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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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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

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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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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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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!

Contact Us
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!

Contact Us!

thermostats

Thermostats

By Commercial, Cooling, Heating, Home Monitoring, Residential, Thermostats

In 2018 the Miami Valley probably used their heating and cooling systems a lot. According to Wunderground, we had 178 days with temperature highs below 60° Fahrenheit, and 108 days with temperature highs over 80° F. That means that for most people they could have their HVAC systems on over 75% of the time. It could be argued that the single, most important part, of any heating and cooling system is the control that operates the system. A low voltage thermostat is the main control for your building that determines how much heating or cooling will be delivered to satisfy the temperature set on the thermostat. Thermostats have advanced a long way in the past 10-20 years as much technology has. The focus for updating thermostats has been on energy savings, cleaner air, comfort, simplicity, quality, accessibility, and easy to understand information among other issues all related to customer satisfaction. Modern thermostats have a lot of features to appeal to everyone, from simple to read displays to utility savings a modern thermostat is an easy upgrade to add to your system to start saving money for years to come. According to First Energy, based on typical energy costs, a smart thermostat can save up to $145 a year. Models rated for Energy Star compliance offer rebates from utility companies as well.

How it Works

Whether a low voltage thermostat is old or new, the way it works is pretty similar even if the parts inside are not. A part of the thermostat is a way to measure the current temperature in the area it is installed, older models had bimetallic strips, while modern models use electronic controls to sense temperature changes. When the strip or thermistor registers a temperature below or above the set temperature it triggers the heating or cooling unit to turn on to maintain the temperature set. Programmable thermostats allow the user to preset temperatures, allowing them to change according to the owner’s programmed settings. Some of those programmed settings examples could be temperature set points at night, work, and vacations. Wi-Fi enabled thermostats allow the owner to check on their system wherever and whenever they like, assuming they have Wi-Fi and/or cellular service. Other features such as maintenance reminders, humidity level display, weather forecasts, energy reporting, zoning compatible, wireless room sensors, smart recovery, AC overcool to dehumidify, service alerts, and more can be found on certain thermostats.

Types

  • Non-Programmable – Non-Programmable thermostats can be mechanical or digital. To adjust the temperature or change from heating to cooling the owner would walk directly to the thermostat to make changes.
  • Programmable – Programmable thermostat come in a variety of programming options, some models makes changes for a week, some for weekdays and weekends, and some models offer more in-depth programmable options including each individual day. Once the thermostat is programmed the idea is that the owner would set up the thermostat according to their own comfort level and the thermostat would adjust on its own as needed, to the schedule you have programmed.
  • Wi-Fi – Wi-Fi thermostats or smart thermostats give the owner the option to not only program the thermostat but to have it adjust to you as well. With features like room sensors, occupancy sensor, and learning technology. These thermostats can adjust to your schedule inside the building. Some models can even change from heating to cooling or vice versa when needed to maintain the set temperature on the thermostat. These models can give even more features to the owner such as enhanced fan control, IAQ integration, weather forecasts, maintenance reminders, smart home/away, and more. A few of these models qualify for utility company rebates.
  • Communicating Controller – Available with variable speed equipment, communicating controllers allow the owner to be the most comfortable. With longer heating and cooling cycles at lower fan speeds, the air is better treated to ensure the best air quality and comfort possible. Other features include energy tracking and reporting, better humidity control, better dehumidification control, and multi-zone compatibility. These models can even alert Hauck Bros. of a major service issue as it happens so we can assist you as quickly as possible.

Comfort

Comfort starts with the thermostat and is backed up by the equipment and Indoor air quality products that maintain your personal comfort level. The thermostat is the control of comfort for your home or business. Depending on the model, the thermostat can save money via programming, provide ease of access with Wi-Fi, send reminders for maintenance alerts, learn to adjust to your comfort level on your schedule, manage humidity levels, and much more.

