Category: Furnace and Heating

Should You Repair or Replace Your Furnace – 6 Definitive Questions

should I repair or replace my furnace?

We all know that furnaces don’t last forever. But how do you know when it’s finally time to invest in a new furnace? Luckily, we have some industry insight that will help you make an informed decision. The team at Herrmann Services in Cincinnati has put together these six simple questions that you can ask to determine if it makes more sense to limp along or replace your furnace this year:

Do You Need to Repair or Replace Your Furnace? The Strategic Six Questions to Ask:

  • Is your home more than 12 years old?

Most furnaces only operate efficiently for 12-15 years before they need to be replaced. If your home is more than 12 years old and you have not replaced your furnace yet, your system is nearing the end of its lifespan.

  • Are your heating bills getting higher every year?

Your furnace and AC are the biggest consumers of energy in your home – they account for almost half of your energy costs. As your system ages and becomes less efficient, it also can hike up your energy bills.

  • Have you paid for repairs more than once in the last 5 years?

If you’ve had more than one major repair to your furnace system in the past 5 years, that could be a sign of trouble. Annual maintenance doesn’t count, but if you’ve been faithful about annual maintenance, it should extend the life of your furnace a couple of years, so you can take that into account.

  • Does your furnace seem to run nonstop?

Older systems become less efficient over time, which means they must work harder and longer to maintain the temperature that the thermostat demands. This results in higher utility bills.

  • Does your home have hot and cold spots?

Older systems weren’t necessarily designed to keep every room comfortable. Two-story homes are especially difficult to keep warm and cool. The upstairs stays warm in the summer and the downstairs is always chilly in the winter. Newer systems have technology available to even out the temperature in your home.

  • Is your furnace warranty expired?

Most furnace warranties only cover your system for 5-10 years. Once the warranty expires, repairs can become extremely expensive. At that point, it might make more sense to be putting that money toward a new, high efficiency furnace that will save you money on energy bills rather than spending it on repairs.

If you answered yes to more than three questions, your furnace is probably nickel and diming you to death. Take a look at your heating bills, think about your comfort and consider if it’s worth what it’s costing you. If you decide you may need a new furnace, give us a call and we’ll give you a quote on a new, energy-efficient furnace.

Learn more about your furnace replacement options by calling us at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online.


5 Reasons Why A Furnace Tune-Up Is Worth Every Penny

cozy weather is comingAt Herrmann Services, we like to keep our customers happy. That means we keep their furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters and other equipment running flawlessly. Unfortunately, like any mechanical piece of machinery, these items won’t run forever without regular maintenance. That’s exactly the reason we encourage all of our customers to get an annual tune-up on furnaces, ACs and water heaters. For obvious reasons, spring is the best time for an AC tune-up, and fall is the best time for a furnace tune-up.

Benefits of a Furnace Tune-Up: More Than Just Warmth!

There are many benefits to getting a furnace tune-up. The team at Herrmann Services has broken it down for you to show you how a furnace tune-up now will more than pay for itself in repair savings, comfort and convenience:

1. Avoid Inconvenient Breakdowns and Freezing Toes

Does your furnace ever stop working on a mild day? No. It’s always the coldest day of the year. That’s because if your furnace has a part that’s struggling to work, is loose or cracked, etc., it will break when it is under the most stress. If it’s a cold day, your furnace will be working extra hard and extra long cycles to keep your home comfortable. Rather than suffer in the freezing temperatures waiting for a repairman to show up (probably on one of the busiest days for furnace repair) if your furnace has had a tune-up, it would be very unlikely to break down. Tune-ups prevent most breakdowns from occurring.

2. Increase Energy Efficiency and Save, Save, Save!

heating and cooling costs

A furnace that has parts that are cleaned, oiled, tightened, repaired and running smoothly will run much more efficiently than one that is neglected. Considering that heating and cooling costs account for roughly 50% of the average home’s energy bills, this can add up to some significant savings.

3. Keep Your Home and Your Family Safe from Fire Hazards

Furnace tune-ups will catch problems that could lead to fire hazards. During a furnace tune-up, the the technician will check things like electrical wiring, burners and safety controls. A furnace can produce carbon monoxide because of a mechanical failure or as the result of a cracked heat exchanger, flue or burner problems. Incorrect installation, damage caused by basement flooding, and even pilot lights can also produce deadly carbon monoxide. A technician will check all of these safety concerns.

4. Extend Life of Your Furnace and Make Your Furnace Last

Let’s face it, replacing a furnace or air conditioner is not cheap. No one wants to replace them. We only replace them when they are broken (like when they’re leaking water!) or are nickel and diming us to death and it just makes more sense to purchase a new one. Obviously, regular maintenance and cleaning will keep your system running more smoothly and efficiently and help it to last as long as possible. Plus, a small repair caught early will cost you much less than the major repair it may lead to later.

