Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘West Chester’

What You Can Expect During Air Conditioning Maintenance

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Spring has arrived, and with it comes a chance to perform some routine maintenance on your air conditioning system. Maintenance will help your system function more efficiently – saving you money on monthly cooling costs – as well as helping spot potentially big problems while they’re still small. Air conditioning maintenance in West Chester, OH is a fairly common service, though you could benefit by knowing exactly what a session entails. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you can expect during air conditioning maintenance.

  • Clean components. A maintenance tune-up will include cleaning the dirt off of interior components, including the condenser and evaporator coils. The last one is very important because dirty coils can impact the unit’s ability to cool the air.
  • Recharge refrigerant levels. The refrigerant needs to be at a set level in order for the air conditioner to work. Checking the refrigerant level is a standard step, although a separate repair service may be required if there’s a leak in the system.
  • Check the drains. Drain pans in the air conditioner catch condensate and drain it out of the system. If the drain lines get clogged or the pan is misaligned, it could leak water onto sensitive electronic components. The technician will check the drain system and ensure that everything is in good condition.
  • A general inspection. This includes checking the fan, fan motors, electrical wiring, refrigerant tubing, blower system, ductwork and compressor for any signs of trouble or damage. If an issue is spotted, you have it fixed before it affects your cooling.
  • Running the air conditioner. As a final step, the technician will run the air conditioner for 15-20 minute to ensure that anything is running smoothly.

Air conditioning maintenance in West Chester, OH can be performed by the experts at Bartels Heating & Cooling. You want your air conditioner to perform at its peak this summer. Give us a call today and let us help you make that happen!

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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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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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Furnace Guide: 3 Components You Should Know

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Furnaces don’t last forever, and even the best furnaces break down occasionally. A faulty component can often result in the entire system shutting down, or even worse: can damage to additional components as well. The more you know about how these components function, the better you can understand the ways they affect your heating when they run into problems.

  • Igniter/thermocouple. These two components are basically linked, and sometimes even appear as one conjoined unit. The igniter consists of the pilot light (usually in older furnaces) or an electric igniter (usually in newer ones). The thermocouple controls the flow of gas into the furnace, to ensure that your home isn’t flooded with gas when there’s a problem. If either component is damaged, the furnace simply won’t turn on.
  • Burners. The burners themselves provide the heat, fed by gas that passes through the thermocouple to create hot, intense flames. Burners can malfunction for a variety of reasons, including becoming clogged with dirt and dust.
  • Heat exchangers/venting systems. The heat exchangers transfer the heat from the burners (which often contain toxic gases) into air which can then be blown into your home. The gases move into a venting system which can then safely remove them from your home. The heat exchangers suffer breakdowns when the blowers connected to them malfunction and/or if blockage in the venting system prevents them from releasing the gases.

This furnace guide contains 3 components you should know, but most furnaces contain a great deal more. Hopefully, this will give you a basic idea of how the heating process works and how a breakdown with one component can affect the entire unit. Regardless, if you live in West Chester, OH, furnace repair services can be provided by the professionals at Bartels Heating & Cooling. If you’re experiencing problems with your furnace, pick up the phone and call us today!

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How Heat Pumps Provide Both Heating and Cooling

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Many homeowners in West Chester, OH have heat pumps in their homes. With only a single unit, they receive both air conditioning and heating. However, heat pump owners often know few of the details about how these wonderful devices do both the jobs of an AC and a heater.

A heat pump isn’t a combo-unit that packages two separate systems together: it uses the same method to provide heating as it does to provide cooling. In this post, we’ll give you a short guide to understanding the dual function of heat pumps.

If you need repairs for your heat pump, or if you’re interested in having one installed, call Bartels Heating & Cooling. We’ve served Southwest Ohio since 1973.

Heat exchange: how the heat pump heats and cools

Heat pumps operate through heat exchange, which neither creates heat nor cold. Instead, heat exchange moves heat from one location to another. If you remove heat from a room, the room will feel cooler. If you bring heat into the room, it feels warmer. A heat pump is designed so that it will move the heat to wherever you need it the most: inside or outside. In the summer, you will want the heat outside. In the winter, you will want it inside.

Here’s how the heat pump manages this. Your heat pump consists of two units, an indoor and an outdoor unit. Flowing between the two units along copper lines is a chemical blend known as refrigerant, which can easily change between liquid and gaseous states. The refrigerant absorbs heat from an evaporator coil located in one of the units, then moves to a compressor, which squeezes the refrigerant to a high-pressure, high-temperature gas. The refrigerant then moves to a condenser coil, where it releases the heat. After that it travels back to the condenser coil to restart the cycle.

During cooling mode, the indoor coil acts as the evaporator, absorbing the heat. When the heat pump goes into heating mode, a reversing valve changes the direction of the flow of refrigerant. Now, the indoor coil acts as the condenser, releasing heat, and the outdoor coil acts as the evaporator, absorbing heat.

