Category Archives: Maintenance

Happy New Year from All of Us at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating

As New Year’s approaches, all of us at Bruce’s Air Conditioning want to wish you a happy, healthy, air-conditioned 2019! We love the C.S. Lewis quote, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” Here’s to big dreams and hoping 2019 will be a cool, comfortable year for you and your family.

A Few Air-Conditioned Resolutions for 2019

We all make promises to ourselves as the new year approaches. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, stop eating fast food, and the all-time favorite – exercise more often. These goals appear on just about everyone’s list. Even though many of these lofty objectives are long forgotten by Super Bowl Sunday, Phoenix area homeowners have the opportunity to commit to a resolution they can keep the entire year. In 2019, resolve to give your family the coolest, cleanest, healthiest indoor air possible. Here are a few resolutions we, at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, can help you keep.

  • Resolution #1 – Start the Year with a Complete HVAC Assessment – Let our service technicians perform an HVAC system checkup and thorough inspection. The best way to plan for the year ahead is to know the exact condition of your components before the extreme heat begins. Do you notice a drop off in cooling power during extreme heatwaves? Was your air conditioner making funny noises upon start up? Whatever problems you may have experienced this past summer, one thing is for certain. AC problems rarely fix themselves. January and February are great months for service calls. Let us assess your system and solve the little problems before they become big ones.
  • Resolution #2 – Remember to Change Your Air Filters More Often – Do you have a family member with asthma, allergies or another respiratory condition? Clean air filters help reduce indoor air pollution. Changing air filters is not a difficult job but it is an easy task to forget. In 2019, why not make a resolution to send yourself a monthly reminder on your calendar to check the filters and replace when needed. Our service technicians will be happy to show you how it’s done.
  • Resolution #3 – Establish a Regular HVAC Maintenance Program – It’s no secret that Phoenix is one of the fastest growing metro areas in the United States. Many people move here to escape the harsh winters of the Northeast and Midwest. Homeowners new to the Southwest are often surprised to learn just how long and extreme the summers are in Arizona and how crucial air conditioning is to daily living, May through October. Much like scheduling regular service checkups at pre-set mileage intervals for your car, establishing a twice a year maintenance program for your HVAC will ensure your system is in top form all year long.

Happy Holidays from All of Us at Bruce’s Air Conditioning – We are grateful to our customers for making 2018 another great year here at Bruce’s Air Conditioning. As long as Arizona keeps supplying the heat, we’ll keep delivering the cool. May 2019 be your best year ever and if we can be of any service at all, please give us a call.

Prepare Your HVAC System for the Holidays

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and you’re likely gearing up for the holiday season. Along with meal planning, gift buying and decorating, it’s a good idea to ensure your HVAC system is ready for the festivities. With these simple strategies, you can be confident that you won’t have a malfunction that ruins your celebration.

Schedule a Seasonal Tune-up

First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure your system is functioning properly. Don’t get caught off-guard without heat on Thanksgiving Day or before your holiday open house. You may not have turned on your heater yet this season, so take this opportunity to call the experts to inspect and tune up your system. Any problems can be identified and fixed to prevent the unexpected from happening.

Replace or Clean Air Filter

When was the last time you replaced or cleaned your HVAC air filter? This one simple task can not only improve the quality of your inside air, it will extend the life of your system. Don’t forget to carefully choose the right size of filter to maintain optimal air flow.

Learn How to Use Your Programmable Thermostat

It’s likely that you already have a programmable thermostat on your wall. But, do you know how to use it to effectively to control the temperature in your home? If not, take a few minutes to learn how to program temperature settings. Set the temperature lower for when you’re sleeping or away from home. And, set it to turn on an hour before you awake or get home from work.

Clear Space Around Heating Equipment and Vents

For most of the year, you’re not thinking about heating. It’s just too darn hot here in the Valley of the Sun! Yet, you may need to flip the thermostat to heat at some point during the holidays. Before you do, you’ll want to make sure all flammable materials, including books, blankets, decorations and area rugs are away from heating equipment and vents.

Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

House fires and carbon monoxide leaks increase greatly during the winter months. Take a few moments to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning and replace batteries if necessary. Remember, carbon monoxide isn’t detectable by sight or smell.

