Category Archives: HVAC

Should Santa Put a New HVAC System Under Your Christmas Tree?

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It seems this year, Santa has received a lot of letters from Phoenix-area residents requesting new air conditioners, which are tricky to transport down chimneys and come with the detailed instructions, “Some assembly required.”

At Bruce’s Air Conditioning, we’d like to do our part during this holiday season. Admittedly, HVAC systems are not typically found on the top of kids’ Christmas lists. However, for households that suffered through the blistering summer of 2018 with substandard AC, giving the gift of temperature bliss and climate comfort all year long could be a big hit with the entire family.

Life Indoors, Cool Comfort and How Temperature Affects Us All

During the long summer months in Arizona, residents spend most of their life indoors. If it’s over 100 degrees outside, indoor temperature becomes a critical element of daily living. Let’s face it, when the air conditioner breaks down, life comes to a screeching halt. Or to paraphrase Vince Lombardi, temperature isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. Studies have shown, raising the temperature inside affects kid’s moods, your productivity and increases everyone’s GCF (General Crankiness Factor). Though largely taken for granted and rarely appreciated until it’s gone – cool, air-conditioned Arizona air inside your home makes summers in Phoenix livable.

Timing Is Everything

It actually makes sense to purchase a new HVAC system at the end of the year because winter is the perfect season for new air conditioner installations. January, February and March tend to be less busy and houses remain at a comfortable temperature while the old air conditioner is being removed and the new unit is being installed. Our experienced service technicians will perform a thorough AC assessment for your home and provide you with options and a detailed plan including a timeline, if you decide you’d like to opt for a new system.

No Need for a New Air Conditioner? Try These Gifts for Temperature-Sensitive Family Members

There are a number of climate comfort gifts this holiday season, including:

  • Wi-fi Enabled Smart Thermostats – Because most thermostats tend to be tremendously reliable, homeowners rarely think about replacing them. However, new smart, wi-fi enabled thermostats are changing the way we cool, heat and control our home temperature. They not only allow you to heat or cool your home more efficiently, they help you save money on energy costs and even let you adjust settings from your phone. A great tech gift for dad which will benefit the whole family.
  • Ceiling Fans – This is not a new or high tech gift but installing ceiling fans can make a huge difference in your home. Ceiling fans not only make rooms more comfortable, they also help lower your energy consumption. Ceiling fans come in numerous styles, shapes and sizes and will add value to your home.
  • Cooling Mattress Pads – Memory foam mattresses have become very popular in the last ten years. However, at night, as you sink into the memory foam, your body tends to generate more heat because there’s less air circulating around your body. Hi tech cooling mattress pads are the answer. This is a “cool” gift for anyone who wakes up feeling too warm.
  • Air Filters – Hey Dad, is it time to change the air filters? Here’s a new set, just for fun!

Happy Holidays from All of Us at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating

If you’ve been considering a new air conditioner for your home, now is a great time to call and schedule an HVAC system evaluation. Our experienced service professionals will assess your current system and your needs and present you with options and information, so you can make the best decision. Call us today.

New Home Construction Planned for 2019? Don’t Forget the Importance of Your HVAC

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When it comes to new home construction, Phoenix is one of the busiest cities in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Phoenix added over half a million new residents between 2010 and 2017, bringing the total population to 4.7 million people. The forecast is for a steady increase in population over the next decade, making Phoenix one of the fastest growing regions in the U.S. With this exponential growth, one thing is for certain – all those incoming families need homes to live in and plenty of air conditioning.

New Construction Is Booming

In terms of building and new home starts, The Phoenix Business Journal reports, “The metro Phoenix area is up 18 percent in single-family permits from this time last year.” That amounts to thousands of new homes being built when compared with 2017. If you are in the process of having a new house built, or buying a new home for your family, it is a good idea to plan ahead and ensure your HVAC needs are given the attention they deserve.

Is Not Always a Top Priority for Developers

When it comes to designing new homes, architects and builders tend to focus on current trends and eye-catching options like open floor plans, larger chef-friendly kitchens and family great rooms. Formal dining rooms and separate living rooms are becoming relics of the past. Unseen (and unsexy) HVAC systems often take a back seat in terms of design and specifications. However, when the summer temperatures hit triple digits, nothing will seem more important than the air conditioning in your new home. Unfortunately, as HVAC experts, we see firsthand, the design flaws and builder’s mistakes after new homes are built.

