Monthly Archives: June 2016

3 Signs Your AC Unit Is On Its Last Leg

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Hot weather is descending on us faster than an Olympic sprinter. The A/C unit is one of the most effective methods for keeping a building cool. The last thing you want is for the equipment to fail in the middle of a heat wave. Here are three signals it is time to replace the machine itself.

Related Read: AC Troubleshooting: Things to Check Before Calling a Tech

1. Nothing Lasts Forever

The nature of using things means eventually they do wear out. If an A/C is over 15 years old, almost assuredly it is not efficient and needs to be replaced. This is especially true if you’re an avid or constant user of the equipment. In addition, if running it all hours doesn’t seem to help, then replacement time is upon you.

2. Environmental Issues

Sitting around and sweating profusely is never comfortable for anybody. However, hot rooms and humidity are more than unpleasant. Computers, laptops, and all sorts of electronic devices get damaged from moisture, in addition to overheating. If you are experiencing such issues, then exchanging your old AC for a new one is an immediate necessity.

3. AC Units Are Expensive, but Shouldn’t Leave You Broke

It is no secret that running this equipment (especially in hot weather) is never cheap. If your bill seems astronomically high compared to previous years, it is highly suggested to replace the unit. Repairs are costly, yet many often prefer this to the cost of getting a new unit; but should fixing your A/C become a recurring ordeal, then this evidence demonstrates the machine is no longer functioning properly.

Freon, known as R-22, is the refrigerant which enables most older air conditioners to cool your home. When low, the equipment will cease delivering cold air. If this problem arises regularly (usually due to a leak), then you will want to replace the unit; especially since the EPA is phasing out this chemical, causing prices to skyrocket. Refilling Freon constantly is, therefore, an untenable proposition.  

 

Experiencing three or more of the above problems? Then a new AC unit is now priority number one. Call us at (402) 554-1110 or  contact us today for more information on the services we provide, and for more helpful information continue reading our blog.

 

What Is My SEER Rating & Why Does It Matter?

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Air conditioners all have an energy efficiency rating. It’s called a SEER rating. A SEER rating is defined as Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. The rating is determined by the output of heat or air for each unit of energy the unit consumes. The higher the output, the higher the rating. Higher ratings indicate higher efficiency.

Related Read: 4 Quick AC Tips to Save Money When You’re Away on Vacay

 

SEER Rating Requirement

The requirement as of January 2006, mandated by the federal government, is that each new a/c unit has to be at least SEER-13. These ratings are important to consumers for a couple of main reasons. First, utility companies will often offer compensation in the hundreds of dollars for a homeowner to install a higher efficiency unit. Consumers can also check for current rebates that are available. Higher efficiency also results in lower utility bills and less stress on the environment.

There are a handful of ways to find the SEER rating of your current unit. The easiest is to get it off the yellow and black Energy Guide sticker, if it’s still intact on your condenser. You may also have a piece of paper taped to your indoor unit that might show the rating. Your model nameplate on your unit may provide an indication (although it may not be exact) of your SEER rating. If you are still having trouble locating it, you can copy down the manufacturer and serial numbers and contact the manufacturer.

 

Time for a New Unit?

Check out this list of recommendations from ENERGY STAR on when to consider upgrading your AC unit:

  • If your heat or AC unit is more than 10 years old
  • Furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old
  • Energy bills are rising and repairs needed are frequent
  • Unequal heating or cooling in different rooms of your house
  • If you are gone for long stretches of the day and don’t have a programmable thermostat
  • Your home has humidity problems
  • Your home has excessive dust
  • Your system is noisy
  • Your score on the home energy yardstick  is below 5

 

Getzschman Heating and Cooling is a family-owned business and has been serving the community of Omaha since 1960. We offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. Call us at (402) 554-1110 or contact us for additional information, and continue reading our blog for more useful tips and tricks for your home.

 

Keep Getting Sick? Improve Your Home’s Air Quality

Do you suspect that the air in your home is making you sick? If you have health problems that improve when you leave your house and worsen when you return, you might be right. You need to take steps to better your air quality.

You have probably heard about air quality problems like asbestos, second-hand smoke, and radon. These issues are all dangerous, but they are not the only or the most common air pollutants. If you’re looking for everyday air quality issues, look for the following.

Bacteria and Viruses

Most types of germs don’t make you sick. However, other kinds of bacteria and viruses can give you the flu or a cold, or they can worsen problems like asthma. If you keep getting sick, you may have an issue with too many germs in your air.

If you have a large family in a small home, germs can spread easily when you’re all together. Additionally, many germs thrive in warm humidity.

To stop the spread of airborne germs in your home, make sure that your family is not continually passing on their germs. Everyone should sneeze into their elbows-this technique ensures that nobody launches viruses or bacteria into the air. Additionally, make sure your home is well ventilated and the humidity is not over
50 percent. Buy a dehumidifier if you do have high humidity levels

Building Materials

If your home is new or if you have recently remodeled, your home may have materials that emit fumes. For example, building materials made of pressed wood, like plywood, can emit volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. If VOCs are in your home’s air, your eyes, nose, and throat can get irritated. You can even feel nauseous and have trouble breathing. Some VOCs, such as formaldehyde, can cause cancer.

Plywood is not the only source of VOCs. You can also find these materials in products like paint, paint remover, cleaning chemicals, glue, and air freshener. When you purchase any of these materials, look for products that have low VOC levels. After your project, get rid of unused materials so they don’t stay in your home.

Ventilation can help your indoor air quality here, too. Let building materials like plywood air out before using them to get rid of most of the VOCs. After bringing these materials into your home or using paint, let your home air out by opening windows and turning on a fan.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic bugs that feed on dead human skin cells found in dust. They are not dangerousthey do not bite people-but they are everywhere. Most homes have at least some dust mites. However, if you or another person in your family has asthma or allergies, dust mites can trigger a reaction.

If you are only mildly allergic, you may get a runny nose and sneeze often. But some people react more severely. They can get a cough, sneeze constantly, become congested, or have a severe asthma attack. Those who are sensitive to dust mites should take steps to eliminate them.

Reducing your home’s humidity level to below 50 percent can help get rid of dust mites. The most effective treatment is to get rid of places they can live. If you remove upholstered furniture, curtains, and carpets, you should have better air quality. Additionally, wash your bedding once each week with hot water and use a damp cloth or rag for cleaning instead of a dry one.

Mold

As previously mentioned, extra humidity contributes to dust mites and germs spreading, but its most common effect is mold growth. Mold spores in your home’s air can cause nasal congestion, wheezing, coughing, sneezing, and sore throats. Additionally, like with dust mites, those with asthma or allergies may have particularly nasty reactions to mold.

You may see mold growing in places with extra water, like your bathroom. You might also smell a musty odor. If there’s a small amount of mold, you can probably get rid of it yourself.

To eliminate mold, you need to eliminate excess water, which can be caused by leaky pipes and windows and poorly ventilated bathrooms. Again, keep the humidity level in your home below 50 percent. Fix any leaks in your home or in your plumbing, run an exhaust fan in your bathroom, and increase air flow and ventilation. Clean the places where you see mold growing often.

If your reaction to the mold is severe or you fear that the mold is pervasive, talk to a mold remediation professional. You may need to get rid of what the mold grows in, like the carpet, and you’ll need help containing the mess.

 

Most of these problems can be fixed by lowering your home’s humidity and adding ventilation. Getzschman Heating can help you make the necessary improvements. Contact us, and we’ll assist you in bettering your home’s air quality.