How to Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

October 24, 2018

The average family spends more than $2,000 per month on utility bills, for heating, cooling, hot water and cooking, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Just think what you could do with the extra money if you could just reduce that amount by 10 percent or even five percent. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to increase your home’s energy efficiency and save your family money as well as reduce your household’s carbon footprint. 1. Seal Gaps in Doors and Windows Annually According to the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, sealing any gaps at least once a year is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency. All of these gaps cause conditioned air to escape your home. And, don’t limit yourself to doors and windows. Look for additional gaps in the attic, around electrical outlets, along baseboards and around pipes and wires that enter your home. 2. Invest in Energy Savings Investing in energy-saving devices and systems can also dramatically reduce your home’s energy use. For example, installing a programmable thermostat can reduce your energy usage by around $180 per year (on average). And, opting for a tankless...

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Careers in the HVAC Industry

October 4, 2018

There are numerous HVAC careers to choose from today. These range from well-known options such as working as an HVAC technician to obtaining a job in a specialized, eco-friendly HVAC field. Following are some job choices you may want to consider if you are interested in this field. HVAC Technicians HVAC Technicians are the ones who handle day to day HVAC maintenance, repair, and replacement jobs. These dedicated individuals may specialize in handling residential work, commercial work or both. They can be found in homes, businesses and on construction sites. The best HVAC technicians are the ones with NATE certification. This certification shows a technician is both experienced and qualified to handle certain jobs. HVAC Engineers HVAC engineers are often in charge of supervising one or more teams of HVAC technicians. These individuals make sure new HVAC systems are properly installed and running well. Alternatively, an HVAC engineer may work at an HVAC manufacturing plant, evaluating new HVAC systems and designs to find ways to improve system efficiency and performance. Solar and Wind Turbine Technicians As solar and wind power continue to grow in popularity, a growing number of HVAC technicians are learning how to work with these forms of...

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What to Expect During an AC Inspection

September 17, 2018

You know that having an inspection of your air conditioning system is a good idea. Not only can doing so help you avoid costly malfunctions during those times when you really need your AC to work, but such an inspection can also help improve the unit’s efficiency, reduce your utility bills and improve the quality of your home’s indoor air. 1. Thermostat Check First, the technician will check the condition of your thermostat and set it on cooling. This will allow him to check the condition of the system as it is running. 2. Filter Check Checking the filters ensures that there is a free exchange of air within all components of the AC system. 3. Inspect Outside Condenser DIrt, debris, and foliage around the condenser can affect your air conditioning system works. Not only can such items block the free flow of air, but they can also reduce the lifespan of your equipment. 4. Outside Unit Inspection The technician will perform a thorough disassembly of the outside unit while also checking its various components for wear and questionable condition. Expect the technician to check the connections, wiring, relays, contractors, capacitors and more that are contained within the unit and...

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Does Rain Damage My Heating and Cooling System Over Time?

September 2, 2018

The short answer to this question is a resounding yes! However, it takes a lot to really cause a good heating and cooling system lasting damage. You should be aware of the situations that require your close attention. You must also be aware of the symptoms to check for and when to get a professional company involved in the process. When and When Not to Worry If you have done a good job picking a durable, relatively new heating and cooling system, you will not have a problem with most rainstorms. Heavy rainstorms may or may not require professional assistance – you should always perform a DIY check, however. The storms that include flooding are the ones that you should always be most wary of. What to Check for after a Storm The major piece of maintenance that occurs after many storms is a blockage to the airflow in your heating and cooling system. If your airflow gets clogged, then dirt, debris, mold, and small parasites can more easily get into your heating infrastructure. Once this happens, you may experience a faster deterioration of your heating system than is normal. After the airflow comes to rust on your parts. This...

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The Dangers of Not Getting Your AC Fixed

August 28, 2018

Maintaining your AC unit is essential in combating the heat during warm and hot seasons. Unfortunately, most homeowners neglect their AC units and only find it important to fix them after they have stopped functioning. If you are experiencing problems with your AC unit, even if it can still function, it’s important to handle them immediately. Failure to do so could lead to the following consequences: Increased Health Hazards Not getting your AC fixed means it won’t be able to effectively filter and circulate air into your property. Unfortunately, this means that hazards such as dirt, dust, allergens, and bacteria found in the air are spread throughout the entire room. These contaminants can contribute to a number of health issues such as sinusitis, asthma, and allergies. A properly fixed AC unit reduces the negative effects that these allergens can cause to your body. Reduced Lifespan Just like with any other investment, you need to stretch the usage of your AC unit as long as possible. No one wants to spend their money on replacing such a huge investment, that’s why it’s important to fix your cooling system immediately you notice any problem. Quick fixing ensures your unit functions effectively, extending...

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What Should I Do if My AC Won’t Turn Off?

