4 Reasons to Schedule Air Duct Cleaning Service

June 23, 2019

Air ducts have a major impact on how well an HVAC system works. They influence the flow and quality of air in a building. Many people don’t realize just how dirty the air ducts can become over time. Unfortunately, this filth can affect residents or employees. Here are four of the top reasons to schedule air duct cleaning with a professional.

1. Reduces Allergies and Irritants

Removing dirt and grime that has settled in the air ducts will help prevent exposure to harmful micro-organisms and contaminants. You can stop pet dander, mildew, pollen, and similar toxins from circulating through the ducts. In turn, this will help you avoid health issues such as allergic reactions. It can also prevent you from inhaling dust and dirt.

2. Avoid Odors and Smells

Some buildings can become smelly with odors that linger. Many people don’t realize that this is often due to dirty air ducts. Mold, tobacco use, and household cleaning agents can all cause issues with odors coming from ducts. Cleaning them out can help eliminate and prevent those lingering smells.

3. Boost the Air Flow

A heavy build-up of dirt and grime in the air ducts can begin to affect the airflow in a building. In turn, this can cause the air conditioner to work harder than necessary to operate and can result in some rooms being hotter than others. You may start to notice that the increase in energy usage will result in a higher utility bill each month. Better airflow will increase the lifespan of the air conditioner because the parts won’t have to work harder than necessary to circulate cool air into the building.

Reliable Air Duct Cleaning

We encourage you to contact us at Bratcher Heating and A/C for more information on the benefits of performing an air duct cleaning. Residents throughout East Peoria, Normal, and Champaign turn to our crew when they need heating and air conditioning services.

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How Can I Benefit From Geothermal Cooling?

June 1, 2019

Geothermal cooling falls into the category of renewable energy systems. It’s a way of keeping your space cool while saving on energy and reducing expenses. This technique furnishes safe cooling for your home or business in the summer while providing the ability to heat your space in the wintertime.

What is geothermal cooling and how does it work? It uses the ground below a building as a type of heat basin to drain the hot air. Via air-to-liquid transfer, the hot air moves through a geothermal heat pump to make your building cool.

What Are The Benefits of This System?

There are several advantages to this kind of system. Geothermal cooling is safe, secure, economical and environmentally friendly.

Since this type of setup does not require the use of flammable fuels stored in tanks, it is completely safe. Furthermore, the components are contained inside a building, making them immune to wear and tear or tampering.

To implement cooling, geothermal makes use of the ground several feet beneath the surface or, in some cases, nearby bodies of water like lakes or ponds. That makes this sort of system less costly than one utilizing gas, propane or electricity. When you add in the fact that a geothermal cooling system can help you get a better home insurance rate, the savings become even more obvious.

When compared to all other options, the energy efficiency offered by geothermal cooling systems makes them one of the most environmentally friendly solutions. This includes standard air conditioners. If you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint, this is definitely something you should look into.

How Can I Learn More About Installing Geothermal?

At Bratcher Heating and A/C, we specialize in geothermal cooling. If you’re interested in this type of system for your home in Peoria, Bloomington or Champaign, bring your inquiries to our team of knowledgeable professionals. We can answer any question you have on the subject. You can also turn to us for any other heating, cooling or indoor air quality inspection, installation, repair or maintenance services. In addition, we clean ductwork and install fireplaces. Call us today.

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Prominent Signs That an AC Needs Repair

May 23, 2019

Central air conditioning units, heat pumps, and mini-splits can all give off signs that they need repairs, and some of them are more conspicuous than others. The following are a few signs that any homeowner can detect without even checking the unit itself.

Abnormally High Utility Bills

The first thing homeowners in the Peoria area might notice is a sharp increase in their electricity bills. This may be because their unit is running inefficiently, and this may be due to a number of factors. The filters and vents may possibly be clogged with debris, thus putting wear on the blower unit as it struggles to circulate air. Both the blower unit and the compressor may be overheating. Homeowners won’t want to wait until these components break down to get repairs.