Features

  • AC Overcool, uses the condensing unit to reduce humidity by cooling your building beyond the desired temperature until the desired humidity level is reached in your home or business.
  • Auto change, also called Auto Mode, Allows the thermostat to switch from Heat to Cool or Cool to Heat automatically.
  • C-Wire, “Common” wire, enables 24 VAC power to the thermostat continuously.
  • Dual Fuel Capable, when a gas furnace and Heat Pump are used in a building. Allows the furnace to take over heating when the heat pump is inefficient.
  • Energy Star Qualified, required to work as a basic thermostat if on-line service is lost, provide information about HVAC energy usage, give residents feedback about energy consequences of changing settings, and provide the owner the ability to schedule or program. By adjusting the temperature down or up by 7-10 degrees from the normal setting owners can save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs.
  • Enhanced Fan Control, with a communicating controller, allows the user to adjust the continuous fan speed to low, medium, high, or off.
  • Thermostat Occupancy Sensor, indoor motion detecting sensor that can detect the presence of a person to automatically control the thermostat to adjust to a temperature preset setting.
  • Outdoor Air temperature Sensor, on select models of thermostats and zoning systems, provides outdoor air temperature information for the control system and the owner as well.
  • Thermostat Maintenance Reminder, certain models will remind owners to change the filter, ultraviolet light bulb, humidifier pad, and even the ventilator pre-filter
  • Thermostat Password Protection, certain models allow the owner to lockout the control by programming a password to prevent changes.
  • Programmable Thermostat, allows the user to schedule the thermostat to maximize home comfort and save money on utilities.
  • Self-Programming Thermostat, certain models learn what temperature you like and adjusts the schedule automatically
  • Service Safety Alerts, depending on the model some thermostats have the ability to notify you via your smart device, e-mail, and even send out an alert to your HVAC service provider when your HVAC system might be having an issue. Some examples of alerts are too high of humidity in the building, HVAC system not operational, and too high or too low of a temperature
  • Smart Home / Away, some models of thermostats have an occupancy sensor that detects when someone is home or not. These models have the ability to go into energy saving mode when you are away or to override the energy saving mode to ensure your comfort is met when you are home, regardless of the programming.
  • Smart Recovery, depending on the thermostat, some models have the ability to start cooling or heating your building so that at the time set for a certain temperature set point the temperature will already be at the set point.
  • Smart Speaker Compatible Thermostat, certain models of thermostats have the ability to be connected to your home automation provider. This allows the owner with proper registration to control the thermostat by voice or within that providers app.
  • Staging Settings, with multi speed HVAC equipment, having the proper thermostat to control the which stage the equipment is necessary. This allows the equipment to run in the lower stage or stages before going into higher stages.
  • Touchscreen, with technology improvements in thermostats, most modern digital thermostats come with a touchscreen, similar to that of a smart device.
  • Wi-Fi, A lot of modern thermostats have Wi-Fi capability. Wi-Fi allows the owner to control the thermostat from their smart device or within an app, keep the thermostat updated and secure, and help on energy savings.

 

Efficiency

Using a programmable thermostat in your building will let you run a scheduled heating and cooling program without having to manually adjust the settings throughout the day. Depending on the thermostat setting up a program can be done on the thermostat and if the thermostat is connected to an app or a smart device, it can be done on the computer or smart device. Adjusting the program to lower or allowing the temperature to rise by 7-10 degrees can save up to 10% in utility costs.

DIY

Make sure to check your thermostat once a year to ensure (depending on the model) that it is level, batteries are replaced (if applicable), and clear of dust and debris. It’s always a good idea to test the heating and cooling equipment before their season to ensure the thermostat is operational and the equipment responds as well. Some models with automatic reminders set up will need the reminders reset ex. change air filter or humidifier pad.

Service or Replace

The thermostat should be maintained and checked once a year, if it has no power, doesn’t respond to settings changes, heating or cooling won’t turn on, or loses its programming it might be time to consider a replacement. If your system is being replaced and it was over 15 years old and you would like to take advantage of the energy efficiency of a modern thermostat, replacement should be considered. Even if you have a programmable thermostat but you want the benefits of the features modern thermostats offer, consider replacement.

