7 HVAC Terms That Every Homeowner Should Know

Every homeowner needs a little advice now and again when it comes to their home. One thing that homeowners should definitely work to understand is how their HVAC system functions. This is important because it plays a vital role in keeping your home comfortable and maintaining indoor air quality.

If learning all about HVAC seems intimidating, don’t worry. We’ve broken down the most common HVAC terms that every homeowner should know below to help you better understand your heating and cooling system.

HVAC Terms You Need to Know

Understanding how your HVAC system works can help you ensure that you keep it running smoothly and efficiently year-round. Whether you want to brush up on your HVAC terms or you just want to impress your houseguests with your heating and cooling trivia knowledge, you can certainly put the terms below to good use!

hvac-terms-for-homeowners

Want to learn more about your heating and cooling system? Be sure to follow along on our blog to get the all the latest in HVAC-related updates and special promotions from Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning.

5 Ways to Optimize Home Comfort

 

“Home” means a lot of different things to different people. For most, home is a place where you can feel comfortable and at ease. Whether you are spending time with friends and family or looking for a place to enjoy a personal retreat, the key to a comfortable home is finding just the right temperature and creating a space that allows you to be happy and healthy. There are a number of improvements that you can make to improve your home comfort.

How to Make Your Home More Comfortable

Improving home comfort is about finding ways to make your home environment clean, safe, and cozy. Here are just a few ways you can make your home more comfortable:

  1. Use a smart thermostat.

A smart thermostat allows you to control temperatures and other home environment factors such as humidity from your smart device at any time and from any location. Not only can a smart thermostat give you greater control over the temperature in your home at any time of the day, it can also help you cut down on energy use and lower your heating and cooling costs by allowing you to adjust home temperatures to save energy while you are away.

  1. Improve home insulation around doors and windows.

Air can escape from your home through tiny leaks and cracks in your insulation, especially around doors and windows. This can allow cool or warm air to escape, making it harder for you to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. Improving your home insulation will not only give you better control over the temperature in your home, it will also improve your energy efficiency, allowing you to save on energy costs.

  1. Upgrade to a smart ventilation system.

Do you ever find that one room in your home just doesn’t get as cool as the others? Or perhaps some members of your family like it warmer while others want to crank up the AC? A smart ventilation system can help you keep your home comfortable for all family members by giving you greater control over air flow and temperature in each room of your home.

  1. Keep your home clean using natural cleaning products.

Keeping your home clean is about more than just having a presentable and well-organized space. A clean home helps reduce build-up of dust, dirt, and other pollutants that can affect your indoor air quality. When possible, use natural cleaning products to avoid introducing potentially harmful chemicals into your home air.

  1. Consider using an air purifier.

For those who suffer from asthma or severe allergies, it can be hard to get comfortable in your home when you find it hard to breathe. An air purifier can help keep the air in your home cleaner by filtering out more of the pollutants that enter your home air. This will make it easier for you to breathe and enjoy the comfortable of improved indoor air quality.

Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning knows just how important it is to keep your home comfortable and cozy. If you are interested in learning more about indoor air quality products that can help you improve home comfort, contact us today.

Avoid HVAC Inspection Scams: Watch Out for These 5 Things

As with any industry that requires you to put your trust in the hands of an expert, the HVAC industry has dishonest companies and contractors who will say whatever they need to in order to get more money from you. Though this is certainly unfortunate, there are ways that you can protect yourself by getting to know common HVAC inspection scams and how to avoid them. If you are having your HVAC system inspected, watch out for these 5 common scams:

 

  1. The technician replaces parts that don’t need to be replaced.

Some scammers may play on your lack of knowledge about your HVAC system to mislead you into thinking you need repairs that you don’t. Most of the time, these repairs are costly and sometimes replacing the unit appears to be the most cost-effective option. If you have not noticed any issues and the unit appears to be running fine, it is best to get a second opinion. Another red flag is when the technician suggests that there are many faulty parts. This is most often not the case, and you should seek a second opinion before you get the repair.

