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Five Tips for Lowering Your Winter Energy Bills

At Getzschman Heating and Air Conditioning, we know energy bills can get pretty pricey in the winter. That’s why we put together this list of things you can do to lower your heating bills. These are small investments now that will pay off this year, and for years to come. Here are the top five:

Windows & Doors

Leaky windows and doors let the cold air into your home and allow warm air to escape causing your furnace to work harder and your energy bills to increase. Caulk around doors and windows can weather and crack, so check to make sure they are sealed properly. If not, add new caulk or weather stripping. These items are inexpensive compared to the amount of heat lost through leaky windows and doors.

Insulation

Most homes don’t have enough insulation. Check your walls, floors and attics for places to enhance your insulation and keep more heat inside your home. Garages, crawl spaces, basements, and attics are unheated spaces that are all usually lacking. Insulation is a small investment that will keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It is affordable and easy to install.

Programmable Thermostat

With today’s busy lifestyles, many people are not home during the day, but your furnace runs like you are. You can save money by lowering the temperature when no one is home and also when people are sleeping. The problem is remembering to do this every day. With a programmable thermostat, you can set a schedule for raising and lowering your temperature automatically every day. The system is convenient because you can easily override the schedule if your plans change and you are home. Just choose the programmable thermostat that makes sense for you:

 

·         7-Day – lets you to program each day individually.

·         5-2 Day – allows separate settings for the weekdays and weekends.

·         5-1-1 Day – lets you to set one schedule for the weekdays and separate schedules for Saturday and Sunday.

·         1 Week- lets you to set one schedule for the entire week.

 

Whole House Humidifier

Most Omaha homes are too dry in the winter. Static shock, dry, itchy skin, and bloody noses may be signs of low humidity. Raising the humidity level will not only alleviate these problems, but will also make the air in your home feel warmer. Because humid air feels warmer, you can reduce the temperature in your home by a couple of degrees and not even notice, thus, saving you money on energy bills. Let Getzschman install a humidifier in your home.

Get a Tune-Up Each Year

When your furnace is tuned-up, it is operating at peak efficiency. This helps to save you both energy and money on your utility bill. Tune-ups also ensure that your furnace is safe from dangerous carbon monoxide leaks.


For more information about programmable thermostats, tune-ups, or humidifiers, call Getzschman and one of our friendly consultants will explain your options and save you money. If you’d really like to find out where your home is losing energy, Getzschman can perform an Energy Evaluation which can give you rebates for energy savings. Call Getzschman today and start saving money tomorrow.

 

 

 

Furnace Smells – How to Identify Them and When to Be Concerned

Your furnace can emit many different odors. Some furnace smells are normal and some could signal danger. At Getszchman Heating and Air Conditioning, we’ve smelled them all. We’ve compiled a list of common furnace smells and what they could mean. These are in the order of least dangerous to most potentially dangerous.

Dusty
– this is the most common smell we hear about because it happens in almost every home with a furnace. This smell usually occurs at the beginning of furnace season when the furnace is turned on after months of inactivity. Dust accumulates during the summer months and when the furnace starts to run and heats up, it burns this dust off causing the somewhat familiar odor. It generally only lasts an hour or two.

Musty
– musty odors can be caused by mold trapped in the furnace filter. If you have a humidifier, it could also be mold in the humidifier filter. Check both of these filters and clean them or replace them with fresh filters. If the smell doesn’t go away, you may have a moisture leak which is causing mold inside. Call a heating and cooling company to find the mold and diagnose the problem.

Smoke or Oil
– If you have an oil furnace, the oil filter inside your unit can get clogged. If you smell oil when your furnace turns on, try changing this filter. A smoke smell can mean a chimney is blocked. Call a heating and cooling specialist to clean the chimney. 

