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To Repair or Replace Your AC Unit: That Is the Question

“To be, or not to be. That is the question.” This most famous line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet pertains to the whether or not the lead character in the play should continue to exist or not. This deep question is one that many homeowners have about their aging air conditioning unit. On one hand, it makes sense to continue to repair a quality AC unit if it has proven over the years to be a trusty source of cool air throughout the long Arizona summers. On the other hand, continuing to invest money in service and replacement parts on a system that doesn’t have nearly the energy efficiency of a newer system may not make financial sense. The key is being able to identify certain telltale signs that it’s time for a replacement.

Your AC Unit Is More Than 10 Years Old

Most older units do not have nearly the energy efficiency of today’s models. In fact, the most current, high-efficiency units offer up to a 20 percent or greater savings on monthly utility bills. Quality air conditioning systems will typically last from 12 to 18 years. Some can even last longer. If you are requiring significant repairs after five years, you may want to consider repairs because your unit likely has some good years of service left. However, one that is significantly older may not be worth the investment in repairs.

Utility Bills Are Continuing to Climb

While it’s normal to have fluctuations in your utility bill based on changes in your consumption, there’s a problem if your bill is consistently going up month after month. This is an indicator that your cooling system is no longer providing the efficiency you require for your home.

Your Cooling System Is Noisy

Although no HVAC system is completely silent, excessive noise indicates a potential problem. Most often, it’s an issue with a coil or with an undersized duct system. Often, this is an early indicator that it’s time for a new unit.

Excessive Repair Costs

If your system requires repairs, and they will cost more than $500, it may just make more financial sense to replace it. Some homeowners believe that it’s more affordable to kick the can down the road and replace at a later date. However, when you add up the cost of repairs, time, and reduced energy efficiency, it often is more financially savvy to replace than repair.

Need Help Determining the Future of Your AC Unit?

Air conditioners are long-term investments. You want to make sure you’re making the best decision for both your budget and your comfort. At Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, we can help you make the right decision for your home. Call our expert team today at 480-968-5652 to get the answers you need.

Seasonal HVAC System Maintenance: Get Ready for Summer Heat

The trees are in bloom. Spring training is in full-swing. And, the Arizona weather is the envy of the entire country. Yet, if you’re a Chandler homeowner, you know that the long, hot summer is just around the corner. The time to find out if your air conditioning system is working efficiently isn’t when you’re sweating in triple digit heat. Instead, take advantage of the mild spring temperatures by scheduling your HVAC system maintenance now.

Air conditioning is an absolute essential in the Phoenix area, and it only makes sense to ensure your AC system is working as it should and won’t break down when you need it most. While your air conditioning can make up the majority of your utility bill during the summer months, there are ways to reduce these costs and ensure you’re not going to lose your cool due to an unexpected system malfunction.

Check Your Thermostat

When we begin having consistent daytime temperatures above 80 degrees and nighttime temperatures above 60 degrees, it may be time to flip your thermostat to the “cool” setting. Within moments of changing the setting, you should hear your AC turn on and begin to feel cooling. If not, don’t delay in calling your service technician.

Schedule a Maintenance Check for Your System

At Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, we get a dramatic uptick in service calls on that first day of triple digit temperatures. To avoid having any potential problem, call now to schedule a seasonal tune-up of your air conditioning unit. It’s not only our job to help keep your system running efficiently, we can address any potential issues that can turn into major problems in the future. The cost of a seasonal tune-up is a small investment that can help keep your system performing optimally all summer long.

Clean or Replace the Filters

This is the easiest maintenance step, but often the most overlooked when it comes to preparing your AC system for summer. With the high amount of dust in the Arizona environment, it’s wise to make it a monthly habit of replacing or cleaning filters. When they’re clogged with dust, they restrict air flow and reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning system. They also recirculate dust into your home.

Remove Leaves and Debris

Winter storms can result in debris collecting around the base of your air conditioning system condenser. If you’ve scheduled an AC tune-up, also take the time to cut and remove any weeds, vines and leaves that may be obstructing airflow through your unit.