Uneven Cooling

High utility bills may go hand in hand with inconsistent performance. Some rooms in your house may be less cool than others because debris has obstructed the vents leading into them. The AC may not even blow out cool air, which is likely due to a buildup of dirt on the condenser coils. The condenser coils contain refrigerant, and when they can’t absorb all of the heat that the dirt creates, the air will come out lukewarm.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air isn’t always cleaner than outdoor air. The vents may have a leak and bring in pollen and other pollutants while old filters may be letting dirt, pet hair and dander, mildew, and germs float freely. This can lead to health problems and a worsening of allergies.

Squealing, Clanging, and Other Loud Noises

Loud clanging, banging, and clattering noises may signify a loose part in the unit, especially near the fan. Squealing may indicate a damaged fan belt.

Hire a Reliable Professional

Since 1983, Bratcher Heating and A/C has been providing high-quality AC repairs and maintenance in Peoria, IL. We’ve won the Angie’s List Super Service Award for eight years in a row, and we continue to be dedicated to customer satisfaction. Schedule a comprehensive AC inspection by calling us today. We can also help you with furnace repair, heat pumps, boilers, fireplaces, and more.

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Static Driving You Crazy? Here’s How To Control It

May 2, 2019

Is your home plagued by static electricity problems in the winter? Clingy clothes, flyaway hair, and painful shocks are enough to drive anyone crazy. Instead of letting static rule your home this year, learn how you can take control of static electricity.

Understand the Problem

You may have noticed that your static problem is a lot worse in the winter than it is in the summer. There’s a good reason for that. Humidity is high in the summer because warm air holds onto moisture. Cold air doesn’t have that ability, so the air becomes quite dry.

In humid air, electrons move easily through the environment. However, in dry air, they’re more likely to cling to your skin, your clothing and your hair. Those charged electrons are the source of your static electricity troubles.

Find the Solution

Since dry air is the problem behind a buildup of static electricity, your best solution is to add moisture to the air. A humidifier is a device that’s designed just for that purpose.

You can improve the air quality in one room with a portable humidifier. However, if you want to raise the humidity level throughout your Peoria or Bloomington home, your best bet is to install a whole-house humidifier that can help you maintain an optimal 50-percent relative humidity level in all of your rooms.

As an added bonus, a humidifier can help resolve some of your other winter woes as well. You may notice that your hands aren’t as dry, your skin isn’t as irritated, and your throat doesn’t feel as scratchy.

Hire an Expert

Installing a whole-house humidifier is a job for the pros. An experienced air-quality company can help you select the right unit for the size of your home and ensure that it’s properly installed and set up for your needs.

At Bratcher Heating and A/C, we know what it takes to improve the humidity level in your living space in Illinois. We’re also experts in heating, cooling, duct cleaning, and geothermal systems. To learn more, call us today. We can answer all your inquiries and put your job on the schedule.

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Reducing Exposure to Home Air Pollution

April 20, 2019

Pollutants in the air in our homes is a serious problem that affects most Americans. We spend most of our time in our homes, and indoor air often has concentration levels of pollutants that are at least several times higher than what is found outdoors. In order to combat this health risk, there are a number of strategies that residents can employ.

Curb Dust in Your Home

Dust is more than just a nuisance; it’s a leading cause of indoor air pollution because it traps pollutants and emits them over time. At Bratcher Heating and A/C in Peoria, IL, we recommend dusting on a daily basis using a microfiber or damp cloth. Follow up dusting by vacuuming the carpets. Sweep hardwood floors often. Change your AC and furnace filters every three months or more frequently as needed. No matter how hard you work to combat dust, it will accumulate in your air ducts over time, and so our team recommends periodic duct cleaning.

Ensure Fresh Air

Our company cannot emphasize enough how important fresh air is to reducing pollution levels. Open a window and let the fresh air in! But also, be mindful of just how well sealed the modern home is. During the heart of summer and winter, it is very easy for pollutants to rise to high levels. Schedule a time for your home ventilation system to be inspected.

Limit Pollutants and Contaminants

Dust is a fact of life. But residents often introduce pollutants unnecessarily or do not respond proactively to issues such as excess moisture and pests. Avoid chemical cleaners and artificial deodorization. Deal with unpleasant scents at the underlying issue, and for pleasant scents, gravitate toward natural ones. If you opt for houseplants, be sure not to over water them, as this can cause mold spores.

