Tag Archives: Air conditioning repair repair Union

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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Going On Vacation? Here Are the Top Energy Efficiency Tips for Your Home

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Are you taking a vacation this summer?

Vacation is a great time to relax and unwind. And how much better would it be if you came back to a smaller electric bill that month? Add these quick and easy energy-saving tips to your packing and prep list to save a little money while you are away!

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12 Fun Facts that Will Surprise You About Air Conditioning

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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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Learn the Benefits of an HVAC Zoning System

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With a home zoned heating and cooling system, you can customize the comfort of each part of your house. That also means you can cut down on wasted energy, especially in rooms that you barely spend any time in!

What is a Home Zone System?

A home zone system is a heating and cooling system that divides the house into different zones, just like it sounds. Each zone typically has a separate thermostat to help manage the heating and cooling of that part of the house.

Each zone also has electronic dampers in the ductwork which can help control the amount of hot or cold air that is sent to each zone.

In order to set up a “zoned home,” you just set each thermostat to the temperature you want for that area, and your system opens or closes the dampers enough to achieve that desired temperature. This way, you are saving money by not over-heating or over-cooling parts of your house that don’t need to be at that temperature. If you’re thinking of your basement, attic, front or back of your house that’s always a different temperature than you’d like – this might be a solution for you!

Here are 4 situations when a zoned home might be a solution for you.

  1. Multi-story homes. Many people have homes that have an upstairs and a lower level. If you do, you are well aware that hot air rises in the home, and as a result your top floors are going to consistently be warmer than your other levels. If you make each floor a zone, you can better control the temperature across your home, which means saved energy and a more comfortable, even temperature no matter what level you are on!
  2. Rooms you don’t often use or spend time in. People with studies, guest rooms, attics, or sometimes even a basement, aren’t always using all the areas of their home on a regular basis. You shouldn’t be paying to cool or heat those areas, just like you are paying to cool or heat areas like the kitchen or your bedroom – areas that you often occupy! When you split your home into zones, you no longer have to spend so much energy to keep those areas at the same temperature as the rest of the house – until you want to.
  3. Different preferences on the desired temperature of the house. Do you have that family member who is always cold, or maybe always warmer than everyone else? Or maybe your house is divided – and some people like it cooler, and some people like it a bit warmer. If this sounds familiar, home zoning is one way to keep everyone happy and at the temperature that makes them feel comfortable!
  4. Sun or large windows that impact the air in your home. North-facing and south-facing rooms have naturally different temperatures, and if you have high ceiling or windows, this can also impact how your home is naturally being heated or cooled. In the past, you may have found that customizing each area of the home would almost be impossible because of these factors. Now, with home zoning , you can have different temperature control zones that give you greater control of your comfort but also reduce your energy consumption.

But is home zoning worth the installation cost, including in an existing home?  

It’s true that home zones are most commonly installed in new construction, or when you are replacing the HVAC units in your home, but remember that they can be cost-effective even as a separate project. Additionally, remember that you comfort can be greatly impacted, which can be worth that investment.

Ready to keep every area of your home at the right temperature?

Home zone systems come in a variety of costs and configurations. They include an electronic damper installed into the ductwork for each zone, controlled by a thermostat located in the zone, and wired through a central control panel.

Generally speaking, some also include redesigning of the ductwork layout to improve your zone efficiency, and more advanced devices to balance the air pressure in the ducts and for other improvements to the process. In a large home, or in some cases, in historic/older homes where comfort throughout the house is hard to achieve, two separate heating and cooling systems can be installed to further increase efficiency.

Call Greater Comfort For Your Indoor Comfort Needs

By having the experts at Greater Comfort take a look at your home, we can help you find the solution that can give you greater control over the temperature in your home. Want to learn more? Give the experts at Greater Comfort a call today at 859-491-4915.

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Buying a Home? Here’s What to Look for to Ensure Ultimate Comfort

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We’ve talked about – both in the short-term, and the long-term – how to take care of your HVAC as you prepare your home to sell. But what about when you are on the opposite end, and you are looking to buy a home? What are the things to look for in a heating and cooling system when you’re considering buying a home?

