Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Heating’

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!

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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!

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Fairfield, OH Heating Tip: How Humidity Impacts Heating

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

In Fairfield, OH, heating systems often need to contend with humidity as well as high temperatures.  Southern Ohio can get very humid all year round, which can affect your comfort levels no matter where you go. A good heating and air conditioning system can deal with the humidity as well as the temperatures, leaving you enough moisture in the air to keep from drying out your skin without turning your home into a swamp. If you understand how humidity impacts heating, you’ll understand why this is so important.

As human beings, we’re very sensitive to humidity in the air. Excess moisture leaves the body through our skin in the form of sweat, an action that helps keep us cool. Higher humidity in the air hampers that process, meaning that sweat doesn’t evaporate off of our skin quickly enough to cool our body temperature. We stay warmer than we should, and we’re just not as comfortable as we might be. Ideally, we want a relative humidity level in our surroundings to be at about 45 percent.

In addition to their heating and cooling functions HVAC systems can reduce the humidity levels in your house. A heater warms the air which causes water particles to evaporate, lowering the overall humidity levels. That’s why it can sometimes feel excessively dry in your heated home during the winter months. Your heater has sucked all the moisture up. Dry air is just as bad as humid air, since it can make breathing problems worse and irritate your skin if left unaddressed. You can correct the issue by adjusting your heater and/or by using a humidifier to keep the air moist.

A qualified professional can help adjust your heater to meet your comfort levels, and help you with a humidifier if that’s what you need. In Fairfield, OH, heating issues can be treated by Bartels Heating & Cooling. We know how humidity impacts heating, and we can conduct installation and repairs to meet your needs. Call our team of professionals to set up a consultation today. You’ll be glad you did.

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Common Causes of Problems with Heating in West Chester, OH

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Winters in the region can get quite fierce, and a reliable heating system provides you with a warm and comfortable respite for the snow outside. When problems arise, they need to be addressed quickly before your home is deprived of heat. It helps if you can identify common causes of problems with heating in West Chester, OH. The sooner you can spot them, the sooner a trained technician can step in to handle them. Here are a few of the more common heating issues you may encounter.

  • No power.  Obviously if your heater won’t turn on at all, there’s a problem. Many furnaces have components that will automatically shut down in the event of an overload, including the run capacitor, the blower motor and the furnace control board. (They do this to prevent further damage to the system.) Power may also but cut off if there’s problems with the electrical system connecting the furnace to the main power in the house.
  • No heat. A lack of heat may be caused by the fact that the pilot light isn’t lit or a problem with the thermocouple (which regulates the amount of gas that goes to the furnace). If either one is demonstrating problems, it will need to be replaced. In some cases, a lack of heat may stem from a malfunctioning thermostat, which is misreading the temperature and neglecting to turn on the power.
  • Restricted air flow. If the heater is on, but your system isn’t distributing air the way you need it to, there’s probably a blockage somewhere in the system: a filter in need of changing, a damaged air duct, or the like. A trained professional can track down the source of the problem and institute the proper repairs.

Call Bartels Heating & Cooling for heating services in West Chester, OH!

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3 Great Options for Quality Heating in Fairfield, OH

Monday, September 30th, 2013

With the numerous advances in comfort systems during the last half century, your options for heating in Fairfield, OH are more expansive than they once were. You no longer need to rely on a standard boiler or furnace when it’s time to install a new system. In this post, we’ll go over 3 options that have gained popularity with Ohio residents over the past decades. One of them might be the right alternative for heating your home this winter.

However, and this is important to know, not every system matches every home. It takes someone with years of HVAC training to gauge which heater fits the unique needs of a house. A bit of knowledge will help you narrow down your choices, but don’t make a final decision unless you have a professional opinion. At Bartels Heating & Cooling, we have NATE-certified technicians ready to give you the advice necessary to make the correct choice and we’ll perform the installation when you’re ready.

Heat pumps

A heater and air conditioner in one! A heat pump is like an AC in most ways—except it can change the direction of heat exchange so it extracts heat from the outside and moves it inside. Heat pumps sometimes need supplemental heat for very low temperatures.

Radiant heating

People have used the warmth radiated from heated objects for millennia: from a hot rock placed in a bed to the old fashioned radiator. But the new radiant heating systems use hydronic (and sometimes electric) power to warm pipes set into your floor to give you an even, efficient, and remarkably cozy heating performance. They also help with air quality since they don’t have to blow air through ducts that can become clogged with dust.