5. Keep Manufacturer Warranties Up to Date and Valid

Many systems come with a manufacturer’s warranty which covers certain parts and large repairs for a particular amount of time. No one wants to find out their warranty has been voided because they didn’t keep up the maintenance required in the warranty contract.

If you haven’t scheduled a furnace tune-up this season, give us a call and we’ll send one of our skilled technicians to your home to make sure your furnace runs smoothly and keeps your family warm all winter long.

Call us at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online to make an appointment.

3 Ways To Get the Most Out of Your Ceiling Fan

black fan with gold fixtures in a homeAhh, ceiling fans. While not the most exciting fixture in our home, they provide such a necessary function, particularly as the summer months arrive. However, these home must-haves are often overlooked as boring install-and-leave fixtures. But if you know these three simple ceiling fan facts, you can increase your fan’s utility, lower your energy costs, and even connect certain fans to an app, getting the most out of a once static fixture.

 

1. Summer Heat Got You Beat? Change Your Fan’s Rotation

Many homeowners are not aware that your fan’s rotation is meant to be changed every summer and winter. During the summer, fan blades should be pointed upwards, usually moving in a counterclockwise rotation, so that air can be pushed down to the floor and result in a cooler feeling room.

During the winter, fans should rotate with their blades turned downwards, in a clockwise motion. Because heat rises, warm air usually gets trapped on the ceiling, leaving you shivering down below. With a properly rotating ceiling fan, it will help circulate the warm air to the bottom, resulting in a more evenly-temperatured feeling room. Usually, a switch is provided on the fan itself that can change the direction. If not, contact our knowledgeable electricians for more consulting help.

2. Save Money By Doing The Unthinkable: Turning Your Fan Off

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, shutting the fan off when you leave a room will help save  on electricity bills and it won’t really affect the temperature of the room. Here’s how this works: fans never actually lower room temperature, they only circulate air. This air is pushed down onto your skin, drying your perspiration, and leaving you feeling naturally cool and refreshed.

But if you aren’t there, then the fan simply runs for nothing and eats up electricity. So next time you feel like saving some money, remember to shut the fan off before you leave a room.

3. Pay Less, Get Smarter: App-controlled Fans

Did you know that even your ceiling fans are becoming “smart”? With companies making digitally-integrated ceiling fans, you are now able to set timing schedules, control spin speed, change blade rotation, and even have motion sensing technology that turns on and off when you enter or leave a room. All of this from your phone!

Having a smart ceiling fan may seem like overkill, but the savings you will get from such an efficient machine may be worth your while.

Are you thinking about installing a new ceiling fan that meets all of your summer needs, or need help changing your fan’s rotation, contact us at Herrmann Services for professional and reliable services!

Is Your Family Always Running Out of Hot Water? Consider a Tankless Water Heater!

Navien Tankless InstallBefore tankless water heaters existed, homeowners had one choice – a traditional water heater. Traditional water heaters have numerous drawbacks, from slow heating times, to high energy consumption, to finite supplies. In the past, tankless water heaters were small and inefficient. Today, improved tankless water heaters are gaining popularity for a number of reasons. A tankless water heater represents a wonderful way to minimize inconveniences such as cold showers for the last member of the family to wake up. If you’re contemplating an upgrade to a tankless water heater, this list of FAQs can help you make an informed decision.

What Is a Tankless Water Heater?

A tankless water heater is what it sounds like: a water heating system that does not require a large holding tank to operate. Instead, water is quickly brought to temperature on an as-needed basis. In this way, a tankless water heater is able to meet an entire home’s hot water needs while taking up a fraction of the space of a traditional water heater. A tankless water heater is about the size of a small suitcase and is mounted on the wall, taking up much less floor space than a traditional water heater.

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

Many people have a hard time believing that a relatively small box mounted on their wall will really be capable of providing the same hot water supply as a traditional water heater. Yet, thanks to the high powered heat exchangers inside of a tankless water heater, it is actually able to surpass the output of a normal water heater. Tankless water heaters are capable of providing a virtually limitless supply of hot water, by providing only as much hot water as is needed by your hot water fixtures or appliances. The only way you could run out of hot water is if you ran out of cold water!

What Are the Advantages of a Tankless Water Heater?

By now, you are already acquainted with two key advantages of tankless water heaters: their small physical footprint, and the fact that they are not hampered by a fixed capacity. This reliability is a huge advantage to busy families. There are also safety advantages to selecting a tankless water heater. There is also no danger of the tank leaking and ruining your lower level since there is no water being held.

If you’d like to learn more about tankless water heaters, or need one installed in your home, call the experts at Herrmann Services at (513) 407-5177. We’ll answer all of your questions and get you set up in no time!

