Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for March, 2014

How the Thermostat Affects Your Heating

Friday, March 28th, 2014

In many ways, the answer to how the thermostat affects your heating in West Chester, OH is self-evident. The thermostat controls when your heater turns on and off, allowing you to precisely control the temperature in your home and raise or lower it when circumstances dictate. Any homeowner can tell you that. The real question becomes how a faulty or broken thermostat affects your heating.

A thermostat can evince problems stemming from a number of sources, including problems with the activation mechanism and an inability to accurately read the temperature. Whatever the cause, the problems soon become apparent. In some cases, the heater won’t turn on when it’s supposed to or will turn off before it has finished warming your home. In other cases, it can keep running well after the household is warm, raising temperatures until they are actively uncomfortable. Sometimes a faulty thermostat can result in rapid cycle, which means the heater turns on and off very quickly multiple times in a short period. This can waste a great deal of energy, as well as increasing wear and tear on the system as a whole.

You might also have a problem with the placement of your thermostat. Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with the unit itself, but because it’s placed in a spot with a high draft, or it lies in an area that gets an excessive amount of sunlight. In those cases, it will often misread the temperature and turn on and off when you don’t need it to. Correcting the issue means moving the location of the thermostat itself rather than correcting any kind of internal problem.

Regardless of the cause of the issue, a good technician can identify it and correct it for you. Bartels Heating & Cooling knows how the thermostat affects your heating in West Chester, OH, and we have the expertise to correct whatever problems may be plaguing it. If your thermostat is faulty or even if you just need it moved somewhere that more accurately reflects the temperature, then pick up the phone and give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did!

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Why Invest in a Variable Speed Furnace?

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Winter is slowly coming to an end, and with it comes a chance to replace your old, outdated furnace with a new one. Here in Hamilton, OH, a great heating system is absolutely necessary to keep your home cozy and comfortable in the winter, and installing a new furnace is a chance to add some new bells and whistles to your system. For example, you may want to invest in a variable speed furnace, which allows you to adjust the blower between high speeds and low speeds. Why invest in a variable speed furnace? The shortest answer is because it can save you money.

Using the blower’s lower speed means that the air doesn’t distribute as quickly and it takes longer to heat your home. On the other hand, that doesn’t not matter on mild days when the temperatures don’t get that low, and it can save a lot of energy. A lower speed can still get your home to the temperature you want quickly, and the setting means that you’ll save money in the process. When temperatures get colder, you can use the higher setting to keep your home comfortable.

Variable speed furnaces improve the resale value of the home they’re in because of their flexibility. Many of them are programmable, which allows you to further tailor the speed with which you receive heated air to ensure the maximum amount of savings. And because the technology involved is reasonably simple, you can count on a standard technician to perform repairs instead of hunting around for a specialist.

For more on why you should invest in a variable speed furnace, or to discuss your heating options in general, contact Bartels Heating & Cooling. We have years of experience handling heating issues of all varieties, and we can help you determine the best time to replace your old worn-out furnace with one that offers a few more options to save you money. If you need Hamilton, OH furnace service, pick up the phone and schedule an appointment today!

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Boiler 101: The Expansion Tank

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Boilers have advanced tremendously during the more than a century that they have heated businesses and homes. Few boilers use steam any more to send heat through their pipes, and the cast-iron radiators of yore have gradually vanished in favor efficient baseboard heaters. Another way boilers have made a technological leap forward is with the invention of the expansion tank to replace primitive methods of regulating water pressure inside the boiler to protect it from “water hammer.”

We’ll take a close look at this important component of the operation of your boiler in West Chester, OH. If you encounter any troubles with your expansion tank or other parts of your boiler, call the 24-hour emergency service technicians at Bartels Heating & Cooling.

What the expansion tank does

If you look at the top of the water tank of your boiler, you will notice what looks like a smaller water tank attached to a pipe. That’s the expansion tank. Although the name may make it sound like it’s a container for extra water, that’s not how boilers work. (They have a set amount of water already in them, and more water won’t make them work any better.) The expansion tank does the job of maintaining even pressure inside the boiler by giving its water a place to expand and a cushion to absorb the pressure and then regulate it.

Inside the expansion tank, a diaphragm divides the chamber into two sections. On one side, water from the boiler tank flows in through a pipe; on the other side is air controlled by a valve. When the pressure in the boiler increases, the water in the expansion tank presses against the diaphragm and the air on the other side, which alleviates the pressure. The air valve then pushes back against the water until the valve registers that pressure has reached normal once more.

This system prevents air from entering the water. Older boilers simply had an open space at the top of the main tank to absorb the pressure from water hammer (a pressure surge from water motion when a valve closes), but the introduction of air into the tank would promote corrosion. The expansion valve keeps the air and the water separate.

Keep the expansion tank working

Expansion tanks can suffer damage and lose their seal against water or start losing air. When this happens, you need to call for repairs before your boiler’s pressure increases and begins to cause leaks. Call for repairs for your boiler in West Chester, OH from Bartels Heating & Cooling. We also offer a maintenance program that will make sure the expansion valve is always in the best shape possible. Call us to sign up today.

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Signs It’s Time for Boiler Replacement, Not Boiler Repair

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Boilers are a durable and reliable means of heating your home, which is why they’ve been in use for as long as they have. Sooner or later, however, you’re going to have to consider replacing an old boiler with a new one. That exact moment can be hard to spot, especially if you’re trying to get as much as possible out of your existing boiler before putting it out to pasture. Here are some signs it’s time for boiler replacement, not boiler repair from your Fairfield, OH heating specialists at Bartels Heating & Cooling.

  • Costs are getting too high. This can include multiple repair visits coming one on top of the other, as well as a general wear and tear that translates to higher monthly costs, even if you aren’t using the boiler any more often than normal. At some point, you just end up throwing good money after bad, meaning that it’s time to install a new boiler.
  • The condition of your boiler is deteriorating. An old boiler isn’t necessarily ready to be done, but the older it gets, the more you need to weigh the possibility of replacing it. If its overall condition worsens – if more rust appears, leaks start springing up more regularly and the like – then an older unit may be ready for replacement by a new one.
  • Energy efficiency is lower than you’d like. Boilers are designed to last for many years, even decades in some cases. During that time, new developments and improved technological breakthroughs will result in newer, more efficient boiler systems that will do the same job while using less energy. You may wish to replace your system in order to take full advantage of these developments.

If you spot signs it’s time for boiler replacement, not boiler repair, then call on Bartels Heating & Cooling for help. Give us call to schedule Fairfield, OH heating repair or replacement services today!

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