All posts by Gunnar Guenette

4 Reasons to Get a Spring Tune-Up for your Air Conditioner

Getting a spring tune up from Getzschman can save your air conditionerSpring is finally here and temperatures outside are rising. Goodbye winter! Although we will still have some evenings here in Omaha where the weather dips into the 40’s it looks like May is promising to bring us days with temperatures rising into the 70s. While we are anxious for sunshine and blue skies, we also want to keep our homes a comfortable temperature. Make sure your AC is ready for spring by scheduling a spring tune-up. Here are four reasons why you should schedule an air conditioning tune-up now before the summer heat hits:

Catch Small Problems before They Become Big (Expensive) Problems

Having an expert look at your equipment in the spring can help catch any little things that might be about to go wrong. Our professional maintenance team will check that your AC is running smoothly and will continue to run smoothly in the foreseeable future. Our technicians can locate any minor (or future potential problems) before they become a big deal. It’s far better for your system (and much cheaper for your wallet) to find and fix any problems before they get worse.

Help Your System Run the Most Efficiently

A tune-up will save you money by helping your unit use less energy. Over the winter, dust and debris can build up on the coils of your air conditioner. This will cause your system to work harder than necessary, thus using too much energy. By cleaning these coils, your system’s fan, and other parts,  your technician will help to increase the operating efficiency of your air conditioner and will ultimately save you money on your monthly energy bill. A clean HVAC system will lead to lower cooling costs.That’s sure to make you and your air conditioner both happy.

Extend Your Air Conditioner’s Lifespan

Air conditioners are not cheap to replace, but with a regular air conditioning tune-up, you can postpone replacing your system for the longest time possible. Coils can become dirty, air filters fill with dirt, and fans can become clogged. If you’ve had your HVAC system for a while, it is likely that there are places inside your system which need a good cleaning. A well-maintained air conditioner should continue to cool your house for a long time. Our technicians are great at estimating how much life your system has left.

Reduce the Chance of Breakdowns

In order to reduce the chance that you’re living without air conditioning in the hottest part of summer, our technicians will check, tighten, lubricate, and repair all the parts and pieces of your system during a tune-up. This will help to align the stars and keep your air conditioner in tip-top shape for summer’s hottest days.

Be sure to give us a call today at (402) 554-1110 so we can get your scheduled for a tune-up.

5-Star Heating and Cooling Service in Omaha

At Getzschman Heating and Air Conditioning, we’ve been serving Omaha and the surrounding areas since 1960. We take pride in our name and strive to honor it every day. Our reputation is at stake each and every day we serve you and no Getzschman takes that lightly.

Getzschman heating and cooling gets 5 star reviews

Today Getzschman Heating is one of Nebraska’s premier heating and air conditioning repair and installation companies. We’ve had almost 60 years to learn what our customers want most – hard work, honest prices, and excellent customer service, and that’s what we deliver. But don’t take our word for it. Hear from some of our customers. Their word is worth even more than ours. Listen to these 5-Star reviews:

Excellent Customer Service and Technicians!

Total Experience: 5 Stars       Service: 5 Stars

I purchased my house in March and with the house came a wonderful HVAC unit. My concern was, maintenance had been done yearly and I didn’t know if the warranty would cover me. I took a picture of the information on the unit and called Getzschman to ask about maintenance and warranty. They were cordial, thorough and knowledgeable and gave me all the information about how to handle the maintenance, costs and what to do next. They also advised me I had a maintenance service for 2018 that was already paid for by the previous owner. They came out to my house and wore booties around my house so as not to get dirt anywhere; answered all of my questions and only replaced what needed and showed me the bad humidifier filter which clearly needed replacing. I will always recommend Getzschman and their technicians and their customer service specialists. Whether it is a service technician running late or a reminder, they always handle everything professionally with exceptional service. You won’t find anyone better.

