All posts by Ron

10 Questions to Ask Before Upgrading Your Home’s Furnace

street in omaha during the winter time

Getzschman Heating and Cooling has replaced hundreds of furnaces since we began serving the Omaha area in 1960. Whether it was because a homeowner wanted to upgrade to a more energy efficient system or because a home’s furnace was on its last leg and the homeowner wanted to avoid a break down in the middle of winter. Each time we replace a furnace, the G-Force team works with the homeowner to help them make an educated decision about the furnace they are purchasing.

 
If you are considering upgrading your home’s furnace this winter season, be sure that you are informed about the system you are purchasing. Ask the heating and cooling company that you are working with the following questions!
 
 
1.   What is the efficiency level (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) of this unit?
2.   How much should I expect to save in energy savings by upgrading to this furnace?
3.   Does this furnace upgrade include a warranty? If so, what is covered under this warranty?
4.   What is the average age for this furnace model?
5.   Is a new thermostat included with the purchase of this furnace? If so, is it a programmable thermostat?
6.   When I purchase a new furnace, is a routine maintenance package included? Learn about the G-Force Maintenance Program, Save Money With a G-Force Maintenance Agreement.
7.   How often should I have this furnace inspected and maintained?
8.   Is this an Energy Star certified furnace?
9.  What size filter is required? How do I change the filter in this new model?
10.  What air filtration options are available?
 
 
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you make a well-informed decision about your home’s furnace upgrade. For more information about furnace replacements or to learn about the options available at Getzschman, give us a call today.
 

How Can Furnace & Air Conditioner Upgrades Earn You Money?

save money on your air conditioning and heating services with a tax creditDid you know that if you have installed a high efficiency furnace or air conditioner in 2012 or 2013 that you could be eligible to receive a tax credit? Thanks to the extension of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, certain energy efficient heating and cooling equipment will qualify. If upgrading your system has been on your to-do list, be sure to do so before the end of the year!
What Heating and Cooling Equipment Qualifies for Tax Credits?
 
  • Heat pumps are eligible for up to a $300 tax credit. Split systems must have an HSPF that is greater than 8.5, an SEER that is greater than 12.5, and a SEER greater than 15.
  • Air conditioners qualify for up to a $300 tax credit. They must have a SEER of 16 or greater and an SEER of 13 or greater if it is a split system. If it is a pack system, SEER must be 14 or greater and SEER must be 12 or greater.
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil furnaces are eligible for up to $150 tax credit. They must have an AFUE of 95 or greater.
Does Water Heating Equipment Also Qualify?
 
Tankless gas water heaters, heat pump water heaters, and high efficiency gas boilers are eligible for tax credits. If you have upgraded your home recently to include these products, make sure that you claim your tax credits.
What Amount of Tax Credits is the Maximum for Approved Homeowners?
 
Eligible homeowners may receive a maximum of $500 in tax credits according to the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. If $500 or more has been claimed in any year prior to 2013, you are ineligible to claim credits on new improvements.
By installing high efficiency air conditioners and furnaces, you will be able to save money in taxes and energy bills as well. For more information about energy efficient heating and cooling equipment or to schedule an installation, give Getzschman Heating & Cooling a phone call today.

Are You Ready for Winter? 3 Steps Every Homeowner Should Take

The holidays are approaching and although the thought of a winter wonderland sounds magical, that means Frosty the Snowman and his below freezing friends will all be here before you know it. Is your home ready for their arrival? Getzschman Heating & Cooling put together this checklist of to-do’s for every Omaha area homeowner so you will be ready.
Help Your Furnace Keep the House Warm, Add Insulation
 
Getzschman Heating recommends that you add insulation to your Omaha area home’s attic, basement, and crawl spaces. Why? For starters, adding insulation helps to keep the heat from escaping your home. Your furnace works to keep your house warm and if it is not well insulated that warmth escapes. This leaves your furnace to work harder and increases your energy bills.
When heat escapes your attic, it can melt the snow that sits on your roof. This melted snow turns to ice and can build up. This can cause water to pool and seep below your shingles, large sheets of ice can fall from your eaves, and your roof could potentially collapse.  Plus, when your basement and crawl spaces are well insulated, your pipes are less likely to freeze during the coldest of the winter months.
Service Your Heating System: Furnace, Boiler & Chimney
 
It is important to have each component of your home’s heating system serviced once a year. This helps to make sure that everything is working properly and efficiently.
Prevent Frozen & Burst Pipes 
 
Nothing is worse than discovering that your home’s pipes have either burst or are frozen. To prevent this from happening, check for cracks or leaks in your pipes. If you find one, cover it with heating tape until you can call a plumber to have it inspected and repaired. Getzschman suggests installing an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system. This will help to protect against increased pressure, which can cause your pipes to burst or freeze.
For more tips about winterizing your Omaha area home, give Getzschman Heating a call today.
 

