Category Archives: Air Conditioning

avoid costly mistakes in your home_greater comfort newport hvac

Don’t Make This Costly Mistake with Your Water Heater

We all know that utility bills can add up quickly. It’s easy to find a home or apartment and think that the mortgage payment or monthly rent will be the bulk of your expenses. Although we wish it was, that’s not always the case.

Utility expenses can spike up to $200, $300, or sometimes even up to $500 each month. Yikes!

You might typically take caution in your electricity or AC usage when you’re trying to save, but do you ever consider the effects of your heated water usage? It might come as a surprise to you that water heating can make up roughly 12 percent of a home’s utility expenses, which is the largest block behind area heating and cooling (3).

Luckily, we’re here to help you cut down on that. Continue reading

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landscape for shade

How to Landscape for Shade (And Lower Your Energy Bills)

Is your yard looking a little…well, boring? You might want to consider adding some shady dimension. In addition to jazzing up the look of your area, it will also keep you cool on those hot, sunny days.

However, landscaping a few shady spots outside your home can do more than just add beauty to your yard and cool you off. It’s also a sneaky way to save some money by fighting off sunlight and thus lowering your energy bill.

Here are a couple different landscaping tricks that can save you a few bucks. (Thank us later!)

1. Shade Your Outdoor AC Unit

If you place your AC unit directly out in the sun, it will heat up quickly. This constant heat will cause your system to work harder.

Luckily, some landscaping can help alleviate some heat from the sunlight. Because your unit needs sufficient room for airflow, you don’t want to suffocate your unit with bedding plants. However, it is a good idea to plant a tree or shrub nearby to add some shade (1).

2. Make the Breeze Come to You

Did you know that you can redirect outdoor airflow to cool down your home? Trees and plants can provide shade and usher in cool breezes. Shrubs planted underneath windows can bring air upward with the help of a nearby tree. Rows of trees and shrubs on each side of your home can allow cool air to enter your home as well (1, 4).

3. Add Some Greenery to Cover Your Roof and Walls

As you might guess, your roof absorbs the most solar heat because it takes in the most direct sunlight. But did you know that tall shady trees that block this sunlight can cut your energy bill by nearly 20% in the summer? That’s quite a bit!

The best way to do this is by planting tall trees on the south and west sides of your home. Deciduous trees with broad leaves and high, spreading crowns are an excellent pick if you’re looking to improve your energy bill for two reasons: they’ll shade your home in the summer, and they’ll allow sunlight to heat your home in the winter once the leaves fall. Win, win.

If you’re too impatient to wait for trees to grow, a great alternative is to opt for a pergola or trellis, draping it with fast-growing vines. Although this won’t provide as much shade for your roof, it will certainly provide ample shade for the walls of your home (and it will look nice!) (1,2).

4. Cool Off with a Splash

Okay, so this one doesn’t add any shade to your yard, but it does help cool down your area. Adding a water feature adds some fun dimension and can help lower your energy bill. If you have room for a fountain or pond, the evaporation from the water can actually help cool your yard (1).

5. Play Around with Bushes and Shrubs

In addition to adding a little style to your yard, bushes and shrubs strategically placed around your walls and windows can reduce some of the solar heat that creeps into your home. Try planting some alongside the walls of your house, switching up the heights and type each plant for lots of shade. Get creative with this! (3)

Give us a Call for Your HVAC Needs

We’re pretty well versed in the world of HVACs; that’s why there’s more where this article came from. In addition to helping you save on your energy bill through some neat landscaping tricks, we can help you save in lots of other ways.

If you have questions about your HVAC, or would like to schedule a regular maintenance visit, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Call the experts at Greater Comfort today to ensure that your home is as comfortable as possible this summer: 859-491-4915.

Sources:

  1. http://www.improvenet.com/a/top-5-ways-landscaping-can-lower-your-energy-bill-in-the-summer
  2. https://energy.gov/energysaver/landscaping-shade
  3. https://colmanair.com/landscaping-tricks-for-lower-electricity-bills/
  4. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/351-cool-your-house-with-smart-landscaping/#.WZEAejOZP6Y
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greater comfort hvac cincinnati

Have A Pet? How Pets Can Impact Your Heating and Cooling System

Of course we all love our furry little friends, but sometimes they make it harder to keep our homes nice and tidy. Their hair gets all over the furniture, they track mud onto the carpet, and sometimes, they have accidents. But hey, at least they’re cute!

You probably didn’t know that your animal can not only put a strain on the cleanliness of your home, but also affect your HVAC system. We’ll fill you in on what happens to your HVAC system, and how to take proper care of it if you do have a pet. Continue reading

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are you using your thermostat the right way

Are You Using Your Thermostat the Right Way?

It wasn’t always as easy as it is today to regulate the temperature within our homes!

Although the first thermostat was invented in 1886, most people didn’t have one until much later. In the beginning of the 20th century, most homes were equipped with manual furnaces.

This meant that each morning, you had to truck down to the basement (where the furnace was typically located) and stoke coal, adjust valves, and situate dampers (1, 2).

It was no walk in the park, to say the least! Continue reading

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Improve Your Home’s Air Quality This Summer: Everything You Want to Know

improve your air quality this summer

If you’re near exhaust gas coming from the back of a vehicle, you probably try to hold your breath until it passes, right? You can visibly see this type of air pollution, so you do your best to avoid it.

Indoors, it’s a little different. Even though it sounds like a no-brainer to make sure you’re breathing clean air, not seeing anything visibly wrong with the air around you might cause you to push the issue aside.

