Tag Archives: air

5 Clever Ways to Camouflage Your Ugly Outdoor Air Conditioner

Fall is the best time of year to landscape. The cooler temperatures make it easy for the new plants to become established. By the time next spring rolls along, they are comfortable and ready to spread their roots. One of the best places to landscape is around your ugly air conditioner. It’s big, square and unsightly, and you don’t have to look at it anymore. The team at Getzschman took to Pinterest to inspire you with some beautiful ways to hide your ugly AC. But first things first. Let’s talk about safety.

Safety Tips for Landscaping around Your Air Conditioner

Your air conditioner has a job to do and it needs space to do it. Your condenser unit has to be able to suck in air to work properly. To be sure you give it enough room, make sure you don’t plant anything within two feet of the unit. This also makes sense because you want to have access to it when any repairs need to be done. Okay, now onto the fun part!

Fenced Facade

Fenced FacadeA couple of wooden fence pieces with a gate for access provide the perfect backdrop for some potted plants. Now the air conditioner is invisible, yet accessible when needed.


Attractive Trellis

Attractive TrellisThis metal trellis provides just enough of a visual disturbance to become the focal point, making the air conditioner behind all but disappear from view. The curved edge also offers an artistic flair that plays nicely with the soft edges of the surrounding flowers and trees.


Vertical Garden

Vertical GardenThis vertical garden is a great way to add some greenery while hiding an ugly metal box. Now, not only is the ugly gone, but some extra color and texture make your view even better!


Portable Planters

Portable PlantersTalk about convenient, these trellises on wheels are portable so you can simply move them outside in the spring to plant and grow and store them inside in the winter. They’re tall enough to hide your air conditioner, trash bins, lawn mowers and more. Or just use them to create a privacy fence on your patio!


Outstanding Obelisk

Outstanding ObeliskThis little number does double duty as camouflage for your air conditioner and as a storage closet for lawn tools. While this is not a purchase-and-place item, it sure is a classy way to hide you condenser unit! If you’re the handy sort, this project may be right up your alley.

We know air conditioners aren’t the prettiest things in your yard, but they sure are necessary when dealing with the Omaha heat! We hope this blog provided some great ideas for hiding your air conditioner. Just remember, if you do hide it, give it a few feet to breathe. If you’ve found a clever way to hide your AC, we’d love to see it! Send your photos to us and we may feature it in a blog post or on our Facebook page.

If you have any questions about your air conditioner, or you need AC repairs, please give us a call at Getzschman Heating & Cooling at (402) 554-1110. We’re here to help!

5 Signs Your AC Has a Refrigerant Leak

AC Refrigerant LeakHave you noticed your AC is not working quite the way it used to? Is it taking longer to cool down or feeling like it’s not really getting cool at all? If this is the case, you might have a refrigerant leak. A leaking system can cost a lot of money over time if it is not repaired, so if you suspect you might have a leak, it is important to have it checked by a professional. The team at Getzschman Heating and AIr Conditioning has put together a list of signs that you may have a refrigerant leak. Look for these symptoms:

  1. Your House Is Not Getting Cold Enough

This will likely be your first sign that something is wrong. If you walk into your house and the cool air is not as refreshing as it once was, even after dropping the temperature a few extra degrees, there may be a leak.

  1. Cold Air Is Not Coming from Your Vents

The air coming out of your vents should be cold. The refrigerant absorbs the warm air from your house and moves it outside. If you notice warm air coming from your vents, it’s a sign that your refrigerant is not doing what it is supposed to do.

  1. Your Utility Bill Is Higher Than Normal

Air conditioning systems that are low in refrigerant utilize longer cooling cycles to get your house cool. This means your AC runs almost nonstop to meet the demand. This will result in a higher electric bill. If you notice a sudden change in your monthly bill, it’s a good idea to take a look at your AC system.

  1. You Hear a Hissing Sound Coming from Your AC

Because your AC condenser unit is outside, a hissing sound coming from your unit may not be the first symptom you notice. However, if you find that your system is not cooling or you have an increased bill, you should step outside and listen to your unit. If you hear an abnormal hissing sound, it’s time to call a technician.

