Benefits of Routine Furnace Maintenance

October 25, 2018

A heating system is one of the most important and valuable investments within your home or business property. It keeps your home’s temperatures warm, and there is nothing as bad as having it malfunctioning on a freezing day. Your family is left exposed to uncomfortable living conditions; a situation that can be avoided by scheduling regular maintenance for your HVAC system.

1. Averts Costly Repairs Down the Road

When you have your furnace regularly checked by a professional, it makes it possible to spot looming problems early before they become emergencies. Emergencies are costly and come when you least expect them. Regular maintenance also ensures damaged or worn out parts are repaired or replaced before they cause damage to other components and hamper the operation of the system. Routine maintenance is like an ounce of prevention which is better than a pound of cure.

2. Ensures Optimal System Efficiency

With time, a heating system develops inefficiencies caused by clogged or dirty filters, worn out motors, or perforated ducts that make it perform below its optimal levels. If not cleaned regularly, the unit ends up working harder than usual to maintain temperatures at the required level. This causes it to draw more power and energy bills rise. Regular maintenance helps keep the unit at its optimal efficiency and prevents your utility bills from rocketing.

3. Prolongs Lifetime of Furnace

A furnace is a costly investment that you can’t afford to make now and then. Just like your vehicle, keeping your unit serviced often ensures it lasts longer and saves you the hassle of buying and installing a new one every few years.

4. Provides Greater Home Comfort

A smooth and efficiently running heating unit will not only give you peace of mind money-wise but also offer many benefits which are as a result of clean and better indoor air quality. Regular maintenance ensures components such as air filter screens are replaced, making them more efficient in air purification and hence improving the home’s comfort generally.

Certified Furnace Repair Contractor

Anyone who has endured even one Illinois winter knows the importance of keeping their furnace operating at its best to comfortably heat a home or business. Contact Bratcher today for your next furnace maintenance.

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The Importance of Emergency HVAC Service

October 5, 2018

A heating or cooling emergency requires urgent attention to restore the function of your home’s HVAC system. If you have ever encountered a malfunctioning air conditioner in the midst of freezing winter months or scorching summer days, then you know the importance of having an emergency HVAC service. If you haven’t, it’s good to understand why it’s beneficial to have a professional emergency HVAC service provider on call at all times.

1. Ensures Quick Comfort Restoration

If your air conditioning unit or heating system were to malfunction during the freezing winter months, your family would suffer a great deal because of exposure to harsh-cold temperatures. They won’t be able to get a hot shower, have good indoor air quality, or enjoy warm indoor temperatures, leading to a decline in their living comfort. But with quick and efficient emergency HVAC service professionals on call, your system will be back up and running in no time.

2. Ensures Family’s Safety

An HVAC system breakdown, particularly in the coldest winter and hottest summer days could pose a significant danger to your family. Temperatures could go extremely high or low depending on the weather outside and endanger your family members especially kids. Plus, a malfunctioning AC could be experiencing electrical issues which could lead to a blackout or in extreme cases a fire. Emergency HVAC service can quickly identify the source of the problem and resolve it before it becomes a safety hazard to your family.

3. Prevents Further Damages

When your AC or heating furnace shows a sign of breaking down or starts malfunctioning, you need to have it checked immediately. One damaged part of the system can cause damage to other components if not repaired quickly. Emergency HVAC service ensures such problems are resolved on time and can save you thousands of dollars (money that would have been incurred to fix more damaged parts if you had decided to wait).

4. Guarantees Substantial Cost Savings

In addition to saving you massive repair costs, emergency HVAC service also ensures you do not incur expensive utility bills resulting from the performance inefficiencies of a malfunctioning AC. For example, each time a faulty unit tries to start, it draws more power and causes energy bills to skyrocket.

Your Central Illinois Heating Contractor

When your home or business’s heating system requires service, you should consider calling us at Bratcher. We offer comprehensive service for furnaces and boilers, as well as air conditioning units and geothermal systems. Give us a call today!

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What Does It Mean to be NATE Certified?

