5 Signs Your Air Conditioning System Needs Attention

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Air Conditioner

When the air conditioning system in your Slaton, Texas, home doesn’t seem to be cooling as well as normal, you may wonder whether you should be concerned. An air conditioning system will often provide some warning signs when it needs attention from an HVAC technician. Keep an eye out for some of the most common signs and know who to call for assistance.

Lack of Airflow

When the air coming through your vents feels weak, the compressor in the air conditioning system may be failing. Unfortunately, the compressor is one of the most vital components, so this type of issue may end up requiring a total system replacement. However, a lack of airflow can also be caused by other potential issues. For example, if your ductwork is blocked, the air won’t be able to move through the ducts properly. Even a dirty filter can cause issues with the flow of air to the rest of the house.

Keeping up with regular HVAC maintenance can reduce the risk of having this problem at your home. During an AC tune-up, your technician will inspect all the components and take a look at the ductwork to see how well air can flow through it. If they spot any warning signs during that maintenance service, you can have repairs performed right away instead of allowing the system to continue to run inefficiently.

Warm Air Coming Through the Vents

If the air conditioning system isn’t able to provide cool air throughout the space, this can indicate that the unit is running low on refrigerant. When an AC unit runs, it relies on refrigerant to remove heat from the air before redistributing the cool air throughout the space. If your unit has a leak, the refrigerant can escape, resulting in a lack of cooling ability.

Warm air coming through your vents can also indicate a problem with the compressor. Even a failing thermostat could be to blame, as it may not be communicating properly with the rest of the AC system. Contact one of our HVAC technicians if this problem is impacting the indoor temperature at your home.

Stinky Odors

Unpleasant odors are never fun, especially when they’re coming from your HVAC system and impacting the air throughout your home. The smell of natural gas could indicate the presence of a gas leak, which is a concerning issue that you should address immediately. An electrical smell could mean the wiring is giving out, while a musty odor often means you have moisture within your ductwork or cooling unit. Even something trapped within your ducts could cause a strange smell that permeates the house.

You may want to invest in regular duct cleaning to prevent debris from settling in the ducts and impacting the quality of the air you breathe indoors, as well as impacting how well the AC can move air through the ductwork. Duct cleaning can remove odor-causing bacteria and debris from causing unpleasant smells in your air as well.

Strange Sounds

Although an HVAC system makes some noise when it operates, you may notice some unusual sounds coming from the unit when something is awry. The sound of metal grinding on metal could mean that the motor bearings are not working properly. If you hear a squealing sound, a belt may have slipped out of place or come loose. A lack of lubrication on the metal components can also result in a grinding or squeaking sound. The sound of knocking could indicate a more serious problem that should be addressed by an HVAC technician.

Thermostat Troubles

If your thermostat is reading the wrong temperature or otherwise behaving strangely, you may just need a new one. Luckily, this is a fairly easy fix in most cases. If you’d like more control over your indoor temperature, you may want to upgrade to a smart thermostat that you can access from an app on your smartphone or tablet. These units connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network and often come with energy-saving features that help you keep your heating and cooling bills under control.

If your air conditioning system is showing signs that it needs some attention, our HVAC technicians at Bruce Thorton can help, so contact us at (806) 589-1014.

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5 Bad Habits that Damage Plumbing

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Damage Plumbing

Whether you nibble at your nails, chomp on gum, or slouch excessively, we all have bad habits that we’d like to ditch. While you may notice your bad habits and try to improve, you may not recognize the bad habits that are adversely affecting your home’s plumbing. Isolate and kick these bad plumbing habits and you’ll preserve both your pipes and your budget. Here are five bad habits that damage plumbing.

Neglecting Plumbing Maintenance

You’ve heard a steady drip, drip, drip coming from your bathroom sink for several weeks now, but you can handle it, right? It’s only a minor annoyance, isn’t it? You may be concerned with paying a plumbing technician to repair what appears to be a tiny leak, but it’s always best to fix it sooner rather than later so your water bill isn’t affected. It doesn’t take long for a non-stop drip to add up.

