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FAQs about Geothermal Heating

FAQs about Geothermal Heating

By Heating, Residential

With winter quickly approaching, you may be considering an upgrade to your home’s heating and cooling systems. Due to rising utility bills and the increasing threat of climate change, many homeowners are looking to more sustainable HVAC technologies like geothermal heating for their homes.

Although not a new technology, geothermal heating and cooling systems have been rising in popularity in recent years. But what is geothermal heating, and how can it benefit you and your family? Here, we’ll look at some frequently asked questions to help you decide if geothermal heating is right for you.

What is geothermal heating?

When heat from the sun warms the Earth’s surface, that heat is stored underground as thermal energy. Even with freezing temperatures, the underground temperature remains stable year-round. Geothermal systems tap into this consistent thermal energy source to heat or cool your home.

A common misconception is that geothermal systems can only be installed in specific geographic regions. However, they can be installed anywhere, so all homeowners can take advantage of this promising energy source. Since geothermal heating systems run on renewable energy and can be used for both heating and cooling purposes, they are one of the most efficient HVAC systems available.

How does geothermal heating work?

Geothermal heating systems consist of a ground loop, a heat pump, and a distribution system. First, the ground loop is installed under your home’s property and filled with liquid to absorb the underground heat. Loops can be installed vertically, horizontally, or in ponds and lakes, or well water systems can be utilized.

Next, that fluid is circulated through the ground loop and your geothermal heat pump. Located inside the home, the heat pump’s fluid-to-refrigerant exchanger uses thermal energy to heat the air that flows through the system. Lastly, the distribution system delivers and circulates the air through your home via your ductwork. Some systems can even power your hot water heater with minimal additional costs.

What are the benefits of geothermal heating?

Renewable energy

Geothermal energy is a natural, renewable, sustainable resource. Unlike wind or solar power, it is always available in the ground, so it’s highly reliable. In addition, since it does not use fossil fuels of any kind, its carbon imprint is substantially smaller than other systems that use traditional fossil fuels. For these reasons, geothermal heating is one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly methods of heating your home.

Cost savings

Due to their high levels of efficiency, geothermal systems can help you save money over the long term with reduced energy bills. Plus, geothermal systems are long-lasting and require less maintenance. Your indoor equipment lasts for about 25 years, while the loop system underground will last for 50-plus years. This will help you save even further by reducing replacement, repair, and maintenance costs.

Is geothermal heating expensive?

Because the installation process is much different than for standard systems, installation costs for geothermal heaters are often higher. However, it typically pays off in the long run. As mentioned above, homeowners save money on their monthly energy bills thanks to its higher efficiency.

Additionally, the price of installation can vary widely depending on a variety of factors. Your home’s size, lot size, insulation, and existing ductwork are just some of the elements that play into the cost. Plus, you may qualify for local or state incentives or rebates that can help you save thousands on installation. In fact, some federal tax credits can cover up to 30% of the installation price.

How can I start using geothermal heating in my home?

If you’re considering installing a geothermal heating or cooling system, reach out to a professional HVAC company. They can guide you through the process, from selecting the right system to installation to maintenance services.

At Hauck Bros, our HVAC experts can help set up a geothermal heating system that works best for your home. We also provide maintenance plans to maximize your equipment’s lifespan and efficiency as well as your family’s overall comfort.

Want to learn more about geothermal heating options for your home? Contact us online or call 973-325-0636 to speak with our professionals!

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Home Heating Unit Upgrade

8 Signs it’s Time to Upgrade Your Home Heating Unit

By Heat Pumps, Heating, Residential

As summer turns to fall, there’s no better time to check if your home heating unit needs an upgrade. The approaching cooler months provide the perfect opportunity to test your system before it’s too chilly indoors. Even with proper HVAC maintenance, there may be issues that indicate it’s time for a replacement.

While a heating upgrade is an investment, it can save you money in the long run with better efficiency and lower maintenance costs. Here, we’ll look at 8 reasons why it might be time to consider an upgrade to your home heating unit.

1. Your heating unit is older than 15 years

On average, home heating systems last between 15 and 25 years. Depending on the type of heating unit you use, that number can change. For instance, gas furnaces typically last from 15 to 20 years, while electric furnaces can last from 20 to 30 years. For most heat pumps, the average lifespan goes down to 15 years.

