Tag Archives: greater comfort HVAC

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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Humidity Problem? How to Regulate Humidity Levels in Your Home

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Did you know that the muggiest period of the year in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area lasts 4 months? More specifically, it typically lasts from May 24 to September 23. The comfort level during these months can be described as muggy, oppressive, or even miserable at least 16% of the time (1). Yikes!   Continue reading

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Greater Comfort in the Cincinnati Community

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Did you know Greater Comfort has been serving all of Northern Kentucky, Greater Cincinnati and Southeastern Indiana for nearly 30 years?

In fact, more than 25,000 families and businesses have trusted us to help them with all their HVAC needs.

That’s part of why the Greater Comfort team is glad to be involved in our local community. Looking ahead to the Campbell Cup and the Bluegrass Games—two local soccer tournaments which we’re helping to sponsor—we thought it would be a great time to look at some of the fast facts on soccer here in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.

Home to the Fastest Growing Professional Club Team

FC Cincinnati, our brand new, fast-growing local soccer team, is a United Soccer League (USL) club that began play just last year, in 2016.

With much success and popularity in its first season, this season so far has been just as popular. In April 15, at the team’s first home game, the team set a record for a home opening game with 23,144 people in attendance at Nippert Stadium.

It’s not surprising, then, that FC Cincinnati has been grabbing national attention, and the attendance consistently rivals that of MLS teams in large cities. Last year, we started to hear rumors of how the club is in fact pursuing becoming an MLS franchise.

When the MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, came to town, large crowds showed up to welcome him. He went on a mini-tour of the city, making stops at Nippert to see the current facilities, but also going to downtown and the OTR area. Heavily covered throughout social media by fans in the community, the trip also included a Town Hall meeting.

It’s hard to know what the future holds since many other cities are also being considered, but it’s exciting for Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati soccer fans.

Home to Some of the Top Competitive Soccer Clubs

For years people have wondered why we didn’t have a local, successful, sustainable professional soccer team, and part of the reason why was because the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky competitive soccer landscape is…well, so competitive!

Youth, recreational, academy and club teams here include Ohio Elite, Beechmont Soccer Club, Boone County YSA, Campbell County North Soccer Club, Cincinnati United Premier, STAR Soccer Club, Ohio United FC, Total Futbol Academy, just to name a few! (There really are too many to name them all!)

High school soccer is just as competitive in the area, with many private and public state championships in both Kentucky and Ohio coming from the area.

With all these families being engaged with and connected to soccer, Cincinnati is also home to three other professional soccer teams. As of right now, we have two outdoor teams, the Cincinnati Kings and Cincinnati LadyHawks, and one indoor team, the Cincinnati Excite.

We’re proud to be sponsoring an activity that is so popular in the area and is helping our families get outside and have fun in the process. Good luck to all the teams participating in soccer tournaments this spring and summer, including the Campbell Cup and the Bluegrass Games!

Greater Comfort: Proudly Serving Neighborhoods Across the Greater Cincinnati Region 

We’re proud to be supporting our local community, both keeping you comfortable at home, but also supporting you out on the field.

Greater Comfort is here to make your home as comfortable as possible. Offering competitive rates and service from factory-trained heating and air conditioning technicians, you can rest assured that you are getting high quality service every time you call us.

We are an authorized dealer of some of the most trusted brands in our industry to match your homes heating and cooling needs. Contact us today at 859-491-4915 to schedule service or to setup an estimate.

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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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How Your HVAC Impacts Your Quality of Sleep

greater comfort HVAC newport kentucky

Let’s face it – a good night’s sleep is invaluable. And the last thing you want negatively impacting a good night’s sleep is an HVAC system that isn’t up to par. If your lack of sleep is related to your HVAC system, there is good news – there is a fix! Check out the ways a smoothly running HVAC will keep your slumber sound.

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2 Potential HVAC Issues & How Springtime Maintenance Solves Both

hvac maintenance in the spring newport kentucky

Did you know that right now is the best time of year to get your AC maintenance completed?