 

  1. The technician will replace a broken part with a used part.

Some dishonest technicians will offer to replace broken parts on the spot with a used part that they have in their truck. They may even offer it at a discount. No honest or experienced HVAC technician will install a used part. These parts don’t hold up as long as new parts and can even cause strain to your HVAC system, requiring even more repairs. If the technician suggests a used part, send him away and call a different company.

 

  1. The inspector offers extremely low cost estimates on products or free services.

This could be a bait and switch. This happens when HVAC companies offer you discounted services or products that you can’t refuse, and then take advantage of the opportunity to sell you additional services or mislead you on the condition of your unit. You can avoid this by sticking to the initial promotion and not adding any additional services or repairs until you get a second opinion from another HVAC company.

 

  1. The HVAC company asks for up-front cash payment.

Some HVAC companies will ask for a deposit before the repair begins and then a final payment once the service has been completed. Though this not uncommon, no honest and reputable HVAC company will ask for the entire payment up-front before any of the repairs are completed. Individuals that insist on up-front cash payment may never return to complete the job or will most likely do a poor job on the repair.

 

Though these inspection scams may cause you to have a dim outlook on the HVAC industry, the truth is that there are more good guys out there than bad. Bartlett Heating and Air Conditioning has been providing quality HVAC services to the community since 1978. But don’t take our word for it. Check out our testimonials and other online reviews to see what our customers are saying.

Winter Weather Projections for Bartlett, IL

Winter begins on December 21, and though that may be a few months away, it is never too soon to start preparing yourself and your home for the upcoming winter weather. By looking at 2016 winter weather projections for the Bartlett, IL area, you will be more prepared for what type of temperatures you can expect and can begin to take preventative measures to keep your family safe and warm this winter season.

2016-2017 Winter Weather Projections for Bartlett, Illinois

Even though winter is awhile off, we can still see projections for what temperatures and weather will be like this winter in Bartlett. These projections will help you understand what winter weather you’re up against, so that you can take adequate measures to prepare yourself well before winter.

Bartlett, IL Winter Weather Projections

According to The Weather Channel, at the end of December 2016, the average high will be between 30 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit with an average low between 14 and 16 degrees. Temperatures will drop a few degrees in January with an average high of 30 degrees and a low of 13 degrees. These cold temperatures will continue on into February, eventually picking up to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Though there is no way to tell exactly how much snowfall the area will get this winter, Bartlett, Illinois had an average of 34.9 inches of snow over the past 30 years. This measurement is a bit higher than the U.S. average of 22.4 inches. About 83 percent of the city’s snow falls during the winter months.

Prepare HVAC System for Winter in Bartlett

Now that you know what you can expect from the winter weather in Bartlett this year, it’s time to prepare your home for the winter. Here are a few steps that you can take to make sure that your home is ready for winter:

  • Test your heating system. Turn on your heating system to make sure that it works. If the heat does not come on or the system struggles to turn on, this could be a sign that you need a tune-up or repair. Likewise, loud noises, heavy vibration, or burning smells could be a sign that your system needs to be cleaned or repaired.
  • Clean or replace your air filters. Make sure that your air filters are cleaned or replaced regularly to keep your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently. Clogged or dirty air filters can cause your system to work harder than it needs to, which wastes energy and causes wear and tear to the system’s parts.
  • Make sure your home is well-insulated. Seal any cracks or gaps around your doors and windows to ensure that your home is well-insulated. Poor insulation can allow air to escape, making your HVAC system work harder to heat your home in winter.

If you need help getting your heating system ready for the chilly winter temperatures, you’ve come to the right place! Give us a call today to schedule an HVAC tune-up so that your heating system is ready to keep you warm all winter.

Are Your Ducts in a Row? Duct Equipment for HVAC

As an HVAC contractor, you have a plethora of tools at your disposal. Whether you’re beginning an HVAC career or are a veteran worker, all these tools can get confusing and overwhelming. Sometimes you simply need a refresher course on what to use when. It’s particularly important to stay on top of duct and sheet metalworking. As equipment continues to evolve, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with new forms of familiar machines and tools.

The Importance of Metalworking And Duct Equipment

Metalwork and duct work are important behind-the-scenes equipment that help make up an HVAC system. A system’s duct work regulates air flow and carries air through a home or building, ensuring the right amount of air is used to heat or cool each zone. This keeps the system running efficiently and can reduce energy bills as well as money spent on repairs and replacements.

