Why does my air conditioner blow cold air in Phoenix during the winter?

Hello All,

We have many customers in Phoenix, Chandler, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, and Mesa that call during the winter because their Air Conditioning / Heat Pump unit or system blows cold air when the need warm air.

We also get calls from folks in Phoenix, Chandler, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, and Mesa that ask, “Why do I hear wierd noises coming from my air conditioning system / unit during cold weather?”

The other common question our customers in Phoenix, Chandler, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, and Mesa ask, is “Why do I see fluid leaking from my air conditioner and why is my air conditioner smoking?’

Well the simple answer to all of these questions is “Your heat pump system is going into defrost mode.”

All heat pumps have the ability to melt any frost that may accumulate on the outdoor coil. (condenser coil) The way the heat pump removes the ice or frost is by switching a reversing valve which puts the system into air conditioning mode temporarily. Just long enough to melt the frost. During a defrost cycle the following things happen. The ice melts and drains to the ground around the outdoor coil which explains the fluid people witness. There is usually some steam rising from this water. It looks like smoke. When the reversing valve switchs from heating to defrost, it often makes noises that seem concerning to homeowers. And, the air temperature coming out of the vents in the house is cold.

In the valley of the sun the temperatures are rarely low enough for frost to accumulate so many people are surprised when they witness a defrost cycle. Most of the time it is during the coldest part of the coldest nights in the Phoenix area.

Please call Air and Water Factor Cooling & Heating if you have any questions about your Air Conditioning system in Phoenix, Chandler, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, and Mesa. We can help you determine if your system is acting normally or if you should schedule a service call.

Air & Water Factor Cooling and Heating services the following brands: Trane Air Conditioning, American Standard Air Conditioning, Carrier Air Conditioning, Bryant Air Conditioning, Lennox Air Conditioning, Ruud Air Conditioning, Rheem Air Conditioning, Day & Night Air Conditioning, Maytag Air Conditioning.

Tim Friederich

Project Estimator
Air and Water Factor Cooling and Heating

Air Conditioning in Phoenix

Many of our customers looking for new air conditioning systems in Phoenix, Ahwatukee, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert and Scottsdale, become very concerned with the brand or the manufacturer.

At Air and Water Factor Cooling Heating and Plumbing, we carry several brands. That is because every home has a unique set of variables. By offering Trane, Bryant, and Amana we will always have the perfect system for any home. It is our option to offer other air conditioning brands such as Carrier, Lennox, Ruud, Rheem, York, American Standard, or Maytag.

The process of determining the right system for your home begins with a simple conversation to obtain background information. I ask questions about your home, your ac system, your concerns etc. I also want to know how long you plan on living in, or owning the home. All of these details help me make the best recommendations for you.

Then I conduct a site survey. The primary activity is measuring. I typically measure walls and windows for a heat load calculation, the available space for the new equipment, and the access avialable.

Once the site survey is complete I can then sit down and assemble a “breakdown sheet” This sheet typically contains the best four systems in columns side by side so we can discuss the advantages and disadvatages of each.

We often have several brands represented on the breakdown sheet. These brands usually include Trane, Bryant, and Amana. The homeowner can then decide which of the four fit his or her needs. We are looking for the optimal fit.

If your air conditioning system needs maintenance or repair, we service all brands. Again these include Trane, Carrier, Bryant, American Standard, York, Coleman, Day & Night, Comfortmaker, Heil, Ruud, Rheem, Maytag, Frigidair, Westinghouse, and all others.

For air conditioning repair in Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gold Canyon, and Apachee Junction, please Call Air and Water Factor Cooling, Heating, and Plumbing. 480-706-3333

We also replace water heaters.

Tim Friederich
Project Estimator

Water Heaters, Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale & Ahwatukee

Many of our customers do not know that we can replace the water heater in your home.

How do I know if I need to replace my water heater?
If your water heater has visible rust on the jacket, you probably need to replace your water heater. That is because the rust on your water heater is probably caused by a leak in the water heater tank. If your water heater is leaking, it is causing water damage to your home. The longer you wait the more extensive the damage. You also risk the establishment of dangerous mold in your home.

Many homes have the HVAC equipment right next to the hot water heater. That means a leaking hot water heater will leak into the return air section of your air handler or furnace platform. If black mold, or any other mold, grows in that area, your furnace or air handler will then spread it throughout your duct system and throughout your entire home.

