Category Archives: Air Conditioning

5 AC Expert Tips to Help You Stay Cooler Inside

We all know that living in Arizona is hot. Excessive heat warnings seem like a weekly occurrence, and summers seem longer than ever. Those of us living here year-round know when the National Weather Service issues a heat warning, it’s best to stay indoors, if possible, drink more water, and check on the well-being of family, friends, and neighbors. But what can be done to keep our inside temperatures comfortable? Here are five ways to stay cool without having to adjust your thermostat.

1. Block Sunlight

An important strategy to maintain cool indoor temperatures is to block out as much direct sunlight from entering your home. Installing solar-blocking blinds, shades, or curtains and closing them in the east in the morning, south during the midday, and in the west in the afternoon and evening can have a dramatic impact on how hot your home gets. Installing solar or sunscreen shades inside your home’s windows or outside your home is an easy, cost-effective way of cutting down on the heat produced by the sun.

2. Turn on Ceiling and Floor Fans

Ceiling and floor fans are essential—being easy to turn on when needed, cost-efficient, and not power hungry. Fans will not only increase the body’s natural evaporation rate of water, making you feel cooler, but will also mix the air and prevent hot/cold spots from forming. That blowing air will disturb the microclimate just above your skin surface, blowing away the hot air and helping you feel cool. Best of all, fans can lower the indoor temperature by up to four degrees. In other words, it’s a simple but effective summer cooling strategy.

3. Cook Cool

When you’re trying to keep your home cool in summer, it’s a good idea to not have any sources of heat in your house on during the day. Bake in the morning or after sunset. Or try eating lighter foods like sandwiches, salads, and stir-fry that don’t require the use of the oven.

4. Swap Out Light Bulbs

Take advantage of natural light. Replace any incandescent bulbs as they are very inefficient. Most of the energy they use creates heat, not light. If you’ve ever changed a bulb right after it blew out, you know they get blazing hot. Installing LED or fluorescent lighting will cut down on that heat and on your monthly electricity bill. The price of LED lights has rapidly dropped in recent years, and these bulbs are often smart bulbs allowing integration with apps and may be part of a comprehensive security solution for your home.

5. Schedule AC Maintenance

Another way to keep your home cool is to have your HVAC system serviced on a regular basis. Preventative maintenance will keep your AC unit running at peak levels and help keep your electric bill low.

Before turning down your thermostat, try these methods and see if they work for you. Give your professionals at Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating a call today at 480-968-5652. We’re your local Arizona HVAC experts.

Two AC Units for Two-Story Homes

In the Metro Phoenix area, there are plenty of neighborhoods that primarily have two-story homes. These include many of the newer communities in Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Laveen, Surprise, Buckeye, Avondale, and Peoria. While these homes are perfect for growing families, they can be challenging to keep room temperatures consistent with a single air conditioning unit.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Two HVAC Units

The primary issue is one of warm air rising. Usually, second level rooms will be hotter than the rest of the home, leading to one part of the house being too warm or too cold. When air conditioning units are installed for each floor, you can sustain comfortable temperatures in every room. This increases comfort, saves on energy bills, and keeps everyone in the family happy.

When your home has one air conditioning unit, you must keep every area cool at the same time. When you install a second HVAC unit, you can choose to cool only the upstairs bedrooms in the evening. Two units allows for you to turn off your upstairs AC unit when you are going to be away or mostly downstairs.

Another advantage of two air conditioning units is if one unit stops working due to monsoon storms or malfunction, you can keep your home comfortably cool while waiting for repairs to be made.

The downside? Two units double your chances of a system failure and may increase your repair costs over the lifespan of the units. Two air conditioning units are also more expensive than one to purchase, install, and maintain. However, the cost difference sometimes is not as high as you think. This is because you will need two smaller units instead of one larger unit to cool your entire residence. The additional cost of the second HVAC unit can also be offset by the ongoing energy savings. Of course, this depends on your home’s floorplan, square footage, and how you plan to use the additional air conditioner.

Another Solution: One HVAC Unit and Two Thermostats

An alternate option would be to install one zoned AC unit with two thermostats. A zoned system utilizes dampers within the ductwork that open and close to control the temperature and flow of air within each zone. This type of system costs more than a regular zone-less system, but the energy savings can be substantial over the lifespan of your unit.

Call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating today for a free estimate on cooling equipment for your home at 480-968-5652. We’re your HVAC experts.

In Arizona, Air Conditioning is Vital

With summer now in mid-swing, some states are experiencing their third or even fourth heatwave. Here in Arizona, we endured a severe heatwave in mid-June before summer officially started due to a massive heat dome sitting over the state. And more is sure to come before fall kicks into gear.

The July 15th U.S. Drought Monitor Western US map estimates that over 59 million people are living in drought conditions. In the Sonoran Desert, during a prolonged summer heatwave, the intensity of the stifling, triple-digit temperatures will make you gasp for air when you step outside in the heat of the afternoon sun. Is it possible that this summer will be hotter than last summer with the “non-soon” monsoon? Turns out, cool air is not only a luxury, but often a lifesaver.

