4 Tips for Keeping Your Home Comfortable During the Holidays

The holidays are full of exciting–and sometimes hectic—moments, many of which happen right within your home. With so much going on—parties, out of town guests arriving, and other holiday related activities—the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your home is comfy enough for you and your guests! Be sure to make this holiday season extra special by implementing these easy tips to keep your home comfortable.

Weather Proof Your Home

Before guests arrive, be sure to weather proof your home with simple upgrades, such as new weather stripping where needed. Add caulking to plug any leaks around windows, doors, and outlets on external walls. Also, use fabric draft blockers on the bottoms of your doors to prevent cold air from entering your home and warm air from seeping out.

This goes for larger areas too. If you have an attic, be sure that the attic is properly insulated and the door leading back into the home isn’t leaking any drafts. Any air-leaks around the edges can be sealed with weather-stripping, insulation, or a bit of caulk, depending on where the leak is. If your home has a fireplace, be sure to seal off the flue, which will help to keep the cold outside air from entering your home. Be sure this is done each time you are not actively using your fireplace to ensure that the warm air stays where you want it, rather than escaping out the chimney. If your fireplace runs on natural gas, be sure to turn off the pilot light when it’s not in use.

Don’t Heat Rooms that Aren’t in Use

This is a great tip for those times when you are hosting holiday parties and get-togethers. Of course you want to keep your guests comfortable, but you don’t want to break the bank! Since you’ll probably be isolating guests to only a few rooms, go ahead and close the heating vents to any rooms not in use. This includes any bedrooms, guest rooms, and storage areas. By concentrating the heat only on the areas you’ll be entertaining, you can easily cut down a bit on energy costs.

For Overnight Guests, Mind Your Thermostat

According to the National Sleep Foundation, an indoor temperature set to 65 ºF makes for the perfect sleeping atmosphere. During the nights when your guests sleep over, by setting your thermostat to a lower temperature, you can help keep them comfortable while saving on energy costs. It is estimated that by each degree you reduce your thermostat during the winter, you could save up to 4 to 5% in energy costs. Also, keep your guest’s rooms stocked with extra blankets in case they are sensitive to chills.

Don’t Forget Those Special Touches!

Keeping a cozy home during the holidays isn’t just about making sure your home’s temperature is comfortable. Pay attention to smaller details around your home and your guests will be forever grateful. For both drop in guests and those who stay overnight, be sure to keep a well-stocked kitchen. Have both coffee and tea available in the mornings, and fill your refrigerator with typical kitchen essentials, like milk, veggies, butter, eggs, cheese, and coffee creamer. Have a variety of “grab and go” type foods on hand, so that people can fill their bellies with little effort on either their or your part. Options such as well stocked fruit bowls on the counter, a few varieties of cereal, snack foods in the cupboard, and easy grab and go foods, such as yogurt, in the fridge are always a great choice.

Also, make sure your bathroom is inviting! Have hand soap, clean hand-towels, and a few air fresheners available for guests. For those who are staying overnight, offer them plenty of clean fluffy towels, some travel sized toiletries, and fresh clean linens to make their stay with you extra enjoyable.

If you need help ensuring that your HVAC system is up and running smoothly to keep you and your guests comfortable this holiday season, contact us today. Whether you just need a tune-up or a more complicated repair, we are ready to help you maintain home comfort.

 

 

Bartlett Heating and Air Has HVAC Tune Up Specials!

That time has come where the cold air is rushing in and the warm air is slowly leaving the area. Days are getting shorter, fall is on its way. You can still get your air conditioner cleaned and checked if you haven’t for $59! It’s a 28 point inspection and cleaning. Its also not too early to get your furnace cleaned for the upcoming fall and winter seasons. We have a $59 special on furnace cleanings as well as AC cleanings. The furnace tune up is a cleaning and 28 point inspection to make sure you are ready for the coming cold. If you choose to do both together we have a $95 special. It is important that you keep up on maintenance. Regular maintenance makes your systems last longer. It also helps your systems to run more efficiently which saves you money on your energy bills. Making sure to get the AC and furnace looked at will give us an opportunity to let you know of anything that is starting to fail so you can fix it right away. This saves you time, money, and a headache down the road for repairs that come in an untimely manner. Call Bartlett Heating and Air today to schedule yours! 630-372-7640

Is It Ok to Close Registers In Your Home? Bartlett Heating and Air Has the Answer

