by wfcadmin wfcadmin

Why DIY HVAC Repair is a Bad Idea

With the internet, it’s easier than ever for the DIY enthusiast to learn about the intricacies of the equipment that he uses every day. And most of the time, that’s a great thing. People should want to know how the things around them work. It’s exciting, and it helps you appreciate what you have more.

But HVAC systems should under no circumstances be worked on by anybody other than a licensed professional. Here’s why:

You’ll Probably Break Something

There’s a reason that most states legally require HVAC technicians to go through special training and certification programs: HVAC systems are complicated. Your air conditioner is a complex contraption of gears, chemicals, parts, and electricity. For the unit to work properly as a whole, each piece has to function correctly. If you don’t know how all the components work together, it’s easy to mess something up without realizing it.

And since the whole point of a DIY fix is to save money on some sort of repair, it seems counterintuitive to us to pursue a DIY repair that’s more likely to fail than anything. And believe us: you’ll spend more to get a botched repair fixed than if you had just called a specialist in the first place.

It’s Dangerous

HVAC certifications aren’t just for show—they exist to protect the technicians and the people whose HVAC systems get worked on.

Air conditioners use various gasses as refrigerants, and furnaces typically burn either oil or natural gas. The coolants in air conditioners and natural gas in furnaces are both oxygen displacers, which means that in a small space, they’ll take the place of oxygen. This means if you get enough of either gas in your lungs, oxygen won’t be able to force it out, leading to loss of consciousness and even death. Not to mention, natural gas is explosive.

Even if you spring a link that doesn’t hurt you, it’ll still mean that your air conditioner won’t do any cooling, which, again, defeats the whole purpose of repairing it yourself in the first place.

Also, many air conditioners are high voltage. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since air conditioners are one of the highest-energy-using appliances there are. With this high voltage comes a very real risk of electrocution if you don’t know what you are doing. So leave it to the pros.

You’re Likely to Void the Warranty

If you aren’t concerned about your health, maybe this will sway you: by forgoing professional HVAC maintenance, you’re also forgoing your manufacturer’s warranty. If you have an owner’s manual for a Trane air conditioner or heating unit, you’ll notice this bit of text:

“The Products must be properly installed, operated, and maintained by a licensed HVAC service provider in accordance with the Product specifications or installation, operation, and maintenance instructions provided by Company with each Product. Failure to conform to such specifications and/or instructions shall void this limited warranty. Company may request written documentation showing the proper preventative maintenance.”

In other words, your HVAC unit’s warranty isn’t valid unless it was properly installed and maintained by a certified professional—and it’s on you to prove that.

A warranty is a company’s way of saying that they believe in their products. By offering a warranty, they’re telling you that their equipment is guaranteed to last a certain amount of time, and if it doesn’t, they’ll replace the part at no charge to you. But no HVAC unit can run for long without (proper) maintenance, just like your car couldn’t go 200,000 miles without an oil change. So hire an HVAC company for maintenance and spare your wallet the trouble.

By the way, Steve’s Heating has great warranties on both parts and labor.

Let Steve’s Heating & Cooling Handle Your Maintenance Needs

If it’s time that your furnace or air conditioner was maintained, give Steve’s Heating a call. We’ve been serving Florence, KY for over 30 years and pride ourselves on making the community a better place.

If you’re a member of our comfort club, you’ll get a yearly or bi-annual tuneup and professional cleaning. Not to mention a 10% discount on all repairs and no overtime charges! If you’re interested in becoming a comfort club member, give us a call today at 859-795-2172.

by wfcadmin wfcadmin

What to do with Your A/C when You’re On Vacation

Air conditioning is one of those inventions that are so wonderful we couldn’t imagine life without them. Before air conditioning, people did all sorts of wacky stuff to stay cool. In fact, air conditioning completely changed the way that houses and buildings were built! A/C tends to fall into the “out of sight, out of mind” category, but when vacation time hits, many people start to wonder what they should do with their air conditioners while they’re gone. Do you turn them all the way off? Do you just turn them down? This all depends on the kind of air conditioner you have, and your thermostat. We’ll cover everything so you know exactly what to do with your air conditioner while you’re vacationing.