Electrical Burning Smell
– this smell is also potentially dangerous. It could mean a blower motor is overheating, a heat exchanger is cracked, or wiring is bad. This is a potential fire hazard. Sometimes, a child’s toy caught in the register or something spilled in the register can cause this smell as well, so check your registers first. If you find nothing out of the ordinary, call a heating and cooling professional for a furnace inspection.Rotten Egg or Sulfur – this smell is one to be concerned about. Natural gas has no odor, but because it is dangerous to humans, a scent is added specifically to make it noticeable when there is a leak. If you smell a rotten egg smell, it could be a gas leak. This is potentially extremely dangerous. If there is a gas leak, a small spark of any kind could cause an explosion, so vacate your home and call the gas company ASAP.
Having regular maintenance will keep your system clean and running efficiently, which will also save you money on energy bills. By keeping your furnace mechanically sound, you will avoid any foul odors or potential dangers. Call us at Getszchman Heating and Air Conditioning for a furnace tune-up. We’ll be happy to come inspect your furnace for safety and efficiency.

Nine Free Things You Can Do to Lower Your Winter Energy Bills

Nearly half of your energy bills go to heating and cooling your home, so Getzschman Heating and Air Conditioning wants to lower your energy bills. Finding ways to lower your heating bill in the winter can mean substantial savings so here is an easy-to-follow list of tips for lowering your heating bills. Hopefully, by combining as many as you can, you’ll see some savings on your next heating bill. This post will cover the free things you can do. Check back for an article listing ways to save money with small and medium sized investments you can make.
 
But for now, let’s stick to the free things you can do to lower that energy bill. These won’t cost you a dime but will save you money anyway.
  1. Close any vents in unused areas of your home and keep those doors shut. Why pay to heat the entire home when you only use a few rooms?
  2. Don’t use kitchen and bathroom fans unless absolutely necessary. They are vented to the outside and will suck heated air out of your home. According to the Department of Energy, in just one hour, a hard-working bathroom or kitchen fan can expel an entire houseful of warm air which your furnace has to work hard to replace.
  3. Replace or clean your furnace filter so your furnace doesn’t have to work so hard. Don’t forget to do this once a month. (Okay, technically, this isn’t free since you have to buy replaceable filters, but most people have them handy and it’s important to do even if energy savings isn’t your main goal).
  4. Rearrange any furniture that is blocking a vent to take maximum advantage of that air flow.
  5. Take advantage of the sun – it’s free! Open drapes and blinds on south facing windows during sunny hours. During evening hours, keep windows covered to slow the loss of heat from the room.
  6. If you have an attached garage, keep the big door shut as much as possible.
  7. Don’t use a traditional wood burning fireplace to heat – it will suck more warm air out the flue than it will return in heat from the fire. Also make sure the damper is closed when it is not being used.
  8. Lower the temperature on your water heater. Usually lowering it to 115-120 degrees reduces power use without users noticing too much of a difference.
  9. Lower your thermostat a couple of degrees when you are home and wear socks and sweaters.
While these seem like simple steps, combining them will save you money. And, as we mentioned above, they don’t cost you a thing! If you’d like more ideas on how to lower your energy bill, check back for our post on small investments that will save you big on energy bills. Plus, if you’re thinking about making energy improvements to your home, check out our Omaha ReEnergize Program. Until then, stay warm and snug and enjoy this Omaha winter weather! Warmest wishes from the G-Force team.

Why You Need a Furnace Tune-up

Fall weather has arrived in Omaha! Some of us may have made the big switch on our thermostat and turned on the heat, while others are waiting for the weather to drop a bit further. Regardless of whether or not you are waiting , it is important to have your furnace tuned-up. Why? Getzschman Heating put together a couple of reasons for you.

 
Furnace Tune-ups Help Save Money on Energy Bills
 
When you receive a furnace tune-up for your Omaha area home, you are receiving an inspection on your unit that will help to ensure everything is running as efficiently as possible. When your unit is operating at its peak efficiency, that means that it is running at its best and using the least amount of energy possible. Throughout the course of the winter months, the amount of money saved adds up. Below is a list of everything that the G-Force team checks to help ensure the efficiency of your furnace.



