Category Archives: HVAC

How to Win the Thermostat War

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Do you have a loved one who regularly complains about the temperature in your home being too hot? Here in the Valley of the Sun where temperatures frequently climb above 100 degrees, it’s a common problem that plagues many households. Yet, even in the mild months of winter and spring, there’s often at least one dweller who likes it cooler than the others. The key to avoiding a thermostat war is establishing some ground rules and ways to compromise.

Gender Differences

There are definite physiological differences between the genders that result in women experiencing temperature differently than men. In general, women have a lower metabolic rate and a greater percentage of body fat, resulting in them being more sensitive to cold.  In other words, if you’re arguing that it’s too hot or too cold, you both may be right. The key is being able to negotiate a comfortable temperature in the middle that is bearable for both of you.

Overcome Perception

Feeling a little overheated can often be more in your head than a reality. If you’re feeling warm, check the thermostat. You may be surprised that it’s well within the normal range. To keep the temperature steady, consider investing in a programmable or smart thermostat that enables you to set the temperature and go. At Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, we recommend 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees during the winter for the times when you’re both at home and awake.

Manage Stress

With today’s hectic lifestyles, there’s plenty of stress to go around. Family members under the most stress likely will feel hotter. This is because body temperature rises with additional stress due to increased blood flow. If you or a loved one is regularly complaining of heat, it may be time to evaluate stress levels. Often some deep breathing or yoga can help lower the tension enough to bring your temperature back into check.

But, It Could Be an HVAC Problem

While a home that’s too hot could be just the opinion of a family member, it can also be a sign of a failing HVAC system. To ensure a consistent temperature in your home, call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating today to schedule AC service or to learn more about our affordable maintenance plans. Call us at 480-968-5652.

Are You Ready for a Smarter Thermostat?

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If you’re like many homeowners, you’re still using the same thermostat that was installed when your home was built. While it’s definitely a trusty, durable household device, technology has advanced in the last several years. Even if you have moved beyond the manual control thermostat to the programmable model, you’re not necessarily maximizing your HVAC system’s efficiency. Today’s smart thermostats can dramatically improve your ability to monitor your energy consumption and regulate temperature.

So, what exactly are the benefits of a smart, wi-fi-enabled thermostat? These advanced devices enable you to control your home’s climate from anywhere using a mobile device. And, they monitor your habits and energy consumption in real-time to enable you to keep track of your spending on cooling and heating costs.

Cost-Savings and Convenience

Smart thermostats do cost somewhat more than standard, programmable models. However, there is often a quick return on investment by being able to better manage your energy consumption. Those who are forgetful about adjusting a programmable thermostat will likely find considerable savings, especially during the hot months of summer when energy consumption for air conditioning is high.

Yet, long-term cost-savings isn’t the only benefit. In fact, the biggest perk is probably convenience. Imagine not having to manually adjust your thermostat when you leave for an extended time or go on vacation. Consider the additional insight of knowing exactly how much energy you’re consuming without having to wait for your monthly bill. With a smart thermostat, this information is available at your fingertips from any mobile device. You can adjust your heating and cooling with better insights to ensure you stay on budget every month.

At Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, we offer the latest Energy Star certified smart thermostats which deliver demonstrated energy savings, as well as superior performance, convenience, insight and control. Make the smart choice when it comes to your next thermostat. Contact the expert team at Bruce’s to find out more about how you can reap the advantage of this innovative technology. Call us today at 480-968-5652.

Understanding the Pros and Cons of a Heat Pump System

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Here in the greater Phoenix area, there are not that many cold days or evenings when you need to crank up the heat in your home. Because of our mild winters, heat pumps are often the preferred choice when it comes to home heating. Still, it’s important to know your options when it comes to heating so you can choose the best option for your specific needs.

What Exactly Is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is actually an air conditioner that has a reversing valve, enabling it to run in reverse to heat your house instead of cooling it. This is much different than a furnace which is a separate piece of equipment in your HVAC system.

Increased Energy Efficiency

One of the primary benefits of a heat pump is energy efficiency. A heat pump uses electricity to transfer heat from one area to another which is inherently more efficient than generating heat itself. It also doesn’t require any fuel source to heat your home. However, energy efficiency doesn’t always mean more cost efficiency. Because heat pumps run on electricity instead of fuel, they can be more expensive to operate. Often, furnaces are chosen for homes when there is access to natural gas while heat pumps are the right choice when there is only electricity available to heat a home.

Heat pumps work optimally when temperatures remain above freezing. Thus, they’re not a good idea for northern and high elevation parts of Arizona where temperatures frequently dip into the low 30s and below. However, here in the valley, a heat pump is sufficiently efficient to keep everyone warm and toasty during even the coldest evening. And, because they combine heating and cooling into one system, you save on space and installation costs.

Before making any decision to switch to a heat pump or to a furnace, it’s important to consult with an HVAC specialist. At Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, we can help you determine the right option for you and your home. Call us today for a free consultation at 480-968-5652.

What to Do with Your HVAC System While on a Winter Vacation

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Who doesn’t like a winter getaway? Whether you’re hitting the slopes or jetting off to a tropical locale, there are ways to lower your utility bill while you’re on vacation. If you consider that you can save one percent for each degree adjustment every eight hours, it’s easy to calculate a significant savings if you cut back several degrees while you’re away from home. The following are some best practices for your HVAC system while you’re on a winter vacation.

Don’t Completely Turn Off Your Unit

One of the mistakes most commonly made by homeowners is completely turning off their system while they’re gone. The problem is air can’t circulate efficiently, which can result in condensation and ultimately mold and other problems. It also takes more energy to return your home back to a normal temperature once you’ve returned.

Keep Windows and Doors Locked and Shut Completely

This is not only a good safety practice, it will also enable you to use less energy while you’re away because it will be easier to maintain a consistent indoor temperature. With less temperature variation, your system won’t have to work as hard.

Lower Your Thermostat by Four Degrees

Many homeowners are unsure of what temperature to set their thermostat before heading off on vacation. In the winter, lowering the thermostat by around four degrees is optimal because it will prevent your heat pump or heater from having to work too hard to get things reheated once you return from out of town.

Prepare for Bad Weather

Winter storms can cause debris to restrict the air flow to your outside HVAC unit. Before heading out of town, make sure to clear your yard of low-hanging tree limbs, overgrown shrubs, leaves and other debris.

Get an HVAC System Check

The best way that you can prepare your HVAC system any time of the year is with a service maintenance contract. This ensures that you’re getting the year-long protection you need whether you’re home or enjoying some time away. Call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating today to learn more about affordable, convenient HVAC maintenance at 480-968-5652.

Warm Holiday Greetings from Your Friends at Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating

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Winter is officially here, and evening temperatures are dipping below freezing throughout the valley. During the holidays, we hope you’re staying warm and cozy inside your home with loved ones and friends. This means ensuring your heater is working optimally.

Throughout the winter (and the rest of the year, too), you can rely on Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating for all your HVAC needs.

And, consider giving the gift of home comfort this holiday season. A gift of an HVAC maintenance contract, programmable thermostat or energy audit can provide cost savings and greater energy efficiency to someone you love. To learn more, contact the expert team at Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating at 480-968-5652.

Happy Holidays!