5 Signs You Need a Furnace Replacement

November 20, 2019

5 Signs You Need a Furnace Replacement

A furnace is designed to heat your home or office and maintain its indoor air quality. If your furnace isn’t doing its job, it is time to install a new one. These 5 signs will let you know when it is time to replace your old furnace in Peoria.

1. Unusual Sounds

Efficient furnaces operate with minimal noise. As its components wear out, you may notice strange sounds coming from your furnace. Unusual sounds include banging, thumping and shrieking. If you hear any of these abnormal sounds, have your system checked out by one of our technicians at Bratcher Heating and AC.

2. Excess Moisture

Efficient heating systems regulate indoor moisture. When your system is inefficient, you will notice condensation on your glass doors and windows. Excess moisture attracts cockroaches, bacteria and dust mites in your home. Moisture can rot wood and weaken your home’s structural foundation. If there is excess moisture in your home, allow us to assess your furnace.

3. High Energy Bills

An older heating system has to work harder to heat your home or office. This extra output of energy can cause your heating bill to rise. An inefficient heating system is more expensive to run than an energy-efficient system.

4. Fluctuating Room Temperatures

The temperature throughout your home is supposed to be consistent. If you notice that some rooms are colder than others, your heating system may not be functioning properly.

5. Outdated Heating System

A heating system will typically last 15 years. With each year of operation, your furnace may become less efficient. Check the age of your system to determine if it is time to replace it.

You shouldn’t have to face harsh winters with an inefficient heating system. Our technicians at Bratcher Heating and AC can install a new heating system in your residential or commercial property. Our company works hard to be a trusted source for installation, repair and maintenance services. Our products include furnaces, heat pumps, thermostats, air conditioners and self-contained units. Schedule an appointment today.

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Are Furnace Tune-Ups Necessary?

November 7, 2019

Are Furnace Tune-Ups Necessary?

At Bratcher Heating and AC in Normal, IL, we believe that maintenance is essential to keeping your system running at its best. However, we understand that customers might want to skip this service in hopes of saving some money. You might even make it through a season or two without any issues if the system is young. If you want to get the best value from your furnace, however, an annual tune-up is something you need.

High-Efficiency Heating

The first season with a new furnace should be simple. Our technicians leave the unit prepared for optimal performance. However, the wear and tear of operation will make your furnace less efficient over time.

Parts will wear down. The settings that were once perfect will drift to pretty good. During an annual tune-up, our technicians clean, lubricate and reset the unit, returning it to its former power and efficiency.

Uninterrupted Operation

Would you rather have a scheduled maintenance appointment or an emergency repair call? Skipping the annual tune-up may mean you have to deal with an unexpected breakdown. While we do provide 24-hour emergency service, it is better for everyone when we are handling small issues before they become larger problems.

Our technicians have a great deal of experience working with all sorts of furnaces. In many cases, they can see when a part is close to failure. When you enter the heating season with your furnace in top shape, you can have greater peace of mind knowing your furnace will make it through.

Longer System Life

We understand that a furnace is a major expense. You want your equipment to last as long as possible. Regular maintenance is the key to an extended unit life. Like any piece of complex machinery, your furnace needs professional attention to keep it running for many years.

Bratcher Heating and AC is committed to the care of the climate systems of our Illinois customers. We are ready to help you with your heating, cooling, geothermal and indoor air quality needs. If you want to keep your furnace or any other climate system equipment running at its best, contact us today for an appointment.

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7 Basic Furnace Safety Tips

October 22, 2019

For many homeowners, the arrival of autumn signals the need to turn on their furnace and hope nothing goes wrong. Don’t be a part of that crowd. Taking a few actionable steps to guarantee your comfort and safety is not too time-consuming and can really reduce your fuel expenditure.

1. Keep Flammables Away

Keeping flammables away from your furnace sounds intuitive, but sometimes you are pressed for space and may be tempted to use the furnace closet to store some of your items. You want to keep the area around your furnace clear of objects, especially ones that are flammable. You can always find some space for your boxes of stuff in a garage or attic.

2. Clean With a Vacuum

Use a vacuum to remove dust and other debris that may build up inside and around your furnace. It is recommended that you do this once a month to prevent these particles from accumulating and becoming a fire hazard. Certain types of furnaces may require cleaning inside the burner compartments, so don’t hesitate to call your local heating expert to ask for further details about your specific model.

3. Replace the Air Filter Regularly

Changing your air filter regularly will keep your furnace operating optimally so that you do not incur unnecessary fuel expenses. More importantly, replacing the air filter on a regular basis will reduce the chance of your furnace breaking down and requiring repair.