2. Your energy costs are rising

As your heating system ages, it tends to require more effort to thoroughly heat your home. This extra work can lead to higher energy bills. If you see a sharp spike in your monthly statement, it could indicate that there’s a break in your system.

3. Your heating unit is not efficient

Your gas or electric system’s energy efficiency is measured by its AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating.  A high-efficiency heating system has an AFUE rating of 90% to 98.5%. A mid-efficiency heating system has an AFUE rating of 80% to 83%, and any AFUE rating lower than that is considered a low-efficiency heating system. The more efficient system, the more money you will save on your monthly bill.

4. Your system needs regular repairs

If your system is frequently in need of repair, those costs can add up quickly. In many cases, you are better off investing in a more efficient system than continuing to pour money into a broken unit.

5. Your equipment is producing loud or unusual sounds

Sometimes, a loud noise coming from your unit is due to a simple problem like a clogged filter or a loose return air filter grille. But if you’re hearing persistent, strange noises like banging, rattling, or scraping, it could indicate a larger issue.

6. You’re experiencing unpleasant odors

Along with odd noises, your heating unit can give off a strange, unpleasant odor if it is malfunctioning. A smell like burning, chemicals, mold, or soot coming from your heater may point to a problem like overheating of your system’s internal parts or wiring. If you experience any alarming odors coming from your heater, call your HVAC service provider right away.

7. Your indoor temperature is uneven

An old, damaged, or defective system can cause fluctuations in your home’s temperature. It may struggle to properly heat a particular room or area of your house, resulting in an uneven overall temperature.

8. Your circuit breaker keeps tripping

While it’s normal for your circuit breaker to trip occasionally, if your heating unit is causing it to trip often, it’s a sign that your system is malfunctioning. Most likely, this is due to normal wear and tear. In some cases, a repair may solve the issue, but usually, a full replacement is the best long-term solution.

Is it time for an upgrade?

If you’ve experienced any of these issues with your home heating system, it might be time to consider a newer, more efficient model. But a heating system replacement is a major investment, so before you take action, it’s best to consult with a pro.

At Hauck Brothers, we have over 100 years of experience working with home heating units. Our highly trained technicians can examine your equipment and discuss with you if it’s time to replace it.  Our knowledgeable salesforce can then provide recommendations to find the best replacement for your needs. Get help with your home heating upgrade by reaching out to us today!

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How a Zone Control System Can Save You Money

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How a Zone Control System Can Save You Money

How a Zone Control System Will Save You Money

By Air Conditioning, Cooling, Furnaces, Heating, Home Automation

When it comes to your home’s energy costs, every little bit of savings counts. Keeping your entire house cool during the summer or cozy in the winter can be an expensive undertaking.

One effective way of lowering your bills and improving your overall comfort is by installing a zone control system. With a zone control system, or zoning, you have full control of the heating and cooling of every room in your house.

Each room’s temperature can be adjusted separately, using individual thermostats that all connect to a central panel. Valves and shutters are installed within your ductwork to separate your property into sections. This allows different automated dampers to open and shut in each designated area, raising or lowering the temperature of each room as needed.

Read on to learn more about how a zone control system can save you money and maximize comfort for the whole family.

It lowers your energy usage

With a typical HVAC system, your entire home is heated or cooled to the same temperature. But by installing a zone control system, you can control the temperature in each individual room. Depending on your equipment, you can even automate your settings to heat or cool certain rooms at specific periods of the day.

This allows you to adjust the temperature only in the rooms currently in use, lowering your overall energy usage. Your AC or heater doesn’t have to work to maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home and can instead use energy only in the rooms you regularly spend time in. With better energy efficiency, you can lower your monthly bills while enjoying a higher level of comfort.

It reduces strain on your system

Because your HVAC system is only using energy in certain rooms or floors, this helps reduce the strain on your overall system. Your equipment doesn’t have to work as hard all day every day, so it doesn’t go through as much wear and tear.

Plus, in areas where your equipment’s location or insulation causes issues with maintaining a consistent temperature, you can zero in on problem areas by using energy only in the rooms that need it. With lower overall usage, your system will last longer and require less maintenance. Your need for costly repairs and replacements will also go down. This can create significant savings over the long term.

It provides greater comfort

Most of us have been there – your spouse or child likes a balmy temperature, while you prefer to keep things cool. When only some people in the home are at a comfortable temperature, this can cause frustration or regular bickering over the thermostat.

