Keep Pests Out of Your HVAC System

Pests are an issues that we all have to deal with at one point or another when we own a home. They like to find their way into anything they can. There are some steps you can take to make sure you keep the pests out at much as you can.

Fresh air has to travel in and out of your HVAC system for it to work properly. This can sometimes make it easy for different pests to hide in your system. Some only need a very small space to get into. Most of the time the kind of pest that come in are roaches, mice and rats. Like us, they need food, water and shelter so they find a way inside. Roaches are something you don’t want in your home at all. Mice and rats saliva, skin cells and droppings cause asthmatic issues in your home. They also love to eat the inside components of the HVAC system which will leave you having to replace the different parts or the whole system if they eat it bad enough. On top of eating parts, they will build their nests inside which can also damage your HVAC system.

Here are some tips to help keep the pests out. You can have a pests specialist come out to figure out just where they are getting in. If they are coming in through your HVAC system we can help that. We have screens we can use to help keep pests out. We can also figure out where you have drafts coming in that allow insects to enter. We can check your ducts to make sure they are still properly sealed. Ducts that have openings due to age can be fixed. The openings allow animals to get in and is also a huge energy waste. Controlling your moisture content in your home can help deter pests from wanting to stick around. Make sure you get your clean and checks each season. The techs go over the whole system and can see if pests are present allowing you to take care of the issue sooner than later. Call Bartlett Heating and Air today to schedule your maintenance.

Ways to Reduce Heating Cost in 2017

It’s a new year and that should mean new resolutions. If one of your resolutions was to save money, lets start by saving money on your energy bill. It can sometime be hard to stay warm in the cold winter. Cranking up the furnace as high as it goes will also raise your energy bill. Here are a few easy tips you can follow to make sure you stay warm and save money.

One thing you can do is to wear warm clothes inside. Keep layers on, wear long pants, socks and a sweater. Doing this you can keep your thermostat lower which saves you money and saves wear and tear on your furnace. You can also use throw blankets to keep you warm as you watch TV. The next thing you can do is to lower your thermostat a few degrees from 72 to 69. Lowering it just 3 degrees can save you an estimated 3-5% on your energy bill. Those savings add up. Another thermostat tip we have is to get a programmable thermostat that can lower itself during the day when no one is home to use the heat. They can be set to raise the heat back up right before everyone gets home. They save a lot on your energy bill and you don’t have to worry about forgetting to change the settings. You can also lower the temperature at night when you’re sleeping. This will help you sleep better and also save money on your energy bill. One last thing you can do is to use your windows wisely. Thick heavy drapes that are closed at night help keep the warm air in. Opening the drapes during the day will let sunlight in and that will help heat your home for free! You can also use a clear wrap over your windows that seals out the cold air in the winter.

These are simple tips to help keep you warm this winter without breaking the bank. Call Bartlett Heating and Air for all your HVAC needs!

Is Your Furnace Correctly Sized?

Are you in the market for a new furnace soon? You should be sure that you are getting the correct size needed for your home. Don’t always assume the size you have in your home now is the correct one. Some technicians make mistakes and could have sized your home heating needs wrong from the start. Also if you have added any additions to your home, the furnace might not be the right size to heat everything anymore. You will have issues if the furnace you have is too small or too large. If your furnace is too big it will short cycle so it will constantly be going on and off which results in an uncomfortable living area, wasted energy and extra wear and tear on your system. Humidity will also be an issue if your furnace is too large. The large unit will be louder and more inefficient. If your furnace is too small it will run longer to heat your home. This will also waste energy and put more strain on the system. You need to make sure you have the correct size you need in your home.

The new furnaces are very efficient, but only if it is the right size. How can you determine how big of a furnace you need? You need a qualified and experienced HVAC technician to correctly size your homes needs. There is a US standard for this called the manual J load calculation. They will look at your square footage, insulation amount and type, number of storm windows, the seals on the doors and windows, and more to correctly ascertain your heating needs. Furnaces are rated a few ones. The first is the BTU which comes in a range of 45,000 to over 135,000 BTU. That is the ability of the furnace to heat the space around the home. It is recommended that you install the smallest most efficient system in your home. There is also an AFUE rating which is how efficiently the furnace turns fuel into heat without wasting. The standard is 80% which means 80% of the fuel is turned into heat and 20% is lost. AFUE over 90% are considered high efficiency furnaces and some qualify for tax credits.

When you are shopping for a new furnace, be sure to choose a certified contractor like Bartlett Heating and Air who will make sure the job gets done right. Call us today for your free installation quote!

How Often Should I Replace My Furnace?

