Tag Archives: Furnace

greater comfort cincinnati

Keys to Lower Your Heating Costs This Winter

Cold temperatures have hit the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area in full force. Here are some tips to shave dollars off your energy bill this winter, while still being able to keep the temperature of your home warm and cozy.

Take Advantage Of “Free” Heat

Having a warm and toasty house doesn’t mean you have to run the heating system around the clock. Open the curtains or blinds on your sun-facing windows during the day. This allows natural sunlight and heat to come into the home, and can create quite a large temperature difference on a sunny day. Continue reading

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6 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value

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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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10 Surprising Furnace Facts

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As the temperatures drop, most of us are ready to spend less time outdoors and more time inside where it’s cozy and warm. Thanks to our furnaces, we’re able to do just that.

Here are 10 facts you might not know about furnaces, including where the name “furnace” comes from. Continue reading

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7 Home Heating Myths That Could Be Costing You Money

myths-that-may-be-costing-you-moneyUse these tips to sort fact from fiction during the upcoming winter season to save money on your energy bill.

Myth #1: Cranking the thermostat up higher will make your house warm up faster.

When all you want is to be warm – and FAST – it’s tempting to turn the thermostat up much higher than normal. The thought is that this will warm the house up more quickly. But this is a myth. Your furnace doesn’t – and can’t – pump out more heat just because you set the temperature higher. Continue reading

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How to Prepare Your Home for Spring Storms

We know that Spring weather means storms…storms that are often accompanied with high winds! Even though the weather can be unpredictable and it can change quickly in the Spring, we can be more prepared and safeguard our home by considering these 4 steps.

1. Check your gutters and clean out the built-up debris.

When the warmer weather hits, it’s tempting for us to spend more time outside. While you spend more time outside, consider checking your gutters to see if the winter debris has built up over the cold winter months. In all likelihood, it will be best for you or a professional to clean out your dirty gutter: after all, they are most likely full of leaves, acorns and other winter debris.

With all the other “Spring cleaning” we do, this is one not to forget—even though water-back up can do major damage to our home. Be sure not to ignore the state of your gutters, especially before any heavy rain, or storm!

2. Check your HVAC unit before severe storms hit.

Just like with other preventative measures, the weather in Spring may be unpredictable, but if we take a few proactive steps now, we can save ourselves a lot of issues if bad weather does hit. If the weather report says that a severe storm (or high winds and/or hail in particular) is on its way, and the AC is running, aim to continue to cool your home as much as possible. That’s because if the storm is bad enough, you may not be able to utilize the AC when the storm is passing through.

In less severe weather conditions, there are some other steps you will still want to take. If you have window units and the storm is severe enough, it may call for unplugging them during the storm, depending on the make and model. Of course you want to be sure any and all windows are securely closed, and that blinds and shades are completely drawn before any storm comes through.

Ensure that nothing such as patio furniture or lawn/gardening equipment is too close or near your HVAC unit. If winds get strong enough, chairs, lawn/patio furniture or fixtures, or any other kinds of objects can end up hitting your HVAC. You wouldn’t want any object to hit and damage your unit if you can prevent it from happening! In some cases, you may want to invest in a tarp or protective cover for your outside unit. Ask us for more information when we come to your home for your Spring tune-up.

3. Have basic supplies on hand.

If a power outage were to occur, would you have a basic amount of emergency supplies for you and your family?

It’s never a bad idea to have drinking water, a (transistor or battery-operated) radio of some kind, a first-aid kit, blankets and/or towels, flashlights, or even spare batteries on hand if any major storm hits.

Depending on just how bad the storm is anticipated to be, there may be even more emergency supplies you would want to have on hand—that’s just a list at minimum. Sometimes we have enough warning where we can also be sure that our cell phones are fully charged. Charging our cell phones as much as possible, and then preserving the battery if the electricity goes out is a safety measure that can be in the best interest of your family.

4. Be sure to check your HVAC after any severe storm with high winds and/or hail.

While the first 3 tips are meant to be done before a storm hits, if severe weather hits, you’ll want to take a look at the outside of your home—like your roof—and even inspect your HVAC unit.

Once it is safe to go outside, you want to be sure that your unit is still free of leaves, twigs, pollen, grass, or any other debris that the storm has moved close to the unit. Then, aim to look around your entire home and lawn to be sure no damage has occurred anywhere, not just to your HVAC, but to the rest of the home.

