Category Archives: Heating

5 Common Home Heating Mistakes

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With cold temperatures in full swing, you’re likely spending more time indoors with the heater turned on. To help you keep energy costs in check while maintaining home comfort, we’re sharing five of the most common home heating mistakes and how you can avoid making them.

1. Heating Your Home When Nobody’s Home

Are you regularly out of the house for more than a few hours at a time? Whether you’re at work or away for the weekend, it doesn’t make sense to heat a home when no one is there. A programmable thermostat can help you regulate the temperature to your daily schedule. You can also program it to warm up the house before you return home or wake up in the morning. Making this one change can save you substantially on your monthly utility bill.

2. Leaving Windows Open or Unlocked

Besides being a safety concern, open and unlocked windows let in cold air. If it’s cold enough to turn on the heat, first check to make sure windows are securely closed to prevent cold air from infiltrating your home and letting warm air escape.

3. Forgetting to Turn Off Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans are great for reducing moisture and unpleasant odors from your home. However, they also draw warm air out. So, make sure to turn off exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen once you’re finished using them.

4. Cranking the Thermostat

Turning your thermostat to a temperature higher than you need doesn’t heat your home faster. You’ll only be running it longer than you need to, resulting in higher utility bills. In other words, only turn the thermostat to the temperature you want.

5. Neglecting to Schedule Regular Maintenance

Your heat pump or furnace is a complex piece of equipment that requires regular upkeep to stay efficient. If you haven’t scheduled a tune up lately, give Bruce’s a call today at 480-968-5652. A tune up of your heating unit, includes identifying and addressing small issues before they become major problems, helps extend the life your HVAC system, and keeps your utility costs down.

Call an HVAC expert at Bruce’s today at 480-968-5652.

Furnace Noises You Shouldn’t Ignore

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January is the month when furnaces are actually being used throughout the greater Phoenix area. In fact, evenings and early mornings can be downright chilly. But, what about those noises? If you’re furnace is making unusual sounds, keep reading…

Noises are an indicator that your furnace likely needs maintenance or repair. Some sounds are even clues that your furnace could be putting your household at risk. Here’s what to listen for:

  • Clicking – A clicking sound may mean a faulty flame sensor or a malfunction between the ignition and the gas. Both of these problems require immediate attention.
  • Rattling – Intermittent or continuous rattles coming from your furnace can be a signal that you have worn or broken components in the motor or fan. Again, you’ll want to get this checked out sooner than later.
  • Screeching – Screeching or squealing sounds can possibly be a faulty belt or fan motor. Both are simple fixes but require the assistance of an experienced HVAC technician.
  • Chirping – Does it sound like a bird is in your furnace? No, you’re not going crazy. It could be a problem with the fan belts, or you just may need a seasonal tune up.
  • Booming – This is the big daddy of furnace sounds that can alarm unsuspecting homeowners – and for good reason. Especially in older models, a booming sound can indicate a buildup of gas from a delay in the ignition. Call an HVAC contractor immediately – especially if you also smell an odor of natural gas.

A Safe, Efficient Furnace Begins with Maintenance

Routine maintenance on your furnace is essential for ensuring it remains in good working order. If it has been more than a year since the last inspection of your furnace, give Bruce’s a call. We can help you identify the noises of your furnace and get it back to running in tip-top shape.

At the first sound of furnace trouble, call Bruce’s at 480-968-5652.

Your Central Heat Is Not Working – Now What?

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The cooler temperatures are finally here – thank goodness! Now, it’s officially time to give our air conditioners a break, and soon we may even have to crank up the heat. But, what if nothing happens when you switch your thermostat from “cool” to “heat?” Here’s what to do.

Heater failures are a common problem in the fall – primarily because they’ve been sitting unused for many months. Often, a problem isn’t discovered until it’s time to turn on the heat. The reality is that there are many reasons why your central heating system isn’t working. In some cases, it’s a quick do-it-yourself fix. But, most of the time, you’ll need to call a professional.

Hot Air Not Blowing

If you can hear your heater working, but feel no hot air, it could be a lack of airflow caused by buildup of debris and dust. Often, a simple swap of an air filter can do the trick.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, it’s time to take a closer look at the thermostat. If it’s switched from “heat” to “cool,” your heater won’t turn on. It also can be prevented from turning on by a timer setting. If someone has been “messing” with the thermostat, check the programmed settings to make sure everything is set as it should be.

Still Cold?

If those simple fixes don’t work, you could be dealing with a larger problem. Common causes of a central heating failure are:

A blocked outdoor unit

Check to see if the outside components are clear from debris, leaves, branches and dirt.

Malfunctioning electric blower

Without the blower pushing hot air into your home, you might be getting gusts of cold air.

Leaky ductwork

Like a malfunctioning blower, leaky ductwork hinders the ability to move hot air to warm living spaces.

Bruce’s Can Identify and Resolve Your Home’s Heating Issues

With cooler weather here, keep our number handy – 480-968-5652. At Bruce’s we’re here to help you with all your heating needs throughout the fall and winter.