The quality of the air in your home is more important than you think. In fact, according to a study done by the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends 87% of their time indoors (1). That’s a pretty significant chunk of your life, which means it’s critical that you’re breathing in clean air while you’re indoors. Continue reading

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Fast Ways to Lower Your Energy Bill

cincinnati HVAC

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try these quick and easy tips to start seeing energy and cost savings in the near future.

Make Your Landscape Work For You

Look outside the home to save money on costs inside the home. Radiant heat from the sun can be working directly against your air conditioner when your shades and blinds are raised. But if you plant a 6-8 foot deciduous tree near your home, it will start shading your windows as soon as the first year.

Depending on the type of tree and the height of your home, it could start shading your roof in as little as 5-10 years. That’s a quick return on investment, and creates a nice improvement to your landscaping.

Why deciduous? A deciduous tree blocks solar heat in the summer, but since it loses its leaves, will let sunlight and heat into the house during the winter months. Compare that to evergreens, which provide continuous shade, and won’t provide you with a benefit in the cooler months (1,2).

Make The Switch To LED

Have you switched to more energy efficient lighting? Making the switch to this modern option is one of the fastest ways to lowery our energy bill. For example, just by replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures with Energy Star bulbs, you can save $75 per year.

LED bulbs save you the most money. You’ll save at least 75% by switching to this model compared to the traditional incandescent bulbs of the past that are no longer on the market. Even compared with halogen incandescents, LEDs use 25-30% less energy and last up to 25 times longer. For a small investment now, you can enjoy the cost savings on your energy bill for years to come (3).

Fix Air Leaks

For just a few dollars and an hour or two of your time, you could save 10% or more annually on your energy bill. Air leaks can waste energy and money quickly, both in summer months by letting hot air inside, and in winter months with resulting chilly drafts. Patching these leaks is one of the quickest and best money-saving tasks you can accomplish.

Your goal is to caulk, seal and weather strip any cracks or large openings that lead outside the home. When purchasing your caulk, keep in mind that you will likely need about one cartridge to complete the seal on two windows or doors. These tubes of window and door caulk range between $2 and $10.

Don’t forget to pick up a caulking gun to squeeze out the product and ensure proper application. This job will be done in just an hour or two, but you will enjoy the results immediately (1, 4).

Consider Storm Windows

Replacing old windows in your home with new, energy-efficient windows will provide the best return on investment, but will be a costly initial investment. A great alternative for a less expensive option is to use storm windows. Storm windows can still help you save a significant amount: approximately 12-33% on HVAC costs. They work by reducing the air movement into and out of existing windows (5).

Take Advantage Of The Weather

Did the weather man predict a cool night? Take advantage of “natural ventilation”. This type of ventilation relies on the chimney effect to keep a home cool. It works best if your evening forecast includes a cool night and a bit of a breeze. All you need for this quick energy saver is a good memory, the use of your windows and a cool summer night.

Turn off your cooling system and open your windows while you sleep, allowing the fresh, cool air to transfer into your house and giving your AC unit a break. Just don’t forget to shut the windows and blinds when you wake in the morning to capture the cool air inside the house (1,6).

Schedule A Professional Energy Audit

Before you write this off as another unnecessary expense, consider this: The goal of an energy audit from Greater Comfort is to provide an overview of how your home uses energy and find ways that you can reduce consumption without incurring large additional costs.

In other words, we want to help your system work more efficiently so that you can save money. We will determine if your home or building needs upgrades or other specific actions to improve efficiency. You will be given a list with specific action steps and can select those which make the most sense to you.

Call Us To Schedule Your Energy Audit Today

Call the experts at Greater Comfort today to ensure you’re getting the most savings as quickly as possible: 859-491-4915.

Sources:

  1. https://twitter.com/energysaver
  2. https://energy.gov/articles/energy-saver-101-infographic-landscaping
  3. https://energy.gov/energysaver/lighting-choices-save-you-money
  4. https://energy.gov/energysaver/projects/savings-project-how-seal-air-leaks-caulk
  5. https://energy.gov/energysaver/storm-windows?utm_source=nrgsvr_fb&utm_medium=socialpost&utm_campaign=generalpost&utm_content=1
  6. https://energy.gov/energysaver/spring-and-summer-energy-saving-tips
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Summer is Almost Here: Make Sure Your Home Is As Comfortable As Possible

tips to make sure your AC is working effectively greater comfort blog

Summer weather is (almost) upon us, which means enjoying plenty of sunshine and warm days outside! Of course you’ll want to relax inside comfortably when the fun in the sun ends and you head back inside.

Now is the time to prepare for summer; you can take simple steps to make sure your AC is in proper working condition for these next few months and beyond. Continue reading

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This is How to Prep Your Home & Furnace for a New Baby

 

making-the-home-ready-for-babyA new baby means lots of baby-proofing choices to think about: baby gates for the stairs, safety locks on the cabinets, electric plugs for the outlets, moving dangerous items out of reach. What are some other ways you can make your home the most inviting, nurturing, healthy, and safe place as possible to raise your new bundle of joy?

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12 Fun Facts that Will Surprise You About Air Conditioning

air conditioning newport kentucky

We are lucky to be able to get through the dog days of summer without much discomfort. It’s wonderful to be able to sit through a long business lunch in a suit without breaking a sweat—and to come in from an afternoon of yard work and feel the refreshing blast of air greet us at the door. Or to snuggle into our favorite pajamas and not miss a wink because we didn’t have to wake up feeling like we were baking.

Here are some surprisingly cool facts about the innovation that keeps us comfortable during these hot summer days and nights. Continue reading

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