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The Definitive Guide to Grandview Heights, Ohio, Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation Services

The heating, cooling, and ventilation needs of Grandview Heights, Ohio, are as unique as their people. For those who have questions, we present some answers.

The Definitive Guide to Grandview Heights, Ohio, Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation Services

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Scott Gowans


March 31st, 2023

Review From Satisfied Customer in Grandview Heights, Ohio

Bryan and Nick were both very professional and friendly! When there is someone in your home typically it isn't like you can relax and go about your day but we were totally able to do just that. It is like they were not even here as they worked hard for 9+ hours to get the job done. Please tell them THANK YOU for being so awesome at what they do! Huge kudos to both gentlemen and you are lucky to have them on your team.  - Stacy H

Anyone who thinks it’s an easy decision how to spend thousands of dollars picking the right piece of cooling, heating, or ventilation system (or HVAC) probably hasn’t done it much.

And why should you? A good air conditioner, with proper care, can last 10-15 years if you’re lucky. A furnace can last even longer.

So it’s not an everyday occurrence when you have to comparison shop. For new homeowners, or for those who have just moved, knowing what’s providing your heating and cooling can be quite a mystery. A sticker on the side of your furnace might give some clues as to its age, but, if you’re typical, you won’t venture into the basement to check it out unless it’s acting up.

And you probably won’t give more than a passing thought about your air conditioner until it’s 95F and the indoor temperature doesn’t drop below 80 - with humidity to match.

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At Fire & Ice, we’ve talked to thousands of people who were facing a gap in their system’s performance versus their desired comfort level. The best thing we can do is to provide information. We know there’s a lot of competition for your heating and cooling business in the Grandview Heights and Central Ohio market, and that we’re not always the best fit.

But we want to help, even if you choose a different HVAC contractor. This article’s purpose is to inform and educate. And if we can do that much for you, we’re happy.

Chapter 1: A Contractor's Checklist Will Arm You with Knowledge

Chapter 2: Reasons Why You Should Consider Buying a New Furnace

Chapter 3: How Much Does a New Furnace Replacement Cost?

Chapter 4: Buying an Air Conditioner in Grandview?

Chapter 5: How Much Does a Replacement Air Conditioner Cost?

Chapter 6: Buying a Heat Pump

Chapter 7: How Much Does a Heat Pump Cost?

Chapter 8: The Importance of Good Ductwork

Chapter 9: Buying a New Ductless System

Chapter 10: Cost of a Ductless System

Chapter 11: What Types of Thermostats Do You Need?

Chapter 12: Do You Need to Replace Your AC and Furnace at the Same Time?

Chapter 13: HVAC Services for Owners of Multi-Family Properties and Rentals in Grandview

Chapter 14: Heating, Air Conditioning, and Ventilation in Grandview Heights

Let’s begin with what happens before you meet with a prospective HVAC company. First, arm yourself with some information. Located on a sticker on the side of the unit that’s giving you trouble is a date of when it was new, or at least a serial number. (Sometimes it’s on the inside of the furnace door.) Clicking here will give you a roadmap to learn about different manufacturers and the unit’s age.

Why is the unit’s age important? It might still be under warranty. There’s no sense in paying for a repair if it’s already covered. And if, for instance, it’s only three years old and having problems, the manufacturer might be at fault, and so might the company that installed it. Bad installations are much more common than they should be.

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But if the unit is ten years old or older, it’s time to think about a new one.

To be clear, we’re going to talk about whole-home heating here, not portable heaters. Those moveable heaters have their place, but they’re inefficient and impractical if you’re trying to keep multiple rooms warm at the same time.

Once you’ve nailed down what’s the age, you can begin to think about the quality of the company you deal with. The following document can help you ask the right questions to your future HVAC partner:

HVAC Contractor Checklist

Because this step is so important, let’s go over the Manual J load calculation. It is the standard recommended by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America  (ACCA), and it should be used for every air conditioner, furnace, ductless system, or heat pump.

sed properly, it determines the “load” or “size” of the unit that should be in place.

