Tag Archives: heating and air conditioning

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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Fall Home Maintenance Musts

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Are you excited that Fall is finally here? This summer has been humid and hot in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, but cooler temperatures have arrived.

We know that many people like to use Fall as a time to make improvements to the home. Here are 2 steps to consider when it comes to your home this Fall. Continue reading

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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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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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How to Protect Your Furnace From the Cold

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Your furnace works hard to keep you warm and cozy by both heating and circulating air throughout your home in the winter. On top of this, your filtration system rids the air in your home of impurities.

Your furnace really does a lot to take care of you during the cold months. Believe it or not, you can return the favor: maintenance by an experienced professional, light cleaning and simple measures to keep your furnace from working too hard can greatly impact how efficiently your unit will run—and how long it will last. (1).

Take these 5 simple steps to save yourself time and money this winter—and to keep your furnace running as efficiently as possible, for as long as possible.

1. Change your filters.

Want to know one of the easiest ways to maintain your system? Your furnace is already working hard to keep your home cozy, but a clogged filter will force it to work harder to heat your home. Make sure to change your filter regularly: you can usually tell when a filter needs changing just by looking at it—but you can always ask us how often to change out your current unit’s filters. Keep in mind that replacing furnace filters costs far less than the damage caused by neglecting them (1, 2).

2. Clear the area around your external intake pipe.

Have a high-efficiency, modern furnace with intake and exhaust pipes outside your house? If so, your intake is subject to obstructions and debris like snow, ice, soot buildup, or even animal nests. This can causes lower efficiency as well as carbon monoxide buildup so it is important to remove anything that could keep your chimney from properly ventilating your home. Ask us about any questions you have in terms of getting rid of debris (3, 4, 5).

3. Move objects near your furnace.

Within your home, you want to remove items around your furnace or water heater—especially anything flammable. Not only are household items and clutter around your furnace a fire hazard, they make it difficult to perform maintenance on the unit. As a result, you want to make sure to clear the area around your vents in addition to the area around your furnace. Furniture in front of a vent will prevent warm air from spreading throughout your rooms to properly heat your home (4, 6, 7.)

4. Take advantage of your programmable thermostat.

Programmable thermostats keep your furnace from running when you don’t need your home heavily heated. Give your furnace some time off during the day while your family is at work and school and there’s no one around to appreciate the heat. A programmable thermostat will allow you to run your furnace at lower temperatures while you’re away and warmer temperatures when you come home.

Also make sure you check your thermostat! It’s very easy to overlook the importance of checking your thermostat, but it’s a very quick way to make sure your furnace is running properly. Always make sure your thermostat is set to the correct heating settings and remember if it’s working properly it will respond immediately when you turn it on (4, 5, 8.)

5. Schedule your maintenance with us before the cold winter hits.

Make sure to prepare for winter months by scheduling an inspection before the cold weather hits. (This is usually in October, and when it comes to your A/C, you want to see us in April.) Reduce the chance of breakdowns and help your machine last longer by preparing your unit before it has to switch modes. Not only will inspections keep your unit working as efficiently as possible, it will keep your family warm and comfortable all winter, they will keep you safe. A professional can find and fix carbon monoxide leaks, which will save your family from experiencing negative physical side effects of this colorless odorless gas in the air (9).

Regular Maintenance Is Critical for Your Furnace’s Long Life

Call us today at 859-491-4915 or toll free at 844-491-4915 to learn more about our preventative maintenance agreement.

References/Further Reading

  1. http://www.lennox.com/lennox-life/comfort-matters/tips-maintenance/how-is-your-furnace-like-the-heart-of-your-home
  2. http://www.centralhtg.com/blog/preparing-your-furnace-for-winter
  3. http://www.lennox.com/lennox-life/comfort-matters/tips-maintenance/5-easy-ways-to-keep-your-furnace-happy
  4. http://www.lawescompany.com/7-quick-tips-to-prepare-your-furnace-for-the-cold
  5. http://afmheatcool.com/How_to_Get_Your_Furnace_Ready_for_Winter.aspx
  6. http://www.jerrykelly.com/blog/6-ways-to-prepare-your-furnace-for-winter
  7. http://www.allweatherheatandcool.com/how-to-prepare-your-furance-for-winter/
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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

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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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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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Heater Repair in Northern Kentucky

heater repair in Northern KentuckyIf you need heater repair in Northern Kentucky, you can depend on Greater Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning to offer you quality service from experienced technicians. Now is the time of year heaters are working their best to keep up with the demands of heating your home or business. Older heating systems and systems that are not functioning properly or efficiently will often need repairs.

Heater Maintenance And Prevention

At Greater Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning we believe that doing yearly maintenance to your heating or cooling system will help you avoid a need for furnace repair in Northern Kentucky. When your HVAC system is dirty or poorly maintained, it works longer and harder to produce the temperature you desire. This leads to an overworked system that requires more repairs. We offer maintenance agreements for your home or business that will ensure your HVAC system is running at its peak efficiency with less down time. Regular maintenance will increase the longevity of your HVAC system as well. It’s important to remember that you can depend on Greater Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning to provide you with peace of mind knowing your furnace is in good hands. By diagnosing issues quickly and resolving potential problems you can prevent major heater repair in Northern Kentucky from occurring. You can take advantage of our HVAC maintenance and enjoy lower energy bills because your system is clean and running properly.

Heater Repair in Northern Kentucky

Our team of highly-trained, service technicians have the expertise to ensure we find a safe and quick resolution to your heater repair in Northern Kentucky. We carry many of the parts you may need on our trucks to ensure we can provide you with the quickest service possible. We are committed to serving our customers with quality, reliable service to help keep you warm this winter. When you need furnace repairs or if you have questions about your HVAC system, Greater Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning is here to help.   We are also available 24/7 in an emergency.  Contact us today!

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