Author Archives: Bruce's Air Conditioning

4 HVAC Smells Not to Ignore

This entry was posted in HVAC on by .

Have you noticed an unusual smell coming from your HVAC system – either from the unit itself or the vents? Until now the system has circulated clean, odorless air throughout your house.

You’re concerned and have questions. Does this smell indicate a problem? Is it a health risk? It’s not uncommon the first time your system is turned on for the season to have an odor. This is normal when switching from heating to air conditioning. Some bad aromas though require urgent attention. Here are four reasons why the HVAC system might be producing an unpleasant smell or stench.

Problem 1: Mildew or Mold

Have you noticed a musty smell emanating from your vents? It’s possible there is mold growth within the ductwork. There’s condensation within the unit, and when moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can migrate into the ducts and create mold growth. Moisture trapped in the AC unit can rapidly grow into harmful bacteria and distribute spores and mold while it runs. This not only creates an unpleasant smell throughout your home, it can also trigger allergies and worsen asthma symptoms.

Pro Tip: An HVAC professional can find the source of the buildup, clean it up, and ensure the unit provides clean air.

Problem 2: Burning Smell

Electrical odors are one of the most common, and worrisome HVAC smells. There could be a wiring issue, a circuit board malfunction, or your motor may be burning out. A dirty air filter can also restrict air flow and overheat electrical components. If the burning odor is continuous, it may indicate a mechanical issue with the AC fan or compressor.

Pro Tip: If you’re not a professional electrician, don’t try to fix the problem yourself! Turn off the AC unit and call your HVAC expert right away.

Problem 3: Refrigerant Leak

Are you smelling something like nail polish remover in your home air? Have you also noticed that your air conditioner is not cooling your home even though the fans are blowing? A refrigerant leak can create a smell like acetone that permeates your indoor air. If your system is old or hasn’t been properly maintained, the AC coil may have developed cracks or small holes. A refrigerant leak can decrease the performance of your unit, increase energy consumption, and release hazardous chemicals into the environment.

Pro Tip: If you suspect a leak, leave the inspection to professionals trained in safe refrigerant handling practices.

Problem 4: Rotten Smells

Rotten smells may be the result of dead rodents, lizards, birds, or other critters stuck in the air conditioning system. Over time, animals can decay and emit unpleasant odors. And turning on the AC discharges the foul smell into your home.

Pro Tip: A technician can locate the specific duct where the stench is and remove the critter, checking ductwork and sealing entry points.

Early detection and preventative maintenance are the best ways to avoid foul odors and keep your HVAC system running properly. Next time you smell an unpleasant odor in your home, call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating at 480-968-5652.

4 Signs You Should Replace Your Air Conditioner Before Summer Hits

Deciding when to repair or replace your air conditioner can sometimes be a challenging decision for a homeowner to make. Like pouring money into an old car, at some point it becomes financially sensible to replace your unit. To make the right decision, you’ll want to watch for a few specific signs that signal a looming HVAC failure. Yes, this is an expensive decision and best made before your unit breaks down on a 110-degree day, and you’re forced to quickly replace the unit. By paying close attention to the performance of your older AC unit, you can proactively prepare to purchase a new air conditioner.

Here are four signs your AC unit is ready to be replaced.

Your Unit is More Than 10 Years Old

If your AC system is aging out, it may be time to think about replacing it with a new unit before summer. An air conditioner typically has a lifespan of 10-15 years. Outdoor AC units are exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations, and its mechanical parts can become outdated or obsolete. Depending how often your unit runs, how frequently it is maintained, and if the size of the unit is correct for your home, you may need to replace it. More often than not, the cost of a new unit will be less than what you’ll spend on frequent repairs.

Your Air Conditioner Breaks Down More Often

Is your air conditioner making strange noises or breaking down on a regular basis? It may be telling you it’s time for a replacement. Especially if your warranty has expired, it may be more economical to buy a quieter, more energy efficient unit.

Your Utility Bills Have Skyrocketed

Your energy bills should be relatively consistent with the highest bills in the summer. If your usage habits stay the same but your monthly bill mysteriously increases, it may be a signal that it’s time to replace it.. Increased energy costs mean diminishing energy efficiency.

Your AC Unit Uses R-22 Freon

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) phased out the use of this specific refrigerant because of its harmful effects on the ozone January 1, 2020. If your old AC has a refrigerant leak, your technician may not be able to refill it with Freon. By replacing the unit, you’ll be saving the environment and decreasing energy costs.

Considering an AC replacement? Don’t wait another day. Call Bruce’s today at 480-968-5652 for a free estimate.

3 Common HVAC System Myths

This entry was posted in HVAC on by .

You probably know the basic components of your HVAC system – an air conditioner, heating (in the form of a heat pump or furnace), vents, ductwork, and a thermostat. Yet, you may not be as savvy when it comes to how HVAC systems actually work or what they require to function properly. There are common misconceptions that many homeowners share. At Bruce’s, we’re here to dispel these myths and provide the facts to enable you to gain the maximum comfort and efficiency from your system.

Myth #1: You only need to get an HVAC tune up every two to five years.

Do you think HVAC systems don’t need yearly maintenance? Think again! The fact is your system needs to have regular servicing, including tune ups, inspections, and cleanings. If you skip regular maintenance, you may be surprised to find yourself with a system that loses function during the hottest time of the year—just when you need it most.