Customer: Pamela Laveau         Location: Ashland, NE 8-31-2018

Reinstilling Faith in Heating and Air Companies

Total Experience: 5 Stars      Service: 5 Stars

One of the most painful parts of being a homeowner is having to deal with the upkeep and maintenance of your heating and air system. I have dealt with too many companies that come out appearing as their training was more in finding revenue and upselling. My Getzschman technician Joseph was great. Our conversation during his visit was educational and informative. I was schooled on common steps I could take to help extend the life of my unit. I have already discussed my experience with several family members.

Customer: Steve Murray                    Location: Omaha, NE 8-3-2018

Exceptional Service

Total Experience: 5 Stars   Service: 5 Stars

We are a Service Agreement customer. Our air conditioner stopped working on a Friday evening during record-breaking heat. We called Getzschman for help and the Service Tech, Nathan, was at our home in 30 minutes! He was very knowledgeable and fixed our problem within 15 minutes. He then checked our whole system. We couldn’t be more pleased with the service we received from Getzschman Heating & Cooling!!

Customer: Norm Nelson            Location: Fremont, NE 6-5-2018

As leaders in the community, the Getzschman reputation is everything. You can count on us! Call us if you need any help with your furnace or AC at (402) 554-1110. We’d love to show you what great customer service looks like!

A Whole-House Humidifier Keeps the Doctor Away

woman itching her skin due to humidity levelsIn the colder months, most people notice that the air inside their homes seems dryer. Many people blame it on the chilly weather, but the culprit is actually a combination of lower humidity outside plus indoor heating. Because cold air has less capacity to hold moisture than warm air does, as outdoor temperatures drop, humidity levels drop as well. Add to that the fact that furnaces keep us toasty in the winter, but they also dry out the air. How do you know if your home has low humidity levels? By the telltale static shock. If you’re experiencing static shock, your home is lacking humidity. That’s a problem because your health is more dependent on humidity than you think.

Winter Packs a Double Punch

Colds and viruses are most common in the winter months, but not because the germs love the cold. Germs survive longer in low humidity conditions, so they have longer to spread between people. Low humidity also dries out the mucous membranes in your nose and throat, which would usually catch germs before they can cause trouble. Compromised by low humidity, these membranes can’t perform their function, and you’re left vulnerable to any virus that comes along. Dry air can also cause irritations like coughs, sore throats, and dry eyes.

Dry Itchy Skin Is a Sign of Low Humidity

Most people notice that their skin dries out in the winter, getting tight and itchy from the lack of humidity. If anyone in your household has skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, or dry skin, dry air can cause the issue to get much worse. If your skin dries out enough, it may crack and bleed, which can lead to infection. With eczema or other skin conditions, scratching may open the skin.

Whole-House Humidifiers Add Humidity Automatically

All of these problems can be helped simply by adding humidity to your home. A whole-house humidifier system can replace the humidity that heating removes, making you and your family much more comfortable. As an added bonus, because humid air feels warmer than dry air, you can lower your thermostat a couple of degrees and save money without sacrificing comfort.

Get the Right Humidity Level All Winter Long

A whole-house humidifier is easy to use and practically maintenance free. Once installed, it automatically introduces the right amount of moisture into the air according to your settings. You almost never have to think about it, apart from changing the filter about once a year. This one-time purchase can save you money on your energy bills and keep you out of the doctor’s office for years to come, but most importantly, it will make everyone more comfortable. It’s a great investment in your home and your family’s health.

 

Getzschman Heating and Air Conditioning has been providing heating and cooling services to the Omaha area for over 50 years, and we’d like to help you save money and feel better in the cold winter months. If you’d like a whole-house humidifier installed, please give us a call at (402) 554-1110 or contact us online.

News Alert!

Getzschman Heating and Air and its employees would like to assure our customers that we have no personal or professional association with Richard Getzschman of Getzschman Roofing in Omaha Ne.

How Humidity Affects Your Health

It’s no secret that optimal humidity levels can make your home more comfortable, especially during the coldest and warmest parts of the year. But humidity can also affect your health and that of your family, both directly and indirectly. Here’s how.

How Humidity Levels Are Measured

Humidity is conveyed as a percentage that represents how much moisture is in the air at any given time. In your home, humidity is considered too high when it reaches more than 50% concentration. Your humidity levels may be too low if they fall below 30%.

