Author Archives: Bruce's Air Conditioning

Heater Hints – How to Avoid Furnace Failures

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Summer spends the winter in Phoenix. It’s the perfect time of year. Daytime temperatures in January hover around an ideal 75 degrees. Nights dip into the 40s with an occasional cold spell. This means your furnace is getting infrequent use and due to the moderate temperatures, not nearly working to its full capacity. The problem with many Arizona heaters is they suffer from abandonment issues. Some homeowners haven’t checked their furnace for years. The fact that furnaces are so reliable, yet used so sparingly in Arizona, means when it comes to maintenance, they often don’t get the attention they deserve.

Simple Steps to Keep Your Furnace Running Smoothly

Without a doubt, the number one step to keeping your furnace running flawlessly is to schedule a professional inspection and checkup once a year. Late fall is generally ideal. However, January, the coldest month of the year, is also an excellent time for a service tune-up. It’s important to remember, there are safety issues involved with furnaces that should be checked by an experienced technician. Here are some other helpful things you can do to care for your furnace:

  • Replace Air Filters – Dirt is the nemesis of your entire HVAC system. Depending on where your furnace is located, dust storms can blow fine desert dirt into the inner workings and moving parts of your furnace. Changing the air filters on a regular basis keeps the dirt out and the air inside your home clean.
  • Check Vents and the Fresh Air Intake – Furnaces are often located in closets, basements, crawlspaces and attics. Because these locations sometimes double as storage areas, it is a good idea to check to make sure nothing is blocking the free flow of air to your furnace.
  • Eliminate Clutter – Papers, toys, clothing or other items on top of or around a furnace can be hazardous. Over the years, we have seen all kinds of potentially dangerous items sitting on top of working furnaces. It is important to make sure the area surrounding your furnace is clutter-free.
  • Create an HVAC/Furnace File – Take a few minutes to compile all the information, owner’s manuals, HVAC warranties and service records you have in one place. Keeping track of the service performed on your furnace (and AC unit) will help you control costs and know when it’s time to repair or replace.

A furnace in Arizona is a little like a screen door on a submarine. It’s not crucial, like air conditioning. In fact, it’s rarely considered except on those few cold days when you really need it. Take a moment to schedule a furnace inspection with one of our friendly service technicians, and we promise you won’t regret it!

Air Scrubbers to Purify Your Indoor Environment in 2019

With the holidays behind us and the new year ahead, we at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating think there’s one more gift you might want to consider giving your family in 2019. It’s an invisible gift you cannot see, touch or feel. Some might argue, next to life itself, it’s the most precious commodity of all. The air we breathe. Why not make this the year you take your indoor air quality (IAQ) to a whole new level?

Air Pollution Verses Indoor Air Quality

In 1970, Congress passed the Clean Air Act, which established guidelines and air quality standards throughout the United States. Dirty, polluted air has existed for centuries, particularly since the Industrial Revolution. The term “air pollution” became commonplace and entered the public consciousness approximately 50 years ago with newspapers and media outlets providing daily air pollution index reports.

Indoor air quality is a more recent term, gaining popularity in the last ten years. Many people believe that though the outside air may be dirty or polluted, inside the sanctuary of their home, school or office building, they are protected from air pollution. This, unfortunately, is not always the case. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency states, “Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors where the concentrations of some pollutants are often two to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.”

Desert Dust, Pollen, Pet Dander and Other Allergens

Desert dust storms are a dramatic sight to behold, sometimes stretching for miles and blotting out the Arizona sun. With all that fine dirt swirling around your house, it’s easy to understand that some dust is going to find its way into your HVAC system. Pollen and ragweed, two of the most prevalent irritants in the Phoenix area, are constantly floating in the air and will make their way inside. As much as homeowners love their pets, dogs and cats generate dander, which causes allergic reactions in many individuals.

With the doors and windows shut as they are most of the time in Arizona, your home is a closed system. Your air conditioner is equipped with filters that do their best to remove allergens, irritants and particles. However, for some people with severe allergies or respiratory conditions, it’s not always enough. If you or someone in your family is highly allergic, dealing with COPD or other respiratory disease, you may want to consider adding an air scrubber to your HVAC system.

What Are Air Scrubbers?