In addition to repairing leaks, our plumbing technicians can also clear clogs, check your water pressure, and clean your drains. Call and schedule an appointment with one of our plumbing technicians if you identify any issues with your plumbing.

Abusing Your Garbage Disposal

Few of us enjoy washing the dishes, and it can be tempting to speed up the process by dumping everything possible down the drain. After all, the garbage disposal will just take care of it, won’t it? No, it won’t. Your garbage disposal may be helpful at breaking up many types of waste, but it isn’t invincible. If you’re throwing fibrous materials, expandable foods (like rice), potato peels, eggshells, bones, fruit pits, or non-food items down your drain, you’re likely not only damaging the actual garbage disposal, but also the connected pipes.

Save your garbage disposal by tossing these materials into a nearby garbage can.

Letting Hair Down Your Drains

Maybe you shave over your sink or let strands of hair wash down the shower drain. It can be easy to let hair go down the drain without a second thought. These strands of hair may seem inconsequential, but they can cling to soap scum and other materials in your drains, leading to clogs that can further damage your pipes. Instead of letting that hair flow free, trap strands in mesh drain screens that you can place in your sink and over your shower drain.

Overusing Chemical Drain Cleaner

You’re tired of water draining slowly from your bathroom sink every time you try to wash your hands, so you dump chemical drain cleaner into the sink. Problem solved, right? Not quite. While that drain cleaner may be effective at clearing those small clogs, but they often cause more damage than you may think. Those powerful chemicals not only eat through clogs, but they also eat through your pipes. If you have a septic tank, then those chemicals can also harm the waste-eating bacteria living in your tank. That harm can result in sewage backup, and no one wants that.

Instead of overusing drain cleaner, use pipe-clearing tools or call on your plumbing technician to remove clogs. You can also mitigate the chances of your pipes clogging by being more careful about what you allow down the drain.

Using Your Toilet as a Trash Can

As with your garbage disposal, it can be easy to toss waste into your toilet but also as with your disposal, this isn’t a good idea. Some homeowners flush feminine hygiene products, wipes, kitty litter, paper towels, cotton swabs, and other garbage down the toilet. While toilet paper is made to dissolve in water, these other products won’t do so, even if they are labeled as "flushable." Unless something is biodegradable, then don’t use your toilet as a trash can, or you’ll inevitably damage your pipes.

Bad habits can be difficult to kick, but the first step is always recognizing the problem. Now you’re ready to cut water waste and preserve your pipes. Just don’t forget that there’s professional assistance a call away. To schedule plumbing repairs, call BTAC at 806-589-1014.

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6 Plumbing Issues That May Be Causing Your Low Water Pressure

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Maintaining good water pressure in your Lubbock, Texas, home is important to keep you and your family comfortable. If you’re noticing that low water pressure is becoming a problem in your home, there are several plumbing issues you should be on the lookout for that might be contributing factors.

Bad Fixtures

One of the most common problems behind low water pressure are issues with your faucets or showerheads. As these fixtures age, they can become clogged with lime, rust, or dirt, reducing the flow of water. To determine if your fixtures are the issue, clean the screen and aerator on the fixture and try running the faucet or showerhead again. If you don’t notice an improvement in pressure, you may need to replace the fixture.

Water Valve Problems

Two shut-off valves control the water flow in your home. The first one can be found on the street side of your water meter, and the other will be located on the home side. If you aren’t sure where these shut-offs are, you can check around the walls where the piping feeds in. Depending on your city regulations, you may have access only to the home side.

Poor water pressure can be caused by either of these valves failing to open completely, limiting the amount of water that’s pushed through at any given time. Low pressure can also be caused by damage to these valves during maintenance or by built-up sediment. If it’s a sediment issue, the valve will need to be gently opened and closed to break the sediment free and let the pressure return to normal.

Clogged Pipes

If your valves are opening and closing and your fixtures are working properly, it’s possible you have a clog somewhere in your water pipes. This is most likely to occur with galvanized pipes. You should never try to unclog water pipes on your own, because not only can it be complex to diagnose and repair, but you also run the risk of contaminating your drinking water. A certified plumber will be able to pinpoint the location of the clog and rectify the problem while preserving the purity of your water.

