Best HVAC Systems in Tucson, AZ

FAQs About Heating Maintenance and Heating and Cooling Services

At B & J Refrigeration, we have been providing quality heating and cooling services and the best HVAC systems in Tucson, AZ, and surrounding areas since 1970. Each member of our team has years of experience in the industry, and we are friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. We want to provide our customers with the information, resources, and answers they need to make informed decisions about their heating and cooling needs. We welcome any questions you have and are happy to offer recommendations and guidance. Read through our list of frequently asked questions about heating maintenance, heating and cooling systems, and HVAC problems. Call us if you need more information or want to schedule an appointment.

What temperature should I leave my thermostat on when going on vacation?

There are many different opinions on what temperature you should set your thermostat if you’ll be away from home for extended periods of time. At B & J Refrigeration, we recommend a change of no more than five degrees from what you typically set it at while you are home. If your AC thermostat is usually set at 75 degrees when you’re at home, you would set it to 80 degrees when you’re away from home. For your heating system, you would drop it five degrees below your normal setting. More than five degrees either way could affect the lifespan or condition of your furniture and personal belongings. It would also cause a major increase in your energy bills due to your system having to put in extra work to catch up.

What is the best temperature at which to set my thermostat?

The best temperature for your thermostat in Arizona is 78 degrees during the summer and 68-72 degrees during the winter. At B & J Refrigeration, we recommend that our customers set their thermostats to the lowest possible temperature that will keep them comfortable in winter, and the highest comfortable temperature in summer. This will offer optimal energy savings on your heating and cooling bills. If you have a medical condition, are over the age of 75, or have a baby or young children in your home, you will have to set the thermostat to whatever temperature is safest and most comfortable for them. Typically, a one degree decrease in temperature in the winter or increase in the summer means you experience 10% in energy savings!

How many times a year should I service my HVAC system?

We suggest that you schedule routine HVAC maintenance or heating maintenance in the fall and cooling or AC maintenance in the spring. Your home’s heating and cooling system is like your car. Regular maintenance can increase its lifespan and help you avoid HVAC breakdowns or emergency problems. At B & J Refrigeration, we offer our very affordable maintenance plans for homes and businesses that make it easy and convenient to get the maintenance services you need. Call us today for details or to schedule a heating or air conditioning tune-up.

How often should I change my air filter? How do I know if my air filter needs changing?

You should change your heating and cooling system air filters every month, unless you have a specific filter that requires less frequent changes. If you have animals in the home, you’ll probably want to change your filter every month, regardless of the type of filter you have. Our technicians can tell you how often your filter should be changed. A clogged air filter will make your heating and cooling system less efficient, and you will notice your home becoming less and less comfortable. You may also experience an increase in allergy symptoms, worsening indoor air quality, and respiratory problems.

How does air conditioning work?

Air conditioning systems work by moving air across a surface that has been cooled by mechanical means. Heat in the air is absorbed by a refrigerant that flows through channels in a coil inside the AC unit. The refrigerant is then moved into the condensing unit/compressor where it is compressed, and then heat is removed in the condensing unit. The refrigeration cycle was first described mathematically in the early 19th century.

Why does my furnace or heater smell when I first turn it on?

Typically, your heating system/furnace emits an unusual odor when you start it due to dust that has collected on the heat exchanger inside the furnace. The smell is the dust being burned off. Under normal conditions, the burnt smell should stop being noticeable within 24-48 hours.

What should my thermostat be set at when I’m away from home?

The Department of Energy recommends a change of no more than three degrees for maximum energy savings. Lowering your heat or raising your AC thermostat by more than three degrees will cause your system to have to work harder when you return, thereby negating any savings you think you might have by turning it down even more.

Should I close air vents in rooms I don’t use?

It is best not to fully close your air registers in your home. Closing a register will cause that room to be too hot or too cold, and that temperature can affect other parts of your home. That will make your system work even harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. You will not gain much in energy savings to make this a worthwhile move. If you are concerned about comfort or energy-efficiency, we can discuss air duct repair and sealing services.

Do ceiling fans help lower your electric bills?

Yes and no. A ceiling fan actually does nothing to change the temperature in your home. However, moving air feels cooler to your skin, and you will remain comfortable even if your temperature setting is a few degrees higher. A ceiling fan can also help circulate cooled air to further areas of your home that may not be easily reachable by your vents. In the winter, you can reverse the airflow of your ceiling fan so that it evenly distributes heated air throughout your home, and you won’t need to use your heater as often.

Why is my AC unit leaking water from the bottom? Is it normal for the AC pipe to drip water outside?

Typically, a clogged condensate drain pipe will cause your air conditioning drain pan to overflow. Debris like dirt and rust are the usual culprits. If you see water dripping out of a pipe outside your house when your air conditioning is operating, this is probably a normal occurrence. Air conditioning works by removing latent energy (moisture) from the air, and the moisture it removes is normally drained outside through a pipe. Excessive leaks, drips, or water could be a sign of a problem with your HVAC system or water heater, however. Call us for a check-up, or during your next regular tune-up, our service professionals would be happy to “walk” your system with you and explain how each of the parts work together to bring comfort to your home. If there is a problem, we will provide efficient AC repair services.

Are zoned HVAC systems worth it for my home or business?

A zoning system is designed for the many ways you use your home. Do you have unoccupied areas that do not always require heating or air conditioning? A zoning system may be the best HVAC system for you. It will allow you to divide your home or business into separate areas, giving you more control over the ideal temperature for each area.

