Air Conditioning tagged posts

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

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

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

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

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!

Read More

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!

Read More

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.

Read More