But with a zone control system, you can ensure everyone in your household is at their optimal temperature. A zoning system is perfect for a family or living situation where different people have different preferences. The areas of your house can be adjusted to the exact preference of the person in each room, keeping everyone happy.

It raises your home’s value

In addition to the cost savings and improved comfort, installing a zone control system also boosts the value of your home. If you decide to sell your home in the future, it will maintain a higher value due utilizing to a more advanced, modern system.

Interested in learning how a zone control system could fit into your home and save you money in the Springfield, Ohio area? Reach out to us at Hauck Bros. Our professional HVAC technicians have the knowledge and skill to equip your home with a zoning system that will satisfy your entire household. Contact us today to learn more!

Want to learn more? Contact us today!

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Spring HVAC Maintenance Checklist

Spring HVAC Checklist

By Air Conditioning, Heating, Home Automation, Indoor Air Quality, Maintenance, Residential, Thermostats

7-Point Spring Checklist for Your HVAC System

With the beginning of spring on the horizon, there’s no better time to check on the state of your HVAC system. After a long, harsh winter that can put stress on your equipment, a good spring cleaning and maintenance check is the perfect way to make sure your system is ready for the warmer spring months.

Ready to start cleaning? Check out these 8 tips to prepare your home for spring.

  1. Change your air filter

If you haven’t changed your air filter in a while, make it a priority for spring. A dirty air filter can spread dust, dander, and bacteria throughout your house, causing health problems like asthma and allergies.

Additionally, a clogged filter restricts airflow, meaning your HVAC system has to work harder to heat and cool your house. Check and replace your filter to increase your energy efficiency and start circulating clean, breathable air in your home.

  1. Clean your air vents

Your air vents accumulate dust, pet hair, mold, and other debris, especially during winter. Remove the vents on your floor and ceiling with a screwdriver and use a vacuum to clean out the dirt.

Then, wash your vents with soap and water and let them air dry before replacing them. This helps to ensure that the dust and dirt on your vents don’t get blown around when it’s time to turn on the AC.

  1. Dust your ceiling fans

The blades of your ceiling fans are another place where dust and hair tend to collect. Since you don’t want that dirt to fling around the room once you turn them on, make sure to dust and wash your fans’ blades.

Use a ladder to reach all surfaces and a cloth or sponge to gently wash each blade. Just don’t turn the fan on before the blades dry – dust clings to damp blades.

  1. Install an air purifier

Spring is an ideal time of the year to install an air purifier. Air purifiers like ionizers can eliminate germs, mold, and allergens that have been lingering in your home all winter.

They also help to neutralize odors, get rid of harmful indoor chemicals, and improve your sleep. Air purifiers have even been shown to increase life expectancy by improving indoor air quality.

  1. Test and clean your air conditioner

As the weather gets warmer and you switch to using your AC, run a quick test to ensure it’s working properly. You don’t want to end up on a 90+ degree day with a broken or inefficient AC unit.

Also, make sure to clean the area around your unit outside. Debris like leaves, shrubs, and grime can accumulate and block airflow. There should be two feet of clear space around your unit for it to function properly, so remove any weeds and trim shrubs in the area. Clean the coils and the condenser with a soft-brush vacuum and a hose to wash away dirt. Once it’s completely dry, you can turn on the power.

  1. Upgrade to a smart thermostat

If you haven’t already changed to a smart thermostat, this spring is a great opportunity to make the switch. Smart thermostats can save you up to 20% a year on energy costs, so you’ll likely lower your AC bill after it’s installed. With the current rising prices on gas, food, and more, every bit of savings counts.

Plus, with a smart thermostat, you can adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere, anytime, from your smartphone. On a transitional spring day, you can turn off the heat and turn up the AC, all while you’re at work. When you get home, your house will be comfortable and cool.

  1. Schedule a maintenance appointment

Regular professional maintenance is essential to keeping your HVAC system running smoothly throughout the year. By scheduling a maintenance appointment for the spring, you can avoid the risk of working your system too hard once the hot weather hits.

Preventive maintenance can help keep your home’s air clean, lower utility and repair costs, extend the life of your equipment, and improve your home’s overall comfort. Reach out to our skilled technicians at Hauck Bros. to schedule your maintenance services today!

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Spring HVAC Maintenance Checklist

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Winter Ready

How to get your House and HVAC System Ready for Winter

By Heating, Uncategorized

Here in Ohio, winter can be harsh. We can get extreme cold and extreme winds as we have seen in the past. We put this winter weatherization list together to help you ensure your heating costs stay as low as possible and help avoid costly repairs.

