Category Archives: Air Conditioning

Spring Training for Your Air Conditioning System

This year, the vernal equinox or first official day of spring is on March 19th. However, Arizona residents know the real change of seasons occurs in mid-February when Major League Baseball’s spring training camps open. While the rest of the country counts the weeks until winter’s end, thousand of baseball fans from all over the world flock to Phoenix for Cactus League practices and games. Baseball players utilize February and March to work themselves into shape while pitchers knock the rust off their fastballs. Likewise, early spring is the perfect time for homeowners to get a jump on HVAC maintenance and make sure their air conditioner in tip top form for the summer season ahead.

Here’s a brief list of items for a spring HVAC checkup:

  • Replace Air Filters

    Checking and replacing your air filters on a regular basis makes good sense. Clean air filters trap pollutants and particulates as air recirculates through your HVAC system. People with allergies, respiratory issues and pets should install new air filters at least six times per year and ideally more often. Air filters improve your indoor air quality and make your air conditioner run more efficiently.

  • Does Your AC Unit Pass the Smell Test?

    Your air conditioner has been sitting idle during the winter months, so it’s a good idea to perform a smell test and check for standing water, mildew and mold. We often receive calls in spring when people first turn on their air conditioners with questions about the dirty socks smell emanating from AC vents. Even if the odor is faint, it’s not something to ignore. The mildew smell is an indicator that you have leaking water somewhere within your system.

  • Ducts and Dust

    One part of your HVAC system that is often overlooked, HVAC ducts are glossed over because they’re hidden behind walls and ceilings and are difficult to reach. However, dust and dirt can build up inside your air ducts and directly impact the quality of air inside your home. Given that summer is coming, when people spend most of their time indoors, having clean ducts can make a huge difference. Also, leaking ducts can cost you bucks! Losing cold air through leaks in your duct system impairs the efficiency of your AC.

  • Let One of Our Experienced Professionals Perform a Spring Training Checkup on Your System

    Our friendly and knowledgeable AC pros are ready to perform a spring checkup on your air conditioner so you’re ready for summer. Give Bruce’s a call today!

Why Winter Is the Right Season to Install a New Air Conditioner

It’s sweater season – even here in the Valley of the Sun. You probably aren’t thinking about the state of your air conditioner since it won’t be needed for at least a couple of months. But, if you have an aging HVAC system that you struggled with last season, you may want to consider a replacement before spring comes.

At Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, we’re here for all your HVAC needs, including installations, all year long. So, doesn’t it just make sense to plan for an air conditioner installation when it’s a cool 70 degrees outside? It’s an undeniably stressful situation when your air conditioner suddenly fails in the scorching heat of the summer. By taking a planned approach to your HVAC system, we can come out and provide you with a free quote, answer all your questions and install your new unit when it suits your schedule.

A new air conditioner is an investment. So, why not take the time now, when it’s still cool, to evaluate SEER ratings, learn about your insulation options, obtain an energy audit, and find out about rebates and discounts? All these things can greatly impact what you pay up front, as well as what you’ll be paying later in terms of your utility bills.

Another consideration is the newly enacted ban on R22 (Freon). If your unit is more than 10 years old, it may still be running on this now banned refrigerant. This means higher repair bills if you need refrigerant replacement.

Perhaps, Benjamin Franklin said it best – “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Why not plan your air conditioner installation before the summer hits and save yourself money, time and hassle? We’re here to help you and can present all your options. And we’re happy to evaluate your system to determine if replacement is even the best decision. Our goal is to do what’s best for you whether it’s replace or repair. Call us today and prepare for a cool, comfortable summer season ahead.

Purchasing an Air Conditioning System Before the End of the Year

As the end of the year draws near, many Phoenix residents set time aside to prepare their home for the holidays. Thanksgiving decorations are pulled out of storage bins, Christmas lights are put up, and houses are decked out for parties and family visits. Around this time of year, we often receive calls from customers who want to purchase a new HVAC system before the end of the year.

What’s the Rush – Why Purchase Before New Year’s Eve?

There are a variety of reasons to purchase a new air conditioner in December. The EPA’s ban on R22 takes effect on January 1st, which means older AC units (manufactured before 2009) are using outdated, ozone depleting R22 Freon and need to be upgraded. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to replace the entire unit. However, you may want to consider stepping up to a new, energy efficient air conditioner for 2020. Some Phoenix residents experienced a rough summer with sub-par performance from an air conditioner that has seen better days and want their unit replaced. Still others just want to give their family the gift of fresh air and cool comfort as a holiday gift. Whatever the reason, we’ve got you covered.

Here are a few important details to keep in mind if you are planning a big purchase before the end of the year:

  • What Are the Key Points to Consider?