Air scrubbers are devices that remove particles and other offending pollutants from the air inside your home. These super filters are added on to the air handler in your existing HVAC system. Your air conditioner already has air filters, which should be checked and replaced regularly. An air scrubber system will provide extra purification for individuals with special respiratory requirements. Families with cats and dog can benefit from air scrubbers. Pet dander in the home is the root cause of many allergic reactions. Other air quality improvement systems include adding UV lights to eliminate mold and bacteria in ductwork. Our service technicians will be happy to meet with you and explain all the options.

If you’re ready to take your IAQ to the next level, give us a call to set up an appointment. Our experienced and friendly service techs will perform an inspection on the current state of your HVAC system and an assessment of your indoor air quality. Call us today.

Happy New Year from All of Us at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating

As New Year’s approaches, all of us at Bruce’s Air Conditioning want to wish you a happy, healthy, air-conditioned 2019! We love the C.S. Lewis quote, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” Here’s to big dreams and hoping 2019 will be a cool, comfortable year for you and your family.

A Few Air-Conditioned Resolutions for 2019

We all make promises to ourselves as the new year approaches. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, stop eating fast food, and the all-time favorite – exercise more often. These goals appear on just about everyone’s list. Even though many of these lofty objectives are long forgotten by Super Bowl Sunday, Phoenix area homeowners have the opportunity to commit to a resolution they can keep the entire year. In 2019, resolve to give your family the coolest, cleanest, healthiest indoor air possible. Here are a few resolutions we, at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, can help you keep.

  • Resolution #1 – Start the Year with a Complete HVAC Assessment – Let our service technicians perform an HVAC system checkup and thorough inspection. The best way to plan for the year ahead is to know the exact condition of your components before the extreme heat begins. Do you notice a drop off in cooling power during extreme heatwaves? Was your air conditioner making funny noises upon start up? Whatever problems you may have experienced this past summer, one thing is for certain. AC problems rarely fix themselves. January and February are great months for service calls. Let us assess your system and solve the little problems before they become big ones.
  • Resolution #2 – Remember to Change Your Air Filters More Often – Do you have a family member with asthma, allergies or another respiratory condition? Clean air filters help reduce indoor air pollution. Changing air filters is not a difficult job but it is an easy task to forget. In 2019, why not make a resolution to send yourself a monthly reminder on your calendar to check the filters and replace when needed. Our service technicians will be happy to show you how it’s done.
  • Resolution #3 – Establish a Regular HVAC Maintenance Program – It’s no secret that Phoenix is one of the fastest growing metro areas in the United States. Many people move here to escape the harsh winters of the Northeast and Midwest. Homeowners new to the Southwest are often surprised to learn just how long and extreme the summers are in Arizona and how crucial air conditioning is to daily living, May through October. Much like scheduling regular service checkups at pre-set mileage intervals for your car, establishing a twice a year maintenance program for your HVAC will ensure your system is in top form all year long.

Happy Holidays from All of Us at Bruce’s Air Conditioning – We are grateful to our customers for making 2018 another great year here at Bruce’s Air Conditioning. As long as Arizona keeps supplying the heat, we’ll keep delivering the cool. May 2019 be your best year ever and if we can be of any service at all, please give us a call.

Should Santa Put a New HVAC System Under Your Christmas Tree?

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It seems this year, Santa has received a lot of letters from Phoenix-area residents requesting new air conditioners, which are tricky to transport down chimneys and come with the detailed instructions, “Some assembly required.”

At Bruce’s Air Conditioning, we’d like to do our part during this holiday season. Admittedly, HVAC systems are not typically found on the top of kids’ Christmas lists. However, for households that suffered through the blistering summer of 2018 with substandard AC, giving the gift of temperature bliss and climate comfort all year long could be a big hit with the entire family.

Life Indoors, Cool Comfort and How Temperature Affects Us All

During the long summer months in Arizona, residents spend most of their life indoors. If it’s over 100 degrees outside, indoor temperature becomes a critical element of daily living. Let’s face it, when the air conditioner breaks down, life comes to a screeching halt. Or to paraphrase Vince Lombardi, temperature isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. Studies have shown, raising the temperature inside affects kid’s moods, your productivity and increases everyone’s GCF (General Crankiness Factor). Though largely taken for granted and rarely appreciated until it’s gone – cool, air-conditioned Arizona air inside your home makes summers in Phoenix livable.