5 Reasons to Switch to a High-Efficiency Air Conditioner

Is summer your favorite season? While most of us enjoy the sunshine and warm weather, no one likes to spend all day sweating, certainly not in their own home. Thank goodness for air conditioning!
air conditioner broken, install a high efficiency air conditioner systemHowever, keep in mind that your air conditioner is one of the biggest energy consumers in your household. We know no one wants to buy a new AC, but if it’s time, this will make you feel better about your purchase of a new energy-efficient model. The team at Herrmann Services put together this list of benefits when you upgrade:

1. Higher Efficiency Means Lower Bills

Using less energy means spending less money! Your upgrade could save you 20-40 percent of your cooling costs.

2. New AC Systems Will Have Fewer Breakdowns

A high-efficiency system uses the latest technology, making it both more efficient and more durable than an older model. Still, simple measures like cleaning the air filters and getting a routine tune-up can prolong the life of your air conditioner and prevent more costly repairs.

3. You’ll Experience Greater Comfort

Newer models do their job better. Your upgrade might allow for a system that runs more quietly or cools your home more quickly and evenly. Having an experienced heating and cooling company install your new AC will also ensure that it runs as efficiently as possible. Our technicians will make sure your furnace or air conditioner is sized properly for your Cincinnati home so you get the maximum amount of efficiency and comfort.

4. Using Less Energy Is Good for the Environment

High-efficiency air conditioners use 20-50 percent less energy, particularly when combined with other energy-saving measures. Using less energy not only saves you money, but it’s good for the environment too.

5. Tune-Ups Keep Your Old System Running Smoothly

Don’t run the risk of your air conditioner giving up on you when you need it most. Now is the perfect time to get an inspection to see if you should repair, replace, or upgrade your air conditioning system. Even a simple tune-up can prevent breakdowns, help your air conditioner run more efficiently, and get you through another hot Cincinnati summer.

Herrmann Services can provide a checkup for your air conditioner and help you decide whether it’s best to tune it up, repair it, or upgrade to a high-efficiency system that will save you money and keep you cool for years to come. Call us at (513) 407-5177 to schedule an appointment.

5 Tips to Get Your Home and Air Conditioner Ready for Summer

summer in cincinnatiAre you ready for summer? Have you stocked up on sunblock and flip flops? You may be ready, but what about your home? You need to prep it for the hot months ahead if you want to save money on your utility bills. Herrmann Services put together this list of tips to help you save money this summer on energy bills.

What Can You Do to Save Money on Utility Bills This Summer?

The long-range forecast for Ohio, and most of the Midwest, this summer is hot, hot, hot. As early as June, homeowners can expect temperatures to be in the 80s. There will be plenty of sunshine, which will set the stage for July and August to be even hotter. Staying cool inside your home doesn’t have to trigger a fainting spell when utility bills arrive. Here are some tips to get your home primed and ready for better energy efficiency this summer:

  1. Repair any damage to the roof and siding that may have occurred during the winter season.
  2. Replace caulking around windows and entry doors.
  3. Check your home’s insulation and add more if necessary.
  4. Update old windows or apply energy film on windows to improve energy efficiency.
  5. Install a new AC air filter and fire the system up for a test run and system check.
  6. Schedule an inspection and service of your home’s heating and cooling system.

HVAC Service Indoor & Out

Why is it so important for a professional to service your air conditioner? Because your HVAC system has indoor and outdoor equipment that require specialized expertise. Winter weather is often windy, blowing debris into the outdoor AC unit. A dirty unit is a harder working unit, which drives up energy consumption. You change the oil in your car regularly, don’t you? That keeps the engine running more efficiently and helps you avoid  car repairs. air conditioner replacement. The same principle applies to an air conditioning system. Your AC needs routine maintenance on all of its integral components like motors, fans, coils, coolant, and filters to keep it running efficiently.

To help prepare your AC system before a heat wave strikes, contact the experts who have been serving the greater Cincinnati area for nearly 50 years. Herrmann Services is family owned, professionally staffed and ready to surpass your service expectations! Call us at (513) 737-8423.

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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How A Furnace Tune-Up Can Protect Your Family From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

prevent carbon monoxide poisoning with furnace tune up

Carbon monoxide isn’t known as the silent killer for nothing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that this hard to detect gas is responsible for approximately 430 deaths per year. Fortunately, keeping your gas furnace properly maintained can do wonders to reduce the threat posed by carbon monoxide.

Incomplete Combustion

A furnace requires more than gas alone to produce its heat. This gas must be mixed with air in a very precise ratio, otherwise it will not fully combust. When a furnace’s gas-air ratio is off, it can drastically effect the efficiency of your furnace.