Check out our products here.

Protect Your HVAC system

  1. Change the Filter, depending on your system the filter may need to be changed monthly, bi-monthly or twice a year, check with us to determine how often is optimal for your HVAC system
  2. Turn the humidifier on and replace the pad making sure the humidity level is set correct on your humidistat or thermostat.
  3. Make sure the drains are not backed up while testing your system to ensure excess moisture leaves the house.
  4. Adjust the thermostat to heat and set to your comfort level, remember to set the heat set point lower while you are away from the house or at nighttime.
  5. Make sure your smart thermostat is programmed to make you comfortable and lower the heat settings when you are in bed or away. We offer smart Wi-Fi thermostats where you can check the HVAC system while you are away.
  6. Turn your furnace on to ensure it is operating, listen for any noises that do not sound ordinary, popping sounds and loud squealing noises should be looked at.
  7. Ensure the area around the furnace and your ductwork is clear of debris to ensure proper airflow, make sure no flammable products are kept near the furnace to ensure your household safety.
  8. If you have an air conditioning only outdoor unit, cover the unit to protect from ice, snow, and debris, we offer covers specially made for Bryant and Carrier.
  9. Check exhaust for furnace for any blockages, if in a chimney, ensure no corrosion
  10. If you have an Oil furnace, remove carbon soot and other debris, check the flue pipe, replace the oil filter, change the air filter, clean air vents, and have the burner adjusted if needed by a professional.

Protect your House

  1. Ensure gutters are clear of any debris to make sure ice doesn’t form
  2. Outdoor faucets should be shut off and drained of any water, make sure to put hoses away.
  3. Look for and fix drafts in your doors and windows to keep cold weather on the outside of the house.
  4. Check your sump pump and if you have a backup battery, ensure it is charged.
  5. Ensure your water heater is operating correctly and not making any popping noises to avoid
  6. Ensure the lawn mower is clean and empty of gasoline, make sure the snow blower is well maintained and ready to go.
  7. Make sure you have ice melt, preferably animal friendly, to help keep driveways and sidewalks clear of ice.
  8. Ensure your Carbon Monoxide detector is under 7 years old and check the batteries
  9. Make sure ceiling fans switch direction clockwise, which creates an updraft to help you stay comfortable.

Signs your furnace may need immediate service.

  • No Heat, ensure thermostat has power and if no power or no heat, call service to diagnose issue.
  • Energy Bills rise month after month, make sure the filter is new and if still no improvement, call service to make sure your heating system is running as efficiently as possible
  • Bad smell coming from registers, if you smell rotten eggs or unburnt gas make sure to call service immediately.
  • Carbon Monoxide detector goes off, open the windows, call the fire department, once cleared have service come repair the issue.
  • Furnace makes a loud banging noise, if any loud banging noises or other noises are coming from the furnace that seem odd, call our service to figure out the appropriate repair.
  • Raising the temperature on the thermostat and it doesn’t heat up, it could be the thermostat or the furnace, call service to determine the best recourse for repair.
  • Your pilot light is orange or yellow, when operating correctly the pilot light should be blue, if you see orange or yellow, call service for a tune up.
  • The furnace is older than 15 years, most furnaces last 10-20 years, if it is older than 15 years old, schedule service for preventative maintenance to ensure it’s reliability this winter.
  • The furnace seems to turn off and on a lot, this may depend on the furnace as newer modulating models are designed to run at all times but if your furnace seems to turn on and off a lot call service to determine the reason.
  • Cold rooms or areas, if you notice rooms or areas not getting up to temperature like they did in the past, call service to determine if any repairs are needed to correct the airflow.

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Packaged Rooftop Units

Packaged Rooftop Units

By Air Conditioning, Commercial, Heating

How It Works

For Commercial applications, Packaged Rooftop Units are installed on the roof of the building or they can be installed on a slab at ground level. Unlike a split system where there is an outside and indoor part to the HVAC system, Packaged Rooftop Units have all the components built into the unit. They are made to withstand the Miami Valley typical weather of rain, sun, frost, wind, heat, and other conditions. They provide commercial buildings space saving options since the unit doesn’t need an indoor unit. Depending on the older unit a curb adapter may be needed for the new unit to install correctly.
Air enters the unit via the air hood on the side, it passes through dampers on the inside that regulates the airflow, and than the air goes through the systems air filtration. Next, the air is either heated or cooled (depending on the system configuration and the current operating mode) and circulates through the ductwork inside the building.
Hauck Bros., Inc. helps Miami Valley business heat and cool their buildings safely and efficiently. Our team installs, repairs, and maintains Packaged Rooftop Units throughout the area. We are well versed in county and city permits, regulations, codes, and requirements. Learn more about packaged rooftop units.