5 Facts You May Not Know About Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Most Omaha area residents know that carbon monoxide is a dangerous, potentially deadly gas that is not only colorless but odorless as well. But what else do you know about this poisonous gas? At Getzschman Heating & Cooling, our goal is to keep you and your family safe, which is why we want to educate you about the gas that many of the objects in your home produces.

  • 1.     Each year 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning.
  • 2.     More than 20,000 Americans visit the emergency room and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning.
  • 3.     Carbon monoxide can be found in stoves, generators, fireplaces, water heaters, vehicles, and furnaces.
  • 4.   When vented properly, the carbon monoxide in these products will exit by being pushed outside the home.
  • 5.     Carbon monoxide can enter your home if these products have blocked airways, are not properly vented, or have an equipment malfunction.
So how do you keep you and your family safe from carbon monoxide? Getzschman Heating & Cooling recommends scheduling a furnace tune-up for your Omaha area home. When we come out and perform a furnace tune-up, we perform tests to make sure that your furnace is operating properly, is well vented, and that the airways are not blocked. We also suggest replacing the batteries in your carbon monoxide monitor. If you do not have one in your home, have one installed.
We provide furnace tune-ups and furnace repair services to the entire Omaha, Nebraska area. To schedule a tune-up for your furnace to make sure it is being properly vented or to have a carbon monoxide monitor installed, give Getzschman a call.
*Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Calling all G-Force Clients: Satisfaction Survey

At Getzschman Heating & Cooling, customer feedback has been a large part of how our company has grown throughout the years. Because of this, we want to reward those awesome customers for giving us feedback about their experience with the G-Force team. How do we do this? Find out with this breakdown of our Satisfaction Survey.

 
Step One: Receive Heating or AC Service by Getzschman
 
When you are experiencing heating and cooling problems in your Omaha area home, the G-Force team is here for you. At Getzschman, our techs are experienced to recommend and provide the proper maintenance for your furnace or air conditioner. Our techs can also help homeowners when it comes to replacing their current heating and cooling system or installing a new one altogether.
 
Step Two: Provide Customer Feedback through our Satisfaction Survey
 
After you receive service from the G-Force team, we ask that you complete our online Satisfaction Survey. As we mentioned earlier, a large part of the growth of our company has been because of the input that we have received from our customers. Because of this, we appreciate any comment you have about your Getzschman experience, positive or not.
 
Step Three: Enter to Win $200 to HyVee
 
When you submit an online satisfaction survey, you are automatically entered into a drawing to win a $200 gift card to HyVee. We draw a name each month from those who have submitted their feedback. This is our way of saying thank you for being a great customer!
 
To schedule a heating or cooling service with Getzschman, give us a call today toll free at 800-657-2158. 

Program Your Way to Savings

Did you know that if you adjust your thermostat by just one degree every night before you go to bed, you will save about 1% of your total energy bill? If you adjust it more, the savings will increase. So when you are sleeping or gone for the day, making those small adjustments can really add up to significant savings. Follow the se programmable thermostat tips from Getzschman to program your way to savings.
 
On busy weekdays when your home is empty, raise the temperature set point as you leave the house. You can actually adjust the temperature by 8-10 degrees. So if you normally keep your house at 70 degrees, up it to 78 during the day. The air conditioner will still run occasionally throughout the day, but less often, saving energy. When you get home, lower it back to normal temperatures. Then at bedtime, after everyone is asleep no one will notice that the house is a few degrees warmer, raise your thermostat to 75 degrees.
 
