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Turn Up the Thermostat or Turn on a Space Heater?

This entry was posted in Heating on by .


Even here in the Valley of the Sun, it can get downright chilly during the winter months. For homeowners, there is often uncertainty over when to crank up the heat by turning up the thermostat and when it makes sense and cents to choose an electric, gas or radiant space heater.

Many believe that space heaters are the more practical heating solution. However, the reality is there are times when it’s better to turn up the central heat and other times when a portable heater is a better choice. Because there is so much debate on this topic, the U.S. Department of Energy has weighed in. They state that space heaters “can be less expensive to use if you want to heat one room or supplement inadequate heating in a room.”

However, it’s important to note that space heaters are not more cost-effective than central heating systems when heat is required in more than one or two small areas. In fact, the Department of Energy estimates that it would cost nearly 50 percent more to heat a home with space heaters when compared to central heat.

Space Heater Best Practices

If you do choose to use a space heater to warm up a single room or small space, there are some best practices that can keep you, your family and your home safe and comfortable.

  • Only use a heater that has been approved by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and has an automatic shut down when the desired temperature is achieved.
  • Choose a model with a tip over automatic shut-down feature.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet from all combustible material, including newspapers, clothing and blankets.
  • Don’t place heaters under desks or in enclosed spaces.
  • Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet. Never use an extension cord to plug in a heater.
  • Don’t use heaters in rooms that are not being occupied.
  • Keep space heaters away from exits, walkways and paths of travel.

Have a home heating issue? Call the experts at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating at 480-968-5652.

3 HVAC System Tips to Improve Your Home’s Comfort in 2018

Whoever said that life begins at the end of your comfort zone never experienced summer in Phoenix! In 2018, why not make home comfort your new year’s resolution by optimizing your HVAC system? The following three tips can help improve your home’s comfort throughout the year while also enabling you to save a few dollars in reduced energy consumption.

  1. Get an HVAC System Tune-Up
  2. Perhaps the single most important thing you can do in 2018 to protect the function of your HVAC system is to get a tune-up. HVAC systems require regular maintenance to keep them running properly. During a tune-up, problems also can be identified before they result in a system failure. And, the good news is that HVAC system maintenance is a lot easier than you think. Don’t delay in scheduling this vital step toward having a perfectly comfortable year ahead. And, consider purchasing a maintenance plan for even greater peace of mind to help you stay on track with your maintenance and to save on any repairs you may need down the road.

  3. Replace Your Air Filters
  4. Clogged, dirty air filters not only hinder the function of your HVAC system, they also reduce the quality of your indoor air and drive up the price of your monthly utility bill. By changing out filters once a month, you can do a tremendous service to your system, your family and your budget. Don’t forget this simple step!

  5. Choose a Quality, Local HVAC Company
  6. Based in Chandler and dedicated to homeowners throughout the greater Phoenix area, our HVAC technicians live and breathe air conditioning and heating 24/7/365. Since 1972, Bruce’s Air Conditioning has provided expert service at affordable prices on all makes and models of residential (and commercial) air conditioning and heating systems. Don’t take chances with an unproven HVAC services provider. With our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can feel confident about your system’s maintenance and repairs every time.

Happy New Year from the entire team at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating

 

Warm Holiday Greetings from Your Friends at Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating

This entry was posted in HVAC on by .

Winter is officially here, and evening temperatures are dipping below freezing throughout the valley. During the holidays, we hope you’re staying warm and cozy inside your home with loved ones and friends. This means ensuring your heater is working optimally.

Throughout the winter (and the rest of the year, too), you can rely on Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating for all your HVAC needs.

And, consider giving the gift of home comfort this holiday season. A gift of an HVAC maintenance contract, programmable thermostat or energy audit can provide cost savings and greater energy efficiency to someone you love. To learn more, contact the expert team at Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating at 480-968-5652.

Happy Holidays!

Commercial HVAC: Keeping Your Employees Comfortable During the Winter

This entry was posted in Commercial on by .

Do you run a small company or own a commercial space in the greater Phoenix area? If so, you probably know firsthand the challenges of keeping the temperature optimal during the winter months. Mornings can be bone-chilling cold, and afternoons can feel downright balmy. This can make it a battle to maintain the right temperature for employees through the workday.