August 15, 2018

In the summertime, many people often rely on the air conditioner. When it doesn’t work properly as it should, it can be frustrating. One of the problems the AC may have is that it continuously runs and does not turn off, which would make your energy bills much higher than normal. There are a number of factors that can cause your AC to continuously run. These include: Dirty Evaporator Coil Frozen Evaporator Coil Clogged Air Filter Restrictive Filter Low Refrigerant Charge Faulty Thermostat Leaky Ducts Dirty or Blocked Condenser Motor and Fan Issues Wrong Sized Unit If you notice that your air conditioner is continuously running, work on these steps: Check the Thermostat Sometimes the thermostat will get reset or set incorrectly, and that’s why the air conditioner won’t turn off. It may be that the temperature is set too low. Try resetting it so that the temperature is above room temperature and see if it shuts off. If it doesn’t shut off, then the thermostat is not the problem. Clean the Condensing Unit If the condenser coils are dirty, they won’t be able to effectively cool down space. The compressor would have to run continuously in order to achieve...

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Why Use a Home Humidifier?

July 16, 2018

If you’re looking for a way to make your home more comfortable, you should definitely take into consideration using a humidifier. From getting rid of dry skin to reducing the symptoms of sinusitis, there are more than a few reasons to have one in your house. Here at Bratcher, we understand how important it is that your home be as comfortable as possible and we are here to meet any and all of your heating and cooling needs. For now, let’s explore the top reasons you need to have a humidifier in your home: Speeds Up the Healing Process Whether you’re suffering from asthma or allergies or even the common cold, a humidifier has the ability to lubricate your nasal passages, which is essential to expediting the healing process when you’re sick. If you have severe allergies, there are humidifiers that are made specifically to reduce your symptoms, so you’ll definitely want to look into purchasing one of them. Reduce Symptoms of Sinusitis Sometimes, when the air gets too dry, this can cause your nasal passages to not properly drain, thus causing them to become stuffed up. When humidity is added to the air, though, this will ensure your nose...

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Can Air Conditioning Trigger Asthma?

July 3, 2018

There can be plenty of triggers of asthma, depending on what type of asthma you have, but many of those triggers can be from indoor air sources. When someone breathes in a trigger, the airways swell up and they can start to wheeze or cough. What Are Some Asthma Triggers? People with asthma should learn what their individual triggers are, but there are some common ones: Tobacco Smoke: Smoke can cause wheezing and an asthma attack in many people. The smoke can stay in the air long after the cigarette has been put out. Nitrogen Dioxide: This gas is given off by many indoor appliances, such as gas stoves and gas space heaters. This gas can make asthma symptoms worse. Dust: This can be anything from smoke to pet dander. Small particles of dust can remain in the air for long periods of time. Large particles can settle but then go back to the air if disturbed in heavy traffic areas. These particles can make asthma flare up. Chemical Odors: These orders are given off from a number of materials, including pesticides, adhesives, and paints, and cleaning agents can cause an asthma attack in those that suffer from the condition....

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What to Look for In An Air Conditioning Company

February 7, 2017

For most of us, a house represents the largest financial investment we’ll ever make. That means finding a company to handle your AC needs is of utmost importance, as well. The company you pick will be your partner in choosing and maintaining your home’s HVAC unit, which has consequences you might not have thought about. Since cooling and heating can account for almost half of a typical homeowner’s energy costs, making the right decision can have an impact on your financial well-being, in addition to the comfort of you and your family. For years, people in have trusted for their HVAC needs. We’ve assembled a list of things to consider when you’re looking for a company to trust with your air conditioning needs. It pays to seek out a firm with that gets consistently good reviews. Do you homework and see what the Better Business Bureau has to say, and check for consumer reviews on Yelp and other sites that post real-life feedback on local companies. An HVAC company should hire technicians who are certified by North American Technician Excellence. A NATE certification signifies a firm believes in hiring employees who are knowledgeable and know their stuff. Ask friends, neighbors...

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Should I Continue Repairing My AC Unit?

February 7, 2017

For most of us, a house represents the largest financial investment we’ll ever make. That means finding a company to handle your AC needs is of utmost importance, as well. The company you pick will be your partner in choosing and maintaining your home’s HVAC unit, which has consequences you might not have thought about. Since cooling and heating can account for almost half of a typical homeowner’s energy costs, making the right decision can have an impact on your financial well-being, in addition to the comfort of you and your family. For years, people in have trusted for their HVAC needs. We’ve assembled a list of things to consider when you’re looking for a company to trust with your air conditioning needs. It pays to seek out a firm with that gets consistently good reviews. Do you homework and see what the Better Business Bureau has to say, and check for consumer reviews on Yelp and other sites that post real-life feedback on local companies. An HVAC company should hire technicians who are certified by North American Technician Excellence. A NATE certification signifies a firm believes in hiring employees who are knowledgeable and know their stuff. Ask friends, neighbors...

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