Category Archives: Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

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Breathing Easy in the Desert


Phoenix metro might boast year-round sunshine, but when winter lingers, indoor air quality often takes a hit. Stagnant air, high ozone levels, blooming flowers and trees, and even everyday activities can contribute to a cocktail of pollutants that irritate lungs and impact overall health. Let’s explore the top culprits threatening your home’s air quality during late winter.

1. Dust, Pollen, and the Dreaded Dust Storm:

As winter winds pick up, they can whip up dust and pollen, creating a potent respiratory irritant. Closing windows and doors might seem your logical choice, but it traps existing pollutants inside. Investing in an air purifier with a HEPA filter can trap these airborne particles, significantly improving indoor air quality.

2. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs):

These chemicals, emitted from household products like paints, cleaning solutions, and personal care items, can build up indoors, especially with closed windows. You’ll want to opt for low-VOC alternatives whenever possible, ensure proper ventilation during and after product use, and properly store strong-smelling products outside if possible.

3. Mold and Mildew:

Winter months with limited ventilation and potential moisture leaks can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew. These microscopic organisms can trigger allergies and respiratory problems. You’ll want to inspect for signs of moisture intrusion, address leaks promptly with your trustworthy local HVAC specialists, and use dehumidifiers to control humidity levels below 55%.

4. Pet Dander and Fur:

While your furry friends bring love and joy, their dander and fur can exacerbate allergies and asthma. Regular grooming, frequent vacuuming, and dedicated pet-free zones can minimize airborne pet allergens. You may want to consider buying air purifiers with HEPA filters specifically designed for pet dander.

5. Carbon Monoxide (CO):

This odorless, colorless gas, a byproduct of combustion, can leak from gas appliances, fireplaces, and even portable generators. Install CO detectors in your home and ensure proper maintenance of all combustion appliances. Regularly testing these detectors is crucial for early detection and prevention of CO poisoning.

Your health and comfort depend on good indoor air quality. At Bruce’s Air Conditioning, we believe everyone should be breathing clean indoor air. Our certified technicians are available for questions and concerns 24/7, including all holidays. Call us today at 480-968-5652 to schedule an appointment for specific recommendations and solutions tailored to your home’s unique needs.

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Six Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality During Monsoon Season

Summertime brings particular air quality issues for Arizona homeowners. Monsoon thunderstorm season brings extreme heat and high humidity levels which can create challenges for your HVAC system and indoor air quality. With windows and doors shut and the air conditioner on for comfort, indoor air quality can decline to unhealthy levels.

Here are six ways to maintain your home’s indoor air quality during monsoon season and beyond:

  1. Replace Air Filters

    The first line of defense to keep indoor air quality high is your AC air filter. During the summer monsoon thunderstorm season, haboobs (dust storms) can form generating huge amounts of dust and debris which can quickly overload your HVAC system. This excess dust and debris eventually get trapped in your air filters and ductwork. By getting in the habit of regularly replacing air filters, you can minimize much of the contaminants from entering your inside air. Ideally, filters should be replaced at least every 30 days during the summer months.

  2. Keep Indoor Dust Levels Down

    For family members with respiratory issues such as allergies, asthma, and COPD, summer dust storms can be very problematic. The American Lung Association recommends a regular schedule of dusting and vacuuming to help keep indoor dust levels down.

  3. Use Localized Ventilation

    Turn on range hoods and exhaust fans when cooking or showering to reduce indoor humidity levels. Using ceiling fans and portable fans can be useful to reduce heat levels in nearby rooms.

  4. Keep Out Mold and Mildew

    Fix any leaky indoor plumbing which can contribute to the growth of mold and mildew and decreased air quality. Regularly check and clean areas in your bathrooms where standing water or excess humidity may reside resulting in mold and mildew.

  5. Add Indoor Plants

    Adding more indoor plants can help clean indoor air of carbon dioxide. Plants can even reduce formaldehyde, benzene, and VOC toxins.

  6. Whole-House Air Purifier

    Your experienced air conditioning technicians at Bruce’s can provide you with an evaluation of your house’s air to let you know what particulates are circulating indoors. In some cases, a whole-house air purifier may be a wise decision to reduce your home’s air of dust mites, spores, mildew, fungus, bacteria, and other contaminants.

By incorporating these ways to improve your indoor air quality, you’ll be able to breathe a little easier during the hot months of summer. Call your professionals at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating today at 480-968-5652 to schedule your appointment.

Can Air Duct Cleaning Improve Your Indoor Air Quality?

Summer in Arizona is the perfect time to do some deep cleaning of your HVAC system ducts. Were you aware that dirty air ducts can decrease the effectiveness of your home’s central heating and cooling system and reduce indoor air quality?
Duct cleaning is a great way to enhance the lifespan of your HVAC system, improve indoor air quality, and lessen the frequency of respiratory symptoms such as dry or irritated eyes, nose, throat, and skin along with sinus congestion, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and headaches.

