Category Archives: Home Improvement

best home improvements for every month of the year greater comfort

Best Home Improvements for Every Time of the Year

Owning a house is a wonderful and rewarding thing—especially during the holidays. Being able to comfortably gather with friends and family always reminds us that our house isn’t just a house, but a home.

That said, you know that it isn’t always a walk in the park to keep it in tip-top shape…or, sometimes you simply purchase a home knowing you want to make changes to it later on! (Doesn’t it seem like your list of desired improvements and renovations is always growing?)

Let’s chip away at that list! We’ve got some seasonal home improvement ideas in store for you—and we think you’re going to like them.

January through March

Get your paint brushes out. While you’re cooped up inside, it’s the perfect time to paint a room or two! You’d be surprised what a new coat of paint can do for the look of your home. Plus, the crisp winter air works well for curing paint, so be sure to crack a window open in the process (1).

Give your carpets and rugs a deep clean. As you probably already know, your flooring takes quite the hit in the winter. All of the mud, snow, and salt that you track in can really dirty up your carpet. Tackling these stains in the winter instead of waiting until the spring is a great idea (the longer you wait, the harder the stains are to get out!) (1)

April through June  

Clean out your gutters. Did you know that excess runoff from your gutters can cause serious issues for your home’s foundation? Clogged gutters are typically the culprit for this, being unable to redirect runoff away from the foundation of your home. Try to tackle this one early in the season before rain hits (1).

Add a patio, deck, or outdoor room. Once spring has sprung, it’s normal to want to wash away the winter blues with something new! This is a great time to spruce up your home with an outdoor addition. Because the ground is softer in the spring, it’s easier to build a deck which requires some digging. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy the finished product in the summer months! (2)

July through September

Ready your home for winter..NOW! Maybe it’s the pipes or wires around the home. Or maybe it’s damage from humidity that you can tackle during these months. You also want to be sure that any problems on your roof are taken care of now, since the colder winter months are coming and those problems will only get worse!

Refurbish your home’s exterior. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and get outside! Whether it be replacing the windows, buying new shudders, or painting the house exterior, you’ll be pleased with a fresh new look (1).

October through December  

Remodel the bathroom. Most contractors’ schedules tend to slow down during these months, so it’s the perfect time to hire one for a small project. Because they can tackle a bathroom remodel relatively quickly during this season, it’ll be all ready for the holidays! (1)

Swap out old appliances for new ones. The newest models of higher priced appliances like dishwashers and stoves tend to premier during this season, which means the older ones will go on sale. And sometimes, holiday sales will start early—so keep your eyes peeled! (1)

Greater Comfort: We’re Here to Help Your Have the Home of Your Dreams

Home improvement doesn’t end at the cosmetics. Ensure that your HVAC system is in great shape. We know you’re doing your regular tune-ups with us, but be sure to change out your air filters regularly, too!

Whether it be for install, repair or tune-up, give us a call today at 859-491-4915.

Sources:

  1. https://www.trulia.com/blog/refinish-hardwood-floors-home-improvement-projects-for-every-month/
  2. https://www.angieslist.com/articles/best-time-year-remodeling-projects.htm
  3. https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/home-renovation-project-timing/
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What Do HVAC Energy Ratings Mean heres what to know

What Do HVAC Energy Ratings Mean?

It’s important to make smart choices when you’re looking to purchase a a new heating and cooling system for your home (or business).

You’ll see various different energy efficiency ratings when you’re browsing among units, and you shouldn’t bypass them. Because they help indicate how much the system will cost to buy and operate, they’re worth reviewing. You may want to consider higher-rated systems, as they will be more efficient in the long run (1).

Confused? We’ll Explain.

If you’re clueless about what these ratings mean, don’t fret, we’ve got you covered!

Let’s talk heat. What’s HSPF? This indicates the ‘Heating Seasonal Performance Factor’ for heat pumps, which is expressed through a ratio. HSPF simply compares the amount of heat produced to the electricity consumed. In simpler terms, it rates the unit’s efficiency over an entire season.

To put these terms into perspective, the minimum required HSPF for heat pumps manufactured after 2015 is 8, while the highest possible HSPF is 10 (1). The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit.

