Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog: Archive for May, 2014

How to Know When You Need to Replace Your Water Heater

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Indoor plumbing was one of the first great advances for home convenience. Then came heated indoor plumbing—an amazing plus. Now we accept both as standard parts of our daily lives. Although you can expect always to have a steady supply of water entering your house (barring a serious issue with the municipal supply or break in the water main), the water heater responsible for bringing you hot water for showering, cleaning, and cooking will eventually wear down and need replacement. It’s best to watch for early signs of the decline of a water heater so you don’t get caught without hot water one day and need to schedule an emergency water heater replacement. Here are a few warnings to watch for that could indicate that the water heater is in its final days.

When it’s time for a new water heater in Fairfield, OH, call the experts at Bartels Heating & Cooling. We install, replace, repair, and maintain top models.

Signs of a failing water heater

  • Rapidly running out of hot water: If it seems that your shower is going colder much earlier than it should, or if family members are complaining about the lack of hot water in the house, look into the age of your water heater. If it has exceeded its estimated lifespan, then the problem is likely that the system can no longer efficiently supply energy to the water. Call for technicians to see if the system can be repaired of if replacement is the more cost-effective option.
  • Rust discoloration in the water: The greatest enemy that your water heater can face is corrosion. Once rust enters the tank it will rapidly destroy the system. A water heater will resist corrosion for most of its service life, but eventually corrosion will begin to take hold, and this means the water heater must be replaced. When rust-colored water flows out of the hot water taps, it’s time to call for water heater replacement.
  • Decline in water temperature: When a water heater is too old, it will start to struggle to reach its regular temperature. If you schedule repairs, but they only restore the water temperature for a limited time, then the system has likely passed the point of no return and you should consult with a plumber regarding new installation.

You can always call for experts to look over your heater to see if it is indeed past help from targeted repairs. The professionals can help you choose a new system and install it quickly so you will have your steady supply of water returned to you.

For service or replacement for a water heater in Fairfield, OH, please call our skilled team at Bartels Heating & Cooling. We also offer 24-hour emergency repairs.

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Why You Need Professional Duct Cleaning

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Your house may look clean from where you stand, but you don’t know what sort of dust, dirt, lint, dander, hair, and other pollutants could be hiding in your ductwork. In fact, if more than two years has passed since you had professional duct cleaning done—or if you’ve never had it done—your ventilation system could hold a reservoir of dirt and dust that is constantly getting blown out into your air and circulating through the ductwork, causing all sort of health problems, cutting into your HVAC system’s efficiency, and contributing to a build-up of dust inside the house that you will have a hard time clearing away.

You need to have the ductwork cleaned out, and it will take more than a broom or a vacuum hose shoved down an open vent to do this job. You must have professional cleaners on this task. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to locate skilled duct cleaning technicians: you only have to call Bartels Heating & Cooling. We have a team ready to restore your ventilation system to its best shape with duct cleaning in West Chester, OH.

Why is it necessary for professionals to do this job?

The ductwork in a home, even a small home is quite complex and intricate, and most of it is out of the reach of the homeowner. To properly clean out the many types of debris that can become lodged inside ducts requires special high-end equipment and the knowledge to use it.

The most important tool of professional duct cleaners is the power vacuum, an enormous vacuum that dwarfs the size of any commercially purchased home vacuum cleaner. This vacuum not only provides suction, it also places the whole duct system under “negative pressure,” which allows for the easier removal of contaminating particles from the duct wall.

Duct cleaners also use agitation equipment, such as rotary brushes on long hoses, to target specific areas of the ductwork that need special attention. You shouldn’t attempt to buy professional-grade rotary brushes and use them yourself; you’ll risk damaging the interior of the ducts with the brush action. Let the professionals handle this work.

Finally, the cleaners use special kinds of sanitizers and deodorizers—again, nothing you can find in mainstream stores—to eliminate bacteria, odors, and other microscopic nuisances form your ducts. These substances are non-toxic and will have no negative effect on the health of you or your family.

Stay on top of duct cleaning

Most homes should have duct cleaning performed every two years, although if you encounter early trouble with dust and dirt coming from the vents, it’s fine to schedule it earlier or more frequently.

Let the technicians at Bartels Heating & Cooling help you with scheduling duct cleaning and other indoor air quality services in West Chester, OH. When you put our skill to work on your cleaning job, we’ll have the work done fast and leave you with the cleanest home you’ve ever had. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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What Are the Benefits of Generator Installation?

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Storms and extreme weather conditions have made homeowners more aware than ever of the importance of having backup standby generators working to supply them with electricity during emergencies. With proper installation from experienced generator technicians, you can protect your home from both short-term and long-term power failures.

