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6 Interior Lighting Ideas for Your Cincinnati Home

Your home is ready for an update. One of the best places to start is the lighting. Dollar for dollar, updating your lighting will give you the best bang for your buck. Not only will your home look nicer because of the updated fixtures, but the lighting itself will create a new, refreshed look. Plus, it’s much less expensive than remodeling or buying new furniture.

Start with the Most Prominent Rooms

If your goal is to update your home’s lighting, start with the light fixtures that guests will see – kitchen, great room, foyer. While changing the lighting in your bedroom may be called for, it’s a room that most guests won’t see and therefore, can’t appreciate updating. For the biggest impact stick with the most prominent fixtures.

Remember Purpose When Choosing New Light Fixtures

Don’t forget, there are different kinds of lighting for different areas of your home. You don’t want to make the mistake of replacing a light fixture whose purpose is to provide the main lighting in a room with a light that isn’t strong enough to do the job. Maybe you really like the look of that frosted globe, but will it diminish the light that emits?

Always keep purpose in mind. Task lighting should be bright, accent lighting can be softer. Also think about where the light will shine. Some light fixtures shine straight down, while others will spread light in a wide path. Think about what you want the light to do before  making your decision.

Top Lighting Trends to Look For in 2018

So what kind of lighting should you look for to give your home a new, modern look? Try these beautiful lighting ideas:

hanging lights or pendant lighting for your kitchenDecorative pendant lights are definitely on trend. They look great over a center island.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cabinet Lighting for KitchenLighted display cabinets are also all the rage. You may have to update a cabinet or two in the kitchen to add a glass front.

Bookshelves flanking the fireplace are also great places to add a can light for emphasis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

wall sconces as living room lighting upgrade

Wall sconces look great in a dining room alongside a mirror or in a great room above the mantel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cabinet lighting for your kitchenA great way to add ambient lighting to kitchen is to install recessed lighting above the cabinets or even puck lights below them.

The lighting fixture is out of sight, but the soft glow gently brightens the perimeter of the room without overwhelming.

Under cabinet lighting makes great task lighting in a kitchen.

 

 

 

 

cove lighting for living roomCove lighting, lighting installed in a ledge high on the wall or behind moulding, will take a room from ordinary to elegant.

 

 

 

 

 

chandelier lighting for kitchenChandeliers and large-scale pendant lights are designer favorites. Some styles to keep an eye out for include orbs, and chandeliers with eye-catching accents like crystals, draped beading, and wood.

Rubbed bronze is becoming the go-to finish appearing in upscale decor. Although polished nickel finishes are great for a more glamorous look.

A sparkling crystal chandelier and coordinating wall sconces cast ambient light throughout a room.

 

 

Whatever your style, from rustic, to modern, to French country, there’s a lighting style to match. Simply choose the light fixtures that fit your kitchen’s style and your lifestyle needs.

TIP: Change bulbs to change intensity or add a dimmer to the switch. (Make sure you buy light bulbs capable of dimming. Not all kinds are dimmable so pay attention to the packaging.) If you’re buying LED lights, use this LED buying guide.

If you need help installing any type of lighting, give Herrmann Services a call at (513) 737-8423 or contact us online.

Why is My Air Conditioner Always Running?

old air conditioner always running

Cincinnati’s hot, humid summers mean your air conditioner will get a workout keeping you cool. However, that doesn’t mean it should always be running. If you’ve been asking, “Why is my air conditioner always running?” here are a few things to check.

Air Filters and Fan Blades

The first thing to do is make sure your ac unit is clean. Clean or replace the filters and make sure the fan blades are not coated with a layer of grime. Dirt can cause your blower motor or fans to not run properly and cause your ac to run all the time. A good cleaning helps your unit run at peak efficiency.

Air Conditioner Coils

If you didn’t have your air conditioner serviced before summer hit, you may have dirty indoor and outdoor coils or a low refrigerant charge. This is especially true if it is running all the time but the AC is not cold enough to cool the room properly. In this case, it is best to give the air conditioning professionals a call. They can quickly solve your problem.