We all have heard that you should close some of the registers in rooms that are not being used to save energy. Is this really a good idea? Bartlett Heating and Air has some answers. It is true that your heating and air conditioning use up a lot of energy. This totals to about half your electric bill each year. Your blower is the heart of your system and it pulls air from your home through your returns and pushes it back out through your supply’s. The blower is made to push against a certain amount of pressure to work correctly. When things like dirty filters and restrictive ducts change this you can run into issues. You end up losing efficiency when it is put up against a different amount of pressure than it was designed for. Higher pressure can mean less air flow in this situation. When you end up closing registers in some of your rooms you end up throwing off the pressure in the ducts. They become more restrictive. Most homes also do not have their ducts sealed so this becomes an issue also because you will have more leakage in your ducts from the higher pressure caused by the closed registers. The more registers you close, the more the motor has to work and that mean more energy is wasted. The harder the motor has to work will also cause unnecessary wear and tear. In a fixed capacity system, the amount of heat absorbed and given off is a set amount. If less air is flowing over the coil due to closed registers and there is excess condensation in the air this can cause the coil to literally freeze into a block of ice. This will cause it to not cool your home and can damage your system. Low air flow due to closed registers in the winter can cause your heat exchanger to possibly overheat and crack. When your heat exchanger cracks it can leak carbon monoxide which can be deadly to your family. In summary, if you want to close your registers here is a list of things that can be affected. Increased duct leaks, frozen coil, cracked heat exchanger, low air flow, compressor issues, and your system not heating or cooling properly. Your homes HVAC system was made to work with all registers open and unblocked. If you are having any issues with your HVAC system call Bartlett Heating and Air today!

Bartlett Heating and Air Talks About Some AC Mistakes You Might Be Making

There are so many articles online about your HVAC system. While some have great advice, others feed you the wrong information that can hurt your system down the line and end up costing you more money. Here are some common mistakes you might be making when it comes to your homes air conditioning system. When you bought your new air conditioner did you have it sized right? Sometimes we find that some homes have an air conditioner that is either too big or too small for their home. A good technician will use the Manual J method to properly size your homes air conditioner. One of the ways you can tell you have an over sized AC is that it will run for only a short amount of time and then turn back off. This wastes electricity and also will cause it to wear out faster than it should. An air conditioner that was under sized will run constantly. This will cause it to wear down faster so you will have to repair it more. This will also waste energy and raise your bills. The AC that is too small will pull the humidity out of the air but will not be able to make it feel cool. Another mistake we make is to skip our yearly cleanings. We need to have our air conditioner looked at each spring to make sure they are cleaned and ready to go come summer. You also need to be checking the filter each month to make sure that it is clean. A dirty filter can cause the air conditioner to use more energy to work which increases your bills each month. A dirty filter can also cause it to break down. If you are turning your thermostat all the way down to make your AC cool your home faster, you are just hurting the AC. Turning the thermostat all the way down will only put strain on it. The AC does not cool faster this way. You will also be using more energy while your home is only cooling the same amount. You are risking premature breakdown of your system should you do this often. One last thing we will talk about is closing off the registers to rooms you are not using. This will also put strain on your system. Your system was sized and designed to cool most efficient using all rooms. Closing off some registers will throw this system off balance creating more strain. You can also cause leaks in your duct work by creating too much pressure when the registers are closed. This will not save you energy. These are common mistakes we at Bartlett Heating and Air see quite often. They are easy to fix so look over what you might be doing wrong and change it for the better. Bartlett Heating and Air can help you with all you HVAC needs so call us today!

Bartlett Heating and Air Tells You Why You Have Ice on Your AC and How to Fix It

A common issue we at Bartlett Heating and Air has ran into this year is customers air conditioners having frozen lines. There are a few reasons this happens. When your line freezes your air conditioner will not function correctly. There are a few early signs you can watch out for to try and fix it before it fully freezes. You will notice your AC performance slowly decrease. When your AC performance starts to decrease, you should call a technician and have them come and inspect it. When your AC is starting to freeze you will have less airflow coming out of your vents. You will also notice more condensate drainage. Your system might not shut off when your AC is getting ready to freeze and your indoor temperature will not be as comfortable as normal. These are all beginning signs that your air conditioner is getting ready to freeze. You can check if your air conditioner if frozen easily because you will see ice on the lines that run around your air conditioner. Some of the causes of the AC freezing is a dirty air filter will restrict airflow and make the AC freeze. Your return ducts might be too small, your air ducts are blocked, or you have closed registers will also cause the AC to freeze up. A dirty coil can also cause a freeze up, that is why it is important to get your air conditioner cleaned and checked each year. When you run your air conditioner when it is too cool outside, typically under 65F, which sometimes happens at night, your air conditioner can freeze up. One of the biggest causes of the AC freezing up is when you are low on refrigerant. You can be low on refrigerant due to a leak. When you notice that your air conditioner is frozen the first thing you need to do is to shut it off. It will need to defrost before we can do anything with it. Do not try and melt the ice with fire such as a torch, this is dangerous. As silly as this sounds,if you call a technician when your AC is still frozen, they have to turn your heat on to expedite the melting. You can easily prevent the air conditioner from freezing up as long as you keep up on your yearly and monthly maintenance. You need to get the air conditioner cleaned each spring and you need to be sure you change your filters each month. Doing those two simple things will prevent a headache later down the line because your air conditioner will be more reliable. Bartlett Heating and Air can help you with all your HVAC needs so call us today!