Why is ventilation important for indoor air quality?

Pollutants in the air can cause poor indoor air quality in your home or business. This may cause dizziness or headaches, or worsen your allergies and asthma. The newer your home or building is, the more likely it is to have less natural ventilation or airflow. This means contaminants that have found their way inside through pets, clothing, or shoes have no way to escape the building. The only way that contaminants can be removed from the indoors is by exchanging recirculated, stale air with fresh, outside air. We offer personalized indoor air quality solutions that can improve your home or business’ indoor air quality and increase comfort while reducing allergens and contaminants.

What causes high humidity in a house? How can I reduce the humidity in my house?

If you live in the desert with warm weather and occasional seasonal high humidity during our Monsoons, outside air conditions can impact your indoor environment. Showering, dishwashing, and many everyday activities can also contribute to high humidity, particularly if you have a large family. If you have indoor water leaks, you may notice an increase in humidity and higher levels of condensation on windows and walls. You can reduce the humidity in your home by installing a dehumidifier. It’s especially important to control humidity in attics and crawl spaces where your home is more vulnerable to mold or mildew growth.

Can dry air in a house cause health issues?

Yes, indoor air that is too dry can leave skin feeling itchy and dried out. Dry air can also increase static electricity potential, create cracks in furniture, shrink wood floors, increase breathing difficulty, or even cause nosebleeds! When nasal passages dry out, the body can become more vulnerable to respiratory viruses.

Why is airflow important in a house or business?

Circulating air throughout your home or business regulates the indoor temperature, prevents buildup of particles and mold, decreases the level of allergens in the air, and makes breathing easier. If you enjoy cooking or have hobbies that include glue, spray paints, epoxy, etc., good air circulation can help dissipate odors and fumes.

Is it worth it to get a whole-house humidifier?

During the winter, people who have central heating are indoors for hours at a time with unnaturally dry air. Humidifiers help keep the comfort levels of moisture in the air, which is essential for your respiratory health. Whole-house humidifiers put moisture into the air, making the dry air easier to breathe. A major difference is that they improve the air in every room of your home and not in one room at a time.

What is the “Emergency Heat” setting on my heat pump? Should I use it?

A heat pump uses your condensing unit and the heat in ambient air to heat your home. If there is a failure, and your heat pump is equipped with a resistance heat strip, the system can use the electric heat strip to provide heat as a last resort. This is an energy intensive operation, and therefore is very expensive in terms of electricity. As the name implies, this setting should only be used in an emergency, when there is not a better, more efficient option available.

Do programmable thermostats work? Do they actually save money on electricity?

Programmable thermostats can increase efficiency and lower your energy bills if they are installed and used properly. The US Department of Energy discourages the use of programmable thermostats in homes or buildings with heat pumps. However, at B & J Refrigeration, we believe that a properly programmed comfort control for your heat pump, especially in the dry, warm conditions in the Sonoran Desert, can be an effective tool for energy savings. For information about settings for thermostats, and other ways to make your comfort equipment more efficient, visit To have one of our experts help you with thermostat programming, give us a call!

I saw an article on social media that says air fresheners are bad for you. Is this true? Does that include air purifiers in my heating and cooling system?

Using air fresheners in your home is a personal decision, and we cannot make a recommendation or judgment as to the safety of chemicals in an indoor environment. We recommend that you do your own research and read scientific studies and articles from reputable sources that can offer expert guidance and advice.

We can tell you that the UV air purification elements in your heating and cooling system are NOT chemically based. Heating and cooling air purifiers work using ultraviolet energy to kill pathogens and some of the contaminants in the air that move through your heating and cooling system. Our comfort specialists can explain how the air purification system works in your home, and the benefits you can receive with this upgrade to your comfort system.

How often should I clean my ice machine? What happens if you don’t clean your ice maker?

Did you know ice is considered a food item by the health department? This means ice machines are included in the checklist for potential health code violations. Even though ice is simply water, your ice machine can be a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. If your ice shows contamination, you can make your patrons sick, as well as be flagged for a violation. One bad cube can contaminate all your ice.

At B & J Refrigeration, we recommend scheduling quarterly (every three months) ice machine maintenance and cleanings. This involves a deep clean, inside and out, of the entire ice machine and its components (compressor, drain line, bin guide, etc.) with specialized cleaners. Before we arrive, we will ask you to empty out all the existing ice to avoid cross contamination. We can also change out your ice machine’s water filter, if needed, to ensure that you always have a clean water supply. Our refrigeration technicians will inspect your ice machine for possible wear to ensure that it is operating at top performance. This means we will inspect all components to reduce the chance of costly repairs and interruptions in service. If you have an ice machine at home, we recommend that you clean it every six months with a cleaning and descaling solution recommended by the manufacturer.

Have a Question that Wasn’t Answered Here?

If you have a question that wasn’t answered here, please feel free to call our office to get the answers you need. Call us today or contact us online to ask questions, learn more about our services, or schedule an appointment for heating and cooling services or an air conditioning tune-up in Tucson, AZ. We have decades of experience and specialize in commercial and residential heating and cooling maintenance, inspections, repairs, upgrades, replacements, and new installations. We have extensive experience in new construction HVAC design and installation, as well as indoor air quality solutions. We also offer commercial refrigeration, pool heating, wine room refrigeration, air purifiers, and more.

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