Condensation on glass door

How Do Whole House Humidifiers Work?

The winter season is notorious for dry air here in the Burlington, Kentucky area as well as in many other locations across the country. Excessively dry air in your home can produce some troubling symptoms, affecting your comfort, health, and even your house itself. Humidifiers are the solution you need for balanced humidity throughout the year. Let’s look at how whole house humidifiers work, how they can help you avoid dry air issues, and how to determine if you need one.

Signs You Need a Whole House Humidifier

Before we discuss how whole house humidifiers work, let’s find out if you even need to have one installed in your home. This winter, you need to be on the watch for signs that dry air is present in your home. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to install a humidifier to help you end them.

  • You or your loved ones are suffering from dry, itchy skin, despite using moisturizer.
  • Members of the household are experiencing bloody noses out of nowhere, and they’re happening more often.
  • You or a family member appear to have a winter cold they just can’t shake, with lingering symptoms that never seem to resolve like a sore throat or lasting cough.
  • You can’t touch anything or anyone in the home without receiving a big jolt of static shock.
  • Your woodwork and wood furniture has seen better days and is suffering from cracks.
  • Wood floorboards in the house are suddenly creaky and squeaky underfoot.
  • Wood doors aren’t closing properly or fitting correctly within door jambs.

Can a Whole House Humidifier Solve These Problems?

The answer is: absolutely! Whole house humidifiers work by adding moisture to the home’s air. As relative humidity levels increase to the balanced range, you’ll notice those dry air symptoms start to fade away.

  • With more moisture in the air, your skin will be able to retain more moisture so it doesn’t crack and itch.
  • Increasing airborne moisture levels prevents mucus membranes in the body from drying out. Your nasal passages will remain moist so you’re less prone to nosebleeds. Your throat and lungs will gain the moisture they need to eliminate that cough or sore throat you’ve been stuck with all season.
  • When the air contains more moisture, static electricity subsides. Electric charges have a harder time sticking to your body, and they are able to move around better so you don’t get zapped whenever you touch something or someone.
  • Wood is heavily affected by moisture and humidity, and it dries out when the air is dry. Using a humidifier keeps plenty of moisture in your home’s air so your woodwork doesn’t become damaged and you don’t experience the annoying issues of creaky floorboards and doors that don’t fit properly into their frames.

How Does a Whole House Humidifier Work?

Now that you know why they’re good for your home, how do whole house humidifiers work anyway? Whole house humidifiers work by adding moisture to the air circulating throughout your home. Their operation raises the indoor relative humidity level in the home so you can keep it within a balanced range of 30 to 50 percent and avoid common dry air issues.

A whole house humidifier is a type of indoor air quality equipment that works with your home’s HVAC system to provide benefits across the entire living space rather than in just one small area, like portable humidifiers do. A portable humidifier only provides coverage to one room or small area of a home.

Steam humidifiers boil water to generate steam which is then released into the ductwork, allowing circulating air to gain needed moisture. Whole house humidifiers that are either bypass humidifiers or fan-powered units draw air into the humidifier using the furnace’s fan (bypass) or a dedicated fan in the unit (fan-powered). Air passes through a water panel where it gains moisture before continuing its journey through the heating system and ducts to your living areas.

Whole House Humidifier Installation in Burlington, KY

If you have questions about how whole house humidifiers work or using them with your HVAC system, you know who to call! Poston Brothers Heating & Cooling offers whole house humidifier installation and service for homeowners throughout the Burlington, KY area and surrounding communities. To learn more or request an installation estimate, contact us today.

Heat pump

How Long Should a Heat Pump Last?

When it comes to workhorses in the heating and cooling industry, residential heat pumps pave the way. Unlike conventional HVAC systems equipped with a furnace and an air conditioner, heat pumps pull double-duty, providing heating and cooling for year-round comfort.