Here we breakdown a list of some of the top things to look for, and steps to take as you look for a new home.

1. Find out the system’s warranty and/or protection plan.

Many leading brands offer warranties on their systems. First, you want to check that the homeowners have done all they can do so that this warranty is still valid. Second, eventually you want to see the details and some sort of proof of that protection plan or warranty so you know what kind of potential costs or what type of system plan you’re inheriting.

2. Ask for the system history.

While this might not always be available, many homeowners will keep track of their system’s history – in part because they know they may one day sell their home. (That tells you it might be a good idea, as a current homeowner, to keep an organized account of all the ongoing maintenance you perform on your system, assuming you one day intend to sell your home.)

While maintenance doesn’t necessarily mean you will avoid emergencies or costly repairs, it does tell you that certain necessary maintenance has been performed on your system – and that’s great for peace of mind.

Many homeowners will be happy to share with you the regular maintenance they have performed on their home and/or any repairs done on the system. They keep track of that because they want to show you the system has as much as value as possible; for you, as the potential home buyer, it’s good to see more information that helps you better value the current state of the system.

3. Take note if there are carbon monoxide detectors in the home.

A lack of carbon monoxide detectors does not impact your purchase decision – but it is something to look for. Keep in mind if these aren’t present in the home, you’ll likely want to add them.

4. Don’t forget your home inspection.

It’s hard to believe you would forget it, but be sure not to! Once you’re serious about potentially purchasing a home, you’ll want to do a home inspection – not just to take a look at the heating and cooling system, but to look at many of the other potential issues within the home. These experts are trained to look for things that the current home owner may not want to disclose, or that the current home owner may simply not even be aware of.

While more and more people see this is a critical part of the home purchase process, you still hear stories of people who neglected to have an expert inspect a home before purchasing it. While it’s mandatory for many people getting a loan, be sure not to forget this part of your home buying process.

When a certified technician takes a look at your potential furnace, they are able to tell you the condition of it, and they can give a better idea if long-term maintenance really has properly and consistently occurred. No matter what an owner tells you, an expert is there to tell you what they believe will happen in the future in terms of necessary repairs or even replacement.

If your home owner inspector tells you that you’ll need to repair the system in the very near future, you’ll want to take that into consideration before purchasing the home – or in the eventual purchase price of the home, it should be reflected. Most homeowners recognize the value of a furnace – just like how most home buyers recognize the value as well.

If your home inspector tells you that expensive repairs or that replacement is needed, give us a call so that we can help you be more informed and know more about your options. Even if you don’t anticipate buying a new furnace in the near future, any time you can plan ahead it makes the entire process easier.

Ensure Ultimate Comfort in Your Next Home

There are quite a few factors that go into the purchase of new home – the size, the location and other critical components of the property are just a few of the factors we tend to focus on. Don’t forget the importance of finding out key details that relate to your heating and cooling system, which can keep your family safe and comfortable in your new home.

If you consider these 4 tips you’ll have greater peace of mind, and greater comfort, in your next home. Give the experts at Greater Comfort a call today at 859-491-4915 if you need help finding out the potential costs of a new system.

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Top Signs Your Air Conditioning System May Need Repair

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What are some of the top signs your AC is broken or may need a repair of some kind? Here we break down 5 things you shouldn’t ignore as we head into spring.

1. Your unit is cycling on and off.

Depending on the system, if your unit is always cycling on and off – especially if you can’t ever seem to see the thermostat showing you’re at the desired temperature for your home – it’s time to have a professional check your thermostat and your system. There’s a chance you may need the fan, condenser, or possibly the evaporator unit cleaned, and there could be another issue worth a look for an expert.

2. There’s water near your system.

If you see water near your HVAC or have reason to believe that water is leaking near your system, you could have a serious issue with the drain line, or another problem that is worth looking into.

While it might start off as a small leak, if you catch it early, you could avoid a big problem since some leaks can result in significant water damage to your home. While the source of the problem could be the drain line, an expert can help you see if its clogged, disconnected, if the issue is related to the condensate pump, a clogged air filter, low refrigerant, or a ductwork issue. As you can see, there’s quite a few reasons that mean you should take any signs of water leakage seriously.

