Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for the ‘Air Conditioning’ Category

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!

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

How Refrigerant Gas Creates Cool Air

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Air conditioning in West Chester is more than just a luxury. Summers are hot and muggy and a good air conditioner can be your best friend when the temperatures start to climb. But as much of a staple as the system has become to our lives, most people still don’t know how it operates. They know that refrigerant is involved, but the precise nature of the process is something of a mystery. In actuality, the process is very simple, at least in terms of the basic concepts. Here’s a quick rundown on how refrigerant gas creates cool air.

The process involves a heat exchange, which means that heat transfers from the refrigerant and back again. The refrigerant itself must be of a particular type and amount that matches your precise type of air conditioner. It moves through a closed circuit (though breaches in that circuit are not uncommon and require the services of a professional when they arrive). The process starts when the gas enters a condenser valve, where it is put under a huge amount of heat and pressure. It then moves to the compressor coils, where the heat is bled off into the surrounding air. (The hot air is vented outside with a fan, which is why this part of the air conditioner is usually located outside.)

That shifts the gas to liquid form, though it is still under a high amount of pressure. It then moves to the next stage in the process. It passes through an expansion valve, which sprays a set amount into the evaporator coils, not unlike an aerosol can. (Again, the exact amount it sprays depends on the specific model of the air conditioner.) In the evaporator coils, it returns to gaseous form, pulling heat from the surrounding air in the process. It can then return to the condenser valve and begin the process again. The cool air, however, can be blown into your home via a fan, giving you the cool comfortable temperature you want.

For more on how refrigerant gas creates cool air, or to discuss installation or repairs for air conditioning in West Chester, give the experts at Bartels Heating & Cooling a call. We have the know-how and experience to do the job right the first time, every time!

When you’re in need of AC service in West Chester, OH, contact us today and schedule your next appointment.

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading

If My AC Turns On, Why Bother with Air Conditioning Repair?

Monday, August 26th, 2013

When it comes to air conditioning systems, people focus on performance, especially in cities like West Chester, OH, where the hot summers necessitate daily use of an AC unit. If cool air is coming out and the house is comfortable, why bother with air conditioning repair? In truth, air conditioning repair services are at their most effective when the issue isn’t pressing. Small problems are much easier to correct than large ones, and jumping on an issue early can save you a lot of money and stress in the future.

Take, for instance, the issue of low refrigerant levels, which is fairly common to a lot of air conditioning units. When a hole develops somewhere in the lines, refrigerant can leak  out, and too little refrigerant can cause problems with the cooling cycle. It probably won’t prevent the unit from functioning entirely, but it will force it to work harder and longer to do its job. Ice will likely form on the evaporator coils, leading to water leaks and inadequate cooling. Motors may be put under greater stress. And as the leak continues, the issues will only grow worse .

If, on the other hand, you contact a professional earlier in the process, a lot of that wear and tear can be avoided. A trained technician can pinpoint the leak and then seal it before recharging the refrigerant to its specified levels. That’s a simpler, easier and more cost-effective operation than simply waiting until the AC stops working entirely, and the extra strain of ineffective cooling has caused multiple components to fail.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure as the saying goes, and you can prevent a lot of problems with your air conditioning unit with regularly scheduled maintenance calls. Bartels Heating & Cooling handles all kinds of air conditioning issues in the West Chester, OH area, and can help set up a maintenance schedule that works for you. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

Continue Reading

West Chester, OH Air Conditioning Tip: Does My AC Require More Voltage?

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Like a lot of devices, most air conditioning units depend on electricity to function. Indeed, a central AC system often requires more electricity than any other item in the house – up to 5,000 watts when the unit first starts up – which makes it vital to measure both its proper voltage and its efficiency in cooling the home. In West Chester, OH, with its hot muggy summers, an efficient air conditioner is the first, best way to keep your home comfortable. Ensuring that your AC has the proper voltage is an important step in that process.

A central air conditioning system usually needs a dedicated 220-volt or 240-volt circuit for operation, which is usually added at the time of installation. If the voltage is too low, it may cause the air conditioning system to “hard start,” or stutter before it finally fires up. This can cause a great deal to wear and tear on the system, and in some cases may trip the circuit breaker.

Accordingly, it’s very important to determine the right size air conditioning unit to meet your particular needs. A trained professional can help you estimate the amount of power required to cool  your home, usually measure in British Thermal Units (BTU) per hour. (Ironically, an air conditioning that is too large may cause as many issues as one that’s too small, since it will require more voltage to run and will likely cycle on and off too quickly.) Once you know that, an expert can add more circuits if needed, ensuring that your air conditioning has the proper voltage and keeping it running at maximum efficiency.

Efficiency is especially important with the hot summers in West Chester, OH. Air conditioning electrical bills can get out of hand, and you always want to use no more than the voltage you need. Bartels Heating & Cooling has years of experience handling air conditioning issues and can provide you with a reliable estimate of your air conditioning power needs. If more voltage is required, one of our trained professionals can perform the upgrade with your complete satisfaction in mind. Call us today to set up an appointment.