September 30, 2018

NATEAt Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning, we want to provide our Peoria and Champaign, Illinois clients with the best possible service. To aid in that, we employ a team of NATE-certified HVAC technicians. Yet many of our clients are not familiar with the benefits they receive when they work with technicians carrying NATE certification. Here’s a closer look at what our technicians must do to achieve this certification, and why NATE certification is important for your HVAC repair needs.

What NATE-Certification Means

When a technician has NATE-certification, it means they were certified by the North American Technician Excellence organization. This is the largest non-profit organization dedicated to certifying HVAC and refrigeration technicians. The organization is developed, owned and supported by the industry, and it has strict requirements for qualification.

No state requires technicians to be NATE certified. Participation is voluntary, but it shows that the technician is passionate about achieving a high level of skill in the industry.

How to Achieve NATE Certification

NATE certification requires a technician to pass a series of written tests that actual HVAC industry experts create. These tests require an understanding of all aspects of the HVAC industry, and they are quite rigorous. In order to pass, the technician must have a detailed knowledge of his or her craft.

Most certifications last for five years. To re-certify, a technician must complete continuing education hours or take a new NATE certification test. Either way, recertification requires the technician to stay current on changes in the industry and heating and cooling technology, ensuring that your system is properly serviced every time the technician visits.

Why NATE Certification Is Important

Why does Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning hire NATE certified repair technicians? When you need your air conditioning system or heating system fixed, you want to know that the technician who comes to your home will get the job done right the first time. With NATE-certification, our technicians have proven that they know the industry well and have the skill to get the job done right.

The Best AC & Heating Company in Peoria, IL

Don’t trust your home to anyone but the best. When you need heating and air conditioning help in Central Illinois, contact Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning for a free in-home consultation and estimate for your heating and cooling service.

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Home Automation for Beginners

September 19, 2018

ThermostatIf you’re like many homeowners who are new to the wonderful world of home automation, you may be feeling slightly intimidated by the whole thing. You may have also considered the smart home lifestyle to be little more than a passing trend when it first emerged but have since realized that it’s here to stay and want more information.

Advantages of Home Automation

One of the main advantages of home automation is that it can be customized to suit the personal needs and preferences of individual homeowners. For instance, if your outdoor living space includes a large lawn and garden area, installing a smart irrigation system has the potential to save on your utility costs. If you have security concerns at your home or neighborhood, a smart security system will help keep your mind at ease. Following are several more things you might like to know about home automation.

Control Home Environments Remotely

Turning home thermostats down a bit while household residents are at work or school saves money on utility costs, but who likes coming home to a cold house? Using smart technology, you can program your home heating system to start producing more heat half an hour before you’re scheduled to arrive home, and you can also turn it up remotely before you get home if for some reason you’re returning outside of your normal time.

State-of-the-Art Smart HVAC Systems

Some state-of-the-art smart HVAC systems have intuitive capabilities enabling them to learn the habits of those in the household for the purpose of providing fine-tuned customization. For instance, your heating system may be able to turn itself down a little around the time the last household occupant goes to bed.

You can also turn lights, music, and televisions off and on from a remote location, which comes in really handy for those who are on vacation and want to create an impression on possible intruders that someone is inside the house. You can even connect your front doorbell to your smartphone and see who’s ringing the bell.

Getting Started With Home Automation

The best way to get started with home automation is to discern your most pressing needs. If you’ve just got a small yard with little or no lawn grass, for instance, a smart irrigation system probably isn’t something that tops your list of priorities. On the other hand, if household energy bills are high, perhaps you should begin by exploring some smart HVAC options.

Reliable Professional Heating & Cooling Services You Can Count On

For more information on home automation in Bloomington and other Central Illinois communities, please contact Bratcher Comfort at your earliest convenience. Our goal is to keep you comfortable year round!

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3 Tips to Extend the Life Expectancy of Your AC

August 27, 2018

Lennox AC PumpCentral air conditioning systems are made to last for many years, but they do end up needing to be replaced at some point. No matter what the life expectancy of your AC is, you can take steps to extend it. This saves you from having to spend money on a replacement sooner than expected. Keep the following tips in mind for getting the most out of your current air conditioning system.