Gas furnace? You’ll want to know about AFUE. The ratings for gas furnaces differ slightly from heat pumps. The AFUE, or ‘Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency’ ratio measures the percentage of heat generated for every dollar of fuel used. This is similar to the miles-per-gallon standard on your car—the higher your AFUE, the less you’ll dish out for heating costs (1, 4).

Efficiency Ratings: The Basics

First, what does SEER mean? This rating stands for ‘Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio’ and is the most widely used efficiency measurement among air conditioners.  Similar to HSPF, it compares the amount of electrical input needed to run the A/C over an entire season to how much cooling the unit provides (1,2). To put it simply, a higher SEER rating means higher efficiency. A 16-SEER unit is typically a viable choice for those looking for higher efficiency without breaking the bank (3).

Next up: EER. EER means ‘Energy Efficiency Ratio.” Unlike SEER, which assigns ratings based upon a lower operating temperature of 82 degrees, EER measures performance based on higher temperatures, typically above 95 degrees. This rating tests the unit based on how well it can perform under maximum cooling capacity, and also considers humidity removal (2).

So, which one should you keep an eye out for when it comes to A/C shopping? Well, both! It’s important not to bypass one efficiency rating for the other. Just because a particular unit has a high SEER rating, doesn’t mean that it will have a high EER rating—and vice versa.

Since most people will need an air conditioner than performs well in both circumstances (warm days, and hot, humid days), it will be helpful to investigate both ratings (2).

We’ll Help You Make the Best Choice

If you had to try to take away one thing from this article, remember that your system’s performance is measured by a higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio (your SEER) and energy efficiency ratio (your EER). Higher ratings usually translate to lower operating costs, but they also are going to be more to purchase (1).

Making the switch to a new HVAC system is an important decision—and we want to make sure that you’re making the right one! Have a question about which system might be best for you? Give us a call!

If you are ready to take action and discuss your heating and cooling needs with a Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky expert, now is the time to call. Contact the experts at Greater Comfort today to ensure that your HVAC systems are in excellent shape this winter: 859-491-4915.

Sources:

  1. https://www.angieslist.com/articles/what-do-hvac-energy-efficiency-ratings-mean.htm
  2. https://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/publications/pubdocs/HeatingCoolingGuide%20FINAL_9-4-09.pdf
  3. https://asm-air.com/airconditioning/what-is-a-good-seer-rating/
  4. https://www.lennox.com/buyers-guide/guide-to-hvac/energy-ratings
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indoor air quality tips for businesses by greater comfort hvac

Indoor Air Quality for Your Office

As much as we’d love for summer to be year-round, fall is upon us. Back to school, back to work, back to a routine!

Instead of spending lots of time outdoors enjoying the sun, you’ll probably be indoors (working hard, of course!) for the most part. This means that you’ll want to ensure your office has excellent air quality. Feeling comfortable is important, but breathing in clean, well filtered air is also just as important.

It’s easy to switch up the temp when you feel uncomfortable. However, improving air quality is a tougher problem to tackle. That’s why we have some tips in store for you! Continue reading

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6 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value

maximize-the-value-of-your-home-with-your-furnace

When you’ve maintained your furnace well, you’ve set yourself up to get the approval of a would-be buyer.

What’s more is that realtors will tell you that the absence of proof that you’ve been maintaining your furnace can reduce the value of your home.

In theory, if you upgrade your furnace, the value of your home also increases by the full amount of the upgrade cost. But in reality, purchasing a new furnace doesn’t always increase the amount someone will pay when it comes to buying your home. Realtors tell you, however, that is does contribute to your home’s level of attractiveness to buyers. Continue reading

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What to Know About Home Automation

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We can now use technology in and around the home to simplify our lives, improve safety, and reduce energy costs.

Home automation can be personalized and used to whatever degree of involvement you, as the homeowner, desires.

Most commonly, these systems control things like lighting, home theater or entertainment systems, appliances, security systems, door locks, outdoor sprinkler systems as well as features to manage energy efficiency. Any piece of electronic equipment that can be controlled remotely or programmed to work automatically falls under the general concept of what’s now generally called “home automation” (1). Continue reading

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