The rapidly changing season and increasing temperatures mean one thing: a switch from heat to air conditioning. These transition seasons are the most important periods for check-ups and maintenance on your HVAC units – to prevent problems, avoid costly repairs, and maximize the life of your system. Continue reading
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
Spring cleaning: this time of year, it’s a popular idea, and for good reason! The weather is at least a bit warmer and we’re ready for all the activities that spring and summer bring. As a result, we’re ready to pick up the slack on our chores and to examine how to clean the whole house.
A new baby means lots of baby-proofing choices to think about: baby gates for the stairs, safety locks on the cabinets, electric plugs for the outlets, moving dangerous items out of reach. What are some other ways you can make your home the most inviting, nurturing, healthy, and safe place as possible to raise your new bundle of joy?
Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are the most complex parts of your house, and picking the right contractor may be the most important decision you make about your home. You want to choose a company that has experience, is professional, is reliable, and trustworthy.
Here are 7 of the top questions you can ask any contractor to find the one that is best for you. Continue reading
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
Fall—especially mid-fall—is often a comfortable time of the year in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, when we don’t experience quite as much humidity and we aren’t using as much heating and cooling to stay comfortable indoors. This is the perfect time to make a set of energy-saving improvements to your home. Here are a few ways to get started this fall.
Get Your HVAC Tune-Up Scheduled
Now and through October is an ideal time of year to get your tune-up. There is no substitute for a professional tune-up of your equipment! You can have the heating equipment tuned up in the fall and your AC equipment in the spring. A proper tune up included cleaning of the internal components, lubricating the system, checking the refrigerant level and inspection of all the working parts (1). It also includes:
- Checking induced draft motor amp draw
- Cleaning your flame rod (if applicable)
- Checking heat exchanger
- Inspecting flue and fresh air make–up
- Examining the electric resistance heating elements
- Disconnects & wiring
- Tightening all electrical connections
- Verifying proper thermostat operation & program
- Other safety checks and more!
Install a Programmable Thermostat
This upgrade will be one of your biggest cost-savers in the long term. What’s the immediate benefit of a programmable thermostat? First, it automatically changes the temperature throughout the day once you preset it. Lots of us like different temperatures for sleeping than while we’re awake or while we are out of the house during the day; lots of us also forget to change the temperature on the non-programmable thermostats, so this solves that problem.
Remember that if the house is empty during parts of the day while your family is at work and/or school, the savings can be much bigger. According to the Department of Energy, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 a year if you properly employ the pre-programmed settings (2).
Seal Your Heating and Cooling Ducts
Our air ducts can be losing energy, and sometimes we are unaware of this because they can be “out of site”—whether that be in the basement, your crawlspace, attic or in other places. If you do have air duct leakage, you can have a loss of energy in your system; you want to seal your heating and cooling ducts so that you optimize efficiency, reduce air leakage, and you better control pollutants coming into your home.
To do so, generally your steps are as follows: seal the joints between the duct sections with duct sealant tape or other metal-backed tape. Next, wrap the ducts with insulation, especially if the temperature outside the ducts is often very different from the temperature of the air moving through the ducts (2).
Change Your Air Filters
Have you changed your air filter recently? It’s one of the most effective ways to maintain our system for longevity and to cut down our monthly bills each month. Remember how changing out your air filter helps your system avoid having to work harder—which translates to wasted energy, too. At minimum, change your air filter every 3 months. In many homes, it’s necessary to do so more often, such as once a month. Ask us for help if you need to.
Get Your System Tune-Up Scheduled with Greater Comfort
Make sure your system is performing as efficiently and effectively as possible in the coming weeks: if you haven’t already, call us at 859-491-4915 to to get your AC tune-up scheduled! Regular maintenance helps ensure your system can handle the heat.
Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. is your local heating and air conditioning company based in Newport, Kentucky. Our furnace and air conditioning experts proudly serve all of Northern Kentucky, Greater Cincinnati and Southeastern Indiana. With over 60 years of experience, our highly trained technicians bring our special brand of expertise and customer service to every job we perform.
Although it seems to be getting a bit cooler this past week here in Greater Cincinnati, it definitely has been humid and hot in recent weeks. Since humidity has been such as popular topic recently, we decided to break down some of what you should know. Here’s to hoping mother nature sends us a few cooler and less humid days in the coming weeks! Continue reading
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.
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.