Although heat pumps are slowly gaining traction in the Burlington, KY, and Greater Cincinnati areas, many homeowners are still unfamiliar with this reliable and energy-efficient piece of HVAC equipment. In our most recent blog, the heating and cooling experts at Poston Brothers explain how a heat pump operates and how it typically lasts.

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

First, let’s explain how a heat pump system works. Heat pumps use a refrigeration cycle to cool and heat your home throughout the year. In the summer, electric heat pumps operate just like traditional air conditioning systems by removing heat from homes. As heat passes over the evaporator coil, it is absorbed by the refrigerant and transferred to the outside condenser unit where it is released outside. The refrigerant continues to cycle until the temperature you’ve set in your home is met.

The process of heating homes in the winter is what sets heat pumps apart from traditional heating systems such as gas furnaces. Instead of using a fuel source such as gas or oil, the heat pump reverses the refrigeration cycle to absorb heat from the outside air and transfers it inside. Even when temperatures are cold, there is still sufficient enough heat energy to properly heat homes.

It’s important to note that in the winter, heat pumps don’t operate as efficiently once temperatures dip below freezing. Homeowners often have electric heat strips or gas furnaces installed as backup heating systems.

Heat pumps are a popular choice among Burlington, KY, residents because they provide both heating and cooling, are relatively quiet, and are extremely effective at heating and cooling homes. They also require less maintenance and are more environmentally friendly than combustion heating systems.

How Long Does a Heat Pump Last?

Because heat pumps are often relied on year-round, they don’t typically last quite as long as furnaces and air conditioners. Their average lifespan is about 10 to 15 years.

How often your heat pump is used and whether it received regular maintenance are the two most important factors in determining the lifespan of a heat pump. Heat pumps should receive proper maintenance twice a year; once in the spring and again in the fall.

During a maintenance visit, your HVAC technician will inspect and clean system components. They will also look for any minor issues and address them before they grow into bigger, more expensive repairs down the road.

Remember, providing regular maintenance for your heat pump will increase the heat pump’s longevity and keep it operating smoothly for years to come.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Home’s Heat pump

If you already own a heat pump that’s between 10 and 15 years old, and you’re not quite sure whether to replace it now to avoid a sudden breakdown, there are a few signs to look out for that indicate it might be time to upgrade.

Rising Energy Bills

Are your energy bills suddenly skyrocketing without any corresponding weather event? As heat pumps age and become less effective, it takes them longer to heat or cool your home. This causes the system to stay on longer, leading to an increase in heating and cooling costs.

Frequent Repairs

If you’re having to frequently repair your heat pump, and the system is already over 10 years old, it makes more sense to put the repair money toward a new system.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

Aside from heating and cooling your home, heat pumps also are tasked with removing moisture from the air to keep humidity levels balanced. If the air in your home is stuffy, your heat pump isn’t effectively doing its job. An increase in moisture can lead to mold and mildew.

Strange Noises

Aside from the sound of your HVAC system starting or ending a cycle, they are relatively quiet. So any strange noises such as squealing, humming, or grinding are signs for concern and should be checked out right away. Your heat pump could have a loose or broken part, or the entire system may be malfunctioning.

Other Issues

Other issues that indicate your heat pump system might be on its last legs include uneven temperatures across your home, cold air blowing through vents when the heat is on, and a tripped circuit breaker every time the heat pump turns on.

Contact Poston Brothers for Quality Heat Pump Services

The heating and cooling professionals at Poston Brothers are expertly trained when it comes to heat pumps. Our technicians can provide excellent tune-up, repair, or installation services for your heat pump system. For more information, or to request an appointment, contact Poston Brothers online or call us today.

Man adjusting thermostat

Does My Furnace Need a Tune-Up?

At Poston Brothers, we understand how busy lives can get, and some home maintenance tasks inevitably fall through the cracks. That includes regular preventive maintenance for our HVAC systems.

Our technicians frequently are called to homes to make extensive repairs or replace furnaces before they reach their useful lifespan. In many cases, regular maintenance could have prevented these issues in the first place. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of annual furnace maintenance, how often it should be performed, and what our technicians look for during an annual tune-up.