Size of Air Conditioner

Another issue is that your air conditioner may not be properly sized for your home. Depending on your climate, most air conditioning systems are designed with a 20 degree differential. Which means, if it is 100 degrees, your air conditioner is performing properly if it maintains 80 degrees in your home. If your thermostat is set at 75 degrees, your air conditioner cannot reach that level, which means it just runs all day. You may need a larger system and some ductwork modifications for your home.

If your AC is constantly running and you can’t solve your problem, call Herrmann Services in Cincinnati at 513-407-5177. Our professionals will troubleshoot your problem, get your air conditioner running properly again, and get you relief from the Cincinnati summer.

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Tips For Hiring The Right Heating & Cooling Company

Because heating and cooling units have complicated components, a seasoned technician must tackle all air conditioner and furnace repair tasks. Before you hire an heating and cooling company, several things must be considered. From knowledge to customer service to price, make sure you know you’re hiring the best company in your area.

Learn About the Heating and Cooling Company

Every state has insurance and license requirements for heating and cooling contractors. Gather this information before you call various heating and cooling companies. Make sure they are licensed and insured and have been in business for at least a year. You don’t want to hire some fly-by-night company that may be gone tomorrow.

Get Referrals

In most cases, neighbors and friends can provide recommendations. Various local trade organizations can also help you find an established heating and cooling company.

Get Written Estimates for AC and Furnace Repair or Installation

Because air conditioner replacement and furnace replacement costs vary, you must get written estimates from different companies. Do not hire any business until you understand every detail and the completion date.

Ask Which Brands of Furnaces and Air Conditioners They Service

If you plan to install a new unit, ask about the brands that each company services. Most businesses only carry certain brands, so you must hire a company that has technicians who use install, replace, and repair your preferred brand.

Don’t Forget to Ask about Rebates and Incentives When Installing a New System

Rebates and tax credits should be considered too, so find out if your system qualifies. Ask the technician about different incentives; then, ensure that your project meets the incentive requirements according to local, state, or federal laws.

Check to See if They Offer Financing

During a big air conditioning repair project, a deposit may be required. Also, progressive or planned payments may be needed along the way. If you request a payment plan or pursue financing, always read the fine print. If you don’t study the contract, you may run into financial problems down the road.

Ask about Money Saving Maintenance Programs

When hiring a heating and cooling company for maintenance or installation services, ask about the service contract program. Most companies offer a maintenance program that saves you money on repairs, tune-ups, new units, etc. If you enroll, you will also decrease the amount of breakdowns because a technician will service the units regularly.

To learn more about important heating and cooling company requirements, contact Herrmann Services at (513) 407-5177. You should never tackle a heating and cooling problem alone; leave your Cincinnati furnace repairs to the experts.

Why Is Water Under My Furnace, and What Do I Do Now?

Man Fixing Water under Furnace PhotoIn the Cincinnati, OH, area, it’s not uncommon to spot water pooling under your furnace year round. While it definitely isn’t a good idea to leave the problem be, there are a variety of things that can result in a gas furnace leaking water or water collecting on the floor. These can range from simple fixes to complicated furnace and air conditioner repairs, so it’s good to know what you might be encountering.

Poor Pipe Insulation Can Cause Condensation to Form

One relatively simple cause of a gas furnace leaking water is poor insulation around pipes and lines where condensation can occur. If insulation has gaps or poorly-taped spots, condensation can form, drip down, and collect on the floor beneath the furnace. Fortunately, this is one of the few causes that’s pretty easy for homeowners to fix. The insulation should be taped or replaced as needed to keep condensation from forming.

Clogged Drain Tubes Cause Water to Back Up

Other causes of water under your furnace are clogs in the floor drain or drainage tube. These occur when dirt or dust mix with condensation and are allowed to build up until they create a blockage that prevents water from draining away properly.

Your Flue Pipe May Be Too Small

If the floor drain and tubing appear clear, the problem may be due to an improperly sized flue pipe. This allows cooled exhaust to condense in the pipe, leak back into the furnace, and form a puddle. While a clogged floor drain can usually be cleared without professional assistance, blocked, dry-rotted tubing or an undersized flue will both need to be handled by a pro.