A Failing Pressure Regulator

Your plumbing might be equipped with a pressure regulator that can cause problems with water pressure if that regulator begins to fail — it can even cause a major increase in water pressure. If you cannot find a comfortable pressure level, there’s a good chance your regulator is malfunctioning and will need to be replaced.

Corroded Plumbing

If your plumbing has become corroded, the corrosion could be blocking the flow of water to your fixtures. This often occurs in older homes or homes with outdated plumbing. Corrosion can cause problems with the safety of your water supply, so addressing the issue should not be taken lightly.

If corrosion or leaky pipes are detected, you’ll have to consider replacing all the plumbing. When your plumbing is old and corrosion isn’t the issue, the problem could be that your old lines are too thin to provide the flow of water your home needs. If this is the case, you may still need to replace your plumbing.

An Insufficient Main Supply Line

If you’ve checked all the above issues and you’re still having a problem with your water pressure, your main supply line could be the issue. In this instance, you’ll need to find a licensed contractor who’s experienced in water mains to be able to determine if the main line is the required size. Local records may also be able to give you information about the size of the lines. If you’ve recently added more fixtures to your home, there’s a chance the current supply line might be inadequate.

Determining the cause of your low water pressure can be a process of elimination. While there are a few possibilities you can check yourself, it’s best to call a professional plumber to come out to conduct an inspection, diagnose your problem, and provide you with available solutions.

If you’re experiencing low water pressure or other plumbing issues in your home, contact BTAC at 806-589-1014 today to schedule a consultation.

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Indoor Air Quality Tips for a More Efficient Home

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More Efficient Home

Your Lubbock, Texas, home’s indoor air quality, or IAQ, is closely related to its efficiency. Getting rid of contaminants like smoke, dust, dirt, biological growth, pollen, and pet dander will improve your HVAC system’s airflow and prevent inconvenient, costly breakdowns. For a more efficient home, follow IAQ tips like cleaning regularly, using an air purifier, avoiding VOCs, and maintaining your HVAC system.

Cleaning Regularly

Keeping your home clean inside and out makes it more welcoming for guests. Vacuuming and dusting at least twice per week also removes pollutants, preventing asthma and allergy symptoms and unpleasant smells. You’ll also get rid of dirt and dust before it has a chance to clog your HVAC system’s air filter or reduce the airflow in your ductwork. Removing shoes before entering the house is another way to keep contaminants outside.

If you see debris like leaves or grass around your outdoor unit, remove it with a garden hose. You can also add an awning or terrace for extra protection and shade. Your heater and air conditioner won’t need to work as hard to keep you and your family comfortable, so you’ll save energy and extend your system’s life.

Using an Air Purifier

An air purifier or air cleaner will work in conjunction with your HVAC filter to capture contaminants before they can cause health problems like allergy or asthma symptoms, headaches, dizziness, or fatigue. Some models can even remove bacteria and viruses from your home’s air. You can choose a whole-home unit that’s connected to your home’s ductwork or a smaller portable version that works in one or two rooms at once. Just remember to change or clean the filter once per month when you change your HVAC system’s air filter.

You can eliminate additional viruses, bacteria, and even small pests like dust mites with a UV air purifier. A UVC lamp in your ductwork or evaporator coils will affect the genetic material of microorganisms, keeping them from reproducing. This light is stronger than the ultraviolet light that causes sunburns, and the atmosphere normally blocks it.

Avoiding VOCs

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, like benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and acetone evaporate at room temperature. They’re common in commercial fragrances, glues, paints, and cleaners, and they can easily end up in your home’s air. They’re even in some types of particle board and plastics. Air purifiers can’t remove them, but you can use ventilation to get rid of stale indoor air and filter fresh air before it comes in. Many types of ventilation can help you save energy, so a ventilation system is much more efficient than opening a door or window.

Whenever you can, use natural cleaners and air fresheners. Baking soda and water are great for removing stains, and you can make your own furniture polish with a little olive oil and lemon juice. You can use essential oils and potpourri to create a fragrant sachet. If you need to use products that contain VOCs, store them in a shed or storage building that’s separate from your home.

