Category: Air Conditioner

Is It Better to Set Your AC’s Fan to On or Auto?

Set ACs Fan On or OffYou’ve probably heard differing opinions on how to set your air conditioner’s fan setting on your thermostat. There are two choices – “on” or “auto”. The team here at Herrmann Services has heard this question several times from customers. We put together this definitive answer to help save you money and keep you more comfortable. First, let’s explain the difference between the two settings.

“Auto” and “On” Thermostat Settings

Your air conditioner has a blower motor inside that forces the air out and through the ductwork to deliver cool air to all of the rooms in your home. The fan setting controls when this blower is on. When it is set on “auto”, the fan turns on ONLY when your system is running. When the thermostat reaches your temperature setting, the system, including the blower fan, shuts off. When the thermostat switch is set to “on”, the fan is CONSTANTLY blowing, even when your system isn’t working to heat or cool the air.

Setting the Fan to “On” Can Cost You Money

Increases Humidity

When the fan is set to “On” your AC won’t dehumidify your home as well as it should. The air conditioning cycle continues to run as the indoor coil gets colder. Now water vapor (pulled from the air) begins to condense on the coil while passing over. If the compressor is turned off, the coil warms up. The water vapor on the coil will simply sit there until the next cycle, with some of it evaporating and sitting in the air inside the coil housing. But when the fan runs continuously, the air passing over the coil as it warms up evaporates that water and puts it right back into your house raising the humidity level overall.

Higher Energy Costs

Since the fan is always running, you’re using more energy than when the fan only runs when your system is heating or cooling.

More Frequent Repairs

Obviously, when the fan runs constantly, it increases the wear and tear on your blower motor. This will lead to repairing and replacing worn parts or possibly the motor itself sooner than necessary.

 

If you have any thermostat, air conditioner, humidity, or blower motor questions, please feel free to call us. One of our technicians can answer your questions and even provide tips to keep you more comfortable. Call us at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online.

4 Most Common AC Mistakes

Common AC MistakesAs homeowners, we do our best to get the most out of our appliances and save the most money possible. However, after being in the heating and cooling business for decades, the technicians here at Herrmann Services have seen some common mistakes that many homeowners make. See if you’re making any of these mistakes that are costing you money and affecting your comfort.

 

Not Changing or Replacing the Air Filter


A dirty air filter will reduce your air conditioner’s efficiency. Air filters remove dust and debris from the air coming into your home. Over time, the filter will become filled with the dirt and dust it collects from the air and will slow the air flowing through it making your system work harder every time it turns on. Most air filters should be cleaned or replaced (if disposable) once a month.  It’s easy to forget about your filter, so put reminders on your calendar to help keep it top of mind.

 

Not Using a Programmable Thermostat or Using It Improperly


According to the Energy Star website, programmable thermostats can save you up to $180 a year if used properly. That’s nothing to sneeze at. These savings are based on a typical, single-family home with a 10-hour daytime setback of 8° F in winter and a setup of 7° F in summer, and an 8-hour nighttime setback of 8° F in winter and a setup of 4° F in summer.

 

Not Scheduling Regular Tune-Ups


Regular tune-ups help your system run more efficiently. Not only does the technician check all parts for wear and tear, but they also lubricate moving parts, tighten loose parts and check all electrical connections. This all helps your system run more efficiently, saving you money on energy bills. As an added bonus, regular maintenance checks will catch small problems before they become costly repairs and also reduce the chance of breakdowns.

 

Not Using Ceiling Fans


A ceiling fan can help your air conditioner run more efficiently by circulating air around the room. Ceiling fans don’t actually lower the temperature in your home, but they produce a “wind chill” effect that will make your room feel cooler. You may even be able to set your thermostat up a degree or two and not notice any difference in comfort. In the summer, make sure your ceiling fan blades rotate in a counterclockwise or “forward” direction to create cool downward airflow. In the winter, switch them so they rotate in a clockwise or “reverse” direction to redistribute warm air, which naturally rises to the ceiling.


Try these money-saving tips and stay cool this summer. If you need help with your air conditioner, give us a call at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online.

