Author Archives: Bruce's Air Conditioning

A woman blowing her nose in a living room, possibly due to a cold or allergies.

Air Conditioning Smells Not to Ignore

Arizona summers are full of blazing sunshine, poolside lounging, and the sweet relief of cranking up the AC. But what if your air conditioner’s cool breeze is accompanied by an unwelcome odor? Certain smells can signal trouble brewing in your AC unit. Here’s a guide to Arizona AC odors that warrant turning off your system and calling your local professional HVAC company.

Burning Rubber or Plastic:

This pungent odor is a red flag. It indicates overheating electrical components, a malfunctioning motor, or a burning fan blade. Continued use can lead to serious damage and even fire hazards. Shut off your AC at the breaker and call an HVAC technician immediately.

Musty or Mildew:

This is a common complaint in Arizona, especially when first firing up the AC after the cooler months. The culprit? Moisture build-up in your air conditioner’s drain pan and lines. This damp environment is a breeding ground for mold and mildew, leading to that unpleasant “dirty sock” smell. While not an immediate fire hazard, it can worsen allergies and irritate respiratory issues. Regular cleaning and professional HVAC system maintenance can prevent this.

Sweet, Chemical Scent:

This could be a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant is the coolant that keeps your AC humming. Leaks not only compromise cooling efficiency but can also pose health risks. This odor requires immediate attention from a qualified technician.

Dead Animal:

Yes, you read that right. Unfortunately, critters like rodents can crawl into your AC unit seeking refuge from the heat, only to meet an unfortunate end. The resulting smell is unmistakable. Turn off your AC, open windows for ventilation, and call a pest control company followed by a local HVAC technician to remove the deceased critter and ensure proper cleaning.

Stale or Stuffy Air:

This might not be a burning-electrical-components kind of problem, but it’s still an issue. A lack of fresh air circulation within your AC system can lead to stale, stuffy air. This could be caused by clogged air filters, dirty ducts, or improper ventilation. Regular filter changes, professional duct cleaning, and ensuring proper airflow throughout your home can combat this.

Call Bruce’s:

Remember, ignoring unusual air conditioning smells can lead to more significant problems down the road. By being familiar with these warning signs and taking prompt action, you can ensure your Valley of the Sun home stays cool, comfortable, and most importantly, safe. Call your experts today at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating at 480-968-5652 to schedule your appointment.

Air Quality Index (AQI) displayed on a hand-held device, indicating the level of air pollution.

Breathing Easy in the Desert Thanks to Your HVAC System


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Phoenix metro might boast year-round sunshine, but when summer heats up, indoor air quality often takes a hit. Stagnant air, hi ozone levels, blooming flowers and trees, and even everyday activities can contribute to a cocktail of pollutants that irritate lungs and impact health. Let’s explore the top culprits threatening your home’s air quality during late winter.

1. Dust, Pollen, and the Dreaded Dust Storm:

As summer monsoon winds pick up, they can whip up dust and pollen, creating a potent respiratory irritant. Closing windows and doors might seem your logical choice, but it traps existing pollutants inside. Investing in an air purifier with a HEPA filter can trap these airborne particles, significantly improving indoor air quality.

2. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs):

These chemicals, emitted from household products like paints, cleaning solutions, and personal care items, can build up indoors, especially with closed windows. You’ll want to opt in for low-VOC alternatives whenever possible, ensure proper ventilation during and after product use, and properly store strong-smelling products outside if possible.

3. Mold and Mildew:

The muggy months of summer with limited ventilation and potential moisture leaks can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew. These microscopic organisms can trigger allergies and respiratory problems. You’ll want to inspect for signs of moisture intrusion, address leaks promptly with your trustworthy local HVAC specialists, and use dehumidifiers to control humidity levels below 55%.

4. Pet Dander and Fur:

While your furry friends bring love and joy, their dander and fur can exacerbate allergies and asthma. Regular grooming, frequent vacuuming, and dedicated pet-free zones can minimize airborne pet allergens. You may want to consider buying air purifiers with HEPA filters specifically designed for pet dander.

5. Carbon Monoxide (CO):

This odorless, colorless gas, a byproduct of combustion, can leak from gas appliances, fireplaces, and even portable generators. Install CO detectors in your home and ensure proper maintenance of all combustion appliances. Regularly testing these detectors is crucial for early detection and prevention of CO poisoning.

Your health and comfort depend on good indoor air quality. At Bruce’s, we believe everyone should be breathing clean indoor air. Our certified technicians are available for questions and concerns 24/7, including all holidays. Call us today at 480-968-5652 to schedule an appointment for specific recommendations and solutions tailored to your home’s unique needs.

Modern ceiling fan with three blades spinning.

Beat the Arizona Heat and Save with Ceiling Fans


When it comes to surviving scorching summer temperatures in Arizona, your HVAC system is probably running on overdrive to keep your home comfortable. But did you know that you could be reducing the workload on your air conditioner while trimming energy costs just by utilizing ceiling fans throughout your living spaces? Fans offer an economical and eco-friendly way to enhance overall cooling and air flow.

Air Circulation Benefits

The key benefit of ceiling fans is their ability to circulate the air and create a wind chill effect that makes you feel several degrees cooler. As the moving air passes over your skin, it increases the evaporation of perspiration and helps you feel more refreshed. This allows you to raise the AC thermostat by a few degrees while still feeling just as comfortable. For every degree you can bump up the temperature, you can save 3-5% on cooling costs.

