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When Should You Replace your Air Conditioner?

In the heat of the Arizona summer, many air conditioners unfortunately hit their limit and fail. Yes, at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, we replace many units during June, July and August. Yet, there are significant benefits to replacing your unit during the off season.

From mid-October through April is the ideal time to replace your air conditioner for your home or business. There is often a faster installation time and no chance of dealing with unbearable indoor temperatures while a malfunctioning unit is out of commission.

Is Your Air Conditioner More Than 10 Years Old?

It’s impossible to predict when your air conditioner will stop cooling. While some will last for decades, others need to be replaced sooner. If you’re a homeowner, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself for the idea of a replacement once your air conditioner has hit 10 years old. Once you’re in the market for a new unit, it’s important to not only time it right, but also consider the following:

Choose the Right Unit Size

Not all air conditioners are created equal. What works for one home may be too much or too little for another. Before choosing a unit, you will want to obtain a load calculation from an experienced HVAC contractor. An industry professional will be able to determine the right size unit based on your home’s square footage, insulation and other factors.

Consider Energy Efficiency

Air conditioner efficiency is measured by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). All air conditioners must have a rating of at least 13 or higher. Energy-efficient units have a rating of 14 and above. Think about how much you want to pay (or save) on your monthly utility bills. This will help you determine the right SEER rating for your specific needs.

Don’t Forget Yearly Maintenance

The key to lengthening the lifespan of any air conditioner (or furnace, for that matter) is regular maintenance. Not only will failing to maintain your unit potentially void a manufacturer’s warranty, it can drastically speed up the need for a replacement. Air conditioners are too complex and costly to neglect. By taking preventive maintenance seriously, you can save yourself plenty of money on costly repairs and new installations, as well as eliminating the hassles of dealing with a failing unit.

Give yourself the gift of cool air by replacing your aging air conditioner this fall or winter. Call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating today for a free estimate at 480-968-5652.

Fall Furnace Safety Tips

This entry was posted in Heating on by .

Evening temperatures have dropped, and mornings are downright chilly. Soon, it will be time to turn on that furnace to keep your home warm and comfortable. When it comes to furnaces, it’s important to always put safety first. So, before you turn up the heat, check out the following furnace safety tips to prepare you and your family for the cooler months ahead.

Change Your Filters

This is a simple yet important safety tip. Pop out your dirty filter and replace it with a new one. It takes seconds and can reduce dust circulating in your home and help keep your furnace running efficiently.

Install a Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector

Although nearly every home has smoke detectors, far fewer have CO detectors. If you have a gas furnace, these are vitally important. A CO detector will alert you if the CO levels in your home reach a dangerous level, so you’ll be alerted if you ever need to evacuate and call for emergency assistance.

Keep Your Furnace and the Area Around It Clean

Eliminate fire hazards by keeping your furnace and the area surrounding it clean and unobstructed by dirt, dust and items that can impact its safety and efficiency.

Store Combustibles Away from Your Furnace

Do you have combustible or flammable items like gasoline, lighter fluid or paint thinners? It’s just common sense to ensure they are nowhere near your furnace to avoid any risk of a fire or explosion.

Keep Registers Open

Keeping registers closed while your furnace is on can cause resistance and heat build-up in the furnace. This can damage your unit and creates a fire risk. If you have to close multiple registers, most likely you need to turn the temperature down.

Keep Registers Clean

Vacuum registers to remove dust, animal hair, and other pollutants that circulate in your home. Also take the time to keep the area around registers unobstructed by furniture, rugs, toys, blankets and other items.

Schedule an HVAC Inspection

Perhaps the most important way to ensure the safety of your home’s furnace is to get a furnace inspection before it’s time to begin turning on your heat. At Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, we offer a thorough check of your furnace that includes inspecting for cracks in the combustion chamber, faulty wiring, dirty air filters, and more. Call us today to schedule your furnace inspection.

Are These Air Duct Problems Impacting Your Home Comfort?

If you’re like many greater Phoenix area homeowners, you may be unaware that your HVAC system’s air ducts play a very important role in your home’s comfort, as well as its energy efficiency. Although your heater and air conditioner primarily control your indoor air temperature, your system’s ductwork is responsible for circulating the air throughout your home. In other words, an air duct problem can lead to an uncomfortable, energy inefficient home.

The following are the most common air duct problems that can affect your indoor air and HVAC system’s efficiency.

Design Flaws

You may be surprised to learn that many homes are built with a problematic layout of air ductwork. This is commonly seen when air must run through an extended area of attic. This problem can often be corrected by redirecting ducts to a more direct route to increase efficiency.

Poor Airflow

Another frequently seen air duct problem is inadequate airflow. Along with having a direct route for ductwork, it’s also important to have sufficient return for supply ducts. Your HVAC system requires a sufficient supply of air to heat and cool your home.  Without enough air, your system must work harder and can’t produce as much cooled or heated air.