Breathe Easier

The team at Bratcher Heating and A/C wants your entire family to breathe easier. In addition to indoor air quality services, we offer a broad range of services related to cooling and heating, including fireplaces. Call us today to learn more about what we do and how we can help.

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The Advantages of Financing Your AC System

April 9, 2019

With summer just around the corner, you want to make sure you and your family can stay cool and comfortable within your home. There’s no better time than now to assess the health of your cooling system, and determine whether you need any repairs done or even a new system altogether.

Yet purchasing a new cooling system is a large investment in your home, and many families can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars all at once. This is why we’ve partnered with some of the nation’s top lenders to offer our customers the option to finance the equipment they need to stay safe inside their Peoria homes.

How Financing Your Cooling System Can Help Your Family

All machinery eventually fails no matter how well you take care of it. Keeping your cooling system properly maintained and repaired by a reputable cooling expert such as Bratcher Heating and A/C can definitely extend the life of your equipment by many years. However, the time will come when it becomes more expensive to find and replace the individual components than it is to install a modern system altogether.

When that happens, this large home improvement purchase can put a serious strain on a homeowner’s budget. It’s important to know you have options that will allow you to keep your home running smoothly. By financing your new equipment, you won’t have to worry about being short on cash for the rest of your family’s needs. Better yet, the new equipment will run more efficiently than your old system, reducing your home cooling costs and allowing you to keep more money in your pocket each month. Another perk is being able to purchase a better unit with financing than you could comfortably buy with cash on hand.

Getting Financing From a Reputable Cooling Specialist

When you finance your home’s cooling system with Bratcher Heating and A/C of Peoria, you can take advantage of the many benefits we offer, including flexible payment options and quick credit decisions. Not only do we offer professional installation, but you can also count on us for all your cooling equipment maintenance, and repairs as well as your heating needs. Give us a call today to get started.

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3 Reasons to Hire a Professional Heating Technician

March 19, 2019

The last thing that any homeowner wants is to be stuck without heat in the throes of a bitter winter. Heating systems aren’t something that can be fixed by a DIY enthusiast. Instead, they require trained professionals for both maintenance and repairs. Here are some of the main reasons you need to hire a heating professional.

1. It Can Save You Big Later

Heaters are expensive to replace. Even a surprise heating repair can add up to sizable costs. When you have your heater inspected and serviced by a professional, it can help prevent further problems down the line.

Qualified professionals can anticipate future maintenance issues and can help you diagnose and fix problems before they become either unfixable or prohibitively expensive. In other words, by spending some money now, you can save on expensive services later.

2. Professional Repair Is Safer

Heaters can be hazardous if something goes wrong. At the very minimum, when handled incorrectly, they can become a fire hazard. With that in mind, you don’t want just anyone servicing your heating system. An experienced and professional repair technician will know the various pitfalls that can cause a heater to become a hazard and will perform the service in a manner that makes it safe for future use.

3. It Preserves the Warranty

Manufacturers don’t want just anyone working on their products. There’s a valid reason for that. You don’t want someone who’s not adequately trained to make changes and adjustments to a complex heating unit.

In most cases, unless a professional technician works on the unit, any warranty will be voided by the manufacturer. By trying to save a few dollars by foregoing professional help, you put yourself in a position where you can cost yourself thousands if the unit fails in the future.

If you feel that you may have any issues with your heating system, then you should take action. At Bratcher Heating and A/C, we offer a full range of heating and air services to customers in Peoria, IL, and the surrounding areas. We also assist customers with indoor air quality. Contact us today for more information about our services!

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Techniques to Check Your Home for Air Leaks

March 1, 2019

Your home should be a secure setting that is comfortable in each season of the year. Many homeowners are unaware of air leaks that may be present. These can cause the HVAC system to work harder than necessary to keep the interior setting warm or cold. If you’re ready to seal your home, there are a few techniques and tips for discovering where the leaks are.

Look in the Right Places

Although leaks can be challenging to detect, there are still common places where they are most likely to be. These are the spots where you should begin your inspection. Cracks and holes commonly form on knee walls that support attic rafters. They also appear near plumbing vents, recessed lights, air ducts, plumbing vents, and wiring holes. Use a flashlight to perform a thorough visual inspection. You can have someone stand on the outside of the building at night to find cracks where the flashlight may be shining through the walls. During the test, use blue tape to mark areas that need to be sealed.

