How Can I Know if I Have a Gas Leak?

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Beware Gas Leaks

In recent news, there have been several house explosions from gas leaks. While that’s an extreme outcome from having a gas leak, it’s not an impossibility. Fortunately for those in the Lubbock area, these explosions were elsewhere. Gas leaks are quite dangerous and threaten both your family’s safety and health.

Signs You Might Have a Gas Leak

The most obvious sign of a gas leak is a stinky smell. Gases used in homes for appliances and heating are odorless, so manufacturers add ethyl mercaptan because its potent “rotten egg” smell is easily noticeable. People sometimes say gas smells like sulfur or cooked cabbage.

When air gets saturated with gas, it doesn’t contain enough oxygen for adequate breathing. Symptoms of a gas leak might include headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea, and sleepiness. If symptoms decrease once you’re outside in fresh air, there might be an indoor leak.

Appliances like your stove, water heater, or furnace have pilot lights that stay lit constantly. When you use one of these, check the pilot for a blue flame, which means there’s a correct ratio. A yellow or orange flame could indicate a leak.

If plants in your home die without reason, a leak may be the culprit, especially if the plants are near a gas appliance. Outside, if unexplained patches of dead grass appear or dead plants are surrounded by healthy, green ones, have your lines checked.

What to Do if You Suspect a Leak

Get out of the house right away! The smallest spark can trigger an explosion or fire. Call your utility company and then a professional.

How Our Professionals Can Help

Our skilled technicians will check your gas lines for leaks. We’ll quickly repair or replace the line so your family can get back to life in your home.

If you suspect a gas leak or your gas bill has mysteriously increased, give Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning in Lubbock a call at 806-589-1014 today. We’re here to help with any questions or concerns.

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How Heat Pumps Work

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Amana heat pump

A heat pump works like an air conditioner to transfer heat away from your New Deal, Texas, home in summer. In winter, it reverses directions and absorbs heat from the air outside your home instead. That way, a heat pump keeps you and your family comfortable all year. It may be more expensive than a conventional air conditioner, but it’s worth the investment since you can save money on your utility bills. Also, you won’t need to pay for a separate furnace. Here’s some useful information about how heat pumps work in summer and winter.

How Heat Pumps Work in Summer

A motorized fan pulls warm air from the inside of your home into your ductwork through one or more return vents. Then, the warm air indoor air travels to the indoor air handler. It passes over the interior evaporator coil while a special liquid called refrigerant travels through the coil. The refrigerant absorbs heat from your indoor air, and the cooled and dehumidified air goes back to your ductwork. The motorized fan pushes it through your air registers and into your home. When your air temperature rises, the cycle starts again, pulling warm air into your ductwork. 

How They Work in Winter

To heat your home, your heat pump reverses the direction that the refrigerant flows, turning the coil in your outdoor unit into the evaporator coil. Your outdoor unit absorbs heat from the outside air and then releases it through the coil in your indoor air handler. This heats your indoor air as it moves through your ductwork instead of cooling it. The coil that releases heat is a condenser coil. It’s indoors in winter and outdoors in summer.

BTAC or Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning has over 45 years of experience, and we’re an Amana Advantage Specialist. We can help you install, maintain, and repair a variety of HVAC equipment, including heat pumps. Call us anytime at 806-589-1014 for great service from one of our expert technicians.

3 Reasons to Schedule HVAC Maintenance Today

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HVAC maintenance

The hot, humid Ransom Canyon, Texas, weather can make you feel sluggish and miserable without air conditioning. It’s also dangerous for children, elderly people, and those with severe health problems. A hot house can cause an elevated body temperature, heat exhaustion, and even death. Regular HVAC maintenance keeps your home comfortable and safe for you and your family. Air conditioning maintenance also saves energy, improves your indoor air quality, and prevents expensive, inconvenient breakdowns.

Energy Savings

Problems with your HVAC system keep it from performing efficiently and waste energy. Leaks in your ductwork or rusty or worn parts in your unit keep it from working properly. If you don’t have it repaired promptly by a professional, a minor problem could even force you to pay for a new air conditioner eventually.