Read more: Sizing Your Air Conditioner, Heat Pump, and Furnace

Companies who don’t use this are doing you a grave disservice. If they match the correct HVAC system to your home, you’re lucky. Many times, they will simply look at the old equipment’s sticker and recommend the exact same size, regardless of whether that was the correct size when it was installed.

Another incorrect way to size a unit is to look at the house’s square footage and use that as the sole measuring stick. That calculation doesn’t account for the number and types of windows, the amount of insulation in the walls and attic, the presence of a basement or crawl space, the number of occupants, and so on.

The Manual J local calculation accounts for all of the things that matter. Insist on it.

Chapter 2: Reasons Why You Should Consider Buying a New Furnace

  • Age. If your furnace is 15 years old or more, it may be running fine, but you should definitely think about a replacement, especially if it’s before the heating season and you want the peace of mind that comes with having a new one that will get you through the winter.
  • Energy saving. At a minimum, a new furnace with better efficiency represents a savings of hundreds of dollars per year. A 20-year-old furnace has an annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE, of about 78% or less, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. A new furnace could save you up to 26% a year in gas bills. Multiply that by ten years, and you can see savings add up.
  • Comfort. How often are you or a family member in your home? The typical answer we hear is 60-90% of the time. Especially if you’re working from a home office, you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible. The increase in the quality of comfort a new furnace will provide will be noticeable to everyone.
  • HVAC equipment doesn’t get cheaper over time. The system you’re considering this year will almost certainly be 3-10% more the following year.
  • Repair bills are adding up. Only you can make the call when it comes to whether an expensive repair is worth it. There’s also the conundrum that if you do spring for a repair in the thousands of dollars, and another repair is needed soon after, you might consider going ahead with it because you haven’t recouped your money from the first repair. Sooner or later, the repairs aren’t worth it.

Read more: Cost of Waiting to Repair or Replace HVAC Equipment

Now that you and your HVAC salesperson are on the same page in terms of size, you can figure out the next step: What features do you want on your new furnace?

First, if you have a natural gas line running to your home, you can start thinking about a gas furnace. (Other options are propane and oil. Gas is the preferred fuel because it is the cheapest historically.)

Another option is an electric furnace. It’s essentially an air handler with a heat package, which consists of heat strips. When there’s a call for heat, the strips glow red hot, and the blower in the handler will push the heat into the ducts. The big problem with electric furnaces, as those of you who own one already know, is that they require a lot of electricity to warm the house. Those heat coils can keep you comfortable, but paying your electric bill will be painful.

What Are Furnace Stages?

Fuel-burning furnaces come in three major varieties:

  • Single-stage
  • Two-stage
  • Modulating

The most basic of furnaces is a single-stage. That means when it’s producing heat, it does so at 100% of its capacity. It is the cheapest of the three options, and - depending on your unique home and comfort desires - can do the job well.

The downside is that it’s not so great when it comes to efficiency, is the loudest, doesn’t do the best job at eliminating hot and cold spots in the house, and tends to wear out the fastest.

One step up is the two-stage. It, too, can run at 100% when a lot of heat is necessary. But it has a second stage, around 40-70% of its capacity, depending on the model. Why is this necessary? Because sometimes you need only a little bit of heat to keep the thermostat happy. When it’s running at its lower capacity, it runs longer while it saves money.

Wait, you say. It operates for a longer time but saves money? Yup. It’s not running at 100% and can still provide adequate heat. That means it doesn’t have to start and stop as often, which is hard on equipment. At its lower speed, it circulates the air longer, which cleans the air better and mixes hot and cold spots more efficiently. It also costs more, if you’re keeping score. When we meet with a homeowner who complains about high utility bills and has a home with persistently warm and cool rooms, we recommend this as one possible solution.