What’s Duct Cleaning All About?

Performing air duct cleaning can help decrease the amount of pollen, dust, mold spores, and other contaminants that get trapped in the numerous air ducts throughout your home. These microscopic levels of contaminants accumulate inside your house and can directly affect your family’s health and increase monthly energy bills. Air duct cleaning will reduce these levels of environmental triggers for asthma, allergies, and COPD.

In the Valley of the Sun, pests and rodents can also make themselves at home in your air ducts. Cleaning your air ducts maintains the hygiene of home and eliminates these pesky creatures.

The best way to avoid serious duct contamination is to have a qualified service provider clean the components of your duct system. Components that should be cleaned include supply and return air ducts, evaporator coils, diffusers, registers, grilles, heat exchanger coils, condensate drain pans, fan motor housing, the air handling unit housing, and other associated components. Failure to clean one or more of these components can result in re-contamination of your home. Any holes, leaky joints, or cracks will be sealed properly during servicing.

In a typical air duct cleaning, our technicians will use special tools to dislodge contaminants and debris from duct surfaces. Then, we’ll use a high-powered vacuum to remove the debris into one of our trucks. When you have your HVAC system’s air ducts cleaned, you allow the fans in the system to easily circulate clean air throughout your home.

HVAC Air Duct Cleaning

The desert climate of Arizona naturally lends itself to contamination of HVAC system air ducts. It’s important to have periodic air duct cleaning to restore your HVAC system to its original cleanliness and operating efficiency levels. Call Bruce’s today at 480-968-5652 to have one of our qualified technicians come to your home and assess the current state of your HVAC system ducts. You can count on Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating to help protect your HVAC system and your indoor air quality.

Top Tips to Improve Indoor Air Quality

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After a single exposure to a pollutant, some immediate health effects can potentially appear, including irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue according to data from the EPA. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) health effects can also show up many years later which may include respiratory diseases, heart disease, premature death, and cancer.

How can you limit exposure to both short-term and long-term pollutant sources in the Valley of the Sun? A key step is to limit concentrations of certain particulates in your indoor air. Second, would be to pay close attention to improving indoor ventilation and reducing or eliminating sources such as smoking, cleaning fluids, hobbies releasing high concentrations of pollutants, and fixing malfunctioning appliances.

Decreasing Indoor Allergens

There are many sources of indoor pollution that can trigger health problems, such as allergies and asthma. Dirt, dust, and other particulates being blown out from an HVAC systems are a primary source of poor indoor air quality. Wood burning fireplaces and air fresheners are two other sources of allergens.
One of the best ways to combat these triggers for asthma and allergies is with an air cleaner with a HEPA filter which can remove the majority of particulates in the air including dust, pollen, pet hair, dander, dust mites, mildew, fungus, smoke, and bacteria.
At Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating, we specialize in helping homeowners improve their indoor air quality. We offer a variety of air cleaning systems that can dramatically improve the quality of air inside your house.

Control Sources of Pollution

Yes, this means dusting and cleaning on a regular basis, so that particles don’t get stirred up and airborne. Regular surface cleaning off floors, blinds, drapes, furniture, and decorative items is a must.

Improve Indoor Ventilation

Opening up windows and sliding glass doors to let fresh air in can improve your indoor air quality. This can also limit exposure to viruses, such as COVID-19, RSV, influenza, and colds.

Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Leaking furnaces, water heaters, ranges, and clothes dryers can cause dangerous air quality issues. If you have gas appliances, you will definitely want to install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors to alert you if you should ever have a leak.

We encourage you to call Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating, so our IAQ experts can help you improve the quality of your indoor air. We’re happy to inspect your home, make recommendations, and install a system that will greatly reduce health problems associated with poor indoor air quality. Call us today 24/7/365 at 480-968-5652 to schedule an appointment.

Home Indoor Air Quality and Your Furry Friends

Pets provide joy and love for their forever families. Their role in homeowners’ lives is undeniable, and they’re a vitally important part of many families in the Phoenix metro area. Yet, your pets can also impact your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ).

Most pet owners think that animal allergies are triggered by pet hair. Yet, the culprit almost always is dander. Dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, and other household pets 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. These indoor air quality tips will help keep your IAQ sniffles and coughs to a minimum so that you can share a healthier, happier household with your furry companions.

Pet Bathing and Grooming

Cleaning your pet can help keep dander in check. This means regular brushing and bathing are in order. Follow recommendations from your veterinarian on the optimal schedule for grooming. Of course, most often, cats don’t like bathing. There are other options including specialized pet wipes and higher quality brushes available as alternate ways to help keep your pet dander-free.

Food

High quality food and plenty of fresh water are very important for minimizing dander. A healthy coat and skin start 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 for your vacuum and a higher numbered MERV HVAC filter to catch more dander and fur that is being generated from your pets and circulated in your indoor air.

Whole Home 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.