heating and cooling Category


Furnace Not Working? This Could Be Why…

When your furnace unexpectedly goes out, try these furnace troubleshooting tips before reaching for the phone. You may be able to restore the system yourself, eliminating the discomfort that an increasingly chilly home causes.

  • shutterstock_132189746The thermostat. Verify that the thermostat is set to heat and the temperature setting is above the air temperature by a few degrees. If in doubt, set the thermostat four degrees higher than the room’s air. Replace the batteries if it’s not hard-wired.
  • No power. All gas furnaces have a switch located in the front of the blower compartment. Reset it by pushing it or moving it to its “on” position. If it doesn’t start soon, check the circuit breaker. If the breaker tripped, reset it. If the circuit breaker trips soon after resetting it, call your HVAC contractor for professional help.
  • Dirty air filter. Almost all gas furnaces have safety switches inside them that turn the furnace off when there isn’t enough air flowing through them. When furnace troubleshooting, look at the air filter. If it’s covered with dust, it won’t allow enough air into the blower compartment and if it continues to run, the components would build too much heat, creating a safety hazard. During the winter when the furnace runs routinely, it’s a good idea to check the air filter monthly and change it when it’s dirty.
  • Blocked flue. If the flue vent is blocked, the furnace will automatically shut off. If you can’t access it easily, call your HVAC contractor.
  • Ignition problems. Diagnosing ignition problems is fairly easy with a furnace that uses a standing pilot light. If the pilot goes out periodically, clean the thermocouple and the pilot. If the pilot still goes out, the thermocouple may need replacing. If your furnace has electronic ignition, it uses a furnace ignitor. This part uses a filament that creates a spark to ignite the fuel. They can and do wear out and should be replaced by an HVAC professional.

For more tips about furnace troubleshooting, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, serving homeowners in the greater Cincinnati area since 1910.


The Importance of a Balanced System

If your heat pump freezes over, it’s telling you something important. While light frosting may come and go on an outdoor coil in winter, thick ice formation on an indoor or outdoor heat pump coil is never normal in any season. Usually, it’s a symptom of imbalance somewhere in the system. Heat pump energy efficiency and performance are severely diminished by coil icing. In extreme cases, the unit may shut down entirely. Here are typical reasons a heat pump freezes over, and what you can do about it.

Insufficient Airflow

A heat pump unit Source: Shutterstock

A heat pump unit
Source: Shutterstock

The temperature of a heat pump indoor coil in cooling mode normally remains above 40

degrees Fahrenheit. If system airflow drops below specifications, however, heat transfer declines and coil refrigerant temperature plunges. Condensation on the coil freezes, initiating the cycle of ice accumulation. Common reasons for low airflow include:

  • Dirty air filter. A clogged filter reduces air volume through the coil, potentially causing icing. Changing the air filter is a simple DIY task—a qualified HVAC service tech can show you how if you don’t know—and should ideally be performed monthly.
  • Closed or obstructed vents. Balanced system airflow depends on open supply and return vents in individual rooms. If one or more vents are manually shut or blocked by furniture, drapes or other obstructions, airflow through the coil may be insufficient to prevent icing. Keep all vents clear and don’t close vents in unoccupied rooms.

Low Refrigerant

Proper refrigerant charge is a critical balance. As refrigerant pressure declines below specifications, refrigerant temperature drops, too. Coil icing soon follows. Low refrigerant charge is usually caused by leakage. A qualified HVAC service technician has the equipment and expertise to pinpoint and repair refrigerant leaks, then restore the refrigerant charge to manufacturer’s specifications.

Defective Defroster

If light winter frosting on an outdoor coil accumulates into a layer of thick ice, the heat pump’s automatic defroster may have failed. Professional troubleshooting is required to isolate the problem, replace defective components and verify proper repair.

For qualified service if your heat pump freezes over, in the greater Cincinnati area, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.


