Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for August, 2014

Here’s How Professionals Clean Your Ductwork

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Professional duct cleaning employs the use of tools that are most likely not readily available to the average person. Moreover, ducts can be tricky to clean; it can be difficult to see the entire duct without the help of visual aid tools, and removing certain contaminants, like mold, can be challenging. These are just a couple of reasons why it’s best to call professionally-trained experts, like the ones at Bartel’s Heating & Cooling, for your duct cleaning service in West Chester.

Equipment Used by Professionals

Following is an overview of the kinds of equipment a technician can bring to a scheduled duct cleaning:

Access Tools

Technicians need access tools to create entry points in the HVAC system in order to properly inspect and clean your system. Access points can range from small holes for optical imaging to entry panels large enough to accommodate bulkier equipment.

Inspection Tools

These tools help the technician assess the scope of cleaning necessary for your ductwork. Tools may include hand-held mirrors, a periscope, closed circuit TV camera or a regular camera.

Hand-Held Cleaning Tools

Hand-held tools can include pneumatic devices that help remove stuck-on debris, as well as power and manual brushes.

Vacuum Collection Devices

Vacuum collection devices are used to collect the dirt and debris from your ductwork without spreading contaminants. The collection device does this by creating negative pressure in the ductwork. There are two main types of collection devices: those mounted on trucks and those that are portable.

Hand-Held HEPA Vacuums

HEPA vacuums are used to help remove debris from small or hard-to-reach places, and the HEPA filter inside the vacuum helps reduce the chances of contamination.

How It Works

The technician will access your ductwork by existing access points as well as any he/she may have to create. Your ductwork will get a thorough inspection, and then the cleaning will begin. Typically, a technician will start the cleaning with the truck-mounted vacuum to remove as much dust and debris as possible, and then focus on the more difficult spots. Once he/she has finished cleaning, your ductwork will be inspected again to ensure that the system was completely cleaned. Upon conclusion of the cleaning, the system will be re-closed and the workspace cleaned up.

A professional duct cleaning can improve your energy efficiency, comfort level and indoor air quality. If it’s been more than 5 years since you’ve had a duct cleaning, or you’ve moved into a new home with ductwork, call Bartel’s Heating and Cooling today and schedule a duct cleaning for your West Chester property.

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Enter the Bartels Heating and Cooling Sweepstakes

Monday, August 25th, 2014

enter_to_win

The season is changing, but your comfort doesn’t have to! We want to help you get your house ready for the new season. Enter to win a $150 Target gift card + a Bartels Heating & Cooling 1 Year Maintenance Program ($250 value!). Check out our Maintenance Program page for more details and find out how you can benefit (and save!) by becoming a member.

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Can You Add Zone Control to a Geothermal System?

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Geothermal heat pumps become more and more popular every year as homeowners discover their energy-saving efficiency and reliable performance, regardless of the temperature outside.

Homeowners have also learned about the advantages of installing a zone control system for their heaters and air conditioners. Zoning permits them to manipulate which rooms in a house receive conditioned air. This allows for a more comfortable environment and also saves energy.

But can geothermal systems and zone controls go together? Yes. We’ll explain further below.

For the answers to all your question about geothermal installation in West Chester, OH, call up the experienced team at Bartels Heating & Cooling. We’ve served Southwest Ohio with heating and cooling solutions since 1973.

Zone Control IS Compatible with Geothermal Heat Pumps

There is no reason that a zone control system can’t work for a home that uses a geothermal heat pump for its heating an cooling. The reason is that zone controls operate in a way completely independent of how a geothermal system operates.

Installers create zone control by attaching dampers hooked up to individual thermostats into the air ducts. The dampers can open or close off a room vent to airflow. As long as your home uses ductwork to distribute air—no matter the type of heater or air conditioner—you can install zone control for it.

The reason this works for geothermal is that geothermal systems operate just like any other heat pump when it comes to their interior parts. The underground loops use the ground for heat exchange, but the indoor components use the air. The conditioned air, either heated or cooled, is sent into the ventilation system with a blower fan, as with other heat pumps. The geothermal loops have nothing to do with the ventilation system where the zone control dampers are installed.

So you can add zone control to any heating or cooling system, geothermal or standard air-source, as long as it uses ductwork to distribute the conditioned air.