Better Indoor Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality can lead to unpleasant smells, increased asthma and allergy symptoms, skin rashes, eye irritation, and more. You should check your HVAC system’s air filter once per month and change it at least every three months to prevent these problems. Also, keep leaves, grass clippings, twigs, and other debris away from your outdoor unit. Rinse off your unit with a hose when needed, but don’t use a pressure washer or other equipment that could cause damage.

Fewer Breakdowns

Dirty coils or low refrigerant levels could cause ice or frost on your air conditioner, which keeps it from working well and can eventually lead to damage. Regular maintenance can catch this and other problems before they become severe. It also extends your HVAC system’s life. That way, you can save money on repairs and get the best possible performance from your air conditioner.

Bruce Thorton Air Conditioning or BTAC has more than 45 years of heating and air conditioning experience, and we’re an Amana Advantage Specialist. We can help you install, maintain, and repair a variety of HVAC equipment. Call us anytime at 806-589-1014 for excellent service.

3 Ways to Build an Energy-Efficient Home

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insulate for efficiency

Making a home more energy-efficient has become very popular around the country. However, it’s not because of a fad or anything that’s going to fade rapidly in popularity. Instead, building an energy-efficient home helps reduce your carbon footprint, cut energy usage, and makes your home more attractive to potential buyers. If you’re looking for ways to build an energy-efficient home in Dickens, Texas, here are a few suggestions to help you along the way.


If your HVAC system is 10 years old, it’s time to start thinking about purchasing a new one. If you want to increase efficiency, it’s only natural to consider a furnace or air conditioner with the ENERGY STAR logo. These units improve efficiency while providing the perfect temperatures for your home.

Switch to LED or CFL Lighting

One of the biggest sources of lost energy in your home is in the light sockets. If you’re still using incandescent bulbs, it’s time to make the change to LED or CFL lighting. While these bulbs are more expensive, they cut your monthly energy bills greatly and last far longer than traditional lights. This means you only have to purchase one bulb about every 10 years. You’ll reach a break-even point in just a few years.


If you live in an older home, you may not have the proper insulation to keep your home energy-efficient. Most often, areas around your doors, windows, and in your attic allow air from the home to escape outside or cold outside air to flow in. To counteract this effect of lost air, you need to insulate. In your attic, you can choose between loose fill and fiberglass insulation, while installing fresh weatherstripping around your doors and windows is an effective way to combat the situation.

Building an energy-efficient home doesn’t necessarily take a ton of money. Instead, it takes a commitment from you. If you’ve decided it’s time to green your home, call BTAC, Inc. at 806-589-1014 for all your installation and energy needs.

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How to Get the Best Refrigeration For Your Business

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commercial refrigeration

The look and usability of your refrigeration unit are crucial to the success of your business. From units that allow customers to see and purchase their food to kitchen units that help streamline prep and service, refrigeration is a vital aspect of your Amherst, Texas, business. However, few new business owners know the best way to pick the perfect refrigeration unit. If you’re trying to find the best refrigeration unit for your business, here are a few tips to get you started.

Select the Right Style

One of the first things you’ll want to consider when choosing a commercial refrigeration unit is the style. This typically refers to the color, handles, compartments, and lighting of the refrigerator. This is especially important for businesses that display their food to customers or let the customers choose the food themselves in places like delis, ice cream parlors, or grocery stores. By choosing the right style, it helps your food look more attractive to customers while blending seamlessly with the decor of your business.

Size Considerations

Another important aspect of choosing the right unit for your business is the size. Assessing size is one of the more difficult aspects of purchasing a refrigerator, as it has many variables that are dependent on your own calculations. Don’t overlook any of the aspects of size, which may include the size and scope of the business, how much food you intend to store and for how long, the actual square footage of the business, and if you need any special units.

Ease of Use

Regardless of whether you’re going to have employees or customers accessing your refrigeration units, you want something that’s easy to use. For employees, this might mean having several sections for each type of product or units that are easy to open, even with your hands full. Customers might like improved lighting and easy-to-open cases that allow them time to browse.

No matter what type of refrigeration unit you need, the pros at BTAC, Inc. can help. Give us a call at 806-589-1014 for all your commercial refrigeration needs.

