Tag Archives: Hebron

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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Can My Geothermal System Start Leaking?

When you have a geothermal heating and cooling system installed in your home, you make a great stride in providing energy-efficient comfort and “going green.” A geothermal system operates with very few greenhouse gas emissions and manages a stability and efficiency that an air-source heat pump cannot match.

Geothermal systems require an extensive amount of work to install, with the coils that transport the refrigerant through the earth buried 6 to 10 feet below the ground around your home. This causes some concern among homeowners using geothermal heating and cooling: can the system begin to leak?

The answer is “yes.” To which we must quickly add: “Don’t worry—there’s help!” If your geothermal system repaired in Hebron, contact Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.® 24 hours a day for professional, thorough assistance.

Leaking in a geothermal system

The thing to keep in mind about geothermal systems is that they are heat pumps: they use energy to move heat from one location and place it in another. Where the “standard” heat pump uses the air as its exchange medium, a geothermal heat pump uses the earth. This is known as a “ground-source heat pump.” Just as air-source heat pumps can develop refrigerant leaks, so can a ground-source heat pump. These leaks not only threaten your system’s operation, they can damage the environment.

This presents a problem: if the leaks occur underground, how can you tell your system has started leaking?

The main warning sign of refrigerant leaks is the appearance of icing along the coils of the above-ground unit when in cooling mode. This usually means a drop in the refrigerant’s charge (the amount in the system) that causes the coil to lose its ability to effectively absorb heat during evaporation. In heating mode, if your heat pump begins to struggle to reach its proper level of heating—which, unlike an air-source heat pump, should not happen no matter the outdoor temperature—you may also have a leaking issue.

If you suspect a leak in a geothermal heat pump, call for professional repairs. The technicians can add a dye into the refrigerant that will help them identify the location of the leak, then dig down to the leaking line, seal it, and recharge the refrigerant to its proper levels.

Professionals must handle repairs to geothermal systems, since reaching the lines requires careful digging, and recharging the refrigerant also needs special skills. If your geothermal heat pump exhibits unusual and faulty behavior, only call in licensed experts to handle it.

Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.® has experience installing, maintaining, and repairing Hebron, KY geothermal systems. Don’t grab a shovel; grab the phone instead and give us a call when your geothermal heat pump stops doing its job.

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Why Is My Boiler Leaking Water?

Boilers have a few major advantages in the world of home heating: inexpensive and fast installation, quiet operation, high energy efficiency, and long lifespans. One of the reasons they last so long is that boilers contain few moving parts, so unlike furnaces or heat pumps, they won’t need frequent repairs due to wear and tear.

However, boilers do experience one repair issue that comes up more often than others: water leaks. In any system that uses water circulation to work, leaks are a possibility that must be addressed as soon as they occur. Modern boilers suffer few leaking troubles because of their sturdy manufacture, but leaks can still happen—especially if the boiler was improperly installed or doesn’t receive regular maintenance.

If you notice leaks in your boiler, call up Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.® for help. We perform all types of heating repair in Hebron, KY, and we can patch those leaks for you and find out what’s causing them.

Here are some reasons your boiler might develop leaks:

Corrosion: Rust and corrosion is the super villain of any device where water meets metal. If your boiler starts to develop corrosion inside its tank or along its pipes and around its valves, the metal will weaken and water can start to leak out. Repairs can sometimes remove small corroded patches or replace the corroded parts, but if the problem spreads too far you may need to have the tank replaced.

High pressure: A boiler should maintain steady water pressure (an expansion tank helps with this task), but a buildup of limescale and calcite along the pipes or inside the tank will drive the pressure higher and trigger leaks in numerous places. If the pressure release valve becomes blocked, it will also cause a pressure spike. You’ll need professionals to seal the leaks and remedy the increase of pressure to prevent further problems.

Poor initial installation: If you inherited a boiler with your house, it may have gotten a shoddy or amateur installation. The usual trouble we see from poor installation is leaking because of bad soldering along the copper pipe fittings. You may not need a complete reinstallation—experts can often perform repairs that will get the boiler into proper shape—but this is sometimes the best option.