3. Your utility bills have skyrocketed – with no reason known to you.

If you’re like many homeowners, you watch your utility bill, in part because you want to be able to ensure you are saving money when possible. Keeping a watch on your utility bill is also a great idea because any spike in your costs can be a sign that your system is operating inefficiently. Whether you forgot your spring tune-up or your condensing coil is having an issue, or something completely separate, we can find the reason your system isn’t working properly.

4. You’re hearing abnormal noises.

If you’re system is running as it should, sound should be minimal. In fact, in our newest models, many people are surprised just how quiet and efficient the models really are – during startup and throughout day-to-day operation. If your system is making noises—especially loud noises you’ve never heard before—there could be an issue. If you have disconnected parts or a motor that’s showing signs of wear, it could be reason to give us a call.

5. There seems to be a lack of fresh air or just a more uncomfortable home.

If you feel like you’re just not quite as comfortable as you once were, make note. When the temperature increases, so does the humidity in your home. That same humidity can cause damage to your furniture and encourage mold growth in your home. Altogether, increased temperatures and decreased air quality can be felt in the home if your system isn’t working like it should be. But year-to-year, even if there is a difference in how hot it gets outside, you should still have even, consistent airflow.

Remember that excess humidity wears on wood furniture in particular and can do damage to upholstery, especially on certain kinds of furniture, including vintage furniture, that has not been treated to handle it. Another major problem when the humidity rises is mold growth. Mold needs a moist environment to grow, and while humidity alone is not always enough, these conditions make it nearly impossible for bathrooms to properly dry.

If you feel like the air in your home is thicker than normal, or you see signs of mold growth, then you have more evidence your system isn’t working properly.

Get Ultimate Comfort with Greater Comfort

We install top-op-of-the line HVAC systems, dehumidifiers and we provide a full range of ongoing maintenance services. We are on-call 24/7 for emergency repairs if you ever need them. Give us a call today at 859-491-4915.

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Are Furnace Inspections Really Necessary?

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If you find yourself asking this question, the answer is a big YES, you do need regular maintenance by a certified HVAC expert!

The benefits of getting regular maintenance include that you will extend the life of your system, you will save energy, you will keep your family as safe as possible and can you can reduce other health related-risks.

Recall that part of what a furnace inspection does is make sure you have no carbon monoxide leaks. Because carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, it’s hard for homeowners to know or detect that these may exist in the home. These leaks lead to symptoms like nausea, dizziness, and headaches, but they can also lead to death.

Approximately 500 people die each year, and 15,000 people are taken to emergency rooms due to carbon monoxide exposure—even though this could have bee preventable in most cases. (Source.)

Also, many HVAC systems also require regular maintenance in order for the warranty to be valid. Despite how manufacturer’s insist that maintenance is necessary for our HVAC system, as much as 3 out of 4 service calls in the fall and winter months because of no heat were related to a lack of system maintenance, according to Angie’s List. That means that as much as 75 percent of those no-heat calls potentially could have been avoided with regular maintenance by qualified professionals.

HVAC Maintenance Program by Greater Comfort

Not only are you keeping your family safe and saving money when we make sure your system is running as efficiently as possible, we will check and record the following:

  • Check evaporator fan motor amp draws
  • Verify proper manifold gas pressure
  • Check induced draft motor amp draw
  • Verify all safety’s
  • Clean flame rod (if applicable)
  • Check heat exchanger
  • Inspect flue and fresh air make–up
  • Inspect contractors
  • Electric resistance heating elements
  • Disconnects & wiring
  • Tightening all electrical connections
  • Verify proper thermostat operation & program

So Do I Really Need To Call my HVAC?

Again, if you want to make a small investment for the life of your HVAC system and to help ensure you don’t have an emergency situation when the cold temperatures hit, the right thing to do is to set up your maintenance with a qualified and trusted HVAC expert.

