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Bruno Air Conditioning Owner Hires 100th Collier Employee, Reflects on Rapid Growth – Naples Herald

There are few people in Southwest Florida who views opportunity like Louis Bruno does.

For Bruno, owner and founder of Bruno Air Conditioning, opportunity comes knocking every time a technician goes out for a service call, or when a complaint from a customer hits his desk (which they all do).

“This is my American dream,” Bruno says of his three-year-old company, which recently celebrated its 100th job created in Collier County. All told, the A/C firm has over 165 employees across Southwest Florida and the Tampa/Orlando region.

“It pumps me up about job creation. I have an employee that has ten kids; we’re not going to work every day just for ourselves, we’re going for our families,” Bruno said. “As all the jobs come in, we have an extreme focus on training.”The 27-year-old entrepreneur sometimes reflects on how far the company has come since it started out of his garage three years ago.

Bruno and his management team recently created Bruno University, a training program specializing in mentoring those with no experience in the A/C industry to learn the tricks of the trade in six weeks.

And they built a house.

louis bruno headshot
© Naples Herald

“It’s a replica training room at our headquarters with every possible application we can put in a house,” Bruno says of the project. “This way, our guys aren’t in somebody’s home making mistakes. They’re making them here, learning the right way, the right process, the right procedure, so we can end up with a better client experience.”

Bruno U has certified 16 technicians, with another eleven going through the process right now.

In Bruno Air’s first 2 years of business, they completed roughly 23,000 service calls. In the first nine months of 2015, that numbered doubled and, in January, the company hit a milestone with their 50,000th call, meaning total visits to clients’ homes.

“It really excites me to get there so quickly,” Bruno said. “The first nine months of 2015 we saw the same amount of clients in the first two years of business. We’ve grown month over month since the very beginning.”

Most business owners would be thrilled with a complaint ratio of .0003 percent.

Not Bruno.

“Every complaint hits my desk. I care significantly about all of our core customer experiences.”

Bruno Air Conditioning owner Louis Bruno looks on as some trainees do some work on a unit
Bruno Air Conditioning owner Louis Bruno looks
on as trainees do some repair work. © Naples
Herald

A check with the Better Business Bureau revealed the company has 21 complaints with the firm, which is voluntary for any company to join, since Bruno Air began operations in 2012.

Of the 21, 11 were verified to be resolved satisfactorily by complainants, with the remaining 10 either resolved by the business but the consumer did not accept the response, or the complainant did not follow up with the BBB.

As a result of this, Bruno Air’s A+ rating was dropped to a B and their accreditation revoked for the first time, pending an appeal.

Bruno attributes the issue to the dramatic growth his company has seen in the last 18 months.
“I believe that it’s about volume, and we’ve taken steps to improve our customer experience.”

Such as creating his own customer experience index, which tracks essential aspects of each client’s interaction with Bruno Air, including communicating effective timeframes, showing up in said timeframes, client conversations and overall customer satisfaction.

“We built it to be super anonymous, our techs have no way to manipulate the data, and we made it easy for people to fill out. We’ve had a 95% completion rate since we launched it in October.”

Of nearly 24,000 reviews, 23475 gave Bruno Air a “cool” review, with 375 giving a “not cool” review. A “cool” rating is achieved by getting a minimum 4.5 out of a 5-point scale.

“It really gives me the ability to separate the data and figure out which departments need work and need help.”

Despite the recent mishap with the Better Business Bureau, Bruno believes his accreditation will return soon, and he cited the high percentage of positive reviews Bruno Air has garnered across the Internet, via Google reviews, Angie’s List (a popular local business review tool), and others.

And he isn’t shying away from the negative criticism.

“You choose to be a part of BBB. I think it’s very important to have an organization that holds companies accountable.”

“I care about every single poor experience, however as a part of doing business you have a certain amount you just can’t make happy. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to try.”

Tune In for a Tune Up

headphones 1Most of us in southwest Florida are enjoying the chilly temperatures of the week. It’s a novelty for the Sunshine State, and we are taking advantage of the few days of this cold weather. Rest assured that this will past and our temperatures will climb.

While you get some use out of your jackets, start thinking about summer! That warm breeze is only a few months away. Before you blast the air conditioner, ask yourself one question.

When was the last time you pampered your HVAC unit?