Consult with Our Experts Before Construction Begins

If you are in the design phase of your new home project, consider giving us a call before construction begins. Our staff has the experience, knowledge and expertise that builders quite simply don’t have. Sometimes a simple design or engineering recommendation can save loads of trouble and expense down the road. Also, if you are buying a new home, it is a great idea to have us perform an inspection before you purchase the home, so we can inform you of the state and efficiency of the HVAC system. We can help you in all phases of assessing, choosing and designing an HVAC system, including:

  • Choosing the Right HVAC System for Your New Home – With so many manufacturers and options, getting the right model and style of air conditioner can be extremely challenging. Our professionals will explain the pros and cons of various systems and help you sort through the mountains of data and specs. We will explain it all, so you can make the right decision for your home.
  • Energy Saving HVAC Systems – As the cost of electric power goes up, choosing energy efficient HVAC equipment becomes critical. The Energy Star rating is the government’s way of indicating energy efficiency. The cost of your new HVAC system is substantial. Choosing an energy efficient system will help save you money in the long run.
  • HVAC System Location – If you’re new to Arizona, you may have noticed air conditioners located on rooftops. Deciding where to locate you HVAC system is crucial. Rooftop or ground level AC systems have different advantages and disadvantages.
  • Heat Pump or Furnace? – People move to Phoenix because the winters are mild. However, choosing between a heat pump and furnace is one of the many decisions you will need to make.
  • Checking the “V” in HVAC – New homes are more air tight than ever before. There is an art and science involved in creating proper flow and ventilation throughout new triple insulated homes.
  • Ductwork Is Critical to Effectively Cooling and Heating Your New Home – Choosing an HVAC contractor who understands the importance of your entire system, including installation of effective and sound ductwork, is crucial. Too often, unseen parts of the HVAC system don’t get the attention they deserve.

The Right HVAC System Will Give You Years of Comfort in Your New Home
Choosing the best HVAC system for your new home and the right contractor for installation are crucial decisions you’ll need to make as you design your new home. Why not give us a call at 480-968-5652 and we’ll be happy to help you decide what’s right for you.

Optimize Your Programmable Thermostat Settings for the Cold Weather Months

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Cooler temperatures are always a welcome relief in the Valley of the Sun. Yet, it can get downright chilly in the greater Phoenix, AZ area, especially during the evening and early morning hours. With the winter months here, it’s a good time to reset your programmable thermostat. This will ensure you’re optimizing your heating system for both cost and comfort.

When You’re at Home

Setting your thermostat for 68 degrees when you’re awake and at home is energy efficient and a comfortable temperature for most individuals. You’ll feel warm without raising heating bills. Consider the hours when this setting is appropriate. This likely will include before and after work, as well as on weekends.

When You’re Asleep

When you’re sleeping, you’re not likely to notice a slight drop in temperature. Even if you’re sensitive to colder indoor temperatures, an extra blanket on the bed is usually enough to maintain comfort without cranking up the heat. Consider lowering your thermostat setting by five to 10 degrees for the eight or so hours that you’re in bed asleep.

When You’re Away

You can save as much as 15 percent on your heating bills in a single season by lowering your thermostat setting by 10 degrees for eight or more hours each day. In other words, programming a lower temperature for normal work or school hours can save you big money. If schedules are consistent, you can set your thermostat to kick in 15 minutes before you arrive home. You won’t notice the difference at home, but you sure will on your monthly bill!

Is It Time to Replace Your Thermostat?

If you’re still struggling with an outdated thermostat that you can’t program, it’s time to consider a newer model. Thermostat technology has advanced dramatically in the last 20 years, and it’s easier than ever to reduce your energy consumption while still maintaining a comfortable home. Call the experts at Bruce’s to learn more about the installation of a new programmable thermostat.

What You Need to Know about HVAC Filters

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With any forced-air HVAC system, air filters play a key role. Thus, it’s important to do more than just grab the first filter you see off the store shelf. Yes, there are different types available and getting familiar with them can help you identify what you need to make a smart choice.

Fiberglass/Synthetic Filters

This type of filter is probably what you’re most familiar with. These are the inexpensive, disposable options that are widely available in home-improvement retailers and even grocery stores. Fiberglass or synthetic filters are relatively efficient – catching up to 80 percent of particles that are 50 microns and larger. They can effectively minimize the buildup of dust and dirt on heat exchangers, fan motors and other surfaces of your HVAC system.