Call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating

With summer just around the corner, schedule a seasonal AC tune-up today. Not only will you save money be maximizing the efficiency of your cooling system, you’ll also greatly reduce your chance of needing larger, more costly repairs. Call to schedule an appointment with one of our expert HVAC specialists today at 480-968-5652.

Should You Install a Furnace or Heat Pump in Your Desert Home?

Installing a Furnace in Your Desert Home
If your heating system is showing signs of wear and tear and needs repair from an HVAC repair company in Gilbert, you have a couple of options when it comes to replacing your old unit.

Your first option is a traditional furnace, which you might have installed in the home now. Furnaces are responsible for heating the home using fuel and are controlled by a thermostat. The drawback is that they consume a lot of energy.

The second option is a heat pump, which is designed to keep the home’s temperature comfortable and consistent. In the winter, warm air is brought in, sucked into the heat pump and circulated throughout the home. In the summer, warm air is pushed back outdoors.

Since winters don’t get particularly cold in Arizona, heat pumps have been a popular choice for desert homeowners. But even in cold-weather states, air-source heat pumps are becoming more common due to their efficiency and cost effectiveness.

In this post, we will explore the major differences between furnaces and heat pumps and which one is best for your Gilbert home.

How are Furnaces and Heat Pumps Different?

Furnaces and heat pumps have the same goal of keeping the home warm and comfy during the winter, but they achieve so differently.

  • Heat pumps don’t manufacture the heat they distribute. Instead, the heat is found from the outside climate and brought into the home. Furnaces, on the other hand, generate their own heat using oil, gas or electricity, which is more necessary in cold-weather climates.
  • Furnaces blow out heat, which can create hotspots in the home. Heat pumps do a better job of maintaining an even temperature. Some people prefer the warm blasts of air, while others prefer a more steady temperature.
  • Some people don’t like the lukewarm temperature that they get with an air-source heat pump. On average, heat pumps deliver air between 90 and 100 degrees, whereas furnaces get up to 120 to 125 degrees.

Is One Better than the Other?

There’s a reason why HVAC services in Gilbert offer both furnaces and heat pumps – some homeowners prefer one over the other! Pros and cons exist for each heating system, so it’s difficult to generalize and say that one is better than the other. Your best bet is to speak with a professional who can provide you with more personalized information.

Before you schedule an appointment, here are a few basic things to know that might make your decision easier.

  • Can you add a gas line? If you can’t add a gas line to your home, then the choice is an easy one: get a heat pump. A heat pump uses electricity. If you can add a line, you’ll need to factor in this cost.
  • How warm do you want your home? We mentioned above that heat pumps feel more lukewarm, which will be more uncomfortable as the temperatures drop. This isn’t common in the desert, but still something to consider.
  • What are energy costs in your area? You’ll see a lot of generalizations regarding the costs of heat pumps and furnaces, but the real answer comes down to what you pay for gas and electricity. These rates vary from month to month, and heat pumps will get expensive if they need to pull air from a secondary heating unit. In general, though, heat pumps can save upwards of 30% off your electric bill.

Before you make an investment in a new heating system, give Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating a call! Our licensed and certified technicians are more than happy to provide you with a solid recommendation based on your needs and budget.

Photo Credit: Franco Giovanella

Boost Employee Health with a Commercial Air Purifier

Commercial Air Purifiers

If you own a business in the Greater Phoenix region, you might want to consider an air purifier for your workplace. Commercial air purifiers work just like residential units, but on a larger scale, and can be professionally installed by an HVAC service in Gilbert.

Air purifiers are responsible for trapping harmful particles that are floating around in the air, such as dust, pollen and mold. In the workplace, there are other harmful contaminants to be concerned about, and an air purifier will trap these as well. It all depends on the industry you are in, as some are more at risk than others.

In this post, we are going to explore the benefits to installing an air purifier in your workplace and how this investment can increase productivity and employee morale.

Less Illness

A major problem in any workplace is the spreading of germs. An air purifier can help reduce germs and bacteria in the air so that fewer illnesses are shared. This is done by circulating the air and getting rid of contaminants. Also, since air purifiers reduce symptoms from allergies and asthma, employees with these health conditions will have fewer side effects, and with that, cough and sneeze less.