When leaking begins, you need to act fast to stop it. Not only do leaks often warn about other problems in the boiler, but even the smallest water drip can cause structural damage to your home and encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Protect your boiler and your home’s comfort with professional heating repair in Hebron, KY from Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.® We’re on call 24 hours a day!

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Keep Your Commercial Heating System Efficient in Cincinnati

If you own a business in Cincinnati, you know how important it is to make sure that the heating and air conditioning system there works every single day. If you’ve ever gone into a business that was hot and muggy or too cold, it can leave a bad impression. That’s why making sure that your HVAC system is working well is so critical to your success. At Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer complete commercial HVAC repair and maintenance services in Cincinnati. We thought it would be a good idea if we put together some of the best ways to keep your commercial heating system working well.

The Importance of Regular Commercial Heating Maintenance in Cincinnati

When you have a trained heating technician cleaning and thoroughly inspecting your business’s heating system on a regular basis, there are huge benefits to you. Here are some of them.

  • Increased efficiency – Over time, your commercial heating system will start to deteriorate, get dirty and general work less efficiently. Without regular commercial heating maintenance in Cincinnati, that process will just continue. But with regular maintenance, your heating technician will replace worn out parts, clean out your system and lubricate any moving parts that need it. This is a great way to restore some of that efficiency to your system.
  • Reduced repairs – One of the best benefits to regular commercial heating maintenance in Cincinnati is the potential to reduce the need for heating repairs. Small problems are often the cause of larger, more costly commercial HVAC repairs. During regular maintenance visits, you technician will be able to detect those issues and fix them before they cause you any larger problems.
  • Extended life – At Great Comfort, we often get calls for commercial HVAC replacement in Cincinnati. Sometimes, the systems we replaced were destroyed by a small issue that could have been fixed during a regular maintenance visit. When you catch the small issues early, you can keep them from causing huge damage to your HVAC system.

If you need any kind of commercial heating and air conditioning service in Cincinnati, call Greater Comfort. We would love talk with you about the possibility of setting up a regular commercial heating maintenance plan in Cincinnati.

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Is a Hybrid Heating System Right for Me? A Union, KY Heating Question

As homeowners grow more aware of both their environmental impact and the rising costs of energy it is becoming more and more common to look for higher efficiency home comfort system options. One such option is a hybrid heating systems. Many leading manufacturers now offer hybrid heating systems for installation in your Union, KY home, and the energy savings they represent are alluring for many local homeowners. If you are interested in the installation of a hybrid heating system in your home, contact Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning today. We have the training, skills and experience necessary to ensure that your hybrid heating system in properly installed and maintained.

A hybrid heating system incorporates both a heat pump and a gas furnace into your home comfort system. This allows for very cost effective temperature regulation without sacrificing comfort levels. Because there are two possible heat sources, the gas furnace and electric heat pump, your system can choose which is necessary and make the switch back and forth between the two as needed. Heat pumps are a far more efficient home heating option, but they also do not perform as effectively as gas furnaces do in extreme weather. When it gets too cold out for the heat pump to function effectively the system switches over to the reliability of the gas furnace.

Because the operation of a heat pump is also reversible you can use it to efficiently cool your home during the warmer months of the year. This makes a dual fuel hybrid system not only very efficient but also practical for year round use. If you are interested in heating your home more efficiently while being able to use the same components to cool your home in the summer, a hybrid system may be right for you.

Be sure to discuss your hybrid heating system options with a trained professional from Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning. No heating system is right for every home or individual. We can help you decide if this is the best comfort option for your Union, KY home.

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When to Consider a New Heating Installation in Your Ft. Thomas, KY Home

Are you wondering whether or not it’s time for a new heating installation in your Ft. Thomas, KY home? Whether you heat your home with a furnace, heat pump, or boiler, the technology has improved enough to consider a more efficient model. At Greater Comfort, we have many new heating installation options for you to choose from, and we’ll help you make the right choice.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you decide if you may want to upgrade to a new heater.

Do you have extremely high heating bills?