Keep your A/C on during vacation

In short, no, you shouldn’t turn off your air conditioner when you’re on vacation. There are many reasons for this, and we will go over them all in this article. But for a quick summary, you should set your air conditioner either 6º above what you usually have it at, or no higher than 86º, or 80º if you have a pet. Let’s go over why that is:

Your air conditioner keeps your house dehumidified

When air conditioners were invented back in 1902, their purpose was to keep the humidity low at a New York paper plant. The cooling was just a side effect. The amount of water that air can hold is directly related to its temperature. The warmer the air, the more water it can suck up. In short, a hot house is a humid house, too.

Of course, humidity is uncomfortable, but that doesn’t matter while you’re away. But as awful as humidity is for us, it’s even worse for your house. Humidity causes your paint or wallpaper to peel; your window frames, floorboards, and door frames to warp; and in the worst cases it can cause mold, algae, and other nasties to start growing on your wall. Keeping your air conditioner on during vacation will prevent these things from happening.

However, your air conditioner uses a lot of energy to keep you cool

Everybody knows that it’s expensive to run their air conditioner, but few people know just how expensive. Of course, the actual price of your air conditioner depends on your specific unit, the size of your home, the cost of your energy, and your climate, but all across America, air conditioners are the biggest energy suckers of them all. Air conditioners can cost as much as $2 per hour to run! That’s a lot of money wasted if you’re on vacation.

Your air conditioner uses about 5% more energy for every degree cooler it makes your home. The opposite is true as well: for every degree you raise your air conditioner, it uses 5% less energy. So, it makes perfect sense why people would assume it’s best to just turn off their air conditioners while they’re gone. However, there are a few reasons why that isn’t the case:

Your fridge has to work harder

The hotter your house is, the harder your fridge has to work. While this does cause your energy bill to rise slightly, it isn’t likely to break the bank. The real kicker is that those weeks of extra-hard work will shear a good chunk off your fridge’s lifespan. Since a new fridge is a multi-thousand dollar purchase, you probably don’t want to rush it into the grave.

Your savings get lost in the extra cooling your air conditioner has to do when you get home

A lot of the energy you save by turning off the air conditioner during vacation will be eaten back up when your air conditioner has to bring the temperature all the way down to where you usually have it set.

Your air conditioner might not be running at peak efficiency

We’re not talking about SEER or Energy Star ratings here, we’re talking about the loss in efficiency that every air conditioner experiences the longer it goes without maintenance. We find that vacation is a time that gets people thinking about how exactly their air conditioners interact with their energy bills, and that it is one of the best times to talk about maintenance.

Regular maintenance is the single most important factor in a long life and continued efficiency for your air conditioner, but it’s something many people skip. Avoiding maintenance is never a good idea, because for every year your air conditioner isn’t maintained, it has to work harder to achieve the same level of cooling. This amounts to a 5% increase in its energy usage every year, and those costs add up.

Also, many air conditioner manufacturers specify that their warranties are only valid if regular maintenance has been performed on the unit by a trained professional. So, if your air conditioner breaks down within the warranty period but you haven’t had it serviced, you’re out of luck.

The HVAC Company for all your vacation needs

At Steve’s Heating and Cooling, we know how important your air conditioning is. We hope these tips gave you a better idea of how your air conditioner works and how best to take care of it. If you’re worried about how your air conditioner is performing, or if you want to get everything in tip-top shape before vacation, give us a call or request a free quote today.

by wfcadmin wfcadmin

Winter 24/7 Emergency HVAC Services

XXAs we all know, you can’t plan emergencies. The reality of this, of course, is universally true for every type of crisis, but it can be particularly poignant when your furnace breaks down in the middle of winter.

And while, unfortunately, you can’t reschedule a heating emergency for a more convenient time, you can have a plan ready for solving your heating problem and – ideally – have a plan for preventing your heating problems in the first place.

Winter is here in Northern Kentucky and, if you haven’t been properly maintaining your furnace with preventative maintenance throughout the year, your furnace is at risk of breaking down during the coldest nights of the year. You need a plan now before an emergency arises.

Don’t wait until your furnace starts acting up to start thinking about emergency HVAC services. Steve’s Heating has come to the rescue of hundreds of homeowners experiencing furnace problems. Far too often, we’ve seen these furnaces break down in the middle of winter when families need them the most.

Aside from the obvious discomfort of losing heat during freezing temperatures, a broken furnace will also impact your home, your finances, and – most importantly – the safety of you and your family. Here are three reasons to keep the phone number for a reputable HVAC company on hand this winter.