Accessories

  • Backplate, in some cases new thermostats are smaller than old thermostats, these backplates are needed to cover the space used by the old thermostat for cosmetic appeal.
  • Thermostat Cover, in some buildings commercial and residential, the thermostat needs to be protected and secured to limit access. A cover goes over the thermostat while providing airflow to the unit to ensure proper temperature control.
  • Room Sensor, some models of thermostats have the ability to have a wired or wireless room sensors connected to it. This allows for the user to adjust temperature based not only on the main thermostat but with input from the sensor as well. The most common options for sensors within the thermostat are to average the two or more temperature readings, use the sensor as the main temperature set point, and to follow the sensor wherever it is moved in the house to maintain the set point.
boilers

Boilers

By Boilers, Heating

In the Miami Valley, boilers still have a role to play in heating your house or business. Modern boilers heat and treat indoor air while being more energy efficient than older units. You can rely on the professionals at Hauck Bros., Inc. to install a boiler for the first time, replace an outdated or boiler, or service your current system. Since 1921, we proudly serve both residential and commercial customers with the industry’s leading equipment that will provide comfort for years to come.

How it works

A boiler is a sealed system that contains the combustion of fuel, including coal, oil, natural gas, and liquid propane to heat water. Boilers use hot water distributed throughout the building in pipes to provide heat a heat transfer. This allows for individual controlled heat to each room, or zoning.

Types

  • Fire Tube – Fire tube boilers confine the combustion process and gases in tubes and water circulates around these tubes. Some fire tube boilers have turbulators inside of the tubes to cause turbulence of the flue gases. This increases the heat absorption into the water which makes the boiler more efficient. They are generally used for medium to large boiler commercial/industrial applications. These boilers can be either steam or hot water boilers in low to medium pressure applications.
  • Water Tube – Water tube boilers have many different tubes inside of it that have water circulating through them. Hot combustion gases surround these tubes and an exchange of heat is realized. The heat exchange is between the combustion gases and the tubes and water. The water tube boilers can be built for higher capacities and pressures than the fire tube boilers because the steam and/or hot water is confined in the tubes. These boilers are generally found in medium to large commercial/industrial applications.
  • Steam Boiler – delivers hot steam to radiators and bring back cooled condensation into the boiler system to be reheated. Steam boiler need a pressure relief valve and a low water cutoff. Most steam boiler have manual valve to allow for added water to enter the system when needed.
  • Hot Water Boiler – use a series of pumps to circulate heated water through the building and into the radiators. Hot water boiler systems typically have an expansion tank.

Fuel Types

When it comes to boilers, the fuel type helps distinguish which type of boiler you may need and the features available to your setup as well. For most residential and commercial applications, natural gas, liquid propane, electric, and oil are the main source of fuel.

Comfort

Modern boilers have the ability to keep you comfortable during the heating season in a variety of ways. Some models are designed to be easy to service, with annual maintenance recommended on every boiler, having the unit easy to service makes it easier to repair a problem which could save you time and money. The more efficient the boiler the more it saves you on heating bills, especially over 15 years. Some models are quieter than others depending on the design and functionality.

Features

Efficiency

Older units have a rating of 56%-70% AFUE rating. Newer non-condensing units have a 80%-88% AFUE rating. Newer condensing units have an 89%-95% AFUE rating. Condensing units have a secondary heat exchanger for better efficiency. Based on the US National Average for 2017, an 80% AFUE unit would save over $7,500 vs a 60% AFUE over 15 years. A 90%+ AFUE unit would save over $10,000 over 15 years.

Combination Boiler

Traditional boilers and combination boiler share the same task of heating your home by going through your system to radiators or radiant floor systems where it provides heat to warm the air. Traditional boilers heat water in a tank on constantly, ready to provide heated water when needed. Combination boilers has no storage tank, it heats the water as needed and can provide hot water for the whole house, one source at a time. A combination boiler is great choice for a smaller building, with little need for constant hot water.

Ease of Service

Look for models that are easy to service to save time and money on annual maintenance charges. Make sure a certified technician proves annual maintenance to avoid breakdowns and extend the life of the boiler.

