Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog: Archive for July, 2014

Will Geothermal Installation Really Save Money?

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Here at Bartels Heating & Cooling, we are strong supporters of using geothermal power to heat and cool homes. We often advise that our customers look into installing a geothermal heat pump, not only because it is beneficial for the environment, tapping into a clean and renewable source of energy, but also because it will benefit their bank account in the long run with efficient performance that surpasses most other home comfort systems.

Geothermal heat pumps require more installation work than standard air-source heat pumps, and not every property is suited to them. However, if you find that geothermal installation in Hamilton, OH is ideal for your home’s heating and cooling needs, you should definitely give the idea serious consideration.

But Can I Really Save Money This Way?

Yes! We’re aware that geothermal heat pumps have higher upfront costs to install: they require drilling, digging, and more labor and materials than standard air-source heat pump installation. However, the payback period is short; you will start to save money on your utility bills during the first year, and depending on weather conditions and the amount you use your heat pump, it can take as little as 5 years to return your initial investment. When you consider that on average the loops of a geothermal system can last for more than 50 years, the savings you’ll receive will pay for the cost of installation 10 times over.

You don’t have to take our word on this: the information comes direct from the U.S. Department of Energy. Because a geothermal system uses the stable heat of the earth for its heat exchange, instead of the constantly changing temperature of the air, it performs more efficiently. The U.S. DOE has found that heat pumps on the coldest winter days have efficiencies of 300-600%, as opposed to air-source heat pump efficiencies of 175-250%.

To make sure that you receive the maximum energy-saving performance from a geothermal heat pump, you must have an experienced contractor handle the installation work. Technicians with the proper training will know the right place to bury the ground loops and the correct loop configuration that will allow the system to perform at peak efficiency. The geothermal technicians will also do the job fast and cause as little disruption to your daily life as possible.

Call Bartels Heating & Cooling to get started with geothermal installation in Hamilton, OH. We will send a geothermal specialist to look over your home and property to determine if a ground-source heat pump is ideal, and how best to install it. If geothermal is the right path, you can trust to our NATE-certified technicians to handle the installation work fast and right, leaving you with decades of clean, reliable, and money-saving heating and cooling.

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Air Conditioning Question: What is the Condensate Drain?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

An air conditioned room is the perfect place to take shelter when it gets too hot. But did you know air conditioners protect against high humidity as well? The concept of air conditioning actually came to be about 100 years ago, developed as a defense against high humidity levels. Today, these systems are much more advanced, and one of the key components in humidity control is the condensate drain.

To understand the role of the condensate drain in humidity control, you must first understand the concept of heat exchange. Air conditioners move heat from inside of your home to the outdoors. This is usually done with a split-system air conditioner consisting of an indoor unit and an outdoor unit which refrigerant moves through repeatedly. Inside, the evaporator changes refrigerant from a liquid to a gas and heat is absorbed in the process. Outside, the condenser coil changes refrigerant from gas to liquid and heat releases into the air.

The indoor coil stays relatively cool as warm air blows over the evaporator and cool air returns to the home. Any moisture from the air begins to collect on this coil as condensation. Much like a glass of ice water on a warm day, the evaporator coil forms water droplets on the outside of the coil which eventually need some place to go.

This is where the condensate drain comes in. First, the water droplets fall into a shallow tray called a condensate pan. Then, water flows either directly into a condensate drain or through a condensate line that leads to an outdoor drain.

Sometimes, condensate drains encounter problems. If the drain line is clogged by debris or because of faulty installation, the condensate pan may overflow and harm your system, or else water may leak into your home. Water leaks are one of the most common reasons homeowners call for air conditioning repair, but these may be prevented with annual maintenance by an air conditioning technician.

If you run into problems with your system, or if you have questions about air conditioning service in Fairfield, OH, call Bartels Heating & Cooling today!

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What Makes Commercial HVAC Repair Different from Residential?

Monday, July 21st, 2014

When you need to have repair work done for the HVAC system that keeps your business comfortable throughout the year, it is vital that you only call up technicians qualified for commercial work. No matter how talented a residential repair technician may be, no matter how experienced, if he or she has not done extensive commercial work or received the proper training, the job will not be done right, and your comfort and budget will suffer.

We will look at the ways that commercial HVAC repair in West Chester, OH is different from residential. Our team at Bartels Heating & Cooling has worked with both since 1973. We have high qualifications to handle any type of repair work you may need for commercial HVAC. We offer 24-hour emergency service, so we are always ready whenever your commercial heating and cooling encounters trouble.

The Differences in Commercial Repair Work

The most obvious difference between commercial and residential heating and cooling is size: the heating and cooling capacity for a commercial system must service a larger space and more people. But how does this affect repairs? One way is that commercial systems are modular, and often contain multiple packaged units to accommodate the needs of a large work space. A residential repair technician only has one unit to check, whereas a commercial repair technician must perform more extensive inspections to find which of the various units—and it might be more than one—is malfunctioning. The size of the system also means a more complicated series of dampers and thermostats; this intricacy of the system calls for specific training to remedy problems.

The majority of commercial units are packaged units, which means they contain all the components of a residential indoor and outdoor cabinet inside a single cabinet. Packaged units are configured much differently than other systems and require special training for their repairs and maintenance.

