How To Fix Uneven Cooling in a Two-Story Home

Summers in Cincinnati, OH, can be surprisingly warm. Unfortunately, many local homes struggle to enjoy even cooling on upper and lower floors. HVAC systems can have difficulty keeping upper floors as cool as lower floors without making the lower floors colder than necessary.

There are many different reasons for uneven cooling in a multi-story home. Fortunately, there are also many solutions. In this article, we’ll cover the causes and solutions to uneven cooling problems.

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Do I Need an End-of-Season AC Tune-Up?

It may seem as if summer just began, but in a few months, the kids will be back in school and summer will officially be transitioning into fall. During this time, when your AC use drops dramatically, it’s good to schedule an end-of-season tune-up, especially if you missed your spring maintenance this year.

The experienced professionals at Rick’s Heating & Cooling can inspect and clean your system to keep everything working well all year.

Mark your calendar today for end-of-summer tasks, and call Rick’s Heating & Cooling to schedule your tune-up.

DIY Air Conditioning Maintenance

You can address some aspects of end-of-season air conditioning maintenance yourself. Before switching from cool to heat, take these steps to retire your air conditioner for the winter:

  • Clean or change your air filter.
  • Use your hose to flush the outdoor unit of debris and dirt. Just make sure the unit is off when cleaning it.
  • Vacuum all air vents and returns.
  • Never cover the air conditioner, even in the off-season, as condensation could build up and create rust.

Professional End-of-Season Air Conditioning Tune-Up

In addition to the tips above, it’s important to schedule a professional tune-up in the fall, when you’re ready to transition from cooling to heating, especially if you didn’t have it done in the spring.

With Rick’s Heating & Cooling, you can expect the following to take place during your tune-up:

  • Air filters are replaced (unless already taken care of by the homeowner)
  • Thermostat is calibrated
  • Refrigerant levels are checked and adjusted as necessary
  • Electrical connections are tightened
  • Motor voltages and currents are measured
  • Evaporator coil is inspected
  • Condenser coil is cleaned
  • Moving parts are lubricated
  • Airflow is tested and corrected if necessary
  • Condensate drain is inspected and cleaned
  • Difference in temperature between supply air and return air is assessed
  • Safety controls are checked
  • Clearances around equipment are inspected

Why Tune Your Air Conditioner at the End of the Season?

It’s always good to tune your AC before the summer heat, but it’s not too late if you missed this year’s spring tune-up. By tuning up your system at the end of the season, you can still reap these benefits:

  • Extend the life span of your HVAC system.
  • Prevent costly breakdowns.
  • Tune the air conditioner and furnace at the same time, so your heating system is ready for winter as well.
  • Keep your warranty valid.

Schedule Your End-of-Season AC Tune-Up With Rick’s Heating & Cooling

August and September are great months to schedule your fall end-of-season air conditioning tune-up, but Rick’s Heating & Cooling is here for you all year. With our preventative maintenance inspections and services, you can protect your HVAC system and extend the life of your investment.

We’re proud to continue delivering excellent cooling and heating services to the residents and businesses of Cincinnati, and we’ll work hard to ensure your complete satisfaction.

Don’t miss out on your end-of-season tune-up. Schedule your services for August or September today.

Call 513-899-6005 or contact us online to get started.

Why Is My AC Making a Loud Buzzing Noise?

When you hear unusual sounds from your central air conditioning unit, it’s always worth paying attention. While some amount of noise is inevitable, there’s always a reason for a change in noise level — even if it doesn’t ultimately indicate a problem.

Today, we’ll discuss the reasons your AC unit might be making a loud buzzing or humming noise, and whether it might mean there’s a problem.

Be cautious if you have any reason to suspect the noise you’re hearing is electrical in nature, as electrical shock or damage to your home can result. If that’s the case, or you have any doubts, you should immediately contact an expert for air conditioner repair.

7 Reasons Your Air Conditioner Is Making a Buzzing Sound

While these aren’t the only possible causes, these are the most common problems with your air conditioner that would cause a buzzing sound;

  1. The contactor relay switch: This low-voltage switch in your exterior unit is controlled by the thermostat in your home. It can cause a buzzing noise when malfunctioning, but fortunately, it’s an easy component for a technician to replace.
  2. Circuit breakers: Problems with the circuit breakers of your home or system can lead to a buzzing sound in your AC. This becomes far more likely if you find yourself frequently flipping breakers back. The solution might involve an electrician replacing your panel rather than HVAC work.
  3. Fan problems: There are several fans throughout any AC system, both on the exterior and interior systems, as part of the process of moving heat. A malfunction that causes any of these fans to work improperly can result in a buzzing or humming noise.
  4. Electrical connections: Problems with electrical connections throughout your system can lead to arcing, which can make a humming noise. Regular AC maintenance helps keep these connections tight and will detect degradation early. Even if they don’t reach the point of arcing and dangerous shorts, you’ll be wasting electricity on poor connections.
  5. Frozen unit: Frozen evaporator coils, in combination with the moving parts of fans and motors, can lead to a humming or buzzing sound. You can resolve this in the short term by turning your AC off and letting it thaw completely and dry out. You’ll want to clean it and replace your filter to prevent a recurrence — if it keeps happening, you’ll need an expert to help.
  6. Resonance and vibrations: Your AC has moving parts like the fan, especially the large one on your exterior unit, which can cause vibrations and resonance with ductwork or the surface the system rests on under some circumstances. This becomes far more likely if something shifts out of place or a fan starts malfunctioning.
  7. Duct obstruction: If airflow gets obstructed at your AC filter or elsewhere in your ducts or registers, it can cause vibrations or buzzing noises from air passing through smaller areas with more force. Change your filter, open registers, and check for blockages.

