Both Andrew & Jeff prefer flex duct over sheet metal. The sheet metal costs a lot more.  Proper installation is key and with flex duct, creating 90 degree angles creates the equivalent of adding 100 feet of duct.  Make big looping turns to eliminate this problem.

  • Jerad -  Is it more efficient to have insulation on your roof deck or attached to the ceiling in your attic?

Recommendation - We answer Jerad's question in the next segment....

Segment 4 (running time 6:47)

  • We continue with Jerad's question from the last segment.

Recommendation -All types of insulation can reach the energy efficiency he's looking for without the added cost. One of the benefits of roof-line insulation is keeping the air ducts cool.  After doors & windows, this is the leading cause of inefficient cooling systems. You can't install roof-line insulation with a vented attic. Banker Insulation can do this for homeowner's!

  • Steve - He just bought a new AC system and isn't sure he made the right purchase. His 4 ton unit wouldn't keep up during extreme heat, so he bought a 5 ton unit. Was this the right decision?

Recommendation - He won't know until he's lived through the summer heat.  "Comfort Issues" almost always start with the ducting.  If the company didn't do a heat load calculation, it could be another problem than the size of the AC unit.

If you have questions or want to make sure you're AC system is ready for the summer, call Andrew with Intelligent Design Air Conditioning and Heating in Tucson or Jeff with Reeis in Phoenix!

Join Rosie On The House Every Saturday Morning!!!