Similarly, an HVAC system’s metalwork is specifically chosen and shaped to meet a building’s needs. For example, snap-lock pipes are often used for low-pressure HVAC systems such as those in furnace and dryer vents. Spiral pipes are commonly used in buildings where exposed pipes are part of the design, such as warehouses or big box stores.

Types Of HVAC Duct Equipment

To create the best metalwork and duct work for your HVAC system, you need several pieces of equipment. Start with flange forming and beading machines, which help strengthen and maintain the position of metalwork inside an HVAC system. You also need shearing or plasma cutting machines to help shape your metalwork or ducts.

Bartlett Air and Heat also wants HVAC workers to know about the benefits of machines like duct manufacturing auto lines and lockformers. These combine several small parts, such as beading, oil press, and shearing machines, to make the metal and duct work process faster and more efficient. For example, some duct manufacturing auto lines can operate at speeds of 16 meters per minute.

Metalwork And Duct Work And The Environment

As a contractor, you may wonder if a customer is familiar with the metalwork and duct work in his or her HVAC system. Thanks to the accessibility of information, HVAC customers are now more familiar with how their systems work. You might even encounter a customer who identified a duct work or metalwork problem while trying to install a system but still needs you to make repairs. This type of quick diagnosis allows you to communicate effectively with the customer and show him or her how to avoid similar issues in the future.

Additionally, more HVAC companies are examining how metalwork and duct work improvements can save energy and help the environment. The more familiar you are with your company’s metalwork and duct work practices, the bigger an asset you are to the conversation. This also enables you to talk to your customers about how their system choices keep their homes environmentally friendly.

To learn more about the specifics of HVAC metalwork and duct work equipment, please contact Bartlett Heating and Air Conditioning.

Chinese Drywall Syndrome: What You Need to Know

Due to the housing boom of the mid to late 2000’s, and the hurricanes that ravaged the Gulf Coast, domestic supplies of drywall became scare and home builders and contractors began to import drywall from China in order to meet demand. Not long after, homeowners began to complain of sulfurous smells in the home and malfunctioning HVAC systems.

Signs and Symptoms of the Chinese Drywall Syndrome

Many home owners first notice something is amiss when they began to notice strong sulfurous smells inside the home, often described as reminiscent of rotten eggs or matches but much stronger. This is due to the offgassing of the drywall.

Chinese drywall has been shown to offgas hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulfide and carbon disulfide. These sulfurous compounds are what also corrode the copper components in the home including the HVAC system but also affecting plumbing and wiring.

Hydrogen sulfide will result in a black, ash-like corrosion on copper lines rather than the usual blue/green or red corrosion you would expect to find. In a very short time this corrosion becomes sufficient enough to eat through the lines of the AC evaporator coil, causing it to leak out the refrigerant and the system to malfunction.

The issue is most prevalent in Florida, Louisiana and the southeast is not confined to that region. Homes across the US have reported the issue, too. Affected states will have information available on the timeframes for possible contamination and help confirm if your home is affected.

In order to diagnose that your home does indeed have this issue it will need to be inspected by qualified personnel. However, your HVAC technician will tell you if he suspects you have the issue. The corrosion will be plainly visible and often times they are able to see the backside of the drywall which could have identifying markings such as, “Made in China” on it.

To stay up to date on all the latest HVAC information, follow the Bartlett Air blog.

Protect Your Investment With A Maintenance Agreement

Your Heating And Cooling System Needs Maintenance

It is no different than any other machine or system, really. Just as you wouldn’t drive your car for a year without changing the oil or a fighter pilot wouldn’t take off without walking around the jet and inspecting vital control elements, your home’s HVAC system needs regular inspection and maintenance. We recommend inspections twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.

Each inspection and maintenance will be unique to that season and will help to keep your system in top shape, running efficiently for years to come.

What is Involved in a Preferred Maintenance Agreement?