Internal Drain Clogs Can Cause Water under the Furnace

In summer, air conditioning units that share an internal drain with a furnace can lead to water under the furnace. Internal drain units clog easily, causing moisture generated by air conditioner condensers to build up and leak from the furnace itself. A clogged condensation drain usually requires a professional to service it.

There are a variety of other causes of water pooling under a furnace, most of which require a service call. For more information about furnace and air conditioner maintenance and service, call Herrmann Services at (513) 407-5177.

3 Reasons Homeowners Need to Schedule an Air Conditioner Tune Up Now

Air Conditioner MaintenanceAnother steamy Cincinnati summer is coming! You’ve finished your spring-cleaning, bought sunscreen, and tucked away the winter blankets–but is your air conditioner prepared to take on the heat? Here are three reasons why scheduling an air conditioner tune-up should be on the top of your list.

Keep Cool During a Cincinnati Heat Wave

If you’ve ever experienced an air conditioner break-down during the hottest months of summer, then you know the experience is more than just an expensive inconvenience. Annual air conditioning maintenance helps prevent breakdowns by identifying issues long before they become catastrophic. Our technicians will clean the AC coils, oil the motors, test the compressor, the drainage system, and check all mechanical parts for signs of wear. Early intervention helps identify possible problems long before you’re making emergency calls and shifting fans from room-to-room.

Save Money by Maximizing Air Conditioner Efficiency

Your air condition runs at its most efficient energy level when the coils are clean for proper air flow and drainage, Freon levels are properly set, the thermostat is functioning well and is most accurate, and the furnace filter is clean and free of wear. The fully trained technicians at Herrmann Services are specialists in all elements of air conditioning maintenance, including optimizing energy efficiency in a cost-effective manner. Annual maintenance can even pay for itself because an efficiently running AC will save you money on your utility bills.

Extend the Working Lifetime of your Air Conditioner

Just as cars are scheduled for regular tune-ups in the hopes of keeping them running for 100,000 miles or more, air conditioners require annual maintenance in order to extend their working lifetimes. If the expense of buying a new unit concerns you, consider one of Herrmann Services’ Air Conditioner Maintenance Plans to help your system last longer and run better.

No one offers a better air conditioner tune-up in Cincinnati than the folks who’ve been doing it since 1968. Don’t wait. Give the professionals at Herrmann Services a call now at (513) 407-5177.
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3 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe at Home

Boy with electrical cord photoThere are estimated to be around 1,000 deaths due to electrocution each year in the US. However, children are at particularly high risk. Curious children and electricity do not mix.

In 63 percent of injuries in children under age 12, electrical cords were to blame. In another 15 percent, wall outlets were involved.

It’s important to protect them against these hazards as soon as they become mobile.

At Herrmann Services, we’d like to keep all the Cincinnati children safe, so we have come up with a list of precautions you can take that can help prevent injuries. They may seem simple, but make it a point to do them so your family is safe.

 

1. Teach Them about Electricity Early

The way to best protect your child from electric shock is to educate them about electrical safety. This can generally begin around age three, starting with simple concepts, such as “electrical outlets and cords are not toys, they can hurt you.”

As they get older, you can be much more specific. For instance, they should never touch the prongs when plugging things in, and don’t use electrical devices in or near water.

2. Make Safety Upgrades

Making some easy upgrades to your home can help safeguard your child against electrical injury. In kitchens, bathrooms and other areas where water may be present, it’s strongly recommended to install ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets.

These will shut off the flow of electricity to electrical objects before electrocution can occur. However, it’s important to test them monthly to ensure they’re still working. Another simple tactic is to install plastic safety caps on your outlets. They will prevent very young children from sticking things into sockets.

3. Correct Potential Hazards

If you can see it and it’s within easy reach, you should assume a young child will try playing with it. Walk around your home and keep an eye out for any potential electricity hazards.