4. Inspect the Vent Pipe

This task only requires taking a few minutes to check your vent pipe for deterioration and obstructions. If you spot any blockages or loosening joints, let reliable heating professionals know and they will remedy the matter.

5. Check the Vents in Each Room

Leave vents open so as to facilitate the optimal operation of your heating system. Keeping too many vents closed can cause your furnace blower to break down. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, leave vents open even in rooms that you do not use.

6. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide poses a great danger in homes where combustion is taking place in a dirty and inefficient furnace. This harmful gas is undetectable by human senses and in large amounts can be fatal. The best way to guarantee the safety of your loved ones is to install a carbon monoxide detector.

7. Schedule Professional Maintenance

A competent HVAC technician will perform all the necessary safety checks and repairs required for your furnace to function optimally throughout the fall and winter. Homeowners in the Peoria, IL, area can contact Bratcher today to arrange a visit from one of our friendly and courteous, NATE-certified experts.

Our services include installation and replacement for AC units, boilers, and heat pumps. We also specialize in high-efficiency geothermal systems and fireplace installation.

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5 Benefits of a Heat Pump

October 2, 2019

A heat pump can be an efficient system for a home in almost any climate. Read on to learn more about the benefits of heat pumps.

1. It Can Cool and Heat Your Home

A heat pump can do it all for your home. While you may think that the system can only warm up your home, these pumps can actually cool it down as well. The heat pump uses condenser and evaporator coils. When the refrigerant passes over the coils, the air cools down. With this type of pump, you don’t need to install two separate systems.

2. It Can Help Lower Heating Bills

If you are relying on electric heating, a heat pump can cut your costs in half. A heat pump will extract the outdoor air and use it to warm up your home. This transfer of heat requires less energy than traditional HVAC systems.

3. It Can Improve Air Quality

Heat pumps do not rely on combustion to create heat, and you don’t run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The air in your home will also feel less dry than with a standard HVAC system.

4. It Reduces Your Impact on the Environment

Heat pumps are beneficial to the environment as well. With a traditional HVAC system, you need combustion to create warm air. When that process takes place, more pollutants are added to the air. Electric heat is a cleaner source to warm up your home. At Bratcher Heating and AC, we can help you find the right heat pump for your home.

5. It Can Increase Your Home’s Comfort

These products offer you more control and comfort in your home. With a heat pump, you can avoid wild temperature swings. Heat pumps are also designed to last longer than a standard HVAC system.

At Bratcher Heating and AC, we’re proud to be one of the top heating, cooling, and geothermal contractors serving the Peoria area. Our technicians are experienced, and they’re committed to providing the best customer service to our clients. If you are thinking about a heat pump or need another service, call us at Bratcher Heating and AC. We have offices in East Peoria, Normal, and Champaign.

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What is Balanced Ventilation?

September 24, 2019

The Benefits of Balanced Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality

The climate control experts at Bratcher Heating and AC know that the comfort of Illinois homes depends on more than temperature. Over time, you’ll find that dust, dander and other irritants can build up in the air of your home. Even more concerning, volatile organic compounds, like those found in cleaning and beauty supplies, can get into your air supply. For complete climate control, you need air quality solutions.

Efficiency Versus Air Quality

When homeowners design a new home, they often want it to be more efficient than older structures. With new building materials and techniques, modern homes are more air-tight than homes built a few decades ago. This allows heating and cooling systems to run more efficiently, lowering costs and the building’s carbon footprint. Unfortunately, this tight construction decreases the exchange of fresh and stale air. Without better ventilation, the air will become unhealthy.

Balanced Ventilation

A balanced ventilation system is one where the amount of fresh air entering the home is equal to the amount of stale air leaving the home. This means that the house maintains constant air pressure, which can enable climate systems to run normally. You have the benefits of efficient climate control matched with improved air quality. In most designs, fresh air vents into the living and sleeping areas of the home. Stale air is pushed out through the less-occupied areas.

Modern Ventilation Technology

One issue with any ventilation system is that it can decrease the home’s heating and cooling efficiency. The home’s heating system has already expended energy heating up the stale air that is leaving the house. This wastes your energy dollars. However, modern heat recovery ventilators can capture and transfer that heat to the fresh air entering the home. Energy recovery ventilators can do a similar task with the humidity of the air. You can have the energy efficiency you want with the ventilation you need.

At Bratcher Heating and AC, we can handle all of your heating, air conditioning, geothermal and indoor air quality needs. Our highly trained technicians can make certain that your Illinois home is comfortable in every season. Contact Bratcher Heating and AC today for a free consultation. We have offices in East Peoria, Normal and Champaign.

