What Are the Most Important Rooms to Have an Air Purifier in?

January 16, 2020

The quality of the air you breathe when you spend time in your home is important. Pollutants, such as particulates or volatile organic compounds, can build up in an indoor space. This problem is especially pronounced during winter months when buildings tend to be sealed from the cold more often. Air purifiers are a great way to remove dangerous particles from the air in any type of situation.

Strategic Placement of Purifiers

The correct placement of an air purifier is important to ensure you have clean air to breathe. You’ll want to put units in the places where you and your family spend the most time. Many people could benefit from having an air purifier in each bedroom to ensure clean air while they’re sleeping. Other important areas for clean air are kitchens and living areas. Smaller houses can be serviced with a single unit, but larger homes need to have multiple purifiers to keep all of the air clean.

Whole-House Air Purifiers

If you have a large home that you want clean air in, a whole-house air purifier could be an efficient solution for you. Bratcher Heating and AC can help you choose the right unit for your East Peoria, IL, space and take care of the installation process.

A whole-house unit employs the existing ductwork system in your home to deliver clean air to each room. They are a great value for larger homes and will minimize the stress associated with having multiple units.

Experienced HVAC Professionals

Bratcher Heating and AC can take the stress out of any type of HVAC job in East Peoria. We offer heating and AC repair, installation, replacement, and maintenance services. Our NATE-certified technicians have the training to help with ductless mini-split systems, indoor air quality solutions, duct cleaning, fireplaces and geothermal systems.

With more than 30 years of experience, we can get each job done competently and professionally. Give Bratcher Heating and AC a call today to learn about our indoor air quality services in East Peoria.

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5 Common Boiler Problems

December 19, 2019

Your boiler is the center of your home’s heating system. A boiler problem is a major inconvenience, especially during winters in central Illinois. Here are five of the most common problems you may encounter.

1. Boiler Automatically Shuts Off

There are many possible reasons for your boiler to automatically turn off. They include:

  • Thermostat problems
  • A frozen condensate pipe
  • Low water pressure
  • Air in the system

Since these can be complicated to diagnose, have a technician inspect your system to determine what’s causing the problem.

2. Excessive Noise When Operating

Excessive noise, or “kettling,” is often caused by limescale that’s building up inside the heat exchanger. You may hear a gurgling, rumbling, or whistling sound that resembles a boiling kettle. A technician can flush your pipes to remove scale and trapped air from your boiler.

3. Radiators Not Heating

If your radiator is cold on top but hot on the bottom, you could have an issue with your pump or a faulty zone valve. You may also have a buildup of air in your boiler. Try bleeding your radiators, which will remove any air trapped inside your system. If bleeding the radiator doesn’t resolve the problem, it might require a power flush to clean out the pipes.

4. Leaks

A dripping or leaking boiler has several possible causes. Your system may have a loose connection or broken parts. The circulator or the pressure relief valve may need replacing. A leaking boiler will need to be repaired by a qualified technician.

5. Boiler Loses Pressure

If you have a pressurized heating system, you may find the boiler often loses pressure. This may be caused by a problem with the system’s expansion vessel. Loss of pressure is also a potential sign of a water leak. If your boiler is losing pressure, you’ll need help from a technician to resolve the problem.

For assistance with your boiler, contact Bratcher Heating and AC today to schedule an appointment. We provide heating and air conditioning services for customers in Champaign, East Peoria, and Normal.

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Home Comfort Resolutions for 2020

December 9, 2019

When people talk about New Year’s resolutions, they often strive to lose weight, take on a new hobby or save money. One New Year’s resolution that could benefit you and your entire family is striving for optimal in-home comfort. Consider it part of the “save money” category.

Your home’s heating and cooling system are pivotal in creating a comfortable environment. The following are some HVAC-related tasks you should aim to achieve in the coming year that will make your home a picture of comfort.

For assistance or expertise on any of these important jobs, consult with Bratcher Heating and Air Conditioning. With locations in Peoria, Normal and Champaign, we’re a trusted resource for HVAC services.

Find and Eliminate Air Leaks

Homes both old and new can suffer from drafts. When air leaks form in your home, it allows outside air to invade, making it tougher for your HVAC system to heat or cool the space. A comprehensive, professional air leak inspection can identify leaks both big and small, allowing you to address them and create a better-insulated home that’s more effectively controlled by your HVAC system.

Create an Even Climate Throughout Your House

You’ll find in many homes — perhaps even your own — that some rooms can be extremely hot during the summer months while the rest of the home is cool and comfortable. There are many different factors (i.e. poor insulation, poorly designed ductwork, underpowered HVAC system, etc.) that can lead to an uneven climate in your home.

Through professional air balancing, you’ll be able to identify the problems and find the appropriate fixes.

Strive for Optimal Air Quality

Poor air quality not only can cause odors and excessive dust in your home, but it can also be harmful to your health. With the right HVAC technicians in your corner, you can take a comprehensive approach to create high-quality air in your home. These professionals can test your air and recommend anything from changing your air filter and cleaning your ducts to installing an air purifier or other effective solutions.

We Have HVAC Experts to Help You Achieve Comfort

When it comes to home comfort, Bratcher Heating and Air Conditioning is a trusted name in Central Illinois. We offer heating, cooling, and geothermal services for residential and commercial clients. Connect our team to arrange a service appointment.

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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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