If you experienced extremely high winds or hail, take a close look at the unit itself making sure nothing has damaged it. If you have any concerns while looking over your unit (or hear any unusual sounds you have never heard before coming from the unit), be sure to give us a call.

When the bad weather is long gone, you can move your patio furniture back and adjust the blinds/windows within your home to your liking. These 4 tips may take a bit of time to implement, but in the end, a little bit of maintenance will save you money, help you avoid ugly repairs, and keep your family safe and comfortable.

Call the Experts at Greater Comfort 

Greater Comfort is your local heating and air conditioning company based in Newport, Kentucky. Our furnace and air conditioning experts proudly serve all of Northern Kentucky, Greater Cincinnati and Southeastern Indiana.

Our highly trained technicians bring our special brand of expertise and customer service to every job we perform. Give us a call today for your spring tune-up/maintenance or AC install needs at 859-491-4915.

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The Basics: What to Know About Your Furnace

greater comfort heating and cooling

Any homeowner knows that you want your heating system to be working properly. In the winter months it can become a complete emergency if we have to go without heat due to a problem or breakdown with our furnace.

If you’ve been avoiding thinking about your furnace, or if you wish you knew more about the inner working of the heating component of your system, the time to learn more is now. Here we break down what you should know about your furnace.

How Your Heating System Works: Efficiency and Comfort in Your Home

Although every unique furnace model will vary, your HVAC system typically is made of 4 components: the indoor part of the system such as the furnace or air handler; the outdoor unit such as the air conditioner or heat pump; the thermostat; and the air quality component such as humidity control components or your air filtration.

Other factors to be aware of include:

  • Heating capacity: depending on your home’s unique needs, this refers to the overall capacity that your furnace has.
  • Ventilation: how your air is passed through the home and ventilated is
  • Exhaust: if it were to build-up without ever being cleaned, exhaust that is a byproduct of your furnace can pose a risk to your health and safety.
  • Electrical: not to be forgotten is the key that your electrical plays in keeping things running.

A single-stage furnace is one with one speed—meaning you have full heat (maximum speed) that provides you with warm air. In simple terms, your system will then “wait” for the air to cool down, which then triggers your furnace to turn on again. This is how conventional furnaces work to heat your home in the winter. You can see how this “off or on” furnace setup is not as efficient as furnaces that have adjustable and adaptable furnace capacity.

With a two stage furnace, you have greater control and consistency as you heat your home, versus an “off or on” setup. Having the ability to be more precise means you can control the heat output of your furnace on an ongoing basis, even as the temperature outside changes throughout the day.

With a variable speed furnace, the fan moves at various speeds in order to control the amount of heat that is dispersed throughout your home. An increase in airflow means you have a more comfortable home, including improved air quality.

In the end, single-stage furnaces will inevitably result in constant variation of temperature. Those homes with two stage or a variable speed furnace are more adaptable in real-time, and in most cases, they allow you to keep a more constant temperature in the home.

What Else Should I Know About My Furnace? 

As much as we try to keep things simple here, it is true that your heating system is a complex, complicated system—but also one of the most important parts of any home! Here is what else we can help you better understand:

Humidity in your home: you can benefit from a humidifier and dehumidifier in the home, as they help control your humidity level. Some systems are built into your system, but also we can help if you want to add a separate dehumidification or humidity system to your current setup.

The benefit of flexible solutions: conventional heat pumps would force heated air through ducts. Compare this to ductless systems, which work to deliver air directly into various zones of the home.

The reason ductless systems are popular today is because they can deliver this heat on a room-by-room basis. This is why you will hear people talking about the idea of zone-based heating—in this case, they are speaking of ductless systems. Many people choose this as an option for heating and cooling because of overall cost savings.

You have more, efficient options than ever: Ultimately, your HVAC deals with heating, cooling and ventilation. The US Department of Energy reports that modern heating systems can achieve efficiencies as high as 97 percent. That means higher efficiency, increased savings and greater comfort with a modern furnace that has the potential to covert nearly all that fuel to useful heat (1). In this post, we have covered the heating component. Stay tuned for more on what you should know about the rest of your system.

