Category Archives: Air Conditioning

How Often Should Air Conditioner Coils Be Cleaned?

With summer rapidly approaching, there’s no better time to ensure your air conditioner is up for the challenge of continuous cooling in triple digit heat. For your system to work efficiently, it must be able to transfer heat from inside your home to the outside effectively. If your system’s coils are coated with dirt, dust, and other debris, it can hinder the efficiency of this heat transfer process. This is why coil cleaning, as part of regular HVAC system maintenance, is so important.

Dirty evaporator and condenser coils can seriously impact the efficiency of your air conditioner. In fact, it can increase your energy consumption by up to 30 percent. This means higher monthly utility bills. As well, dirty coils cause a host of other problems, including poor cooling performance, frozen evaporator coils, and compressor overheating.

Preventing Dirty Coils

First and foremost, you’ll want to check your air filter at least once a month and replace it when it’s dirty. A dirty air filter allows dust and debris to gather on the evaporator instead of the air filter, preventing airflow in the system. To keep condenser coils clean, you’ll also want to keep vegetation away from the condenser unit.

Cleaning Coils

Because evaporator and condenser coils can be bent easily, it’s a smart idea to leave the cleaning of coils to the experts. This is something that is performed during routine maintenance. Between visits, you can keep your condenser coils clean by removing large debris and rinsing the coils with a hose, after shutting the power off. The evaporator is more difficult to access and should be cleaned by an air conditioning contractor.

Gain the Benefits of Preventive Maintenance

Along with coil cleaning, regular maintenance also includes identifying and addressing issues that have the potential of turning into major problems. With twice-yearly maintenance, you will not only extend the life of your HVAC system, you’ll also keep your utility costs in check.

Consider an ongoing air conditioning maintenance agreement with Bruce’s. You’ll get the benefits of flexible appointment schedules, savings on maintenance, and discounts on necessary repairs. Call us today to learn more about our HVAC maintenance agreements 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.

So You Want to Move Your Outside AC Unit?

Does your air conditioner sit in an unsightly location in your yard? Can you hear the whirl of your outdoor unit because it’s just a little too close to your bedroom window? There are actually many reasons why homeowners consider moving their AC unit to a new location on their property. If you’ve been contemplating an HVAC relocation project, you probably have questions. And, we have answers.

How difficult is it to move an AC unit?

Among the issues to consider when relocating an air conditioner is the refrigerant line. Prior to relocation, the refrigerant needs to be pumped out, and then the copper lines have to be either replaced or welded to the length necessary to accommodate the new location. The lines also need to be reconnected to the unit with the refrigerant being pumped back in. Moisture in the lines has to be vacuumed out.

Thermostat wiring is another issue, requiring it to be rerun and secured to the unit. And, of course, the new position for the unit must be leveled, and the system restarted.

In other words, this is not a DIY project!

How much does it cost to relocate an AC unit?

Typically, the cost of relocating an air conditioner runs around $1,000, but pricing varies depending on the specifics of the unit and the location. This is why it’s important to budget for this cost if this is part of a larger remodeling or new addition project. We highly encourage you not to try this project yourself if you want to ensure your system continues to operate at peak efficiency.

Who Should You Hire?

Because AC unit relocation is a multi-step, complex project, you’re smart to call an HVAC contractor with both experience and expertise. At Bruce’s, we’ve helped many homeowners with their HVAC relocation projects. And we can help you, too. Want to learn more? Call us today at 480-968-5652.

Is R22 Still Available?

It has been more than a decade since the start of the gradual phase out of the HVAC refrigerant R22. At the beginning of this year, the phase-out was completed, and now the product is no longer being manufactured in the United States. So, what does all this mean for you?

If you have an older air conditioner, we, at Bruce’s, can still obtain parts for it and currently can still obtain R22 from our vendors. Interestingly, some vendors are actually reclaiming refrigerant from older systems for the purpose of resale. But the larger question is, how long will R22 be available?

While we don’t have an exact answer for you, we can tell you with confidence that there is volatility in the price of R22 due to the very clear supply and demand issue. And ultimately, your best option is to replace your older R22 unit with a newer model that uses the new R410a refrigerant. Not only is a new air conditioner far more efficient, it is better for the environment.

Are you on the fence about replacing your tried and true air conditioner? We suggest you ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long will you be in your home?
  • What is the cost of any needed air conditioning repairs?
  • What is the cost of a new unit?
  • If you’ll be selling your home, could a new system increase its value?
  • What’s your current budget?

Based on your answers, you will likely determine whether or not now is the right time to purchase an air conditioner that uses the new, more environmentally-sound refrigerant. Want to learn more about R22 or get a quote on a new air conditioner? Call Bruce’s today at 480-968-5652. We have answers to help you with this, and all your HVAC-related decisions.

Do You Need Two Air Conditioning Units for Your Home?

Does your home require two air conditioners? It’s a common question that our customers ask – particularly those with two-story homes. If you’ve asked yourself this question, we’ve broken down the advantages and disadvantages of having a two-unit system for your home.

The Advantages

Energy Savings

With one air conditioning unit, your entire home must be cooled to obtain an ideal temperature. With two units, you can control how much energy is being used to keep a room or space comfortable. This means that your system doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your entire home. To put it another way, decreasing the square footage being cooled will lower your energy costs.

Temperature Balance

Two units also enable you to balance the desired temperature in your home. Often, one area of your home will be warmer or more difficult to keep cool than another. If you have a two-story home, you’ve probably noticed that it’s warmer upstairs. Yes, warm air rises.

By having two air conditioning units as part of your HVAC system, you can select different temperatures. For example, you may want to have a cooler temperature upstairs than downstairs.

Backup Protection

While consistent HVAC maintenance can go a long way towards preventing a system failure, they can still happen. With two units, you can rely on one to keep your home cool while the other is being repaired. In Arizona, this means not having to struggle with sweltering heat if you ever have a summer breakdown.

The Disadvantages

Two air conditioning units simply cost more to install and maintain. However, the cost difference is often not as much as you think. Because each unit is cooling a smaller amount of square footage, its size can be smaller. You’ll also offset the additional costs by adapting your heating and cooling habits to having two units.

What About a Single-Unit Zoned System?

If you’re considering the addition of a new air conditioner, another alternative is a single-unit zoned system. A zoned system controls the temperature differently in specific areas of your home. This enhanced control is managed through dampers inside your ductwork which can change the flow of cool or warm air to different areas of your home. The cost of a single-unit zoned system is more than a standard non-zoned system, but it can significantly decrease your energy costs in the long run.

Want to learn more about the advantages of two-unit and single-unit zoned systems? Call Bruce’s today for a free quote at 480-968-5652.