Although zone control is easiest to fit into the ventilation system during new heat pump installation, existing ducts can undergo a retro-fit for zoning at any time. If you have a large home with rooms that often do not need heating or cooling, you should investigate zone control as an excellent energy-saving option. Contact Bartels Heating & Cooling for help with zone control. You should also contact us if you are interested in geothermal installation in West Chester, OH. We can take care of both installations at the same time, and you’ll have double the energy-efficiency benefits.

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Portable or Whole-Home: How to Pick the Right Generator in Hamilton, OH

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Nobody wants to experience a long-term blackout, but there are better ways to prepare for one than keeping around a few candles, some flashlights, and the hope that it doesn’t happen. Having a back-up generator for your home that’s ready to power the necessary appliances for your comfort and safety will not only protect you from power losses due to extreme weather, natural catastrophes, or utility company errors, but will provide you with the benefit of peace of mind, knowing that you are prepared.

You cannot simply pick a generator on your own and hope that it works, however. Generator selection requires knowledge of how much wattage you need to power the appliances that are most crucial to daily life. To make the selection, and for the necessary generator installation in Hamilton, OH, call on the experts at Bartels Heating & Cooling. We have NATE-certified technicians who can install both portable and whole-home generators, and they will make certain you have the ideal unit to keep your home powered through an emergency.

When a Portable Generator is a Good Idea

Roll-out portable generators (which are more powerful than the smaller units people often carry in cars) can be effective if you do not need to power the whole house, only a few basic appliances like the lights. These generators do not operate off simply plugging items into them—that’s for smaller portable generators—but must be hooked into the circuitry of a home using a transfer switch. Have a professional pick the portable model that will supply your needs (something greater than at least 1,000 watts) and show you how to connect it into your power supply.

When a Whole-Home Generator is a Better Idea

A whole-home back-up generator is a permanent installation, usually outside a house, that can supply steady power for most of a home for a few days. If you will need to run more than just lights, and if you must power a central heater or air conditioner, than you will need a whole-home generator. These units are also essential if you have people living in your household who depend on powered medical equipment. Don’t take any chances!

You also have the option for an automatic whole-home generator. These systems will turn on as soon as they detect a power outage, so you won’t have to worry about going outside to turn it on yourself. Either type of whole-home generator will need the work of skilled installers to set-up. They will also require yearly maintenance to make sure they will activate when you need them.

If you feel unsure about which type of generator is best for you, call Bartels Heating & Cooling today and let us assist you with the choice. We will find the wattage you need from your generator, and handle all the important installation work so that your generator in Hamilton, OH does the job you need to keep your household safe and comfortable through any power outage.

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4 Common Water Heater Repair Needs

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

If you take excellent care of your home’s hot water heater, it will take excellent care of you—most of the time. Since no appliance can ever be 100% repair-proof, you may encounter troubles with your water heater that will require you call up professional technicians. (Under no circumstances should you try to troubleshoot the problems on your own, especially for a gas-powered system.)

Bartels Heating & Cooling offers fast and skilled water heater repair in West Chester, OH. You can reach our technicians any time of the day or night so that you won’t be stuck with cold water any longer than necessary.

Here are four of the more common repair needs for water heaters:

1. Failed anode rod

The anode rod, also known as the sacrificial anode rod, is a small device at the top of the tank of a water heater that helps prevent corrosion from entering the tank. Essentially, this rod rusts away before the rust can affect the tank, “sacrificing” itself for the system. The rod will need replacement once it rusts all the way through, so if corrosion starts to enter the water heater tank, contact professionals to replace the rusted anode rod.

2. Broken water pump

An electromechanical pump is responsible for removing the hot water from the top of the water tank and into the plumbing system. (So even if you have a gas-powered heater, you still need electricity to run the water heater.) If the pump becomes jammed or its engine fails, hot water will not enter your pipes. Professionals can fix or replace the pump.

3. Broken dip tube

The dip tube carries cold water from the municipal system down into the water tank, where it deposits it along the bottom of the tank where the heat exchanger/heating elements will start to warm it up. If the dip tube breaks, cold water will start to gather at the top of the tank instead, mixing with the hot water and lowering the water temperature that exits to the taps. Technicians will drain the tank and put in a new dip tube to solve this.

4. Excess sediment

If too much sediment from the water supply enters the tank and gathers at the bottom, it can potentially block the valves. Flushing the tank will take care of this problem.

When you suspect that anything has gone wrong with your home’s water heater, don’t wait for the problem to “get better.” It won’t, and it will actually soon grow worse. Have the problem fixed while it’s still small–give Bartels Heating & Cooling a call for water heater repair in West Chester, OH. People have trusted to our home comfort services since 1973.

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