The most efficient model is the modulating kind. It can ramp up or down in tiny increments, keeping the inside temperature at almost exactly where the homeowner wants it set, whatever the outside temperature. It mixes the indoor air the best and can save the most on gas bills. It is also the most expensive; homeowners will have to weigh the initial cost versus how much money it could save during its lifespan. We suggest that you’ll need to live in your home for at least 8-10 years for the costs to even out.

What Are Furnace Blower Speeds?

So far, we’ve covered the amount of warmth that can be produced by a furnace. Inside the furnace is a blower motor that drives the blower wheel. It’s responsible for how fast the heat is distributed.

Motor blowers come in three varieties:

  • Single-speed
  • Two-speed
  • Variable-speed

For decades, blowers ran at a single speed: 100%. When it shuts off, the hot air stops. The first forced-air furnaces ran that way, and you can still buy furnaces with that same technology.

A two-speed blower can operate at 100% and at a slower speed, which saves energy, mixes the air better, and is quieter. It is also more expensive than a single-speed blower. If you have cold spots in the rooms farthest away from the furnaces, a two-speed blower might be able to reach those rooms better, evening out the temperatures throughout the home.

The variable-speed ramps up slowly; it takes about 45 seconds to get up to full speed. It’s like easing down on the gas pedal, not flooring it, which is easier on the motor. From there, it will respond to the thermostat (or multiple thermostats) to keep the temperature even, adjusting itself in tiny increments.

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It has a variety of benefits:

  • It’s energy-efficient. Even though a variable-speed fan air handler may be constantly running, it is usually doing it at a low level. This saves energy because your system doesn’t have to turn on and off often, and it spends much less time running at the highest level.
  • It’s quieter. A furnace is at its loudest when it’s turning on and off and when it’s running at high speeds. A variable-speed model avoids this by running at 100% only when it needs to.
  • It produces better indoor air quality. Because the fan runs longer, the air is being filtered constantly, which removes impurities. And if you have a whole-house humidifier or dehumidifier ducted to your HVAC, they have more time to condition the air. That leads to a perfect and stable humidity level.
  • You get better comfort control. The fan speeds of a variable-speed furnace keep the temperature and humidity even all the time. Warm air is delivered consistently.
  • A variable-speed fan is perfect for zoning. Delivering the correct amount of conditioned air to each zone in your home is easier. You get fewer hot and cold spots.
  • Reliability: The heat exchanger doesn’t expand and contract as much because of the near-constant flow of warm air flowing over it. Every time a single-stage piece of equipment starts, the metal inside will expand quickly. And when the unit shuts off, the metal contracts quickly. That leads to a shorter lifespan, whereas fewer contractions and expansions mean less wear and tear.

Read more: The Complete Guide to Home Furnaces

What Is Furnace Efficiency?

The efficiency of a furnace is measured in percentages. If a furnace is rated at 80% AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), it means that eighty cents out of every dollar come out as heat. The remaining 20% is exhausted from the system as waste. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the system.

A furnace that’s rated as “standard efficiency” has an AFUE of 80% to 89%. A high-efficiency furnace is 90% or better. The highest-rated furnace in our catalog has an AFUE of 98½%.

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As you might expect, standard-efficiency furnaces are cheaper than high-efficiency ones. Here’s the rub: High-efficiency furnaces will help you save on your energy bill. So you’ll have to weigh the upfront cost versus how much you’ll save. It matters how long you plan on being in your home. If you’re planning on moving out in five years or less, we recommend you buy a standard-efficiency furnace; you won’t recoup the initial cost.

Will a High-Efficiency Furnace Save You Money?

Our guess - and it is only a guess - is that you’ll save enough on your gas bill to offset the higher initial cost in eight to ten years. Why can’t we do better than a guess? A lot of factors go into your gas bill, including:

  • What’s the price of natural gas from year to year?
  • How cold is the winter, and how long does it last?
  • Is the thermostat set at the same point?
  • Are other gas appliances (stove, water heater) being used the same?
  • Are you on a budget system with your gas supplier?