Air conditioners do more than provide comfort in the Valley of the Sun. Sometimes, they literally save lives! The combination of scorching heat, forest fires, a global pandemic and extreme drought conditions makes for an uncomfortable summer. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, supplies of AC units and parts are in short supply worldwide. And many factories are running at 50% capacity. Components used in air conditioning units like steel, copper, aluminum, and duct work parts are experiencing shortages.

There has not been any type of AC system parts situation like this ever. The equipment and parts shortage are an issue for all HVAC manufacturing companies. It’s not specific to any brand or unit. This has impacted contractors, home builders, suppliers, businesses, and homeowners. As the summer heat pushes your AC system to the limit, the pandemic shortage has the potential to delay repairs. If you need your unit checked, fixed, or replaced, take care of it now.

Is Your AC System Ready?

Most homeowners rarely consider their AC until something goes wrong. The Maytag repairman might be the loneliest guy in town, but when a heatwave hits the Valley of the Sun, air conditioning repair people are in high demand! If your system has not been checked in recent months, your home feels uncomfortably warm even with the AC running, or you hear unusual sounds from your unit, don’t put off calling for service from local professionals.

Our skilled technicians will examine your entire HVAC system and give you peace of mind for the rest of the summer. Call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating for servicing. Don’t take air conditioning for granted. Call us today at 480-968-5652.

Dust and How Your Air Conditioner Can Help Reduce It

It’s just a fact—dust collects everywhere inside Arizona homes. No matter how often you clean your house, this fine particulate matter scatters onto appliances, furniture, bedding, carpet, flooring, blinds, and curtains. Composed of dirt, lint, pollen, animal and human skin cells, organic fibers, and anything that can break down, dust is just a fact of life—especially in the desert. And keeping dust accumulation under control requires more than flicking surfaces with a feather duster. In fact, what keeps your home cool and comfortable in the summer is an important part of reducing dust. Yes, it’s your air conditioner.

So, how can you ensure your air conditioning system is doing its role in combatting dust? Keep reading.

Ductwork

The beautiful Sonoran Desert is one extremely dusty place to live. Ductwork not properly sealed or damaged can pull in dust, hot air, suspended particulate matter, such as pollen and dust mites, and even attic insulation. When the air conditioning system is running, it can operate like a vacuum cleaner bringing debris and dust inside and distributing it throughout your home. Damaged and leaking ductwork may even be the cause of return airflow not passing through the HVAC system air filter.

Look at the grills and vents inside your home. Do you spot dust or dirt around the vents and grills? Gaps between the ductwork and the ceiling line can cause dust to be pulled in from your living spaces.

Air Filters

Improving indoor air quality is important for reducing dust and controlling allergens. Clean HVAC air filters are key to removing dust particles from your home’s air. Installing a higher efficiency air filter with a MERV rating of 9 will filter most pollens, dust mites, mold spores, and carpet fibers. A MERV rating of 16 will also filter bacteria, tobacco smoke, and pet dander. Changing your air filter more often than the recommended every three months may further reduce indoor dust for those with seasonal allergies or lung diseases such as asthma and COPD. After dusting your house, run your HVAC fan for 15 minutes to allow your indoor air to cycle through your air filtration system.

If you have any questions about how best to reduce household dust, contact our HVAC experts. Give us a call at 480-968-5652, and we will be happy to schedule a service call to get your house ready for the summer.

What Makes for a Great Air Conditioning System in Arizona?

The extreme hot temperatures in Arizona from spring to fall can overpower an AC system. In the Phoenix Metro area, when it’s above 100 degrees, the saying goes “stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay informed.” With excessive heat warnings starting to be issued soon from the National Weather Service, your AC will be working overtime to keep your home cool.

If you’re looking to install a new HVAC system or replace an outdated AC unit, here’s what to keep top of mind.

System Performance Speeds

Do you need a single speed, two-stage, or an AC system with variable speed compressors? Single stage systems are the least efficient as they always run at 100% capacity. These units turn on and off frequently. If your AC unit is more than 15 years old, this might be the system installed—certainly not the most cost-effective or energy efficient system for Phoenix metro homes.

Two-stage compressors prevent temperatures in your home from going too high or too low, usually within one or two degrees of the thermostat setting. Running at high speed (full capacity) on the hottest days and low speed (medium capacity) for other days, these systems cycle on and off less frequently than single speed compressors.

A variable speed system is a smart option for Phoenix homes where daytime temperatures can vary widely, especially during monsoon storms. Variable speed AC compressors allow for your system to reach a desired temperature quicker and more efficiently than single speed or two-stage AC systems.
An HVAC expert can help answer all your questions about the best system for your home.

Square Footage Sizing

Finding the right fit is one of the most important steps in selecting an AC system. Would the biggest AC system be the best? Not necessarily. It’s vital to measure the square footage of every room in your house that you’re looking to keep cool. Knowing how much heat per hour your system can remove from your home is an important consideration. This is where a professional can help you determine a properly sized AC system.

When it’s time to upgrade, Bruce’s HVAC professionals can help you choose the right system. Our friendly, knowledgeable technicians have been servicing the Valley of the Sun since 1972. Call us today at 480-968-5652.