Category Archives: Repair

Fix That Noisy HVAC System!

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Few things are more annoying than a repetitive, irritating sound coming from your HVAC system. Being stuck at home because of the pandemic only makes these rattles, squeaks, and whirls even more frustrating. Before you take a hammer to your air conditioner, let’s get a handle on the situation and figure out what’s going on and how you can quiet that noise for good.

What’s the Source?

There’s a multitude of reasons why your HVAC system may be noisy. So, the first thing you’ll want to do is note the type of sound, when you hear it, and its location.

Running Continuously

If the sound is just the system running incessantly or cycling continuously, you’ll want to call for repair. Why? Well, a constantly running air conditioner or furnace will quickly run up your electricity bill while also wearing down the unit’s internal parts. It’s also a signal that you’re likely to experience a breakdown. Some of the most common reasons for a continuously running system are:

  • Dirty coils
  • Clogged filter
  • Refrigerant leak
  • Blower motor failure
  • Ductwork issues
  • Frozen evaporator coil

Really Loud!

Are you struggling to hear anything over the sound of your HVAC system? You could have the wrong sized unit or need a tweak of your system configuration. At Bruce’s, we’re happy to come out to evaluate the situation and determine your best options for turning down the volume.

Whining and Whistling

Spooky, phantom whistles and whines coming from your system can send shivers down your spine. Fortunately, they can typically be identified and repaired quickly. Often the reason is:

  • Leaky ductwork
  • Fan motor problems
  • Clogged filters

Now, if the sound is more of a rattle or shake, it’s likely to be worn bearings in the fan motor or problems with the fan motor blades. Sometimes, the unit itself needs to be remounted to minimize any vibration. Because air conditioning units have high voltage components and refrigerant, don’t attempt to make this repair yourself.

Squeaking

Squeaks and squeals are another common sound that often indicate that the blower motor is about to give out or that the motor shaft bearings require oiling.

Your HVAC system should provide peace of mind while offering peace and quiet. Call Bruce’s today to get control of those irritating noises.

5 Questions to Ask Before Your Next HVAC System Repair

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If you’re struggling with an old, inefficient or malfunctioning HVAC system in Tempe, AZ or any of the surrounding areas, it can be a daunting task to figure out what to do. You may have questions and concerns and want to know what your available options are.

We put together this useful collection of questions to ask any HVAC company that you’re considering before they step foot in your home. The answers can save you both time and money.

1. Do I need a technician to fix this problem?

Often, simple problems can be solved with a quick DIY fix and don’t require the help of an HVAC contractor. For example, a tripped circuit breaker can easily be reset to return the power to a system.

2. Do you offer a free quote?

Professional HVAC contractors will offer upfront pricing, regardless of the repair. After evaluating the system, a contractor that is legit will offer a clear and justifiable quote to make repairs.

3. What are the likely problems?

Again, it’s important to work with a professional contractor. While they may not be able to provide you with a final solution at first glance, they can offer a narrowed down list of potential problems and what the repair will entail.

4. How long will it take?

A reputable company, such as Bruce’s, comes prepared to repair the most common HVAC problems. Only if there is a very unusual or specific issue will there be a need to order parts. If parts are required, they typically take no more than three days to receive.

5. Are you insured and bonded?

It’s important to do your due diligence when it comes to any company and individual who is working in your home. Along with finding out if they are insured and bonded, you may also want to check the Better Business Bureau to ensure the company is committed to 100% customer satisfaction.

Not all HVAC contractors are created equal. Take the time to ask the right questions. And don’t work with any company that doesn’t provide the answers you’re looking for.

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

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year

The lights are up, the decorations are on the tree, the kids are off school, and everyone’s excited about Santa’s upcoming visit. At the end of December, HVAC stands for Holiday Vacation for All Children (while parents pull triple duty and feverishly prepare for the parties and festivities ahead.) As Andy Williams’ Christmas carol from the 60s reminds us, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” In our opinion, there’s no better place to be for the holidays than right here in Phoenix, Arizona.

It’s All About You

With the holidays fast approaching, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on what makes our business possible. You guessed it – it’s you! We’re deeply grateful for all our wonderful customers. Thanks for trusting us to be your go-to HVAC service provider. We truly appreciate your business. Here in greater Phoenix, you have many companies to choose from and you chose us. We’re thankful for the opportunity to serve you and we hope you and your family have a “warm” Christmas (just call us if it’s not warm enough!) We’ve been in business a long time and we’re convinced that Arizonans are amongst the friendliest, happiest people in the United States. We think it has something to do with the perfect winter weather. Who wouldn’t be thrilled just to be here?

Our Lines Are Open

We understand that issues may come up at any time. If you have a furnace or HVAC related problem come up during the holidays, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re here and ready to serve you, day or night.

What Constitutes an Air Conditioning Emergency?

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It is the middle of the night. You wake up out of a deep sleep feeling discomfort from heat. As you rise to turn on the light, you realize, something must be wrong with the air conditioner because the house is hot and stuffy. Now you have an important decision to make. Can this wait until morning or could something possibly be wrong? There’s a difference between an unfortunate inconvenience and a true emergency. Here are a few tips for dealing with a midnight air conditioning failure.