    Take time to review your past utility bills and add up repair expenses for the last three years. If your current AC unit has a low SEER rating or if you’ve had multiple major repair bills exceeding thousands of dollars, it may be time to replace.

  • Higher SEER Rating = Lower Monthly Electric Bills

    Check the purchase date and SEER rating on your old unit. If your SEER rating is below 10-12, calculate the potential savings if you replace with a new, more energy efficient AC unit with a higher SEER rating. It may surprise you to learn how much you can save. Our friendly service techs can perform an overall evaluation of your HVAC needs and help you determine the size necessary to efficiently cool and heat your home. Avoid purchasing an oversized air conditioner, which can cause problems – bigger is not always better.

  • Work with Professionals

    Researching options and choosing a new HVAC system for your home can be a daunting process. Our advice is don’t try to do it all on your own. Our experienced pro’s can guide you through the process and just so you know, we don’t always advise buying a new system. We will assess your needs and help you make the right decision.

  • December 31st Will Be Here Before You Know It

    We all get busy with holiday parties and happenings in December. If you’re considering a new system purchase before the end of the year, why not call us today and start the process with a consultation with one of our HVAC experts – and happy holidays!

Understanding the Upcoming Ban on R22 Freon

In less than 60 days, a new law will enforce a complete ban on the production and importation of R22 refrigerant, the refrigerant that has been widely used in the air conditioning industry for decades. While the benefits of this ban are clear, it will help protect the earth’s ozone layer, it does cause some challenges for homeowners with aging HVAC systems.

As of January 1, 2020, there will only be a limited supply of recycled or existing quantities of R22. So, if you have an older system, you may want to start considering your options now.

Do Nothing

If your current HVAC system has an air conditioning unit with R22, you don’t necessarily have to do anything immediately. If it’s running fine without any refrigerant leaks, you can cross your fingers and hope that things remain the same for now. However, it’s important to note that if and when you need refrigerant, the cost of stockpiled R22 is skyrocketing, and it’s unclear how long there will continue to be a supply at all.

Retrofit Your Existing Air Conditioner

The newer, legal refrigerant available is R410A, called Puron. Air conditioners can be retrofitted to use this type of refrigerant, but this comes at a cost. If your system is already on the decline, it may not be your best option. At Bruce’s, we’re happy to assess the condition of your air conditioner to determine if it’s a possible candidate for retrofitting.

Replace Your System with a New Air Conditioner

Yes, new air conditioners can dip into your budget. However, replacing an older air conditioner that uses R22 with a new, more energy-efficient model that uses R410A will save you monthly on your utility bill. And, you won’t have to be rolling the dice with an aging system that will eventually break down. Contact us for a free estimate and to learn about your financing options.

The switch to non-ozone depleting refrigerants is a good thing, and we support this shift. And as your HVAC experts, we’re here to help you through this transition while ensuring the function and efficiency of your air conditioner.

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners – Not Just for Cooling

Ductless mini-split air conditioners are becoming a popular home cooling choice for many Phoenix residents – especially for room additions, garage workshops, home offices or anywhere air conditioning ducts are not a viable option. What may come as a surprise to many homeowners is these energy efficient units also do an excellent job of heating, especially in regions of the country with moderate winters, like the Southwest.

What Makes Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners Different?

So there would be no confusion, manufacturers labeled their number one product advantage right up front – ductless. No air ducts or venting systems are needed for these units. When properly installed and maintained, traditional air ducts provide the conventional pathways for cooled or heated air to be dispersed throughout your house from your HVAC unit.

However, air ducts are not always the most energy efficient way to reach every area of the house. In fact, leaky air ducts can cause a loss of up to 40 percent of cooled air. With ductless systems, being installed directly in the room where cool or warm air is needed, there is virtually no loss in the process. Ductless mini-split air conditioners also take up a relatively small amount of space and require only a small hole to the outside condenser, which makes them less of a security risk than window air conditioners.

When considering a ductless mini-split system for your home, keep these advantages in mind:

  • Energy Savers

    Ductless mini-split systems are big energy savers and have high SEER ratings. SEER ratings indicate the energy efficiency of various air conditioners. Because there is no loss of air through vents and due to their energy efficient inverter-driven compressors design, ductless mini-split systems can save you up to 30 percent on your monthly utility bills.

  • Remote Controlled

    Most units come with a hand-held remote control that also serves as a thermostat. This is very convenient for night-time adjustments or changing the setting from your easy chair.

  • Wall and Ceiling Units

    Ductless mini-split units can be installed on your walls or in the ceiling. Ceiling units are popular in kitchen installations. Multiple units can run inside the home from one outside condenser. These units are remarkably quiet and blend in well with their surroundings.

Learn More About Ductless Mini-split Systems

Ductless mini-split air conditioners have proven to be an excellent option for many of our customers. If you’d like more information on these innovative units, please give us a call.