When you go to call your HVAC to get your tune-up, be sure that what you are getting is a comprehensive maintenance program. In other words, do a bit of research before you buy or agree to a contract/service visit. What you don’t want is to only receive service for one or a few items on the list you see above. Also be sure that you are contacting a qualified, trained technician.

In the end, it really isn’t just about safety—although that should be a compelling reason, too—but it is about preventative maintenance.

Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and Southeastern Indiana Residents Turn to Greater Comfort

If you are looking for a reliable and trustworthy Heating & Air Conditioning Company, check out our exceptional reviews here, and give Greater Comfort a call today.

Source/Reference

  • http://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-often-should-you-have-furnace-inspection.htm
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The Ultimate Fall Maintenance Checklist

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Maintaining your heating and cooling system will help you combat unwanted costs and avoidable system failures. Of course calling for your fall tune-up is a vital step, where we come and check the gas or oil connections, your gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger, and much more, to make sure you stay comfortable year-round.

Change Your Filters

When your furnace is forced to “work harder” to pull the air through, the more it will cost you, so be sure to replace your furnace filters on a monthly basis (or as your qualified HVAC professional tells you to do, depending on the climate where you live and your system).

Check the Fireplace

Have a professional check your chimney, clean when needed, and make sure the fireplace is working as it should.

Take a Look at Your Furnace!

Make sure nothing is near the furnace that shouldn’t be, such as something that could be flammable. Give the furnace a dust if it looks like it needs one!

Ask us About Sealing & Insulating

With winter around the corner, ask us about our recommendatinos for how you can insulate and seal air leaks. Whether those air leaks be in the attic, basement, a crawlspace, or around your windows and doors, you will notice the difference with these spaces taken care of.

Check That Your Carbon Monoxide Detector is Working

When you go to change out your air filter, just add one more thing to your list—checking the CO Detector. Yes, your furnace inspection is important to make sure your heat exchanger is not leaking, and a CO Detector is not meant to replace a tune-up, but this is a safety precaution to consider.

Regular System Checkups

You knew this had to be on the list! Regular maintenance is what you must do to make sure your furnace will run optimally, and when you need it most. This will save you money due to reduced energy requirements, keep you comfortable, and keep your intake pipe clear.

Look Outside the Home

Depending in your system, you may need to look at the exhaust and intake pipes that are on the exterior part of your home. Ask us for more information, but you want to make sure the  area around these pipes are clean from debris.

When You Have a Programmable Thermostat…Use it!

Being able to control your energy means you can better control your bill each month, as well as have a better sense of the demands you are putting on your system over time. Ask us if you have more questions about how to find comfort using a programmable thermostat. During your tune-up, we will ensure your thermostat is working as it should.

Consider Your Shades

Do you close your curtains or shades during the night? Give it a try and then you can open them back up during the day.

Need more reasons to take care of your home this Fall as you prepare for winter?  Here’s just a few reasons:

  • You can work to reduce allergy-causing pollutants
  • Ensure you don’t have carbon monoxide or gas leaks
  • Ensure you don’t have any disconnected or leaky fuel lines or connections
  • Ensuring your air flow is what it should be

Do your best to prevent any surprises. Call Greater Comfort to schedule a visit at your convenience 859-491-4915.

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The Top Benefits of a Ductless Cooling & Heating System

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What are the advantages of a ductless system over a forced air system?

Recall that just as it sounds, rather than having ducts that run throughout your entire home, ductless systems give you zoned cooling and heating. We setup units that are strategically installed to optimize cooling and heating efforts with efficiency and control.

Ductless mini-split systems can also be used in single zone or multi-zone applications. Besides being attractive and quiet, systems can be built based on your needs and your home’s layout.

A ductless cooling and heating system helps you save money, stay comfortable, and even be healthier as a family. Read on to see the other benefits of being able to customize your home temperature to your exact needs.

Cost savings.

We might call it efficiency, but as a home owner, that equates to saving money! You already know how your cooling & heating is responsible for more than half of your energy bill each year. Because a ductless system can help you save up to 30 percent of your energy costs, you have huge potential for savings.