Before the summer months, treat your air conditioner and yourself to an A/C tune up. Air Conditioner tune ups can bring you endless benefits. Save money, cool your home, and feel better and more comfortable about your unit. A Bruno Air Conditioning tune up can do several vital things for your home.

Save money on energy costs.

Ensuring that your air conditioner is in top shape will prevent future problems and issues within your system.

Increase the lifespan of your unit.

Air conditioners can be pricey and replacing them even more so. Bruno Air Conditioning installs and maintains your units regularly so they’ll last 10, 15, even 20 years.

Improve your air conditioners performance an A/C tune up.

Identify problems and find their solutions quick to properly cool your home and your family.

Protect your friends and family with high quality indoor air quality.

A poorly maintained air conditioner can release debris, dust, and harmful bacteria into your home, making the air unhealthy, particularly for those with respiratory problems.

Make the most of your warranty!

Most manufacturers require your HVAC system to be serviced and regularly maintained a few times a year.

According to Energy Star, “Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort.”

While there are certainly some steps that you can and should take to maintain your air conditioning system, such as regularly changing or cleaning the filters, it’s best to leave the tune-up process to a qualified HVAC professional. Bruno Air professionals are experienced at diagnosing potential issues and performing required maintenance and repairs for your home or office. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and begin breathing clean air today!

Why Mold Develops During Winter Months

Some peoBrunoAir_Mold in Winterple think mold is a seasonal problem caused by the summer humidity. However, southwest Florida residents may be surprised to find that mold can be a year-around pest. It isn’t about the temperature outside, but the moisture inside. Those moist, dark corners and crevices within your rooms are prime real estate for mold. Ceiling, shower tiles, and other surfaces prone to condensation and wetness are all problem surfaces.

The good news is that you can do something about it! Below are Bruno Air’s tips on how to create a healthier, cleaner environment inside your home.

What Causes Mold Inside My Home?

When it comes to managing mold in the home, there are three different elements to consider: ventilation, condensation, and vegetation. Start with the rooms where moisture tends to linger, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. These are places where effective ventilation is extremely important. If you don’t have fans and proper airflow, that moisture will congregate, creating a breeding ground for black, fuzzy mold. Condensation can also build around door and window frames.

Vegetation can invite mold into the home as well, particularly in the soil where it’s moist or around the roots where water sits. Your Christmas tree is no exception! The water sitting in the Christmas tree stand doesn’t flow, thus it doesn’t filter. This creates a stagnant pool that attracts mold and encourages growth.

How to Get Rid of Mold in Your House

Bleach is a common and effective remedy for mold. However, if you don’t want your house to smell like a hospital, there are other methods to remove fungal growth. Some include:

  • Running the fan in your kitchen or bathroom while cooking and showering
  • Run a dehumidifier in moisture-prone rooms
  • Schedule regular maintenance for your heating and air conditioning system to keep it running properly
  • Use the fan setting on your HVAC system.

If Mold is a Frequent Problem

For some home owners, especially in southwest Florida, controlling mold growth can be an ongoing hassle. If these simple tips aren’t enough, then call in one of our expert technicians at Bruno Air! We can help provide the right solutions for your home, including built-in dehumidifiers, HEPA filters, and AC or HVAC maintenance so you can breathe easier. We’re servicing clients all over southwest Florida, including residents in Bonita Springs, Naples, Fort Myers, Kissimmee, Orlando, and Tampa! Simply give us a call at 239-908-4704.

Why It’s Important to Clean Your Air Filters

Bruno Air_Clean Air FiltersResidents throughout Naples, Sarasota, Bonita Springs, Tampa, and across Southwest Florida depend on Air Conditioning to live comfortably. In fact, Florida summers weren’t even considered humane environments to work in until after air conditioning was invented. This is why proper HVAC maintenance and regular service checks are an essential to keep them running in optimal shape, and the best and cheapest way to maintain your AC system is to keep your air filters clean.

A dirty air filter is often a key factor in why a resident’s air conditioner stop functioning properly. Simply replacing your air filter on air conditioning and heating systems on a regular basis can help you avoid costly unit repairs and replacements.

What Does an Air Filter Do?

Air filters keep atmospheric dust and other airborne particles from building up on your HVAC system’s fan motor, heating and cooling coils, and drip pan. If your filters are dirty, a furnace or air conditioning system can and will choke on its air intake, which in turn will clog your coils and build up debris in your air ducts that can spread air impurities throughout your home.