Replace the Air Filter on a Regular Basis

It’s easy to forget about the air filter in your AC system, but it’s important to change it regularly. Your air filter is designed to catch debris, including dust and air pollutants, and prevent them from getting into your ducts. This means that your air filter ends up being covered in dirt and dust over time, which makes your AC less efficient. A clogged filter can also lead to more wear and tear on your AC, decreasing its life expectancy. Set reminders for yourself to check your air filters once a month and replace them when they’re dirty in order to help your AC last longer. Keeping a new filter on hand at all times can make this easier.

Set Up Routine Maintenance

Having maintenance done on your AC on an annual basis or as often as needed can help it reach a longer life expectancy. During maintenance, technicians check for early signs of problems that can damage your AC and get them repaired promptly. Maintenance tasks, such as cleaning the coils, also ensure that your AC remains in good condition and is able to run properly, which can help it last longer than expected.

Ensure Good Airflow

Air needs to be able to flow through your outdoor unit and your vents in order for your AC to run efficiently. Any obstructions to airflow can harm your AC and shorten its life expectancy. Make sure that there are no weeds or other vegetation growing around or near the outdoor unit, and trim shrubs and bushes away from it. Go through your home and check all of the air vents to ensure that nothing is blocking them. Keep in mind that you should avoid closing vents in your home, even in areas that don’t need as much air conditioning.

Making Your Home Comfortable Again

If you need to set up maintenance for your air conditioner, contact Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning today. We provide AC maintenance, as well as installations and repairs, for homeowners in central Illinois, including the East Peoria, Normal, and Champaign areas.

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How Energy Efficient is Your Home’s Air Conditioner?

August 20, 2018

Lennox AC PumpDuring summer months in Peoria, home cooling bills can climb sharply. One of the most important seasonal preparations Illinois homeowners can make is having a home energy audit conducted in your house before the worst of summerf weather begins. Having a home energy audit is an easy and comparatively inexpensive way of resolving issues of energy waste and excessive heating and cooling bills.

NOTE: Keep in mind that winter is usually the busiest time for Illinois HVAC professionals. So, to avoid taking longer to get non-emergency service work, such as an energy audit done, it is recommended that you have your energy audit prior to the arrival of winter weather.

What Does an Energy Audit Involve?

A home energy evaluation locates areas of excessive AC loss throughout your house that can impact your family’s comfort during hot weather and result in excessive cooling bills. In an energy audit, every room is thoroughly examined to identify areas where air conditioning loss is occurring. Energy auditors usually use specialized equipment to identify heat variances and points of air loss.

Thermographic Scanning: Your auditor may use thermal scanning technology to locate heat variances across the wall expanses of your home’s outer envelope.

Blower Door Test: Special equipment may be used to measure your home’s degree of airtightness and pinpoint each air leak. Doors are pressure tested, as well as vents and various other openings, in order to determine actual quantities of air loss at locations throughout the house.

Glass and Wall Assessments: The auditor will probably take measurements of walls and window sizes and walls, and consider materials and other factors in determining the extent of air loss in various areas.

HVAC System Evaluation: Your energy evaluation will also include inspection of your HVAC system, ductwork, and insulation. The sufficiency of the mechanical and electrical operations of your equipment will be analyzed, and ductwork will be inspected, and insulation thickness, type, and R-values will be evaluated.

Usage Calculations: The auditor will probably review your energy bills, and factor in the family’s daily routines. For example, the daily number of hours that the house is actually occupied, the rooms that used or not used every day, temperature preferences, etc.

Your Home Energy Efficiency Report

Upon completing the energy evaluation, your auditor will present you with a detailed report of specific issues and recommended corrections to help increase your home’s energy efficiency and reduce your cooling costs. Many problems that can impact home cooling costs and compromise comfort are avoidable with simple and inexpensive corrections before temperatures start to drop.