Call The Experts at Greater Comfort

Now that you know a bit more about your furnace, you are better equipped to make future decisions about your home’s air quality and heating/cooling. Give us a call today to learn more—especially if your furnace is not heating right, is louder than normal, only runs for a few minutes, or if the furnace blower is showing signs of not working consistently. Other signs you should give us a call can include excessive dust in the home or humidity-related issues.

If you’re doing research or considering new heating and cooling equipment, give us a call at 859-491-4915 to learn about your energy-efficient options that are best suited for your home.

Sources/References

  1. http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/mechanical-systems/types-of-hvac-systems
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Are Furnace Inspections Really Necessary?

cincinnati northern kentucky hvac tune up before winter

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

HVAC maintenance northern kentucky

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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Emergency Heating Repair In Hebron Kentucky

emergency heating repair in Hebron KentuckyGreater Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning is available to help keep you warm this winter. If you need emergency heating repair in Hebron Kentucky or the surrounding area, we are the company you can depend on.

Knowledgeable Repair Specialists

Our heating repair specialists are factory trained and dealer authorized to work on every major brand of heating system. We can get yours up and running quickly when you need it. Whether your system is not producing enough heat for your home or you notice an increase in the cost to operate your system, we can fix the problem. We work on most makes and models of heaters,broilers, furnaces, heat pumps and geothermal systems.

Emergency Heating Repairs in Hebron Kentucky

We offer 24-hour emergency heating repairs in Hebron Kentucky and all of the Northern Kentucky area. No matter what time of the day or the night, one of our highly trained service technicians is available to come to your home and help resolve any issue you may be experiencing with your HVAC system. You can depend on quality service and repairs when you call Greater Comfort. We have found that people usually experience heater problems requiring repairs during the most inconvenient times. It may be one of the coldest nights or while you have company over or your expecting a crowd. We also realize that your heater runs all day and night and so we are just a phone call away when your system is having trouble and you need help.

Advantage of Choosing Greater Comfort

Greater Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning has a good reputation. You can find out for yourself why many people consider Greater Comfort their only HVAC company and the company they would call in an emergency. Greater Comfort is one of the oldest heating and cooling companies in the Northern Kentucky area. We have been providing HVAC service to the tri-state area for over 60 years and we are dedicated to offering you the best customer service and expert care around. When you need the help of an HVAC company during an emergency, you can depend on the quality of service you receive at Greater Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning. We also offer routine maintenance on your heating and cooling system to ensure you don’t need repairs as often. Call today and let Greater Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning take care of your Hebron Kentucky Emergency heating repairs.

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Good Energy Saving Tips For Winter

energy saving tips for winter

Greater Comfort heating and Air Conditioning is dedicated to help you and your family stay comfortable all year long. With the cold temperatures we’ve been experiencing this winter, you may be wondering just how to keep your family comfortable without spending a fortune on home heating bills. When it’s cold out there are a few things you can do to save energy. Here are some good energy saving tips for winter that will help you all year long.

Keep Heating Costs Down

Typically your heating system will account for up to 40% of your energy usage in winter. If you set your thermostat to 68° or lower you can save quite a bit of energy. For every degree above 68°, your furnace will use up to 5% more energy. Set the thermostat to 58° when you’re out of the house. If you’re gone 8 hours a day, you can save up to 15% on your heating costs.

Reduce Drafts and Air Leaks

You can save a lot on your heating costs by making sure you have good weather stripping around doors and windows. If your windows are older, you should consider replacing as many as you can with Energy Star® rated windows. They are designed to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. Your home’s insulation is another area where you can save. Attics that are sealed and insulated properly will save you money on your heating bill. Walls, crawl spaces and basements are other areas where a good seal and insulation is important.

Replace Older Appliances

Older appliances like washing machines run less efficiently than newer models. Each year newer models are designed to save energy and water use. You can also save energy by washing your clothes in cold water. When you dry your clothes, remove them promptly when they are dry. Many dryers have sensors that can detect when the clothes are dry and shut off. Also clean the dryer lint trap after each use and make sure the air is flowing out freely.

More Energy Saving Tips For Winter

Check you heating system or furnace even if you think it is running properly. If your furnace is older than 10 years you can take advantage of new more energy efficient models. You HVAC company can also look for leaks in the ducts and vents to minimize heat loss. Call Greater Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning for a complete energy audit and get more advice on tips for saving energy.

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