Generally, the optimal humidity level in the summer is 40 to 50% and the ideal level in the winter is 30 to 40%. These differing ranges help account for seasonal temperature changes.

High Humidity

In many locations, including the Midwest, the summer months have the highest levels of humidity. Here in Nebraska, you may see outdoor humidity levels of more than 80% during the summer.

These higher humidity levels make it feel hotter both outside and inside. For example, imagine a summer afternoon with a temperature of 95°F. If the humidity were 30%, it would feel like 95°F outside. But if the humidity climbed to just 65%, the temperature would feel like a scorching 117°F. At Nebraska’s upper humidity range, the temperature could feel as high as 125°F.

High humidity can have a range of negative health effects, including:

  • Increased risk of heat-related conditions—Long periods of exposure to high temperatures and humidity can result in inefficient bodily cooling. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke can cause loss of salts and fluids, as well as dangerous symptoms like fainting.
  • Poor-quality sleep—Most individuals get their best quality sleep in a cool environment. When the temperature in your bedroom climbs, you may have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Over time, poor-quality sleep can contribute to irritability, lack of focus, and lethargy.
  • Worsening allergies—Pollen and dust mites thrive at higher humidity levels, which means that people with allergies to airborne particles or people with respiratory conditions may experience more intense symptoms. Additionally, humidity contributes to mold growth which can make indoor air toxic.

To beat the heat, it’s important to keep your indoor humidity within optimal levels over the summer.

Low Humidity

In the winter, humidity levels drop. While Nebraska’s outdoor humidity generally stays above 40% in the winter, using your heating system reduces the overall moisture in your home.

If your indoor air becomes too dry, you may experience the following health problems:

  • Congestion and cough—Dry air irritates your body’s mucous membranes, such as those found in the nose and throat. When the membranes in your nose and sinuses become too dry, you may experience runny nose, congestion, and sneezing. When dry air affects your throat, you may experience soreness and coughing.
  • Dry skin—Exposure to dry air depletes the moisture in your skin. The dry your skin gets, the more likely you are to experience itchiness, cracks, and scaliness. If you have a skin condition like eczema, dry conditions may exacerbate your typical symptoms.
  • Itchy eyes—Dry air can reduce your eyes’ ability to produce enough tears to properly lubricate the surface of the eyeball. You may notice itchiness, excessive blinking, redness, or a gritty feeling. Dry eyes can increase your risk of eye injury since the symptoms of dry eye encourage you to rub at your eyes, which can lead to corneal abrasions and the introduction of foreign particles.
  • Persistent illness—Many individuals experience colds or the flu more often in the winter. This increase in illness frequency is due in part to low humidity levels. The flu virus, for example, lives longer on surfaces when the humidity is lower. Extremely low humidity levels increase your risk of illness and make it more difficult to recover from a seasonal ailment because you have to work harder to stay hydrated and get quality sleep.

In order to keep yourself and your family comfortable throughout the winter, you may need to dramatically increase your indoor moisture levels.

How to Control Humidity in Your Home

You can make small changes to the humidity levels in your home by making smart choices. For example, in the summertime, use ventilation and fans to disperse the moisture created by bathing and running appliances.

In the winter, you can increase humidity by taking hot showers and air-drying your laundry. However, if you notice negative effects caused by either high or low humidity, consider a long-term solution instead.

Use a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier to better control your home’s air quality and seasonal health conditions. Learn more about dehumidifiers in our blog “Dehumidifiers 101: What This Appliance Does and Why You Need One.”

Pay attention to the connection between your home’s humidity and the way you feel to ensure that every member of your household stays as healthy as possible, regardless of how the weather changes.

What’s That Smell? 5 Furnace Odors And What They Mean

Whenever you turn on your furnace, you expect your unit to circulate clean, fresh air throughout your house. On a regular day, you might not even notice your furnace at all, as it runs quietly and efficiently.

Lately, you’ve noticed an unusual smell emanating from your machine. Sometimes, the odor overwhelms you and your family, and other times, you only catch a faint whiff of the scent, making you question whether it comes from your furnace at all.