If you have an old single-stage furnace or heat pump, you may benefit greatly from a new multi-stage model. Older furnaces and heat pumps that have only two cycles waste a lot of energy. Have one of our technicians test your system to see how it is performing. If it is below 80% then you probably want to upgrade to a more efficient system. Boilers apply here too. There are many new boiler systems that are better at heating your home, and even your hot water, better than ever before!

Does your heater require a lot of repairs?

If your heater is racking up repair costs every season, it may be time to replace it. While routine maintenance should help lower the need for repairs, all heating systems will eventually need to be replaced. Call us if you have any type of repair need, and we’ll let you know whether or not you could benefit from getting a new heater.

How well is your heating system?

If you notice that your heater is not able to maintain comfortable temperatures, or if it seems to be providing inconsistent heat, you may be better off investing in a replacement heating system. Or it could be time for a smaller upgrade to a better air handler, thermostat, or even new ductwork installed.

There is, of course, the initial cost of the installation and the heater itself to consider, but also keep in mind that over time the potential energy savings can help offset this expense. Call the Ft. Thomas, KY heating installation experts at Greater Comfort today to schedule a consultation!

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Newport, KY Heating FAQ: How Do Boilers Distribute Heat?

One of the frequently asked boiler questions we get from our Newport, KY area customers is about the different ways these heating systems distribute heat. Greater Comfort has put together a basic boiler operation list to demonstrate how hot water boilers distribute heat.

The most common type of boiler is a hot water boiler. With a hot water boiler, water is heated and then distributed throughout your home via pipes. You can have either traditional radiators or baseboard radiators which release the heat into your rooms. A pump is used to circulate the hot water through the pipes. The water in the boiler itself can be heated by oil or gas. Since this is not a forced air system, there are no need for air ducts. Boilers are a very effective way to heat your home.

Today, you can buy a high efficiency boiler for your home that can heat it more efficiently than ever before. Older boilers have AFUE ratings of only 55-65 percent, versus the Energy Star rated boilers you can buy today with AFUE ratings of at least 85 percent. That means that much more of the heat produced by your boiler is used to heat your home, which can save you a lot of money on your utility bills. High efficiency boilers also usually have controls that can help reduce the amount of heat lost in your pipes. Some can also serve as an indirect water heater.

Call the Newport, KY boiler experts at Greater Comfort if you have further questions about installing a boiler system in your home.

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Make-up Air Systems: A Newport KY Contractor’s Guide

Have you ever walked up to a building and tried to open the door but found resistance as you pulled it open? This is because of negative pressure, meaning that the pressure outside the building is greater that the air pressure inside. This causes the outside air to press in on building creating a suction effect. Other evidence of negative pressure is drafts around doors and windows.

Causes of Negative Air Pressure

This is normally caused by improper ventilation. The building’s HVAC system exhausts too much air from the interior creating a vacuum on the inside.

The Make-Up Air System

The purpose of the make-up air system, as its name implies, is to allow the building to make up the air that it has exhausted. This equalizes the pressure inside the building to match the outside. As air travels out of the building, the make-up air system allows an equal amount of air into the building.

How the Make-Up Air System Works

Make-up air systems are fairly simple. They consist of an air intake entrance for fresh air; a series of filters to remove dust and contaminants; an actuator that controls the amount of air allowed in; and then a conditioning unit that heats or cools the air. They can also sometimes contain a humidity control system as well. The fresh, incoming air can be ducted to any place in the building that needs it.

Benefits of a Make-Up Air System

  • Increased comfort – By equalizing the pressure inside the building, there are less drafts of air being pulled in by the negative air pressure. This increases the control over inside temperature and the relative comfort of the people inside.
  • Improves air quality – By properly filtering incoming air, the supply of air is more pure. Instead of letting in dirty, contaminated air through doors and windows, the fresh is filtered and ducted directly to the building’s areas.
  • Increased efficiency – With negative air pressure pulling air into the building, the HVAC system has to work harder to exhaust that air. With a make-up air system, efficiency can be increased by up to 35%. Taking to load off the HVAC can be a great benefit.

If your building in Newport is experiencing the effects of negative air pressure, contact the experts at Greater Comfort. We have been working with business owners in the Newport KY area for many years. We would love to talk with you about how we can improve the efficiency and comfort of your building. Give us a call today!

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