Maintaining Your HVAC System

You should have your HVAC system inspected by a professional at least once per year. Gaps in your home’s insulation or ductwork could let in contaminants and let conditioned air out. An expert like the professional technicians at Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning can catch problems like refrigerant leaks or malfunctioning thermostats before they become costly and inconvenient. You should also have your ductwork cleaned every few years to remove contaminants and any obstructions.

Check your ducts by removing one of your air registers and wiping your ductwork with a damp cloth. If you can wipe away dirt, dust, or other substances, you should have your ducts cleaned by a professional. You could cause damage or miss parts of your ductwork if you try to clean it yourself. Also, make sure that furniture or carpeting doesn’t block your air registers.

Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning has more than 45 years of experience and a fleet of over 65 vehicles. For excellent service and help with improving your indoor air quality from our friendly, knowledgeable technicians, call us anytime at 806-589-1014.

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How Installing a High-Efficiency Toilet Can Save You Money

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bathroom toilet

If you have an older toilet in your Whiteface, Texas, home, you may be flushing money down the drain. Many older homes have toilets that use large amounts of water for the flushing process, increasing your water usage. If your house was built before 1994, and you have not replaced your toilet, consider investing in a high-efficiency model. Let’s look at how replacing your older toilet with a new one can save you money.

What is a High-Efficiency Toilet?

An energy-efficient or high-efficiency toilet is designed differently from standard older toilets. Instead of using several gallons of water per flush (GPF), known as water volume, they use speed, called water velocity, to remove waste. Before 1992, toilets used between 5-7 GPF. After 1994, federal standards required toilets installed in new homes to use only 1.6 GPF, which is substantially lower than older toilets.

Today, a high-efficiency toilet uses between 1.28 and 1.08 gallons of water per flush. Many high-efficiency toilets offer a dual-flush option so that you can press a button that uses the least amount of water for flushing liquid waste. Using the liquid waste option, the toilet will only use about 0.8 GPF and when both buttons are pushed for flushing solid waste, only about 1.3 GPF’s are used. When purchasing a high-efficiency toilet, choosing the dual-flush option will help to save even more water. There are many benefits to installing a high-efficiency toilet that can help you save money while helping to conserve water.

Save on Water Bills

On average, a person flushes the toilet about five times per day, and the more people in the house, the more flushes there are. If you are using an older toilet, that is a tremendous amount of water going to waste. By installing a high-efficiency toilet, you will not only conserve water, but you will see a reduction in your water bill, saving you a substantial amount of money per year.

Save on Energy Bills

If your home uses an electric water pump to pump water into your home, you are using electricity every time you flush the toilet. If you are using an older model toilet, the pump is engaged more often, using more electricity. In addition, the lifespan of your water pump can be reduced if it is constantly cycling on and off for toilet flushes. By having high-efficiency toilets in your home, you can save money on electric bills and potential plumbing repairs, or a water pump replacement.

Save on Parts and Repairs

Because toilets built before 1992 are old now, it may be challenging to find parts and can be expensive to replace broken and malfunctioning ones. Because these older toilets have been used for many years, they run the risk of breaking down and may require an emergency plumbing call. Those weekend, holiday, and late-night plumbing emergencies can cost quite a bit of money. Instead of putting money into patching your old water-guzzling toilet, consider installing a new, well-built, high-efficiency one that will last for years to come. You can save on repair costs with a new modern toilet.

Save On Septic System Issues

If your home is on a septic system, water conservation is always on your mind. Excess water inside of your septic tank can cause it to overflow, creating a smelly, and unhealthy mess that requires an emergency pump out that can cost quite a bit of money. It is vitally important to install a low-flush toilet while on a septic system, or for optimum water conservation, choose the dual-flush option for minimal water use. You will save money by not having to have your septic system pumped out so often, and can also save money on expensive emergency pump outs and repairs.

