Should I Replace My Furnace & AC at the Same Time?

When thinking about home comfort in different seasons, it’s easy to become short-sighted. For instance, you tend to worry about furnace efficiency in the winter, and then shift your concerns to AC performance in the summer. So, when one half of the system breaks down and requires a replacement, it’s easy to forget that your furnace and AC complement one another. After all, furnaces and central air conditioners share the same air handler. This means, when the time comes to replace your furnace, you should also replace your air conditioner so the components match. Here are some reasons to explain why that is a smart decision for your home.

Prolong System Lifespan

If you only replace half of your HVAC equipment, you mix old and new technologies in the same system, potentially resulting in compatibility issues. A mismatched system could cause premature breakdowns or a shorter lifespan for the new equipment you just invested in. If your goal is to save money by only replacing the furnace or air conditioner, this outcome could thwart your plans.

Improve HVAC Performance

New furnaces and air conditioners have impressive efficiency ratings. If your existing system was installed a decade ago or more, a replacement will prove to be a huge upgrade. Not only that, but when your heating and cooling systems match, the features and performance of each one complement the other. This helps your investment pay for itself in year-round energy savings while ensuring maximum home comfort.

Only Pay One Installation Fee

A significant factor in the cost to replace your HVAC system is the installation fee. If you replace your furnace now and wait until later to put in a new AC unit, you’ll have to pay this fee twice. However, when performed together, the installation process is less complicated, and you only have to pay the fee once.

Save Money Over Time

Replacing your furnace and AC at the same time requires you to purchase two units upfront, but saving over time makes the investment worth it. First, you enjoy lower energy bills from the improved efficiency of new, matching equipment. Then, you have fewer repairs to contend with, which can build up toward the end of an HVAC system’s lifespan. Finally, with only one installation fee to pay for, it makes sense to replace your systems together instead of six months apart.

Ensure Warranty Coverage

Some warranties come with a provision that states the manufacturer isn’t obligated to honor a claim if a new system is combined with an old one. Replacing your furnace and AC at the same time ensures full warranty protection if you need it. This gives you peace of mind and could save you money if you end up running into trouble with your new HVAC equipment.

Furnace & AC Replacement in the Cincinnati Area

When it comes time to replace your broken down furnace, we recommend replacing your AC at the same time, especially if the units were installed together over 10 years ago. As you begin the HVAC replacement process, we can offer our expert advice about which heating and cooling technologies will complement your lifestyle the best. We’ll make sure the investment you make contributes to improved home comfort and savings over the long run.

To schedule your furnace or AC replacement service in the Cincinnati area, or to request a free HVAC replacement estimate, please contact Rick’s Heating & Cooling today. We have over 30 years of experience delivering quality HVAC services to homes and businesses Ohio.

How to Fix Uneven Heating in Your Home

There’s more to a successful furnace than just keeping you warm. Your furnace should provide your home with substantial heat, work efficiently, have minimal problems, and heat your home evenly. If your furnace is only heating a few rooms in your home properly and neglecting others, you need to schedule a repair service.

Need help figuring out why you’re not getting the even home heating you want and need? Follow along with the certified HVAC pros at Rick’s Heating & Cooling to find out.

Common Causes for Uneven Heating And How to Fix Them

Of course what you do to remedy the issue is going to depend heavily on what the issue actually is. In this case, there are actually a few potential problems going on, including:

  • Constricted or closed vents. First up, take a moment to examine all of the vents and returns located around your home. Vents that are closed or blocked by furniture or rugs are the leading cause for cold spots in a home, and they’re easy to fix. So start here in case you can save yourself the trouble of a repair call.
  • Sneaky drafts. Feel around all windows and doors to eliminate the possibility of something left ajar. It’s also possible that your windows might be constricting slightly and thus letting outdoor air in, which can be temporarily remedied with a winter window kit or some rope caulk.
  • Insulation. In order to keep heated air in your home you need to be certain you have adequate and effective insulation. If you’ve just moved into your home it’s always wise to get a complete energy evaluation to avoid the problems poor insulation can cause.
  • Pinholes in ducts. When was the last time you had your ducts inspected? Dented and leaky ducts can cause leaks of air, making you lose out on tons of comfort and efficiency.
  • Lack of furnace maintenance. If you missed out on your annual furnace tune-up this year, that could also be the problem. Dirty air filters and gummed up furnace parts can harm the efficiency of your system considerably, leading to poor and uneven heat.
  • Incorrect furnace sizing. This would be a very unfortunate problem to have, but it’s not unheard of. If a furnace is too small, it lacks the power needed to provide even heat. A furnace that is too large will short-cycle, meaning it never really gets the job done completely before shutting itself off.
  • Damaged blower. The blower is responsible for pushing warm air through your vents. If it’s damaged, worn out, or its electrical components are out of whack then it can lead to losing out on a lot of heat.

Schedule Heating Repair Near Cincinnati with Rick’s Heating & Cooling

Still not certain about the source of your issue, or stressing out about being chilly in your Cincinnati, OH home? Don’t worry! The certified and licensed heating experts at Rick’s Heating & Cooling are here to help.

Give us a call any time at (513) 899-6005 or contact us online to schedule a furnace inspection or furnace repair service!

Is It Time for a New Furnace or Should I Replace My Furnace’s Heat Exchanger?

Have you just been told your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger? You might assume that, as with other furnace parts, you can just replace the heat exchanger and get the system back up and running again without too much trouble.

However, the heat exchanger is the heart of any furnace, making it one of the most expensive parts of the entire unit to repair or replace. If you have a cracked heat exchanger on your hands, use the information here to help you decide if it’s time for a new furnace.

What Is a Heat Exchanger?