How Often Do Furnaces Need Tune-Ups?

Just like your home’s air conditioner, your furnace should be tuned up once a year, preferably in the fall before you turn the system on for the first time. The last thing you want is for your heating system to not start up when you need it on the first chilly day of the season.

During a furnace tune-up visit, our heating, air conditioning, and indoor air quality technicians will inspect and clean various HVAC components. They will also look for minor issues that can grow to become bigger, more expensive repairs down the line.

If you’ve already turned your heater on for the season, it’s OK! You should still contact a reputable HVAC company to perform a tune up to ensure your furnace will run efficiently throughout the entire winter. However, the longer into fall and winter you wait, the longer your wait time might be, as HVAC technicians stay very busy repairing and replacing heating systems that have already broken down.

What’s Included in a Heating Maintenance Visit?

During a heating tune-up, an HVAC technician should perform the following checklist, according to Energy Star.

  • Check thermostat settings
  • Tighten all electrical connections
  • Lubricate all moving parts
  • Check and inspect the condensate drain
  • Check controls of the system
  • Check all gas (or oil) connections, gas pressure, burner combustion, and heat exchanger

Enroll in a Preventative Maintenance Plan

The easiest way to ensure you never miss a furnace or air conditioning tune-up is to enroll in a preventative maintenance plan from Poston Brothers. For a low fee, you’ll receive bi-annual tune-ups for your HVAC system; once in the spring for your cooling system and again in the fall for your heating system. And don’t worry if you forget to schedule an appointment; we’ll remind you when it’s time and work around your busy schedule to find a time and day that works best for you.

Some of the benefits of enrolling in a preventative maintenance plan for your HVAC system include:

  • Extended equipment lifespan
  • Less breakdowns and repairs
  • Savings on your energy bills
  • A more reliable HVAC system
  • Reduced repair costs
  • Priority service

Contact Poston Brothers for Quality Heating Services

The heating and cooling technicians at Poston Brothers are highly trained to maintain and repair all makes and models of furnaces and heating systems. Get ready for winter by contacting us for furnace tune-up services today.

Woman sitting on couch

What Is the Purpose of a Smart Thermostat?

When you go on vacation, do you adjust your thermostat before you leave? You don’t want to waste energy by heating or cooling an empty house. If you’re a smart energy user, you probably do this to save on your energy bills. But what if you forgot to lower the thermostat before you left? With a smart thermostat, you can easily adjust your home’s temperature from your smartphone without leaving your beach chair. This is just one of the many benefits of having a smart thermostat installed in your home!

If you’re still a beginner when it comes to the world of smart home technology, a smart thermostat is a great place to start. Poston Brothers Heating and Cooling is here to bring you up to speed with the latest and greatest in-home comfort technologies.

What Is a Smart Thermostat?

Using your home’s Wi-Fi, a smart thermostat is a connected or communicating thermostat that allows you to create temperature settings on an automatic and programmable schedule. These schedules can be determined by weather conditions, heating and cooling needs, daily schedules, and when the house is unoccupied. These thermostats can connect to phones and virtual assistants so they can be controlled remotely or with voice commands.

Smart thermostats can be controlled with an app or a panel on the wall. Many people enjoy this because of the large clearly stylized readings and interfaces. This makes operating the home thermostat easier than ever before. 

How Is a Smart Thermostat Different from a Normal Thermostat?

Most standard home thermostats come with programmable schedules, so what is the purpose of a smart thermostat if my current thermostat is capable of the same features? Smart thermostats have many more features than just remote control activity and voice commands.

Many smart thermostats also come with motion sensors that will detect when people are active in the house. This allows the thermostat to learn and adjust to your family’s daily schedule. The longer you have a smart thermostat, the more it learns. It knows when you’re on your way home, so it can turn the heat up before you arrive. As the seasons change, your smart thermostat will be able to adjust automatically, so you save time on reprogramming. Some thermostats monitor the weather outside and adjust the temperature inside accordingly to keep everyone in the house comfortable. They can also provide data to show how effectively you’re using your HVAC system for increased energy savings.