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These 3 Invading Pests Can Wreck Your HVAC

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hvac pests

The HVAC system in your Whiteface, Texas, home is a source of comfort for your family throughout the year. However, it’s also a place many pests may choose to call home. If you think you may have some invading pests but aren’t quite sure what they are, here are a few that can severely damage your HVAC system.


Mice love the warmth of the furnace, especially during cold weather. Most often, mice set up shop in the air intake of your furnace, which you’ll find next to the air filter. If you have mice hiding there, you can usually smell these culprits when you turn on the furnace; it will smell of urine, feces, or decay. To alleviate the situation, you may want to put some glue traps or mousetraps in the area and check them frequently.

It’s also important to note that the frequency of infestation increases greatly with neglected or older HVAC systems. If you live in an older home, it becomes even more important to get a tuneup, as our technicians can find potentially problematic areas.


There’s nothing more disgusting than having roaches invade your home. The problem is that roaches love to hide in hard-to-reach places, especially in your air ducts. Not only do the ducts provide undetectable passage from room to room, but they also offer the moisture necessary to keep colonies thriving. Pest traps are usually the best prevention here, as insecticides may be blown through your home when the unit kicks in.


Larger animals can also wreak havoc on your HVAC system, yet they’re easier to detect. It’s easy to hear a squirrel scamper through the vents, so detection of this one is easier. If you do find a squirrel in the vents, using a trap or a pest extermination company can eradicate the problem.

The best way to keep pests out of your home is by prevention. With some proper HVAC care from BTAC, Inc., you can keep these unwanted tenants from entering your home. Call us today at 806-589-1014.

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Think About What Your Kitchen Needs for Custom Fabrication

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Custom Kitchen

You walk into your kitchen, step over the laminate flooring that just won’t sit right, and open a cupboard to an unmistakable whiff of mold. But didn’t you just bleach the wood? Clean all you want, but at some point, it’s time to renovate your kitchen. Don’t cringe! While the sound of your neighbors’ home projects echoing around Lubbock, Texas might have made you wary of renovations, your family’s health is worth it. Make the process simple by preparing ahead of time. You’ll want to consider your materials, size, and configuration.


Now that you’re ready to change up your kitchen, you have the chance to make it the kitchen of your dreams. Before that dream can come true, however, you’ll need a dash of practicality. Will you replace the old laminate or vinyl floors with a newer laminate or true tile? Will your countertops be made of granite, marble, or chef-level metal?

When it comes to what to use for your sink and oven hood, you can’t go wrong with stainless steel. Stainless is durable, easy to clean, and can withstand high temperatures. Plus, our team at BTAC can fabricate your sink or oven hood to whatever size, shape, or style you need, so any place where you use steel is a chance to use a custom piece.

Size and Configuration

With a well-loved house full of kids, you might think your design options are limited, but look up, and you’ll see that much of the design opportunity is in the air. You can expand your cabinet space and install that deep sink you’ve always wanted. But remember that safety should always be a determining factor in the size and configuration of a kitchen. We’ll help ensure that your kitchen has sufficient ventilation to draw out smoke and limit condensation to keep mold totally out of the picture.

Any home renovations are exciting, so make the most of it! To truly build the kitchen of your dreams, take advantage of our custom metal fabrication by calling BTAC at 806-589-1014.

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3 Things to Know About Cast Iron Pipes

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Cast Iron Pipes

A myth persists in some homeownership and plumbing circles that cast iron is old technology that everyone needs to replace. In fact, cast iron is still a viable plumbing option, and many old homes have cast iron pipes with no issues. Instead of assuming cast iron is a bad choice for a Floydada, Texas, home, you might be surprised to find it has its advantages in the modern world.

Old Homes Often Have Cast Iron

Most old homes have cast iron pipes. If you have never had the plumbing in your home replaced, and the previous owner didn’t either, chances are you’ve got cast iron. Though some people think cast iron is outdated and needs to be replaced with PVC, that’s not necessarily the case. Cast iron pipes fare pretty well if they don’t rust on the inside. If your old home is experiencing no plumbing issues, then you can leave that cast iron right where it is.