These may include damaged electrical cords, improperly fitting plugs or electrical devices that can be easily pulled from tables or shelves. Similarly, any areas of your home where water pools near electrical wires or outlets must be rectified immediately. Don’t forget to check outdoor outlets as well.

You may also wish to assess the condition of your home’s electrical system. Are there loose or broken outlets, frequent shorts or outages? These things can dramatically increase the chances of injury and should be repaired by a professional Cincinnati electrician. We also offer family plans that include regular inspections of your electrical system. For more information on electrical safety, please call Herrmann Services at 513-737-8423.

 

Thanks to Herrmann Services Customers for Helping Us Raise $3,600 to Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Support - Pink Ribbon GirlsThanks to our customers, we were able to do it again! Herrmann Services recently wrote a check for $3,600.00 to The Pink Ribbon Girls.  In support of breast cancer awareness month, Herrmann Services partnered with their customers to donate $10 for every breast cancer awareness yard sign placed in a yard for the month of October.  311 signs were placed around town by their customers and in turn, $3,110 was raised, plus an additional $490 was donated to the organization by our loyal customers.

What is Pink Ribbon Girls? 

Pink Ribbon Girls is a grassroots 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to help ease the minds of individuals and families affected by breast cancer with direct services and support. Through their Simply Fight! and NO Age NO Stage programs in the Cincinnati and Dayton metro areas, they balance the fear and uncertainty that breast cancer brings to individuals and families by providing meals, transportation, housecleaning, and peer support.

How Pink Ribbon Girls Will Use The Donation To Support Those Affected By Breast Cancer

Diana Featherstone of Pink Ribbon Girls expresses her appreciation by saying, “We are so thankful for the support of Herrmann Services. Every dollar raised through this campaign goes towards providing free direct services such as meals, housekeeping and transportation to women going through breast cancer treatment right here in Southwest Ohio. With their commitment, we can ensure that No One Travels This Road Alone!”

Thanks to Our Amazing Customers

“It’s really exciting to be able to give back to our community.  I am proud that so many of our customers wanted to be a part of this fundraiser. Last year we donated $3,410 and the first year was $2,500. We are really grateful to our loyal customers who participated! It is our hope that each year we continue to see an increase in signs placed around town to aid people affected by this disease.” said Jason Herrmann, Service Manager of Herrmann Services.

Thank you to all of our wonderful customers for teaming up with Herrmann Services in fighting for a breast cancer cure. Without you, this campaign would not be a success! Check out this 30-second clip by Hubbard Interactive about the campaign from a recipient of Pink Ribbon Girl’s services.

Importance of Fall Furnace Tune-Ups and Repairs

Fall furnace tune-up imageWhen the weather turns cold in the Cincinnati area, you turn to your furnace or heat pump to keep you warm. Your furnace has sat idle for months during the summer and suddenly, it’s called into action. Over that time, dust has gathered, mechanical pieces haven’t moved in months, and your unit may be a little sluggish. If it starts and works, you may think there’s no good reason to call a heating company like Herrmann Services. But there are several advantages to having furnace tune-ups other than keeping your house warm.

Save Money on Energy Bills

A clean furnace is a happy furnace. One of the main things our technicians do during a tune-up is to clean your furnace or heat pump. You’d be surprised how drastically dirt can affect the performance of your unit. Some statistics say dirt alone can make your furnace as much as 40% less efficient. During a tune-up, our furnace repair technicians will not only keep your furnace clean, they will check, lubricate, tighten, balance, replace broken or worn parts, and provide a complete gas and electric safety check as well.

Make Sure Your Furnace is Safe

Having your furnace cleaned and checked every year will keep your family safe. A furnace or heat pump is a machine that can cause fires, emit deadly gas, etc. A tune-up will catch any problems or dangerous situations before they become deadly. The older the furnace, the more important an annual checkup is. Newer gas furnaces are equipped with safety features that shut the furnace off if a safety problem is detected. Older furnaces do not have these safety features. Over time, your furnace can develop small cracks in the combustion chamber that may not be visible to the naked eye, but are large enough to leak carbon monoxide through into your home.