  1. The Evaporator Coils Are Frozen

Again, this will likely not be the first sign you notice. If your AC is acting funny, take a peek inside. If you see ice inside your unit, it’s a good sign you are leaking refrigerant. Turn off your air conditioner so it will thaw and call a professional.

It is important to note that If you have a refrigerant leak, adding more refrigerant will not solve the problem. You will only end up replenishing the system every year. Instead, you need a qualified HVAC technician to repair or replace your unit.

If you think your system might have a leak, call us toll-free at 800-657-2158 or visit us online.

How to Get Through Summer with a Struggling AC

Getting Through SummerYou know your air conditioner is old. You know it’s time to replace it. But you’d really like to make it through one more summer before buying a new one. At Getzschman Heating and Air Conditioning, we understand. A new air conditioner is a big purchase and it may not be in the budget yet. To help you eek out one more season, here are five tips from the AC pros at Getzschman Heating and Air Conditioning to make it through the summer with a struggling air conditioner.

1. Expect to Pay More in Electric Bills

Older systems are less efficient than newer systems just because they were built 10 to 15 years ago before some of the newer technology was even available. Add to that the fact that an older system has wear and tear from running for more than a decade (think dirt and dust, worn parts, loose connections, etc.) and you can imagine how inefficient your old AC is. The harder your AC has to work, the longer it will have to run to reach the temperature on the thermostat and the higher your electric bills will be.

2. Change the Filter Monthly

One of the biggest things you can do to help your old system is to change the air filter monthly. A dirty filter will impede your system’s ability to push air through it, making it work harder and cost more.

3. Expect to Pay Dearly for Freon

If your AC is older, chances are it runs on Freon. As units age, the chances of a refrigerant leak increase. If your system is leaking Freon, it will cost you a lot of money every time you need to recharge it. Freon was banned by the EPA (because it damaged the ozone layer) and is no longer being manufactured. Because of this, the price has skyrocketed as demand has built and supply has decreased. It will cost you several hundred dollars each time you need to add Freon. Newer systems use R410a, an environmentally safe refrigerant that costs much less. Unfortunately, older units are not designed to use the newer refrigerants.

4. Be Ready to Be a Bit Too Warm

Your old AC may not be able to keep your home comfortable. Even new air conditioners are only designed to keep your home 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. If it’s 100 degrees, your home may stay in the upper 70s to 80 degrees. An older, inefficient unit will certainly not be able to do better than that. Expect to be on the warmer side especially when the temperatures soar.

5.Get a Tune-Up

A tune-up on an older system may be what gets your AC through the season. Not only will it help it run more efficiently, it will reduce the number of unwanted breakdowns and emergency service calls. A technician will replace any worn parts, check all electrical connections, lubricate any moving parts, clean your system and repair any broken parts. Simply cleaning your air conditioner will help it run more efficiently too.

Employ the $5,000 Rule with Repairs

If your air conditioner breaks down, the immediate question is: do you repair it again or do you replace it entirely? Thankfully, there’s a simple way to figure out which way to go. It’s called “the $5,000 rule”: It’s simple. Note the age of your AC and multiply the age by the amount of your most recent repair bill. If this results in a number less than $5,000, a repair is likely the best way to go! Of course, this is meant as a first step; a professional consultation from a trusted repair provider is another great data point to gather. But the decision is ultimately yours, and this is a great way to pin down what might be the best way to spend your money in the long run.

3 Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your AC

The formula above is a great rule of thumb, but there are a few signs that clearly signal you’d be better off replacing your system than repairing it:

  • If you’ve repaired  your AC more than three times over a three-year period, that implies that there is a larger issue that a fourth repair might not address fully.
  • If you have your AC repaired and energy bills remain exceedingly high, that’s another major warning sign that the overall health of your AC system is ailing.
  • And finally, refilling the Freon after multiple repairs means that patching it up and refilling it yet again will not solve the systemic issues with your AC.

Hopefully, these tips will get you through the summer, but if not, give us a call. We’ve got great credit options to help you afford a new air conditioner. Call us at (402) 554-1110 or contact us online if you need repair or replacement.