10 Steps to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Home

Improve Indoor Air QualitySpring is in the air, along with pollen and allergens that wreak havoc with asthma and allergy sufferers. Let’s look at some ways to improve our indoor air quality, and how to know when it’s time to call in the professionals. As homeowners, there are many things we can do on our own. It is equally important to know when to step back and turn over the reins to someone more knowledgeable. The team at Herrmann Services put together this list of DIY tips that will help reduce allergy

10 Homeowner Tips to Reduce Allergens Indoors

  1. Keep windows closed (to keep the pollen out).
  2. Check with your local nursery for plants that improve indoor air quality (make sure they are not toxic to pets).
  3. Place pillows and stuffed toys in a laundry bag and place them in a deep freeze for a few hours. The lower temperature will kill dust mites.
  4. Where possible, adopt a no-shoes policy inside the home to keep dirt, dust, and allergens out.
  5. Seal windows, door frames, electrical outlets, and recessed lighting with caulk or foam to keep out dust and pollen that collects in crawl spaces, basements, garages, and outdoors.
  6. Purchase an inexpensive humidity monitor and aim for a reading of 35-50%; high humidity can lead to mold growth, while dry air can cause dry/bloody noses, chapped lips, and itchy skin.
  7. Check your attic insulation, rafters, and floor joists for wet spots.
  8. See that your heating & air appliances are cleaned regularly according to manufacturer’s specifications. This may be as simple as replacing your filters.
  9. Invest in an electronic air cleaner which can remove up to 99.98% of airborne allergens from heating and cooling devices, working 100% better than a filter.
  10. Install an in-duct air purifier. The REME HALO® is effective against all three categories of indoor air pollutants: particulates, microbial and gases.

If Allergy Problems Persist, Call for Professional Indoor Air Quality Help

If you’re still suffering after trying all of the DIY measures mentioned above, or if you find some of the following problems, call Herrmann Services and we’ll help you get comfortable breathing the air in your home again. Call us when:

  1. Humidity levels are 60% or higher.
  2. You find wet spots in your attic on insulation, rafters, or floor joists.
  3. Manufacturer’s specifications on your furnace and AC recommend.
  4. Allergy symptoms don’t lessen. You may need to upgrade to a HEPA filter.

Your health and your home are two of your most valuable investments. Treat them both wisely by improving your indoor air quality. Call us at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online today for More Information for a home quote!

10 Signs Your Air Conditioner Is Breaking Down

how to tell if your air conditioner is going out

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, goes the old saying. During hot weather, that ounce of prevention can be worth a ton of comfort. Your air conditioner is one of those things that you don’t realize how important it is until you no longer have it.

But how do you know that your air conditioner needs help? Do you wait until it’s no longer blowing cold air? By then it’s usually too late. To help keep you and your family cool and comfortable, check out these 10 signs that your air conditioner is breaking down:

1. AC Blows More Hot Air Than a Politician

Air conditioners are supposed to blow cool air. At most, it should only take a second or two for you to feel the coolness from the vents. At best, the refrigerant just may need to be replaced. At worst, the whole unit, depending on its age and condition, may have to go.

2. Funny Smells Coming From Air Conditioner

You shouldn’t smell anything coming from your air conditioner. If you detect musty odors or an electrical smell, it could be a sign of trouble.

3. Weakening Air Flow

The air should come out consistently. If it feels like it’s not pumping as hard, it could probably use a bit of minor servicing, such as cleaning or replacing the filter.

4. Higher Energy Bill

Watch for spikes in your utility bill. Yes, you might be using a few more appliances more frequently (like that smoothie maker), but if you haven’t been, your air conditioner may be to blame. Since heating and cooling costs account for about half of your home’s electrical bill, pay attention.

5. Noisy AC Unit

A slight sound from the motor is normal in some units while others are “whisper quiet”. If the motor is getting louder or making sounds that it normally doesn’t make, it’s definitely time to have someone look at it.

6. Frequent Cycling

If your AC is turning on and off far more frequently than usual (assuming it’s the correct size for your space), it’s time to have it checked.

7. Humidity

Unless you have a “swamp cooler”, the air coming out shouldn’t be damp. If it feels damp or if the collection tray is collecting too much water, it’s time for service.

8. Repeatedly Calling for Repairs

An increase in the number of service calls is a good indication that your unit is about to “give up the ghost”. Sure, we don’t mind the extra income from ac repairs, but we’d rather have happy, comfortable customers.

9. Outdated Unit

If your AC  unit is over ten years old, expect more frequent service calls.