But no matter how strong the smell, some scents you should never ignore, as they often indicate unit damage or failure. To ensure your family stays safe, take a look at the most common smells a furnace makes and the causes behind them.

1. Rotten Eggs or Sulfur

Natural gas is highly flammable, and that combustibility makes it a good fuel source for appliances throughout your home. Unfortunately, natural gas is also dangerous when inhaled, causing dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and irregular breathing.

As natural gas has no odor of its own, many gas companies add the chemical mercaptan as a safety precaution. This sulfur-based chemical gives off the distinct smell of rotten eggs so you know when natural gas is nearby.

If you have a propane- or gas-powered furnace that smells like rotten eggs or sulfur, you may have a gas leak. Due to the risks involved, you should take gas leaks seriously and never try to pinpoint the source on your own. Call in a professional and exit your home until you know the area is safe again.

2. Dirty Socks or Locker Room

You are likely all too familiar with that overwhelming scent of corn chips, fish sauce, and old cheese, but you might never expect these locker-room scents to come from your furnace.

Dirty sock syndrome occurs when bacteria build up on your heating system coils. During the spring and fall seasons, the coils cool with outdoor temperature drops and reheat when you turn up the thermostat. This constant cycle between warm and cold often results in condensation buildup, and the moist environment, in turn, results in bacterial growth.

The best way to eliminate this foul odor comes from a good, old-fashioned cleaning. Start by replacing your unit’s air filter and by cleaning the evaporator coils with a non-acid coil cleaner. If the smell still lingers, you may need an HVAC technician to thoroughly clean your air ducts and the rest of your unit.

3. Electrical Burning or Ozone

If you’ve ever stood out in a thunderstorm, you’ve likely smelled the sharp smell of ozone, a scent reminiscent of chlorine. Your furnace might create a similar electrical or metallic smell when it overheats.

As your furnace ages, worn bearings may cause the blower motor to seize up or bind. Your furnace may then draw additional electricity to push through the resistance, and that additionally voltage may result in excessive heat buildup in the motor. The heat is often enough to melt away wire insulation, and soon your unit could produce electrical shorts and sparks that emit the smell.

If left untended, these sparks and melting wires create enough heat to start a fire in your home. If you smell electrical burning, cut the power to your unit and call a technician for help.

4. Diesel or Burning Oil

Your furnace could create a smoky or burning oil smell for a variety of reasons:

  • If you keep your furnace in a basement or storage area, nearby items (such as toys, decorations, and clothing) could fall too close to the pilot light. These items could catch fire or melt, resulting in the smell of smoke and burning plastic.
  • If you have an oil furnace, your unit might not ignite all the oil that passes through the burner. Instead, the oil creates a fog that smells much like a diesel engine. If that fog ignites, it could result in a large flame and excessive smoke.
  • If you filled the oil tank, any spillage may give off an odor as it dissipates. This smell should fade after a day or two. But if it continues to linger, you may have an oil leak.

Not sure why your furnace smells of burning oil? Let an expert pinpoint the problem for you.

5. Dust or Must

When you haven’t used your furnace for a while, your furnace might smell like a damp, dusty, or musty basement.  The odor may smell particularly strong for the first few uses of the season, and then it may fade gradually.

This musty smell occurs when dust, dirt, and other debris collect on your unit and in your air ducts. As your furnace warms, the dust and dirt may burn away and smell faintly of smoke. Though the smell may seem worrisome, you don’t have to panic about damage to your unit.

However, if the smell persists, you could have a clogged filter that allows dust and dirt to reach your motor. Check and replace your air filter as needed.

Your Nose Knows When to Schedule Repairs

As you can see, your nose can clue you into a broken or damaged furnace. If you smell any of the above, don’t hesitate to call in an HVAC technician for furnace repairs. Even if your furnace’s particular odor doesn’t make the list, you should at least have a professional inspect your unit to ensure it functions safely. 

