As we head into spring, the activities we’re involved with start to increase. It might be Reds games, holiday parties, weddings, graduations, or family cookouts. Whatever it may be, there’s much to do in the Cincinnati region this time of year. With all the opportunity for social activities, many of us are spending less time indoors.
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!
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
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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
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.
Summer brings family barbecues, trips to the pool, and rising temperatures.
Knowing the heat of summer is here, we uncover 4 ways you can be sure to beat the heat and avoid overpaying on your energy bill.
1. Start managing your windows.
You read that right: it is time to start managing your windows to take control of the summer heat. When possible, utilize energy-efficient window coverings that allow natural light to come in, but prevent solar heat gain in your home.
During the day, keep windows closed. If you then open them at night—that is, when it is a cool night—be sure to close them early in the morning. Last, place houseplants in front of your sunniest windows to help naturally absorb some of the sun’s rays coming in to your home.
2. Check your air conditioning & cooling system’s efficiency.
The Greater Comfort Heating & Cooling experts can help you consider and evaluate what it would mean to upgrade to a higher-efficiency unit. As much as 50 percent of people would be able to save money by switching to a high efficiency unit.
We can also make sure you have installed and set up a programmable thermostat. This alone can save 10 percent on heating and cooling over the course of a year. Also, one of the fastest ways to save energy on home cooling is to clean and replace your cooling unit’s filters. In some cases, you need to change your filters as much as once every three months.
3. Look at how you ventilate.
Ventilation is one of the least expensive ways to cool your home. Depending in your needs, natural ventilation, fans, and whole house fans are options. Natural ventilation will rely on wind to cool your home and is a fit for those who live in cooler climates. Fans, as you are aware, help you cool off in certain areas of your home.
Fans won’t cool your entire home by any means, but it is a great solution to help raise the thermostat but still let you be comfortable. Check to make sure that your fan is blowing wind downwards—not upwards, which wouldn’t do you any good! Last, whole house fans work to pull air in through your windows and exhaust it through the home’s attic and roof. Be sure to take advantage of your bathroom fans when you shower or when you cook. These help in removing the heat and humidity in your home.
4. Contact the Greater Comfort Heating & Cooling team.
Common air conditioning problems include issues with your refrigerant, sensor, thermostat, drainage or even your filters—all of which we can identity and work to quickly fix. Ask us about how we can help your home performance in other ways, including:
- Duct inspection & repair
- Insulation upgrades
- Vents you can close
- Other thermostat-related issues you may be unaware of
Our maintenance program brings well-trained technicians to your home to find and fix any problems with your air conditioning system. It is our goal to work with you to fix any inefficiencies in your cooling system! We examine airflow, check for seal duct leakage in central systems, your coils, capacitors, compressor and refrigerant. As much as 5 to 15 percent of your efficiency can be lost if you do not maintain the A/C.
- Energy Saver Infographic
When storms are present, you can expect to see lightening and with lightening, damage. Unfortunately for homeowners, lightening can damage your AC unit or heat pump pretty quickly. Here are a few tips to help when lightening strikes your AC unit.
Document the Storm For Insurance
If you have homeowners insurance, be sure and document when the storm took place and take pictures of any damage. It is important to have as much evidence and documentation as possible.
Inspect the Thermostat and Circuit Breakers
The first thing you should do is inspect your thermostat to see if it is still working. You may need to replace batteries or check the circuit breaker to make sure it’s not tripped. If the circuit breaker keeps tripping off, you need to call Greater Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning. If the thermostat stays on, adjust the temperature so that the unit comes on.
See If The Unit Turns On
You can listen for the fan inside and the condenser outside to turn on. If the fan isn’t working and the circuit breakers are fine, call your Air Conditioning repair service technician. Outside, there may be circuit breakers next to your condenser. Make sure these are on and not tripping. If you can’t get the unit to run or it keeps tripping the breaker, you need some air conditioning repair, call Greater Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning.
When Lightening Strikes Close By
You can experience a surge in your electric that can really mess up your Heating and Air Conditioning as well as other electrical or plumbing components in your house. Sometimes the damage doesn’t show up right away and if your not home, you may not realize it was storm related. You can always call Greater Comfort for a full inspection of your Heating and air conditioning systems to make sure your systems are operating properly. Although it is impossible to diagnose future problems, some tests can detect deficiencies in how your system is running. Unfortunately, once a claim is made to insurance, even if another problem occurs down the road, it cannot be included later.
When it comes to protecting your AC, you might want to turn the system off in severe weather. If you have any questions about what to do when lightening strikes your AC unit, call the experts at Greater Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning and they can help answer your questions and address your concerns. If you need an AC repairman, they have factory trained technicians who can provide you with friendly competent service.
Your air conditioner is an electrical system: it draws power to run the motors that operate its compressor and fans from your home’s electrical supply. The thermostat that allows you to communicate with your air conditioner also runs on electricity. AC’s can develop many types of mechanical problems from wear and tear if they do not receive proper maintenance—leaking coils, burnt-out compressors, misaligned fans—but they can also experience electrical troubles similar to the ones that occur in other appliances in your home.