Get Ready for Winter – Tips on How to Heat Your Home More Efficiently

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There’s an old saying, “Arizona – where summer spends the winter.” The Valley of the Sun is a beautiful place to be for the holidays. People migrate to Phoenix during the winter months precisely because the desert weather is so delightful. However, December is here, and nighttime temperatures have been dropping into the 40s and below. January, which is generally considered the coldest month of the year, is just around the corner. If you haven’t done so already, you might want to spend a few hours preparing your home for the cold weather ahead. Consider a pre-winter walk through your house to review your heating system and to make sure there are no surprises during your holiday celebrations.

Pre-Winter Walk Through

By December, your furnace has been sitting idle for many months. Taking the time to go through your house and check all the various elements of your heating system will pay big dividends when the cold weather rolls in. Here are a few important things to review during your walk through:

  • Check Your Gas Furnace to Make Sure the Pilot Light is On

    We often receive calls from customers on the first truly cold day of winter claiming their heat won’t go on. If you’ve got a gas furnace, check the pilot light before you do anything else. If you’re not familiar with the procedure, lighting a gas pilot can be tricky. Furnaces get dusty and this can cause issues. You will also notice an unusual smell the first time you fire up your furnace as the dust burns off. These are all items we can take care of during your pre-winter tune-up.

  • Is the Area Clear Surrounding Your Heating Elements?

    Over the summer, stuff can accumulate around your furnace and heating elements. Furnaces located in the garage particularly are in a position to be surrounded by boxes, toys or other household items. Make sure there’s nothing combustible anywhere near your furnace.

  • Walk Through Your House and Check All Vents and Registers

    The key to properly heating your home is to make sure the heated air is unobstructed and circulating properly. Sometimes vents are covered by furniture, boxes, suitcases or throw rugs. Are all the registers fully open? Dust can accumulate on the registers, so it’s a good idea to vacuum them or blow them out if you can.

  • Indoor Air Quality – Check Your Air Filters

    One of the best ways to improve your overall HVAC performance and your indoor air quality, is to make sure you are changing your air filters on a regular basis. Clean air filters are the key to removing desert dust, pet dander and other irritants from the air circulating in your home.

  • Heavy Curtains Can Cut Down on Energy Costs

    Many homeowners think of curtains as a design or aesthetic choice, which they certainly are. However, when we observe lightweight or sheer curtains adorning a house, we see energy dollars going out the window. Heavy or black out drapes help hold heat in and they also keep the sun out in the summer.

  • Check Window and Door Insulation – Don’t Forget the Garage Door

    One of the biggest heat-stealers in your home is the off-kilter garage door that leaves a gap open at the bottom all winter long. In fact, you might be surprised during your walk through to find you have gaps in your window or door insulation. Yes, these are annoying problems to fix, but they can have a major impact on the efficiency of your home heating costs.

Our Friendly Service Technicians Will Be Happy to Help You Prepare for Winter

If the above list sounds daunting, give Bruce’s a call at 480-968-5652, and we’ll schedule one of our highly experienced professionals to come over and help you get your entire HVAC system ready for winter.

Heater Hints – How to Avoid Furnace Failures

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Summer spends the winter in Phoenix. It’s the perfect time of year. Daytime temperatures in January hover around an ideal 75 degrees. Nights dip into the 40s with an occasional cold spell. This means your furnace is getting infrequent use and due to the moderate temperatures, not nearly working to its full capacity. The problem with many Arizona heaters is they suffer from abandonment issues. Some homeowners haven’t checked their furnace for years. The fact that furnaces are so reliable, yet used so sparingly in Arizona, means when it comes to maintenance, they often don’t get the attention they deserve.

Simple Steps to Keep Your Furnace Running Smoothly

Without a doubt, the number one step to keeping your furnace running flawlessly is to schedule a professional inspection and checkup once a year. Late fall is generally ideal. However, January, the coldest month of the year, is also an excellent time for a service tune-up. It’s important to remember, there are safety issues involved with furnaces that should be checked by an experienced technician. Here are some other helpful things you can do to care for your furnace:

  • Replace Air Filters – Dirt is the nemesis of your entire HVAC system. Depending on where your furnace is located, dust storms can blow fine desert dirt into the inner workings and moving parts of your furnace. Changing the air filters on a regular basis keeps the dirt out and the air inside your home clean.
  • Check Vents and the Fresh Air Intake – Furnaces are often located in closets, basements, crawlspaces and attics. Because these locations sometimes double as storage areas, it is a good idea to check to make sure nothing is blocking the free flow of air to your furnace.
  • Eliminate Clutter – Papers, toys, clothing or other items on top of or around a furnace can be hazardous. Over the years, we have seen all kinds of potentially dangerous items sitting on top of working furnaces. It is important to make sure the area surrounding your furnace is clutter-free.
  • Create an HVAC/Furnace File – Take a few minutes to compile all the information, owner’s manuals, HVAC warranties and service records you have in one place. Keeping track of the service performed on your furnace (and AC unit) will help you control costs and know when it’s time to repair or replace.

A furnace in Arizona is a little like a screen door on a submarine. It’s not crucial, like air conditioning. In fact, it’s rarely considered except on those few cold days when you really need it. Take a moment to schedule a furnace inspection with one of our friendly service technicians, and we promise you won’t regret it!