Category Archives: HVAC

How Arizona’s Monsoon Season Can Impact Your Home

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For residents of Arizona, the official arrival of summer’s monsoon season on June 15 is a double-edged sword. Rain and wind can provide temporary relief from the dry heat. But the moisture and dust that go hand-in-hand with summer storms can also spell trouble for your home if you’re not prepared. Being proactive about potential problems can save you from costly AC repairs down the line.

Outside Condenser Unit

One of the biggest risks that monsoon weather poses to AC units is allowing dust, dirt, and plant debris to accumulate around the outdoor condenser unit. High winds can blow all sorts of yard waste and particles directly into the unit, clogging the condenser coil fins. Make sure the area around the condenser stays clear during storms by trimming back any branches or vegetation that could get blown into the unit. Installing a partial enclosure or awning over the condenser can block debris as well. Having your local HVAC professionals inspect your system is especially beneficial this time of the year.

Indoor Excessive Humidity

Inside, excessive monsoon moisture can cause problems, as well. If humid outdoor air infiltrates ducts or plenums with leaks or poor sealing, it creates condensation. Over time, this added moisture inside the ductwork can lead to mold and mildew growth that spreads unhealthy spores throughout your home. Duct leaks enable this outside air to continually feed moisture into the system. Checking for duct leaks and properly sealing any openings prevents moist air from infiltrating. And, installing a whole-home dehumidifier can control moisture levels while easing the burden on your AC unit.

Electrical Issues

In some cases, monsoon storms can even trigger electrical issues like short circuits or complete power outages. While an outage will temporarily shut your AC down, repeatedly turning a unit on and off as storms roll through can actually damage the compressor by causing abrupt changes in refrigerant pressure and flows. Investing in quality surge protectors for your entire home’s electrical supply provides a critical safeguard against lightning damage.

Call Bruce’s

Don’t let monsoon storms wreak havoc on your cooling system’s operation and efficiency. A fully functioning HVAC system is vital to your family’s comfort and well-being. With some basic preventative steps, you can ensure your AC unit can keep you comfortable all summer long. Call your locally owned professionals today at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating at 480-968-5652. We’re your summer monsoon HVAC professionals available 24/7.

Air Quality Index (AQI) displayed on a hand-held device, indicating the level of air pollution.

Breathing Easy in the Desert Thanks to Your HVAC System

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Phoenix metro might boast year-round sunshine, but when summer heats up, indoor air quality often takes a hit. Stagnant air, hi ozone levels, blooming flowers and trees, and even everyday activities can contribute to a cocktail of pollutants that irritate lungs and impact health. Let’s explore the top culprits threatening your home’s air quality during late winter.

1. Dust, Pollen, and the Dreaded Dust Storm:

As summer monsoon winds pick up, they can whip up dust and pollen, creating a potent respiratory irritant. Closing windows and doors might seem your logical choice, but it traps existing pollutants inside. Investing in an air purifier with a HEPA filter can trap these airborne particles, significantly improving indoor air quality.

2. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs):

These chemicals, emitted from household products like paints, cleaning solutions, and personal care items, can build up indoors, especially with closed windows. You’ll want to opt in for low-VOC alternatives whenever possible, ensure proper ventilation during and after product use, and properly store strong-smelling products outside if possible.

3. Mold and Mildew:

The muggy months of summer with limited ventilation and potential moisture leaks can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew. These microscopic organisms can trigger allergies and respiratory problems. You’ll want to inspect for signs of moisture intrusion, address leaks promptly with your trustworthy local HVAC specialists, and use dehumidifiers to control humidity levels below 55%.

4. Pet Dander and Fur:

While your furry friends bring love and joy, their dander and fur can exacerbate allergies and asthma. Regular grooming, frequent vacuuming, and dedicated pet-free zones can minimize airborne pet allergens. You may want to consider buying air purifiers with HEPA filters specifically designed for pet dander.

5. Carbon Monoxide (CO):

This odorless, colorless gas, a byproduct of combustion, can leak from gas appliances, fireplaces, and even portable generators. Install CO detectors in your home and ensure proper maintenance of all combustion appliances. Regularly testing these detectors is crucial for early detection and prevention of CO poisoning.

Your health and comfort depend on good indoor air quality. At Bruce’s, we believe everyone should be breathing clean indoor air. Our certified technicians are available for questions and concerns 24/7, including all holidays. Call us today at 480-968-5652 to schedule an appointment for specific recommendations and solutions tailored to your home’s unique needs.

The Dangers of DIY HVAC Repair for Arizona Homeowners

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With Arizona’s sweltering summer heat and mild but pleasant winters, a properly working HVAC system is an absolute necessity for homeowners. However, attempting to service or repair your own HVAC system is inadvisable and can lead to serious consequences. Here are some of the major reasons why you shouldn’t attempt DIY HVAC work and instead you should hire a reputable, local HVAC company.

Safety Hazards

HVAC systems involve complex electrical wiring, combustible fuel sources like natural gas, dangerous refrigerants, and powerful motors. Without proper training, attempting repairs on your own HVAC unit can put you at severe risk of electrical shocks, gas leaks, fires, exposure to toxic chemicals, and other safety hazards. Trained HVAC technicians have the knowledge and equipment to safely work on these systems.

Expensive Mistakes

Even if you manage to avoid injuries, attempting DIY repairs on an HVAC system if you don’t know what you’re doing is likely to create further damage and issues, which will then require expensive professional repairs. Inexperienced homeowners often misdiagnose HVAC problems, replace the wrong parts, or improperly reassemble components, compounding the original issues. Hiring a local pro gets it done right the first time.

