Category Archives: Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

How to Select the Right Air Filter for Your Home

With spring just around the corner, it’s a smart time to replace one of the most essential components of your HVAC system – the air filter. An HVAC filters most basic function is to remove impurities from the air within your home and protect your HVAC system from damage. But there is more than one option when it comes to choosing a filter.

Fiberglass

These are the most common and inexpensive filters. Fiberglass air filters are effective in trapping large air particles, but they’re not the best choice for catching dust and other pollutants like pet dander from indoor air. If you have allergies or other common respiratory problems, you should consider using a higher-grade filter.

Pleated

Pleated filters are remarkably effective at trapping small particles and provide better filtration than fiberglass, as they’re made from dense screens of cotton or polyester. The pleats provide more surface area for filtration and allow for more air contaminates to be trapped. Both fiberglass and pleated filters should be changed out at least once every three months.

Washable (Reusable)

Washable, reusable air filters can save you money in the long run even though they cost more than disposable fiberglass or pleated filters. They can be easily cleaned by hosing them down or vacuumed to remove particle buildup. In other words, you don’t need to replace them. But, it’s important to clean them according to the recommended schedule provided by the manufacturer. You’ll want to ensure the filter is completely dry before using it to prevent mold and bacteria growth.

Electrostatic

Electrostatic air filters trap more particles, including smoke, dust, and pollen particulates through electrostatic charge. This type of filter prevents these particulates from entering your home. Electrostatic filters can be one-time disposable use or washable. The washable electrostatic air filters are eco-friendly but can lose their electrostatic charge over time resulting in decreased ability to catch small particles.

HEPA

High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are a great choice for homeowners with allergies, respiratory issues, or compromised immune systems. They consistently remove up to 99.97% of household contaminants 0.3 microns or larger in size. The US Department of Energy recommends this type of filter in homes and businesses.

UV

UV filters eliminate microscopic elements by using ultraviolet light to kill viruses, bacteria, or mold that can be harmful. This type of filter has become more popular during COVID-19 and can kill microorganisms that other filters cannot. However, it’s important to note that UV filters will not remove dust or most allergens. The best way to clean your home air is a system using both a UV filter and a standard air filter.

Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating is your go-to HVAC service company for all your home’s heating and air conditioning needs. Schedule a visit by one of our experts today.

Indoor Air Quality Testing – What You Need to Know Now

Air quality continues to be a newsworthy topic. More than ever, it’s important to ensure your air is clean, and not triggering respiratory issues like allergies and asthma, as well as spreading other illnesses.

While there is a variety of indoor air quality products that can improve the quality of your home’s air, it’s essential to first test the air to determine if anything is needed at all. You can schedule a convenient time for one of our air quality testing experts to evaluate the quality of your indoor air by calling 480-968-5652.

For many of our customers, the right choice for improving indoor air quality is a whole house air cleaner that significantly reduces allergens and airborne particulates, like dust mites, dander, mildew and bacteria. The American Standard air cleaner that we recommend removes nearly 100 times the amount of airborne allergens indoors than a standard 1-inch air filter does.

Often, we replace the thermostat at the same time that we install an air cleaner. This is because today’s advanced thermostats are designed to optimize heating and cooling, as well as monitor indoor relative humidity. This means it works with your HVAC system and air cleaner to promote clean air.

Of course, regular HVAC maintenance is also important when it comes to indoor air quality. Routine cleaning, inspection and refrigerant checks can help keep your system running optimally while enhancing air quality. And you can do your part by regularly changing your AC filter.

Want to learn more about improving your indoor air quality? The experts at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating are happy to answer your questions and to set up an appointment with an air quality testing expert. Whether you’re in Chandler, Scottsdale, Phoenix or any other city within the greater Phoenix area, call us at 480-968-5652.

Maintaining Your Indoor Air Quality This Summer – What You Need to Know Now

Summer in Gilbert, Chandler or any city of the greater Phoenix metro area is undeniably hot – bringing on indoor air quality issues for homeowners. And these issues are made more complex as summer monsoons begin in June. Now is an ideal time to fine-tune your indoor air quality as we enter the hot weather months.

More Time Indoors

As we spend increased time indoors, there should be a greater focus on indoor air quality. Many homes have high levels of contaminants in the air, like pollen, pet hair, dander, dust mites, spores and dust which can cause a host of allergic symptoms, including eye irritation, congestion, wheezing, coughing and sinus problems. For individuals with asthma or other pulmonary conditions, the problems caused by poor indoor air quality can actually be dangerous.

Summer Allergies

While spring is notoriously tough for allergy sufferers in Gilbert and surrounding areas, allergen levels often remain high throughout the summer months. These contaminants can make their way inside through open windows and doors and can settle in carpet and within you HVAC system’s ductwork.

Increased Air Conditioner Usage

All of us are cranking our air conditioners this time of year – and for good reason. Triple digit heat outside produces uncomfortably hot temperatures inside. Fortunately, our trusty air conditioners keep our indoor spaces cool and comfortable. Yet, all the air conditioner usage causes the recirculation of air which can spread contaminants.

Monsoon Humidity

Once summer monsoons begin, humidity levels increase both outside and inside your home. This can breed microbes within your HVAC system that can amplify allergies and breathing problems.