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Why is your AC blowing warm air?

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10 reasons why

10 reasons to choose Hauck Bros., Inc.

By Commercial, Cooling, Heating, Maintenance, Residential

10 Reasons to Choose Hauck Bros., Inc. Whether you’re looking for Commercial HVAC assistance, or you need service for your home, we can help. From Maintenance, Service, and Installation we have you covered.

99 Years and Counting!

Hauck Bros., Inc., has been serving the Miami Valley since 1921. We are proud to serve our community and all the homes, businesses, industries, and other residential and commercial establishments year after year.   What makes us different and unique from other HVAC contractors in the area?

      1. Industry experience

        Our staff has over 350 years of combined experience in HVAC.  We have serviced, maintained, and installed residential, commercial, and industrial HVAC equipment in a lot of applications and configurations.  If one of us has to troubleshoot an issue, odds are that someone else has had that issue before and we will solve the issue without having the customer wait.  You can have peace of mind knowing that an expert took care of your HVAC and more experts wait to handle any situation that comes up.

      2. Neighborhood experience

        Not only do we have industry experience, we have neighborhood experience.  Condos, multi-family homes, apartments, and senior living communities are a few examples of buildings that may share similar designs in HVAC systems. In a lot of cases, Hauck Bros., Inc. installed them so we know how to maintain, service, and replace these systems more efficiently than any other company.

      3. Customer site experience

        We have served the Miami Valley for so long that we build not only a history with customers, but with addresses as well. We have all our records from the past to use at each address to make sure you get a history of your HVAC equipment to use in your determination of future service, maintenance, and installation.  Whether you just moved into a house or have been there for years, we will thoroughly go over your HVAC systems past in detail to help make your best decision.

      4. Customer service

        Since we are independent and operate like a family, we are able to build one-on-one relationships with our customers. Our commercial accounts assign the same technician for that account and you can request to have the same residential technician for your house. This ensures that the same technician you saw last season will be the same technician you see this season. Our technicians are not only highly trained experts, but also members of the community. When you call us during normal hours, our own employees answer the phone. When you call us for an emergency, our employees return the call.  You can trust they will do the best for you and offer recommendations and solutions that are based on your happiness and comfort, not for individual profit.

      5. We offer emergency service 24/7

        We are always there for you when you need us, even after normal office hours. Even better, all of our technicians live within the Miami Valley, so they have a quick response time in case your HVAC system stops working.  We want to be there when you need us, even if it is Christmas day.

      6. Quality is never compromised

        At Hauck Bros., Inc., we take pride in doing the job right the first time and making sure we don’t have to come back out after a job is finished. We pay a high attention to detail, cleanliness, and quality of craftsmanship. We constantly train to stay up to date in new equipment, service techniques, and develop new procedures to ensure you are also satisfied with our performance.

      7. We support, sponsor, and live in our community

        All of our employees live and support in the Miami Valley.  At Hauck Bros., Inc., we support and sponsor a large number of local events, charities, and causes. We believe in staying connected to our community.  Every dollar you spend with us goes back into our community as well.  We do business with and support other local companies to ensure our community stays strong. Shop local, stay local!

      8. Accountability

        Every employee at Hauck Bros., Inc. takes immense pride in the work they do.  We constantly train our employees to ensure that best practices and procedures are kept at all times.  When and if a mistake happens, we own up to it, learn from it, and train our employees to hopefully never make that same mistake again.  There is never an acceptable failure rate and we will always make it right.  That is why every installation comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

      9. Safety

        We provide our employees with training in safety, equipment, personal protective gear, codes, rules, regulations, and best practices.  This ensures that not only is the employee safe while they are working, but that you are safe as well.