Eco-friendly.

While it might no be the major reason you decide to go ductless, it’s still good to know: ask us about our systems that are as much as 40 percent more efficient than window units. Ductless means you can target the areas you want hotter or cooler, meaning you really do have more control over all aspects of your system. Largely considered one of the most eco-friendly systems you can adopt today, this means you can stay comfortable, cool, and still do your part for the environment.

Easier to maintain.

Not only are ductless systems easy to install, but they are easy to maintain. Filters can also last up to 10 years so that means you won’t have to replace them very often. Filters for a ductless system are easy to remove and you can typically even rinse them in the sink to clean.

Cleaner air.

Say goodbye to indoor air-caused allergies! We’ve talked before about the dust, pollen, bacteria and stale air within the home that can do harm to your family’s health. A ductless system is able to purify the air and remove these pollutants.

Ultimate comfort.

Consider how a split-ductless provides you with temperature control in the rooms your family uses most. Or, look at it the opposite way: you no longer have to waste energy cooling or heating the rooms that you don’t spend a lot of time in.

Combine efficiency, targeting capabilities, and flexibility and you get a comfortable family!

A ductless system clearly has many benefits over a conventional system. Ask us for more information if you’d like to compare costs and see what your optimal options are.

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Want Allergy Relief? Your Quick Guide to Air Purification

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When it comes to air purification and filtration, modern filtration systems work to purify your air. That’s both maintenance, and preventative in nature.

Air filtration also works to “undo” the fact that the average house has a build-up of contaminants.

That’s because we can have excess moisture in our homes, or we can have heating and cooling systems that end up circulating dust and bacteria in the home. Many of us have pets that contribute to poorer air quality, and smoking also adds toxins into the air we are breathing. When we open doors or even windows, pollen and other allergens are then introduced and “trapped” inside the home.

Ask any homeowner if they want clean and healthy air, and not surprisingly, you will hear, “Yes!” Here are 4 types of air purification to know about for your home.

1. Ionizing Purifiers

Ionizing purifiers use corona discharge to create molecules that are called ions. Molecules that pass through this electric field are ionized. When a particle in the air is charged, it will then attract to something of the opposite charge. The purifier then works to attract the particles, causing them to cluster together and settle out of the air.

2. Adsorbents

Adsorbent material can be found in many air purifiers; the process is what it sounds like, helping to get rid of fumes, chemicals or odors we have in the air. Adsorption, not to be confused with absorption, is where one substance is trapped on the surface of another. In this way, substances can be separated.

3. UV Light

UV light is a part of some air purifiers. The UV light makes certain microorganism sterile, eliminating certain airborne virus and bacteria in the process.

4. Filters

Air cleaners are filters that simply work by passing air through a filter to remove particles. This works to remove particles from the air and it also prevents damage or lack of efficiency in the furnace.

Just like there are many air purifiers, there are many subcategories of air filters. A catechin filter is a filter that many people are interested in, and it works to ensure the air in your home (or building) is just that: clean, fresh, and as healthy for you as possible. The upside to it all is that the catechin filter doesn’t require the maintenance that filters did in years past.

Catechin pre-filtration starts as a large pre-filter collects odors that exist in your home. What also comes during so-called pre-filtration is the inactivation of viruses and bacteria in your home. That’s where the word “catechin” comes from. The pre-filter contains catechin, which is an element found in green tea that acts as an antibacterial and also a deodorizer.

People like to call this filtering method natural air filtration. Not only is it natural, the filters are easy to remove and they are long-lasting.

Filters can actually be quite complex, and this is just one sub-category. Keep in mind there are also filters designed for odor removal, such as Platinum Deodorizing filters. Remember that maintenance of any filter is required, and an integral part in the process of working to get the cleanest and purest possible indoor air. 

Did you know that indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental health risks we have in the US? (Source: EPA.) Since most of us spend 90 percent of our time indoors, the good news is that we can do something about it thanks to air cleaners/purifiers and advanced filters we have available.

Ask us about air filtration or purification that can help you fight to minimize your allergies, no matter the season.

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