We have so many thing in our home to make us comfortable. As you know, most of those things will need to be replaced eventually because nothing lasts forever. Most of the little things will be easy to replace like pillows, smoke detectors ect. When some of the bigger appliances break then it becomes more of a big deal and one that you may want to plan for in advance. If you are taking care of the maintenance on your furnace the way you are supposed to then you will make it last around 15 years. Once it’s about 15 years it gets to be time to replace it. The older units are less efficient than the ones that are brand new. Your old unit may look like it is fine and running ok but it could break in the middle of the winter when you need it the most. You want to try and be prepared for this. When you get a clean and check in the fall before it is cold, it gives the technician an opportunity to see the health of the system and recommend parts you may need so it lasts. They also will tell you if it is time to replace. Another benefit of being able to research your options before the furnace dies is that there are some tax credits you may qualify for. You need to meet a certain criteria to qualify but you can check that out on Nicor and Comed.com. When you have time to research for a new furnace installation you are able to make sure you can choose the best company for you. If your furnace dies on one of the coldest days of the year you might not have that chance. Being prepared ahead of time can save you money and a headache. One last thing you should consider is how much you are spending on repairs for your furnace. If you are spending a ton of money fixing an older furnace then you are wasting money. A new furnace will be more reliable and not cost nearly as much while it also saves you money on your energy bills. If taken care of properly, your furnace can last about 15 years. You want to start preparing for replacement about the 10 year mark to be safe. Bartlett Heating and Air gives free installation estimates. Call us today for any of your HVAC needs!

Difference Between an ECM and PSC Motor

Your furnace motor is a very important part of your furnace. It helps make it run the way it needs to. Motors can fail for a few different reasons, one being overheating. When your motor goes out, you need to have it replaced. If your furnace is older it likely has a PSC motor in it which means permanent split capacitor. One of the downsides to the PSC is that it uses a lot of electricity when it runs. This will make your energy bills higher than they need to be. Another downside of the PSC motor is that it only has one range. When it is on it runs at 100% and the only other setting is off. Most of your older furnaces will have this so if you have to have your motor replaced, request an ECM motor.

The ECM motor stands for electronically commuted motor. When the ECM motor runs it only uses a small amount of energy. This saves you money on your energy bills. This also means less strain for the new motor so it will have a longer life. Your ECM motor will make the temperatures in your home more consistent due to the fact that it runs on variable levels. When the furnace first starts up the motor runs slowly to not blast to room initially. The motor then slowly increases its speed to get the room to the correct temperature. Bartlett Heating and Air installs all ECM motors when we replace for our customers due to the fact that it saves energy and runs better. Call Bartlett Heating and Air today to schedule your furnace clean and check!

Four Quick Fixes For Your Furnace

Furnace season is in full swing now. The temps have dropped and the furnaces are running most of the day. What happens if your furnace goes out in the middle of the night and a tech can’t get out right away? There are a few quick fixes you can do to try and help get the furnace running in the meantime. The first thing you should do is check the thermostat. The thermostat is what tells the furnace to do its job.  If your thermostats settings got knocked out of whack somehow, your furnace will not run. Make sure the settings have not changed unexpectedly. You also need to check to see if the thermostat has dead batteries. Change the batteries and things might return to normal. Another thing that is really common is a dirty filter. A dirty filter will cause many issues with the furnace. You are supposed to be changing them every month so skipping out on that can cause havoc on the furnace. Have you checked to make sure your registers are open? Blocked registers will prevent the warm air from entering the rooms you need heated. Sometimes they get blocked by furniture or kids toys. Make sure your kids don’t play by them. We have found many toys stuck in the registers because kids like to drop things in the vents. This can cause blockages in your ducts and additional issues. Make sure the duct work is attached correctly and not leaking air. One last think you can do is to check and see that your gas is on. Is the gas company having issues supplying customers at the moment? Did the gas valve accidentally get turned off? Call the gas company to see if they are having issues. If that is not the case then look at your valve. call Bartlett Heating and Air today to help solve any of your HVAC issues!

What is the Ideal Humidity for my home?

