Category Archives: HVAC

HVAC Issues You May Encounter This Fall

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With summer coming to an end, it’s a great time to call Bruce’s, your local HVAC professionals. Request a fall tune up or schedule repairs on nagging issues. The following are a few of the most common problems we hear about from customers during the changing of the season.

AC System is Leaking Water

Air conditioners have a drip pan and a condensate drain line to keep accumulating condensation adequately drained from your HVAC system. Over time, debris and dirt can clog these parts resulting in a drip pan filled with water, overflowing, and potentially causing a leak that may damage flooring, walls, or ceilings. When the drain line is not clogged, it can be either a crack in the drain line or a malfunctioning condensate pump.

AC Inconsistently Cooling Your Home

Uneven HVAC system cooling is a common issue and can be difficult to diagnose. Your air conditioner is built to pump out plenty of cool air inside your house and distribute it evenly. If it’s not, it’s time to call for service.

AC System is Not Turning Off

Is your AC continuously running? Most likely, it’s either an electrical system issue or a faulty thermostat. Call your local trained professionals right away to get to the bottom of the problem before it damages your unit or dramatically increases your utility bill.

Call Bruce’s

Do you need more help troubleshooting your HVAC system? Give Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating a call at 480-968-5652. Our team of professionals are experts at AC service, installation, and repair. Our technicians will check your system to determine the issue and the best way to get you back to enjoying your home no matter what the temperature is outside.

What’s an HVAC Capacitor?

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Did you know that over 75% of all AC service issues and repairs are related to electrical issues? And among the key electrical components in an HVAC unit is a capacitor.

What Is an HVAC Capacitor?

A capacitor is used to store electricity, like a solar power backup battery or a rechargeable battery. The capacitor supplies a short burst of energy to the motor it’s connected to when necessary. You’ll find two general types of capacitors in your HVAC unit: the start capacitors and the run capacitors. The start capacitor supplies the extra voltage needed to get the compressor or fan motor started. The run capacitor delivers energy to keep it running. The start capacitor is only needed at the start of each cycle, while the run capacitor runs throughout the cycle. Heat pumps and air conditioning systems use a dual run capacitor, which connects to both the compressor and the fan.

Why are Capacitors Important?

HVAC systems contain numerous electrical circuits, parts, and components. If circuit boards can be considered the brains of the unit, then capacitors are the instigators. Capacitors govern the “start-up” and “run” energy for the electric motors. Capacitors are manufactured in many shapes and sizes and are found in almost all electric motors. In an AC unit, capacitors are small cylinders roughly the size of a Dixie cup, used mainly to store and release electric charges. Capacitors regulate the motors in the compressor, blower, and fan. If the capacitor fails, then the AC motor will soon stop working, and you’ll probably hear a clicking sound or a loud hum. Either noise is, unfortunately, not a good sign and you need to call your local HVAC company for service immediately.

What Causes a Capacitor to Fail?

AC units are manufactured to last a long time, but like most everything built, capacitors will break down over time. The problem is Arizona is a difficult environment for any electrical system, especially those located outside. Lightning, monsoon power failures, and resulting power surges when your home’s power goes back on can wreak havoc on capacitors. And let’s not forget, AC units often run, what seems like continuously, for six months or more in Metro Phoenix year in, year out. All that heavy use and vibration takes a toll, especially on precision electronic parts.

What’s the Best Course of Action if Your Capacitor Stops Working?

Electrical problems and capacitor repairs are not for DIY projects. As capacitors fail, they often split open which, if not handled properly, can result in leakage of toxic materials. The expertly trained technicians at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating will perform a detailed inspection and restore your capacitors and AC to a like-new condition. Why not call the experts at Bruce’s today at 480-968-5652!

Happy Labor Day from Bruce’s

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The beginning of Labor Day, according to historians, was either a demonstration followed by a picnic or a labor strike. Peter McGuire of the American Federation of Labor suggested a demonstration and picnic as the genesis of Labor Day. Some say the holiday was launched by Matthew Maguire who was secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York. Others cite the violent and widespread Pullman Strike of 1894, pitting George Pullman and the U.S. Marshals against Pullman Palace Car Company workers near Chicago. Whatever the origins, Labor Day was designated as a federal holiday by Congress and President Grover Cleveland in 1894. The Labor Day holiday now means a way of recognizing the contributions that working Americans have made to our country.

Labor Day also signals the traditional end of summer, the beginning of football season, and barbecuing with family, neighbors, and friends. Will your Labor Day weekend plans include leaving the Valley of the Sun for cooler weather in the high country or possibly boating on a lake or river? Here’s a checklist to prepare your HVAC system before leaving town.

Lower the Thermostat

Save money on your next utility bill by simply adjusting the temperature setting on your thermostat. Have a programmable or smart thermostat? Set the away temperature four to five degrees higher than the typical at-home setting and then set it to begin running at a lower temperature a few hours prior to your return so that your home will be pleasantly cool and comfortable when you get home. If you have pets, plants, or heat-sensitive furniture in your house, it’s best not to adjust the thermostat.

