Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for November, 2013

The History of Thanksgiving

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Thanksgiving is upon us: a time to get together with relatives, eat some great food, watch a little football or the parade, and stop to appreciate the good things we have in life. Beyond all that, however, there’s a fascinating history to the holiday and its traditions.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 in the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. Records are spotty at the time, but indicate that the harvest was particularly good that year due to help from the local Native Americans. The meal was probably much different than the one we’re used to, with venison and fish more likely than turkey, but the general principle was unchanged.

It wasn’t a few centuries later, however, that Thanksgiving became an annual tradition. George Washington called for a “national day of Thanksgiving” in 1789, and again in 1795, but they were both “one shot” declarations, rather than a call for an annual tradition. Individual cities and states picked up the ball, but it wasn’t until 1863 that Thanksgiving became a national once-a-year event. President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be a Thanksgiving “to heal the wounds of the nation and restore it.”

From there, it remained a tradition until Franklin Roosevelt signed a law in December of 1941 making it a federal holiday. The law also changed the date from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday in November, making it a little earlier in some cases (which Roosevelt hoped would give the country an economic boost).

Wherever you celebrate the holiday and whoever you choose to celebrate it with, we wish you nothing but happiness and joy this Thanksgiving.  

Continue Reading

Is it Time to Try Something Different for Heating?

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Heating in Fairfield, OH has traditionally relied on boilers and furnaces: proven, effective technology that has been in place for a long time. We live in the 21st century, however, and while those forms of heating work well for many homes, you may want to consider something new. Alternate forms of heating often cost less to run and are more environmentally friendly, though specifics depend on the particular nature of your home. Is it time to try something different for heating in Fairfield, OH? Only you can answer that question, but some of the more popular options are outlined below.

  • Radiant heat systems. This system involves tubes or electric coils installed in your floorboards to warm the room. It works extremely well because the warmth goes directly to furniture and occupants, instead of blowing around in the air. That means it costs less to run that traditional boilers or furnaces, and you don’t have to worry about drafts or cold spots. The downside is that it takes a great deal of time and effort to install, since your floors need to undergo serious alteration. The rewards can be worth it, however, both in terms of monthly savings and in terms of the resale value of your house.
  • Geothermal systems. Geothermal systems draw upon the ambient heat of the ground, which stays the same year round and which can be used to warm your home. Tubing is run through the ground on your property, facilitating a heat exchange which then brings the heat inside. You usually need a certain amount of space for geothermal heating, but like radiant systems, they can save a great deal of money in monthly costs.
  • Heat pumps. Heat pumps combine the functions of a heater and an air conditioning system, using refrigerant to heat your home in the winter and cool it in the summer. They don’t cost much to run each month and installation isn’t as invasive as it would be for radiant heat systems or geothermal heat systems. They often require an auxiliary heater for the coldest days, however.

If you’ve decided that it’s time to try something different for heating in Fairfield, call the NATE-certified experts at Bartels Heating & Cooling. We’ll discuss your options with you and help you find the perfect heating system for your home!

Continue Reading

How do Boilers Distribute Heat?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Here in West Chester, OH, boilers are popular form of  home heating system. They work on a very simple principle – older than even gas furnaces – and as such they have been in place for a very long time. If you own a boiler and use it to heat your home, it pays to understand the principals involved with its operation. Specifically, how do boilers distribute heat?

The concept is simple. The boiler itself contains a set amount of water, heated by a burner beneath it. The burner is fueled by either natural gas or oil, both of which are used in West Chester. Oil is slowly declining in popularity, since natural gas is cheaper and easier to use.

Regardless of the source of fuel, the burner heats up the water, which is then distributed through your house through a series of pipes. The hot water in the baseboard radiators inside your rooms help warm the air via convection. There is also some radiant heating from your baseboard heaters.

This is different than most furnaces. The heaters in forced-air system blow hot air through a series of ducts, often the same ones used to transfer cool air with an air conditioner. While furnaces are usually less expensive to install and can heat homes more quickly, they can have issues with indoor air quality and are not as long lasting as boilers. Since boilers don’t need fans to distribute heat, they also run much more quietly.

But like all mechanical, boilers need upkeep and repair. If you know the answer to “how do boilers distribute heat,” you can likely ascertain when something is wrong with the system. In those cases, Bartels Heating & Cooling is ready to help. We serve homes throughout West Chester, OH, boiler repair is one of our specialties, and we’re dedicated to your complete satisfaction. Give us a call today!

Continue Reading