Bartlett Heating and AIr Has a List of Updated Nicor and Comed Rebates

Comed offers rebates for replacing your air conditioner and furnace with select equipment. You have to fill out the application within 30 days of installation. The gas companies were offering rebates for people who upgraded their furnace and saw the success of the program  so Comed teamed up with them offering rebates when they upgraded both air conditioner and furnace. The air conditioner has to be SEER rated 14.5 and above to qualify. Any qualified HVAC contractor can install it. After installation you fill out the AHRI certification form before applying for the rebate. You will get the rebate within 30 days of receipt and approval. Replacing your systems qualifies but installing on new built homes does not. Comed wants to help customers save money on their energy bills and buying new equipment helps them do just that so this is the encouragement for them to do so.

Nicor offers rebates for replacing your air conditioner and furnace. The combined Comed and Nicor rebates are as followed.

*92% Furnace and 14.5 SEER AC is $500.00

*92% Furnace and 16 SEER AC is $600.00

*95% Furnace and 14.5 SEER AC is $550.00

*95% Furnace and 16 SEER AC is $650.00

*97% Furnace and 14.5 SEER AC is $600.00

*97% Furnace and 16 SEER AC is $700.00

You can also get a $20 rebate for having a programmable thermostat installed too! Heat pump replacements are not eligible for CSR rebates. The furnace installation must meet all the requirements of a high efficiency furnace to get the rebate. It has to be replacing an existing furnace. Rebates are not allowed for central air alone, you must replace air conditioner and furnace at the same time by the same installer. There is an exception to having the AC installed. If it is in the winter and the outside unit cannot be completed, it will still count if you do the inside part right away and then the outside part first thing in spring. Both units have to be fully installed and functional prior to application for the rebates. The evaporator coil and condenser must be AHRI certified. The complete air conditioner, evaporator and coil must be replaced at the same time to qualify. You have to be a customer of Comed and Nicor to qualify. Bartlett Heating and Air is a certified Carrier dealer. Call us for a free quote today to see how we can replace your system, save you money, and get you rebates.

Summers Back in Bartlett! Bartlett Heating and Air Has High Heat Safety Tips

It is finally starting to feel like summer again! We are forecast to hit highs in the lower 90’s today. With the dew points reaching into the 70’s it will feel significantly hotter outside than 90 due to the saturated atmosphere. Many people each year lose their life due to high temperatures outside. This is something that can easily be changed if we take the right precautions. When heat gain is greater than the ability to lose heat or compensate for the electrolytes and salts lost due to sweating, the bodies core rises and heat disorder starts to develop. When heat gain is greater than the ability to lose heat or compensate for the electrolytes and salts lost due to sweating, the bodies core rises and heat disorder starts to develop. Signs of heat exhaustion are heavy sweating, weakness, clammy skin, vomiting, you can have a normal temperature still, and fainting. Signs of heat and sun stroke are the same as heat exhaustion plus high temperature of 106 and more, unconsciousness, hot dry skin, and rapid pulse. If you or someone else is suffering from heat exhaustion, get out of the sun, lay down and loosen clothing, apply cold cloths to the body, sip water, move into an air conditioned area or area with a fan, if vomiting persists seek medical attention. If you or someone else if suffering from heat or sun stroke, get medical attention immediately. Until help arrives, make sure to move to a cool place, use a cold bath or cloths on them, do not give liquids. Here are some tips to stay safe in high heat. Do not partake in strenuous activity. Wear lightweight and light color clothes. Watch what you eat, proteins raise metabolic temperature and increase water loss. Drink lots of water and non alcoholic drinks, even if you are not thirsty. Spend more time in air conditioned places. Make sure to stay out of the sun as much as possible. DO NOT leave children and pets in a car, even for a short period of time, it can be deadly. Check on the elderly, young, and anyone with a compromised immune system and help them out. If you dont have air conditioning, there are usually shelters in the area that are there to go to in order to keep cool. You can find the shelters in your area at this website, http://www2.illinois.gov/keepcool/Pages/default.aspx. You go to that site and enter your zip code and they will give you centers in the area you can use for cooling off should you not have AC. Make sure your air conditioner is in working order before the heatwave starts. Bartlett Heating and Air offers emergency service to meet your needs so you don’t have to be without air conditioning and can be comfortable. Give us a call today to make sure your air conditioner is in working order.