When dirty air filters prevent a constant flow of clean air, heating and cooling systems will begin to overheat and automatically shut down. If this happens too many times, the HVAC system may break down entirely. On top of that, your system will use excess power to push the air through, which leads to an overworked HVAC system and higher energy bills.

How to Best Care for Your Air Filter:

In most cases, air filters should be changed every one to three months to maintain your HVAC system’s optimal performance. Regular maintenance checkups with Bruno Air’s HVAC service technicians will help keep your system running better and longer. We offer discounts on specific services that can help you make the most out of your investment. Give us at a call at 239-908-4704 to see how we can help you today.

 

Signs of Mold in Your Home

Humidity is an ever-present reality in Florida. While we can’t change the climate outdoors, we’re lucky to live in an age where we can control the temperature and humidity within our own domain: the home. Controlling the humidity level within our walls is just as important as maintaining the temperature. Should the humidity build up too high, your haven from the outdoors could become a breeding ground for mold. These types of fungi can pose serious health risks to humans and pets, especially to anyone who suffers from allergies, asthma and other respiratory ailments.

6 Tell-Tale Signs of Mold

Fungus is resilient. It can grow on any type of organic matter. This includes anything from insect droppings, to wood, to any moist surface in your home. Most fungi are invisible to the naked eye until it populates into colonies. This means once you’ve seen it, the fungus has already settled in. These organisms can remain alive in a dormant state until RH (humidity) levels and temperatures trigger growth. Signs of high RH levels include:

  • Musty smells
  • Window Condensation
  • Rooms Feel Stuffy or Clammy
  • Increased Allergic Reactions or Asthma Attacks
  • Moisture Damage (IE: Rotting Wood)

Preventing Mold in Your Home

Keeping your AC equipment well maintained and running smoothly is one of the most effective ways to control humidity and prevent mold and fungus from building up inside your home. Both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Lung Association (ALA) recommend that homeowners have their air conditioners professionally serviced regularly.

If it’s been awhile since your air conditioning unit has been serviced, give us a call! We’ll look over the components of your cooling system, from the air filter to the ductwork, and ensure they are cleaned and serviced. We make the homes we service in Sarasota, Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Marco Island, and beyond are safe, healthy and comfortable.

Whether you want to schedule service for your existing HVAC systems or you’d like to explore additional air quality solutions, give us a call at 239-908-4704. We’ll be happy to help!

Help! My Air Conditioner is Leaking Water?

It pays to keep an eye on your air conditioner or HVAC system – if your air conditioner is leaking water, it can be a subtle indicator of a serious problem. Bruno Air offers the insight to help you narrow down the source. By doing this, you will be able to take the appropriate steps to ensure your system continues to run smoothly.

Determine Whether Your AC Has a Leak or Condensation

If your air conditioner is showing a little condensation or dripping water, it may just be part of the system doing its job. An AC unit uses heat exchange to cool your home through refrigerant. How does this work exactly? Outdoor coils condense the material which in turn causes it to get hot. As the refrigerant moves to the indoor expansion coil, it becomes extremely cold. From there, it absorbs the heat from the air which cools off the interior of your home.

Meanwhile, the moisture in the air condenses on the outside of the coils to drip into a condensate pan. If this is what you’re seeing, don’t panic! That’s simply how your system works. However, a leak and a drip are two different things.

Water is directed out of the system through a drain line. If you notice leaking water, it could mean your drain line is blocked which will cause your condensate pan to overflow.

How to Address a Water Leak

One of the best ways to fix a leak in your AC system is to schedule a preventative maintenance appointment. This tune-up service allows an HVAC professional to do a comprehensive inspection of your system by examining coils, condensate pans, drain lines, refrigerant lines and all the moving parts. During the inspection, the technician will make adjustments as needed.

Drain lines can be cleaned to restore the flow of water from the condensate pan. The cleaning of your coils and pan ensures the removal of mold and bacteria that can contaminate your airstream. It’s important to keep your coils clean so that they don’t freeze up. This can stress or permanently damage your compressor.

Your system can also be adversely affected by low refrigerant levels. A tune-up can deal with irritating problems like leaks while improving the performance and extending the life of your air conditioning or HVAC system. Scheduling service for your AC equipment in the spring and heating equipment in the fall ensures optimum home comfort and efficiency throughout the year.

