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Air Conditioner Parts and Components Most Likely to Need Replacement

This entry was posted in Repair on by .

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.

Is a Noisy Air Conditioner Ruining the Peace and Quiet of Your Home?

According to the National Weather Service, the summer of 2018 featured no less than 128 days of 100 degrees or more. That’s over four months of serious Arizona heat! The long-range forecast in 2019 is for more record-setting triple digit temperatures. As modern inventions go, it’s hard to imagine a more useful, life-saving appliance in your home. Air conditioners make summer in Arizona livable. However, for all their ingenious heat transferring qualities, air conditioners are not always the quietest appliance in your home.

What Is That Noise?

Do you experience an ear-splitting high-pitched whine every time your air conditioner starts up? Are there serious thumps and ka-chunks when the compressor kicks in? This might be your air conditioner’s way of telling you, “I’m not going to be ignored. It’s time for my spring AC service call.”

Here’s a list of common AC noises and what they might be indicating as far as your air conditioner is concerned:

That Annoying, High-Pitched Squeal

A high-pitched whine or squeal is a sound often associated with slipping belts or an issue with the bearings. Either way the noise is most unpleasant and indicates service is needed.

Thump, Ka-chunk or Loud Rattling During Start-up

There is some argument as to whether the sound is more of a Ka-chunk or a thump. We’ll let the sound effects experts debate that point. Unfortunately, these noises are frequently caused by loose mounts, but more often than not, can indicate a problem with the compressor. This is not a sound you want to ignore.

Tick-tick or Clicking Sounds

A rhythmic tick-tick or clicking sound is often caused by faulty fan blades. Sometimes, it can be as simple as a branch or a twig lodged in the fan. An obvious question is, “How can something hit the fan blade when it’s in an enclosed area?” Occasionally, high winds from thunderstorms blow branches and debris into your air conditioner. Clicking sounds can also be caused by defective relay switches.

A Loud Buzz

Air conditioners rely on electric motors to make the fans go, power the compressor, move liquids through the pumps and more. As with any electrical device or motor, if you hear a loud buzz or notice an incessant humming coming from your air conditioning unit, you’ll want to turn it off right away. If you hear crackling or detect a burning smell, you’ll want to act immediately. Turn off the AC unit at the circuit breaker and call for service. Electrical problems are responsible for over 80 percent of AC issues.

Wind Whistling Sound Near Vents Inside the House

If you hear wind whistling, whooshing or the faint sound of a distant train coming from your vents, you can rest assured, it is not an errant Amtrak whistle or a ghost train calling to you from the other side, but rather a pretty decent hint that there’s a loss of pressure or an opening somewhere in your duct work.

The Only Sounds You Want to Hear – The Sounds of Silence

“And the people bowed and prayed, to the “freon” God they made…” so wrote Paul Simon in his famous 60’s hit, The Sounds of Silence. When your air conditioner is working properly, you’ll hear a little whoosh from the fans or no noise at all. Silence is the sound of a healthy air conditioner. For most people, out of sight – and out of earshot – is most ideal. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help your air conditioner pass the ear test. Call us today.

Financing A New Air Conditioning System for Your Phoenix Home

In many regions of the U.S., air conditioning is a nonessential amenity. It’s a handy convenience that is enjoyed a few weeks out of the year. In Arizona, air conditioning is an absolute necessity. An improperly cooled, over-heated desert home makes life miserable. An air conditioning system improves every aspect of daily living and makes the summertime in Phoenix manageable. If your air conditioner was failing last summer or you already know it’s time to replace your AC, early spring is the ideal season to install your new HVAC system. The weather is mild, so you won’t be sweating it out while the new system is installed. As well, scheduling is easier in February and March before the temperatures heat up and the AC service calls start rolling in.

A New HVAC System Is a Major Purchase

For most homeowners, a major purchase, such as a new air conditioning system, requires a fair amount of research and consideration. Let’s face it, air conditioning systems are not cheap. Air conditioners are built to last a long time (ten years or more). However, the unforgiving desert climate means AC systems need to be replaced sooner rather than later in Arizona. If you find yourself in the position of needing to replace your HVAC system and you’re concerned about paying for it in one lump sum, Bruce’s Air Conditioning has financing options for you to explore.

Benefits of Bruce’s Air Conditioning’s Financial Partner

We’ve been around for many years and have worked with thousands of Phoenix area families. We understand that sometimes air conditioners break down and need to be replaced at exactly the wrong time, financially speaking. Being able to purchase a new AC system and space out the payments means you and your family will enjoy a cool, comfortable summer without having the burden of writing one huge check.

Here are the benefits of utilizing Bruce’s Air Conditioning’s financial partner:

  • Quick Approval Process – We’ve made applying for financing as painless as possible, and the approval process is quick and easy. You’ll know in a very short period of time if you are approved for financing for your new air conditioning system.
  • Open Line of Credit – You’ll have an open line of credit for future, additional purchases if other projects come up or if you care to utilize it.
  • Credit Limit Increase – You have the option of an unsecured, revolving line of credit, meaning you won’t have to offer any collateral for the credit limit, and you won’t have a set monthly payment. The lender may even increase your maximum credit limit if you’re making significant, consistent payments toward the balance on your new AC system.
  • Manage Your Account Online – You can manage your account simply and easily online.

Why Not Get Started?