Geothermal systems

You can go green while still keeping warm! A geothermal heat pump extracts heat from the earth through coils buried near your house that carry a water or antifreeze solution. And, like a standard heat pump, the process can reverse to provide cooling. Geothermal systems are highly energy-efficient because they use little fuel to get the job done.

One, or maybe all three, of these options has probably got you excited about the potential benefits. Contact Bartels Heating & Cooling right away to talk over the possibilities. We can schedule an appointment to see how to get the heating in your Fairfield, OH home up to a new level of comfort.

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Signs of Trouble with Your Boiler in West Chester, OH

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

A boiler is an efficient and effective way to heat your home. You see plenty of both in southern Ohio towns like West Chester; boiler systems embrace a wide variety of makes, models and ages. When your boiler exhibits signs of trouble – especially during our cold Midwestern winters – you need to take steps to correct it quickly. That’s why it pays to look for signs of trouble before they get out of hand. Here are a few of the most common:

  • No hot water or hot water taking time to arrive. This can some from a number of possible sources, such as a faulty thermostat or thermocouple, trouble with the pilot light, a valve failure, or mineral build-up preventing the flow of hot water to your radiator. Whatever the cause, the effects are obvious and need prompt addressing in order to restore heat to your home.
  • Leaks. Leaks indicate a problem with a coupling, damage to the boiler’s water tank, or possibly a faulty line. Besides creating puddles of water that need to be cleaned (and possibly damaging nearby household fixtures as well), leaks can severely impair your boiler’s ability to function.
  • Strange noises. Noises can come from many sources, ranging from leaks to air in the system to water gurgling through sediment build-up. A trained professional can identify the source of the noise and take corrective measures before the problem becomes worse.
  • Frozen condensate pipe. The condensate pipe removes waste liquid from the boiler: usually water mixed with a few trace gases created by the heating system. During the cold months – and we have more than a few of those in Ohio – the water may freeze in the pipes, creating a back-up and causing damage to your boiler.

Regardless of the cause, when you recognize signs of trouble with your boiler in West Chester, OH, it’s time to call in a professional. If you need boiler repair or service for any type of heating system, call Bartels Heating & Cooling today to set up an appointment.

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Proper Sizing and a Successful Fairfield, OH Furnace Installation

Monday, September 16th, 2013

In Ohio towns like Fairfield, furnace installation is a serious business. Your furnace will keep your home warm and cozy during the long winter months, and you want it to perform as efficiently as possible. That starts with the installation, which should be performed by a qualified specialist utilizing quality parts. But before installation can begin, you need to make sure you have the right furnace for the job. Proper sizing plays a vital role in a successful furnace installation operation.

Furnace efficiency is measured in BTU (British Thermal Units) per hour. Input BTU measures the amount of fuel the furnace consumes, while Output BTU measures the actual amount of heat generated. So if you have a furnace with a input BTU of 90,000 that burns at 90 percent efficiency, you will have an output BTU of  81,000. The heat generated needs to match the space and heating requirements of your home. A professional installer will measure the square footage, evaluate things like insulation and sunlight exposure, and calculate the Output BTU required to heat that area successfully.

It’s an important process because it ensures that your furnace is the most efficient it can be. Call it the Goldilocks dilemma: if the furnace is too small, it won’t heat your house properly. If it’s too large, it will cycle on and off rapidly, expending unnecessary energy and raising your bills (as well as inflicting needless wear and tear on the system). Neither state is one you want, and once the furnace is installed, it’s going to take a lot of time and money to remove it and install another one.  Installation should take place only after the specialist has properly sized the home and made his recommendations.

If you’re thinking about replacing your furnace, don’t hesitate to call upon the experts. Bartels Heating & Cooling offers professional furnace installation in Fairfield, Ohio –  call us today to schedule an estimate!

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Why Choose Radiant Heating in Fairfield, OH

Monday, March 4th, 2013

While long used for commercial applications, radiant heating has always been popular for homeowners looking for alternatives to forced hot air. Radiant heating works by heat transfer: it heats people and objects in the room rather than supplying hot air. If you’re thinking of installing radiant heating in your home, we can help you plan, install, and maintain your heating system. Here are a few advantages of radiant heating in Fairfield, OH.