With our PMA we inspect every component of your system for proper condition and function for the appropriate season. In the Spring we will inspect, adjust, clean and maintain as needed, all components of the cooling side of your system. Everything from the major parts like your compressor and evaporator coil, down to the often overlooked but still vitally important parts such as your drain pan, condition of the Schrader valves and drain lines. We will check for any leaks and fix them as necessary.

During the Fall we will do the same with the heating side of your system. We will inspect and clean the burners, heat exchanger and the flame sensor. Just as in the Spring we inspected the refrigerant lines, in the Fall we will inspect the gas lines for any leaks as well. Your duct work and flume will be inspected to be sure correct fittings and to be free of leaks and any combustibles.

Ready to Protect Your Investment?

All parts of your system will be throroughly inspected and cared for with one of our preferred maintenance agreements. We will ensure proper function in your system twice a year and keep you comfortable year round. So call us today to discuss a maintenance plan!

Here’s What You Should Know about Carbon Monoxide

Are you up-to-date on carbon monoxide leak prevention? If leaks do occur in your home or where you work, are you and everyone else prepared to take immediate action?

If not you should read on. Carbon monoxide leaks—and the dangerous poisoning they can cause—are not a threat to be taken lightly.

Sources of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Wherever gas, oil or propane are used as fuel, the odorless, colorless gas known as carbon monoxide will be produced. Its presence in the environment around you is not necessary dangerous, unless it becomes concentrated above a certain level—which can happen if carbon monoxide collects indoors, where existing ventilation may not be able to dilute it effectively.

HVAC equipment such as furnaces and boilers fueled by gas or oil produce a significant amount of carbon monoxide, as do gas stoves and gas water heaters. All have built-in venting that is supposed to eliminate any health threat, but if the venting system leaks or otherwise malfunctions, cases of carbon monoxide poisoning could occur relatively quickly.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Exposure

The symptoms of excessive carbon monoxide exposure are a little different than other types of poisoning. Because it interferes with oxygen absorption carbon monoxide essentially smothers or chokes you into unconsciousness, so slowly you may not be aware of what is happening until it is too late.

As you gradually succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning, you may feel dizzy or drowsy, suffer from nausea, develop a headache, start to struggle with your breathing or find it increasingly difficult to focus. Death can result from continued exposure, so when these symptoms are experienced—and no other obvious cause is evident—you should leave the building immediately.

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

If carbon monoxide is around you absolutely have to purchase and install one or more carbon monoxide detectors. A detector should be placed near every indoor appliance that could potentially develop a carbon monoxide leak, and each detector should be tested often to make sure it’s batteries are still providing adequate power.

It is important to recognize that carbon monoxide detectors occasionally miss small, steady leaks, so having them around does not offer 100 percent protection in every circumstance.

Regular maintenance of your HVAC equipment, gas stove or other appliances that use fossil fuels can help reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning substantially. HVAC technicians who specialize in repair and maintenance should be aware of the carbon monoxide risk and should be able to catch any signs that might indicate a leakage is imminent.

Carbon Monoxide Leak Plan of Action

Should a carbon monoxide detector go off in your home or business, or if people are showing clear signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, take the following steps:

  • Evacuate the building in an orderly fashion, using pre-planned routes of escape.
  • Instruct everyone to leave doors open and to open any windows they pass by on the way out.
  • If you can gain access to gas or oil lines without coming too close to the suspected source of the leak, shut them off before leaving.
  • If electric power is also being supplied to your gas- or oil-burning appliances cut it off at the circuit breaker.
  • Call your HVAC contractor and/or your gas company to let them know you have a carbon monoxide emergency. They will know what to do.
  • Call 911 if anyone is showing signs of grave illness.
  • Steps three and four should only be attempted if you are certain it is safe to proceed. If you fear the situation is already out of hand just go and let the gas company take care of everything later.

Let Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning Help Keep You Safe

If you live in Bartlett or any other nearby community, please contact Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning about your HVAC system and its maintenance needs. Our trained technicians understand the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, and for your convenience we offer generous HVAC maintenance agreements that deliver thorough inspections, cleanings and tune-ups on a regular basis. This is your best antidote to the risk of carbon monoxide leakage, along with any other kind of breakdown that could cost you big money or big trouble if not caught in the early stages.

Please, call Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning today to find out more about our top-notch professional HVAC maintenance services.