10. Age of Air Conditioner

Not the same as being “outdated”, an air conditioner is expected to last 10 to 15 years before it needs total replacing. Even with the best of technology, parts will wear and tear simply from use.

So there you have it. Now you know what to look for. The best way to keep yourself comfortable during the coming hotter weather is to look for these signs before it’s too late, or just have a routine servicing and checkup done.

If you think your AC needs a checkup, give us a call at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online.

Why is My Air Conditioner Making a Loud Buzzing Noise?

air conditioner making loud buzzing sound

The soft hum of a functioning AC unit is always reassuring, especially in the sweltering heat of a 95-degree summer day. But what does it mean when that delightful sound turns into a loud buzz? When in doubt, it’s a good idea to contact a licensed heating and cooling professional to give your unit a checkup. There are a few different scenarios that could be responsible for your noisy AC, and each should be addressed as quickly as possible.

It Could Be a Refrigerant Leak Coming from Your AC

One of the most telltale signs of an improperly functioning AC unit is that it’s frozen. You may notice that your house isn’t cooling efficiently, but the AC unit itself feels cold to the touch and has a visible casing of ice over the coils.

In this case, your air conditioner unit may have a refrigerant leak that is causing condensation to freeze. This is a common issue that may cause buzzing sounds from your AC. It is a definite sign that your unit is not working properly or efficiently and should be attended to promptly.

Your Air Conditioner Unit Might Have Worn or Missing Isolation Feet

noisy air conditioner unit

Your air conditioner compressor is situated on the base of your unit and vibrates constantly when in use. It is mounted on small, rubber “isolation feet.” Much like a washing machine that becomes unbalanced, your AC compressor will make a loud buzzing noise if the isolation feet have become damaged or missing over time.

Check for Loose, Missing, or Broken Parts in Your AC

Your AC unit is comprised of a multitude of moving parts which must all work together to keep it running efficiently – and quietly. A loud buzzing sound may signal that something has come loose over time, is broken, or is missing. Identifying a potential missing or broken part can be tricky and dangerous, so your best bet is to have a licensed professional take a look inside.

It Could Be an AC Compressor Malfunction or Incorrect Amperage

The compressor in your unit is responsible for pressurizing and cooling refrigerant and is one of the most vital components of your air conditioner. A buzzing sound may indicate that the voltage running through your outdoor unit is not set at the correct amperage or that your compressor itself is not functioning properly. If your AC compressor fails, the unit will not be able to cool your home. Making sure your compressor is working correctly is essential to both the health of your unit and your comfort.

At Herrmann Services, our expert technicians are highly trained, knowledgeable, and able to service all brands of air conditioners and furnaces. We can assure you our professionals know their stuff and will have your noisy air conditioner unit buzz-free in no time!

If you need help with your air conditioner, call Herrmann Services at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online. We are always here to assist you with any of your heating or cooling needs.

How to Set Your Programmable Thermostat for Maximum Savings

If you’ve recently had a programmable thermostat installed, congratulations! It’s a great way to be more comfortable while saving money at the same time. Of course, in order to realize maximum savings on your heating bill, you’ve got to enter a program that works for you both in terms of being comfortable while you’re at home and awake, and saving money by lowering the heat while you’re away at work or in bed for the night. Here are the basics on how to do that:

Set It and Forget It

programmable thermostat for savingsThe secret to saving money with your programmable thermostat is to program it so that it’s at 68 degrees during the winter when you know you’ll be at home and awake, at 78 degrees during the summer when you’re at home. Then, set it  7 to 10 degrees below/above that during the hours when you’ll either be asleep or away from the home at work and/or school.

That’s it. By setting the program once, according to the temperatures noted (which are recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Saver division), you’ll not only be ensuring that your home is comfortable while you’re at home and active, but you’ll also be “programming in” a savings of between 5 and 10 percent per year on your heating and cooling costs.

You Can Choose How Much Money You’ll Save

The temperatures listed above will provide maximum savings should you decide to follow the DOE’s recommendations. But remember, you’re in charge, so if you want to compromise by tweaking the temperatures a bit to be more comfortable, you’ll save a bit less.