AC Cooperation

Ceiling fans don’t actually lower the temperature in a room – their secret is helping the cool air your HVAC system produces get dispersed more evenly throughout that space. Fans push down a concentrated flow of air to prevent hot and cold pockets. This allows your air conditioner to cycle off sooner since it won’t need to work as hard to overcome heat stratification.

Summer and Winter Help

Most quality ceiling fans feature a reverse switch that allows you to alternate the blade rotation direction between seasons. In summer, blades should spin counterclockwise to push air straight down in a cooling breeze. In winter, switch to clockwise rotation which pulls cooler air up from the floor and circulates the rising warm air outward.

Energy Savings Potential

Just how much energy and money can ceiling fans save? Most models use about the same wattage as a single LED light bulb. Running continuously during peak cooling seasons, ceiling fans only cost $40-$80 annually in added electric costs. However, they can slash your air conditioning energy usage by 25-35% by reducing run time and allowing you to nudge the thermostat upward.

This summer don’t just rely on air conditioning to stay cool in Arizona’s triple-digit heat. Ceiling fans are invaluable at making your HVAC system work smarter, not harder. At Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, we are experts at repairing, maintaining, or replacing your cooling and heating equipment. Call us today at 480-968-5652 to schedule an appointment. It’s always cool with Bruce’s!

Gray air conditioner mounted on the side of a house.

Keep Your Evaporator Coil Clean for Maximum AC Efficiency this Spring


As a homeowner in Arizona, you know that your air conditioning system is one of the most essential systems in your house, especially as the intense desert heat arrives each spring. But did you know that the condition of one particular component—the evaporator coil— can have a major impact on how efficiently your AC runs all season long? Taking steps to ensure a clean evaporator coil is a smart investment in lowering your home cooling costs.

What Is the Evaporator Coil?

The evaporator coil is a critical part of your HVAC unit’s refrigeration cycle. It’s located inside the air handler, where it absorbs heat from the air blowing over it, causing the refrigerant to evaporate and cool the air before it’s circulated through your home’s ductwork. This cooled air is what makes your living spaces comfortable on those sweltering Arizona days.

Impacts of a Dirty Coil

Over time, the evaporator coil can accumulate dirt, dust, and other airborne contaminants. This buildup acts as insulation, reducing the coil’s ability to effectively absorb heat. As a result, your AC has to work harder to reach the desired temperature, running for longer periods and consuming more electricity. A dirty coil can increase your cooling costs by 30% or more.

Springtime Maintenance Is Key

The spring season is the ideal time to have your HVAC system serviced and the evaporator coil cleaned. As the weather starts to warm up, your cooling needs ramp up quickly. Getting ahead of any potential issues with the coil ensures your AC will be running at peak performance when you need it most. Regular maintenance also helps the entire system reliably operate all summer long.

Don’t Overlook This Critical Component

Your air conditioner’s evaporator coil is an often overlooked but essential component that directly impacts the system’s efficiency. Keeping it clean through regular professional maintenance and occasional DIY upkeep is a simple way to lower your home cooling bills, extend the life of your HVAC equipment, and ensure optimal indoor comfort all spring and summer long. Stay ahead of the Arizona heat by prioritizing evaporator coil care!

Call Bruce’s Today

At Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, our experienced technicians can service your evaporator coil and your entire HVAC system. Call us today at 480-968-5652 to schedule an appointment. We’re here 24/7 to answer all of your questions.

A thermometer against a blue sky, indicating the temperature.

Beat the Phoenix Metro Heat: Why Spring is Prime Time for AC Maintenance


Valley of the Sun residents know all too well the scorching summers that define the Arizona desert. During springtime with our great temperatures, it’s easy to forget about the looming heat. But this is precisely the time to schedule your air conditioning maintenance. Here are some of the important reasons why.

Avoid Summer Breakdowns:

Imagine the misery of a broken AC unit during a Phoenix summer. Spring maintenance acts like a preventative checkup for your AC. Technicians can identify minor issues before they snowball into major breakdowns, leaving you cool and comfortable when the heat arrives.

Save Money on Energy Bills:

A well-maintained AC runs more efficiently. Dust, dirt, and clogged filters can hinder airflow, forcing your unit to work harder and use more energy. A spring tune-up ensures your AC is operating at peak performance, potentially reducing your energy bills by up to 15%.

Extend the Lifespan of Your AC:

Think of your AC like a car. Regular maintenance keeps it running smoothly and extends its lifespan. Catching minor problems early can prevent them from turning into expensive repairs or even a complete AC replacement down the line.

Improve Indoor Air Quality:

With dust storms and high pollen counts, a neglected AC can struggle to filter these allergens, impacting your indoor air quality. Spring maintenance includes cleaning the air filters and coils, ensuring cleaner and healthier air for you and your family to breathe.

Spring vs. Summer Rush:

Scheduling maintenance during spring allows technicians ample time to diagnose and address any issues your HVAC may be experiencing. Waiting until the peak of summer can lead to longer wait times and potentially higher equipment costs due to increased demand.

Spring Cleaning for Your AC:

Just like you clean your house in spring, your AC deserves a refresh too. A spring tune-up is like spring cleaning for your AC, ensuring it’s operating efficiently and ready to tackle the summer season.

By prioritizing spring maintenance for your AC unit, you’re investing in your comfort, saving money, and extending the life of your appliance. Don’t wait until the summer heat arrives. At Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, we are here to answer all of your AC maintenance questions.Call us today at 480-968-5652 to schedule your home visit from our experienced technicians. As a locally owned business, Bruce’s is committed to servicing your HVAC system day or night.