Unless you have an electrical repair background and know the specific requirements of air conditioners, you won’t have the ability to properly repair most electrical problems with an AC. When you have an air conditioning system on the fritz because of electrical issues, get Newport, KY air conditioning repair specialists to take care of it. Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.® is ready 24 hours a day to get you re-wired for comfort.
Common electrical troubles to watch for:
The simple things: If your AC suddenly stops running, check that it’s connected to a power source. Then see if any circuit breaker has tripped. Go to the thermostat and make sure you have set it correctly.
Thermostat trouble: A digital thermostat gives you superior comfort control and energy savings. But digital thermostats contain complex electrical wiring, and if they fail you will either have a malfunctioning thermostat that turns the AC on and off at the wrong times, or a thermostat that won’t work at all. Thermostat problems are localized fixes that professionals can handle with ease—but don’t try to do the work yourself.
Improper voltage: If your air conditioner repeatedly trips circuit breakers, the issue may be that your AC’s power requirements do not match your home’s power supply. If an AC receives excessive voltage, it will burn out an internal safety fuse, and you’ll need a professional to replace it. The professional can also install a voltage regulator to prevent future problems. Voltage that’s too low for the AC will also trigger trouble, making your air conditioner “hard start” each time it turns on; this will wear the system down and lead to major repairs. The worst case scenario is your air conditioner will need a full replacement. (This is one of the reasons you should always rely on a dependable, professional company to perform AC installation; they’ll make sure your air conditioner is the right fit for your home.)
Work with electricity always carries the danger of shock, as well as causing damage to other wiring that will compound your troubles. Unless you have a few tripped circuit breakers or an unplugged system, put electrical work into the good hands of trained technicians. Your Newport, KY air conditioning repair work will be in great hands with Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.®
Your air conditioning system recirculates air from your home and pulls in air from outside to cool your home. All of this air can be carrying dust and dirt particles that can damage your air conditioner over time. We wanted to share some of the most common problems that his can cause so that our customers are aware of what’s going on with their system.
Call the Cincinnati air conditioning repair experts at Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.® today if you need any type of AC services for your home.
Common Air Conditioning Issues Caused by Dust and Dirt
While your air conditioner does have an air filter in it, it will not be able to catch all of the he dust and dirt that gets pulled into the system. Here are a few of the issues that can develop because of that.
- Clogged air filter – Probably the most common cause of air conditioning repair is a clogged air filter. A clogged air filter will restrict the flow of air through your system and cause a number of problems including reduced cooling in your home, increased wear and tear, reduced efficiency and possibly an increase in repairs.
- Motor issues – Your air conditioner uses two different fans to cool your home: one inside and one in the outdoor condensing unit. If dirt and dust get clogged in the motors it could cause them to malfunction. You could notice that you aren’t getting enough air through your registers or that you aren’t getting enough cooling.
- The coils – Your AC has two sets of coils: one inside called the evaporator coils and one set outside called the condensing coils. The evaporator coils absorb heat out of your home’s air while the condensing coils exhaust that heat to the outside air. If these coils get dirty it can restrict their ability to absorb or exhaust heat which could reduce your home’s comfort and your efficiency.
Call Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.® today for air conditioning repair services in Cincinnati.
When something seems awry with an air conditioner—unusual odors coming from the vents, strange sounds when starting up, uneven levels of cooling—people always hope it’s something easy to fix that they can do themselves. Or they hope that there really isn’t a problem, and the issue will simply go away. But as advanced as modern air conditioners have become, they aren’t self-repairing, and for the most part, you shouldn’t try to do repairs yourself. Air conditioning systems of today are intricate machines that requires knowledgeable technicians to handle major problems.
When you think you need air conditioning repair in Cincinnati, Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.® is on-call 24/7 to help you.
A common problem you may encounter with your AC is dirty coils. Air conditioners have two coils that perform important work. The indoor coil (the evaporator coil) absorbs heat from your home to cool it down. The outside coil (the condenser coil) releases the heat to the outside. If either coil becomes clogged with dust, it restricts the exchange of air. This will result in your air conditioner needing to work harder to reach its target temperature, and you may notice the air coming from the blower isn’t as cool as it should be. An overworked AC is less energy-efficient and also prone to mechanical failures because of the extra wear. A dirty evaporator coil can also start to ice over, further impairing the system.
You need to get dirty coils cleaned as soon as possible. But this isn’t a do-it-yourself opportunity where you can tear open the unit, spray cleaner onto the coils, and wipe them down with a towel. Any time you open the air conditioner cabinet, you risk accidentally damaging the precision components that need to work together to provide you with cool air. Also, the coils must be removed from their position to get a thorough cleaning, and you should leave this to an expert technician so you don’t lose refrigerant, the chemical compound flowing through the AC. A technician will cut the refrigerant lines before removing the coil, and later restore any lost refrigerant charge.
Don’t delay in dealing with a dirty coil—it could be costing you money and damaging other parts of your AC. Call our technicians at Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.® for your Cincinnati air conditioning repair needs.