With water conservation and water restrictions being set in place across the country and even globally, water conservation should be a high priority for everyone, and by investing in a modern efficient toilet, you can help to save water. Saving water can help you save money and help to save the environment.

If you would like to discuss changing your old toilets for high-efficiency or dual-flush ones, call Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning today at 806-589-1014.

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4 Reasons to Buy a Programmable Thermostat

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programmable thermostat

You can set a programmable thermostat to change your New Deal, Texas, home’s temperature automatically. That way, you won’t forget to turn down your heater or air conditioner before you go to bed or leave for work. Some devices, often called smart thermostats, can even learn your schedule over time. Programmable thermostats are available in many different styles. You should buy a programmable thermostat for energy savings, comfort, convenience, and better indoor air quality.

Energy Savings

A programmable thermostat will keep your HVAC system from overworking and wasting energy when you’re asleep or away from home. It can help you save energy and lower your utility bills while making your home’s temperature feel constant for you and your family. It also keeps your HVAC system from working as much, extending its life and preventing expensive breakdowns that could increase its power needs. Programmable thermostats are more expensive than standard models, but they can pay for themselves through energy savings in just a few years.


You can set a programmable thermostat to return your home to a comfortable temperature before you wake up in the morning or come home at night. That way, you can enjoy the savings from running your HVAC system less without sacrificing your family’s comfort. Programmable thermostats also make adding zoning easy. Many zoned systems use dampers in ductwork to direct conditioned air where it’s needed most. Others are ductless, which have one outdoor HVAC unit connected to two or more indoor units.

For both types of zoning systems, thermometers throughout your home are connected to a programmable thermostat, letting you change the temperature of one room or zone without affecting the other parts of your home. That way, you can avoid cooling or heating empty rooms, and you can adjust the settings in each zone to eliminate warm areas or drafts. Also, your family members won’t need to argue about the most comfortable temperature. Each of them can choose a different setting for the zone they spend the most time in.


You can control many programmable thermostats from your computer or smartphone. This feature makes checking your home’s temperature or making a change to your settings easy, whether you’re relaxing in your living room or vacationing many miles away. Many models also come with password protection to keep kids or guests from changing your settings.

Programmable thermostats are easy to install and program. You can choose a programmable thermostat that lets you set a different schedule for weekdays and weekends or a separate schedule for each day.

Better Indoor Air Quality

Dirt, dust, pollen, bacteria, and other contaminants in your home’s air can cause unpleasant smells. Poor indoor air quality can also lead to health problems like eye irritation, rashes, fatigue, headaches, asthma attacks, or a runny nose. Pollutants in your HVAC system can cause inconvenient breakdowns and reduce your airflow, as well.

Fortunately, many programmable thermostats will remind you when you need to change your unit’s air filter. They can also tell you when there’s another problem that might make your home uncomfortable, cause unpleasant smells, or need a repair from a professional. They can also monitor the humidity levels and the amounts of many common contaminants in your home’s air. That way, you can keep your family comfortable and healthy. You can also prevent biological growth on your walls or ceilings caused by high humidity.

Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning is a family business with more than 45 years of HVAC experience and a fleet of over 65 vehicles. We have more than 100 employees, and we can help you repair, maintain, and install a variety of heating and cooling equipment, including programmable thermostats. Call us anytime at 806-589-1014 for more information and excellent service from our knowledgeable, friendly technicians.

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HVAC Tips for the Pet Owner

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girl with cat

When you have furry friends sharing your New Home, Texas, home, they often bring a lot of love and affection to your family members. However, many pet owners don’t realize that dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals can impact the efficiency of their HVAC systems, as well as the indoor air quality and safety of the system’s operation. We’re not saying to get rid of Fluffy or Fido, but be aware of how their presence can impact your HVAC, and take steps to protect your family.

Keep it Clean

Pet hair is one of the main things that impact HVAC efficiency in homes with animals versus those without. Both indoor and outdoor air contain many different contaminants, including skin cells, dirt, dust, pollen, and other debris. However, a cat or dog in the house will also shed their fur or hair regularly, which can move into the HVAC system and clog the ducts. Your system’s filter should keep some of the hair out, but many homeowners don’t change their filters as regularly as they should.

