Category Archives: Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Spring Is in the Air


With temperatures warming up, Arizona is in bloom. While wildflowers and citrus trees are a colorful addition to our desert landscape, they release tremendous amounts of pollen. For allergy sufferers, this can mean miserable sneezing, watery eyes, wheezing, and coughing. While allergy medication can help curb symptoms of seasonal allergies, it’s important to keep in mind the significant role your home’s HVAC system has in the air that you breathe. Depending on how you maintain your home’s system, your symptoms could improve or be exacerbated.

Indoor Air

Air filters are a first line of defense against bacteria, viruses, pollen, dander, and other particulates that can circulate in your ductwork and indoor air. Although replacing your HVAC air filter is important all year long, this easy maintenance task is especially vital during hay fever season. It’s always a good idea to replace your system’s filter at least once a month through the end of spring.

MERV Filters

Clogged, dirty air filters not only increase the cost of your energy bill; they also restrict air flow and degrade the air quality in your home. A MERV filter can capture larger airborne particles between .3 microns to 10 microns. The best MERV air filters for your home will have a rating between 8 to 16. The higher the rating, the better the MERV filter is at trapping specific types of particulates. Make certain that your HVAC system is turned off for your safety prior to changing out your dirty air filter.

HEPA Filters

The quality of the air you breathe has a huge impact on your health. If you or family members suffer from significant allergy symptoms or respiratory conditions, like asthma or COPD, consider adding a HEPA filter that can remove even more of the particulates that lead to symptoms. The U.S. Department of Energy defines these high-efficiency particulate air filters as removing at least 99.7% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of .3 microns. Our experienced technicians can discuss more about this option.

Get Ready for Spring

Spring is almost here, and pollen is in the air. Don’t let allergic symptoms prevent you from making the most of the season. Schedule a spring tune-up and we’ll be happy to replace your air filters and checkout your entire HVAC system, so you’ll be ready for spring’s rising pollen count and warmer temperatures. Why not call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating today? We’re available anytime of the day or night at 480-968-5652.

UV Lights and Indoor Air Quality

What’s the story with UV lights helping to clean your home’s indoor air? UV (ultraviolet) lights have frequently been in the news during the COVID pandemic. This light, invisible to the human eye, is responsible for creating summer sunburns. It’s also remarkably effective battling certain types of bacteria found in our homes. Like your AC air filter, UV light systems can help reduce indoor air pollution.

Mold, viruses, fungi, and bacteria can circulate throughout an HVAC system. These can pose serious health threats like breathing issues such as asthma or COPD. UV lights at certain frequencies can kill these microbes and inhibit their growth inside an HVAC system. UV radiation has been used for decades in hospitals, factories, and buildings to disinfect air, water, and nonporous surfaces to reduce the spread of bacteria.

There are two types of UV lights manufactured for sanitizing your HVAC system—air sanitizing lights and coil sanitizing lights. The type of system to add depends on your home’s HVAC system.

UV Air Sanitizing Lights

This type of system is installed in your home’s ductwork to kill airborne mold, fungi, and germs along with eliminating odors. HVAC air sanitizing lights must be hardwired and sometimes are timed to turn on and off when the blower motor does.

UV Coil Sanitizing Lights

Coil sanitizing lights sterilize the coils when you have central air conditioning. Coils condense moisture from the air to dehumidify your indoor air. A perfect setting for mold and bacteria growth spreading throughout your house. Coil UV lights are installed to generate UV spectrum light on the surface of the coil.

UV Light Installation Systems

Installing a UV system can help reduce the harmful effects that microbes have on your breathing and overall health with the added benefit of controlling odors. UV lights must be installed properly due to safety risks for people, animals, and objects. If these lights are not installed correctly, there can be eye injury, burn-like skin reactions, and damage to materials, such as plastics and dyed textiles.

Call Bruce’s today for more information on UV systems at 480-968-5652.

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.