There are a number of good reasons to have a standby generator in West Chester, OH aside from keeping the lights burning when the power blinks out. Here are some of the major benefits you’ll receive from a generator that was professionally installed. Call Bartels Heating & Cooling to find out more about what a generator can do for you and how we can help you find the right model.

Advantages of standby generator installation

  • Maintain your comfort: Power outages usually occur during difficult weather conditions. Winter storms can wreck power lines, and intense heat often forces an overstressed power grid to shut down. You don’t want to lose power to your AC or heater during these periods (and even if you have a gas-powered heater, modern heaters will start up without electricity). To make it through these stretches, a generator is invaluable.
  • Prevent food from spoiling: Along with your lights and your HVAC system, the appliance you most want to stay on during a power outage is the refrigerator. Food will rapidly spoil when a refrigerator shuts off, and since it’s unlikely you will be able to make it to the store while the power is still out, keeping your food fresh and edible is a crucial part of your comf0rt.
  • Protect people with medical needs: If you have people living in your home who depend on powered medical equipment, such as an oxygen system, then having a whole-house generator can be a literal life-saver. You don’t want to take risks on a power outage when so much rides on electrical power, and a store-bought portable unit won’t offer you the assurance of making it through a lengthy power failure.

Installing a generator is a task that professionals must handle. Only trained technicians can 1) find the unit of the right size to match your home’s voltage; 2) install it so it doesn’t violate electrical codes; and 3) connect it so it will work every time you need it. Do not make this a DIY project or something you delegate to amateurs.

For fast and professional installation of a generator in West Chester, OH, give us a call today and speak with our experienced team at Bartels Heating & Cooling . We will not only install your generator, we will also offer the repairs and maintenance you may need to keep it running whenever your power supply is threatened.

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Components of Your Home that Can Affect Your New Air Conditioner

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Ohio summers bring the heat, and one of the best ways to beat the heat is the installation of a whole-house air conditioning system. Air conditioners have come a long way in the last decade, providing cool air more efficiently while also reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted. But an air conditioning system purchase is a big one no matter how you look at it, and ensuring you’ve gotten an air conditioner that fits your home is one of our specialties at Bartel’s Heating & Cooling.

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing Your Air Conditioner

In order to ensure that you are purchasing an air conditioner that satisfies the amount of cooling you’ll need for your home, your Fairfield air conditioning installation will require a calculation that involves several components. Some of these components are:

  • Orientation (the direction your property faces) – orientation can affect the daily heat gain of your property
  • Insulation levels – just as insulation is important for holding in heat during winter, it does the same for the cool air during summer
  • Any existing ductwork – older ductwork can be in need of repair or possible replacement to help mitigate potential air loss with a new system
  • Floor plans – an open floor plan has a very different indoor air flow from a multi-room floor plan, something that can affect how your home cools
  • Square footage – how much area needs to be cooled
  • Daytime heat gain – your home will gain heat throughout the day from sunlight and rising temperatures; it is important to know exactly how much heat your home gains in order to determine how much cooling it needs to counteract the heat gain

Why Are These Factors Important?

Each of these factors helps to answer the question, “how much cooling does my property need?” Every home has its own answer to this question, even if one home has the same square footage as another. These factors are also important in helping to determine how much energy efficiency you want in your air conditioner, and what type of air conditioning system you want (i.e., traditional split system, ductless, etc.)

As you can see, multiple components need to be factored in to any new air conditioning installation. For over 40 years, Bartel’s Heating & Cooling has conducted multiple Fairfield air conditioning installations, helping our customers attain the right air conditioner for their property. Not sure about what air conditioner is right for you? Call Bartel’s Heating & Cooling today and schedule an appointment for an estimate with one of our experts.

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Improve Your Air Conditioning System’s Efficiency

Friday, May 9th, 2014

When it comes to air conditioning, West Chester, OH residents are used to paying higher prices in the summertime. Our Midwest weather gets awfully muggy in June and July, and you want your home to be a comfy relief from the stifling temperatures outside. That usually means paying for the privilege when your monthly bills arrive, but the costs don’t have to be as high as you might think. Here are some ways to improve your air conditioning system’s efficiency.

It starts with a regular maintenance session, wherein a technician spruces up your air conditioner and looks for any signs of future problems down the road. She or she will clean all of the dirt off of internal components, tighten loose fixtures and replace any filters that have become dirty or clogged. As a result, your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to do its job. The air will flow more smoothly, friction between moving parts will be reduced and the energy will be spent cooling your home instead of being wasted away by inefficient components. A maintenance session will also help you spot large problems while they’re still small, allowing you to schedule a repair session before the system breaks down.

In addition to the system itself, you should look into ways to improve the overall energy efficiency of your home. This can include such steps as sealing leaks under doors with weather stripping, installing double-paned windows, and adding more insulation to retain your home’s temperatures (a trick that works in the summertime as readily as the winter). A trained technician can inspect your home and make suggestions on ways to improve its energy efficiency, which can save you a surprising amount of money in many cases.