·      Check evaporator coil
·      Monitor expansion valve
·      Clean evaporator drain
·      Adjust bypass dampers
·      Clean or replace filters
·      Tighten electrical connections
·      Evaluate safety controls
·      Measure temperature difference
·      Clean condenser coil
·      Adjust thermostat calibration
·      Check fan blades for tightness
·      Lubricate fan motor
·      Check start and run capacitors
·      Check start and run delays
·      Monitor refrigerant level
·      Adjust operating pressures
·      Measure voltage differences
·      Measure amperage draw
·      Clean and adjust burners
·      Evaluate vent system
·      Set burner adjustment
·      Measure gas input
·      Set manifold pressure
·      Test fan limit switch
·      Clean blower wheel
·      Inspect valves
·      Check flue
·      Check flame baffle
·      Clean combustion chamber
·      Clean heat exchanger
·      Test thermocouple
·      Check combustion air


Keep Your Home Safer with a Furnace Tune-up
 
There is a lot that goes on when it comes to operating a furnace. So how do you ensure that everything is up to code and operating safely? As part of your Getzschman tune-up, we also perform various tests within your system to do just that. Included in this is a check that monitors the level of carbon monoxide in your furnace.
 
So this year, give yourself some peace of mind knowing that your home’s furnace is operating safely and that you are saving some money when it comes to your energy bill. Give Getzschman Heating a call today to schedule a furnace tune-up!
 

Prep Your Home for Fall in 3 Easy Steps

With temperatures cooling off each day, we know that Omaha’s fall weather is on its way! As a homeowner, what can you do to prepare your home and heating and cooling system for this seasonal change? Getzschman Heating and Cooling suggests these three steps to prep your home for fall.

 
Schedule a Tune-Up for Your Furnace
 
It is about time to begin using your home’s furnace again. However before you start using it full time, it is always a good idea to schedule a furnace tune-up in order to make sure everything is working properly and running efficiently.
 
Change the Batteries in Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors & Smoke Alarms
 
It is also wise to add checking the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to the routine, when performing the fall tasks that come along with your home’s heating and cooli ng system. Why is this? Changing the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors can give you a little peace of mind and helps to ensure the safety of your family.
 
Change the Air Filter in Your Heating & Cooling System
 
As your heating and cooling system runs, dirt builds up in its filters. As time goes on, your system can get clogged up. Because of this, at Getzschman Heating and Cooling, we recommend changing the air filter in your heating and cooling system every 30 days to 3 months based on the type of filter that you have. Changing your air filter helps to prevent more serious problems that could cost you money down the road.
 
For more information about prepping your heating and cooling system for the fall or to schedule a tune-up for your furnace, give Getzschman Heating & Cooling a call at (800) 657-2158.
 

Customer Questions About Air Conditioner & Furnace Installation


You want a new cooling system, how much will it cost? Can’t you just call and find out? Unfortunately, determining the price of your cooling system is not like buying something off the shelf at your grocery store. That’s why, at Getzschman Heating & Cooling, we do not give phone quotes. There are several very good reasons for this, and although it may be frustrating, it is to benefit you. We want to give you an exact price, not just a guess.

 
Why We Don’t Quote Prices for Air Conditioners or Furnaces Over the Phone
There are too many variables to be accurate. The main reason we don’t give price quotes over the phone is that if we did, it would most likely be the wrong price. There are just too many pieces of the puzzle that we don’t have. So, until we can look at your current system and ask you some questions, we are not able to give you an accurate price. Here are just a few of the variables we have to consider:
 
·         Every home is a different size and configuration
·         Units must be sized correctly for each home
·         Duct work differs greatly from home to home
·         There are hundreds of different combinations of units that we could install
·         We need to evaluate your current system and find out how it performed
·         We need to ask if you have problem areas in your home 
 
If a heating and cooling company gives you a quote over the phone, expect it to be inaccurate. There’s no way they can know exactly what you need. We’d rather give you a quote that’s to the penny so you don’t end up frustrated later.
 
Free In-Home Estimates for Furnace and Air Conditioner Installation
Another question we hear often is “How much time should I set aside for our meeting?”
Typically an appointment lasts about 1.5 – 2 hours. It largely depends on how many questions you have for us. During the appointment we will check the health of your duct system and determine a system that is compatible for your home. We want to make sure we answer any and all of your questions so you are comfortable with your purchase.
 
At Getzschman Heating and Cooling, we want to find the perfect system for your home.
Give us a call and set up an appointment to find out how much your new system will cost.