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The Best HVAC System for a Multifamily Home

September 15, 2019

Deciding on the Best HVAC System for a Multifamily Home

Finding the best HVAC system for your multi-family home is a product of several factors you need to account for. The choice you make will affect your overall budget for the home as well as energy efficiency and the comfort of those who will be living in the building. To help you make the best possible choice, here’s a look at four factors that should play a part in your decision.

1. Ease of Maintenance

A regular maintenance plan for your multi-home HVAC system will guarantee that it runs seamlessly without costly repairs and energy leaks. The HVAC system will need to be designed and installed by an expert to provide ease of access to all components that will require regular upkeeping.

2. Separate Access to Comfort Controls

In multi-family homes, each living unit will need to have separate access to comfort controls. Proper design will guarantee that each occupant can get the most out of the HVAC system independently of what others prefer.

3. Accounting for Peak Energy Demand

The biggest challenge in planning your multi-family HVAC system is determining the peak energy demand. This differs from single-family homes because the energy demand can fluctuate greatly based on the various occupants’ needs. To account for your peak energy demand for your multi-family HVAC system, contact Bratcher today to set up an appointment with one of our NATE-certified technicians.

4. Centralized vs. Decentralized Units

Multi-family homes can take on different forms. Depending on the number of housing units comprising your building as well as the space that’s available for housing the central unit, you will have to choose between a centralized and decentralized installation.

Centralized systems tend to cost more but are ideal for larger complexes such as high-rises. A centralized unit is housed and powered from within the building. Decentralized units, on the other hand, are housed in a location separate from your main building and are better for smaller multi-family home complexes.

If you’re planning on buying or building a multi-family home in Peoria, IL, contact Bratcher today to arrange a consultation for your HVAC system. With over 30 years of service to our loyal customers, our NATE-certified experts will offer you the best advice and workmanship. We also offer commercial HVAC services and provide 24-hour emergency help for your home’s needs.

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Top 5 Causes of AC Airflow Problems

August 17, 2019

Proper airflow means efficiency and longevity for your AC. When airflow is obstructed, your air conditioner can drive up your energy bills, and the unit may fail or require constant maintenance. That’s why it’s important to maintain good air circulation throughout your system. To do this, you need to be aware of the types of issues that can adversely affect airflow. Let’s look at five causes of AC airflow problems so that you’re best prepared to deal with them.

1. Clogged Air Filters

Your AC’s air filters are important for preventing dirt, dust, and other debris from entering through the outdoor unit. This means that they need to be cleaned and replaced regularly so that the system functions efficiently. If the air filters are allowed to accumulate enough grime, air circulation can be cut off completely.

2. Poorly Installed Ducts

Proper duct installation is important for the operation of your AC system. If ducts become clogged or deformed in some way, the air will not circulate through your house and provide the cooling you need to be comfortable. Having licensed technicians install your ducts will ensure that your airflow will not be disrupted and severe repairs will not be needed at any point. If you have an old house or are buying a new one, you should have a knowledgeable professional check the ducts to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

3. Leaks

Preventing leaks is also a matter of having a competent technician install your AC system. Leaks usually happen when poor workmanship allows for air to escape out of holes rather than cool your living space.

4. Not Enough Return Vents

Return vents allow the air to cycle back through the system once it been pumped into the rooms. It’s important to have enough return vents so that airflow isn’t disrupted and cool air doesn’t escape the cycle. Contact a reliable technician about determining whether you have enough return vents.

5. Improperly Sized Vents or Ducts

The size of ducts and vents also plays an important role in the circulation of air. Installing properly sized ducts and vents should be a priority for the contractor who’s dealing with your AC system.

If you’re in the Peoria area and you want to know if the AC airflow in your house is adequate, contact Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll examine your needs and provide an optimal solution. Our competent crew can help with AC and heating services as well as duct cleaning. We have offices in East Peoria, Normal, and Champaign.

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Signs Your Thermostat Needs to be Replaced

August 7, 2019

Your feeling of comfort inside your home depends greatly on your thermostat. If your thermostat is not operating optimally, you will not achieve the temperature you desire. Making sure you replace your thermostat before it completely breaks down can help you avoid complications and discomfort. Here are some indications that your thermostat needs to be replaced.

Temperature Discrepancies Throughout Your Home

It is the function of your thermostat to control the temperature throughout your house. If you find that there are differences in temperature from room to room but you have not changed the settings, this could mean that the thermostat is arbitrarily switching the cooling or heating on and off. The greatest temperature discrepancies will probably be found the farthest away from the central AC unit.

