Heating tagged posts

An Overview of HVAC Systems

An Overview of HVAC Systems

February 8, 2019

HVAC systems, also known as central air systems, are found in more than 90 percent of homes across the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Although they’re so popular, few people understand what HVAC systems are or how they work. Here’s an overview of how HVAC systems operate.

What Is an HVAC System?

First off, HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. An HVAC system is composed of one or more HVAC units, ducts to transport air, and filters that take nitty-gritty pieces of debris out of the air.

Most homes have heaters, air conditioners, and fans. If homes don’t have HVAC systems, they most likely have wall-mounted air conditioners or heaters, space heaters, and plug-in fans. HVAC systems are preferred by homeowners because they uniformly distribute heated and cooled air throughout a living space. Although they might be more expensive than their free-standing counterparts, central air systems are both more effective and efficient.

How Does an HVAC System Work?

To explain how an HVAC system works, we should break the explanation into three parts: heating, cooling, and ventilation. Keep in mind that ventilation is present throughout all three of these functions.


HVAC systems use electricity to power large rotary fans. Every HVAC unit has one fan located inside of it. These central air systems are sometimes used to push unconditioned air throughout homes; although, they’re most often utilized in conjunction with heating and cooling functions.


HVAC units blow air over red-hot elements to heat up cool air. These elements are powered by electricity, which is also true of the parts used in cooling and ventilation.


A compressor pushes a specialized liquid known as Freon throughout a cooling element known as an evaporator coil. Freon causes the coil to become cold. After air is blown over the cold coil and pushed throughout the HVAC system, a fan facing outward blows hot air through an exhaust vent to prevent the heated air from going inside.

At Bratcher Heating and A/C in Normal, IL, our technicians know all about the ins and outs of HVAC systems. Get in touch with us if you’re interested in learning about why your home’s central air system isn’t working as well as it should.

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Does My Home Need a Humidifier in Winter?

Does My Home Need a Humidifier in Winter?

January 6, 2019

Bratcher Heating & A/C serves residential clients in Bloomington and the surrounding areas with all manner of heating solutions. Our services include maintenance, repairs, emergency repairs and installations. Many of our clients have a furnace, boiler or heat pump in their homes but not a humidifier. A common question we receive is whether a humidifier would make a home more comfortable and cost-effective in winter. What follows are a few facts about and benefits of humidifiers.

How a Humidifier Affects a Home in Winter

Humidity is a measure of how much water vapor is in the air. There’s a relationship between temperature and humidity. In a nutshell, the higher the relative humidity, the higher the temperature feels. This is why an 80-degree day can feel much worse when the humidity is high. This works to our benefit with colder temperatures, but humidity is lower in winter because cold air holds less moisture. A humidifier increases that moisture and thus allows your home to feel more comfortable at a lower temperature.

A regulated relative humidity can have a number of other benefits as well, including:

  • Easier breathing
  • Less-effective airborne viruses
  • No static electricity buildups
  • Better wood preservation

Lowered Heating Costs

Since a humidifier lets your family feel comfortable at a lower temperature, you can turn the thermostat down at least several degrees. That means that a humidifier can make a big difference over the course of a winter and, if you choose an efficient model, it can even pay for itself in the long run.

Room Humidifiers vs. Whole-Home Systems

When deciding on a humidifier, you have the choice between room models and whole-home systems. Whole-home solutions require a bigger initial investment but often prove to be more cost-effective over 15 years and beyond. Room models are relatively inexpensive and let you focus your humidification efforts on the rooms that you use most, such as the living room and bedrooms.

Considering a humidifier? Contact Bratcher Heating & A/C today to learn more about how we can help.

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How to Save Money on Heating Bills This Winter

How to Save Money on Heating Bills This Winter

December 19, 2018

When temperatures drop, your heating bill is likely to rise. To keep energy costs at a minimum, taking a few precautionary steps around your home can help. Here are some tips to consider in an attempt to keep the amount you need to pay for your heat as low as possible this winter.

Keep Tabs On Your Thermostat

Invest in a programmable thermostat. This allows for you to select the times you want to turn down your heat, such as when your family is at work or school, saving you money on heating costs as your furnace will not run as frequently during these times. Turn your thermostat down a degree or two lower than your normal heat setting when nighttime arrives and use extra blankets for warmth as well.

Pay Attention To Your Windows

The windows in your home will allow for some heat loss. The type of windows you have installed can make an impact on just how much, however. If your windows are older, single-pane styled, your heating bill will be higher than if you were using thick, double-paned models. Adding shrinkable wrap to panes and covering them with insulated draperies or curtains in cool weather can help keep your heating cost lower.

Get Your Furnace Checked Over

It is important to take the time to contact a heating service to conduct a routine maintenance session on your furnace each year so it works properly when it is needed. Failing to get your furnace checked could lead to a failure of the system at a time you require heat most. In addition, routine maintenance helps to keep your heating source running efficiently, saving you money as a result. Our service technicians are available to clean out your unit, check it for wear, and make part or entire unit replacements if necessary.

The Best Heating & AC Company in Central Illinois

If you live in central Illinois, contact Bratcher Comfort to handle your heating needs this winter. We provide fast and reliable heating repair service to ensure you will remain warm throughout the winter months. Contact us today!

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