Please call the Air and Water Factor office to schedule a free visit / consultation if your water heater is leaking, or if you think your water heater is leaking. 480-706-3333

How do I maintain my water heater?
Periodic flushing is the best practice. The problem with this is that the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater is often cheap and will not close once you open it. You also may have a drain valve on your water heater that is made of plastic. If that is the case the body of the valve may break if you try to flush your water heater yourself.

Air and Water Factor can flush your water heater for you while we are at your home performing annual maintenance on your HVAC system. Then if the valve won’t close, or is plastic, we can replace the valve with a brass bodied drain valve to avoid a flood from a failed drain valve.

If you are interested in Tankless water heaters please call Air & Water Factor at 480-706-3333.

If you want to replace your gas water heater with an electric water heater, please call Air & Water Factor at 480-706-3333.

Tim Friederich
Project Estimator
Air & Water Factor Cooling, Heating, Plumbing
Replacing water heaters in Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, & Scottsdale.

Air Conditioner Coil Cleaning In the Phoenix Area

This is a coil with dirt but not excessive dirt.

This is a coil with dirt but not excessive dirt.

This is the same coil after cleaning.  It is restored to full funtion and efficency.  Like new.

This is the same coil after cleaning. It is restored to full funtion and efficency. Like new.

Sandy's Coil
If your AC system is this dirty you may need to replace the entire system.

Would you put your nose up to this? That is effectivly what you are doing if your are breathing air that was cooled by this AC system.

Many of our customers in Phoenix, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler have inquired about duct cleaning.  This leads us to a more important maintenance item which is coil cleaning.  Your air conditioning system has 2 coils.  The condenser coil is part of the outdoor AC unit and the evaporator (cooling coil) is part of the indoor equipment.  Both of these coils typically resemble a radiator on an automobile.


The cooling coil, I also sometimes call the indoor coil because it is the coil that cools the indoor air stream.  All of the air from your home passes through this coil repeatedly.  This coil is wet when it is active so it is a good place to foster microbial growth and mold propagation.  If you are concerned with indoor air quality, or IAQ then you need to understand how to prevent these problems.  If you are concerned with efficiency and longevity of your AC sytem then you need to understand how to prevent these problems.  The key is to keep it clean.

The first tip is to CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER FREQUENTLY.  The easy rule to remember is…when you pay your electric bill change your filter.  If you keep dirt from reaching the cooling coil you will have better indoor air quality.  Note, generally I do not like 1″ pleated filters because they are to restrictive to air flow which reduces capacity and efficiency of the AC system.  If you have questions about filters you can call our office.  480-706-3333

Second, have a profesional inspect and/or clean this coil periodically.  Dirt in the coil is the enemy.  It is not expensive to clean and it does not need to be done every year.  Again call Air and Water Factor at 480-706-3333 for information regarding cooling coil cleaning.

Third, have your drain lines cleaned out regularly.  The dirt that gets in your coil also ends up in your drain.  There are other things that grow with in the drain.  If the condensate drain clogs it will exaserbate any indoor air quality problems, and potentialy damage the home and system.

Please keep in mind that your condensate drain may be working today and may clog again tomorrow.  The older the system the faster this typically occurs.  You need to keep an eye on it and shut the system down imediatley at the first sign of water problems. 

I am attaching a few pictures of excessivly dirty cooling coils so you can see what you are breathing.  These coils need cleaning but because they have been neglected we cannot restore the full function of this coil. 

I also have attached a before and after.  This is a good example of proper maintenance.  There is some accumulation of dirt but this homeowner had us clean it before it became a problem.

We also have several varieties of Electronic Air Cleaners.  Please call the Air & Water Factor office for information regarding Electronic Air Cleaners.  480-706-3333

Tim Friederich

Project Estimator

Air and Water Factor Cooling & Heating






Ceiling Damage from Air Conditioning Condensate Leaks

During the monsoon season your air conditioning system “creates” a higher volume of condensation.  If your drain is clogged or partially clogged you may need to have the condensate drain line cleaned or blown out.  Many of our customers in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa and Ahwatukee experience cieling damage from condensate leaks and clogs.  The best time to clean these drain lines (to prevent a flooded ceiling) is during the monsoon season.   Please call Air and Water Factor cooling, heating and plumbing at 480-706-3333 to schedule this service.

condensation drain

Written by Tim Friederich   

Please email me if you have any further questions tim@airfactor.net