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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More