Choosing the Right Air Filter for Your HVAC System Makes a Real Difference

Air filters are an essential part of the HVAC system. Not only do they keep dirt and other harmful contaminants away from HVAC components where they can cause damage, but they also remove those contaminants from the air you breathe.

But what kind of air filter should you use in your home? Which one will most effectively raise your indoor air quality?

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3 Advantages of Going With a Ductless System in Your Cincinnati Home’s New Addition

ductless systemWhy does a ductless system offer greater power and efficiency than a standard central furnace and A/C? It’s a simple answer — no ducts. In most houses, one of the largest energy losers on the premises is the heating and cooling ductwork. Residential ductwork is often not constructed to last the life of the home and deteriorates over the years. A ductless system combines heat pump efficiency with duct-free installation to provide single-room heating and cooling in houses where adding ductwork isn’t desirable or feasible.

Here are three reasons why a ductless system may be the best option for bringing comfort and efficiency to single rooms or enclosed spaces in your home.

Straightforward Installation

A ductless heat pump incorporates a low-profile indoor air handler and a compact outdoor unit comprising the coil and compressor. A narrow insulated conduit conveys refrigerant as well as electrical power. The indoor and outdoor unit can be as much as 50 feet apart and only a three-inch hole is required in an exterior wall to accommodate the refrigerant conduit. In most homes, experienced installers can do the job in a day.

Greater Efficiency

Ducts lose an average of 30 percent of conditioned air. A furnace or A/C must run longer cycles to make up for the lost air, increasing energy costs. A ductless heat pump conditions an individual living space by moving heat in or out. Heat is directly added or removed by heat pump technology, not conveyed through ductwork.

Design Features

Unlike other options such as window A/C units or space heaters, a ductless system fits seamlessly into your decor. The indoor air handler is unobtrusive and mounts on the wall, ceiling or a floor stand. Optional covers are available to match color schemes. Outside, the heat pump unit is no larger than a suitcase and adapts to ground installation or mounting on the side of the home.

For more information about the benefits of a ductless system for your Cincinnati home, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

Image via Shutterstock.com


How Your Programmable Thermostat Can Help You Keep Warm

programmable thermostatsKeeping your Cincinnati house warm during the fall and winter can be quite expensive, especially as energy prices continue to rise. By installing a programmable thermostat, however, you can keep your home comfortable throughout the heating season while reducing monthly heating bills. For the greatest amount of savings, use the following tips to choose the most efficient settings for your programmable thermostat. (more…)


How a Zoning System Can Benefit Your Cincinnati Home

zoning systemIf you’re among the many who’d like to lower home energy costs, consider zoning system benefits. A zoning system divides your home into areas that have similar cooling and heating needs. Most homes have one thermostat placed in a central location. It controls the HVAC system for that particular space and doesn’t account for different thermal conditions throughout the rest of your home. (more…)


Convert Your Garage to a Living or Work Space: What Is Involved?

convert your garageAs you plan to convert your garage to a living or work space, make choosing how you plan to cool and heat it a priority. It may affect how you design and use the space, along with the extent to which you need to insulate it to maintain reasonable energy bills and comfort year-round.  (more…)


DOE HVAC Efficiency Standards: Are They Going Up Soon?

HVAC Efficiency StandardsOver the last few years, the Department of Energy (DOE) worked with representatives of the HVAC industry to raise HVAC efficiency standards. The new standards were to go into effect in 2013, but the implementation was delayed as a result of industry concern that the ratings for the northern region were too strict and inflexible for existing homes that needed new furnaces or boilers.  (more…)


In the Market for a Zoning System? Questions That Can Help You Decide

zoning systemAny changes to your home’s heating and cooling system typically come with a significant price tag. Repairs to an existing HVAC system may be less expensive than a complete overhaul, but a zoning system offers another option and can save you money over time.  (more…)


Are You Insisting on a NATE Certified Technician? Here’s Why Your Neighbors Are

nate certified technicianNorth American Technician Excellence, Inc. is the leading certification program in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration industry. The NATE certification test is the only one of its kind that is truly considered the gold standard.  (more…)