Before the heat really starts to hit us consistently, it’s a great idea to get your HVAC checked and maintained.

Many people incorrectly believe the best time is in the summer, but ideally, you get your tune-up now. We like to remind people just in case it’s not on the calendar.

Spring Time Tune-Up

You also don’t want to wait much longer because as our AC unit gets dirtier, it’s going to get much less efficient. If you’re already feeling as if you are having to adjust your thermostat more often than you’d like, this is an additional sign that temperatures in your home – and overall air comfort – is being affected by a system that is not running optimally.

A common analogy is changing the oil in your car: between your regular oil changes, things are operating efficiently, and your car is able to perform as it should. But once you are overdue for an oil change, your car is forced to “work harder,” it is less efficient, and you run greater risk of problems occurring.
It’s not the first time that AC maintenance and tune-ups have been compared to car maintenance—and that’s because both are “easy” preventative measures you can take to avoid issues.

Here are 2 HVAC issues you can fix – or prevent from becoming a problem – with your spring cooling tune-up.

1. Dirty coils.

Condenser coils are key in making sure your unit performs as it should—and also performs as efficiently as it can. As you may know, your compressor pulls the refrigerant liquid through your tubing in the evaporator coil, and then this refrigerant material passes through the expansion valve in the unit. At this point in the process, that relieves pressure from your refrigerant, in the process cooling it.

You can think of it in simple terms as the hot air that exists in your home is removed from the home via your condenser coilers, which highlights just how integral they are to getting rid of the hot air in your home.

If the condenser coil is not clean, you can see why this would add stress to and/or disrupt the entire process. As more and more air is transferred, the fan will be working much harder of your unit is not as clean as it should be. Your A/C tune-up will make sure your coils are dirt-free and debris-free.

2. A miscalibrated thermostat.

You already know the value of a thermostat that’s working as it should: you have proper temperatures and you can fine-tine the comfort and specific temperature you’re looking for (and paying for!) throughout your entire home. A calibrated thermostat is one huge component supporting total comfort in your home!

But sometimes our thermostat can slowly show signs of miscalibration. Even being off by just a few degrees can waste a lot of money and can greatly impact the comfort we experience.

A somewhat easy-to-spot sign is when you have uneven temperatures in your home, although it’s not always obvious that it’s a thermostat issue.

While that might be more obvious than other signs, be sure not to ignore if your AC unit is running too short, or longer than it should be. Other signs that could mean you need to recalibrate your thermostat include your AC turning on and off at the wrong time, or short cycling.

In the end, you don’t get the comfort you’re after and you end up putting more stress on your HVAC system. Since your HVAC using more power when it’s turning on, any kind of cycling is hard on the unit, and is obviously less efficient than it could be.

When you have your system checked during your spring tune-up, we can make sure the thermostat is working as it should be, and we can recalibrate the system as needed. It’s just one more reason to make sure your getting in your regular maintenance.

Call the Experts at Greater Comfort Today

While there is no guarantee that ongoing maintenance will prevent all HVAC issues, it certainly extends the life of your system, keeps your family safe, helps your system work much more efficiently, and helps catch any issues you do encounter, as early as possible. Call us today to set up your spring tune-up – at a convenient time that works for you and your family.

We will be glad to answer any questions you have so that you can be sure to have ultimate comfort this spring and summer. Read more about our preventive maintenance program here.

We are also 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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The Basics: What to Know About Your Furnace

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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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Myth Busters: Your Energy Bill in the Summer

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Many of us want to know whether it’s true: if you set your thermostat to a higher temperature in the summer months when you leave your home, does it save you money?

People on one end of the argument have said that if you turn the temperature up a few degrees when you don’t need the house as cool (or down when in the winter months), then you’ll negate any savings when you turn the temperature back down (or up in the winter).

Although that logic might sound possible, it’s not true.

The Truth About Using a Programmable Thermostat

Instead, setting your thermostat to a warmer temperature while you are away in the summer, then decreasing the setting again when you need cooling, does save you money.

Just how much money could be saved using this strategy? According to the Department of Energy, if you set your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees when you leave or go to sleep, it can save you 5 to 15 percent on your energy bill over a year. (See the article here.)