Bartlett Heating and Air Talks About Issues After Power Outages

Power outages can be a real pain! Power outages happen often in summer because of the strain on the power grid from the heavy use of air conditioners. They can also happen due to storms hitting the area. Most of the time when a power outage happens it isn’t a big deal and appliances typically work fine after. Sometimes it can cause issue for appliances including your air conditioner. When your power goes out and comes back on, there are a few things to check if your ac goes out. Fuse and breakers should be checked. Sometimes they are blown or tripped when the power surges. That is a simple fix that only needs you to replace the fuse or flip over the breaker. After you check that the fuse and breaker aren’t the problem go check the power switch. Turn it off and then on again to reset the machine. If they does not restore power, wait 30 minutes and try again. If after switching the power switches and it still does not work try the power circuit. If there are other appliances plugged into the same thing as the air conditioner, unplug them and move them to another place so that the air conditioner is the only thing on the circuit. The last thing you can check is the thermostat. It may have to be reset. Set the switch to ON, set the temperature to lower than the current room temperature, and then set the fan or blower to auto or ON. It after trying all these things and it still is not working call Bartlett Heating and Air and one of our certified technicians will come out and fix it for you.

Bartlett Heating and Air Explains Reasons for Uneven Temperatures

Uneven heating is more than just an annoyance to deal with. Uneven cooling can hurt your HVAC system, increase your heating and cooling cost, and decrease the life of your system. Your air conditioner unit works with the duct system to cool your house. Your air conditioner pulls in heated air from your home through your ducts and cycles it through the refrigerant taking out the heat. It then takes that heat and dissipates it to the outside air. Fresh air from outside is brought in though the duct system and cooled before being sent back out into your home. That is the proper balance of the system and if that balance is off, you end up with hot spots and uneven cooling in your home. There are a couple of ways you can combat this issue. Get your duct work inspected. If your duct work isn’t correct, you will have uneven cooling which stresses the system. If your ducts are too large or too small they will create uneven cooling so you will have to get the correct sized ones to fix the issue. Leaks in your duct work can also be a culprit, so finding and fixing the leaks can also correct this issue. One last issue with the duct work is clogs, they will have to be cleaned out so they air can flow the correct way. You can get a variable speed motor system for your home. Variable speed motors more adequately heat and cool your home by controlling the air flow in a more efficient way. The variable system controls the output based on the homes needs. With variable speed motors you can control individual rooms which saves you money. When you don’t use a room as often you can make it hotter or cooler saving energy, this is called zoning and only variable speed motors can do this. You have to make sure you have the right sized system for your home. Uneven heating and cooling can be the result of an improperly sized HVAC system. The system could have been sized wrong by improper load calculations at the time of installation or the homes needs could have changed over time. If your system is too small to adequately heat your space then you will have improper heating and cooling and possible system failure. Call Bartlett Heating and Air today to have a tech come out and make sure you have the right sized system for your needs and to fix any improper cooling you may have.

Bartlett Heating and Air Discusses Having a Bad Condenser

There are two parts to your air conditioner. The inside part is your compressor and the outside part to the air conditioner is the condenser. The condenser is responsible for condensing the refrigerant from its gas state to a liquid state. It is a big part of your system so failure of it has many impacts. It can affect the performance, efficiency, and the life span of your air conditioner. You will notice an issue with your condenser when you notice your home not being cooled as well as before or not being cooled at all. When you let your condenser run when it is going bad, you run risk of it completely failing. You are also wasting money on your energy bills when you allow a faulty condenser to keep running because they use far more energy. There is a possibility that your condenser might just be dirty and is causing your home to not cool and you can simply fix that by getting your annual air conditioner clean and check. This should be done each spring to clean and inspect the air conditioner to make sure everything is running the way it is supposed to be. The technicians at Bartlett Heating and Air can clean and check any make and model. If your system is short cycling it might also be due to a blocked condenser. Clogged condensers affect the heat resistance of the unit and can lead to costly repairs. If your condenser is not running at all you can call the professionals at Bartlett Heating and Air and we can find a solution for you. If you maintain your air conditioner, you will likely catch any issues sooner than later and be able to fix them before they turn into bigger more expensive issues. Bartlett Heating and Air can help you with any of your air conditioning issues so call us today!