Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for October, 2014

Ways to Tell Your Ductwork Needs Sealing

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Calling for professionals to seal holes and gaps in the ductwork of your home’s ventilation system is important to maintain efficient heating and cooling, as well as to protect your indoor air quality from a decline due to contamination entering through the breaks. However…how can you know that your ductwork is in need of sealing when most of the air ducts in the ventilation system remain unseen behind walls and ceilings?

It can be a bit of challenge to detect ducts that are leaking air, but if you know what signs to watch for, you should be able to catch the warnings and call up Bartels Heating & Cooling in time to have the holes sealed before the problem grows worse. Below we’ve listed some of the more common indications that you need to call for repairs on your ductwork in Hamilton, OH.

Warning Signs of Leaking Air Ducts That Need Professional Sealing

  • Odd smells from the vents: When ductwork develops holes, they will usually appear in places that are dusty and musty, such as between walls or in crawl spaces. This will allow air with unpleasant smells into the ducts and then out the vents into your living spaces. Any unpleasant odor emanating from your vents is something you should have professionals investigate right away.
  • Drop in airflow: It only takes a small hole in a duct to cause the airflow inside it to drop noticeably. (Ducts have airtight sealing in order to prevent this air pressure loss.) When you notice lower airflow from the vents into the rooms, it usually means that something is wrong somewhere along the ventilation system, and air leaks are one of the main suspects.
  • High heating/cooling bills: A drop in air pressure will also lead to an increase in your heating and cooling costs, since the heater/air conditioner will need to strain harder to reach its normal temperature. You can expect both higher comfort costs and also an increase in repairs for the system because of the extra stress.

Don’t ignore any of these warning signs. Even if they are not due to leaking air ducts, they definitely point to trouble somewhere in your HVAC system. Call for the professionals at Bartels Heating & Cooling right away. We can handle any repairs for your ductwork in Hamilton, OH, and we also take care of air conditioning and heating repairs. Make us your first stop for indoor comfort.

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Why You Should Consider Zone Control with Your Heating Installation

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

A new heating installation can help you improve your comfort and your energy efficiency – but what if we told you there was a way to increase both without a huge hassle? There is–a zone control system. A zone control system gives you a level of control over your heating (and cooling) that a single thermostat can’t, and installing a zone control system with your heating installation in Fairfield can be seamless and easy. Bartels Heating & Cooling has specialized in heating and cooling services since 1973, and we have worked with a variety of systems and upgrades. If you are ready to upgrade your heating system in any way, call us today!

What Is a Zone Control System?

A zone control system is a series of motorized dampers that are installed into the supply vents of your ductwork. The dampers are connected to a main control panel, which controls when and how much the dampers open and close in order to maintain the temperature of a zone. Zones are established by you: they can be individual rooms, a group of rooms or an entire floor – the decision is yours. Each zone has its own thermostat, which is also connected to the main control panel. Zones operate independently, which allows you to set different temperatures per zone.

What Are the Benefits of a Zone Control System?

Here are some of the benefits you can gain with a zone control system:

  • Better energy efficiency – a zone control system allows you to use only the cooling and heating you need. This can help reduce the operation of your system, which helps reduce energy usage.
  • Customized comfort – the independent operation of the thermostats in each zone allows you to set a temperature that is comfortable in each area versus setting a single temperature for all areas.
  • Less stress on your system – heating and cooling only what you need puts less stress on your system, which can help reduce wear and tear and prevent premature aging.

A zone control system can help enhance your new heating installation in Fairfield tremendously. Interested to see what a zone control system can do for you? Call Bartels Heating & Cooling today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts.

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How to Tell a Furnace is Your Best Choice for Heating

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

With all the hype around more modern systems like heat pumps and radiant heating, it’s easy to overlook the furnace as a viable heating option. There is a good reason that the furnace remains the most popular heating choice in America, however. Let’s highlight the reasons why a furnace might be the best choice for your home.

Convenience

The number one reason to choose a furnace as a heating system is that it is the most convenient to install and maintain. Natural gas, the most common furnace fuel source, is readily available in most areas of the country. Because of the popularity of furnaces, it is easy to find an HVAC company that is well versed in installing them. Maintenance is also much easier, as replacement parts will be easy to find.

Flexibility

Furnaces come in a wide variety of types and sizes, making it more likely that you will find one that perfectly suits your home. Keep in mind the way furnaces interface with ductwork, as well. Many homes are outfitted with ductwork for central air conditioning. Oftentimes, furnaces can use this same ductwork without problems. Radiant heating, on the other hand, requires that an entire network of pipes be installed that only that system can use.

