Category Archives: Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Air Scrubbers to Purify Your Indoor Environment in 2019

With the holidays behind us and the new year ahead, we at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating think there’s one more gift you might want to consider giving your family in 2019. It’s an invisible gift you cannot see, touch or feel. Some might argue, next to life itself, it’s the most precious commodity of all. The air we breathe. Why not make this the year you take your indoor air quality (IAQ) to a whole new level?

Air Pollution Verses Indoor Air Quality

In 1970, Congress passed the Clean Air Act, which established guidelines and air quality standards throughout the United States. Dirty, polluted air has existed for centuries, particularly since the Industrial Revolution. The term “air pollution” became commonplace and entered the public consciousness approximately 50 years ago with newspapers and media outlets providing daily air pollution index reports.

Indoor air quality is a more recent term, gaining popularity in the last ten years. Many people believe that though the outside air may be dirty or polluted, inside the sanctuary of their home, school or office building, they are protected from air pollution. This, unfortunately, is not always the case. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency states, “Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors where the concentrations of some pollutants are often two to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.”

Desert Dust, Pollen, Pet Dander and Other Allergens

Desert dust storms are a dramatic sight to behold, sometimes stretching for miles and blotting out the Arizona sun. With all that fine dirt swirling around your house, it’s easy to understand that some dust is going to find its way into your HVAC system. Pollen and ragweed, two of the most prevalent irritants in the Phoenix area, are constantly floating in the air and will make their way inside. As much as homeowners love their pets, dogs and cats generate dander, which causes allergic reactions in many individuals.

With the doors and windows shut as they are most of the time in Arizona, your home is a closed system. Your air conditioner is equipped with filters that do their best to remove allergens, irritants and particles. However, for some people with severe allergies or respiratory conditions, it’s not always enough. If you or someone in your family is highly allergic, dealing with COPD or other respiratory disease, you may want to consider adding an air scrubber to your HVAC system.

What Are Air Scrubbers?

Air scrubbers are devices that remove particles and other offending pollutants from the air inside your home. These super filters are added on to the air handler in your existing HVAC system. Your air conditioner already has air filters, which should be checked and replaced regularly. An air scrubber system will provide extra purification for individuals with special respiratory requirements. Families with cats and dog can benefit from air scrubbers. Pet dander in the home is the root cause of many allergic reactions. Other air quality improvement systems include adding UV lights to eliminate mold and bacteria in ductwork. Our service technicians will be happy to meet with you and explain all the options.

If you’re ready to take your IAQ to the next level, give us a call to set up an appointment. Our experienced and friendly service techs will perform an inspection on the current state of your HVAC system and an assessment of your indoor air quality. Call us today.

Use Plants to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Even in sunny Arizona, the average person spends about 80 percent of their lives indoors. Increasingly airtight, today’s homes require less energy for cooling and heating, yet they also have higher rates of toxic gases that can be potentially troublesome, and even toxic, to those who breathe them. Carbon monoxide, ozone and volatile organic compounds can all emanate from paints, carpets, furniture and home office equipment. Particularly during the summer months, when doors and windows are often kept shut due to the extreme heat, it’s important to use strategies to improve air quality. One of the most overlooked ways to counteract toxins and pollutants is to add more plants in your home.

Plants: More Than Just Decorative

Interestingly, most homeowners only think about indoor plants in terms of their aesthetics. Yes, they add color and style to a home, but they actually do much more. Plants improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis. They also increase humidity and passively absorb pollutants on the surface of their leaves and through their root system.

In the 1980s, NASA performed a research study to investigate ways to create healthy, breathable environments in outer space. They discovered that certain tropical plants, which are commonly used as house plants, were effective in removing toxins like formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethane from the air and replacing it with breathable oxygen.

While all plants provide some air quality benefits, tropical plants are especially effective. These include:

  • Bamboo palm
  • Chinese evergreen
  • Dracaena
  • Ficus
  • Gerbera daisy
  • Peace lily
  • Philodendron
  • Mother-in-law’s tongue
  • Spider plant

Don’t Forget Your HVAC System

Although plants are beneficial to improving your home’s indoor air quality, it’s also important to ensure your HVAC system is not adding air pollutants. Replacing or cleaning your system’s air filters is vital to keeping your indoor air clean. Regular maintenance is also necessary. Breathe easier by calling Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating today to schedule a maintenance visit at 480-968-5652.

How’s Your Office Indoor Air Quality?

Health problems caused by poor indoor quality in commercial spaces has become a common occurrence. Research from the US Environmental Protection Agency have shown that levels of pollutants are higher in offices and other business settings than outside. In buildings with poor air quality, employees may complain of headaches, nausea, congestion, dizziness and other symptoms. Often, the problems arise when workers enter their office and diminish when they leave. Commonly referred to as “sick building syndrome,” it’s a leading cause of absenteeism and decreased work production.