Not only that, but it also increases the amount of carbon monoxide–a by-product of incomplete combustion–being generated by your furnace.

In other words, the more complete the combustion taking place, the less carbon monoxide your furnace will produce. For that reason, it is vital that you schedule regular furnace maintenance to ensure that the gas-air ratio inside of your combustion chamber is exactly where it should be.

Flue Problems

Even in the most efficient furnace, a small amount of carbon monoxide will be generated, along with other toxic substances such as:

  • nitrogen dioxide
  • sulfur dioxide
  • formaldehydes
  • polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • particulate matter

Your furnace’s exhaust flue is designed to carry such substances out of your home. Once outside, they are able to disperse to harmless levels in the atmosphere. Unfortunately, if your flue has become compromised by holes or cracks, carbon monoxide and other toxic emissions may be entering your home.

Cracked Heat Exchanger

Your furnace can also have carbon monoxide issues if the heat exchanger inside the furnace has cracks or other issues. As furnaces age, these types of issues can start to happen. A qualified furnace technician can run tests to make sure your heat exchanger is intact and working properly.

If you can’t remember the last time your furnace was serviced, call the Furnace experts from Herrmann Services at (513) 407-5177.

 
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3 Reasons Why You Need to Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up Today

furnace tune-up and maintenance

Whether we want to admit it or not, winter is right around the corner. Before long, temperatures will plummet and we will turn to our furnaces to keep our home warm and cozy. With regular furnace tune-ups and maintenance, you can rest assured that your family won’t get left in the cold. Here are three reasons why you need to schedule a furnace tune-up today.

1. Regular Maintenance Increases the Life Span of Your Furnace and Can Prevent Costly Repairs

Because of the wide range of inspection that occurs during a tune-up, technicians can make minor adjustments such as lubricating moving parts, inspecting and cleaning condensate drains, and testing the unit’s starting capabilities. These minor adjustments can prevent your furnace’s parts from deteriorating as quickly, which in return, prolongs the life span of your furnace.

With regular maintenance, technicians can also detect small problems before they turn into larger, more expensive repairs. By keeping your furnace running at its peak performance, unexpected breakdowns or problems are less likely.

2. Regular Maintenance Will Keep Your Warranty Intact

Many manufactures require you to schedule regular maintenance and to keep proper records of such services, in order for the warranty to remain valid. Manufacturers realize how important regular furnace tune-ups are to the performance and longevity of your system.

3. Regular Maintenance and Inspections can Help Avoid Potential Safety Hazards

For many, safety is the number one priority when it comes to our families and homes. Tune-ups can detect carbon monoxide leaks and potential fire hazards. With proper maintenance, you can heat your home without worrying about potential safety risks.

Once an inspection is complete, your furnace will perform more efficiently, keeping your home comfortable all winter.

Contact us at (513) 407-5177 to schedule a furnace tune-up or to set up a maintenance plan.

Warm Weather Is Coming – Is Your Air Conditioner Ready?

AC-Garden-Hose-CincyBefore we know it, the hot, humid weather will be coming to the Cincinnati area. And that means it will be time to turn on your air conditioner.

But, it’s been awhile since you had to use your air conditioner. There are some things you can do NOW to make sure you don’t have any surprises!

Read below for some easy tips to help get your air conditioner ready for the hot and humid summers we get in our area.

 

Simple Tips To Get Your Air Conditioner Ready for Cincinnati Summers

  • Check your air conditioner for dirt and debris. Over the winter, dirt can swirl around with the windy days we get in Cincinnati, and your air conditioner is a landing spot for dirt on the outside of your unit. You can usually see it building up on the outside, and that dirt can make your AC work really hard, which increases your utility costs. Just take a garden hose and rinse that dirt off. Just make sure you turn off the electrical breaker to your air conditioner unit before you use the hose!
  • Turn it on now. Most homeowners wait until the last minute to turn on their air conditioner. Most breakdowns happen when you wake your air conditioner from its winter slumber, and then you are scrambling to find an air conditioner company to come out and repair your AC unit. The problem is, every other homeowner did the same thing, so everyone is trying to call someone to repair their system. Do yourself a favor and turn on your air conditioner on a warm day just to make sure everything is working properly. That way you will know of any issues BEFORE you really need it.
  • Schedule an AC tune-up. Your air conditioner is like a vehicle – it needs regular maintenance to make sure it runs efficiently and lasts a long time. An air conditioner tune-up can save you money on your utility bills and extend the life of your unit. Plus, some manufacturers require regular maintenance to satisfy equipment warranties. There is nothing worse than finding out the air conditioner repair you thought was under warranty is not covered because of poor maintenance.

This is the time to get your air conditioner ready for our hot summers here in the Cincinnati area. Contact Herrmann Services today with any questions or to schedule your air conditioner tune-up!