Let’s say you choose to set your winter “at home” temperature to 70 degrees rather than 68 degrees, or that you prefer a temperature of 76 degrees rather than 78 during the summer. You’ll still save, but your savings will be on the lower end of the 5 to 10 percent savings spectrum. This is true as long as your adjustments for “away” and “asleep” temperatures comprise at least 8 hours of every day.

Simplify and Save

Having a programmable thermostat in the wintertime means that you no longer have to try to remember to turn the heat down before you leave the house in the morning. It also means that you’ll no longer have to come home — or wake up — to a house that’s too cold. And of course, the reverse applies to your summertime comfort. It’s a genius way to simplify your life, be more comfortable, and save money too!

If you’re in Cincinnati and need a programmable thermostat installed give the pros at Herrmann Services a call at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online.


5 Reasons to Install a Programmable Thermostat ASAP

adjusting programmable thermostat

No doubt you’re on board with the idea of saving money on your energy bills. (Who wouldn’t be?!) You’ve probably gone through the typical punch list — caulking, weather-stripping, insulating, etc. But if you’re still using the thermostat that came with your house, you’re missing out on the significant savings that come with the use of a programmable thermostat. Need proof? Take a look at 5 great benefits you’ll reap by ditching your old thermostat and installing a programmable thermostat:

1. Temperature Control

Set the program that works for you and your family. Cool the house down while you sleep — research shows that you sleep better in a cooler bedroom, and set the program to warm things up before you get up in the morning. The same goes for work and school times. What’s more, your temperature settings will be more precise.

2. Energy Savings

Setting your programmable thermostat to a lower temperature at times when you’re away at work, school, visiting friends or relatives, etc., translates into saving energy. After all, why keep your home toasty-warm while you’re not even there? With a programmable thermostat, you can schedule a warm up to begin before you’re due to arrive back home, ensuring that your home will be comfortable while you’re actually there. The same goes for cooling during the summer.

3. Increased Comfort

Of course, it’s certainly possible to turn your ordinary thermostat down before you leave for work in the morning. But you won’t be coming home to a comfortable home! You’ll have to keep your coat on and shiver for a while after you manually turn up the thermostat and let it go to work warming things up!

4. Financial Savings

A homeowner saves about 3% on energy bills for each degree below 72 degrees, which is another compelling reason to lower the thermostat when you know you won’t be home for several hours. According to Energy Star, the average household spends more than $2000 per year on energy bills. With a programmable thermostat, you can shave at least $180 off your energy expenses each year.

5. It’s Convenient

Some programmable thermostats allow you to control and program your temperature from your phone so you can adjust your settings while you are away. The real convenience of a programmable thermostat is that you can set it and forget it. Pick your program, set it, and then don’t give it another thought. Your programmable thermostat will take over and give you one less thing to think about.

Related Read: “Is Your Furnace Heating Your Home?

Setting Your Program

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends the following settings in order to save 15% on your energy bills:

  • During the winter and while you’re home, program your thermostat to 68°F. Lower the temperature by 10-15 degrees for the hours you spend asleep or away from home.
  • During the summer at-home times, program your thermostat to 78°F, and program the thermostat to turn off the AC while you’re away from home.
  • Program the temperature changes to begin 20-30 minutes before leaving home each day, and 20-30 minutes before you’re due to arrive home. For sleep, program your thermostat to lower heat 60 minutes before you retire for the night and to start coming back up 30 minutes before you’re due to get up in the morning.

Don’t miss out on the tangible benefits offered by a programmable thermostat. For professional installation in the Cincinnati area, call Hermann Services at (513)407-5177.

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See Ya Later Hot & Cold Spots: Temperature Zoning

temperature zoning Mason, OHDon’t settle for an uncomfortable home. From Mason to Cincinnati, Hermann Services has several air conditioning services that can keep your home at a more even temperature. Hot and cool spots in your home don’t necessarily mean that your air conditioner is inefficient and needs repair. It could just be that your heating and cooling system just needs a few adjustments and improvements.

Temperature zoning can help solve some of your issues, especially if your home has multiple levels and rooms with large windows and/or tall ceilings. It can also help you save money on efficiency costs. By zoning your home’s system, your air conditioner or furnace will only be adjusting temperature in certain areas of your home, which means it doesn’t have to work as hard.  So here’s how to get started:

Separate Your Home Into Zones

A technician will come to your home and separate it by zones. Each zone will get its own thermostat that can keep the entire zone at a steady temperature. Zones are usually separated by floor and by areas that are used the most and the least. Depending on the age of your home and your air conditioning system your technician may need to install some new ductwork or dampers into your existing ductwork.