Timing Is Everything

It actually makes sense to purchase a new HVAC system at the end of the year because winter is the perfect season for new air conditioner installations. January, February and March tend to be less busy and houses remain at a comfortable temperature while the old air conditioner is being removed and the new unit is being installed. Our experienced service technicians will perform a thorough AC assessment for your home and provide you with options and a detailed plan including a timeline, if you decide you’d like to opt for a new system.

No Need for a New Air Conditioner? Try These Gifts for Temperature-Sensitive Family Members

There are a number of climate comfort gifts this holiday season, including:

  • Wi-fi Enabled Smart Thermostats – Because most thermostats tend to be tremendously reliable, homeowners rarely think about replacing them. However, new smart, wi-fi enabled thermostats are changing the way we cool, heat and control our home temperature. They not only allow you to heat or cool your home more efficiently, they help you save money on energy costs and even let you adjust settings from your phone. A great tech gift for dad which will benefit the whole family.
  • Ceiling Fans – This is not a new or high tech gift but installing ceiling fans can make a huge difference in your home. Ceiling fans not only make rooms more comfortable, they also help lower your energy consumption. Ceiling fans come in numerous styles, shapes and sizes and will add value to your home.
  • Cooling Mattress Pads – Memory foam mattresses have become very popular in the last ten years. However, at night, as you sink into the memory foam, your body tends to generate more heat because there’s less air circulating around your body. Hi tech cooling mattress pads are the answer. This is a “cool” gift for anyone who wakes up feeling too warm.
  • Air Filters – Hey Dad, is it time to change the air filters? Here’s a new set, just for fun!

Happy Holidays from All of Us at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating

If you’ve been considering a new air conditioner for your home, now is a great time to call and schedule an HVAC system evaluation. Our experienced service professionals will assess your current system and your needs and present you with options and information, so you can make the best decision. Call us today.

The Heat Is On: What Is the Best Heating System for Your Arizona Home?

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As the holidays approach, the tree, lights and decorations go up, and the temperatures go down. December days tend to be a pleasant 65 to 70 degrees. However, Arizona winter nights and early mornings can dip into the 40s or below – often chilly enough to require firing up the heater. Many Phoenix area homes were built with gas furnaces. Yet, not all Phoenix neighborhoods are serviced with gas lines. When a gas furnace is not possible, other options include electric furnaces, electric baseboard heaters or a heat pump.

What Is a Heat Pump?

In simplified terms, a heat pump moves or transfers heat from one place to another. In appearance, a heat pump looks almost identical to an air conditioner, and the inner workings are very similar. There is, however, one pivotal difference. A heat pump contains a reversing valve which allows it to pull heat from the outdoors and “pump” it indoors. Heat pumps are very energy efficient and take advantage of naturally occurring heat in the outside air. Furnaces burn fuel to create heat which is then blown into your home. Heat pumps are often considered an excellent option for Arizona homes especially if gas lines are not available.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages Between a Heat Pump and a Gas Furnace?

Heat pumps are a clean source of energy, powered by electricity. Furnaces burn gas, which is cheaper, but like any fossil fuel, results in exhaust containing carbon monoxide which can be dangerous. Heat pumps run year-round while gas furnaces are in use for a few short months during winter. A gas furnace may last for 20 to 30 years while a heat pump will have a much shorter life span. The truth is, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. Our expert service technicians will be happy to explain the pros and cons to you during a home consultation.

Do Heat Pumps Work When It’s Really Cold?

Heat pumps are popular in Arizona because the winters are very mild. Extracting heat from the air tends to work best at 40 degrees and above. When the temperature dips into the 30s or below freezing, a heat pump may not be able to provide all the warm air needed to heat your home. Many heat pump systems include a secondary system – an air handler with electric heating coils which warm the air and heat up your home to whatever temperature you desire.

When It Comes to Heat – We’ve Got You Covered

If your old furnace needs to be replaced or if you’re considering installing a new heat pump, why not give us a call. Our friendly experts have decades of experience heating and cooling Arizona homes. We will perform a thorough inspection of your current HVAC system and provide you with options, so you can make an informed decision about what’s right for your home. Call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating today.