4 Costly AC Mistakes Homeowners Make

Costly AC MistakesAs a homeowner, you already know how costly air conditioners can become. Between maintenance and monthly energy costs, you could be paying quite a bit just to keep your home cool. There are a few common mistakes that many homeowners make regarding their AC. By avoiding the following mistakes, you are ensuring your AC is being used in the most efficient way possible.

Not Replacing the Air Filter

The purpose of the air filter is to remove dust and allergens from the air passing through the AC unit. After about six months, that filter is full and unable to do its job. Air will have a harder time getting through, and more dust and allergens will enter your home. By regularly replacing your air filter, you’re greatly increasing the AC unit’s efficiency.

Not Scheduling Regular Tune-Ups

Failing to schedule regular tune-ups is one of the most costly mistakes you can make with your AC. Certain factors, such as leaks and a dirty AC, can cause your air conditioner to perform poorly. Regular tune-ups help ensure your air conditioner is working in the most efficient way possible.

Not Using Ceiling Fans

Never forget about your ceiling fans! Ceiling fans help improve airflow throughout your home, and they are cheaper to use than an AC. They are a great way to keep your entire home cool, especially during the hot summer months. Ceiling fans don’t actually change the temperature inside your home, they create a wind-chill effect that makes it feel cooler. You can turn the thermostat up a couple of degrees and not feel uncomfortable. Ceiling fans should turn counterclockwise in the summer to make the air flow downward and clockwise in the winter to redistribute warm air that has risen to the ceiling. There is a small switch on the body of your ceiling fan to change the direction the blades turn.

Not Using a Programmable Thermostat

With today’s AC technology, a programmable thermostat is beyond necessary. Programmable thermostats allow you to set temperatures for different times of the day, and you can even set them to lower the temperature during the most expensive hours of the day.

Don’t let these mistakes cost you. If you need assistance with your air conditioner this summer, don’t hesitate to call Getzschman Heating and Cooling a call at (402) 554-1110 or contact us online.

Is Your Air Conditioner Making Your Allergies Worse?

Air Conditioner Make Allergies WorseWhen you think about potential asthma triggers in your home, your home’s air conditioner is usually the last thing to come to mind. But the fact is that the air quality inside your home could be even worse for your asthma than the air outside.

Dirty Air Filters Spread Allergens

This is the case when you have dirty air conditioner filters. The air in your home is contaminated with dust, pollen, dander, mold spores, and other particles. Consequently, about 60% of asthma cases are caused by those particles. A good-quality air conditioner filter can help reduce these air contaminants. However, a dirty air conditioner filter has the opposite effect. Air conditioners filter harmful airborne particles from the air before blowing it around your house, yet when your air conditioner’s filter fills up, its efficiency decreases. Thus, air contaminants and asthma triggers are pushed with the air conditioner’s cooled air throughout your house, causing asthma flare-ups.

How Your Air Conditioner Can Reduce Asthma Symptoms

To prevent asthma attacks caused by particles in the air, there are a few precautions you can take.

Keep Your Windows and Doors Closed

Open doors and windows allow more harmful particles to enter your home. Your air conditioner will have to work harder to keep all the particles out of the air, and it may not be as efficient. Even for those who don’t have asthma, dirty air filters can cause unwanted symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, sneezing, red eyes, and respiratory tract infections.

Change Your Air Conditioner Filter Regularly

The more contaminants that are in the filter, the less efficient your filter becomes. Changing your air conditioner’s filter regularly will reduce the number of particles in your home’s air, reducing asthma flare-ups.

Get a High-Quality Pre-filter and Secondary filter

The pre-filter is the filter you change monthly. For families with a member who suffers from asthma, a secondary filter is usually attached. When looking for an air conditioner filter or a filter replacement, you should look for a filter that removes smaller particles from the air. HEPA filters are best for allergy sufferers as they filter out much smaller particles.

Regular air conditioner maintenance is essential for your family’s health, especially for those with asthma and respiratory problems. By using high-quality filters and changing them regularly, you can reduce symptoms and live healthier.