 Related: Furnace Installation Process From Start to Finish

Chapter 3: How Much Does a New Furnace Replacement Cost?

A new furnace replacement can cost between $3,000 - $8,400, depending on the size of your home, the efficiency of your new furnace, and the sophistication of the equipment. That includes labor and permit fees, not just equipment costs.

The range above accounts for smaller homes all the way up to homes that are 5,000 square feet. It also includes single-stage, two-stage, and variable-speed furnaces, as well as each of those types in both standard and high-efficiency models. The size of your home and the choices you make in regard to comfort and efficiency will affect the final pricing.

Related: How Much Does a New Furnace Replacement Cost?

Best Things to Do in Grandview, Ohio

  • The Grandview Theater & Drafthouse features a unique movie-watching experience in the heart of Grandview with more than 40 beers on tap and frequent beer-tasting and movie-screening events. Current owners Andy Wuelfing, Eric Brembeck, and Rita Volpi took over in 2016. It is one of the last single-screen theaters in the city.
  • The Tour de Grandview Cycling Classic has been a fan favorite for more than 25 years. has been a fan favorite for more than 25 years. The races attract an international field of several hundred professional cyclists to central Ohio each year, as well as cycling enthusiasts and spectators from throughout the Midwest.
  • Grandview’s resident chocolatier Daniel Cooper, the Willie Wonka of Grandview Avenue, showcases his craft daily at Pure Imagination Chocolatier, handcrafting truffles one at a time. You can indulge in fan favorites and learn to make your own delicacies when Cooper hosts groups in his baking kitchen.
  • The three-hour Grandview Avenue Walking Food Tour runs year-round and offers a glimpse into landmark restaurants and other food stops. Participants will also get a history of the neighborhood as they stroll along the Grandview Avenue strip.

Chapter 4: Buying an Air Conditioner in Grandview

Summer is the busy season for those of us in the heating and cooling business. We can guarantee that when the outside temperature hits 90 for the first time, the phones will be ringing off the hook. This is a good reason to have maintenance done in the spring so that you’ll be ready for the cooling season.

There is something about being both hot and sweaty that prompts homeowners to call for help immediately when their air conditioner is acting up.

We hear you. This section will give you a rundown of air conditioners.

There are some similarities to furnaces. The blower that’s responsible for heat distribution is the same device your air conditioner uses when it’s in use. If you have a single-speed blower for your furnace, then you have a single-speed blower for your AC.

The capacity, or “size,” of your air conditioner affects its ability to meet your cooling needs. The same Manual J Load Calculation that determines the optimal size for a furnace is the exact same calculation for an air conditioner. In this case, the size of your system describes the output it needs to adequately produce and recycle cool air into your home.

There are two major distinctions besides size to consider: stages (or the amount of cool the unit can provide) and efficiency (how much energy is needed to produce cool air).

Air Conditioning Stages

Air conditioners can be categorized into stages:

  • Single-stage air conditioners, which have only one setting: 100% capacity.
  • Two-stage air conditioners have two settings: 100% capacity and a second, lower setting that’s usually around 70%. Two-stage air conditioners use less energy, which makes them more efficient than single-stage.
  •  Variable-capacity air conditioners have settings generally from 100% down to 40% and are able to increase or decrease in tiny increments. These are the most efficient among central air systems and are the most expensive. They can match your thermostat’s setting and maintain it no matter what the outside temperature does. And when it’s operating at a lower level, it is the quietest of the three.

Air Conditioning System Efficiency

One of the considerations in purchasing an air conditioner is its efficiency rating, or SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). The efficiency of a system can help determine the comfort level, the energy usage, and might factor into the system’s longevity.

A new AC unit can have a SEER rating of 13-20 or higher. As the SEER rating goes up, the initial cost will likely increase. According to Energy Star, every new central AC unit must have a SEER rating of at least 14.