      10. Energy efficiency

        We reclaim and recycle used refrigerants, recycle old equipment, recycle all of our cardboard, and we offer a full line of equipment that uses environmentally friendly refrigerants.  We are proud to be an Energy Star partner. We feature models for new installations that are Energy Star™ approved.  Our Gold and Platinum Home Comfort Protection plans follow the Energy Star ™ guidelines for maintenance. This makes it easier for our customers to purchase products that save them money and protect the environment. Lean more about our Green commitment here.

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business comfort protection plans

Business comfort protection plan

By Commercial, Cooling, Heating, Maintenance

Benefits of having Hauck Bros., Inc. as your business HVAC service and maintenance provider

WE PUT OUR CUSTOMERS’ INTERESTS ABOVE OUR OWN, since 1921 Hauck Bros., Inc. has built a reputation as a company that provides exceptional products and service at a competitive price WITHOUT sacrificing quality.

WE HAVE EXPERIENCED, FACTORY TRAINED AND CERTIFIED, DRUG FREE SERVICE TECHNICIANS on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide fast, courteous service for your new or existing heating and cooling equipment.

WE PROTECT YOUR ENERGY SAVINGS, energy wasting problems can’t be solved by equipment alone, even with the most energy efficient equipment your business or home can have hidden problems that can waste as much as 50 cents of every energy dollar. Our maintenance practices are designed to ensure your HVAC System delivers maximum energy savings.

WE ARE AN ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY HVAC COMPANY, we reclaim and recycle used refrigerants, we recycle old equipment, and we offer a full line of equipment that uses environmentally friendly refrigerants.

Why purchase a Comfort Protection Plan?

1. Improve unit efficiency & save $$$

2. Help your system last longer

3. Prevent untimely breakdowns

4. Enable your system to heat & hool better

5. Improve air quality & comfort

 

Get started

Typical Commercial inspections include:

  • Clean Condenser Coil, As Needed
  • Check Condenser Fan Motor
  • Check Compressor
  • Check Electrical Components
  • Check Wire Connections
  • Check Refrigerant Lines
  • Check Refrigerant Charge
  • Check Thermostat & Sub-Base
  • Lubricate Blower Bearings
  • Lubricate Blower Motor
  • Check Blower Wheel
  • Check Delta “T”
  • Replace Filters
  • Check Belts

What’s the bottom line for your home or business?

Savings

Business Comfort Protection Plans (BCPP) typically more than pay for themselves through higher efficiency, less utility overpayment, and contractor discounts. BCPP customers receive a 10% discount on all parts and labor is also discounted for each service call.

Peace of Mind

Preventative maintenance will mean fewer system failures and a longer life for your HVAC equipment.

Priority Service

Should a system failure occur during the heat of the summer or the cold of the winter, customers with BCPP’s receive priority service.

Continuity

We are often able to assign technicians to the specific customers. That way, you get to see and know the same service technician, and he or she becomes more familiar with you and your equipment

We service, maintain, and install commercial and residential equipment including:

  • Air Conditioners
  • Boilers
  • Duct Free Systems
  • Furnaces
  • Geothermal
  • Heat Pumps
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Packaged Rooftop Units
  • Thermostats
  • Ventilation
  • Water Heaters
  • Ductwork

Facts about HVAC from the U.S. Department of Energy

20% of the total electricity used in buildings worldwide goes towards air conditioners and electric fans.

Up to 40% of a building’s emissions come from the HVAC system.

30% increased compressor energy consumption due to a dirty condenser coil.

Want more facts? Visit the website.

Go to Energy.gov

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hauck brothers ready for winter

Are you ready for Winter?

By Furnaces, Heating, Humidifiers

Let’s talk about comfort in the fall and winter for the Miami Valley in regards to heat and humidity. According to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the Building America (BA) Climate Zones, the Miami Valley sits on the border of Mixed-Humid and Cold BA Zone and the border of 4 and 5 IECC Climate Zone. What does that mean to you? A cold climate is defined as a region with between 5,400 and 9,000 heating degree days (65°F basis). The Building America cold climate corresponds to the IECC climate zones 5 and 6. A mixed-humid climate is defined as a region that receives more than 20 inches (50 cm) of annual precipitation, has approximately 5,400 heating degree days (65°F basis) or fewer, and where the average monthly outdoor temperature drops below 45°F (7°C) during the winter months. The Building America mixed-humid climate zone includes the portions of IECC zones 4 and 3 in category A above the “warm humid” line. In short, we experience high heat and high humidity for a few weeks per summer and extreme cold with low humidity a few weeks per winter.