Pro Tip: Spring is an optimal time for HVAC maintenance. Call Bruce’s today to schedule a tune up of your system.

Myth #2: Your House Cools Down Faster by Turning Down Your Thermostat to the Lowest Setting

Are you enticed to turn your thermostat to the lowest setting to quickly cool your home? Unfortunately, air conditioners don’t work like that. Your AC will run continuously wasting costly energy and possibly damaging the HVAC compressor which can shorten its lifespan. You want your home to be cool and comfortable, not freezing cold.

Pro Tip: To stay comfortable and save money this summer, follow the US Department of Energy guidelines by setting your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home.

Myth #3: It’s Common to See Ice on Your AC Unit

You’d think because an air conditioner sends out cold air, it would be natural for some ice to show up on the unit. But ice is actually an indicator of a problem. Typically, ice buildup on a unit means either a clogged filter, dirty evaporator coil, or a refrigerant issue.

Pro Tip: Dirty air filters can sometime block air from returning to the inside unit, causing ice to form. Try changing your air filter to increase airflow as a simple troubleshooting technique.

Rely on Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating – Your Local HVAC Expert

Bruce’s technicians are here to help with HVAC maintenance, repairs, and installations. We’ve heard all the misconceptions before and are happy to provide clear, understandable answers to all your questions.

Why You Shouldn’t Tackle DIY HVAC Maintenance

This entry was posted in Maintenance on by .

So you consider yourself handy with a hammer and skilled with a screwdriver. That’s great! You can save yourself a considerable amount of money with even basic handyman skills. However, HVAC maintenance and repairs simply shouldn’t be considered as DIY-friendly. In fact, these tasks should only be left to trained and experienced service professionals, or you could be risking damage to your HVAC system, your home, or even yourself.

Here are the reasons why DIY HVAC is never a good idea.

1. HVAC Systems Require Special Equipment

Both maintenance and repairs of HVAC equipment require specialized tools and equipment that are built specifically for professional HVAC technicians. Common toolbox tools simply won’t get the job done.

2. Safety Concerns

Heating and cooling systems include flammable, pressurized gas, high electrical voltage, toxic combustion fumes and other dangerous items that have the potential of causing injury or even death. And improper work by someone untrained can pose an ongoing risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning for the operational duration of the system.

3. Decreased Efficiency

DIY repairs are likely to lead to substandard operational efficiency. System components, that are no longer performing up to manufacturer standards, ultimately lead to higher monthly operating costs in the way of utility bills. And there’s always the chance that you can turn a minor problem into something major unknowingly, which can lead to expensive repairs down the road.

4. Voided Warranty

Manufacturer warranties typically require proof that all maintenance and repairs are performed by qualified HVAC contractors. If you want to maintain your warranty, don’t do the job yourself.

Call Bruce’s Instead

We understand that it can be tempting to attempt a DIY project like HVAC maintenance, but we highly encourage you to put that wrench down and call Bruce’s instead at 480-968-5652. We offer convenient appointments with friendly technicians who can answer your questions and provide the quality service that your HVAC system deserves.

How to Select the Right Air Filter for Your Home

With spring just around the corner, it’s a smart time to replace one of the most essential components of your HVAC system – the air filter. An HVAC filters most basic function is to remove impurities from the air within your home and protect your HVAC system from damage. But there is more than one option when it comes to choosing a filter.


These are the most common and inexpensive filters. Fiberglass air filters are effective in trapping large air particles, but they’re not the best choice for catching dust and other pollutants like pet dander from indoor air. If you have allergies or other common respiratory problems, you should consider using a higher-grade filter.


Pleated filters are remarkably effective at trapping small particles and provide better filtration than fiberglass, as they’re made from dense screens of cotton or polyester. The pleats provide more surface area for filtration and allow for more air contaminates to be trapped. Both fiberglass and pleated filters should be changed out at least once every three months.

Washable (Reusable)

Washable, reusable air filters can save you money in the long run even though they cost more than disposable fiberglass or pleated filters. They can be easily cleaned by hosing them down or vacuumed to remove particle buildup. In other words, you don’t need to replace them. But, it’s important to clean them according to the recommended schedule provided by the manufacturer. You’ll want to ensure the filter is completely dry before using it to prevent mold and bacteria growth.


Electrostatic air filters trap more particles, including smoke, dust, and pollen particulates through electrostatic charge. This type of filter prevents these particulates from entering your home. Electrostatic filters can be one-time disposable use or washable. The washable electrostatic air filters are eco-friendly but can lose their electrostatic charge over time resulting in decreased ability to catch small particles.


High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are a great choice for homeowners with allergies, respiratory issues, or compromised immune systems. They consistently remove up to 99.97% of household contaminants 0.3 microns or larger in size. The US Department of Energy recommends this type of filter in homes and businesses.


UV filters eliminate microscopic elements by using ultraviolet light to kill viruses, bacteria, or mold that can be harmful. This type of filter has become more popular during COVID-19 and can kill microorganisms that other filters cannot. However, it’s important to note that UV filters will not remove dust or most allergens. The best way to clean your home air is a system using both a UV filter and a standard air filter.

Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating is your go-to HVAC service company for all your home’s heating and air conditioning needs. Schedule a visit by one of our experts today.