What To Do If Your Furnace’s Pilot Light Goes Out

HVAC technician working on a furnace.Pilot lights are commonly found on older model furnaces, and while they serve an important purpose, they also pose a safety hazard if they go out. Instructions on how to relight the pilot light are typically affixed to the appliance or in the original owner’s manual.

Knowing what to do if your pilot light goes out, and when to call for service or repair, can help keep your home and family safe and comfortable throughout fall and winter.

If you still have issues, it may be time to schedule heating or furnace repair.

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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.

What to Do Before Turning on Your AC This Summer

As the weather begins to warm up and transition from winter to spring, it’s important to make sure your air conditioner is ready to cool your home properly when summer rolls around. When hot temperatures are right around the corner, do you know what to do to get your AC ready for the heat? If not, don’t stress! The cooling service specialists at Rick’s Heating and Cooling are here to help you with our quick and simple pre-season checklist.

Your Fast Guide to AC Readiness in Cincinnati

We know, no one wants yet more chores to do around the home. But we promise that these are not only fast and easy, but absolutely worth your time. Before you turn on your AC for the season be sure to perform these AC maintenance tasks:

  • Clean the vents. Check all of the supply vents in your home to ensure that they are unblocked and clean. This ensures you keep good air flow into rooms and optimize air pressure in the duct system, minimizing common causes of an overheat and uneven cooling.
  • Replace your air filter. If you only have time to do one thing on this list, make it this one. Keeping up with the air filter is the number one best thing you can do for your cooling equipment on your own. A quick filter swap means a reduced risk of AC repair, higher efficiency, and a more powerful cooling system all in one.
  • Inspect the outdoor unit. Clear away any dirt or plant matter, and be sure all of the fins are straight and unbent. If they are a little out of place, gently push them back with a blunt tool. Do be careful though, as the fins aren’t all that hardy, and you don’t want to damage them.
  • Check the condensate line. Just a quick peek into the drain hose—leave anything more complex to the pros. You’re just checking for any obvious clogs that could result in a condensate system leak, helping you avoid some potential water damage in your Cincinnati home.
  • Perform a short test run. On a warmer (not cold, and not hot) day, go ahead and turn the system to 70 and let it run for half an hour. Listen for any strange noises, and check for any air flow issues at the vents. It’s just an easy way to do some minor troubleshooting, ensuring you don’t need to get an AC repair before the hot season kicks off.

Don’t Forget to Schedule an AC Tune-Up!

After you’ve done all the stuff on our list, go ahead and call in to schedule your pre-season maintenance service! Professional tune-ups offer a ton of optimization benefits that can save you in cooling costs. And even more importantly, it stops most of the common causes for a summer cooling system breakdown. A tune-up now saves tons of money and stress, so never neglect to set one up!

Professional Air Conditioner Maintenance in Ohio

At Rick’s Heating & Cooling we’ve been offering homeowners in Cincinnati and the surrounding areas the best in HVAC service and care for years. Our certified technicians are on standby and ready to help you get set and settled for a hot summer, so contact us online or call (513) 899-6005 now!