energy.gov climate regionsHow does that relate to you and how comfortable you are at home or work? The HVAC system in your home or office should be designed to handle your heating and cooling needs at all times of the year, no matter the weather, no matter the season. According to Merriam-Webster, comfort can be defined as “contented well-being, a feeling of relief, and a satisfying or enjoyable experience.” When we refer to comfort in HVAC we refer to Thermal Comfort. Thermal Comfort refers to ASHRAE Standard 55, which establishes the ranges of indoor environmental conditions that are acceptable are about 67°F to 82° and is achieved by accounting for a combination of factors. Those six factors are metabolic rate, clothing insulation, air temperature, radiant temperature, air speed, and humidity. Your HVAC System should be designed by a professional to account for these facts.

In the Miami Valley, we focus more on heating than cooling. Furnaces are sold as single stage, two stage, and modulating variable speed. Last year we talked about those options, click here to view. With modulating, variable speed furnaces the fan is always on. Don’t worry, the fan uses as much electricity as a 100-watt light bulb over the course of a year. By having the fan on the furnace changes its speed and slows down the airflow through the system. This allows for precise temperature control throughout the building and increased comfort as the air is constantly moving. This also allows the HVAC system to do a tremendous job at dehumidification during the cooling season and with a humidifier, better humidification during the heating season. This also means your air is running through the air purification system and removing more dust, allergens, and contaminants.

Modulating variable speed furnaces are also more efficient than single stage and even two stage options. They meet the qualifications for Energy Star and qualify for most utility company rebates. Let’s not forget about other sources of heat as well. Oil furnaces have models available with variable speed blowers that improve the overall comfort while being more energy efficient. Heat Pumps have models available with variable speed and two stage operation, this includes ductless models as well. Boilers have models with modulating gas valves. Electric Furnaces or Fan Coils have options available with variable speed and multi-speed blowers. In short, whatever your home or business heating and cooling needs may be, we have options that will improve your overall comfort.

Want to learn more? Contact us today!

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furnaces

Gas Furnace Manufacturer Notice

By Furnaces, Heating

As of 7/3/2019 manufacturers of gas furnaces are no longer able to make units with Permanent Split Capacitor (PSC) motors. Electronically Commutated Motors (ECM) motors are now required in all new manufactured furnaces. The furnace fan uses electricity to circulate air heated or cooled through a buildings ductwork system and into the occupied space. ECMs feature two modes of operation; constant airflow within the system or constant torque on the motor.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has mandated a new minimum fan energy rating (FER) standard. Read about it here. DOE also estimates that for products sold over 30 years (2017-2046), the proposed standards will reduce energy consumption nationwide by about 500 billion kilowatt hours, an amount equal to the annual electricity use of about 47 million U.S. households, and will save consumers $29 billion. The energy savings from the new standards will translate to reductions in CO2 emissions of about 180 million metric tons.

What does this mean to the consumer?
The ECM motor driven furnaces can save you money in heating and cooling costs by up to 75%. ECM motors have less moving parts and generally last more than double the lifespan of PSC motors. Your comfort level will be improved as ECM fans can use slower speed to better treat the air. The air quality will also be improved by the more constant airflow through the filtration system. The only downside is that the initial cost for a standard furnace will likely increase when the changeover occurs.

When will they be available?
Most models of furnaces already had a ECM motor, the standard level of furnace is the only models adapting the new standards. Although manufacturers can no longer make new standard units with PSC motors, there are still plenty of old models to go through before this changeover occurs. Stay posted as we at Hauck Bros., Inc. transition over to the new furnaces, we will let you now when the old PSC motors are done with.

DIY

  • Check to make sure the furnace pilot light is on, if not lit re-light according the manufacturer owners manual.
  • Make sure all return and supply registers are clean and unobstructed.
  • Make sure to check and change or clean the air filter, on some models at least once a month.
  • Make sure the area around the furnace is clear of debris and combustible materials.
  • Check your thermostat and turn to heat to make sure it comes on.
  • Check to make sure your Oil or Liquid Propane tanks are full. Generally, they are cheaper to fill during the cooling season than the heating season.

Service

With normal maintenance and care, furnaces can last over 20 years!  Our experienced technicians can help you maintain the life of your equipment by performing a Home Comfort Protection Plan check on your furnace. Some inspections the technician will perform are checking the air filter, blower motor, blower wheel, transformer, gas leaks, flame sensor, thermostat, and more!

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