Increased Productivity

Research shows that when employees feel healthier and happier, they are more productive. Having an air purifier installed will create a better workplace because workers will feel healthier and less fatigued. It’s also important to show that you care about the health and well-being of your staff. Plus, with less illness going around, more employees will make it into work, significantly reducing downtime.

Reduced Odors

Anytime you have a group of people together, there’s bound to be a wide range of odors. Your break room, for instance, might have the lingering smell of stale coffee, reheated curry or even something moldy coming from the fridge. An air purifier dispersers odor-causing pollutants and can make your workplace smell clean and fresh.

Battling Sick Building Syndrome

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is used to describe a range of symptoms that occupants of a building suffer. These symptoms are nonspecific and can include irritation to the nose, eyes and throat, skin irritation, infectious diseases or hypersensitivity reactions. These symptoms are linked to the amount of time spent in a particular building and are not linked to any specific disease.

Sick building diseases are generally believed to be caused from flaws in the heating, cooling and ventilation systems in commercial buildings. It’s also possible that certain contaminants in the workplace can lead to symptoms. If employees are complaining about not feeling well, take these complaints seriously. It only benefits your bottom line if your employees feel healthy, productive and energized.

If you suspect that there may be a problem causing people to feel unwell, call trusted HVAC repair company in Gilbert and have your air tested. You can determine if your workplace can benefit from an air purifier and also if you need your ductwork cleaned.

To learn more about improving the health and safety of your workplace, call Bruce’s AC. We’re happy to come out and test the air in your commercial building to determine what you and your employees are breathing in!

Photo Credit: Wixphoto.com

Are Annual Furnace Tune Ups Worth the Cost?

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Annual Furnace Tune Ups

It comes highly recommended to have your HVAC equipment checked annually. But is this really necessary? What is done during an annual tune up that makes it so important?

An annual furnace inspection is the single most effective way to care for your HVAC equipment and prolong its lifespan. Furnace manufacturers recommend annual inspections by a qualified technician, and most have language in their warranties that say that damage caused by not having the proper maintenance won’t be covered.

Also, the older your furnace is, the more important it is to have it looked at. There’s more to go wrong, and it’s usually cheaper and easier to fix an issue if you know about it ahead of time. If you have a brand new furnace, an HVAC service in Gilbert may recommend having it looked at every two years instead of one.

What’s Included with a Tune Up?

When you have a technician service your furnace, it’s a good idea to know what’s being done. Though you would think that all HVAC repair companies in Gilbert deliver the same services, it’s not true. To make things more complicated, there is no industry standard for a furnace tune up, so companies are left to their own accord as to what to include in their inspection.

At Bruce’s AC, we recommend having the following checked at your annual tune up:

  • Analyze combustion gases
  • Check blower access door
  • Check fresh air intake grills and louvers
  • Inspect heat exchanger for rust or corrosion
  • Check burners for proper ignition
  • Check drainage system for blockages or leaks
  • Check and clean blower wheel
  • Conduct amp-draw test
  • Check wiring for corrosion or damage
  • Check and replace filters

Why Choose Bruce’s AC for a Furnace Inspection

Bruce’s AC provides detailed, comprehensive tune ups that will keep your utility costs down and extend the life of your HVAC system. Regular inspections also prevent your furnace from breaking down in the middle of the night.

The year can go by fast, so if you’re not good at scheduling yearly appointments, you might want to consider an ongoing maintenance agreement. Our AC repair company offers pre-scheduled biannual checks for your entire HVAC system – heating and cooling. This means that your HVAC equipment gets steady attention, and you don’t have to do anything!

As you can see, yearly inspections are an important part of keeping your furnace in good condition. Before hiring a company to come out and inspect your furnace, make sure that you do your research and learn about what’s included with the tune up. Each company is different and will provide different services.

Give Bruce’s AC a call to learn more about our prices on annual inspections. We have been delivering reliable, affordable heating and cooling services since 1972 to residential and commercial customers.

Photo Credit: Chance Agrella