Duct Blockages

Kinks and twists in ductwork can reduce airflow and decrease efficiency. Holes, tears and gaps in air ducts also cause air to leak out. Leaking ducts also lead to contaminants from the attic, crawl space or basement entering into air within ducts that then flows into your home.

Dirty Air Ducts

Indoor air can be 10 to 70 times more polluted than outdoor air. Dirt, pet hair, dust, pollen, smoke and more can get trapped in your home and continuously circulate through ducts. High humidity and hot temperatures can also spawn mold, fungus, spores and dust mites. This is why it’s important for air ducts and air filters to be cleaned on a regular basis.

At Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, we can test your home’s air and determine if pollutants and particulates are circulating in your home and provide guidance on the best options for improving your home’s air quality and function of your HVAC system. We can evaluate your HVAC system, including your ductwork, to optimize your home’s comfort and efficiency.

Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

Is there a puddle of water surrounding your air conditioner? This can be a perplexing issue for homeowners, and one that should be evaluated by a professional air conditioning contractor. Like with many air conditioner problems, there can be multiple causes of water pooling beneath your ac unit. Scheduling a service call is the best way to determine the problem and get it fixed.

It Could Be a Dirty Filter

Surprising to many, a dirty filter is one of the leading causes of an air conditioner leaking water. Why? A dirty air filter can hinder airflow through your HVAC system. This results in the evaporator coil not being able to draw sufficient amounts of heat out of the air. The coil then freezes up, and as the ice melts off, it can overwhelm the drainage system and lead to a puddle of water beneath the unit.

Leaking Refrigerant

Leaking refrigerant can also cause icing of the evaporator coil. If there is not enough refrigerant, the coil can’t remove heat from the air, and ice will develop. It then will melt and drip from your system. It’s important to note that your air conditioner doesn’t consume refrigerant. The amount needed to run your system will only decrease if there is a leak. This requires repair. Running a system with leaking refrigerant can quickly cause a total system failure. In other words, this is not a problem to take a wait and see approach with.

Drainage Problems

Your air conditioner not only cools air, it also dehumidifies it. The moisture that is removed from the air condenses on the evaporator coil and drips off. It then drains from a line into a pan. If the drain line is clogged, it can result in a backup of water. This can be corrected by unclogging the line with a wet vac. If the pan is corroded or not aligned properly, there can also be a pool of water. While these minor causes of leaking water can be do-it-yourself fixes, an experienced AC contractor can also fix them during a tune-up or repair appointment.

Don’t take chances with water leaking from your air conditioner. While it’s likely the problem is minor, it can also be an indicator of something more serious. Call us now to schedule an appointment at 480-968-5652.

7 Ways to Lower Your Home Energy Bill in 2018

This entry was posted in Residential on by .

Tired of escalating utility bills? Want to increase energy efficiency in 2018? The following energy-saving tips can help you save more in the coming year.

  1. Seal Air Leaks

    Are you overlooking cracks and gaps around windows, doors, plumbing and wiring? By sealing these openings, you can save up to 10 percent on your home energy bill. Caulking and weather stripping is easy to install and can fill cracks around windows and doors.

  2. Consider Replacing Single-Paned Windows

    Many older homes in the greater Phoenix area still have single-paned windows. Not only do these windows make it more difficult to heat or air condition a home, they can increase heating and cooling costs by 10 to 25 percent. This investment in your home can provide both short-term and long-term savings, as well as increase its overall value.

  3. Lower Your Thermostat During the Fall and Winter Months

    When it starts to get chilly, it’s natural to want to turn up the heat. Yet, lowering your thermostat just five to seven degrees can save you up to 10 percent on your home energy bill. Too chilly during the day? Turn down the thermostat only at night when you’re snuggled under blankets and still save a substantial amount.

  4. Stop the Draft Under Exterior Doors

    Drafts enter your home under doors and make it more difficult to heat your home during the cool weather months. A simple step to lower energy bills is to use draft blockers on all exterior doors.

  5. Replace an Aging HVAC System

    An outdated furnace or air conditioning unit is inefficient compared to today’s models. Like with refrigerators, washers and dishwashers, Energy Star also certifies HVAC system equipment. Today’s Energy Star models are up to 15 percent more efficient than older models.

  6. Replace HVAC System Air Filters

    Your home’s interior air filters should be changed or cleaned on a monthly basis to ensure your HVAC system is working efficiently and to help sustain your indoor air quality. This inexpensive task can help you save a measurable amount on your bill by enabling your system to work effectively with less energy.

  7. Schedule a Seasonal HVAC Tune-Up

    Your HVAC system requires regular maintenance to keep it working properly. A Bruce’s HVAC technician can determine if your system is working efficiently, and if not, how to improve it. Call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating to schedule a tune-up today at 480-968-5652.