5 Common Winter Heating Problems

Now that the temperatures are dropping, it’s time to turn off the air conditioner and prepare for the chilly winter. As you pile up the blankets and dust off your winter coats, you may fire up the heater and settle in for a cozy winter inside.

But even if your heater worked perfectly last year, it may have a few hiccups this year. To learn more about common problems heaters have during the winter, take a look at the information below. We’ll discuss a number of different issues and what might be the cause.

1. Heat Cycling

If you notice your heater is turning on and off far more often than usual, this is called heat cycling. Heat cycling lowers system efficiency and raises your utility bills, so even if you think you’re getting enough heat, you’ll want to get your heater fixed as soon as you can.

Heat cycling can indicate an excessively dirty blower or filter, or it could be the result of a
malfunctioning thermostat. Change your filter or take a look at your thermostat. If you notice your thermostat is broken or a fresh filter doesn’t solve the problem, call a professional to take a look. They can easily pinpoint the problem and clean various areas of the heater.

2. Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Whether your heater is brand new or a decade old, install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. Carbon monoxide can easily go undetected if you solely rely on human senses. It’s tasteless, colorless, and odorless, and it can be deadly in the right amounts.

Carbon monoxide leaks are most common in furnaces that are 10 to 15 years old, so if your furnace is at least a decade old, have it inspected just in case. Or, if your carbon monoxide detector catches a whiff of carbon monoxide, call a professional immediately. They’ll know how to effectively find leaks and provide proper repairs.

3. Dry Air

Dry air can be troublesome and uncomfortable, especially if your skin is sensitive or already unusually dry. When your home has an unusually low humidity, your skin might feel dry and itchy. The lower humidity levels can also dry out and crack woodwork and wood furniture. But dry air can affect the efficiency of your heating system too.

Dry air holds less heat, so it may take more for your home to be comfortable and cozy. To remedy this issue, use a humidifier. You can use an individual humidifier in a main room, or you can install a humidifier in your HVAC system for more even moisture levels throughout the home. Not only will this protect your wood furniture and features, but it will also make your home warmer and cozier through the winter.

4. Inconsistent Heating

Most likely, you want your whole house to be properly heated, so walking from a warm room to a chilly one can be irritating. While this could certainly be a result of a malfunctioning part or heating system, it could also be a problem with your home.

Look around doors and windows for holes or cracks, and ensure your weather stripping is intact. You could have a problem with your insulation.

If everything looks properly sealed and insulated, the system’s coils or filter might be overly dirty. The uneven heating can also be a result of grimy air ducts or clogged vents. Check the filter and get your system cleaned to see if that solves the problem.

Should you still experience problems with inconsistent heating, your air handler may have some issues. Air handlers help circulate air throughout the house, and when your air handler needs repairs, you might hear a grinding sound while the heat is on.

Sometimes, whole floors can be warmer than others. When your upper stories are warm while the lower floors are cold, consider closing the upstairs vents to direct warm air to the bottom levels. Because heat rises, the cozy heat downstairs will eventually drift upwards.

5. Lack of Heat

Inefficient heating can be troublesome, but at least it still keeps your home warm. When your heating system isn’t warming your home at all, it could be due to a number or problems. Before you check anything else, look at your thermostat to make sure it’s working and has fresh batteries. A lack of heat could easily be caused by a faulty thermostat.

If you have a heat pump, it could be struggling with the winter weather. Icy wind and snow can put heavy frost on your heat pump, which can prevent the heat pump from functioning properly. Be sure your heat pump has defrost settings to keep the ice and frost at bay. If it doesn’t have the right settings, you’ll have to clear the ice and frost yourself.

For a furnace, you may have a problem with your pilot light. If your pilot light isn’t on, check to see if it has a steady power source. If not, there may be a bit of gunk and grime in the assembly, and you should call a professional to carefully clean it out for you.

When your pilot light is on but you’re still experiencing a loss of heat, you may have problems with the main burners, gas valves, control board, or flame sensor. An HVAC specialist, such as Getzschman Heating, can detect the problem and offer the best solution. We may suggest you replace your furnace, or we may recommend a few simple repairs.