Heat Exchanger

When doing a replacement or refurbishment project, the existing heating design dictates what can and cannot be done. New construction or builds offer more freedom in the heating design, but can be more restrictive on building regulations. There are 4 different main heat exchangers to choose from.
1. Cast Iron, heavy, but not easy to break, cast iron feature a sectional heat exchanger design. Ideal for replacements due to their ability debris from the older system. Tend to not be energy efficient unless they have a secondary heat exchanger that enables the boiler to condense.
2. Aluminum, lightweight and excellent at heat transfers, they can be used with other materials to enhance their overall strength. Good water quality must be provided to avoid corrosion.
3. Stainless steel, heavier and able to take more corrosive water. Grade 316 is the most common type, which allows for good welding and heat transfer properties
4. Steel and Tube, used in higher output systems. They can corrode easily, and our not suitable for condensing without a secondary heat exchanger. Usually used in commercial and industrial type buildings.

Energy Efficiency

For residential units under 300,00 BTUH of input, boiler efficiency is measure by AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). AFUE is a calculated efficiency which attempts to estimate how well the boiler coverts the energy in its fuel to heat over the course of one year. Simply put, older furnaces had as low as a 56% AFUE rating, there are models today that can get above a 95% AFUE rating. The higher the AFUE the more efficient the unit is, this saves money on utility bills in the future. Based on the US National Average for 2017, an 80% AFUE unit would save over $7,500 vs a 60% AFUE over 15 years. A 90%+ AFUE unit would save over $10,000 over 15 years.

DIY

Boilers need regular maintenance to prevent breakdowns and, in some cases, to keep the warranty valid and active. There are some simple checks you can do to make sure your boiler stays out of trouble.

  • Make sure all air vents are working, not blocked, and clear of debris around them on the interior and exterior of the building.
  • Make sure to check the water level, if it operates without water the boiler could be seriously damaged.
  • Make sure the pilot light is light (if applicable)
  • Check for leaks and cracks
  • Keep the room the boiler is in as dust free as possible

If you are uncomfortable doing any of these tasks, please contact us at 937-325-0636 or fill out this form and we will reach out to you within 24 hours.

Service

Boilers need regular maintenance once a year. There are two great reasons to have a boiler maintained annually. First, having an annual maintenance check done helps prevents sudden failures. Second, some manufactures require annual maintenance to keep their warranties valid. During the inspection our technician will check shut off valves to ensure they are working properly, check the refractory, check for cracks, check the controls, check indicators, and safety devices to ensure they are all working properly. The technician will also inspect the fuel feed systems and clean the burners to ensure they are working properly.

Signs your boiler may need replaced

  1. Increased failure rate of the boiler
  2. Yellow flames on gas burners and black soot on oil boilers, indicates the fuel is not burning properly, this can create carbon dioxide.
  3. Leakage, if the boiler needs more water to run than it might have a leak. Consider replacing before flooding occurs.
  4. Age, most condensing boilers last for 15+ years, cast iron 20-30 years, with proper annual maintenance by a licensed technician.
  5. Energy use, older boilers are not as energy efficient as modern boilers
  6. Comfort, if your building starts to have hot or cold spots in areas that it didn’t before, it could be that the unit is not operating as efficiently as it once did.
furnaces

Furnaces

By Heating

Depending on the fuel type, natural gas, liquid propane, electric, or oil, a furnace operates using forced air to transfer heat to air.  The blower then sends that air throughout the connected ductwork into the house or business and out the vents.  In a natural gas, oil, and liquid propane furnace, a pilot light ignites a series of burners inside the combustion chamber. The heat created from burner enters the heat exchanger and transfers the heat to the air while raising the temperature set at the thermostat. The blower than takes the air and sends it through the ducts.  An electric furnace uses an electrical ignition source instead of a pilot light to start the heating process. An electric furnace has conductive coils that work to heat the air for the blower to use in heating.