Your Holiday HVAC Services Partner

At Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, we’re here for you throughout the holidays and all year long. With 24/7 emergency service, we’re only a call away when you need us.

Winter Wellness for Your Air Conditioner

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“Welcome to Arizona – where summer goes to winter,” so says the old quote. Winter weather in the Valley of the Sun is as good as it gets in the US. In November, when temperatures dip into the 70s, many desert dwellers bid farewell to their air conditioner for the next six months. In fact, we’ve had clients tell us they’ve had years where they’ve gone the entire winter season without touching their thermostat. That means, once they turned off their air conditioner, they never even bothered to switch their furnace on. Now that’s a perfect winter in Phoenix.

One thing is for certain, once you turn off your air conditioner for the season, it’s going to be idle for many months. Let’s face it, even your lawn mower needs service after sitting in the garage for six months. Here’s a handy checklist of things to do to prepare your air conditioner for the winter season ahead.

  • Perform a Visual Inspection – If you can possibly manage the time, set aside a few minutes to visually inspect your air conditioner. Would it surprise you to know that many people rarely even look at their unit because it’s simply located on the far side of the house or up on the roof. If your unit is located on the ground, check to see if it has become overgrown with weeds or if there’s any evidence of animal infestation. Look to see if there was any damage to your HVAC unit during the monsoon season. Occasionally, branches or leaves can be blown into or under your unit, hindering airflow or causing obstruction.
  • Replace Your Air Filters – Air filters are the number one guardian protecting you and your family from dirt, dust and particulate air pollution floating in the desert air. Air filters should be changed at the very least, once every three months. However, if you have pets or if you suffer from respiratory challenges, you might consider changing your filters more often. It is a common misconception that since the air conditioner has been turned off, you don’t need to change your air filters. You’ll breathe easier if you get into the habit of replacing your air filters at least six times per year.
  • Check Your Thermostat – Since you are taking the time to review your HVAC system, it might also be a good idea to check your thermostat and consider upgrading to a new smart, wi-fi enabled programmable thermostat which will save you both time and money. It has been our experience that most homeowners rarely think about their HVAC system or their thermostat until they malfunction. However, the new smart thermostats are just that – smart. They remember to adjust the temperature at night and when you are away at work, so you don’t have to think about it. Many homeowners are seeing significant savings from their smart thermostats.

Time to Schedule a Winter Service

Even though your air conditioner may have the next six months off, scheduling a winter service might be the best thing for it. If you’ve experienced any nagging problems with your air conditioner over the summer, give us a call. If you noticed any strange noises coming from your air conditioner toward the end of the season, don’t wait until spring to deal with it. November and December are great months for service because the workload is not as crushing as it is in the heat of summer. Don’t forget, performing upgrades while the temperatures are lower means you won’t have to sweat it out while the repairs are being done. Why not call us today to schedule your winter service.

HVAC Problems Can Be Scary – Is It Time to Prepare for Colder Nights?

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For many families, especially kids, the holiday season starts with Halloween. The Great Pumpkin, children in colorful costumes, hayrides and trick or treating – all are welcome hints that summer is over and cooler nights will soon be here. When you live in the desert, waving goodbye to triple digit temperatures for another year feels liberating. Walking the dog in the middle of the day (instead of 6 am) or just enjoying the perfect fall weather reminds Arizonans why they moved here in the first place.

October is also a great month to have the “H” in your HVAC checked. Firing up the furnace for the first cold night can sometimes bring unwelcome surprises. Many homeowners schedule two HVAC checkups per year; one in early spring for air conditioning and another in fall to check the furnace and prepare for winter.

Your Furnace Has Been Idle All Summer Long

Many Phoenix residents chuckle at the thought of getting their furnace inspected. “It’s been as hot as blazes, and you want me to have my heater checked?” It’s important to note, though winters are mild in Arizona, desert nights can get downright cold. Any appliance that has been unused and collecting dust for six months can benefit from a service inspection. Here are a few reasons why October is the perfect time for an HVAC checkup:

  • The First Time Is Not Always a Charm – The intense summers in Arizona push your air conditioner to the limit. Monsoon dust storms deposit fine desert dirt and dust in your HVAC system. Depending on the type of air conditioner/furnace combination you have installed in your home, the constant vibration from the air conditioner can cause problems with other moving parts including your heater. As the weather cools down, we often receive calls from concerned customers telling us there’s a burning smell coming from their furnace. This may be something as simple as dust burning off or, if it persists, it might be something more serious. If you notice a burning smell you haven’t noticed before, please call for service immediately.
  • Gas Furnaces – Gas furnaces do a great job of providing heat for homes. However, because they are slightly more complex than electric heaters, they don’t always fire up perfectly the first time after their summer vacation. Our experienced technicians will check all aspects of your gas furnace (including that darn pilot light that always seems to need relighting) to insure a safe, first time start up when the temperature drops.
  • Have You Installed a New Thermostat? – Thermostats are generally very reliable and problem free. However, many homeowners have elected to install smart thermostats which give them more control over their HVAC system. As with any new piece of equipment, it may be a good idea to have one of our technicians double check the thermostat and make sure the settings are correct for both the AC and the heater.
  • Prepare for the Holidays – Scheduling a HVAC checkup in October means you will be all set for the coming holidays. There’s nothing worse than a furnace malfunction on a holiday weekend. With summer over, the air conditioning emergency calls slow down and regular maintenance appointments can be scheduled and completed in a jiffy.

Furnace Problems Can Be as Scary as Halloween – But Not As Fun

It’s best to play it safe with winter on the way. If your furnace has not been checked for over a year, why not call us to schedule a check up and make sure everything is in proper working order. One thing is for certain, turning on your heater on the first cold night only to find out it’s not working is downright scary. Call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating today.

Air Conditioning Maintenance: 3 Simple Things to Do Today!

For most homeowners, air conditioners are complex, multi-component systems that sit outside (or up on the roof) humming along, providing a cool interior environment through sweltering Arizona summer heat. It’s not unusual for people to go an entire summer without giving air conditioning maintenance a thought – until something goes wrong. It is an unproven scientific fact that air conditioners tend to breakdown at exactly the worst times. What can a homeowner do to decrease the number of AC related emergencies and increase the indoor air quality enjoyment index?

There are how-to books and endless articles about the care and maintenance of your air conditioning system. There are YouTube videos explaining AC parts and how they work. But let’s face facts – most homeowners have neither the time nor inclination to attempt a do-it-yourself approach for something as crucial as air conditioning. The extensive electronics and intricate systems are simply too complex, require special tools and monitoring gauges, and are too important to be handled by untrained novices. The most important decision you can make when it comes to your air conditioning system is to choose a team of specialists to keep your air conditioner in top shape.

#1 – Change Your Air Filters Once a Month

During monsoon season, dust storms generate tons of wind-whipped dirt and dust in the Phoenix air. Mile high dust storms blotting out the sun are a sight to behold. However, all that dust can affect healthy breathing, especially for people with asthma or respiratory conditions. Living in the desert means indoor air quality is of tremendous importance to you and your family. During the summer months in Phoenix, most families spend over ninety percent of their time inside. When you get in the habit of changing your air conditioning air filters once a month, you’ll notice a dramatic improvement in the indoor air quality in your home.

#2 – Embrace the New Wi-fi Enabled Programmable Thermostats

Many homeowners are reluctant to upgrade their thermostats. Two axioms come to mind: If something isn’t broken, don’t fix it, and human beings are, by nature, resistant to change. You may be happy with your current thermostat, but did you know you can save a lot of money with a new programmable thermostat? The fact is, changing your thermostat will probably take some getting used to. However, the benefits will far outweigh the inconvenience of learning a new system. Many of the new programmable thermostats are equipped with smart technology that tracks your schedule and learns your temperature preferences. With many models, you can tie your thermostat into an app on your phone which will enable you to adjust your home system from anywhere via your smart phone.

#3 – Schedule Regular Service Calls in the Spring and Fall

There’s no doubt that Phoenix is the hottest city in America. The desert climate is extremely demanding on your AC unit. Your air conditioner sits in the hot sun, exposed to the elements, cranking out the cold air for months at a time. Even though air conditioners are built to last, the best way to take care of them is with a preventive maintenance program. Scheduling two service calls per year ensures that your HVAC unit is ready for summer and winter. Why not call the pros at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating and see how simple and easy air conditioning maintenance can be.