Why It’s a Smart Idea to Upgrade Your Thermostat

While all these features might seem cool, the ultimate purpose of a smart thermostat is to save on energy. Even if you’re on vacation and you forget to lower the heat before you leave, your thermostat already knows you’re gone and has done it for you.

Every smart thermostat is accurate and informative. It’s easy to monitor and review energy usage in your home. When you have a smart thermostat installed, it will prompt you with energy-saving tips. You can create a schedule with the correct temperatures to save money on energy bills. Smart thermostats can save homeowners 10-12% on heating costs and 15% on cooling costs. Certain models can provide diagnostic capabilities to monitor your HVAC system and let you know if your unit needs maintenance. 

New and improved smart thermostats are coming out all the time. The newer the technology, the cooler the features it has. Even if your thermostat does work properly, upgrading to a smart thermostat will be a worthwhile improvement for energy savings. 

Optimize Your Home’s Comfort with a Smart Thermostat from Poston Brothers

If you’re ready to experience the future of home comfort, then call Poston Brothers Heating & Cooling to have your smart thermostat installed today. For over 90 years, the Poston Brothers have been serving the Burlington community with all their comfort needs.

If you have more questions regarding installing a smart thermostat, feel free to reach out. One of our friendly team members can answer all your questions and schedule a technician to install a smart thermostat in your home. Give us a call today to learn more.

Woman doing breathing exercise

How to Improve the Indoor Air Quality of Your Home

Indoor air quality is on everybody’s minds these days. With airborne viruses and bacteria floating around in the air, people are questioning if their home is a safe environment. You might not be able to control the outdoor air, but you can improve the indoor air quality in your home to make your house a comfortable and healthy habitat.

Poston Brothers Heating and Cooling is your indoor air quality expert. Our technicians have some easy solutions that can help you breathe easier today. Give us a call so we can help you stay comfortable and happy knowing that you’re always breathing fresh air. 

Benefits of Improved Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality refers to the air quality within buildings, homes and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of the occupants. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce your risk of indoor air pollution. Allergens and other pollutants in your air ducts can cause adverse health effects even after a single exposure. Prolonged exposure can make these symptoms worse. 

Age, allergies, and levels of pollutant exposure are all factors in how badly indoor air quality could affect you. Older people and those with severe allergies and asthma could be more sensitive to indoor air pollutants and poor air quality.  By reducing the allergens in the air, you limit the exposure to toxins that agitate your lungs. Breathing polluted air can raise stress levels and inhibit good health. Improved indoor air quality can also help improve sleep, eliminate odors in your home caused by pollutants, and help decrease your chances of respiratory disease. 

How to Improve the Indoor Air Quality in Your Home

The best way to improve indoor air quality in your home is to open windows and have fresh air blow in constantly. However, that’s not a reasonable fix for security and weather reasons. However, there are some easy ways to improve air quality in your home. 

  • Reduce Indoor Toxins. This includes certain cleaning products, paint, and crafting supplies that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Try to opt for less toxic cleaning products around your home.
  • Eliminate Asthma and Allergy Triggers. Common allergy triggers like smoke, pet dander, dust, mold, and more can worsen the air quality in your home if not taken care of properly. 
  • Make Sure Gas Appliances Are Well Maintained. Stoves, water heaters, and dryers release combustion gasses such as carbon monoxide, which if not ventilated properly, can cause issues with your indoor air quality.
  • Grow Plants Inside. Indoor plants are nature’s air filters. Grow some plants inside for added indoor air quality benefits.
  • Use Portable or Whole House Air Purifiers. Small, single-room air purifiers can remove VOCs from the air. These are good for particularly stuffy or dirty rooms.  Consider having a whole house air purifier installed to provide coverage for your entire home to improve your indoor air quality.