You can save hundreds of dollars a year by taking just a few minutes out of your day to set the thermostat.

Here’s another way of looking at it: if you set your thermostat to 76-78 degrees when you’re home, and off when you are not home, you will likely use 1-3 percent less energy per degree that the thermostat is set above 72. (Source: My Energy.)

While that estimated savings from setting your temperature back is greater for buildings or homes in milder climates, than for those in more severe climates, you can save money by taking advantage of your thermostats settings. For many of us, this is especially easy when you have a programmable thermostat (unless you have heat pumps—in certain cases) you can set and not worry about.

If you have heat pumps, electric resistance heating or steam heat, talk to us and we can help you implement a strategy that is the most cost-effective. If your digital thermostat is overly complicated, ask us for help to set up your system, which you can typically do on a daily and/or weekly programming schedule.

Here’s another scenario to consider: think about a normal temperature of a building or home to be around 68 degrees. When your house temperature drops below normal, it loses heat to the environment much more slowly than it does when the heat is at its normal temperature of 68. If you’re home is using less energy to heat, and then there is less heat lost to the environment, that means there is more savings for the homeowner!

Those savings are not negated when you turn the thermostat back up. With that said, avoid changing the thermostat to a colder setting than normal when you do return home and change the settings. You will not cool your home any faster, and this kind of action could result in greater energy expenses because you might excessively cool your home.

Set It & Save

If you are going on vacation, spend a lot of time away from the home, or you want to save a lot of money while you sleep, be sure to adjust your thermostat to take advantage of these cost savings.

Need help operating your thermostat for maximum energy savings? Let us know.

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Whole-Home Air Cleaners vs. Single-Room: Which is Right for Your Home?

cincinnati ac repair and air quality

You want a home that’s sealed so that you see the benefit of maximum energy efficiency, but at the same time, you want ventilation and the ability to properly filter out bacteria and air particles that can be damaging the health of your family.

You want a home that’s sealed so that you see the benefit of maximum energy efficiency, but at the same time, you want ventilation and the ability to properly filter out bacteria and air particles that can be damaging the health of your family.

Can you have both? The answer is yes, which is part of why home owners often ask us about two kinds of air cleaners: whole-home and single-room cleaners.

Single-Room vs. Whole-Home

Single-room air cleaners are what they sound like: cleaners that cover small areas within the home. In many cases single-room cleaners have a fan of some kind and an electronic component to charge the air to increase your filtration. Their benefits include the fact they are small and can be moved easily. Although they only cover a small range, they are effective in what they do for individual rooms.

One drawback to a single-room cleaner is that just because one room has air that is made more clean, doesn’t mean you are able to filter the air that exists in the rest of the house. While one or two rooms might have air that is healthier for your family in the short-term, the rest of the house can still have pollutants, dust mites, pet dander or other particles that can simply work back into the room you are working to clean.

The Benefits of Whole-Home Air Cleaners

Whole-home air cleaners, on the other hand, are integrated into your heating & air conditioning system. They utilize your furnace or your air handler to clean the air throughout the home. This means that not just one room is fully cleaned: you can know that the entire home air that has been filtered through the system.

Disposable filters, washable filters, electrostatic filters, and even UV lights are a few of the variety of options you have to remove impurities in the air utilizing your heating & cooling system.

The other benefits include:

  • The ability to remove or deactivate up to 99 percent of capture particles including most dust, allergens and particles in the air throughout the entire home
  • Protection for your entire HVAC thanks to reduced airborne particles
  • Higher efficiency: maximum airflow without sacrificing overall efficiency for your system
  • Help eliminate or relieve allergy symptoms or asthma due to pollutant’s within the home
  • Minimal maintenance or upkeep, especially compared to filters that are not modern

Did we also mention they operate quietly? Most whole-home air cleaning systems can be incorporated into any existing heating and cooling system (new build or retrofit) and you have lots of options to get started.

Ask us today so we can find a solution that best fits your needs, now and in the future!

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