Voided Warranties

Most HVAC equipment comes with a manufacturer’s warranty to cover replacements and repairs needed due to defects or premature failures. However, if you attempt DIY repairs, you will automatically void those valuable warranties. Professional HVAC technicians know how to properly service equipment without voiding warranties.

Shortened Equipment Life

HVAC systems are expensive investments that you’ll want to get the maximum lifespan out of through proper maintenance and repairs. DIY work done incorrectly can severely shorten the functional lifetime of your HVAC equipment by causing excess strain, poor energy efficiency, premature breakdowns, and other issues. Certified techs know how to care for your system.

Licensing and Code Requirements

In most areas, there are strict licensing requirements and building codes that HVAC work must adhere to—especially for more extensive repairs or full system replacements.

Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating is your local company for all things HVAC. Our experienced technicians can handle any type of HVAC servicing issue and now is a great time to schedule your twice-yearly HVAC maintenance. Call us today at 480-968-5652 to schedule an appointment. We’ll gladly perform a full system inspection and provide expert guidance for any suggested repairs.

Contemporary kitchen design with a detailed blueprint.

Important HVAC Considerations for Home Renovations

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The spring season brings perfect weather for launching home remodeling projects in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area. Whether you’re finally building that long-awaited addition, renovating bathrooms or kitchens, or doing an entire house overhaul, there are some crucial HVAC factors you need to account for during the remodeling process. Proper HVAC planning now can prevent headaches and ensure your home’s heating and cooling systems optimally function after the dust settles.

Size Your HVAC for the New Square Footage

One of the most important considerations when remodeling is whether your existing HVAC equipment will have sufficient heating and cooling capacity for your home’s new square footage. Adding rooms or finishing spaces increases the total air volume that needs conditioned air. If your system was adequately sized for the original home but is now undersized for the remodel, you may need to upgrade to a larger AC unit and furnace. You’ll want to work with an HVAC professional to perform a room-by-room load calculation factoring the added square footage.

Strategic Ductwork Extensions

For additions or remodels creating new rooms, you’ll need to extend the ductwork from your existing system to supply the new spaces with conditioned air. Careful planning of new duct runs is critical to avoid kinked, compressed, or excessive bends that restrict airflow. You’ll also want properly sized ducts meeting air velocity specs, sufficient return air pathways, and strategic supply vent placement for optimal circulation to each room. Experienced HVAC techs can map out the ideal new ductwork configuration.

Thermostat Relocation

If the remodel reconfigures your floor plan’s layout, your existing thermostat location may need to be repositioned. Thermostats should go on an interior wall in a frequently occupied space away from direct sunlight, drafts, and HVAC vents that could skew temperature readings.

Equipment Relocation

In some cases, a home remodel may require physically moving your HVAC equipment to new locations due to changing space configurations. Careful disconnection and reinstallation are required, so leave this to experienced pros.

Call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating

With the intense summer heat of the Valley quickly approaching, it’s imperative that any major home remodel accounts for HVAC accommodations. Plan early and partner with your qualified HVAC contractors at Bruce’s to ensure your heating and cooling systems will function reliably and efficiently after the construction dust settles on your newly renovated Phoenix metro residence. Call Bruce’s today to schedule an appointment to discuss your project at 480-968-5652.

Essential Spring Cleaning Tips for Your HVAC System

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After an Arizona winter of heating use, your home’s HVAC system has accumulated dust, dirt, and other buildup that can severely impact its performance and efficiency as temperatures rise. As the warm spring weather arrives, it’s the perfect time to give your HVAC system some thorough cleaning and maintenance to ensure smooth, reliable cooling all summer long. Here are some essential spring-cleaning tips for your home’s HVAC system.

Replace Air Filters

One of the most important and simple HVAC maintenance tasks is regularly changing out the air filters. Over time, filters become clogged with dust, pet hair, dander, and other particles they’ve trapped. This blockage forces your system to work harder, wasting energy and putting extra strain on components. Spring is an ideal time to swap dirty filters for fresh new ones.

Clean Condenser Unit

The condenser unit for your central AC is the bulky cabinet sitting outside your home. Over the winter, it likely accumulated leaves, dirt, and debris around the unit and on the coil fins. Clear away this buildup and use a pump sprayer or garden hose (never a pressure washer) to gently rinse off the condenser coils. This allows proper airflow for efficient cooling.

Clear Drainage Pipe

A clogged condensate drainpipe can allow condensation to back up into your cooling system, potentially causing water damage. Locate the PVC drainpipe from your AC unit and inspect it for blockages from sediment, algae, or mineral buildup. Use a wet/dry vacuum or pipe brush to clear out any clogs and allow proper drainage.

Check Refrigerant Levels

Low refrigerant levels make your air conditioner work harder and become less efficient. Most systems use highly stable refrigerants that shouldn’t need topping up. But have your local HVAC pro check the level and add more if needed, as well as inspect for leaks during your spring maintenance.

Ductwork Inspection

Your HVAC ducts have collected dirt and gunk all winter. In accessible crawl spaces, your local professional can inspect ductwork for dust buildup and vacuum out any contaminants. Duct leaks can also dramatically reduce cooling efficiency, wasting energy. Having a technician perform a full duct inspection and seal any air leaks is one of the best gifts you can give your HVAC system this spring.

Call Bruce’s to Schedule an Appointment

Make an appointment today with your highly trained and reputable professionals at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating. Call us today to schedule your spring HVAC maintenance tune-up at 480-968-5652. We’re your experienced Valley of the Sun HVAC technicians!