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When you have a central AC system at a higher SEER level, operating your central air conditioner unit will lower your energy bill, which can reduce the long-term operating cost of your system, Will you earn back the initial investment? It depends on your thermostat’s setting, the intensity of the summer heat, and how long you plan on being in your home.

RELATED: What’s a Good SEER Rating and Why Is It Important?

Chapter 5: How Much Does a Replacement Air Conditioner Cost?

The cost of replacement for an air conditioner in a residential home can range between $4,350-$12,095. This includes labor and permit fees. This range also covers a variety of system sizes and levels of sophistication, including variable-speed AC systems.

Read more: Cost of an Air Conditioner

Grandview’s Best Restaurants

  • Now a national gourmet sensation, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams are 100 percent natural, locally sourced, and still made in Grandview. Jeni Britton Bauer’s first permanent shop is the hub where regulars buzz with anticipation over the next unconventional blend. It might be Salty Caramel, Fresh Mango and Coconut Cardamom, Wildberry Lavender, or Riesling Pear Sorbet.

  • Shop in one of the oldest continually-running nut-butter factories in the US, Krema Nut Company, which was established in 1898. You can indulge in the world’s best PB&J, or take home your pick of the selection of chocolates, fudge, and candied nuts made onsite.

  • Stauf’s Coffee Roasters is one of Grandview Heights’ and Columbus’ most recognized coffee locations. In 1988, Stauf’s began offering specialty coffee to Central Ohio, roasting exclusively in gas-fired drum roasters. This micro coffee roaster prepares beans for its other shops, as well as for local restaurants and other wholesale customers.

  • Figlio Wood Fired Pizza was founded in 1991 by Peter and Laurie Danis. Since then, the restaurant has consistently been named one of the top 10 restaurants by the Columbus Dispatch, and Zagat Survey named its wood-fired pizza as the top gourmet pizza in Columbus

  • Modeled after the legendary 400+-year-old Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany, the Grandview version treats guests to a Bavarian-style hall, beer brewed onsite, personal beerstein lockers, German bands, and German fare.

Chapter 6: Buying a Heat Pump

Here in Grandview and Central Ohio, we don’t see as many heat pumps as we do air conditioner/furnace combinations. But that doesn’t mean they are scarce.

Heat pumps do dual duty, providing warmth in the winter and cooling in the summer. Because they work twice as long as other HVAC equipment, they tend to wear out sooner.

They have what’s called a reversing valve. When it’s in one direction, it squeezes cold from the hot, and cool air conditions the house. In the other direction, the heat pump squeezes hot air out of the cold and delivers warmth.

The problem with heat pumps, especially in colder climes, is in the winter. When the temperature falls below a certain point, it begins to “derate,” meaning it can’t produce as much warm air as the thermostat calls for. When you hear people complain about their heat pump's ineffectiveness, it is because it started blowing air that’s not hot anymore.

And when it gets really cold, the pump will actually freeze over.

The backup plan is either a furnace or an air handler equipped with heat strips. Depending on how your thermostat is set up, it can either automatically switch to emergency heat or you can switch it over manually. Emergency heat means the furnace kicks on and supplies heat until the heat pump can recover. If the temperatures drop below zero, it might take a while.

Using a gas furnace as the backup for a heat pump is called “dual fuel,” meaning two different sources of energy - electricity for the heat pump and natural gas for the furnace - heat your home. (If you’re using an air handler, it would be an all-electric system.) Natural gas is historically pretty cheap, so using your heat pump in favor of your furnace isn’t a big deal. But an air handler’s heating method is not electricity-friendly. During cold spells, those heat strips in the handler will burn a lot of power.

Modern heat pumps are getting more and more reliable in cold weather. Some manufacturers brag that their units can work even when the temperature drops to zero degrees Fahrenheit. Whether they can provide your whole home with heat is another story. Ask your HVAC professional and do your research if you are concerned about heating your home with a heat pump.