Is Geothermal Energy the Future of Home Heating?

As scientists and policy makers gain knew knowledge about climate change, there’s increasing focus on developing and implementing eco-friendly ways of producing energy. One proposed and promoted solution is geothermal energy. In fact, quite a few homeowners already use this type of system to heat and cool their houses.

Are you curious about how viable geothermal energy is as an alternative to fossil-fuel-generated electricity or natural gas heating? Consider this blog your introductory course: Geothermal Heating 101.

How Geothermal Heating Works

Did you know that soil around your home contains heat? While this soil isn’t nearly as warm as the layers of magma deep inside the earth, it still holds onto plenty of heat energy. Also, that warm layer of dirt (and sometimes water) keeps a consistent temperature, about 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, no matter the season of the year or the changes in the weather.

Given the constant temperature of the ground beneath our feet, scientists and engineers have figured out ways to use that heat as a source of energy. For homeowners, the most important use involves installing geothermal heat pumps. These heating systems transfer heat between the ground and a building such as your home. The heat pump replaces your traditional HVAC system and can both warm and cool your house.

It’s important to understand that geothermal heat pumps are distinct from geothermal power. To install a heat pump, a trained technician places pipes in a relatively shallow area beneath the ground. In a horizontal system, the pipes typically lie no more than 10 feet underground. In a vertical system, the pipes may extend down several hundred feet.

In contrast, geothermal power setups use hot underground rocks to transform water into steam. The steam then turns a generator and produces electricity. Generating electricity with this method requires holes that extend much deeper into the earth’s surface, usually about a mile or more down. This blog focuses on geothermal heat pumps, not geothermal power.

Benefits of Geothermal Heating

Geothermal heat pumps have many benefits for homeowners who choose to install them. These benefits include all of the following:

  • Renewable energy source. Unlike coal and natural gas, which are often burned to generate electricity, geothermal energy is a renewable source of energy. This amount of energy available from this source does not deplete when we use it, and the ground regularly absorbs more heat energy from the rays of the sun. This renewability makes geothermal heat pumps sustainable.
  • Efficient energy use. According to an article on Energy.gov, geothermal heat pumps use significantly less electricity than comparable systems-25 to 50 percent less. (That small amount of electricity moves the heat transfer liquid through the system’s pipes.) Consequently, geothermal heat pumps have a smaller carbon footprint than HVAC systems and boilers.
  • Humidity control. The amount of water in the air, or the relative humidity, affects how cold or hot air feels. In addition to heating or cooling your home, a geothermal heat pump also influences the relative humidity indoors, helping your house maintain a more consistent and comfortable temperature.
  • Durability. Although geothermal heat pumps are a relatively new technology, they have a long working life. This longevity occurs because the system has few moving parts, meaning less wear and tear overall. Plus, most of the system (except the parts underground) is placed inside your home, rather than outside where weather or vandalism could damage it. These systems can easily last 20 years or longer.

Based on these benefits, it’s easy to see why scientists, government agencies, and home heating professionals consider geothermal heat pumps a viable way to reduce our reliance on less renewable forms of energy.

Costs and Considerations

Although geothermal heat pumps have many advantages, there are several factors that affect how quickly homeowners adopt this green form of heating and cooling:

  • Installation price. The price to install a geothermal heat pump is higher than the price to install more traditional heating systems, such as furnaces, boilers, and air conditioners. However, the higher initial investment can be made up in lower utility bills. Energy.gov estimates that for many who switch to geothermal heat pumps, the installation costs can be recovered in 2 to 10 years.
  • Retrofitting. For homeowners who live in a house that is already several years old, switching to a geothermal heat pump may seem inconvenient. Installing a heat pump involves digging into soil and disturbing existing landscaping. However, these systems can be retrofitted into existing houses, and some only affect a small portion of the home’s yard space.

While a geothermal heat pump may not be within the budget of every homeowner right now, many are likely to adopt this technology in the next several years, including homeowners who live in existing houses.