When to Call a Professional to Help With the Indoor Air Quality in Your Home

Is your home frequently dusty? Are some of the rooms in your house hot and stuffy, while others are more comfortable? Do you experience dry skin, headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, constant sinus congestion, and nausea frequently? These are all common side effects of poor indoor air quality. 

Many people find relief from their symptoms when they go on vacation, and then they return home and feel miserable again. If any of this sounds like you, then you should schedule a visit from Poston Brothers so you can breathe comfortably in your own home again. 

Poston Brothers Has the Indoor Air Quality Solutions to Meet Your Needs

Indoor air quality starts with your HVAC system. Having your heating and air conditioning systems cleaned and maintained on a regular basis can not only keep them in working order, but can help stop the spread of allergens inside your home.

If you have rooms that are unevenly heated or are extra stuffy and stale, then you need to call Poston Brothers for an indoor air quality assessment. We offer services in whole house air purifiers, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air cleaners, and indoor ventilation systems. Call us today to help us improve the indoor air quality in your home.

Woman setting thermostat

What to Do When Your Air Conditioner Cycles on and off Too Frequently

Have you noticed that your air conditioner is turning on to run a cooling cycle, shuts off a short time later, only to start back up again a few minutes after that?

If it seems like your air conditioning system is having trouble making up its mind, it’s likely an issue known as “short cycling.” If you discover that your AC is short cycling, it’s important to contact a reputable HVAC company as soon as possible, as short cycling can increase system wear and tear, lead to higher energy costs, and negatively impact comfort levels.

In our most recent blog, the HVAC technicians at Poston Brothers Heating & Cooling discuss the causes of short cycling and what homeowners can do to fix this issue. For all of your home’s heating and cooling needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to Poston Brothers today.

What Causes an AC to Short Cycle?

In the worst-case scenario, short cycling can lead to complete AC failure, leading to an expensive repair or even premature AC system replacement. Some causes of short cycling, though, are as simple as changing out a dirty or clogged HVAC filter, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

Here are some of the most common causes of AC short cycling:

Oversized AC Unit

Bigger isn’t always better in the case of air conditioning units. If your air conditioner is too big and powerful for your home, it will cool the house down too quickly and then shut down, which can lead to short cycling. An oversized air conditioner can also cause higher energy bills, uneven temperatures and humidity issues. Unfortunately, the only solution to fix this issue is replacing your existing unit with an appropriately sized AC.

Dirty or Clogged Air Filter

Regularly changing HVAC air filters is a simple DIY task that many homeowners, unfortunately, forget to perform. An air filter clogged with dirt, dust and other debris restricts airflow, causing the system to work harder than necessary. This places additional stress on the blower and compressor, which can cause them to overheat and ultimately lead to short cycling.

Low Refrigerant Levels

An air conditioner cannot perform its job properly if there are low levels of refrigerant, which is usually caused by a leak. Low refrigerant levels put more stress on your AC equipment which can damage components or cause the compressor to overheat, leading to short cycling. Recharging refrigerant levels is not a DIY job and should only be performed by a qualified HVAC technician.

Electrical Issues

Another common cause of short cycling is electrical problems. Damaged or defective wiring and control boards can cause your air conditioner to start and stop at incorrect times. If you believe an electrical issue is causing your system to short cycle, contact a professional to inspect the AC unit.

Frozen Evaporator Coils

Yes, evaporator coils can freeze up even on the hottest days of the year, leading to a short-cycling air conditioning system. The most common causes of frozen evaporator coils include a lack of airflow, typically the result of a clogged or dirty air filter, dirty coils or low refrigerant levels. Evaporator coils remove heat from a home, and when they’re restricted, the condensation on the evaporator can turn into ice, leading to short cycling. We recommend contacting an HVAC company to inspect and clean your system’s evaporator coils.

Contact Poston Brothers for All of Your Home’s Cooling Needs

Poston Brothers has a rich history of providing the residents of Burlington, KY with quality cooling services since 1929. If your air conditioner turns on, just to quickly turn off, don’t hesitate to contact the heating and cooling experts at Poston Brothers today.