Continue Reading

Air Conditioning Repair in Hamilton, OH: The Problem with Dirty Coils

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Like any other mechanical device, an air conditioning unit can get dirty over time. Dust and other particles build up on the inside of the unit, which can result in larger and more significant problems if left unattended. In Hamilton, OH, the hot muggy summers mean that you can’t afford to let your air conditioning system go down for repairs. It may not sound like much when components like the evaporator coils get dirty, but the effects can bite you if you’re not careful.

The coils serve a vital function in the AC’s cooling cycle. Refrigerant enters the evaporator coils and transforms from a liquid state to a gas state, cooling the surrounding air. A blower fan then blows across the coils, distributing the cool air throughout your house. The problem with dirty coils is that it interfere with that process. The caked-on dirt reduces the cooling effects of the refrigerant, making you air conditioning work harder to keep your home comfortable. In some cases, ice can build up on the surface of the coils, increasing the wear and tear of the unit and possibly leading to further damage as well.

To combat it, you can replace the air filters in your air conditioning unit regularly. That will help keep the inside of the unit clean. In addition, you should schedule routine maintenance sessions from a qualified Hamilton, OH air conditioning professional. Your technician can safely clean the dirt off of the coils, as well as checking for low refrigerant levels, tightening any loose fittings and identifying potential problems before they get out of hand. Not only will it maximize the efficiency of your air conditioning system, but it should extend the overall life of your system, reducing the need for significant repairs.

Bartels Heating & Cooling has trained experts on staff who can handle air conditioning repair in Hamilton, OH. Our maintenance program includes 24-hour emergency service and a 15% discount on repairs made under the plan. We never charge you overtime if you’re on the plan and we dedicate ourselves to your complete satisfaction. Call us today, and make sure that dirty coils don’t get in the way of cool air.  

Continue Reading

West Chester, OH Air Conditioning Tip: Change Your Filter

Monday, August 5th, 2013

The filter in your air conditioning unit helps keep the system free of dust and debris. The cleaner a system is, the better it will function and the higher your indoor air quality will be. In West Chester, OH, where temperatures climb in the summer months, a clean, well-functioning air conditioning system is key to spending the summer in comfort. We all have our share of concerns from day to day, and changing the filter in your air conditioning can be fairly easy to forget. In the long run, however, it pays to change your filter regularly.

Filters serve to protect the air conditioning unit from dust and dirt, but they can also serve as a “first warning” for other potential problems. An excessively dirty filter may be a sign of burgeoning issues elsewhere in the air conditioning system, and can give you a “heads up” to call in a trained technician for more through maintenance inspection. More importantly, changing your filters helps keep the air in your house clean and remove irritants and allergens from the air. That’s not an insignificant concern in southwestern Ohio, where pollen and similar allergens have a way of making summers miserable for those allergic to them.

If you don’t change your filters regularly, it does more than just lower the air quality in your home. Dirty air filters can increase the airflow resistance in your system, which means it has to work harder in order to properly cool your living space.  That can raise the cost of your energy bills, as well as increasing the amount of wear and tear on the system itself. Changing your air filter regularly can prevent that, giving your pocketbook a break while extending the life of your unit in the bargain.

For maintenance and upkeep issues, contact the skilled technicians at Bartels Heating & Cooling. We can set up a regular maintenance schedule for you and help keep the rest of your air conditioning clean and efficient. We serve all manner of air conditioning needs in West Chester and southwestern Ohio. Call us today and see what a difference we can make!

Continue Reading

Using Your Air Conditioning in Fairfield, OH More Efficiently

Monday, July 15th, 2013

During the heat and humidity of the summer months, you need to make sure that your cooling system works effectively. Its cooling output needs to satisfy your cooling demands. But another important consideration to keep in mind is that it also needs to cool efficiently. Running your AC is probably one of the chief expenses during the summer months, and with electrical energy costs ever on the rise, energy efficiency should always be a top priority. In today’s post, we’d like to look at some ways you can use your air conditioning more efficiently.

  • Programmable thermostat: One of the most cost-effective improvements you can make to your existing AC is to ensure that you have a programmable, digital thermostat installed in your home. The thermostat is your primary user interface, and as such, it needs to be up to date. Older, conventional thermostats  are only “on” or “off”, whereas programmable thermostat allow you to automatically adjust the temperature depending on the time of say and other factors.
  • Zone control system: A zone control system is also a highly effective way of improving your energy efficiency, though it’s a little more involved than just a simple thermostat swap. It involves the installation of electronically controlled dampers at strategic points in your ductwork that divide your home into separately controlled zones. Each zone has its own thermostat so that you can minimize the cooling in one area of your home and prioritize it in others. 
  • Keep your air filter clean: Make sure that your air filter is clean at all times. This relatively inexpensive but crucial part must be kept free of dirt, dust, and other debris if you want excellent cooling performance as well as energy efficiency. When it becomes clogged with debris, then it blocks airflow and makes your system work harder for the same amount of cooling.

Call the Fairfield, OH air conditioning technicians at Bartels Heating & Cooling today to hear about what we can do for your home comfort.

Continue Reading