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air around you. Humidity in your home is a very important things to manage properly. You can have issues if your humidity is too high and also if it is too low. Everyone’s comfort levels are different, but there are things to take into consideration when choosing the humidity level for your home. Your humidity levels can affect your HVAC equipment’s performance. You basically want your home to feel cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Humidity has a lot to do with that. Keeping your home between 40-50% humidity is typically a good idea especially to manage health. If you have low humidity it can affect your families breathing and you will get shocked a lot in a dry house. Having too much or too little humidity can also damage your home inside and out. One example is wood can be warped or crack. Paint can also be affected in the dry conditions causing it to chip. Dry skin also becomes an issue when it is dry in your home. Humidity changes throughout the year depending on temperature. Hot air typically holds more moisture and cold air holds less. You tend to get a more dry home in the winter.  Too much humidity and it can encourage mold and mildew growth which you do not want. You don’t want to use a humidifier in the summertime. Your air conditioner works to pull moisture out of your home during the summer to a comfortable level. You can also use exhaust fans to help control the humidity in the summer. In the winter we recommend getting a whole house humidifier, a portable humidifier if you prefer, and house plants also help put moisture into the air. Another benefit of having a good amount of moisture in your home is that germs can’t live very well in it. Your family will stay healthier. If you are considering a humidifier installation in your home please call Bartlett Heating and Air today!

How to Keep Your Home Warm Without the Furnace

It is getting colder by the day here in Illinois. Winter may finally be sneaking in on us. If you want to keep your home warmer this winter without completely relying on the furnace, read on. One of the first things you can do to keep your home warm this winter is to make sure you had your furnace clean and check. Having the furnace cleaned and checked is a very important part of its maintenance. The technicians check the furnace to make sure it isn’t leaking carbon monoxide. They also make sure the furnace is clean and running at its best. When your furnace is clean and working properly, it takes much less energy to run and heat your home. The next thing you can do is to put rugs down over your hardwood floors in the winter. That will help to keep your home a little warmer during the winter.

A big thing you can do is to walk through your home and make sure there are no drafts coming in. You can do this by walking around and feeling by any cracks, door frames, and window frames. You will feel the cold air coming in. If you are still unsure, you can hold a tissue by the different areas and see if its moves due to a draft. If you have a draft leaking in cold air you can fix that easily. You can get caulk at the local hardware store and that will stop the cold air leaving it easier to keep your home warm.

One last tip is to keep your windows covered this winter. You can get the plastic sealant that goes over the whole window at your hardware store and it is relatively cheap and easy to install. With that, you can also make sure you have thick curtains over the window to keep the warm air from escaping through the window. There are thermal curtains you can buy if you would like.

These are all easy tricks you can do to keep your home warmer without having to use the furnace as much. Call Bartlett Heating and Air today for all your HVAC needs!

You Should Have a Humidifier Installed This Winter

Do you have a humidifier in your home? It is important to have in the winter. When your furnace is heating your home in the winter it is keeping you warm but also sucking a lot of the humidity out of the air leaving your home feeling dry. Humidity is the level of moisture in the air and is recommended to be between 25-40% in the winter. Having more humidity in your home in the winter has some health benefits for you and your family. Having higher humidity helps keep your throat and nasal passages moist so they are not dry and scratchy. This also helps with easing cold symptoms helping you feel better sooner. Keeping your humidity up can also help stop the cold or flu from forming in the first place because they thrive in cold dry places. Some allergens are also kept at bay when you have proper humidity levels. You will have healthier skin by having the proper humidity level in your home. Moisture not only gets pulled out of the air, it also gets pulled out of your skin so keeping that moisture level up will result in less cracked and dry skin. On top of these health benefits, more humidity also has benefits for your wallet and home itself. Humid air feels warmer so you wont have to turn the furnace up as high saving you money on your energy bills. Your home benefits from more humidity because it will have less issues with dry and cracking wood. Your wallpaper wont crack and peel off. Not having the repair or replace these things saves you money in the end. Bartlett Heating and Air conditioning has a special on humidifiers right now so call us today!!

Why Does My Furnace Have Rust On It?

Even though furnaces don’t have water running through them to run, they still do rust. When you do see rust on your furnace, it is typically a sign that something needs to be repaired or replaced so pay close attention to it. There’s a few reasons why furnaces rust, here’s a few of them. Water still comes in contact with your furnace through return air ducts. In times of high humidity water and moisture can gather in the ducts and possibly enter the furnace area. When you have ducts that have openings in them that pull moist air from other rooms it ends up in the furnace. Having your ducts repaired can lessen this. When you have an HVAC system where the AC sits on top of the furnace and the AC leaks onto your furnace, it will cause it to rust. The AC can leak due to a drain being clogged so the condensation cant drain properly. One last thing that can cause rust to form on your furnace is combustion gas reaction. Combustion gas turns into liquid vapor which can cause rust if your furnace isn’t ventilated properly. When you spot rust on your furnace, you should call a professional like the ones at Bartlett Heating and Air to come inspect it. We will be able to tell you what the issue is and help you decide whether to repair or replace. Call Bartlett Heating and Air today!