Fuel Types

  • Oil, with AFUE ratings up to 86.6% efficiency and some models offer variable speed operation, oil furnaces provide dependable heat and can be paired a heat pump or an air conditioner to provide maximum comfort throughout the year. Offering flexible installation options, oil furnaces come in traditional multi-poise models or low boy models.
  • Gas, Natural Gas or Liquid Propane, with AFUE Ratings up to 98.3% and a model with modulating gas valves and a variable speed fan, gas furnaces provide dependable heat and can be paired with a heat pump or an air conditioner to provide maximum comfort throughout the year. These models can be installed vertically or horizontally to accommodate various installation needs.
  • Electric, available as an all-electric furnace or an air handler with electric strips paired with a heat pump. These models can come with Variable Speed operation and paired with a heat pump can provide maximum comfort throughout the year. These models can be installed vertically or horizontally to accommodate various installation needs. Heat strip can be sued in an air handler paired with a heat pump to serve as a back up to the heat pump for extreme cold situations.

Available in:

    • Single Stage
      • A single stage unit turns on when indoor temperatures exceed the temperature setting on your thermostat. Once the temperature set on the thermostat is reached it turns off again. Single stage furnaces always operate at 100% capacity.
    • Two Stage
      • More efficient than single stage units, these units vary their output between two levels: high and low. Ideally, the low stage would satisfy the thermostat most of the time. When necessary, the high stage would turn on. This helps eliminate temperature swings and helps to better condition the air, making you feel more comfortable for longer periods of time.
    • Variable Speed
      • Variable speed units precisely control the airflow throughout your home in order to maintain the highest level of comfort. This allows the unit to run continuously, while consuming far less electricity than a single stage unit. The constant airflow has some key benefits, maximum conditioning and treatment of the air, less hot and cold drafts, and quieter operation.

Comfort

Furnaces play a big role in keeping home and businesses comfortable during cold days. Being able to raise the temperature inside allows for people to stay warm and comfortable.

The temperature that feels comfortable may be different for everyone. With variable speed furnaces, having the air move constantly allows for better dehumidification during the cooling season when paired with an air conditioner or a heat pump and better humidification when paired with a humidifier during the heating season. Variable speed fans help better filtration and the lessening of hot and cold spots as well. Even with two-speed operation, having the low speed on the majority of the time makes the treated air feel more comfortable.

Features

Variable speed ECM Blower, the variable speed electronically commutated blower precisely and efficiently controls the flow of heated or cooled air throughout your home via ductwork. This allows for better airflow that reduces temperature swings as well as constantly treating the air for filtration and humidity management.

Multi Speed ECM Blower, the multi speed electronically commutated blower can also adjust airflow like a variable speed blower but less precisely.  They have up to 5 speeds available that change based on your airflow needs.

PSC blower, the permanent split capacitor blower does not adjust airflow. It is set to one speed and operates at that speed 100% of the time.

Modulating Gas Valve, found in the most efficient gas furnaces, the modulating gas valve allows for better comfort by turning on more frequently but at a lower stages to condition the air before 100% capacity is needed.

Energy Efficiency 

The efficiency of furnaces is measured by Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). AFUE is a measure of how efficient the unit is in converting energy from its fuel source to heat over the course of a typical year. AFUE is the ratio of annual heat output of the furnace compared to the annual fossil fuel energy consumed by a furnace. An AFUE rating of 95% means that 95% of the energy in the fuel type becomes heat for the building and the other 5% escapes to the outside of the building through the ventilation system. Electric furnaces installed inside a building have zero loss.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires all new furnaces to display their AFUE ratings so consumers can compare their different efficiencies.

Older units have a rating of 56%-70% AFUE rating. Newer non-condensing units have a 80%-83% AFUE rating. Newer condensing units have an 90%-98.5% AFUE rating. Condensing units have a secondary heat exchanger for better efficiency. Based on the US National Average for 2017, an 80% AFUE unit would save over $7,500 vs a 60% AFUE over 15 years.  A 90%+ AFUE unit would save over $10,000 over 15 years.

DIY

  • Check to make sure the furnace pilot light is on, if not lit relit according the manufacture 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!

Contact Us!