Sources of Indoor Air Quality Problems

There are usually multiple factors at play in a building that has indoor air quality problems. Typically, there is the presence of indoor air pollutants and poorly planned uses for the building. Common sources of pollutants include:

  • Tobacco smoke
  • Asbestos from fire-retardant building supplies and insulation
  • Formaldehyde from office furniture and carpeting
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Restroom air fresheners
  • Paints and adhesives
  • Copy machines and printers
  • Pesticides

However, the number one cause of commercial space indoor air quality problems is inefficiently maintained and operated HVAC systems. Problems can arise in an effort to save energy. Often, these are ventilation-related issues caused by inadequate amounts of outdoor air being circulated. HVAC systems can also be a source of indoor pollution themselves by circulating dirt, dust and biological contaminants that have grown in air conditioners, humidifiers and ventilation ductwork.

Your Partner for All Your Commercial HVAC Needs

Because air quality is vital to your business success, it’s important to choose an HVAC contractor that you can rely on. Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating is among the most trusted Phoenix-area commercial HVAC service providers, partnering with many businesses throughout the Valley. With more than 40 years in business, we have the experience and expertise to get the job done right the first time. From HVAC installation and maintenance to emergency repair, we’re your go-to source for all your commercial air conditioning needs. Call us at 480-968-5652 to learn more.

Are These Air Duct Problems Impacting Your Home Comfort?

If you’re like many greater Phoenix area homeowners, you may be unaware that your HVAC system’s air ducts play a very important role in your home’s comfort, as well as its energy efficiency. Although your heater and air conditioner primarily control your indoor air temperature, your system’s ductwork is responsible for circulating the air throughout your home. In other words, an air duct problem can lead to an uncomfortable, energy inefficient home.

The following are the most common air duct problems that can affect your indoor air and HVAC system’s efficiency.

Design Flaws

You may be surprised to learn that many homes are built with a problematic layout of air ductwork. This is commonly seen when air must run through an extended area of attic. This problem can often be corrected by redirecting ducts to a more direct route to increase efficiency.

Poor Airflow

Another frequently seen air duct problem is inadequate airflow. Along with having a direct route for ductwork, it’s also important to have sufficient return for supply ducts. Your HVAC system requires a sufficient supply of air to heat and cool your home.  Without enough air, your system must work harder and can’t produce as much cooled or heated air.

Duct Blockages

Kinks and twists in ductwork can reduce airflow and decrease efficiency. Holes, tears and gaps in air ducts also cause air to leak out. Leaking ducts also lead to contaminants from the attic, crawl space or basement entering into air within ducts that then flows into your home.

Dirty Air Ducts

Indoor air can be 10 to 70 times more polluted than outdoor air. Dirt, pet hair, dust, pollen, smoke and more can get trapped in your home and continuously circulate through ducts. High humidity and hot temperatures can also spawn mold, fungus, spores and dust mites. This is why it’s important for air ducts and air filters to be cleaned on a regular basis.

At Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, we can test your home’s air and determine if pollutants and particulates are circulating in your home and provide guidance on the best options for improving your home’s air quality and function of your HVAC system. We can evaluate your HVAC system, including your ductwork, to optimize your home’s comfort and efficiency.

What Pet Owners Should Know about Indoor Air Quality

Do you consider your dogs, cats or other animals to be part of your family? Pets are an incredibly important part of many families in the greater Phoenix area. Yet, they can also impact your home’s indoor air quality.

Most individuals believe that animal allergies are triggered by pet hair Yet, the culprit is usually dander. Dogs, cats and other mammals produce dander which consists of tiny particles that drop from your pet’s skin and fur. To keep dander under control in a home, it’s important to prevent its buildup and to focus on maintaining your indoor air quality.

Bathing and Grooming

Cleaning your pet can help keep dander in check.  This means regular brushing and baths are in order. Follow recommendations from your veterinarian on the optimal schedule for these important tasks.


High quality food and lots of water (especially here in the dry desert climate) are also important for minimizing dander. A healthy coat and skin begins with a proper diet.

Air Filter

Expect to change your indoor air filters more often with pets. Ideally, these should be changed once a month or according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Check your filter on a regular basis and change or clean it if it looks dirty. Consider upgrading to a HEPA filter to catch more dander and fur that is being generated from your pets and circulating in your indoor air.

Consider a Whole-House Air Purifier

Even with diligent grooming, plenty of good food, and clean air filters, your home’s air can still have plenty of sneeze-inducing allergens caused by pets. If you have a family that suffers from allergies, asthma or other health issues, a whole-house air purifier is a smart solution.

At Bruce’s Air Conditioning, our technicians can test your air and determine what type of particulates are circulating inside your home and whether an air purifier would be a wise decision. Installation is quick to enable you to begin enjoying clean, fresh air right away.

Call us today at 480-968-5652 to schedule an appointment.