When you have a pet, you should increase the frequency of filter changes to ensure it can do its job and keep hair, dust, dirt, and other debris out of the ducts. You can also choose a filter with a higher filtration range, which can prevent smaller particles from moving through the system. Pet owners should also have their ducts cleaned out more frequently to eliminate any debris that has settled. By keeping the ducts clean and free of hair, dander, pollen, and dust, you can enjoy better indoor air quality and improved HVAC efficiency.

Routine Maintenance

It’s always important to keep up on routine HVAC maintenance, but it’s especially crucial for pet owners to schedule these services twice per year. Schedule your furnace tuneup in the fall, before the cold weather hits, and your AC tuneup in the early spring. By keeping up with the required maintenance, you can ensure that your HVAC system is running properly.

As a pet owner, it’s especially important because your system is more likely to get overloaded with pet hair, particularly if you have a furry dog or long-haired cat. The extra hair can wrap around moving parts of the HVAC or clog up an area where air should be moving through, which your HVAC technician can spot during a tuneup. Maintenance can also keep your system running more efficiently, which can help you save money on monthly bills. Air conditioning and heating systems that are well-maintained typically require fewer repairs and last longer than units that sit ignored.

Maintain a Comfortable Temperature

When you adjust the temperature on your thermostat, you’re probably thinking about the comfort of your human family members. But don’t forget about Fluffy and Fido! Their bodies are covered with a layer of fur, so if you’re allowing your home to get too warm during the summer months, they could suffer health effects as a result.

Your pets are likely home even when you’re not, so consider their comfort before you allow the interior of the house to get too warm. You certainly don’t need to keep it set at 68 degrees when you’re away, but don’t shut off the system completely, even if you’re on vacation or away for a few days.

Pet Safety

Pets are often too curious, which can put them in precarious situations. When it comes to HVAC, curiosity really could kill the cat and dog, so it’s important to keep them safe. If your pets go outside, consider building a fence around the air conditioner’s compressor to prevent them from getting too close. Some animals will claw at it, stick their wet noses in it, or worse, mark their territory on it, which can cause damage that’s expensive to repair. As the condenser coil fins spin, animals are especially fascinated by these moving parts.

Indoor pets should be kept away from the furnace and air conditioning system as well, for their own safety.

If your pets are causing trouble with your HVAC system, our technicians are able to help. Contact our HVAC team at Bruce Thornton by calling 806-589-1014.

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4 Ways to Cut Your Heating Bills This Winter

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Cut Your Heating Bills

You can lower your heat bills this winter by adding insulation, using a humidifier, installing a programmable thermostat, and maintaining your HVAC system.

Winters are usually mild in Lubbock, Texas, but you’ll occasionally have to deal with chilly days. Heating is responsible for a large chunk of utility bills in winter, so heating more efficiently can help many households save hundreds of dollars per year. You can lower your heating costs and stay comfortable this winter by adding insulation, using a humidifier, installing a programmable thermostat, and maintaining your HVAC system.

Adding Insulation

Many types of insulation become compact over time. Leaks can form, and mold can grow on them. Even if your insulation is in good condition, adding more and replacing any damaged portions will keep additional heat inside your home and conserve energy. This also prevents drafts and makes your home more comfortable. 

Look for drafts by turning your heater off to eliminate airflow. Then, hold a candle, a piece of string, or some incense near any cold areas in your home. When the string or the smoke from the incense moves or the candle flickers, it’s near a gap in your insulation. You can get rid of drafts underneath doors or windows by adding weatherstripping. Use caulk to fix smaller leaks near electrical outlets and light fixtures.

Using a Humidifier

Humidity is naturally lower in winter, and using your heater can make the air in your home even drier. Dry winter air can lead to nosebleeds, sore throats, dry eyes, and itchy skin. It can also make your home feel cold and cause cracks in wood floors and furniture.

Using a humidifier makes your home feel warmer and lets you save energy by running your heat less often. It can also keep viruses from spreading and prevent costly damage to your home. You can have a whole-home humidifier installed in your ductwork or use a less expensive portable version in one or two rooms at a time.