UV Light Can Kill Many Indoor Air Pollutants

Ultraviolet light can be a very useful weapon in the fight against indoor air pollutants. Hospitals, laboratories and even food processing use UV light to help keep their environments sterile, and your home can also benefit from UV germicidal irradiation.

The Importance of Indoor Air Quality

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air. Furthermore, many people spend as much as 90 percent of their time indoors, which means that polluted indoor air can have a major impact on their overall health.

Poor indoor air quality can worsen respiratory symptoms and difficulties for people who suffer from allergies or asthma. Even for people without these conditions, poor air quality can contribute to headaches, sinus irritation, dizziness and fatigue. Long-term exposure to polluted air can contribute to even more serious health consequences down the road, including cancer, respiratory disease and cardiac disease.

UV Light Destroys Genetic Material in Microorganisms

UV light improves air quality by damaging the DNA and RNA of organic contaminants that like to invade indoor air. These contaminants include mold, mildew, spores, fungi, viruses and bacteria, and they can all pose problems if you breathe them in on a regular basis. When UV light damages their genetic material, these contaminants are destroyed or rendered harmless.

UV light systems in homes usually target evaporator coils or ductwork. Systems located near coils will help to destroy contaminants before they reach your indoor air, while UV light in ductwork targets particles that escape your air filter.

UV light Systems Partner With Your HVAC System

Mold, dust mites and other dangerous particles can accumulate on coils and drain pans, where they not only contaminate your air but may also interfere with your HVAC system. UV light systems that target this area can help to keep both your air and your HVAC equipment clean. As a result, UV light can help your HVAC system to run efficiently and offset some of the costs of running the UV system.

UV light systems situated in your home’s ductwork will neutralize harmful particles that have escaped your air filter. An excellent air filter will remove a significant percentage of contaminants from the air before they reach your living spaces, but UV light is a great way to eliminate any microorganisms that slip through the cracks.

Thank you for reading! If you would like to find out how our products and services can improve the indoor air quality in your home, please don’t hesitate to call us today.

Financing Can Help You Replace Your Heating or Cooling System

Having to replace your heating or cooling system can be extremely stressful. There are many important decisions to make, and it’s usually critical that these decisions happen as quickly as possible so that you are not stuck for weeks without heat or air conditioning. On top of that, there’s the question of how to pay for a new HVAC system.

A new heating and cooling system is a major and often unexpected expenses. As a result, most people don’t have the ready cash to cover the full price of a new system when their old HVAC system dies. Financing is one way to manage the cost of a new heating and cooling system and reduce some of the stress of this major homeowner’s challenge.

Monthly Savings Help Offset Monthly Payments

Financing offers a number of great advantages, including a simple application process, online payments, competitive interest rates and flexible payments. By dividing the total cost of a new heating or cooling system into separate, manageable payments, homeowners can afford to purchase a new system right away and begin enjoying the comfort and efficiency of modern HVAC technology.

New heat and cooling systems generally offer such an improvement in energy efficiency over old systems that homeowners will see their energy bills drop. A new unit with an energy efficiency rating of 18 or 19 SEER could use almost 50 percent less energy than an old unit with a 10 SEER rating. As a result, the monthly savings in utility costs are likely to be significant, and can actually help to pay for the monthly payments of a financed heating and cooling system.

Make It About Efficiency, Rather Than an Emergency

A new HVAC system doesn’t have to be an emergency expense. The flexibility and affordability that financing provides means you can choose to upgrade your system even if your old one still works. HVAC systems over 10 years old are not as efficient as new systems, even if they are well-maintained and fully functioning. The financing option allows you to carefully crunch the numbers and weight potential savings against a reasonable monthly payment.

At Bartlett Heating and Air Conditioning, we are happy to help you with any question and concerns about selecting and financing a new HVAC system. We offer financing through our partnership with Wells Fargo National Bank, with low interest rates and monthly payments. Whether you need a new heating or cooling system as quickly as possible, or want to weigh the advantages of purchasing an energy efficient system, we are happy to take your call!

Thank you so much for visiting our blog, and we hope you’ll follow us to learn more about the ins and outs of heating and cooling.