Keep your heat pump working for you: repairs and maintenance

Heat pumps are complex devices that require the balance of different components to operate correctly. If you sense something wrong with your heat pump, summon a repair technician immediately. Make sure you schedule regular maintenance once a year to see that your heat pump is working its best and not developing potential malfunctions.

Bartels Heating & Cooling offers 24-hour emergency service when you need help with your heat pump. We also offer excellent maintenance and installation for your heat pump in West Chester, OH.

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Causes of Noisy Heating Ducts

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Heating ducts are an integral part of your heating system: carrying warm air from a central unit throughout your entire house. Here in West Chester, OH, heating in many houses depends on a reliable system of ducts. While a certain amount of noise is expected in such a system – with fans blowing and motors running to carry the air through the ducts – you may hear noises that don’t constitute a normal part of the system’s operations. They usually mean trouble, and you should probably turn off your heater and call a repair service as soon as you hear them. But what are the causes of noisy ducts?

In some cases, the noise may not originate in the ducts at all. The system can carry sound as well as air, and noises such as grinding, humming, rattling, sparkling or clanging may actually be coming from the heater itself. (The causes are numerous, ranging from a bent fan bade to a loose electrical wire.) But in those cases, you shouldn’t look for the causes in the ducts: they’re just carrying the noises, not creating them.

Sounds that originate in the ducts tend to be caused by a breach or leak somewhere. In those cases, air gets pulled out or pulled into the ducts from the outside, which can create an odd noise such as a humming or a vibrating noise. Sudden damage will create a loud noise of course, but that usually doesn’t repeat itself (and may involve damage to more than just the ducts). It’s also possible that the ducts will groan or make similar noises when you first turn on the heater: stretching a bit as the warm air travels across the cool metal.

Regardless of the causes of noisy heating ducts, you should contact an expert to see about addressing the situation. Call the West Chester, OH, heating professionals at Bartels Heating & Cooling. We pride ourselves on reliability and our trained staff is dedicated to your 100% satisfaction.

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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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Benefits of Radiant Heating

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

In towns like West Chester, OH, heating costs can easily get out of control. Our cold winters make reliable heating an absolute necessity, and while a traditional gas furnace can do the job, you have a number of other possible options available to you. For example, radiant heating consists of a series of heating tubes or electric coils in your floors to heat your home. Installation can cost more than it might in the case of a gas furnace, but the benefits of radiant heating can easily outweigh the drawbacks. Here’s a brief list of some of the advantages offered by the technology.

  • Improved efficiency. Radiant heating moves warmth directly into objects in the room, including people. That means there’s no heat lost to drafts or other air flow issues, like there are with gas furnaces. That means it doesn’t waste very much of its energy, which means it costs you much less in monthly energy bills.
  • No drafts or cold spots. Because it doesn’t rely on air flow, radiant heating also avoids some of the problems endemic to air flow, such as cold spots or weird drafts. Radiant heating systems also tend to be quieter than normal gas systems, since they don’t need fans to distribute their heat.
  • Resale value. The initial cost of installing a radiant heating system can be at least partially recouped in resale value on the home. Because radiant heating systems don’t cost a lot to run, anyone who buys the home will benefit from its presence, which can increase the asking price when the times comes to sell.

For heating installation services in West Chester, OH, contact Bartels Heating & Cooling for help. We can discuss the benefits of radiant heating with you, then inspect your home to determine whether it will work.  Give us a call today to make an appointment; you’ll be happy that you did!

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West Chester, OH Heat Pump Repair: Compressor Won’t Start

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Heat pumps operate according to the same basic principles of air conditioning. Refrigerant passes through the compressor, which pressurizes it, and it then goes through the condenser coils, where it dissipates the heat into the outdoor air and condenses into a liquid. The liquid then enters an evaporator system, which returns it to a gaseous state and cools the surrounding air in the process. (The air is them blown into the home with a fan.) Heat pumps simply make this process reversible, allowing you to release either hot or cool air into your West Chester, OH home. Otherwise, it doesn’t significantly differ from the functioning of an air conditioning. But what happens when the compressor won’t start?

The compressor can suffer from a number of possible problems from a lack of cooling capacity (usually caused by a refrigerant leak) to an excessively long cycle (likely caused by general wear and tear). If it fails to turn on entirely, however, you’re likely looking at an overheated or broken-down unit. Many compressor motors have automatic shut-off switches designed to prevent greater damage. Those that don’t might overheat if they are old or suffer from other damage. Regardless, the compressor motor will probably need to be replaced.

In some cases, the compressor may not start because of a problem with the electrical wiring delivering power from your home’s circuit breaker box. Check the box to see if the breaker has been triggered. If it has – and if it keeps triggering when you try to run the heat pump – you likely have something wrong with the wiring and will need to replace it.

A professional heating techncian can usually handle all of your West Chester, OH pump repair needs. If your compressor won’t start, then call Bartels Heating & Cooling for help. We handle West Chester, OH heat pump repair issues of all varieties, and will work diligently to fix the source of your compressor problems. Call us today and get your heat pump back on track.

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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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