Adjust Your Dampers

The dampers in your ductwork can also keep temperature zoning more efficient. By closing or opening these dampers in the different zones of your home, you can drastically change the amount and flow of air coming into different areas of your home. In the summer, we suggest opening the dampers on the upper floors of your home to allow more cool air to circulate there. You can also close the dampers in the basement somewhat since lower floors tend to stay cooler since heat rises.

Call Hermann Services in the Cincinnati area today at, 513-737-8423, and be on your way to a more comfortable home.

Switch to a High Efficiency AC System Just in Time for Summer

Home AC Repair ServicesBefore the Cincinnati summer gets too hot, you should consider switching to a high efficiency air conditioner. You don’t want to get caught without a working AC system in the heat of the season. So, Herrmann Services has a few things you should know about high efficiency air conditioning systems before you decide.

Energy Costs Dwindle

Since your air conditioner is the biggest consumer of energy in your home, it means it is probably one of most expensive pieces of equipment in your home when it comes to energy bills. Newer, high efficiency systems can help lower your energy costs, though. They come in a variety of options and prices. We suggest choosing one with a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, or SEER. A rating of 12 or greater is usually sufficient to see more savings.

If you think your air conditioner isn’t working as efficiently as it could be, call the experts at Herrmann Services. We specialize in air conditioning repair in Loveland, OH, and all over the greater Cincinnati area.

Less Maintenance Required

High efficiency air conditioners also have a track record for requiring less maintenance and repairs, which also saves you money down the road. Since they are more efficient at running, high efficiency systems tend to take on less stress, giving them a longer operating life, as well.

Be More Comfortable in Your Home

The more efficient your system is, the better it will be at keeping your home comfortable. High efficiency AC systems allow for more consistent airflow and fewer temperature swings. This means you’ll be comfortable in your home, no matter what room you are in.

To keep your air conditioning in tiptop shape this season, call the experts at Herrmann Services 513-206-8537. Our talented team can take care of your air conditioning repair in Kenwood, OH, and many of our other services areas.


Don’t Get Hot Headed, Keep Cool This Season & Get an A/C Tune-Up

It’s about that time in Cincinnati. Soon we will be turning on our air conditioners, and for most of us, it’s the first time this year. If you haven’t been taking care of your air conditioner though, you could have trouble on your hands. Our talented team at Herrmann Services has compiled four reasons to invest in an air conditioner tune-up this season.

Cooling Service and Products

An Efficient System Keeps You More Comfortable

Your air conditioner works hard, but after time it can slow down and become less efficient.  That’s why it needs love and attention, just like any other large investment. You regularly clean your car, and change its oil to keep it from rusting and breaking down. An A/C tune-up can do the same thing for your HVAC system. An annual tune-up will keep your unit healthy and help it work more efficiently.

Keep Air Conditioner Breakdowns at Bay

An A/C tune-up can also protect you from costly breakdowns. As time wears on your air conditioner, it continues to lose efficiency and can eventually burn itself out. When that happens, there’s usually not much that can be done to fix it, and the cost of a new air conditioning system isn’t cheap. Not to mention, if your system breaks down in the middle of the summer, you won’t be too comfortable either. So consider an A/C tune-up. It will keep your system running stronger for longer.

Keep You Rolling in the Dough

Want to save more money? An A/C tune-up can help with that. Tune-ups keep your system efficient, and an efficient system will cut your energy costs. Your air conditioner accounts for nearly half of your energy costs in the warmer months, but an A/C tune-up can help you cut up to a quarter of your costs. Want to save even more? Read about our programmable thermostats.

Prevent Small Problems from Ballooning

Stop a possible disaster in its tracks. An air conditioning tune-up can greatly increase the likelihood that your technician will catch a small problem before it snowballs into a big one. A small problem like refrigerant leak could turn into a major setback when your compressor burns out. The cost of a tune-up and fix is far less than a whole new compressor.

 

Get some peace of mind this year, and invest in your air conditioner. You’ll be happy you did when the heat sets in. Call Herrmann Services today for an estimate at (513) 737-8423.