Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Hamilton’

Combustion Furnace Components: Electronic Igniters

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Furnaces have a process by which they ignite; this ensures safety and correct combustion. Older furnaces have a standing pilot light, but today’s furnaces come equipped with an electronic igniter. There are two types of electronic igniters and each works a little differently, as we’ll explain below. If you are experiencing problems getting your furnace to ignite or stay lit after ignition, schedule an appointment with your Bartels Heating & Cooling specialist today for quality furnace services in Hamilton.

Types of Electronic Ignition

The two types of electronic ignition are:

  • Hot Surface Ignition
  • Intermittent Ignition

Hot Surface Ignition

A hot surface igniter is a metal probe that heats up when the thermostat cues the ignition process. When the igniter becomes hot enough (it will glow like a light bulb), the main gas valve opens, allowing the gas to flow. Once the gas comes into contact with the heat from the igniter, the gas ignites and lights the burner.

The most common problem that develops with a hot surface igniter is cracking. The metal heats and cools constantly, causing the metal to expand and contract; eventually, the metal will wear and crack. A cracked igniter can’t heat up properly, so your system will have trouble igniting.

Intermittent Ignition

With an intermittent igniter, gas flows through a small pilot line when the thermostat cues for ignition to begin. Once the gas flows, a small electronic device creates a spark that lights the pilot. A flame sensor checks to see if the pilot is lit and if the flame is viable; once the flame is found to be viable, the main gas valve opens and the pilot lights the burner.

A few things can cause the intermittent ignition to fail: incorrect positioning of the pilot gas pipe, problems with the electrical supply, and issues with the flame sensor.

Why Electronic Igniters?

With a standing pilot light, a small amount of gas has to flow all the time; this is not the case with either type of electronic igniter. This not only saves you energy, it can also be safer.

Ignition problems with your furnace in Hamilton should always be handled by an expert. Having ignition problems with your furnace? Contact us today!

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Ways to Tell Your Ductwork Needs Sealing

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Calling for professionals to seal holes and gaps in the ductwork of your home’s ventilation system is important to maintain efficient heating and cooling, as well as to protect your indoor air quality from a decline due to contamination entering through the breaks. However…how can you know that your ductwork is in need of sealing when most of the air ducts in the ventilation system remain unseen behind walls and ceilings?

It can be a bit of challenge to detect ducts that are leaking air, but if you know what signs to watch for, you should be able to catch the warnings and call up Bartels Heating & Cooling in time to have the holes sealed before the problem grows worse. Below we’ve listed some of the more common indications that you need to call for repairs on your ductwork in Hamilton, OH.

Warning Signs of Leaking Air Ducts That Need Professional Sealing

  • Odd smells from the vents: When ductwork develops holes, they will usually appear in places that are dusty and musty, such as between walls or in crawl spaces. This will allow air with unpleasant smells into the ducts and then out the vents into your living spaces. Any unpleasant odor emanating from your vents is something you should have professionals investigate right away.
  • Drop in airflow: It only takes a small hole in a duct to cause the airflow inside it to drop noticeably. (Ducts have airtight sealing in order to prevent this air pressure loss.) When you notice lower airflow from the vents into the rooms, it usually means that something is wrong somewhere along the ventilation system, and air leaks are one of the main suspects.
  • High heating/cooling bills: A drop in air pressure will also lead to an increase in your heating and cooling costs, since the heater/air conditioner will need to strain harder to reach its normal temperature. You can expect both higher comfort costs and also an increase in repairs for the system because of the extra stress.

Don’t ignore any of these warning signs. Even if they are not due to leaking air ducts, they definitely point to trouble somewhere in your HVAC system. Call for the professionals at Bartels Heating & Cooling right away. We can handle any repairs for your ductwork in Hamilton, OH, and we also take care of air conditioning and heating repairs. Make us your first stop for indoor comfort.

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Heating Options for the Winter Season

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

As we begin to move into the cold months of winter, people are beginning to think about the state of their heating system. After maintenance and repairs, upgrades are the most common reason that HVAC professionals are called during this season. If the sheer amount of options for heating your home this winter seems daunting, don’t worry. We’ve assembled some information to help you make the right choice.