A Faulty Furnace Can Cause House Fires

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, faulty heating systems are the second leading cause of residential fires during winter, second only to cooking. Freezing weather, in particular, can lead to ignition problems which in turn puts you at greater risk of a more serious incident. But, aside from the risk provided by the time of year, there are already a number of problems that can arise at any time in the year even from something as simple as buildup in your furnaces heating ducts.

If you have a furnace in your home, you need routine maintenance for your heating system, even if it’s only an annual check-up before winter begins. However, if at any point you sense that you may have a problem, it’s important to call an HVAC professional immediately.

A Broken Furnace is Expensive

In general, the cost of replacing a furnace is greater than the cost of standard furnace repair and far greater than the cost of furnace maintenance to prevent your problem in the first place. Of course, similar to other home appliances, there will be instances when completely replacing a furnace is one of the best home investments you can make. If your need to replace your furnace is primarily due to a lack of proper maintenance, however, it can be a costly and otherwise avoidable expense.

An Unmaintained Furnace Creates Safety Hazards

It’s no surprise that homes are sealed tight during winter. And while keeping warm air in is often at the forefront of our minds during winter, there’s still a need to allow pollutants to escape.

Your furnace plays an important role in determining the quality of the air you and your family breathe for hours at a time. Even if a furnace is not “broken” in the traditional sense, a poorly maintained heating system can still lead to safety hazards in your home either by producing excess moisture that leads to mold or by releasing carbon into the air. Worst or all, the signs of a problem are not always overt. While smoke is an obvious cause for concern, mold can grow without detection and carbon won’t be detected at all without a working detector. These subtle signs make the need for regular maintenance even more crucial than they would otherwise be.

And while maintaining the air quality of your home can be easily achieved through routine furnace maintenance, a complete breakdown of your heating system during winter can leave you in conditions not meant for habitation.

Stay Warm and Have Peace of Mind this Winter

When you have a problem with your furnace or another component of your HVAC system, you need a solution now rather than later. And you need a professional that you can trust to do the job right.

When your home or business is experiencing a heating problem, Steve’s Heating can come to your rescue. We offer year-round 24/7 emergency furnace repair and other HVAC services to residents of Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati. Have peace of mind and reduce the time it takes to solve your problem by keeping our phone number on hand. Our trained HVAC technicians are always available and just a phone call away.

Along with emergency services, we also offer regular maintenance and replacement services for your heating and cooling systems. Learn more about all of our HVAC services or request an appointment today. Thank you for reading, and Steve’s Heating and Cooling looks forward to keeping you and your family comfortable and safe this winter.

by wfcadmin wfcadmin

Spring AC Repair-HVAC Maintenance

Spring is officially here which means summer is right around the corner!  Spring has seemingly decided to be hot to this point, prompting people to use their AC.  We’ve already repaired a lot of AC units, and it’s early in the season.  If you don’t want your AC to break, consider now is the ideal time to make sure your home HVAC systems are working perfectly with proactive maintenance.

With spring, the weather can be very unpredictable, so it is important to have your systems working in order to keep your home comfortable at all times.  This will also make the transition into summer easier, which is important because we all know that the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky summers can get extremely hot.  Taking precautions to make sure you have AC the moment you need it will be well worth it when the time comes. When maintenance is a regular happening through the seasons, it is much more infrequent to experience problems.

You may be wondering, what is included in HVAC maintenance?  We check if dust is accumulating, dirt on coils, allergens or bacteria in duct systems, and much more.  This is just a small part of our maintenance program, the “comfort club.”  If something does happen unexpectedly we also offer repair services where we send our team out, examine the problem, and fix what we need to.  As we said before, with a maintenance program this is much more unlikely.

Maybe you want to gear up your AC for spring, or maybe you’d just like to be on top of thingswith your HVAC system. Steve’s Heating can fix, monitor, and replace your system.  If you’d like to join the comfort club, or have any questions, contact us!

by wfcadmin wfcadmin

Trane

Getting the Most From Your Trane Furnace

When it comes to heating and cooling solutions, having more options is definitely preferable. Each structure has its own HVAC needs and so a wide range of appliances have been developed to allow people the maximum control over these essential systems. Making sense of the many options available to you will enable you to make the most informed decision. The Trane furnace system offers users many distinct advantages to homeowners in particular though some commercial spaces can benefit from it, as well.