If you are very organized, you can do this manually. When you wake up each morning, adjust your thermostat to comfortable levels and then adjust it again as you leave the house for work. When you return home, you probably want it a little cooler indoors , but once you head off to sleep, it is time to adjust it again. If you are like me, with all those ups and downs, you are likely to forget and end up overheating or overcooling an empty house. No worries, a programmable thermostat will do the remembering for you. A programmable thermostat can adjust the temperature before you come home so your house is a welcome relief on those hot summer days or frigid winter evenings.
 
If you are like most families, your weekend schedules are different from your Monday – Friday routine. People are in the house longer in the morning with more irregular times in and out throughout the day, and bedtimes may be later. With a seven day programmable thermostat, you can customize the temperature settings for your lifestyle. These smart devices will also store settings for summer and winter, so each year all you need to do is flip the switch between seasons and the thermostat will do the rest. 
 
What if it is unseasonably warm or cold, you have a large party or simply feel colder or warmer than normal?  That’s no problem: you can always manually override the system for a few hours. Then it will automatically return to its regular program. 
 
There are a number of different models. Which one makes the most sense for you? Simply give us Getzschman Heating & Cooling call and we will be happy to help.

What Do Our Customers Have to Say About Us?

Getzschman Heating & Cooling has served the Omaha, Nebraska area for over 50 years. Since 1960, our team has provided the best heating and cooling services and strived to deliver 100% customer satisfaction. But don’t just take our word for it, we asked our customers for their feedback. Here are a few recent testimonials that paint a picture of the kind job we do when it comes to your home’s air conditioner, furnace, heat pump, or ducts.   
 
“Getzschman put in a new furnace last fall and I didn’t hesitate to call them for my new air conditioner! I had no problem not being home during the install! I also like that when I call Getzschman someone answers the phone and I don’t have to push a dozen buttons to talk to someone!”
-J. Studnicka
 
“I have been a customer for 9 or 10 years and always received great service. Your receptionist and office staff are always anxious to help and are prompt in forwarding messages to your personal. The guys who have worked here are clean, look good, are courteous and we trust them!”
-L. Nehrmann
 
“I chose Getzschman because of your reputation! Just keep doing what you’re doing! We liked the fact that we could leave for work after the installers arrived and trusted them to be here alone and that they locked up our house when they were done before we got home. Your representative Andy was very helpful and provided us choices that would best fit our needs in regards to size of equipment.”
-J&K Huff
 
We appreciate our customers’ feedback. Click here to see more of what our customers had to say. 

5 Steps toward Becoming a Zero-Energy Home

Steps to reducing your home's energy consumption.Wouldn’t it be nice if you could say goodbye to energy bills forever? Zero-energy buildings have a net energy consumption of, well, zero. This means they produce at least as much energy as they use. While this is not something that is feasible for the average homeowner, it’s possible to live a greener and more economical lifestyle and reduce your energy consumption. How? Find out with this energy advice from Getzschman Heating & Cooling.
 
1. Be smart. If you are really committed to reducing your carbon footprint, it starts with the small things, like turning off the lights when you leave the room, taking shorter showers and being willing to open your windows to keep your house cool. It’s not glamorous, it’s not complicated, but it can make a big difference for the environment and your wallet.
 
2. Design. In a perfect world, you begin living a zero-energy lifestyle with the design of your home.  This can be done by strategically positioning windows to take advantage of crosswinds, putting living space on the warmer south and east sides of your home and so on. However this is not a breaking point, even if you are not building your home from scratch, you can still reduce your energy consumption.
 
3. Passive solar. Passive solar energy means taking advantage of the natural heating (and cooling) properties of the sun. This is anything from keeping your windows open when it’s cold and shutting them when it’s sunny to drawing the shades in the summer against the harsh glare. These simple actions can significantly reduce your heating and cooling bills and keep your home more comfortable with the natural heat and light.
 
4. Active solar. If you want to further reduce your energy usage, there are some affordable solar energy options. These options include putting a discrete solar cell on your roof or in your yard or using a solar-powered water heater to take some of the heavy lifting away from your gas or electric model.
 
5. Geothermal heating and cooling. The earth is naturally cool any time of year. Installing a geothermal loop in your yard lets you take advantage of that, helping to bring cooler air in to your home in the summer. Because you’re using the natural properties of the earth, you don’t use as much electricity to maintain your home comfort.
 
For more information about geothermal heating and cooling, give Getzschman a call! We can help you install or repair a geothermal heating system.
 