Vacation Checklist for Your Omaha Area Home


Have you ever noticed how many things need to be done before you leave town for a vacation? As you’re making arrangements for your pets and notifying the post office and newspaper to hold delivery, don’t forget to get your Omaha area home ready for vacation, too. Follow these simple steps from Getzschman Heating & Cooling to keep your house safe and in great shape while you’re off having fun!


Make Your Omaha Area Home Look Occupied 

 
o   If you’ll only be gone a few days, leave a light on. For longer trips, invest in a timer to turn lights on and off at appropriate times.
o   Ask a friend or neighbor to drop in and look around every few days. It’s a good idea for other people to see a car in the driveway, just so they know someone’s checking in.
o   Make arrangements to have your lawn mowed. Not only will it make the home look occupied, it is really nice to come home to one less chore.
o   Unplug your electric garage door opener. It’s easy to crack the code and why give potential thieves one more easy way to get in? As you’re leaving, be sure to do one last swing through the house checking all those doors and windows, just in case. You’ll be able to enjoy your vacation so much more knowing your house is safe.

Save Energy & Money While You’re On Vacation


o   Shut your blinds to keep out the warm summer sun. This is actually a good idea even when you are home. Keeping the blinds closed can keep your home cooler, which means your air conditioner needs to run less often.
o   The experts at Getzschman recommend adjusting your thermostat to a higher temperature, but don’t turn it off. Circulating the fan will keep the humidity down and make sure you don’t return to a stale-smelling home. Taking time the time change your furnace filter before you leave will improve airflow as well and help keep your home less dusty while you’re gone.
o   Lower the temperature on your water heater. It won’t cycle as often, but you won’t have cold showers on your first night home either. Just make a note to turn it back up when you return!
o   Unplug nonessential appliances such as your computer or TV so there is no risk of damage due to energy surges during a big storm. And while we’re on the subject of storms, be sure to test your sump pump before you leave. Coming home to a flooded basement is just no fun. If you’re gone more than a few days, you may want to shut off the water to your washer to prevent flooding.

As you head out the door, taking a few extra minutes for these last-minute tips will keep your home secure while you are gone and comfortable when you return. For more tips for your home, give Getzschman Heating & Cooling a call today!
 

3 Tips to Avoid Cranking the AC

Temperatures outside are rising, but that does not mean you have to crank your home’s AC quite yet! Getzschman Heating & Cooling wants to help you keep your Omaha area home’s energy bills low with a few cooling techniques. Check out our list of three tips to avoid cranking the AC this year.

 
Fans Make Rooms Feel Cooler, So Your Thermostat Can Stay Put
 
Believe it or not fans do not actually make rooms cooler, they just make them feel that way. When people are hot, they sweat. Moving air creates a “wind chill effect” by accelerating the evaporation of perspiration on the skin. When the breeze of a fan circulates through a room, it makes people feel cooler so homeowners do not need to turn down the temperature on their thermostat to feel comfortable.  Ceiling fans are the best at moving air, but box fans or stands are also effective!
 
Keep Your Blinds Closed During the Day to Keep Temperatures Cool
 
Keeping your blinds closed throughout the day is a highly effective technique for lowering the temperature within your home. If you do not want to keep the blinds drawn all day, consider doing so during the hottest part of the day, 12-4 PM. When combining this technique with the others, you will be able to see the difference in your energy bills! On top of that, if your cooling system works less, you avoid expensive air conditioner repairs in your Omaha home. And that’s always a good thing.
 
Effective Insulation is Not Just for the Winter
 
When most people hear the word insulation, they associate this material with winter and keeping out cold drafts. However, just as cold air can creep through your home, warm air can do the same. To find drafts, walk around the exterior of your house with a candle. When it flickers around doors or windows, you can add a small like of caulk or weather stripping!
 
Take advantage of these tips while the weather is not sweltering and you will be seeing lower energy bills for your home in no time! For more information about air conditioning during this time of year, give Getzschman Heating & Cooling a call.
 

A Bigger Air Conditioner Is Not Always Better

 With many things, bigger is better. People want a big house, a big car and big appliances. After all, having a bigger oven or dishwasher often means a top-of-the-line model. But with air conditioners, size has nothing to do with quality. Sometimes, the opposite can be true and having an air conditioner that’s too large for your Omaha area home can cause major problems. Getzschman Heating and Cooling put together this quick guide as to why!