Cut Down on Temperature Variation and Save Money

The Trane XC95m is the preferred heater of many homeowners. The XC95m is equipped with a special gas valve that is designed to regulate the temperature output with much greater precision than other gas furnaces. This valve modulates the flow of gas to prevent excess heat from being generated. Too much fuel causes temperature spikes and ends up increasing your monthly gas bill. Furnaces without this modulating valve feature burn excess fuel throughout their lifespan. Even if such a furnace is a bargain initially, it can end up costing you a lot more in the long run.

Protecting Your Trane Furnace

The cost-saving advantages inherent to the Trane design are only going to be realized if homeowners make the effort to arrange for regular maintenance. All furnaces and HVAC components require a little attention in order to perform correctly. Regular maintenance will:

  • Verify that all components are intact and working correctly
  • Remove dust, grit, and debris from the air intake vents
  • Ensure that the system is operating at peak efficiency
  • Give homeowners the benefits of a reliable heating system

Considering a New Furnace?

The XC95m is an excellent furnace. It is a preferred furnace among many homeowners who value it for its quiet function, efficient operation, and money-saving design. We are pleased to offer this line of products to our customers considering a new furnace. Our customers can depend on us for the parts and services necessary to keep this valuable system working correctly.

by wfcadmin wfcadmin

HVAC Maintenance

It Is That Time Again: HVAC Maintenance

Here at Steve’s Heating and Cooling, we are serious about helping you get the most out of your HVAC system. That is why we recommend bi-annual maintenance on your appliances. Just as you cannot expect your car to run well without its needed maintenance, you must maintain your HVAC system to get the life and quality performance you expect from it.

Why Do I Need Maintenance?

Maintaining your HVAC system is important whether you have top-of-the-line appliances, such as Trane, or something less reliable. The last thing you want is for your furnace or air conditioning unit to shut down unexpectedly, leaving your home at dangerously extreme temperatures.

Not only does maintenance lengthen the life of your entire HVAC system, but it also gets you better quality heating and cooling. Systems that are not well maintained reduce your indoor air quality by releasing allergens into your air every time they run. Some of the common indoor allergens that are worsened by a poorly-maintained HVAC system are:

  • Mold
  • Dust
  • Pet Dander

What Maintenance Do I Need?

We recommend you have your HVAC system serviced every spring and fall. When you call us for maintenance, our skilled technicians go through a lengthy checklist to make sure your appliances are functioning at their best. Just a few of the things you can expect our technicians to do are:

  • Lubricate and inspect the function of individual parts within your appliances
  • Replace any worn belts, wiring, and other parts
  • Clean out built up dust, dirt, and debris
  • Inspect for leaks and other serious hazards

We Want to Keep You Comfortable

When you stay on top of your bi-annual maintenance, you can expect your HVAC appliances to last longer, perform better, and reduce indoor allergens. Eventually, when your old appliances must be replaced, we can get you a great deal on one of our long-lasting Trane appliances. We are proud of our status as a premier Trane dealer because we know how trustworthy the products are. Let us help keep you comfortable all year long by giving us a call today to schedule your HVAC maintenance.

by wfcadmin wfcadmin

Heat Pump Repair

If your heat pump has been giving you problems, don’t wait until the dead of winter to address them. We don’t realize how vital our heating systems are until we don’t have them anymore. Nothing is worse than trying to survive even one night in a freezing cold house.

We can help with all your heat pump repair needs! We offer 24-hour services as well — so you’ll never be left out in the cold. Since the inception of Steve’s Heating & Cooling in 1975, we have installed and repaired thousands of heating and cooling units throughout the Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky areas. You can rest assured that you’ll be in good hands. We specialize in trusted Trane products. Keep in mind that we can also install systems that are extremely energy efficient — why not start getting more bang for your buck?

Why you should choose Steve’s Heating and cooling as your heating and cooling expert:

  • We offer satisfaction guaranteed! Trust us to get the job done right or your money back.
  • We only hire highly trained and certified repair service professionals.
  • We offer professional, trusted services, and have been for the last 38 years.
Have any questions? Call us at 859-795-2172. If you want to schedule a new system replacement consultation, click here.
by wfcadmin wfcadmin

Furnace Buying Checklist

Keep in mind that when buying a new furnace, you’re actually buying two items – the furnace and its installation. Use the items below as a “checklist” of sorts, to refer to before you invest in buying a new furnace.