Additional HVAC Equipment Issues to Look Out For

While a tune-up can help limit issues, it’s important to know when you should call your contractor for an HVAC repair or diagnosis. Below are a few other issues to look out for:

  • If you system won’t turn on, be sure that the settings haven’t been adjusted and that the power supply isn’t disrupted.
  • If your system operates but fails to cool your home, you could be dealing with refrigerant problems.
  • Poor airflow in part or all of your house may indicate issues with your ducts or your blower fan.

If you encounter any of these issues, you’ll want to pick up the phone and contact one of Bruno Air’s professionals right away to ensure a quick diagnosis and repair. Our team is always ready to assist our neighbors with all their HVAC concerns. Give us a call today to receive additional information or schedule an appointment.

Do I Need Preventative Maintenance on My Air Conditioner?

Every air conditioner requires regular preventative maintenance to maintain optimal functionality. Just like other machines that run on a regular basis, constant use creates wear, tear, and stress upon the unit’s components that can lead to larger issues if they are not properly treated.

Studies have shown that individuals who apply regular maintenance to their air conditioning system reduce their need for HVAC related repairs by 40% and increase the longevity of their unit by 30%. The long-term savings are also extensive. Home and business owners lose hundreds of dollars in costly repairs that are often caused by escalated issues that could have been prevented by bi-yearly maintenance visits.

HVAC contractors like Bruno Air offer affordable plans and discounts to meet various budgets so you can protect the AC Unit you have invested in. You can find multiple coupons and opportunities for savings on the special offers page.

What Does a Maintenance Service Visit Include?

During a maintenance visit, technicians arrive with a detailed checklist of parts to inspect and upkeep-related tasks to be performed to avoid common issues like coil freeze up, which puts stress on the compressor that could lead to a costly repair.

Technicians will clean both the indoor and outdoor coils, change the air filter, check the fan and remove any blockages that might be found in the pipes. In addition, technicians also:

  • Lubricate moving parts
  • Check for and repair leaks
  • Recharge the refrigerant
  • Test the thermostat
  • Replace worn belts
  • Check amp draws
  • Tighten loose wire connections

Schedule a Maintenance Visit Today

If you haven’t scheduled a regular maintenance call in the last six months, consider purchasing one today. Bruno Air offers air conditioner maintenance services to clients in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers and the greater Florida area. Simply give our Customer Service Agents a call at 239-908-4704 to request your appointment today.

How to Set Your Air Conditioning When Leaving a Seasonal Home

Florida is a hot spot for snowbirds to flock. However, before you lock the doors of your seasonal home for the next six months, you’ll want to make sure you make these important air conditioning unit adjustments.

You never want to skip these steps before leaving your house unattended for extended periods of time. Improper AC settings can elevate the humidity within your home. This creates the perfect environment for mildew and mold to grow, and you certainly don’t want these unwelcomed house guests to settle in while you’re gone.

Where to Set Your Thermostat

The ideal temperature depends on what kind of thermostat you have within your home. Digital thermostats like the Nest are becoming more popular thanks to their ability to remotely control the temperature within a home via an app on the owner’s phone. This technology gives you more control over your home while you’re away, allowing you to save money. If you have this option, then plan to set your thermostat to 72 degrees for two hours before sunrise every morning and 88 degrees for the rest of the time.

If you use a traditional thermostat that requires you to adjust the temperature manually, then you’ll have to stick with one setting for the duration of your absence. 80 degrees is the recommended setting for individual homes, while condos and townhouses should dip to a slightly lower 77 degrees.

This allows your air conditioning unit to run without producing mold-friendly levels of humidity.

Additional Ways to Reduce Humidity:

Air conditioners use moisture to manage the temperature within a designated environment. It controls the level of humidity within your home, but it won’t eliminate it entirely. Even after you set your thermostat to a manageable temperature, it helps to go the extra mile. Below are a few additional ways to prevent humidity from developing bigger problems:

Dehumidifers: Dehumidifiers will manage the concentration of moisture in the air during the cooler hours. It is generally advised to use one dehumidifier for every 1,000 square feet within a home. Simply set the unit to 52 degrees and leave it in a drainable location such as a kitchen sink or bathtub.