Polyester Filters

Made from higher quality material, polyester filters trap and remove 80 to 95% of particles 5 microns or larger. With their greater effectiveness comes a higher price. Expect to pay approximately four times more for a polyester filter than a standard fiberglass/synthetic filter.

Pleated Filters

For even greater efficiency, choose a pleated filter that traps particulates 0.3 micron in size, including bacteria and viruses. Pleated filters also last longer than fiberglass/synthetic filters.

Electrostatic Filters

Electrostatic filters leverage the innovation of self-charging fibers to attract and remove particles from your air. Both disposable and washable electrostatic filters are available.

HEPA Filters

High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters offer high filtration capabilities, capturing 99% of particles 0.3 microns or larger. It’s important to consider that these filters are excellent at removing indoor pollutants and creating an easier-to-breath-in household environment. However, they can reduce your HVAC system’s air flow, resulting in higher utility costs.

Choose the Right Size

Along with type, you also need to consider size when it comes to HVAC filters. You’ll want to choose one that fits into the filter cabinet correctly to ensure there are no airflow obstructions that could hinder system performance. The most common sizes are:

10 X 20, 14 X 20, 16 X 24, 18 X 30, 12 X 12, 14 X 24, 16 X 25, 20 X 20, 12 X 20, 14 X 25, 18 X 18, 20 X 24, 12 X 24, 14 X 30, 18 X 20, 20 X 25, 12 X 30, 15 X 20, 18 X 24, 20 X 30, 12 X 36, 16 X 20, 18 X 25, 4 X 24 and 25 X 25

Change Filters Regularly

The importance of changing HVAC filters on a regular basis cannot be overstated. Over time, filters become clogged with pollutants – particularly here in Arizona. Forgetting to change your filter can cause costly airflow obstructions and can even damage your system. Stick to a set schedule of replacing or cleaning your HVAC filter at least once a month.

Get HVAC Filter Help

Have questions or need help with your HVAC system? Call the experts at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating today at 480-968-5652.

Trick or Heat – Does Your HVAC System Make Frightening Noises?

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When kids come trick or treating, it’s a yearly reminder that summer is over, the days are getting shorter and colder nights are coming soon. Halloween season is the perfect time to schedule a fall HVAC checkup. Is your home comfort system making frightening noises? Here’s the spooky truth. Your heater has been idle (and we all know, idleness is the devil’s workshop) for six months. While ghosts and ghouls may invade your front porch this time of year, scary noises from your HVAC system might mean it’s time to call Bruce’s Air Conditioning for service. Here’s a goblin’s guide to the sounds that are haunting your HVAC system.

Vampire Banging

When a vampire wants out of a chained coffin, you hear a lot of haunted muttering and banging. When you set your thermostat for heat, there’s generally a pause, then a rumbling noise as the gas ignites. The furnace kicks in, and the fan starts blowing heat. If you turn on your furnace and experience a longer hesitation with a banging sound, it may mean there’s an ignition problem or that the gas burners are not igniting properly.

The Rattle of Witches

Witches stir magic potions in their cauldrons with giant rusty metal spoons, often making an incredibly annoying rattling sound as they call out their secret ingredients – Eye of newt, toe of frog (you get the idea.) Loose fan blades or faulty motor blades can make a similar maddening metallic or plastic rattling sound. No magic potion will eliminate this scary noise. Best to call the experts at Bruce’s Air Conditioning.

The Zombie Whine

It’s common knowledge that zombies whine when they don’t get their pound of flesh. Just like zombies, faulty or worn bearings make an ear-piercing whine, usually upon start up. If you notice this high-pitched sound, check the front porch for zombies first, then call for service.
Werewolf Whistling Through the Rafters
Unless you live in a haunted castle that actually has rafters, that whistling sound is probably an indication of a problem with your duct system (not a werewolf with laryngitis). The whistling or whooshing sound is the air escaping through a crack or break in your duct system or a vent that was not installed correctly.

Day of the Dead

One of the scariest sounds of a haunted HVAC system is no sound at all. On the day of the your-HVAC-is-dead day, your system remains alarmingly silent. Of course, this is often due to electrical issues and may be fixed by resetting your breaker switch. However, if resetting the breaker doesn’t fire up your system, a service call is probably in order.

Haunted HVAC systems are a ghastly challenge this time of year. A fall service call will get you ready for winter and insure that all your components are in top form. Why not give the pro’s at Bruce’s Air Conditioning a chance to exorcise the demons from your HVAC system?