Furnaces also tend to heat up faster than other systems, like boilers. Water is a better conductor of thermal energy than air is, but it also takes longer to absorb that energy. A furnace can reach target temperature and begin actually warming the house well before the boiler even begins to approach the right temperature.

Like any system, a furnace has its drawbacks. It isn’t the most energy efficient heating system available, which may result in slightly higher heating bills than if you used other systems. The reduced cost of installation and repairs can often compensate for those factors, however.

If you would like to install a new furnace in your home, call Bartels Heating & Cooling. Our HVAC experts install furnaces throughout West Chester. We’d be happy to help you pick the best furnace for your home. Call us today!

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Heating Options for the Winter Season

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

As we begin to move into the cold months of winter, people are beginning to think about the state of their heating system. After maintenance and repairs, upgrades are the most common reason that HVAC professionals are called during this season. If the sheer amount of options for heating your home this winter seems daunting, don’t worry. We’ve assembled some information to help you make the right choice.

Furnaces

A furnace is a quite common and reliable option for heating your home. Furnaces are the core of forced air systems, heating air through combustion and circulating it throughout the house using a fan. Oil, wood, and natural gas are common fuel sources, though natural gas is the most widely available.

Boilers

Boilers distribute heat through water instead of air. This necessitates running pipes throughout the house instead of ductwork. There are a number of options for boiler systems, often referred to as “radiant” heating systems. Baseboard heaters and radiators are more traditional methods of distributing the thermal energy throughout the home. Recently, however, pipes installed in the walls and subfloor of a room have also become popular. Boilers, like furnaces, can burn a number of fuels. Again, natural gas tends to be the most common.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are forced air systems that have a couple of unique advantages associated with them. The first advantage is that a heat pump can operate as both a heater and air conditioner. This is accomplished through a reversing valve that can reverse the flow of refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units of the heat pump. This obviously saves you the cost of having one unit for each function, as most homes do.

A heat pump is named for its ability to move heat from one space to another. When in heating mode, the outdoor unit will actually absorb thermal energy from the air around it and direct it into the house. Utilizing this thermal energy saves money on your heating bills, because the heat pump doesn’t have to work as hard as other heating systems. This is the second advantage to installing a heat pump.

If you are interested in installing a new heating system for your home in Hamilton this winter, call Bartels Heating & Cooling.

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Duct Cleaning Question: Why Do the Ducts Get Dirty in the First Place?

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

You have probably heard that the ductwork in your home requires regular cleaning—usually once every three or four years—in order for the heater and air conditioner to work at their most efficient, and to prevent the indoor air quality from plunging. Regular professional duct cleaning is crucial for maintaining health, comfort, and energy-efficiency in a home.

However, people often wonder how a ventilation system can reach a level of dirtiness where it becomes necessary for trained experts with special equipment to come to a home to clean it. It’s easy to look over a clean house and think that it’s impossible the ducts could have enough contamination in them to create problems.

But no matter how clean a home appears, dust and dirt and other pollutants will find a way into the ventilation system until they reach a level that makes it necessary to call professionals to remove them. Bartels Heating & Cooling is available to handle the job of duct cleaning in Fairfield, OH when you need it.

Why Ducts Develop Contamination

To understand how your ducts become dirty, you need to first understand how the ventilation system operates. There are two types of ductwork in a home’s ventilation system: the return ducts and the supply ducts. The return ducts draw air in from the rooms in a home, where the blower sends the air through the heating/cooling system. The supply ducts then distribute the conditioned air to the registers around the home and into the rooms. The air is eventually drawn back into the return ducts.

For the most part, this is a closed loop. Modern homes have heavy air sealing on them to prevent heat loss and gain. But this means scant fresh air enters the house to clear away dust, dirt, pollen, dander, and other debris. The contamination in a home enters the return vents along with the air, and then circulates in the closed loop through the ventilation system and the home. Over the space of a single year, the average six-room home will circulate more than 40 lbs. of dust through its ventilation system.

This amount of contamination will start to catch along the sides of the duct walls, beginning a process of accumulation that increases as more dust, dirt, lint, etc. gathers. It only takes about a year for a layer of dust to coat the insides of ducts, and another one or two for this buildup to start creating serious airflow issues for the HVAC system. At this point, cleaning is necessary.

Professionals must handle duct cleaning because it takes special equipment and training to access all of the ventilation system and change the pressure inside it in order to agitate the contamination from the ductwork walls. The process only takes a few hours, and it will restore the ducts to like-new condition, resulting in energy savings and a healthier indoor environment.

Since 1973, Bartels Heating & Cooling has delivered quality duct cleaning to Fairfield, OH and the rest of Southwest Ohio. Give us a call to schedule your duct cleaning with us today.

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