Occupational research studies have repeatedly shown that the optimal office temperature is between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit for the majority of workers. However, there are factors to consider as you adjust the thermostat:

Gender – Because women have lower metabolic rates than men, they can be more susceptible to cold. So, if there are a lot of women in the space, the temperature might need to be raised slightly.

Humidity – While it’s relatively dry during Arizona winters, a bout of rain can quickly increase the humidity inside a commercial space to an uncomfortable level. This can make the air feel muggy and too warm. In contrast, low humidity can make the air feel colder and can even impact skin, sinuses, the throat and eyes by making them feel dry and scratchy. Most experts will tell you that a humidity level of around 40 percent is ideal for year-round productivity.

Windows – Large windows, as well as skylights that let in a lot of sunlight can make an office feel warmer, even when the temperature outside is chilly.
High ceilings – The excess space created by voluminous ceilings can lead to poor air distribution. In other words, heaters in the winter, as well as air conditioners in the summer, must work harder when you have high ceilings.

Older buildings – Often, aging buildings have outdated HVAC systems that have uneven temperatures.

Set the Optimal Temperature

Office temperatures that are too warm or too cold are among the most common complaints of those in work environments. And, issues related to temperature result in millions of dollars in lost productivity each year. It makes sense to focus on getting it right.
The best solution is often to poll workers to find out what is most comfortable. Once you have a general consensus, you can program the best temperature for the majority of people. For those who feel the temperature is too cold, it may make sense to relocate them closer to a heat vent. Likewise, workers who like it cooler might be more comfortable near an open window or with a desk fan.

Maintenance Is Key

Of course, it’s impossible to regulate temperature effectively if you have an HVAC system that isn’t operating properly. Because your heater and air conditioner are vital to the success of your operations, it’s important that they are properly maintained on a regular basis. Call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating to learn more about our commercial heating and cooling solutions.

Ground Air Conditioner Versus Rooftop

Here in the desert, air conditioning is as essential as running water. While every home has at least one air conditioner, they’re not all located in the same location. Air conditioners can be located on the ground adjacent to a home or on a home’s rooftop. When choosing between installing a new air conditioner on the ground or on the roof, there are several considerations to explore ranging from aesthetics to functionality. There are arguments for both ground and rooftop units. Here are some considerations to weigh to determine the best option for you:

The Neighborhood

If you’re in the market for a new home, it’s always a good idea to look at the surrounding neighborhood. Many older neighborhoods have a predominance of rooftop air conditioners. If you personally find this an eyesore, it’s important to know that moving the air conditioner from a roof to the ground is a modification that cannot be easily undone. In other words, when in Rome, do as the Romans. Likewise, deciding to place an air conditioner on a roof when every other home has a ground air conditioner may not be a wise financial decision. In fact, it could negatively impact the future value of your home.

Space

Ground units require a certain amount of space. Not only must you allot for the unit itself but also enough clearance on all sides to enable hot air to circulate from the unit. If you have a small yard, a ground air conditioner may throw a monkey wrench into big plans for an expansive patio or garden.

The Weather

Rooftop air conditioners often take more of a beating than ground units because they are continuously exposed to heat. There is often higher winds and more blowing dust on top of a home. In contrast, a ground air conditioner can get clogged with dead leaves, damaged by animals and inundated by flood water during a monsoon storm.
It’s always a good idea to consider your specific weather conditions and the landscape around your home to determine what might be the best option.

Maintenance

All air conditioners, regardless of where they are located, should be serviced on a regular basis. With rooftop units, it’s often a case of out of sight, out of mind. So, it’s additionally important to obtain a maintenance plan from a reliable contractor that can remind you of when maintenance is required.

Security

Yes, there is such a thing as air conditioner theft. Thieves have been known to swipe the copper out of an air conditioner or even steal the entire unit, leaving nothing but wires and the need for an insurance claim. Rooftop air conditioners are typically more secure because they are not as easily accessible.

Want to learn more about the benefits of ground versus rooftop air conditioners? Call the experts at Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating at 480-968-5652.