Daikin Ductless Heat Pump

How Does a Ductless Air Conditioner Work?

If you’re looking for a cost-effective, energy-efficient alternative to your current cooling system, you may want to consider the installation of a ductless air conditioner.

Ductless air conditioners, also referred to as ductless mini-split systems or ductless heat pumps, operate just as their name suggests – they don’t require ductwork to move conditioned air throughout your home. Ductless HVAC systems are gaining in popularity throughout Kentucky because of the many benefits they provide.

In our most recent blog, the HVAC technicians at Poston Brothers Heating & Cooling explain how ductless AC systems work and the benefits of having one installed in your Burlington, Kentucky or surrounding areas home.

How Do Ductless Air Conditioners Work?

Many of us understand how traditional central air conditioning systems operate. Central air conditioners consist of an indoor unit and an outdoor condensing unit, which work with a series of connected ducts to transport conditioned air throughout a home. When your home’s air is pushed into the indoor unit, the evaporator coils remove the heat from the air, and a blower pushes the cooled air back into your living areas.

Ductless air conditioners operate much differently. Instead of ductwork, mini-split heat pumps use individual air handling units which are installed on the walls in rooms. Each room can be controlled separately to create temperature “zones” throughout your home. One ductless AC unit can accommodate up to eight indoor units.

Each “zone” has its own fan and evaporator unit which are connected to the outdoor condenser via refrigerant lines. Air is cooled en route to the compressor before returning to the indoor unit to provide cooling.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Ductless Air Conditioner Installed?

The installation of a ductless mini-split air conditioner offers many advantages compared to a traditional AC unit. Some of the benefits include:

Easy Zoning

With traditional central air conditioners, the entire home is served by one unit. This can create comfort issues because certain areas of the home require more cooling than others, such as upstairs bedrooms during the hot summer months. Because each room is controlled by a separate thermostat, you can adjust the temperatures accordingly throughout the home. For example, if you like it cooler in your bedroom at night, but your son enjoys warmer temperatures, each can adjust the temperatures to fit their preferences.

Ideal for Various Applications

Ductless air conditioning systems can provide your entire home with cooling, or you can just focus on areas that are not part of your existing central cooling system. Although many homeowners elect to cool their entire home with a ductless mini-split, they are also ideal for the following applications:

  • Older Homes – Ductless systems are a great heating and cooling solution for older homes that were not constructed with a ductwork system in place.
  • Sun Rooms – Ductless mini-splits provide efficient year-round comfort.
  • Outbuildings – Ductless units are great for guest houses and workshops.
  • Garages – Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to work on your car without either sweating or freezing.
  • New Additions and Remodels – Mini-splits are perfect for remodels, or new additions to the home.

Increased Energy Efficiency

Ductless air conditioning systems offer superior energy efficiency because you don’t have to cool rooms you rarely use, which can significantly lower monthly energy bills. The absence of ductwork also makes these systems incredibly efficient. According to Energy Star, as much as 20 to 30 percent of conditioned air that moves through a duct system is lost due to holes, leaks and poorly connected ducts, wasting energy and raising electricity bills.

Improved Indoor Air Quality

In central air conditioning systems, ductwork can collect dirt, dust and debris, which can eventually make their way into your home’s living areas. These particles can be especially harmful to those who suffer from asthma, allergies and other respiratory illnesses. Ductless mini-split air conditioners are a great option when it comes to improving indoor air quality.

Ease of Installation

Installing a ductless cooling unit is much simpler than installing traditional HVAC systems, mainly because of the absence of ductwork. Indoor and outdoor units connect via conduit lines that require only a small three-inch hole through an exterior wall.

Contact Poston to Learn More About Ductless AC Systems

If you’re interested in learning more about ductless air conditioning systems, or you would like to have one installed in your Erlanger or Burlington, KY home, contact the heating and cooling professionals at Poston Brothers to schedule service.