Installing a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is more accurate than most manual thermostats. You can set it to turn down the heat when you’re away or sleeping and then return your place to a comfortable temperature half an hour before you return or wake up. A more sophisticated smart thermostat can learn your schedule on its own over time so you won’t even have to program. You can control many of these thermostats from your computer or smartphone. Some models can control more than one indoor HVAC unit, and it’s easy to add a separate unit for new additions or different floors.

Other HVAC systems have programmable thermostats that can direct heat or air conditioning to the rooms where it’s needed most through specially designed ductwork. This feature, called zoning, lets you avoid heating or cooling empty rooms. It also allows people to choose the temperature they want for their bedrooms, home offices, or any other areas where they spend lots of time. That way, everyone can save energy while staying more comfortable.

Maintaining Your HVAC System

Regular maintenance helps you catch energy-wasting problems like leaky ductwork or a malfunctioning motor before you waste lots of energy or have to make expensive repairs. You should have your heater checked by a professional at least once per year. Also, change your system’s air filter at least every three months. A dirty, clogged filter can reduce your airflow, lower your indoor air quality, and force your HVAC system to run more and use additional energy.

You should check your outdoor unit for sticks, leaves, grass clippings, and other debris as well. These obstructions and reduce airflow and cause costly malfunctions. If your utility bills start rising suddenly, if you hear strange noises, or if you notice a burning smell when your system has been on for a while, an expert should check your system and repair it if needed.

Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning, has more than 45 years of experience, and we’re a Amana Factory Authorized Dealer. We can help you lower your heating bills this winter by installing, maintaining, or repairing a variety of systems, including humidifiers and programmable thermostats. Call us anytime at 806-589-1014 for outstanding service from friendly, knowledgeable professionals.

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These 3 Shocking Things Can Be a Sign of HVAC Trouble

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Sign of HVAC Trouble

When you adjust the thermostat in your Lorenzo, Texas, home, you probably expect the system to kick on and start heating or cooling your home. Most homeowners don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their HVAC systems, at least not until something goes wrong. However, surprising warning signs like an increase in dust, strange odors or sounds, or uncomfortable allergy symptoms can all indicate HVAC trouble. Keep an eye out for these signs and bring in a professional to do an inspection if you notice anything concerning.

Strange Smells or Odors

Odd sounds coming from your heating or cooling system can mean you have a more concerning problem. You might hear shuddering, clanking, grinding, or squealing noises, which all indicate some type of problem. Shuddering or clanking sounds might mean that a component has moved out of its normal position, causing it to grind against other pieces or shake and clank as the system runs. Grinding and squealing noises often mean that a part is wearing out and needs replacement. Ignoring a sound could end up costing you more, especially since continuing to run the system would cause further wear and tear on the damaged part.

Unpleasant odors are never fun to deal with, but they nearly always indicate an issue. You might catch a whiff of burning electrical wiring, which can mean that you have a circuit issue or something is sparking where it shouldn’t. Since this odor could indicate an increased risk of a fire, it’s critical to bring in an HVAC technician to carry out an inspection, rather than ignoring it. Another concerning odor is the smell of natural gas, which could mean you have a leak. A gas leak can also increase the risk of a fire, as well as cost you more in energy bills.

If you smell mildew, you could have excess moisture in your ducts, which could allow mold to grow. As the air moves through the system, the mold spores decrease the indoor air quality and can lead to serious allergy symptoms, including headaches, congestion, and a sore throat. It’s best to keep up regular duct cleaning to avoid mold growth and keep the symptoms under control.

Unpleasant Health Symptoms

Another warning sign of an HVAC problem is a sudden increase in allergy symptoms. You might notice that you’re sneezing and coughing more often, or you could wake up in the morning with a sore, dry throat. Other signs include increased congestion, headaches, and itchy, watery eyes. One easy way to tell if you’re suffering from an allergy to something in your indoor air is if the symptoms disappear when you leave home. If you’re allergic to something outside, your symptoms tend to stick around whether you’re home or outside; while indoor allergies are worse when you’re in the house.