Oversized Air Conditioners Do Not Benefit the Homeowner

The first problem is that large air conditioners work well. In fact, they work too well. Because air conditioners pump a lot of cool air into your home, you reach your set temperature point in a flash and then it turns off. This rapid on/off cycle cheats you of humidity control, which is a reason you want an air conditioner in the first place.

When your air conditioner is running it doesn’t just cool your home, it also serves to extract moisture from the air. Think about how the air is always drier in winter. The same principle applies. But when the air conditioner only runs in short, powerful bursts, it doesn’t fully get the chance to extract that moisture, resulting in a cool but clammy home.

Oversized Air Conditioning Units Cost More Money to Run

You will also pay more to run an oversized unit. Think about what happens when you drive your car in stop-and-go traffic. The starting and stopping activity burns more fuel than if your car was moving at a steady pace. The same is true for your air conditioner. Oversized units cool too quickly and cycle off. As soon as the temperature starts to rise they cycle back on. More electricity is consumed as you start and stop the unit than when it is running. So a larger unit will actually be less efficient.

The frequent on/off cycle will quickly wear your unit down, resulting in maintenance problems or even failures. And on top of all of this, it won’t be very comfortable as the temperature swings widely with the cycles of the unit. The end result is high electricity bills and an uncomfortable home. Not exactly what you were aiming for.

Have a G-Force Heating and Cooling Expert Calculate the Right System for your Home

The solution is simple: work with a qualified HVAC technician from Getzschman Heating and Cooling to calculate the right system to fit your home—and no more. They’ll make this calculation based on the square footage of your home, the number of windows and doors, the amount of direct sun or shade around your house, the type of insulation you have in your attic and walls and general temperature patterns in your area. They will use all this information combined with their expertise to help you find the system that meets your needs. Remember, quality has nothing to do with size in HVAC. A small unit can be more efficient, more cost-effective and more reliable if it’s fitted to the space.

For more information about air conditioner installation, give Getzschman Heating and Cooling a phone call at toll free (800) 657-2158.

How Your HVAC System Can Help Beat Allergies

The weather is warm, the birds are chirping, trees and flowers are starting to sprout. That all means just one thing: allergy season in Omaha is right around the corner. But this year is going to be different! You don’t have to be miserable anymore. Getzschman is bringing you some simple but important tips for reducing allergy symptoms.
Believe it or not, your HVAC system can have a big effect on the state of your sinuses. So instead of suffering through another year with itchy eyes and a runny nose, follow these G-Force allergy reducing tips to nip allergens in the bud:
1.  Clean or change your filter. This is the single most important thing you can do to reduce indoor allergens in your home. Dust, mold and spores become trapped in your furnace filter and are spewed throughout your house, resulting in unpleasantness.
Not sure how to change your filter? Every furnace or air conditioner is different. Some filters need to be changed monthly, others every other month or even just once a year. Check your owner’s manual to make sure you understand how often to change yours and what replacement filters you need.
Don’t forget to clean your heating registers, too—dusty registers just spread allergens around. Yuck.
2.  Get a dehumidifier. Spring showers might bring flowers, but they also bring mold and make it easier for dust mites and cockroaches to thrive. Get rid of that excess moisture with a dehumidifier that keeps your house at about 40% humidity.
3.   Run your AC. Once the weather heats up enough to flip your HVAC system from heat to cool, you can start making a dent in your allergy suffering. By keeping your windows closed, you’re keeping that pollen out of your home and out of your lungs. If you have a recycle option on your unit, turn it on so you move the same air through the house instead of bringing in new spore-laden air.
Mold can grow inside your air conditioner, too. To reduce your risk, turn off the cooling in your house, then run the air conditioner for 30 minutes to zap any lurking spores.
There’s no reason to spend this beautiful weather being miserable. With a little care and attention to your HVAC system, you’ll be breathing easier all spring and summer long. For more information on reducing your allergies, call Getzschman. Our friendly technicians will walk you through hypoallergenic filters, dehumidifiers and regular maintenance tips that can make your life so much better. Happy spring from your friends at Getzschman Heating and Cooling.