Geothermal Heating in the Future

As people continue to search for greener, renewable forms of energy, geothermal heating looks to become a
major player. More than a million geothermal heat pumps already operate within the United States, and these systems can be installed practically everywhere.

Are you curious about how your home would benefit from a geothermal heat pump? Speak to the professionals at Getzchman-we proudly consult with homeowners who are interested in this cutting-edge heating and cooling method.

Want Cleaner Air? Go the Natural Route

Does the air in your home or office seem a little stuffy? Do you experience more allergies indoors than you do outdoors? Odds are your home or business’s air quality is poor. If you want to make your indoor air cleaner, you likely want to do it as naturally as possible.

In our previous blog, “7 Houseplants That Can Help You Breathe Easier,” we listed several common plants you can add to your home to improve the air quality. However, there are several other ways you can make your inside air cleaner. As a result, you can breathe better and experience fewer allergies. Read on to discover other natural methods for purifying your indoor air.

1. Salt Lamps

You’ll usually find salt lamps made from Himalayan pink salt. You plug the lamp in to heat up the salt, and the mineral draws moisture in the air to it. The heat of the lamp causes the moisture to evaporate, and this process releases negative ions into the air.

These negative ions find particles in the air with positive charges and neutralize them. Dirt, pollen, dust, and allergens all have positive charges that keep them suspended in the air. Once they’re neutralized, they won’t stay airborne. You’ll be able to vacuum or sweep everything away and remove these offending particles from your home or office to further improve the indoor air quality.

2. Beeswax Candles

If you burn candles, you likely pick some of your favorite scents from a local candle shop. You may even like to make your own unique-smelling candles. Either way, the candles you burn can worsen your air quality while improving how your interior smells.

Most candles are made from waxes that release petroleum byproducts. Those byproducts, including benzene and toluene, make your air much more polluted.

Instead, burn candles made from beeswax. This kind of wax burns without producing scents or smoke, and it also releases negative ions into the air. As an added plus, beeswax candles burn at a much slower rate, so one candle can last a lot longer than other candle types.

If you do make your own candles, use pure beeswax to form them. If you prefer to have some kind of scent in your home, you can add natural oils like lavender, citrus, or eucalyptus. Not only will you have a natural, succulent candle, but you’ll also further combat allergies as the candle burns.

3. Bamboo Charcoal

Another natural way to purify your air is to use activated charcoals, specifically bamboo charcoal. The product is incredibly porous, so it can absorb many kinds of pollutants and odors in the air. Additionally, you can use bamboo charcoal in water.

Essentially, bamboo is heated to a certain temperature. The heat chars the bamboo without eliminating its oxygen supply. What’s left behind is a material that attracts moisture, pollutants, debris, and microbes in the air and causes these particles to cling to it. Without these particles in the air, you air quality improves.

4. Plant Air Purifiers

As we noted in our previous blog, plants do a wonderful job of purifying air. However, you’d likely have to incorporate dozens of plants into your home or office space for them to clean your air effectively.

A plant air purifier, on the other hand, uses hydrocultured house plants to clean air. The plants are grown without soil in a small container that resembles a plain and mostly empty terrarium. A fan in the purifier pulls air from your interior into the device. The air then circulates through it, getting cleaned in the process. The purified air is then expelled from another side of the device.  

5. HEPA Filters

Your home’s HVAC system uses filters to keep the air quality as high as possible. Sometimes, though, the filters can be so dirty that dust and debris still move through your vents and pollutes your air.

While you can use regular filters to keep pollutants out of your air, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are mechanical filters made of a fine mesh. The air is pushed through the mesh while dust, mites, dander, pollen, and other particulates get trapped in the filter.

Just remember to change the filters every three months (or sooner if you have pets), to keep the system working properly.

The Most Effective Solution

While using these natural methods to purify your air can be effective, the best and most powerful solution is to invest in air quality appliances. These devices can quickly and more thoroughly remove toxins, allergens, and microbes in the air, providing you with much cleaner air to breathe.

For example, air cleaners, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and UV germicide lamps all function to create cleaner, more breathable air indoors. If you need help deciding which device best works for your space and your budget, call Getzchman Heating and Air Conditioning.