At Getzschman Heating and Air Conditioning, we provide a variety of indoor air solutions, including air filters, air scrubbers, and UV germicidal lamps. Need help? Give us a call at (402) 554-1110 and we’ll be happy to show you your options.

Spring Thunderstorms – Protect Your Home from Water and Wind

Spring ThunderstormsThe weather here in Omaha can be unpredictable in the springtime. Thunderstorms pop up with a very little warning. How do you make sure your home is safe from wind and water damage? The team at Getzschman Heating and Air Conditioning has put together this list of four vital precautions to take before spring storms hit:

1. Sump Pumps Are Critical

Most homeowners think that if they have a sump pump, their homes are safe from flooding. While a sump pump serves as an excellent defense to keep basements dry by pumping out excess water, it relies on electricity to run. Unfortunately, it is common for the power to go out during a thunderstorm which is exactly when you need your sump pump the most. Make sure your home is protected from flooding by checking the following:

  • Be sure that you have a battery backup sump pump. If your power goes out, the battery backup pump will take over for it and keep your basement from flooding.
  • Test your sump pump every month. One quick way to test your sump pump is to take the lid off the sump pit and pour a five-gallon bucket of water into the pit. The motor should kick on and drain the water immediately. If it doesn’t, you may have to call for service.
  • Protect your sump pump system from clogs. Keeping your discharge lines clear and covered will help to protect them from clogging and backing up into your home. Check the line when you test your sump pump to make sure the water has a clear path outside your home.

2. Lock Windows and Doors

Simply checking to make sure windows are closed and storm doors are latched this time of year will save you costly damage caused by water coming into your home or a loose storm door blowing in high winds. Double check them all.

3. Don’t Forget the Patio Furniture

In the event of stormy weather with strong winds, make sure to check outdoors for items that need to be secured or put away. Patio umbrellas, tables, chairs, yard decorations, grills, and stacked firewood can all get broken or cause damage to your home if blown around by high winds.

4. Turn Your AC Off

Cutting power to your unit at the circuit breaker, or turning the unit off at your thermostat can prevent costly damage in the event of a lightning strike. A power surge can cause significant damage to an air conditioning unit during a storm. Sure, your home may get a little stuffy in the few hours it is storming,  but as soon as the storm is over, you can cool it off again safely.

Take these precautions to protect your home and heating and cooling systems in the event of a spring thunderstorm. Call Getzschman if you need any help with your air conditioner this spring at (402) 554-1110 for more information.

3 Clever Hacks to Hide Ugly AC Vents

Here in Omaha, air conditioning and heating are musts for a comfortable home. But, sometimes, the vents can detract from your beautiful walls and home decor. Never fear! The team at Getzschman Heating and Air Conditioning has gathered some of the best solutions for camouflaging ugly wall vents. Read on to see how you can make your home more beautiful.

1. Use a Rubber Doormat

Rubber DoormatThis may sound ridiculous, but you just have to buy the right doormat. You can get grate-style rubber doormats at almost any home improvement store or market. Many pretty scrollwork patterns exist. Make sure the mat is an open design to allow air to flow through it and into your home without obstruction. The doormats costs between $10-$20 dollars. If you’re not a fan of the black, you can paint it to match the rest of your home. Then, just hang it on two nails right above the vent. The finished product looks like an antique vent cover, and looks nice enough to be wall art!

If you find dirty vents while you’re sprucing up your covers, check out Getzschman’s air duct cleaning services. The service reduces allergy and asthma symptoms and leaves your home with better air quality.

2. Fake Fancy Air Vents with Spray Paint

Spray Paint Air VentsDon’t want to cover up your vents? Try spray-painting them instead! You can buy spray paint that looks like metal, such as gold, silver, bronze or even copper, to give it a more elegant look. A hot color currently is oil-rubbed bronze. The paint shouldn’t cost you more than $10.

This works for almost any type of vent, too, whether it’s a floor or wall vent. Just make sure you remove the vent cover first and take them outside or in a garage before you spray paint them. You don’t want those paint fumes in your home. Also make sure to lay the vent cover on some newspaper or plastic before painting, so you don’t get paint everywhere. Then, wait for the paint to dry before putting them back in the floor or wall so they don’t stick. This is also a great idea for old vents that might be chipping or rusting. It will bring them back to life, and save you some cash!