Change the Filter

With summer ending soon, it’s a good time to replace your air filter, which is likely clogged with dust from monsoon storms. Clogged filters are a leading cause of HVAC inefficiency. It only takes a few minutes to clean or replace your air filter. You’ll not only breathe easier, but you’ll also appreciate the smaller energy bill.

Tune-up Time

An end-of-summer tune up can provide your HVAC system with the maintenance it needs to run smoothly and efficiently into autumn and beyond. One of our professional technicians will test your AC system to make sure that it is working efficiently, lubricate any moving parts, clean the system, and perform a safety inspection. It’s as easy as calling Bruce’s today at 480-968-5652 to schedule service.

Happy Labor Day from everyone at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating. We wish you and your family all the best while taking time to enjoy the last vestiges of summer.

The Dog Days of Summer and Your HVAC System

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We’re squarely in those long mid- to late-summer weeks— that period of time that makes Phoenicians long for autumn to arrive. Here are some tips to help your HVAC system help keep you cool until the change of season begins.

Take Another Look at Your Air Filters

Many homeowners are satisfied that they’ve done an adequate DIY AC summer maintenance job by installing new filters. In fact, filters should be changed about once every month during summer due to the increase in airborne dust. Your air filters may even need to be changed more often if there are pets in your home.

Check That Your Vents Are Open

It’s the time to check vents to make certain they are open. Here’s why vents should not be closed. Air conditioning systems are based on balance and pressure. By shutting off vents in one room, you are creating an imbalance in the entire system which does not help and in fact, hinders the effective cooling of your home overall. It’s important to check that no throw rugs, furniture, or houseplants are blocking vents, too.

Recheck Your Thermostat

Check your programmable thermostat to see if it allows for different cooling levels throughout the day, for each day of the week and weekend. Ideally, keep the thermostat’s temperature at 78 degrees for optimal energy efficiency when your family is indoors.

Help Your HVAC Unit Last

AC units are manufactured to last approximately 10 to 15 years, but they’ll only reach this lifespan if they get the proper cleaning and maintenance they require. If you forget to schedule these services as recommended, then you could very well end up facing replacement costs years before you should. Cleaning and maintaining your HVAC system ensures that its parts and components don’t give out before the HVAC warranty ends and can help you avoid a premature HVAC system breakdown.

Call Bruce’s for Top Quality AC Services

Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating is the right choice for local air conditioning service to keep your AC system working at its best. Through our expert AC repair, maintenance, and installation services, we’ll ensure that your home stays cool and comfortable during the hottest dog days of the summer. Call us when you need AC maintenance at 480-968-5652 and get the highest quality work from professionals you can trust!

Crane Safety for Rooftop HVAC Installation

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If your air conditioner or heat pump is located on the roof of your home, you may have wondered how it got up there —and, more importantly, how it will be replaced when it’s time for a new one. The fact of the matter is that rooftop installation of an HVAC unit requires a skilled, competent team of professionals that is committed to both quality and safety. The team will consist of both your AC contractor and a crane service that will work together to ensure that both you and your property are safe, following strict, well-defined protocols.

The Work Zone

It’s natural to get excited when a big crane pulls up. You may even see neighbors and other onlookers who want to watch the action or even take photos. While marveling at the mechanics is not a problem, it’s important that a large area is cleared around the path of the crane’s load (the HVAC unit).

Rigging the Unit

Typically, it’s the HVAC contractor who is responsible for rigging the unit before it is craned as they are the individuals who have the most knowledge of it. A standard home unit weighs hundreds of pounds, so it’s important that it is securely attached with straps and hooks to ensure that it is lifted safely and not damaged while it is being lifted. It’s not worth damaging a unit or risking safety if the correct equipment isn’t available.

Safety on the Roof

Reputable, experienced HVAC contractors are very comfortable working on roofs, but they are always conscientious, moving slowly and deliberately to avoid falling or making a costly mistake.

Communication

Every member on the worksite needs to be aware of what’s happening with the crane at all times. Hand signals are used for communication between the crane operator and foreman to ensure there is no confusion. Everyone must be alert for instructions throughout the craning process.

Avoiding Power Lines and Trees

Crane operators must take extra precaution to stay away from power lines, trees, and other tall objects. If there isn’t enough space, the job must be performed a different way.

Be Aware

As the homeowner and the customer, it’s always a good idea to watch the craning process. See how the unit is being rigged, watch it being lifted up, take photos, and ask questions. It’s your house, and it’s your HVAC system. Reputable HVAC companies will welcome you as you watch this fascinating process.

At Bruce’s, we take rooftop HVAC installation very seriously. Call us for more details about our installation process or to schedule a free quote on a new unit.