1. Remember that the even the best furnaces – if they’re poorly installed – will not deliver what they should. Likewise, even the best installation won’t make a poorly designed furnace perform better than it can (and its limits). Choose wisely, and do your research.

2. Learn the important abbreviations associated with heating. For example, AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, and is a rating that shows how well the furnace uses gas supplies. The bigger the number, the better it uses the supply.

3. Do some comparative online shopping, and always ask questions if you have them. Use online comparative shopping tools and find out what’s best for your home by going to the Trane “What’s best for my home?” page here.

4. Check Energy Star certifications at www.energystar.gov. We highly recommend only buying Energy Star certified products.

by wfcadmin wfcadmin

Trane Dealer Q&A

Q: What does it mean to be a Trane dealer?

A: A Trane dealer is certified to sell and install Trane heating and cooling products. Steve’s Heating & Cooling has received Trane top dealer awards and is the leader in Trane XL and Clean Effect sales in the Northern Kentucky area. We are also the 3-time recipient of the S.O.A.R. award, which is only given to the top overall Trane dealer in our region. You can count on us to bring you only the best in Trane heating and cooling! You can even find us on the official Trane website!

Q: How do Trane products make my home more energy efficient?

A: Trane offers Energy Star qualified products, programmable thermostats (meaning, you set the temperature and when the air or heat will kick on), and Trane also has some of the most energy efficient units in the market today.

Q: How do I install my ComfortLink or ComfortLink II system?

A: The ComfortLink line of products can’t be installed without assistance unless you are an HVAC specialist. A certified Trane dealer can help you install the system – click here for more information. (or feel free to call us with any questions at 859.795.2172.

Q: If I have a ComfortLink system, can I control my home’s heating and cooling by using my smartphone or tablet?

A: Yes. You can connect your home with your smartphone or tablet and control its thermostat. Learn more about the Nexia Home Intelligence program here.

Q: What makes Trane products so good? Are they reliable?

A: If they weren’t reliable we wouldn’t back them up! Yes, they are extremely reliable. All Trane products are tested to extremes in labs using a SEET lab (Systems Extreme Environmental Test). The products are put to frigidly cold temperatures and blazing heat and then repeated in two-week sessions to see if they can withstand the extreme temperatures. If a product doesn’t make it through the tests, it doesn’t make the cut and doesn’t get made.

by wfcadmin wfcadmin

Furnace Maintenance: Cleaning

Regular furnace cleaning is important for the effective and efficient operation of the equipment. There are several other reasons why you should clean the furnace, especially just before the winter sets in.

Cost Benefits

You will save money when you ensure that your furnace is in good working condition just before the winter. According to the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), an efficient furnace greatly reduces energy costs. Regular maintenance is also important because you will save money on repairs and replacements. You should note that a dirty furnace means the motor will have to work harder and you will, consequently, need to replace it more regularly.

Improved Health & Safety

Furnace cleaning also involves cleaning air ducts. This is important for your family’s health because you will remove pollutants, keeping in mind that ducts are clogged with debris and dust, they have chemical toxins and mold spores, and they are infested with rodents and other vermin. If the furnace fails as a result of clogging during the winter, there is a risk of cold-related diseases and even fatality. Keep in mind that getting a furnace repair company this time of the year is not at all easy, especially if you live in an area that snows heavily. Your family will be safer since furnace cleaning reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, leaking of oil or natural gas, and electric fires.

Fresh Smell

One of the greatest advantages of furnace cleaning is that cleaning the duct means eliminating dirty air. This dirty air is caused by mold spores which make your home smell musty and dust which give your home a distinct smell. You will notice fresh-smelling air the moment you clean the furnace and you will enjoy time indoor more.

Reduced Carbon Footprint

An efficient furnace is also good for the environment in that there will be fewer emissions and you will spend less electricity, meaning furnace cleaning will help you bring down your carbon footprint.

Troubleshooting

Furnace cleaning is important because you will be able to notice problems such as clogged filters that need changing. The cleaning should be done by a professional HVAC maintenance company as this offers professionalism and convenience. The technician doing the cleaning will give you valuable tips on such matters as what you need to do to increase the longevity of your furnace and how to do minor repairs such as filter changes yourself.