A furnace is a quite common and reliable option for heating your home. Furnaces are the core of forced air systems, heating air through combustion and circulating it throughout the house using a fan. Oil, wood, and natural gas are common fuel sources, though natural gas is the most widely available.


Boilers distribute heat through water instead of air. This necessitates running pipes throughout the house instead of ductwork. There are a number of options for boiler systems, often referred to as “radiant” heating systems. Baseboard heaters and radiators are more traditional methods of distributing the thermal energy throughout the home. Recently, however, pipes installed in the walls and subfloor of a room have also become popular. Boilers, like furnaces, can burn a number of fuels. Again, natural gas tends to be the most common.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are forced air systems that have a couple of unique advantages associated with them. The first advantage is that a heat pump can operate as both a heater and air conditioner. This is accomplished through a reversing valve that can reverse the flow of refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units of the heat pump. This obviously saves you the cost of having one unit for each function, as most homes do.

A heat pump is named for its ability to move heat from one space to another. When in heating mode, the outdoor unit will actually absorb thermal energy from the air around it and direct it into the house. Utilizing this thermal energy saves money on your heating bills, because the heat pump doesn’t have to work as hard as other heating systems. This is the second advantage to installing a heat pump.

If you are interested in installing a new heating system for your home in Hamilton this winter, call Bartels Heating & Cooling.

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Ways to Tell You Need to Schedule Water Heater Repair in Hamilton

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Your water heater helps you accomplish many of the most important small tasks you need to complete around the home, including washing the dishes, doing a load of laundry, and showering. So when your water heater stops working entirely, you know to call a technician for immediate repairs. But what if your unit hasn’t failed completely? How can you tell that you need to call a specialist for water heater repair?

In general, when there’s a problem with your water heater, you need to call for repairs as soon as possible to ensure your system can continue to run smoothly and efficiently. Here are some of the reasons you’ll need to call a water heater specialist.

  • Rusty Discoloration: If your water turns a reddish-brown color whenever you turn on the hot water tap, you may have a serious water heater problem. If the tank is rusty, it’s at risk of corroding, and a rusted-through tank is usually beyond repair. Rust in the tank is often a sign that you need a new unit, but this isn’t necessarily the source of the problem. A rusty anode rod, the component that’s meant to attract elements that may cause the unit to rust, will only require an inexpensive parts replacement.
  • Sounds: While noises may be a sign of other problems, one common reason for sounds inside of your unit is sediment. If sediment builds up inside of your tank, it may bang against the sides. A water heater repair technician can drain sediment from the tank and check for any damages.
  • Hot Water Runs Out Quickly: If you’ve owned your unit for a fairly long time, you know how long it usually takes for your water heater to run out of hot water. If your hot water runs out much faster than it once did, you may have a pipe that has moved out of place, a problem with the heating element, or thermostat issues.

If you have other questions about your water heater in Hamilton, OH, call the experts at Bartels Heating & Cooling today!

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Portable or Whole-Home: How to Pick the Right Generator in Hamilton, OH

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Nobody wants to experience a long-term blackout, but there are better ways to prepare for one than keeping around a few candles, some flashlights, and the hope that it doesn’t happen. Having a back-up generator for your home that’s ready to power the necessary appliances for your comfort and safety will not only protect you from power losses due to extreme weather, natural catastrophes, or utility company errors, but will provide you with the benefit of peace of mind, knowing that you are prepared.

You cannot simply pick a generator on your own and hope that it works, however. Generator selection requires knowledge of how much wattage you need to power the appliances that are most crucial to daily life. To make the selection, and for the necessary generator installation in Hamilton, OH, call on the experts at Bartels Heating & Cooling. We have NATE-certified technicians who can install both portable and whole-home generators, and they will make certain you have the ideal unit to keep your home powered through an emergency.

When a Portable Generator is a Good Idea

Roll-out portable generators (which are more powerful than the smaller units people often carry in cars) can be effective if you do not need to power the whole house, only a few basic appliances like the lights. These generators do not operate off simply plugging items into them—that’s for smaller portable generators—but must be hooked into the circuitry of a home using a transfer switch. Have a professional pick the portable model that will supply your needs (something greater than at least 1,000 watts) and show you how to connect it into your power supply.