For more ways to improve your air conditioning system’s efficiency, or to schedule an AC repair session, then the experts at Bartels Heating & Cooling are standing by. We specialize in air conditioning, West Chester OH falls within our service area, and we’re dedicated to helping you save as much money as possible without skimping on the cool comfort you expect for your home. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!

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Is Zone Control a Good Investment for Your Air Conditioning?

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Central air conditioning for homes is usually an everything-or-nothing proposition. When your AC turns on, cool air goes through the ventilation system to each room in the house, regardless of whether it needs it or not. But cooling your home doesn’t need to work this way: through the installation of a zone control system, you can control which rooms in your home receive cooling whenever the air conditioner turns on. (It works for your forced-air heating system in winter as well.)

You can have zone control put in with a new central air conditioner, or have installers retro-fit your system for zone control benefits. We’ll look at the advantages of zone control and whether it makes sense for your home.

To learn specifics and to talk to an expert in air conditioning in Hamilton, OH, please contact Bartels Heating & Cooling. We have many years of experience installing and repairing zone control systems.

Zone control as an investment in comfort and energy savings

Zone control divides a house in a number of different “zones,” which can be as few as two (e.g. upstairs and downstairs) to as many as there are rooms in a home. Each zone has its own thermostat that operates a damper inside the ductwork to control the flow of conditioned air. The local thermostats link to a central control panel to operate all the zones.

Using zone control allows for immense energy savings, since you no longer need to cool down every room at the same time, only the ones that are presently occupied. If you have a guest room or a number of other places in your house that see only occasional use, zone control is a great advantage that will result in high energy savings. They will often pay back their installation costs after only a few years.

Aside from saving energy, zone control increases comfort. You can adjust the temperature to fit each room’s purpose: high cooling in the kitchen, reduced cooling in well-ventilated bedrooms. If a large number of people live in your house, a zone control system allows them to adjust the temperature to their individual comfort level wherever they are, which means less hassle and more comfort for everyone.

For smaller homes with a small number of residents, a zone control system will probably provide too few advantages to make installation worthwhile. But larger homes and families will usually find the return on investment in zone control extremely high.

Professional zone control installation

Call professionals in air conditioning in Hamilton, OH to learn how to best set up your home for zone control. Bartels Heating & Cooling can set up a zone control system for your existing central air conditioner, or make it part of a new air conditioning installation. Call us today to find out more about your options.

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Air Conditioning Repairs to Schedule before Summer

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Before you start a long car trip, you’ll go out of your way to fix any trouble with the vehicle: motor problems, low tire pressure, weak battery. You should treat your air conditioning system the same way: think of the upcoming summer as a long road trip where your AC travels from coast to coast. To avoid a breakdown along the way, and to make sure your air conditioner doesn’t start “gas guzzling,” you need to schedule repairs before setting out on that summer drive.

It’s easier to have repairs for your air conditioner than for your car. You only need to make a single call to Bartels Heating & Cooling to take care of scheduling any necessary air conditioning repair in Fairfield, OH.

Here are a few common repairs that we perform in spring; watch out for these issues in your AC, and don’t hesitate to give us a call—any time of the day or night.

Spring air conditioning repairs

  • Recharge refrigerant – One of the most damaging problems that can occur with an AC is leaking refrigerant. The Freon inside your AC doesn’t dissipate during normal operation. But should leaks start because of corrosion on the refrigerant lines or loosened connections, the operation of the system will be in danger. The AC will lose cooling power, frost will form over the outdoor coil, and the change in pressure will start to damage the compressor. A technician can seal up the leaks and then recharge the refrigerant to remedy the problems.
  • Replacing electrical relays – The relays on motors control the flow of electrical power. If a relay should become stuck closed or stuck open, a motor will either not run at all or run continuously. This is a common repair for technicians and a simple one to perform.
  • Replacing burnt-out motors – If the motors in an AC cabinet gather too much dust or lose lubricant, they can overheat and cause irreparable damage to their wiring. When this happens, there is usually no choice but to have the burnt-out motor replaced. If you hear grinding, groaning, or screeching sounds from the air conditioner cabinet, it usually signals motors on the verge of failing; call for repairs right away.

Remember to schedule a maintenance visit

Even if your air conditioner shows no outward problems, you still need to have a technician pay it a visit before summer for its annual check-up and tune-up. A maintenance session will make sure there are no hidden repair needs, clean and adjust the unit, and generally get the system into the best condition possible for effective cooling and efficient energy use for the whole summer.

Bartels Heating & Cooling not only delivers excellent air conditioning repair in Fairfield, OH, we also offer a comprehensive maintenance program to tune-up your air conditioner in spring and your heater in fall. Call us today to learn more about the benefits of our regular maintenance program.

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