Get Your Home Tested

Determining your home’s indoor air quality isn’t as simple as taking a deep breath. At Bruce’s, we recommend scheduling an indoor air quality test. With easy-to-understand results in hand, we’ll help you determine the right products to address specific areas for concern in your indoor air. We offer a range of products which can help, including a whole house air cleaner that removes nearly 100 times the amount of airborne allergens indoors than a standard air filter does.

Schedule an appointment with a Bruce’s air quality testing expert today by calling 480-968-5652.

Has Pollen Got You Down for the Count? Your Air Conditioner Can Help

Spring training is underway. When the crack of baseball bats echoes through the Cactus League stadiums, Phoenix residents know that’s the sound of the seasons changing. Winter has been unusually mild this year, and temperatures are already climbing. Spring is in the air. As the trees and flowers awaken and bloom, pollen, ragweed and other allergens will be floating about causing sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes and stuffy noses. Your air conditioner is crucial to removing these little devils from the air circulating inside your home. If you suffer from allergies, asthma or other pulmonary conditions, you’ll want to schedule a March tune-up for your air conditioner.

How to Achieve Pollen Free Clean Air Inside Your Home

Allergy experts report that 30 percent of Arizona residents suffer from hay fever or allergies during this time of year. Here are some of the steps you can take to reduce the effect of ragweed, pollen and other allergens in your home:

  • Replace Your HVAC Air Filters

    Replacing air filters on a regular basis is always a good idea. When your filters are overloaded, dirt, dust, pollen and other particulates can find their way into your home. A clean HVAC air filter forms the first line of defense in safeguarding your indoor air quality (IAQ). Changing air filters is recommended at the start of spring and at least six times throughout the year. This will not only improve your IAQ, it will also lengthen the life of your air conditioner.

  • High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters

    For individuals with extreme allergies or respiratory conditions, high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters remove more than 99% of particles. These special HEPA filters can be added to your existing HVAC system. Our service technicians will be happy to discuss the benefits of the HEPA option.

  • Ducts and Dust

    One part of your HVAC system that is often overlooked, HVAC ducts are glossed over because they’re hidden behind walls and ceilings and are difficult to reach. However, dust and dirt can build up inside your air ducts and directly impact the quality of air inside your home. Given that summer is coming, when people spend most of their time indoors, having clean ducts can make a huge difference. Also, leaking ducts can cost you bucks! Losing cold air through leaks in your duct system impairs the efficiency of your AC.

  • Spring Is in the Air – Just Call Us and We’ll Be There

    Do you have a child with asthma or someone in your home suffering from COPD? If you’ve found yourself sneezing and wheezing more than usual, why not give us a call? We’ll be happy to perform an HVAC assessment, change your air filters, get your HVAC system ready for summer and improve your indoor air quality immediately.

Pre-Summer Air Conditioning Checklist for a Worry-Free Summer Season

Sun block – locked and loaded. Pool gear and new swimming suits – check. When it comes to the rhythms of the seasons in Arizona, children complete their school year just as the temperatures start to heat up. Being prepared for summer means ensuring a cool inside environment for your kids and for everyone else as the hottest part of the year approaches. Air conditioning is a necessity in Arizona, and if you have only one service call per year (we normally advise two, one in spring and a second in fall), be sure to have your air conditioner checked while the temperatures are still below 100 degrees.

Phoenix Is Known as the Hottest City in America

Monsoon season starts in June, bringing high winds, driving rains ands incredible dust storms. Global warming means the trend for even more 100 degree plus days will continue. In 2018, there were 128 days where the temperature soared above 100. It all adds up to quite a challenge for the hardest working, largest and most complex appliance you have in your home – your air conditioner. Here is a pre-summer checklist of things you can do to get ready for the sizzling summer ahead:

  • Check Your Air Conditioner for Obstructions – Set aside some time on a weekend afternoon to check the general condition of your air conditioner. Make sure there are no obstructions or debris blocking the unit. Clear out grass, weeds, branches or anything that may hinder the free flow of air around your outdoor condenser.
  • Check All the Vents Inside – It is a good idea to do a walk through your house and inspect the vents to make sure they are all open. Ensure they are not blocked by furniture or storage boxes. Do you hear an annoying whistling in vents when your AC is on? This may be an indication of low return airflow. Our service technicians will make sure your return air ratio is in balance.
  • Replace Your Air Filters – Clogged or dirty air filters can cause problems for your air conditioner. It’s important to replace your air filters, particularly before the hottest part of the year. Your air filters help remove unwanted particulate dust, fine dirt, pollen and pet dander from the air circulating throughout your home. For better indoor air quality, change your filters more often.
  • If You’re Going to Install a New Air Conditioner, Now Is the Time – Installing a new air conditioner will save you money on your electric bill and provide years of cool comfort. However, you don’t want to wait until your old system totally breaks down. Especially in the middle of summer. If you think your present air conditioner may bite the dust this summer, it’s best to have an assessment performed sooner rather than later.

May Is Slipping Away – Summer Heat Is Just Around the Corner

With Memorial Day approaching, we know the busiest time of our service year is just about to start. Service calls increase dramatically with the first heat wave. In the desert, it’s best to be prepared for summer. Why not call us today for a worry free, cool summer!