Install a Humidistat: This will eliminate the need to use dehumidifiers in your home while serving the same function.

Humidity Home Remedies: An easy, non-energy consuming method to control humidity is to set out small containers filled with charcoal or kitty litter in every room to absorb moisture.

One Last Thing:

Always, always, ALWAYS change your air filters before you leave. This will save you on energy costs and help prevent major issues from developing while you’re away.

Regular maintenance is always important with air conditioning systems. If you’re returning to a summer home here in Florida, we suggest you also take the time to setup an appointment for maintenance service. To schedule a time and date, simply give us a call at 239-908-4704!

Replace Your Mercury Thermostat

Are you still using a mercury thermostat? Over the last few decades, there’s been an increase in awareness regarding the toxicity and dangers of the substance, which was once a prominent component in everyday items, including batteries, thermometers, electronic devices and, yes, thermostats.

Today’s thermostats have veered away from it through the years. As technology advances, the HVAC industry is finding newer, greener ways to keep businesses and homeowners cool while conserving energy and resources.

However, there are still several old thermostats, both in use and lying in landfills. Although the Thermostat Recycling Corporation has been working diligently since 1998 to collect and recycle these outdated (and dangerous) components, it’s anything but a short-term project. In 2014, the corporation saw a 13 percent increase in collections of mercury-bearing thermostats to be recycled.

You may be wondering how much of a difference this really makes. After all, thermostats only use a small vial of mercury to operate. Consider this: In 2014, a competition was held called Big Man on Planet (BMOP) that challenged HVAC businesses to collect as many of these thermostats as possible. The result led to the donation that amounted to over 252 pounds of mercury!

Why Proper Disposal of Mercury Matters

Not everything can be properly disposed of by throwing it into the recycling bin. Mercury that ends up in landfills sinks into the soil and comes straight back around to haunt us. Through the soil, mercury finds its way into our waterways and oceans, permeating our drinking water and poisoning the fish we consume.

Its impact isn’t subtle, either. Mercury poisoning causes severe side effects in humans, including memory loss, blindness and tremors. It is especially dangerous to pregnant women and can cause birth defects in children.

Do You Have an Outdated Thermostat?

Are you still using an outdated, mercury-based thermostat? If so, reach out to Bruno Air to see about getting it replaced, and then make sure you dispose of it properly. You can click here to find a drop-off location near you.

5 Worst Myths About Air Conditioing

Myths are, in essence, a widely held but false belief or idea. Bruno Air is busting air conditioning myths wide open with the truth. Don’t be led by misinformation. Understand how your unit operates and maintain consistent performances, improved air quality, and high energy efficiency.

Closing vents in unused rooms will boost energy efficiency.

False! Closing your air vent will only cool the inside of your air vents, doing nothing to improve the energy efficiency in your home. If you would like to boost the efficiency in your home and improve your unit, Bruno Air suggests that you consider investing in an Energy Star certified unit. Maximize you air conditioner and save money and energy.

Turning off my air conditioner when I’m gone will save energy.

Not quite! Turning off your air conditioner while your away depends on how long you will be away. If it’s just for the day or the weekend, turn up your thermostat ten degrees to save energy without wasting it with the effort of restarting your AC every night when you come home. You can save even more energy by installing a smart, programmable thermostat. Control your temperature and set it to your schedule for incredible energy savings.

If I keep my windows and doors closed, no cool air can escape.

In a perfect world this would be a kind truth. However, there are plenty of nooks and crannies where cool air can escape. Ensure your air conditioner is performing to its maximum capacity by calling Bruno Air for an air duct sealing. We are proud to offer Florida Aeroseal, the most effective name in air duct sealing. Aeroseal fills the holes and cracks within your air duct from the inside out. Easy, affordable, and incredibly effective.

If I leave the ceiling fan on, it will cool my empty room.

Contrary to popular belief, ceiling fans and standing fans don’t actually lower the temperature in the room. The fan mixes the stagnant air in the room, cooling you down in the process.

Purchasing an energy efficient, Energy Star, air conditioning unit will save money on utility bills.

This is both true and false, depending on the most important aspect of Energy Star certified units. The unit most be appropriately sized to fit your home. Contact us to ensure that your home’s unit is appropriately sized so it can perform properly and cool your home while saving you energy.