Tag Archives: Heating

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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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How to Prep Your Home for Thanksgiving

Are you hosting the family this year for Thanksgiving? There’s so much that goes into preparing for (and even cleaning up!) when it comes to hosting Thanksgiving at your home.

It’s a festive time of year, and you should be able to enjoy the holiday, too. That’s why we’ve compiled a few tips to help you prepare the home for Thanksgiving. Continue reading

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Get Rid of Those ‘Energy Vampires’ in Your Home This Halloween

Maybe you’ve gotten through some of your fall cleaning or your home maintenance list. What’s next? Well, of course that’s slaying your energy vampires…After all, Halloween is right around the corner so it’s the perfect time to do so.
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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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Why It’s Important to Change Your Filter Regularly

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Wonder why you need to change your filters regularly? Here are 6 reasons that will leave you marking your next air filter change on the calendar!

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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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