When a Whole-Home Generator is a Better Idea

A whole-home back-up generator is a permanent installation, usually outside a house, that can supply steady power for most of a home for a few days. If you will need to run more than just lights, and if you must power a central heater or air conditioner, than you will need a whole-home generator. These units are also essential if you have people living in your household who depend on powered medical equipment. Don’t take any chances!

You also have the option for an automatic whole-home generator. These systems will turn on as soon as they detect a power outage, so you won’t have to worry about going outside to turn it on yourself. Either type of whole-home generator will need the work of skilled installers to set-up. They will also require yearly maintenance to make sure they will activate when you need them.

If you feel unsure about which type of generator is best for you, call Bartels Heating & Cooling today and let us assist you with the choice. We will find the wattage you need from your generator, and handle all the important installation work so that your generator in Hamilton, OH does the job you need to keep your household safe and comfortable through any power outage.

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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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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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Stages of Air Conditioning Installation in Hamilton

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Air conditioning installation in Hamilton, OH is not a light undertaking, but eventually, it’s necessary. Sooner or later, even the most well-maintained system breaks down, requiring a new system to take its place. Every installation process is different and a reliable service company can set up a plan that works for your unique circumstances. It may help you to understand the general stages of air conditioning installation in Hamilton, however. That way, you won’t be caught by surprise and you can discuss the specifics with your technician from a more knowledgeable perspective. We’ve provided a quick breakdown below:

  • The technician arrives at your home and conducts measurements to determine the proper power load for your air conditioner, balanced against such factors as square footage, insulation in your attic and sunlight exposure.
  • The technician makes calculations to determine the square footage needed for your need system, as well as the location of electrical wiring, vents, drain lines and other auxiliary components that need to line up.
  • The technician brings in any equipment needed to remove your old system and install the new one.
  • The technician shuts off power to your home and methodically disconnects your system from electrical connections, drain lines, the duct system and other components which your new system might need.
  • The technician removes your old system with care, ensuring that no other part of your home is disrupted.
  • The technician places the new unit in position, then methodically attaches all of the lines, hoses and electrical connections.
  • The technician turns on the power, and runs your new air conditioner for 15-20 minutes while checking for potential problems. Only when he is satisfied that everything is as it should be does he turn off the unit and complete the installation.

The experts at Bartels Heating & Cooling can explain all of the stages of air conditioning installation in Hamilton to you, as well as performing the operation with courtesy and care. We value your satisfaction as a customer and we won’t rest until you are completely satisfied with your new AC unit. Pick up the phone and call us today for a consultation. You’ll be glad you did!

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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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Why Invest in a Variable Speed Furnace?

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Winter is slowly coming to an end, and with it comes a chance to replace your old, outdated furnace with a new one. Here in Hamilton, OH, a great heating system is absolutely necessary to keep your home cozy and comfortable in the winter, and installing a new furnace is a chance to add some new bells and whistles to your system. For example, you may want to invest in a variable speed furnace, which allows you to adjust the blower between high speeds and low speeds. Why invest in a variable speed furnace? The shortest answer is because it can save you money.

Using the blower’s lower speed means that the air doesn’t distribute as quickly and it takes longer to heat your home. On the other hand, that doesn’t not matter on mild days when the temperatures don’t get that low, and it can save a lot of energy. A lower speed can still get your home to the temperature you want quickly, and the setting means that you’ll save money in the process. When temperatures get colder, you can use the higher setting to keep your home comfortable.

Variable speed furnaces improve the resale value of the home they’re in because of their flexibility. Many of them are programmable, which allows you to further tailor the speed with which you receive heated air to ensure the maximum amount of savings. And because the technology involved is reasonably simple, you can count on a standard technician to perform repairs instead of hunting around for a specialist.

For more on why you should invest in a variable speed furnace, or to discuss your heating options in general, contact Bartels Heating & Cooling. We have years of experience handling heating issues of all varieties, and we can help you determine the best time to replace your old worn-out furnace with one that offers a few more options to save you money. If you need Hamilton, OH furnace service, pick up the phone and schedule an appointment today!

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