Figuring out whether radiant heating is right for the heating needs of your home requires research, planning, and professional consultation. Here are some of the reasons to choose radiant heating:

  • Efficiency. Radiant heating is sometimes more efficient than forced air systems. Forced-air systems like furnaces and heat pumps use ductwork which can account for up to 30% of heating loss. If your radiant heating is hydronic (water-based), then it uses very little electricity, which can benefit those homeowners in areas with high electricity prices. It’s often the case that the level of indoor comfort can be achieved at a lower temperature through radiant heating than by forced hot air systems.
  • Quality. Because radiant heating doesn’t move air to heat your home it tends to invite less indoor air quality issues. For homeowners who are sensitive to allergens and other particles that can circulate through ductwork, radiant heating is a great alternative. If you don’t yet have ductwork or if your existing ducts are in disrepair, a radiant heating system may be an excellent option.

Radiant heating is an innovative and effective way to make your home comfortable throughout the heating season. For radiant heating in Fairfield, OH, call Bartels Heating & Cooling today.

 

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West Chester, OH Energy Saving Heating Tips

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Here’s a checklist of some simple tips for keeping your West Chester, OH home at desired temperatures throughout the winter without paying more than you need to.

  • Change or clean your furnace filters on a regular basis, or at least once a month. This will help to improve efficiency. This can also help to improve indoor air quality. If you have pets, you may need to clean or change the filters more often.
  • Try to keep several filters on hand throughout the heating season, and keep a calendar or some sort of reminder system to let you know when it is time to change your filters. Some thermostats feature a setting that lets you know when it is time for a filter change. If you would like more information on how to change your air filter, give us a call any time.
  • Consider installing a programmable thermostat to help keep heating bills down. These thermostats let you have more control over your heating system by automatically turning it off when it is not needed as much, such as at night or when you are away. You can program these models to fit your schedule.
  • Ask for a home energy audit to see if there are small things you can do, such as add weather-stripping or sealing cracks. You can also perform a flame test by putting a candle near doors and windows to see if the flame flickers due to a draft.
  • Schedule a heating tune-up and inspection once a year to ensure optimal performance.
  • Install “draft blockers” or gasket insulators behind light switches and electrical outlets.
  • Plant deciduous trees outside windows on the south side of your house to provide shade in summer and allow sunlight in winter.
  • Install ceiling fans, which can be reversed in the winter to push warm air that rises back into the living spaces.
  • Add attic insulation to increase the efficiency of your heating system. A good standard is to reach “R30,” or ask a contractor if you aren’t sure.
  • Make sure drapes, furniture, or rugs do not block vents and clean vents regularly with a vacuum to ensure proper airflow.

Lastly, call the West Chester, OH heating professionals at Bartels Heating & Cooling with all your home efficiency and heating questions.

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Hamilton, OH Heating FAQ: What Are Common Furnace Problems?

Monday, February 18th, 2013

At Bartels Heating & Cooling, we get many calls with questions about furnace problems from our Hamilton, OH customers. During the annual heating inspection and tune-up, the technician will look for anything that might cause problems, but there are a few common issues that happen with furnaces. If you need a repair, maintenance, or you just have questions, call us any time.

Here are a few common furnace problems:

Not Enough Heat

If your furnace is not producing enough heat, there could be a number of reasons for this. There could be a dirty filter that needs to be changed or cleaned. You could have restricted airflow due to closed or blocked vents, or buildup inside the ductwork. You could also have the thermostat set on the wrong setting, or it could be inaccurate or giving “ghost readings” due to being installed in a poor location. There could also be a larger issue, so you should call a technician if you have tried checking for all these issues.

Pilot Light Won’t Turn On

If the pilot light on your gas furnace won’t turn on, or if it is burning orange or yellow, there could be something wrong with the igniter. For problems with turning the light on, there could be a few causes, such as a clogged valve. A clogged valve can be easily fixed by cleaning the opening of the valve. However, if it still won’t turn on, it could be the thermocouple. Call a technician if you are having problems with your pilot light.

Damaged Heat Exchanger

A damaged heat exchanger on a gas furnace can be a safety hazard due to the risk of carbon monoxide. While every home with gas appliances should have a working carbon monoxide detector, it is important to have your gas furnace inspected at least once a year so that the technician can check for cracks in the heat exchanger. This is a problem more common in older furnaces, since the newer models tend to feature heat exchangers made of more durable materials.

Call the Hamilton, OH furnace experts at Bartels Heating & Cooling any time. We are here 24/7 for all your heating repair needs.  

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