We know that buying a new air conditioning system is a big deal. Choosing, purchasing, financing and installing a new HVAC system can be a daunting process. It all starts with a phone call. Contact us today and we’ll help you every step of the way. Call Bruce’s Air Conditioning at 480-968-5652.

Spring Arrives Early in Arizona – Will Your Air Conditioner Be Ready?

This entry was posted in Maintenance on by .

One of the great benefits of living in Arizona is taking advantage of the spectacular winter weather and the early arrival of spring. In February, while most of the country finds itself knee deep in winter, Phoenix residents attend spring training games in shirt sleeves and shorts. In 1946, Bill Veeck purchased the Cleveland Indians and brought them to Arizona for pre-season exhibition games. Soon after, Major League Baseball established the Cactus League, which has grown tremendously since it was founded. Last year, Cactus League games attracted 1.75 million fans and visitors from all over the world. Spring training gives pitchers and position players the opportunity to tune-up and get ready for the long season ahead. The question for your household is, with spring just around the corner, will your air conditioner be ready for the rising temperatures and the summer season of 2019?

Spring Training for Your Air Conditioner

There’s no question, your air conditioner is the workhorse of all your major household appliances. Once the hot weather kicks in, your AC unit generally runs many hours per day from early spring until late fall. Often installed on the roof, HVAC units are subjected to extreme temperatures, UV rays, high winds, dust storms, monsoon rains and other extreme desert conditions. A highly complex system loaded with fans, motors, moving parts and intricate electrical components, your air conditioner, in order to run flawlessly, requires regular service and fine tuning, just like an automobile. `

The key to trouble-free, continuous cool comfort in your home from spring training through the World Series finale, starts with an AC inspection and spring tuning well before the summer heat turns up. Here are a few of the most common issues we find after air conditioners have been sitting idle through the winter months:

  • Dirty Air Filters and Clogged Coils – After running for a full season and being idle for months, your air conditioner often suffers from dirty air filters and clogged coils. Our service technicians will install new air filters and remove the desert dust and debris from your coils and your entire unit. We will check for leaves, branches and debris blown into your air conditioner during storms, and we’ll make sure you have no animal infestations.
  • Electrical Issues – Did you know that over 80% of air conditioning break downs are related to electrical issues. From capacitors to condensers, electrical motors, fans and wiring, your AC unit has many sophisticated component parts that need to be checked regularly to make sure they are working properly. It’s important to note, many electrical parts simply wear out over time from all the heavy use under the unrelenting Arizona sun.
  • Replacing Freon and Checking for Leaks – A spring tune-up will include checking for leaks and replacing Freon as needed in your air conditioner. If it has been more than a year since your last inspection, remember the constant vibration of your AC unit can dislodge or otherwise degrade connections and couplings in your air conditioner. Leaking Freon can be damaging to your AC unit and harmful to the environment.

Why Not Have Your Spring Tune-up Done Before You Turn on Your Air Conditioner?

This year, don’t wait for something to go wrong before you call for service. Managing your home environment and personal comfort means planning ahead. We recommend one service call in early spring and another in the fall. This enables our friendly service technicians to monitor your HVAC system on a yearly basis to uncover and fix small problems before they turn in to big ones. Give us a call today!

Heater Hints – How to Avoid Furnace Failures

This entry was posted in Heating on by .

Summer spends the winter in Phoenix. It’s the perfect time of year. Daytime temperatures in January hover around an ideal 75 degrees. Nights dip into the 40s with an occasional cold spell. This means your furnace is getting infrequent use and due to the moderate temperatures, not nearly working to its full capacity. The problem with many Arizona heaters is they suffer from abandonment issues. Some homeowners haven’t checked their furnace for years. The fact that furnaces are so reliable, yet used so sparingly in Arizona, means when it comes to maintenance, they often don’t get the attention they deserve.

Simple Steps to Keep Your Furnace Running Smoothly

Without a doubt, the number one step to keeping your furnace running flawlessly is to schedule a professional inspection and checkup once a year. Late fall is generally ideal. However, January, the coldest month of the year, is also an excellent time for a service tune-up. It’s important to remember, there are safety issues involved with furnaces that should be checked by an experienced technician. Here are some other helpful things you can do to care for your furnace:

  • Replace Air Filters – Dirt is the nemesis of your entire HVAC system. Depending on where your furnace is located, dust storms can blow fine desert dirt into the inner workings and moving parts of your furnace. Changing the air filters on a regular basis keeps the dirt out and the air inside your home clean.
  • Check Vents and the Fresh Air Intake – Furnaces are often located in closets, basements, crawlspaces and attics. Because these locations sometimes double as storage areas, it is a good idea to check to make sure nothing is blocking the free flow of air to your furnace.
  • Eliminate Clutter – Papers, toys, clothing or other items on top of or around a furnace can be hazardous. Over the years, we have seen all kinds of potentially dangerous items sitting on top of working furnaces. It is important to make sure the area surrounding your furnace is clutter-free.
  • Create an HVAC/Furnace File – Take a few minutes to compile all the information, owner’s manuals, HVAC warranties and service records you have in one place. Keeping track of the service performed on your furnace (and AC unit) will help you control costs and know when it’s time to repair or replace.

A furnace in Arizona is a little like a screen door on a submarine. It’s not crucial, like air conditioning. In fact, it’s rarely considered except on those few cold days when you really need it. Take a moment to schedule a furnace inspection with one of our friendly service technicians, and we promise you won’t regret it!