The key to heating your home is found in the heat exchanger. When the thermostat detects that the temperature is falling, the furnace flame turns on and heats up the interior of the heat exchanger. This warms up the metal walls and tubing of the heat exchanger before the blower turns on so the air blowing across it picks up as much warmth as possible.

It’s important to understand that air doesn’t flow through the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is where combustion gases are contained and vented to the exterior after the air passing has absorbed a majority of the heat stored within. Some furnaces feature two heat exchangers to maximize efficiency. The exhaust from a furnace with a dual heat exchanger is cooler, meaning more of the energy your HVAC system consumes is converted into useful heat for your home.

Determine if the Heat Exchanger Is Cracked

It’s sad but true that some unscrupulous HVAC contractors will try to convince you that your furnace heat exchanger is cracked when it’s really in satisfactory condition. This tactic allows dishonest technicians to sell you an expensive repair or entirely new furnace.

Watch out for technicians who attempt the dubious diagnostic method of using water cameras or smoking agents to check for small gaps in the heat exchanger wall. According to the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, heat exchangers are not hermetically sealed, so a tiny bit of leakage is safe and even expected.

If your heat exchanger has really cracked from years of rust and corrosion, the hole will be large enough to see with the naked eye. Other signs of improper combustion caused by a crack in the heat exchanger include:

  • Soot buildup on internal furnace components
  • High carbon monoxide levels in the flue pipe that may leak out and set off your CO detector
  • Flickering yellow or orange burner flames, when they should be steady and blue

Why You Should Replace the Furnace if the Heat Exchanger Is Cracked

It usually takes 18 to 20 years for rust and corrosion to cause a hole to form in a furnace heat exchanger. If your furnace is old enough to have this problem, the heat exchanger probably isn’t worth replacing. Doing so would be comparable to buying a new engine for an old, rundown car.

In most cases, you are much better off putting your money toward a new, high-efficiency furnace replacement. Your investment will provide many immediate and long-term benefits, including:

  • Improved home comfort and humidity levels
  • Better air circulation for more even temperatures from room to room
  • Lower heating bills all winter long
  • Cleaner indoor air
  • Quieter operation

Contact Rick’s Heating & Cooling for Furnace Replacement in the Indianapolis Area

If you’re looking for a second opinion regarding the condition of your heat exchanger, or you’re ready to upgrade to a new, high-efficiency furnace, please contact Rick’s Heating & Cooling today. We are the furnace installation experts for homes and businesses in Southwest Ohio.

6 Spooky Things Lurking In Your HVAC System

As you prepare for another fun Halloween with your friends and family, you’re probably focused on finding a frightfully fun costume to wear and making festive treats with your kids. What you don’t often think about are the spooky things lurking in your HVAC system. Consider what could be hiding just out of sight behind your air registers. Then, use tips from Rick’s Heating & Cooling to banish them once and for all!


As the temperature drops outside, you might start noticing uninvited guests in your home. Of course, live spiders, crickets, and centipedes were probably not what you had in mind for Halloween decorations! Even if you don’t see them, these creepy-crawlies could end up in your ductwork, along with birds and rodents. Schedule ductwork cleaning if you suspect animals have made your air vents their new home.

Cobwebs & Dust

A large amount of dust travels through your ductwork every day. Cobwebs form and dust accumulates on the metal walls. Soon, it resembles a haunted house in there! One way to reduce dust buildup in your HVAC system is to replace the filter every one to three months or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Slimy Mold

What’s dark, slightly damp, and has ample food sources for mold to grow? Unfortunately, the answer is your ductwork. The metal ducts running behind your walls and ceilings are some of the creepiest places in your home. If the dust and other debris accumulated here become slightly moist, the ductwork quickly becomes a breeding ground for mold. This could be detrimental to your indoor air quality, so have your ducts inspected if it’s been awhile since you had them cleaned.

Microscopic Nasties

The germs that make you sneeze, sniff, cough, and blow your nose could be hiding in your HVAC system. Don’t let these bacteria and viruses ruin your plans for Halloween! Instead, have a HEPA air cleaner installed to remove microscopic nasties from the air you breathe. This way, candy will be the only thing that spreads from person to person on Halloween night.

Foul Odors

If you turn on your furnace on a dark and stormy night only to be greeted with musty air fit for a mummy’s tomb, it’s safe to assume something is wrong. Try replacing the filter, which may have mold growing on it. If you notice a rotten egg smell, oily aroma, rotting stench, or other foul odor, call a repair technician right away to diagnose the problem and come up with a solution.

Things That Go Bump in the Night

If your furnace rattles, squeals, or booms, you might think a poltergeist is living in your HVAC system! While the source of these bumps in the night isn’t quite this frightening, it’s still important to have the problem inspected before it gets any worse. After all, depending on what’s wrong, ignoring the racket could put your family in harm’s way. This is why you should always take odd furnace noises seriously.

Banish Spooky Things from Your HVAC System with Rick’s Heating & Cooling

If your HVAC system is becoming a little too spooky this Halloween, give Rick’s Heating & Cooling a call. We’ll perform an expert HVAC inspection using our 15-point service checklist. If any creepy-crawlies, cobwebs, mold, or other spooky things are lurking in your ductwork or HVAC equipment, we’ll find them! We also offer professional HVAC repairs if foul odors or strange noises are making your home feel like a haunted house.

Contact Rick’s Heating & Cooling today for all your HVAC service needs in Southwest Ohio. With our expertly trained and certified technicians, there are no tricks—only treats!

What to Do Before Turning on Furnace This Fall

As the seasons change, you begin depending on your furnace for home comfort. Before you turn on the heater for the first time this fall, follow these steps to ensure everything is working properly and safely.

Continue reading “What to Do Before Turning on Furnace This Fall” »