Avoid Breakdowns

No one likes it when their furnace or heat pump breaks down. Having an annual tune-up will help you avoid inconvenient breakdowns. Tune-ups not only help your system run more efficiently, they also catch small problems before they turn into large, expensive problems. Don’t wait till there’s a problem…avoid the problem altogether with an annual tune-up.

Extend the Life of your Furnace or Heat Pump

Finally, as if you need one more good reason to get a tune-up every year, don’t forget the long run. Everyone knows that if you take good care of your car it will last longer. The same is true of your furnace or heat pump. You’ll get several more years of quality service out of your unit if you have an annual tune-up every year. And considering that a furnace is not an inexpensive item to replace, the longer it lasts, the better.

If you need to schedule a furnace or heat pump tune-up, call Herrmann Services. Be safe, be smart, and be thrifty – schedule your furnace tune-up with Hermann today.

Electrical Inspection: 2 Big Reasons Your Home Needs One

Reasons for Electrical Inspection in CincinnatiWhile there are dozens of reasons for residential electrical inspections in the Cincinnati area, Herrmann Services put together our electricians’ top three. From poor wiring to outdated electrical systems, your home may be at risk.

Read this list carefully and determine whether any of these problems exist in your home.

 

Electrical Systems Need to Be Updated

The first question that Herrmann Services asks of homeowners when they begin to experience electrical problems is, “How old is your home?” If your Cincinnati area home was built prior to 1980, the probability of your home’s electrical system being out of date is high.

In fact, today’s modern appliances and electronics demand a larger amount of electricity than older fuse boxes are not designed to handle. It is important to update your fuse box because they help to prevent circuit overload, which can lead to fire. Updating your fuse box will make your home safer.

Replace Out of Date Wiring in Your Cincinnati Area Home

Electrical wiring is another component that homeowners should have checked out. Just as the electrical system in many homes is out of date, so too is the wiring. Wiring that is out of date can create a fire hazard for many homes.

With an electrical inspection, Herrmann’s professional electricians in Cincinnati can determine if your home’s wiring is in need of an update in order to help keep you safe.

Over the years, the National Electric Code (NEC) is updated and with that your home should be updated too.  If you have an older home, don’t assume everything is fine. Call Herrmann Services at (513) 737-8423 and set up a service appointment for your electrical inspection!

Heating and Cooling Tax Credits Still Available For Cincinnati Homeowners

There are still federal tax credits available for homeowners who installed qualifying furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, or water heaters in their Cincinnati homes in 2012. These tax credits will also apply for anything installed through December 31, 2013. Homeowners in Cincinnati can claim a tax credit of up to $500, and the equipment must meet certain efficiency guidelines.

You can receive up a $300 for installing a qualifying air conditioner or heat pump. For a split system central air conditioner, the unit must be at least 16 SEER with a 12 EER. For homes with a split system heat pump, it must be 15 SEER, 12.5 EER, and 8.5 HSPF. There are also tax credits available for packaged units. A packaged air conditioner must be at least 14 SEER with a 12 EER, and a packaged electric heat pump must be 14 SEER, 12 EER, and 8 HSPF.

Your furnace is eligible for a $150 tax credit if the efficient is at least 95% or above. This applies to natural gas, propane, or oil. Boilers also qualify as long as it is 95% or more efficient. You can also receive an additional $50 tax credit if you install a furnace with an Advanced Main Air Circulating fan, which means the annual electricity use of the unit must be no more than 2 percent of the total energy use of the furnace.

Water heaters can also qualify for a tax credit of $300. If your water heater is natural gas, propane, or oil, it must have a thermal efficiency of 90% or greater or .82 energy factor. An electric heat pump water heater must have an energy factor of at least 2.0.

Confused? One of the Comfort Specialists at Herrmann Services will be happy to sort out the proper equipment that qualifies, and we’ll also talk to you about available manufacturer and utility rebates. Call us today, and we’ll make sure you qualify for all the items available to you!