Even Temperatures Everywhere with Zoning

 Have you ever noticed that there is always one room in your house that is too hot or too cold? At Getzschman, we hear about weird temperature swings all the time from Omaha area homeowners. But why does it happen? Below are a few of the most common explanations. 

 
Your Room is Far from the Air Conditioner or Furnace
 
When air leaves your furnace or air conditioner, it’s very warm or cool respectively. But as it races along the ducts to reach distant rooms of your house, you may get better airflow in the rooms closest to your heating and cooling system.
 
The further a room is from the AC or furnace, the harder it is to push that warm or cold air. This is especially true in 2 story houses, where the heating and cooling system is downstairs and it becomes difficult to cool the second floor during the summer.
 
Construction Issues with Your Home
 
Large windows, sliding glass doors or skylights are wonderful ways to brighten a room. They are also a source of heat transfer. Rooms with more glass and southern exposures will typically need more air conditioning and heating than other parts of the house. 
 
High ceilings will also cause temperature imbalances. Since warm air rises to the top of cathedral ceilings, those rooms tend to stay cool in the summer but can be frigid in the winter. If you control your temperature to keep these rooms comfortable, other rooms can suffer.
 
 Zoning Can Solve the Problem in Your Omaha Area Home
 
One of the best ways to solve the problem of temperature imbalances is to add a zoning system to your home.  Instead of managing your entire home with one thermostat, you can create zones. If you have a two-story house, you might create a zone for each floor. If you have rooms that are typically warmer like the kitchen, or cool like a finished basement, you can create a separate zone for that room or group of rooms.
 
A thermostat is then placed in each zone, which allows occupants in the zone to set the temperature for their comfort level. Setting up your zoning is dependent on the setup of your ductwork, so have Getzschman Heating and Air Conditioning check it out.
 
How A Zoning System Works
 
The thermostats are connected to a master control panel, which opens and closes dampers in the ductwork to restrict or allow airflow as needed in a specific zone.
Zoning lets you moderate how much energy you use, so in addition to keeping you more comfortable, a properly installed zoning system may also lower your utility bills. Have a room that is too hot or too cold? Give Getzschman a call to find out if a zoning system is the right solution for you.

Summer Time Is Duct Cleaning Time in Omaha

summer duct cleaningAs the weather warms up in the Omaha area, we tend to increase our outdoor activity. Kids are out of school and are constantly running in and out, bringing dust, dirt and pollen into your home. Your pets are probably enjoying the warmer weather, too.

In addition to the dirt they are bringing in from outside, you have probably noticed more hair as they shed on furniture and rugs! So how can you use duct cleaning to help increase your home’s indoor air quality? Find out below from the experts at Getzschman Heating & Cooling!

Air Conditioners Filter the Air in Your Home as Well as Cool It
Did you know that your air conditioning system doesn’t just cool the air in your home, but that it also filters? Typically, the AC will circulate the air in your home five to seven times a day. Warm, stale air is pulled in through the air return and moved along the ducts of your HVAC system. The air laden with dust and debris moves through your air filter, where many of the particles are trapped. The cooler, cleaner air is then pumped back through the ducts to each room in your home. 
Duct Cleaning Supplements Your AC’s Filtering
If the filter is cleaning the air, why should you consider duct cleaning services as well? In the hot summer months, you want as much cool air as your system can generate and a dirty filter may be slowing you down. As dirt, hair and dust start to clog your filter, your air conditioner’s fan needs to work harder to push air through. Removing debris and cobwebs eases airflow and increases the efficiency of the system, in extreme cases by as much as 40%.
How to Tell if Your Ducts Need Cleaning
  •   If you see clumps of dust, cobwebs or particles blowing out of supply registers, your ducts need cleaning.
  • Take the register off one of the vents and inspect the inside surfaces for visible mold, rodent droppings or dead insects. If you see any of those, it’s time for a duct cleaning. Remember, there may be accumulation further into the ducts than you can see.
  • If your ductwork is made of fiberglass, it tends to collect more dust along the surface than sheet metal.  Not sure what your ducts are made of? Just ask your heating and cooling contractor the next time they come out to conduct routine maintenance on your system.
For more information about duct cleaning in the Omaha area, give Getzschman Heating & Cooling a call.