Providing The Best Heating & Cooling Service in Central Illinois

Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning is one of the United States’ leading installers of GeoComfort geothermal systems. Our team of highly skilled and experienced professional team has proudly earned for Bratcher the prestigious designation of Lennox Premier Dealer. For more information about having a home energy audit, or to schedule an appointment for service, call Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning today!

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Why Use a Home Humidifier?

July 16, 2018

Indoor Air Quality If you’re looking for a way to make your home more comfortable, you should definitely take into consideration using a humidifier. From getting rid of dry skin to reducing the symptoms of sinusitis, there are more than a few reasons to have one in your house. Here at Bratcher, we understand how important it is that your home be as comfortable as possible and we are here to meet any and all of your heating and cooling needs.

For now, let’s explore the top reasons you need to have a humidifier in your home:

Speeds Up the Healing Process

Whether you’re suffering from asthma or allergies or even the common cold, a humidifier has the ability to lubricate your nasal passages, which is essential to expediting the healing process when you’re sick. If you have severe allergies, there are humidifiers that are made specifically to reduce your symptoms, so you’ll definitely want to look into purchasing one of them.

Reduce Symptoms of Sinusitis

Sometimes, when the air gets too dry, this can cause your nasal passages to not properly drain, thus causing them to become stuffed up. When humidity is added to the air, though, this will ensure your nose drains properly, which can greatly reduce symptoms associated with sinusitis and congestion.

Get Rid of Nosebleeds

If you suffer from nosebleeds, you know how aggravating they can be. One minute you’re sitting cuddled up the couch with your loved one watching a movie, and the next you’re having to dash off to to the bathroom with your hand under your nose to keep blood from getting all over everything. With a humidifier in the home, your nose is more likely to stay lubricated, which is essential in being able to get rid of nosebleeds.

Stay Beautiful

Do you ever wake up in the morning and notice that your hands and feet along with your lips feel dry? If so, this means the air in your home is very dry and you need to put humidity in the air. Thankfully, doing something as simple as using a humidifier can put moisture in the air and leave you waking up feeling supple and not so dry and flaky in the morning.

There’s never been a better time to make sure your home is as comfortable as it can be and it starts with monitoring whether or not you need to add a humidifier. While some homes will need to add moisture into the air, there are some that will actually need to remove it, making it necessary to use a dehumidifier. To learn which one you need to use, contact Bratcher today serving the Peoria, IL area.

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What is Super Cooling?

July 10, 2018

Family with their home There are a number of different ways to cool your home. There is the simple ceiling fan, invented in the late 1800s. There’s air conditioning which removes moisture and heat from the air. There is “swamp” cooling which adds cool moisture to the air- preferable in excessively dry climates. And let’s not forget the good old fashioned shade tree. Having a shade tree over strategic portions of your home will make it much cooler. But there’s one more type of cooling that few people are aware of – Super Cooling.

What is Super Cooling?

If you know much about thermodynamics you’re probably thinking of the process sometimes referred to as “under cooling,” which is a process that lowers the temperature of a gas or liquid to sub-freezing temperatures without condensing it into a solid. While that is interesting- we’re not looking to transform your home into one of the frozen moons of Jupiter.

Super cooling for home air conditioning means cooling the entirety of the home at a time of day that is optimal for retaining low temperatures all day long. The idea is to minimize the amount of work your AC system has to do by cooling the air when it is easiest- and least expensive- to do so.

How Can I Super Cool My Home?

We can achieve this by first obtaining a time of day plan from your utility provider. This plan will tell you what time of day electricity is least expensive. Chances are this will coincide with the time of day when people tend to use their air conditioners least often. In other words, it means using your AC to set a chill on your home by running it at maximum during the coolest time of day.

The reason this technique is called “super cooling” is that you’re going to find yourself wanting to put on a sweater.
Then, when peak use hours arrive, you will be able to turn your AC down. This allows you to save money on your cooling bills during the heat of the summer.

Contact Us

Here at Bratcher Comfort in Illinois, we can help you to develop a super cooling plan that will keep your summer cooling bills as low as possible. To learn more, contact the HVAC experts at Bratcher today.