Use an Air Leak Detector

Air leak detectors are useful devices that offer a high level of accuracy in finding where leaks are present. Professional smoke pencils produce a fog that will allow you to check for where air may be entering the building.

Light a Candle

Close the doors, windows and chimney flue in your home to seal the house of air that may enter the building. Walk around the perimeter of each room with a candle while placing the flame close to areas where leaks may be present. Keep a close eye on the flame, which will begin to flicker or move horizontally if air is entering the building. To ensure you know the areas that need to be sealed, take note of places where the candle flickers. This will help reduce the demands put on your heating system.

Our technicians are qualified to provide you with tailored solutions to your specific heating and AC needs. Call us at Bratcher Heating and A/C today for more information. We perform heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair throughout Bloomington, Normal, Champaign, Urbana, Peoria and Morton.

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What Should You Look for in a Heating Repair Company

February 21, 2019

If your heating system is giving you troubles, you may need heating repairs from a qualified team. Here are some of the things to consider before you hire a heating repair company.

They Must Be Licensed and Experienced

Your HVAC system is one of the most expensive systems in your home. You want to be assured that the company you entrust to replace or repair it has adequate training. Various states require heating repair companies to have proper licensing. Before a technician gets the licensing, he or she must have been in the industry for at least five years and must have a minimal level of bonding and insurance.

Bratcher Heating & A/C has been here for many years and has substantial experience providing heat pump and furnace repair. We also offer free energy consultation and provide diagnostics and maintenance services.

Home Evaluation

A good heating repair company will professionally install a new system. Before this step, however, a good company will also do a thorough evaluation of your home and come up with the best heating solutions for your residence.

Efficiency

Efficiency is a very important quality in a heating company. When you are scouting for an upgrade, you need the most efficient equipment that meets your needs. Your contractor should be able to advise you on the Energy Star-rated models that fit your budget. As stated above, one of our services includes offering free energy consultations, so you can rest assured that you’ll be hiring the right company when you work with us for repairs or installations.

Bratcher Heating & A/C has been in business for many years. This means we have substantial experience in all the services we offer. Over time, this experience has served a wide array of customers. Our goal is simply to make your home energy efficient. Contact us through a phone call or email today if you’re in Peoria, Champaign or the Bloomington area. We will be glad to serve you.

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An Overview of HVAC Systems

February 8, 2019

HVAC systems, also known as central air systems, are found in more than 90 percent of homes across the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Although they’re so popular, few people understand what HVAC systems are or how they work. Here’s an overview of how HVAC systems operate.

What Is an HVAC System?

First off, HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. An HVAC system is composed of one or more HVAC units, ducts to transport air, and filters that take nitty-gritty pieces of debris out of the air.

Most homes have heaters, air conditioners, and fans. If homes don’t have HVAC systems, they most likely have wall-mounted air conditioners or heaters, space heaters, and plug-in fans. HVAC systems are preferred by homeowners because they uniformly distribute heated and cooled air throughout a living space. Although they might be more expensive than their free-standing counterparts, central air systems are both more effective and efficient.

How Does an HVAC System Work?

To explain how an HVAC system works, we should break the explanation into three parts: heating, cooling, and ventilation. Keep in mind that ventilation is present throughout all three of these functions.

Ventilation

HVAC systems use electricity to power large rotary fans. Every HVAC unit has one fan located inside of it. These central air systems are sometimes used to push unconditioned air throughout homes; although, they’re most often utilized in conjunction with heating and cooling functions.

Heating

HVAC units blow air over red-hot elements to heat up cool air. These elements are powered by electricity, which is also true of the parts used in cooling and ventilation.

Cooling

A compressor pushes a specialized liquid known as Freon throughout a cooling element known as an evaporator coil. Freon causes the coil to become cold. After air is blown over the cold coil and pushed throughout the HVAC system, a fan facing outward blows hot air through an exhaust vent to prevent the heated air from going inside.

At Bratcher Heating and A/C in Normal, IL, our technicians know all about the ins and outs of HVAC systems. Get in touch with us if you’re interested in learning about why your home’s central air system isn’t working as well as it should.

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