An increase in indoor allergies can indicate an HVAC issue, such as mold growth in your system or a buildup of dust or other allergens. Duct cleaning can make a big difference in reducing your symptoms and help you feel better. The service will also improve the quality of the air you breathe, which can help you feel better overall.

More Dust 

Dust is normal, but a sharp increase in how much dust accumulates in your home can indicate HVAC problems. The most common problem is excess dust and dirt in your ducts, which moves around as the air circulates. When the system stops running, the dust will settle on tables, countertops, and other surfaces. The movement of dust and debris in the air can also lead to allergies, causing you to feel uncomfortable in your home.

Regular duct cleaning can also minimize this issue since it gets rid of the dust in your ducts. Another benefit of duct cleaning is improved efficiency, which helps to reduce monthly utility bills and extend the life of your HVAC system.

If your HVAC system is showing any of these signs, contact our team at BTAC (Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning) to schedule an HVAC inspection by calling 806-589-1014.

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How to Know Packaged Is the Way to Go

Posted on in Articles

Go Packaged

A packaged HVAC unit is a great option when you don’t have the space in your Morton, Texas, home or office building for multiple parts of the system. Packaged units contain all of the necessary parts within a single box that sits on the roof or to the side of your building. When you’re trying to decide whether a packaged HVAC unit is the right choice, check out these benefits of this type of system.

Takes Up Less Space

The main reason that property owners choose a packaged HVAC unit is to save space. Newer buildings are typically designed with enough space for a split system while older homes and offices may not have the room to accommodate both sections of the unit. Even if you have a newer home, you can still take advantage of the extra space that comes with choosing a packaged system. The outdoor unit of an air conditioning system tends to be the bulkiest, and many property owners would rather give up their outdoor space.

Packaged AC systems don’t need separate units for indoor and outdoor use. Instead, you’ll have one single unit that your technician will install, freeing up valuable space at your property.  

More Accessible

One of the problems that HVAC technicians face when working on split heating and cooling systems is accessibility. The process of examining the system is basically doubled since the technician has to look at components within two different units. As a result, you’re left for a longer period of time without a working air conditioner. During the summer months in Texas, this is something that most property owners simply can’t bear. At an office building, a lack of air conditioning could even result in having to close down for the day since comfortable working conditions are a legal requirement for employees.

With a packaged system, your HVAC technician can easily reach all components within the unit for faster, more efficient service. A packaged system is a benefit for you as the property owner as well as the technician since maintenance and repair services are easier to tackle. When you keep up on regular HVAC maintenance, you don’t have to worry as much about your unit giving out in the middle of the summer or winter. An HVAC technician will perform a thorough inspection of all components of the heating and cooling system and make recommendations for repairs or replacements to make sure that it keeps up with the changing seasons.

Improved Efficiency

When you choose a government-certified Energy Star packaged system, you can enjoy the benefits of lower heating and cooling bills. In fact, these options tend to be 15-25 percent more efficient than split models. Most packaged systems are more efficient than split options since they are self-contained. Air doesn’t have to travel as far, which can often lead to loss and reduced efficiency.

These systems also don’t have to work as hard, reducing the amount of energy it takes to heat and cool your house. While putting the packaged HVAC unit into your home or business will require an initial investment, you can start taking advantage of cost savings right away, making it well worth the installation cost.

It Can Keep Up

Some owners of large buildings worry that a packaged HVAC unit won’t be able to keep up with the demands, especially when the weather gets hot and humid during the summertime. However, a packaged unit is just as efficient, if not more so, than a split system. In fact, most units are between three and 20 tons in size, which means that they can cool at an average of 12,000 BTU (British Thermal Units) each hour.

Larger homes and commercial buildings can rely on larger units to ensure a comfortable temperature, while a three-ton unit is typically large enough to keep a home cool or warm. Your HVAC technician can determine which size of packaged unit will be most efficient in your home or office building.

Contact us at BTAC (Bruce Thornton) by calling 806-589-1014 to learn more about packaged heating and cooling units and how they can improve the efficiency in your home or office.

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