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How Geothermal Systems Can Save You Money

June 7, 2018

Savings with Geothermal systemsGeothermal heating and cooling are intended to take advantage of the heat in the Earth to efficiently provide comfort to the business or home. This method of providing cooling and heating has existed for a few decades. However, recently, geothermal heating and cooling have risen significantly in popularity. This is partially due to consumers know about geothermal systems. Here is some information about how geothermal systems can reduce your carbon footprint and save you money.

How Do Geothermal Systems Work?
Geothermal systems work by having water circulate through an underground loop. As the water circulates, it heats up from the warmth of the Earth. The system then pumps the heated water into the structure or house. The hot water will be pushed to a compressor when it reaches the unit. The system blows the heated air from the compressor throughout the space. For cooling, the system sucks warm air from the house or structure and has the warm air circulate through the underground loop. The air is then cooled and recirculated through the structure or home.

How Do Geothermal Systems Save Money?
The main reason geothermal systems spell major savings for most homeowners is that these systems don’t draw on a constant supply of electricity, which is produced by fossil fuels. Geothermal systems only need very little electricity to run the compressor, pump, and fan that function to propel air and water through the system. Some homeowners have enjoyed savings of up to hundreds of dollars every month on heating and cooling costs thanks to geothermal systems. In comparison to traditional HVAC units, geothermal systems typically prove themselves to be more ideal solutions for comfort all year round.

Many homeowners are deterred by geothermal systems due to the upfront costs associated with installation. While the upfront costs may be high, installing a geothermal system will save you plenty of money in the long run. Not only that, but you will be doing your part when it comes to protecting the environment from the harmful impact of the burning of fossil fuels.

As you can see, there are many ways that geothermal systems can save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. For more information about the merits of geothermal systems and the installation and repair services we provide for these systems, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Bratcher Comfort, which serves various communities in Illinois.

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The Importance of an AC Unit

June 6, 2018

Bratcher Technician Talking to CustomersToday, an air conditioner is not just ordinary luxury home equipment. It has become an essential appliance. Most homeowners choose to use air conditioning units for personal comfort since these units work to regulate and maintain cooler room temperatures during hot summers.

At the peak of summer, nothing feels better than your air conditioner cooling you off from the summer heat. Installing an air conditioner can also have a positive impact on your health. Air conditioning creates a clean, safe and a healthy environment that helps family members who are suffering from devastating conditions such as allergy to have a positively improved standard of living. Here are some of the benefits of an air conditioning system:

Better Air Quality

Air conditioners filter and circulate air, removing mold and pollutants from it. This is essential for those individuals who frequently suffer from asthma and allergies since it reduces the irritants that stimulate an attack. To enjoy good health, make sure that you change and clean your system’s filters at least once every month. You should also service your system frequently and maintain it in top shape to avoid indoor air pollution.

Improved Health

Installing an air conditioner in your home will also improve your family’s overall health. Typically, your indoor air is usually full of contaminants such as pollen, dust, bacteria, and fungi. Inhaling such contaminants can lead to various health complications such as allergy and respiratory diseases. However, an AC unit eliminates all these contaminants from your indoor air ensuring high-quality indoor air quality.

Energy Efficient

One of the most significant trends in the home technology sector is improving a home’s energy efficiency to minimize energy bills. Comfort-monitoring and thermostat systems provide automated scheduling based on your availability in the home. This means that your air conditioning system is not running wastefully while you are away. Also, by accurately and closely monitoring your home’s interior spaces temperature, your unit will learn and know when to turn on and off while managing your cycle times effectively.

They Are Durable

Another significant advantage of the AC units is that they are durable since the technology used in the production of these systems has greatly improved over the years. Modern AC units are made of high-quality materials that last for many years. As long as you adhere to the recommended AC maintenance schedule, you will not worry about frequent repairs since the AC units critical components will be subjected to less tear and wear. An AC unit can serve you for more than a decade.

Are you looking for reliable and profession heating and cooling services in central Illinois that you can rely on? Contact Bratcher Heating and AC today for quality heating and air conditioning services. We provide expert knowledge with quality service!

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