When doing repairs for a commercial system, a technician must have more in mind than maintaining comfort for the people inside the building. The system must also stay within local electrical codes. This is one of the reasons that you need to hire commercial specialists for your repairs, as you cannot take the chance of your building failing to stay up to code.

Schedule Service as Soon as You Need It

Don’t risk a breakdown in the comfort system that keeps your workplace viable for both employees and clients around the year. When the heating or cooling in your business appears in jeopardy, give us a call for commercial HVAC repair in West Chester, OH from Bartels Heating & Cooling. We can take care of your commercial comfort needs, any time of the day or night.

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Questions to Ask When Installing a Generator

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

A commercial generator is an important insurance policy for your company in the event of a long-term power loss. Power outages are especially worrisome in winter, when an extended interruption in electrical service can create immense discomfort and even health risks. Installing a commercial generator in Fairfield, OH is an investment in protecting and maintaining your commercial space in case of an emergency.

However, you cannot simply select any generator for installation and trust to luck. There are many important factors that go into finding and installing the right unit for your business. Call for professionals to handle the installation, such as the experienced team at Bartels Heating & Cooling. Have a few questions ready for your installer so that you know you will receive the ideal generator for your needs.

Some Questions to Ask the Installers About Your Generator

  • How many appliances will the generator run? Generators come in a wide variety of power levels, and you need to make sure that the one you have installed will provide enough electricity to run the appliances you most need during an outage. Every homeowner will have different needs when it comes to a loss of power: perhaps you only require the minimum, such as a few lights, the heating system, and any vital medical equipment; or maybe you want full use of all your regular appliances. Work with your installer to figure out your exact needs so he or she can install the generator that will deliver you all the electricity you require during an emergency.
  • What fuel source is my best option? Generators can run on natural gas, propane, oil, or gasoline. Which model you get will depend on a number of factors, such as the availability of municipal gas lines and the local costs of heating oil. The installer will have suggestions to help guide you toward the right fuel source for your needs, budget, and convenience.
  • How often should I have the generator maintained? A generator is only worth installing if it will come on when necessary. Because you will rarely need to use it (we hope), the generator will sit unused for most of the year, and it might develop malfunctions without you realizing it. It’s essential that you have regular maintenance scheduled to take care of the generator so that it will be ready to work when you actually need it. The installer will know the best schedule for maintenance and help you arrange it so that you will feel assured that the generator will be prepared for the next emergency.

At Bartels Heating & Cooling, we offer full service for generators: installation, repairs, and maintenance. You can reach us 24/7 for the repair work on your generator in Fairfield, OH necessary for it to do its vital job. Our technicians are NATE-certified to make sure you receive the highest quality work. Call us today to schedule service.

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How Do Geothermal Systems Work?

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Here is the great secret of geothermal power: if dig down a mere 10 feet beneath the frost line, the Earth’s temperature remains at a steady 55° F. That’s either a “cool” temperature (if you have a blazing hot summer day above) or a “warm” one (if there’s a deep freeze happening above). Either way, it’s a reliable temperature for whatever your home needs to keep it comfortable throughout the year, and you can access this power using a geothermal heat pump.

We think that using a geothermal system in Hamilton, OH is an excellent idea for year-round comfort. At Bartels Heating & Cooling, we’ve installed many geothermal systems that have helped people achieve reliable comfort as well as energy savings. If you think that geothermal may be the best comfort system for your home, give us a call and set up an appointment with us today.

How Geothermal Systems Heat and Cool Your Home

Home geothermal systems are heat pumps, which means they circulate refrigerant between indoor and outdoor elements to move heat from one location to another. To supply a home with heat, the heat pump moves heat from the outside element and releases it to the inside. To cool down a home, the heat pump absorbs heat from inside and releases it outside. Standard heat pumps are “air-source,” which means they absorb and release heat using the air. But geothermal heat pumps are “ground-source”: for half the exchange, they use the steady energy levels of the Earth.

The indoor sections of a geothermal heat pump are similar to those of an air-source one. A coil with refrigerant either absorbs or releases heat, depending on the mode, and a blower circulates the conditioned air thorough the home. However, there is no outdoor “unit.” Instead, the refrigerant (water with anti-freeze in it) circulates through plastic loops buried in the ground deep enough to access the steady 55°F. In heating mode, the loops absorb heat from the ground to take it indoors, and in cooling mode they deposit heat from indoors into the ground.

Because geothermal heat pumps don’t have to combat scorching hot or icy cold air temperatures, they work far more efficiently than other heat pumps. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a geothermal system can operate 3 to 6 times more efficiently than standard heat pumps. The ground loops have astonishing longevity as well, lasting longer than 50 years.

However, all these advantages won’t mean much if your home isn’t suited to geothermal power. A house requires sufficient space for the coils, and the soil must be the right condition. Before making a choice about heat pumps, call Bartels Heating & Cooling and talk to our specialists in geothermal in Hamilton, OH. We will find the best comfort solution for your home.

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The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

Friday, July 4th, 2014

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the signing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on July 4th—although many years later.

Our family at Bartels Heating & Cooling hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.

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