The Thermostat Isn’t Effective

Changing the temperature setting but not seeing a difference in the temperature means that the thermostat is not operating correctly. This may be an indication that it needs to be replaced.

AC or Heating Won’t Start or Turn Off

Another sign that your thermostat needs to be replaced is if your system runs constantly without turning off. This signals that your thermostat is not communicating with your equipment. Also, if you find that your unit doesn’t turn on, your thermostat is probably to blame. It is advisable that you schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable professional who will pinpoint the cause and help you choose a new thermostat.

Changing the Batteries Does Nothing

When your thermostat stops working, sometimes changing the batteries will do the trick. If you change the batteries but your thermostat still doesn’t function properly, you should contact a technician to talk about getting a new one.

If you’re in or near Peoria, Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning can help you select the best thermostat for your requirements. We’re here to take care of all your heating, cooling, and air quality needs. We also deal with geothermal systems and fireplaces. Contact us today to learn about the different types of thermostats you can choose from or to schedule an appointment for any service we provide.

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Leaking Air and Losing Money?

July 18, 2019

Your HVAC system is an integral part of maintaining a comfortable, healthy home. Unfortunately, it’s not always cheap to ensure your home remains cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Nevertheless, the truth is that many people pay much more than they actually need to in order to achieve these goals. In fact, even something seemingly small like leaking air ducts could be costing you far more than you might imagine.

Leaky Ducts Equal Lost Air

Your home’s heating and cooling system are connected through a series of ducts, and these ducts are made up of individual pieces that are joined together to create a continuous, closed system. The problem is that the ducts will often develop small gaps, cracks, or holes due to age, improper installation, damage, etc. When this happens, the result is that much of the air in the system escapes into the walls, floors, ceilings, and attic instead of flowing out through your vents.

Lost Air Means Decreased Efficiency

The result of all that lost air is that your heater or air conditioner is then forced to work harder than it otherwise would. In some cases, you could be losing as much as 25 to 30 percent of the air through your leaky ducts, which equates to a similar reduction in the efficiency.

The Final Result: Higher Energy Costs

The less efficient your HVAC system is, the more often your heater or air conditioner has to run in order to achieve and to maintain your desired temperature. It really is quite simple. If your AC needs to work 30 percent more to make up for that lost efficiency, the result is that you’ll end up paying around 30 percent more to cool your house than you would if you weren’t losing all that air.

Seal Your Ducts and Save Some Cash

The good news is that air duct sealing is a relatively quick and inexpensive solution that allows you to ensure that leaking air ducts aren’t costing you more money. Of course, regular heater/air conditioner maintenance is also important since leaky ducts are far from the only thing that could hamper your HVAC system’s efficiency. At Bratcher Heating and A/C, our professional HVAC services are available for customers in Peoria, Champlain, and Bloomington. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you suspect that leaks are costing you.

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Benefits to Financing a New Cooling System

July 1, 2019

Whether you own a residential or commercial property, having a reliable cooling system is necessary to maintain its comfort during the warmer months of the year. There will come a time when the old system begins to falter, and you’ll be required to make an investment in a new one. At that juncture, you’ll need to decide if you want to pay cash or finance the replacement. Here are a few benefits of financing the new cooling system for your home or office.

An Overall Savings

Although a new cooling system is a significant investment, it can allow you to save more money each month by lowering your energy bills. New cooling systems are known to be more energy-efficient, which can allow you to reduce your carbon footprint and spend less to cool your interior setting during heat waves. Over time, the cost of financing the cooling system will pay for itself due to the savings that are available.

Enhancing Your Home’s Value

Many people don’t realize that they can increase a home’s value by installing a new cooling system. Although you may need to finance the appliance, its installation will make your property more appealing. This is a great benefit if you plan to list it on the real estate market in the near future.

Financing Can Be an Attractive Option

The cost of financing your new cooling system will probably be much lower than you think. If you go through a reputable dealer like Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning, you can expect interest rates that are fair and competitive. There may also be manufacturer incentives or rebates for the equipment you choose. Financing means you won’t have to worry about coming up with the money right away. In the meantime, you’ll be able to enjoy a comfortable indoor environment.

Rely on Conscientious Professionals

If you own a home or office in Central Illinois, feel free to contact Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning to learn more about the benefits of financing a new cooling system. We have offices in Normal, Champaign and East Peoria. Our experts can come to your property and install a new cooling system that will ensure your comfort. We also provide repairs, maintenance, and a variety of products and services related to heating systems and indoor air quality.

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