Cast Iron Is Quieter

If you’re sensitive to noise, then cast iron pipes are your best friend. PVC pipes do next to nothing to dampen the sound of running water throughout your house. Cast iron, on the other hand, is great for deadening noise. Lots of people don’t mention this aspect of cast iron, especially if they’re singing the praises of PVC.

Cast Iron Can Rust

Within cast iron pipes, the galvanization wears away after a few decades. That makes a rougher interior that can rust or catch materials that create clogs. Though this is a problem with cast iron pipes, it doesn’t mean all cast iron pipes are doomed to clog. This problem is more likely to happen with old cast iron, and the newer products are far superior.

If you need your cast iron pipes checked out, unclogged, or replaced, BTAC is your plumbing resource. Call us for your residential plumbing services at 806-589-1014.

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Why Do My Pipes Clog Easily?

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Why Pipes Clog

Feel like your drains are always backing up? You could be unintentionally causing clogs that give you plumbing frustration in your Lubbock, Texas, home. Assess your behavior and give us a call to resolve your plumbing issues.

You Have Long Hair

People with long hair are notorious for clogging up plumbing. Even a few long hairs can create a snarl that gets caught in pipes, and catches everything that tries to go down after it. If the clog is close to the drain opening, you can get a short snake and try to get it out yourself. If it’s further down, you won’t be able to fix it on your own and will need to call us. Once the clog is resolved, put a hair catcher in your shower to prevent any additional hair from washing down.

You Let Food Down the Drain

Even garbage disposals can’t handle everything, like oil and coffee grounds. But if you don’t have a garbage disposal, no food should go down your kitchen sink. Too much food will collect in your pipes and create clogs. If you accidentally let a tiny amount of food down sporadically, you’ll probably be ok. If you shove food down your drain as though you have a garbage disposal, that’s no good. Get a sink insert that will catch your food, so you can empty it into the garbage.

Your Pipes Need a Pro Cleaning

Old pipes just need to be cleaned more often than new ones, especially if they’re cast iron. If you’re tempted to reach for the drain cleaner, don’t. Call us instead. We can get your pipes flowing swiftly without resorting to chemicals.

Everyone needs a plumber once in a while, so make sure you’re using the BTAC professionals for your plumbing needs. We’ll get the job done fast and leave you with clean pipes. After all, isn’t life easier when you aren’t dealing with clogs all the time? Call us today at 806-589-1014.

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How a Whole-Home Dehumidifier Can Clear the Air

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enjoying clear air

If you’ve lived in Abernathy, Texas, for long, you know to expect warm temperatures and high humidity as the spring weather heats up. What you might not realize, though, is that excess moisture in the air isn’t just uncomfortable. It can also be unhealthy. Learn how a whole-home dehumidifier can clear the air and solve persistent indoor air quality problems.

Decrease Allergy Attacks

Humid environments are ideal for many allergens, as they cause organisms like dust mites and mold to thrive. If your home is constantly humid during the cooling season, you may notice an increase in sneezing and sniffling as allergens clog your home’s air supply.

At Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning, we recommend a high-quality Performance Whole-Home Dehumidifier DEHXX to help decrease allergy attacks. This device pulls excess moisture from the air, making your home inhospitable to mold, dust mites, and other common allergens.

Improve Indoor Odors

Since high humidity can encourage mold and allergens to grow, you might not be surprised to know that excess moisture can also cause musty, mildew odors to take over your home. An air freshener can’t remove these odors from the air, but a whole-home dehumidifier can. Dehumidifiers attack the problem at the source, wringing excess humidity from the air to stop bad odors in their tracks.

Boost Your HVAC System

Most HVAC systems are designed to keep humidity at a reasonable level while they maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. If your home has a serious humidity problem, however, your HVAC may become overworked.

Whole-home dehumidifiers are designed to work side-by-side with your HVAC system, maintaining a humidity level between 30 and 50 percent so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard. Since these devices also have MERV 8 air filters, they truly clear the air and lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan.

Could your indoor air quality benefit from a whole-home dehumidifier? Call Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning at 806-589-1014 to learn more about our available options today.

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