Trouble Shooting at 3 AM

Occasionally, we receive “emergency” calls from panicky homeowners, and it turns out the power is down in the entire neighborhood. If your power is on, then the first thing you need to check is your thermostat to see if it’s working properly. If your thermostat is off, you may need to replace the batteries. Next, check to see if the AC system circuit breaker has been tripped. It’s important to note, circuit breakers are installed as a safeguard. If you’ve been having problems with your AC circuit breaker constantly going off, that indicates an electrical issue, which is something you don’t want to ignore.

If the power’s on and you’ve reset your thermostat to the correct temperature and your AC still won’t work, you should check your air conditioning unit to make sure you don’t have a serious situation, such as:

  • Electrical Problems – Burning Smell – Over 80 percent of AC repairs are related to electrical issues in your air conditioner. There are numerous electrical switches, condensers, controllers and motors, which all have a tendency to wear down over time. If you notice a burning smell or any signs of smoke or a flame out, you should immediately call for service. Electrical issues are dangerous, can cause fires and should be dealt with by professionals ASAP.
  • Wiring Issues – Exposed Wires – Wiring issues and exposed wires can be hazardous and cause harm. Remember, never touch an exposed wire. Loose or frayed connections can cause a short circuit to components within your AC system. Wiring issues should be handled by professionals.
  • Gas Furnace Leaks – Any time you can smell gas around your furnace, you should call for service immediately. Whether you have been using your furnace or not, the smell of gas always represents a danger to you and your family.

Don’t Get Overheated

If you do not detect any immediate danger signs, remember, temperatures can rise very quickly inside a home when the AC is not working. If you have young children, an elderly person, or someone who suffers from respiratory distress, soaring heat inside the home can constitute an emergency situation.

Our Motto Is – At All Times, Safety First!

We’d like to stress that you should never ignore a problem if you think it requires immediate attention. Our phone lines are open 24/7 to handle emergencies as they arise. If you have any questions concerning your HVAC system, please feel free to give us a call.

Air Conditioner Parts and Components Most Likely to Need Replacement

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When purchasing a used automobile, buyers check the mileage first. Registration papers disclose the model year and how long a car has been in operation. However, it’s the odometer that reveals actual usage, which usually gives the best indication of what kind of shape a vehicle is in. Manufacturers use mileage as a guideline for routine and major service checkups. Motorists understand that the more miles you put on your car, the sooner you’ll need service to replace worn out parts. With automobiles, running time, regular service and maintenance tend to matter more than the chronological age of a motor vehicle. The same applies to air conditioners.

Running Time – Air Conditioners Log Heavy Usage in Arizona

Though most Arizona air conditioning units log heavy usage, they are not equipped with a mileage indicator. In fact, due to sustained population growth in the area, many Phoenix residents are new to their homes and have little or no information as to the age of their air conditioning system. To further complicate matters, AC systems are extremely complex and made up of various components, each with its own life expectancy. Depending on wear and tear, some parts will need to be replaced sooner than others. Here’s a list of AC components which may require replacement during the typical lifespan of a conventional air conditioner in Arizona:

  • Air Filters – Though not a moving or electrical part, air filters are a crucial element to providing clean air in your home and require constant replacement. Air filters should be replaced at least six times per year and more frequently if you have pets. Also, if you have a family member who is dealing with asthma or a chronic respiratory condition, air filters should be replaced once a month.
  • Contactor / Capacitors – Electrical parts, such as the contactor or run/start capacitors, motors, fans and wiring are responsible for more than 80 percent of all air conditioner service calls. Your air conditioner’s contactor and capacitors are some of the most heavily used parts in your AC system. With all the wear and tear on these electrical parts, they will most likely be replaced more than once during the lifespan of your AC system. It’s best to let our experienced professionals handle electrical problems as DIY mistakes can be costly and dangerous.
  • Blower Motor / Fan Motor – The fans in your AC system run at full tilt for the better part of six months each year during Arizona’s extended summer. It’s only natural that at some point, the fan blades may experience some form of fatigue or obstruction, or the motors may simply burn out due to extreme use. During a spring tune up, our friendly service technicians will check the blower motor, fans and other components for indications of impending failure.
  • Evaporator Coils – The dirty secret and most common problem with the evaporator coils is they get covered with dust and debris, which reduces their effectiveness. Cleaning the evaporator coils is frequently the solution to the problem. Occasionally, evaporator coils can become damaged due to corrosion, which causes tiny pinholes in the sealed system which unfortunately releases refrigerant into the air. This is not readily apparent to homeowners or handymen. Leaks are detected with special equipment which our service techs use during an AC inspection.
  • Compressor – Your air conditioner’s compressor handles a heavy workload and is one of the most expensive components in your AC system. The most common reasons for compressor failure, which would necessitate replacement, are dirty coils, which cause the compressor to over work and constantly run at a high temperature. Clogged refrigerant lines that can lead to an increase in internal pressure, placing a strain on the system, and incorrect refrigerant levels, which again, place an added burden on the compressor which may ultimately lead to it burning out. The good news is that most compressor problems are preventable. With regular maintenance and twice-yearly service inspections, problems can be detected and remedied before a compressor replacement is required.

Let Us Handle the Complexities of Your AC System So You Can Enjoy Cool Comfort This Summer

Spring is just around the corner. It’s a great idea to schedule an AC system inspection in February or March before the temperatures get too hot. A spring tune up means you’ll be ready to enjoy summer with peace of mind and cool comfort in your home. Call us today.