What To Do if You Hear a Buzzing Sound Coming from Your AC Unit

When you hear any buzzing noise, you’ll want to act immediately to resolve the problem — or at least identify the root cause, if it’s something innocuous like vibrations. Running an AC that’s malfunctioning, even if it still works correctly, can damage it substantially or expose you to safety hazards.

If your AC is making a buzzing or humming sound and you need professional AC repair in the Cincinnati area, contact Rick’s Heating & Cooling at (513) 899-6005.

We’ve been repairing air conditioners throughout the Morrow and Cincinnati metro areas for over 30 years! 

Cost To Install a Whole-House Humidifier

If you want to keep your home comfortable, avoid irritation of your skin, eyes, and lungs, and keep things energy-efficient, controlling humidity is crucial.

Does your home feel dry in the winter? Do your allergies get worse, your skin dry out, or your breathing problems get worse? If so, you might benefit from adding a whole-house humidifier to your home.

What Are Whole-House Humidifiers?

A humidifier is a piece of HVAC equipment that helps manage humidity by adding moisture to the air. The operation of most HVAC systems reduces humidity in your home; while this is rarely a severe issue in the summer with AC operation, it can lead to an extremely dry home in the winter when you’re using heat often.

A whole-house humidifier is distinct from smaller portable humidifiers in that you can get well-maintained humidity throughout your home, managed from a single central system. You also won’t have to manage a water basin because a whole-house humidifier is connected to your plumbing and sources its own water.

A whole-house humidifier also keeps track of the humidity levels in your home, which allows it to properly target a comfortable level of humidity. Without this feature, excessive humidity from using a portable system can result in pests, water damage, mold growth, and inefficient heating and cooling — to say nothing of the discomfort of humid, damp air.

How Much Do Whole-House Humidifiers Cost?

There are several options to consider when shopping for whole-house humidifiers, which will determine the cost of the system itself. You’ll also need to consider the cost of labor to install a humidifier, which varies with the circumstances of your HVAC system. At Rick’s Heating & Cooling, we work with high-quality units from top manufacturer Aprilaire.

The Aprilaire Model 500 features manual humidity control and starts at around $130. For automatic humidity control, you might spend a bit more. The system can support evaporation of as much as 0.50 gallons per hour and can comfortably humidify around 3,000 square feet of home.

The Aprilaire Model 600 with manual controls starts at $135 and increases for automatic controls. This humidifier boasts a substantially higher evaporation capacity of 0.70 gallons per hour and supports homes up to 4,000 square feet.

Benefits of Whole-House Humidifiers

Dry air can cause discomfort and harm people and property. With a whole-house humidifier in your home, you can stay in the narrow band of ideal humidity while using HVAC as heavily as you need to.

These benefits of ideal humidity include:

  • Excessively dry and humid environments both contribute to the harmful growth of bacteria and other microbes you don’t want in your home. They can also encourage pests and other annoyances. Dry lungs are also more susceptible to harm from these contaminants.
  • Reduced energy costs, because targeting the correct humidity level helps you feel more comfortable in your home with less temperature adjustment in the winter.
  • Improved comfort since low humidity results in itchy skin, nosebleeds, sore throats, static shocks, dry eyes, and worsened allergies.

Health Benefits of Whole-House Humidifiers

Whole-house humidifiers benefit sufferers of many different ailments, including but not limited to:

  • Asthma and other respiratory ailments
  • Viruses and bacterial infections
  • Itchy, dry noses and eyes, including inflammation and nosebleeds
  • Sore throats and lungs
  • Dryness and itchiness of skin, skin allergies, rashes

Whole-House Humidifier Installation in Ohio

Interested in learning more about whole-house humidifier installation to maintain a comfortable humidity level in your home?

Contact Rick’s Heating & Cooling today for more on whole-house humidifier installation in Maineville, Morrow, Lebanon, and surrounding areas.

What’s Included in an HVAC Tune-Up?

Closeup of a pressure meter on air conditioner

An important part of having an efficient, effective, and long-lasting HVAC unit is keeping it maintained on a regular basis. Scheduling annual routine maintenance from a professional is the best way to ensure your HVAC unit is running its best. This not only makes sure your HVAC unit lasts as long as possible, but it also prevents unnecessary and costly repairs you could experience down the road. You can turn to the knowledgeable professionals at Rick’s Heating & Cooling for a regular HVAC tune-up service.

When you hire us for an HVAC tune-up, you can expect to receive a basic inspection and cleaning service. If we find any issues, we’ll fix them or discuss a plan with you if we find anything major. We perform a thorough, 15-point precision inspection to ensure every part of your HVAC system is working efficiently so there are no surprises later on.

Our HVAC tune-up includes:

  • Check calibration of thermostat
  • Check condensate drain
  • Check furnace blower
  • Lubricate all motors
  • Check fuses
  • Check all electrical connections
  • Check indoor coil
  • Clean and check outdoor AC unit
  • Check refrigerant charge
  • Check suction line temperature
  • Check indoor plenum temperature
  • Check return temperature
  • Check furnace venting
  • Check temperature rise
  • Check inlet temperature
  • Check outlet temperature
  • Check manifold gas pressure
  • Check inducer assembly
  • Check burner and ignition system
  • Check for detection of carbon monoxide
  • Check overall condition of AC or heat pump
  • Check overall condition of heating system

Don’t neglect your HVAC unit. If you need a professional and reliable HVAC tune-up, turn to the experts at Rick’s Heating & Cooling. Our technicians are dedicated to providing prompt, dependable service and know what to be on the lookout for. Call us at 513-899-6005 to schedule an HVAC tune-up now.