3. Use a Piece of Furniture

FurnitureIf you have a piece of furniture that would sit nicely against the wall where your vent is located, simply remove the back and push it in front of the vent. Make sure it has doors that are vented to let the air circulate. If the doors aren’t vented, replace them with screened, louvered or decorative scrollwork doors. As long as the air can pass through the doors, it will remain functional and look fabulous!

We hope these tips will help you make your home both comfortable and charming. Let us know if you try any of these tips and send us a picture of how it turned out! We’d love to see it.

For your air conditioning and heating needs, call the technicians you can trust at Getzschman at (402) 554-1110.

7 Houseplants That Can Help You Breathe Easier

Did you know that indoor air is typically more polluted than outdoor air? Everyday items such as furniture, upholstery, cleaning products and even synthetic building materials can emit toxic chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde into your home. Yuck!

Luckily, the Getzschman Heating and Cooling team has an affordable and aesthetically pleasing way to combat these dangerous chemicals in your home: houseplants. Many indoor houseplants have been known to reduce certain chemicals and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and are a great alternative for purifying the air inside your home.

Check out these seven houseplants that can help you breathe easier today.

1. Aloe Vera


This stylish succulent has been around for thousands of years and is known for the gel it produces that helps heal cuts and burns. Aside from healing skin, Aloe Vera helps clear air of formaldehyde and benzene, which can be emitted by certain paints and chemical-based cleaners in your home.

This plant is easy to grow and even easier to maintain. However, be careful: this plant is easier to overwater than underwater.


Related Read: Tips for Caring for Your Aloe Vera Plant


2. Snake Plant


This plant is also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, and is also one of the hardest houseplants to kill. They are great for removing chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene. These plants are typically used in bathrooms because they thrive in low light and humid conditions.

Helpful Tip: Snake plants follow the opposite process of most plants, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen at night, rather than during the day. Put one in your bedroom to give yourself a slight oxygen boost and improve your quality of sleep.



3. Gerbera Daisy


This beautifully colorful flower helps filter out benzene that is found in fabric inks as well as trichloroethylene which may be brought into the house with dry cleaning. These plants love lots of sunlight and well-drained soil.

Try one in your laundry room or near a sunny window in the kitchen. You can find these at most nurseries, and they come in a variety of different colors.

Related Read: Gerbera Daisy Plant Care


4. Peace Lily


The peace lily was at the top of NASA’s list for removing formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene – the three most common VOCs. This plant is very forgiving and likes shade and weekly watering in order to bloom.

Helpful Tip: The peace lily will even tell you when it’s time to water! You’ll know it’s time when the plant begins to droop slightly.


5. Azalea


This vibrant flowering shrub can help reduce formaldehyde throughout your home.

Azaleas are perfect for basements because they like cool temperatures, but make sure to give them some sunlight to feed on.

These gorgeous flowers come in a variety of different colors and sizes to fit your decor. However, keep these away from small children and animals because the nectar and leaves are known to be highly poisonous.


6. Spider Plant


This resilient plant is great for forgetful owners who have trouble maintaining plants. The spider plant thrives in cool-to-average temperatures and with bright, indirect sunlight.

This plant battles chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. Unlike the azalea plant, this plant is considered safe for homeowners with pets and small children.

Fun Fact: Spider plants will grow flowers that eventually turn into baby spider plants, also known as spiderettes.


7. Chrysanthemum

chrysanthemum-mum-air-quality-getzschmanThese bright flowers are not only great for brightening your home, they also fight benzene, which is commonly found in plastics, detergent and paints throughout your home. In order for these flowers to bloom they need lots of bright light.

Chrysanthemums are also known for the wide variety of colors they come in, so pick a color that will give your home that extra pop of color you’re looking for.

Helpful Tip: When choosing chrysanthemums for indoor purposes, make sure to choose the floral variety instead of the garden variety.


Worried about the air quality in your home? Getzschman can help!  Find out more ways to improve your indoor air quality and visit our website to see how we can help.