We’ll work with you to discover your needs and find an appliance that works perfectly for your specific situation. We can also assist you with any other HVAC issues that may contribute to poor indoor air quality.

Ductless Mini Split Systems 101: A Homeowner’s Guide

On average, Nebraska sees summer temperatures between 78 and 85 degrees. And every once in a while, those numbers skyrocket into the low to mid-90s. Additionally, the region experiences high humidity-often 84 percent or higher depending on the day. Those high humidity levels only add to the scorching heat, making the outdoors feel more than unbearable.

As a homeowner in Nebraska, you welcome the cooling relief your HVAC system provides. But what if your home is too old and doesn’t have central air? Or, what if your air conditioning unit breaks down and you can’t experience this cool luxury during the hottest days of the summer?

You shouldn’t have to suffer through the wicked heat-and you don’t want to. But do you know what you can do to find respite?

If you think a new air conditioner is the only solution to this problem, you’d be partly correct. Yes, an air conditioner can keep you cool and comfortable through the throes of a summer heat wave, but there may be a better option.

Below, we talk about ductless mini split systems and how these units can be more effective at cooling your home than a traditional HVAC unit. We’ll also go into detail about ductless systems so you as a homeowner can decide if one is right for your home.

What Is a Ductless Mini Split System?

Simply put, a ductless mini split system is a new type of cooling and heating technology. The best part is that a mini split system doesn’t require air ducts to function-so if you own an older home that doesn’t have ducts, you can still enjoy the modern convenience of cool and warm air anytime you want.

As you probably guessed, you can use the cooling feature during the warmer months and the heating mode during the cold seasons.

A mini split consists of a slim-line condenser unit and an indoor air handling unit. This sleek design makes the units easy to install in individual rooms throughout your home.

Which Types of Systems Can I Choose From?

While all ductless mini split systems essentially work the same way, a few different kinds exist.
Depending on your family’s preferences and needs, you can install any of the following in your home.

Single-Zone Mini Split System

As the name indicates, a single-zone mini split system is perfect for individual rooms. You can also add one of these systems to a main room in your home to supplement your current air conditioner (if your current unit still works well).

Multi-Zone Mini Split System

These systems are perfect for small and medium-sized houses. With a multi-zone system, you can easily control the temperature of two or more zones in your home. However, this particular unit can’t independently control more than eight separate zones in a house.

Whole-House Mini Split System

This system is ideal if you own a larger house. Like a multi-zone system, a whole-house unit allows you to independently control the temperature of eight different rooms in your home. If you have additional rooms that need heating or cooling, you can use a single- or multi-zone unit to supplement the whole-house system.

What Benefits Do Ductless Systems Provide?

When you install a ductless mini split system in your home, you receive more benefits than just cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter.

As mentioned in the section above, ductless systems give you independent control over the temperature of individual zones, or rooms, in your home. This feature allows you to set a comfortable temperature in each room. If another family member prefers a cooler or warmer temperature than you do, he or she can adjust the mini split system accordingly.

Additionally, ductless systems are easy to install, so you won’t have to pay more money than necessary on installation costs. You’ll also save more money as you use this system. Because a mini split system uses newer technology to cool and heat air, it consumes less energy-in fact, it’s about 40 percent more energy efficient than a window unit.

And, because of its small size, a ductless system doesn’t take up too much space in each room, leaving you with more empty space to use at your discretion.

Another benefit you’ll reap from ductless systems is cleaner indoor air. According to the EPA, indoor air can be much lower in quality than outdoor air. When you use a ductless mini split system, you don’t rely on ducts to blow air throughout your home. And the less you use your ducts, the fewer toxins, dust particles, allergens, and pollutants you’ll find in the air.

When you’re ready to install a ductless mini-split system in your home, contact Getzschman
Heating. We’ll recommend a model that fits your needs, desires, and budget, and then install it quickly and seamlessly.

If you have additional questions about how to use or care for your mini split system, let us know. We’ll address any questions or concerns you have so you can enjoy your new cooling system to the fullest.