Heat Pump Efficiency

As with all HVAC equipment, more efficient heat pumps tend to cost more upfront. And the more efficient it is, the more you can save on energy costs in the long run. More efficient heat pumps can also create a more comfortable environment.

Since heat pumps provide both cooling and heating, manufacturers use two different ratings to score heat pump efficiency:

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)

While cooling, a heat pump’s efficiency is scored with the SEER rating. Heat pumps can be between 14-20 SEER.

While heating, a heat pump’s efficiency is scored with the HSPF rating. Heat pumps can be between 7.7-10 HSPF.

Both SEER and HSPF ratings are calculated based on the amount of energy a heat pump uses. While SEER and HSPF are calculated differently, higher SEER and HSPF ratings indicate greater efficiency.

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Chapter 7: How Much Does a Heat Pump Cost?

The cost of a heat pump replacement can range between $4,900 - $12,500. This range accounts for the cost of the equipment, labor, and other fees. This range also covers a variety of system sizes and levels of sophistication, including variable-capacity heat pump systems.

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Chapter 8: The Importance of Good Ductwork

Ductwork helps circulate conditioned air throughout your home. A duct system is a network of tubes in the walls, floors, and ceilings that carries the air from your home’s furnace and central air conditioner to each room.

In order to properly cool your home, your ductwork must meet your new system’s airflow requirements.

A new system may require ductwork modifications if your existing ductwork isn’t the right size. It could be the wrong size for the same reason your HVAC system might not be correct: because a contractor made a guess and failed.

Your system may require ductwork modifications simply because different furnaces, heat pumps, or air conditioners have different requirements. But sometimes, a home’s existing ductwork was improperly sized from a previous installation.

Ducts can be formed from four different materials, each having its pros and cons:

  • Sheet metal
  • Fiberboard
  • Fiberglass
  • Flexible

These can also be classified according to their flexibility: rigid, semi-rigid, and flexible. Flexible ductwork can more easily work in tight spaces where metal might not be practical. But it is difficult to clean.

We prefer sheet metal because it’s durable and easy to clean.

Adjusting a home thermostat

Failure to modify your ductwork can affect the performance of your system. Oversized ductwork means that your HVAC equipment is going to have to push air that much harder to make it through your ducts. This means uncomfortably cold winters and hot summers as well as a strain on your heating and cooling systems. Equipment will have to run longer to satisfy the thermostat. And the longer it runs, the shorter its lifespan.

Undersized ducts restrict airflow, causing an excess of static pressure. Again, the HVAC unit has to strain, but this time it’s straining because the air is backing up like a traffic jam. Consequently, more energy is needed, causing a rise in the energy bill. The more the system strains, the harder the workload, and thus the shorter the lifespan.

Read more: What is Static Pressure in HVAC?

Even a brand-new system with the latest in technology will struggle if the ducts don’t match its capacity.

Your HVAC partner should conduct a thorough duct analysis to determine if your existing ductwork is sized properly for your home and your system. 

If your current central air units were sized incorrectly, you can talk to our heating and cooling experts about switching to a ductless AC system (more on that soon). The end result should always be an HVAC system with freely flowing, adequately sized air ducts that operate efficiently and effectively.

And if you don’t have ducts, or have a room that you can’t get adequately conditioned air to, there is still a way to get heating and cooling.

Chapter 9: Buying a New Ductless System

Ductless mini-splits have been around since the 1950s, but they still feel like the next new thing in HVAC. They’re called ductless for the simple reason that a home doesn’t need existing ducts for them to work. “Heads” (rectangular or square units) are mounted on the wall, floor, or ceiling. A “line set” runs from the head to the outside unit. That’s where the “split” in the name comes from.

Who Would Benefit the Most From a Ductless System?

Older homes may not have been built with ducts. They got by with baseboard heat in the winter - or a radiant floor heating system - and open windows supplemented by window air conditioners in the summer.

If owners living in a ductless house decide they want air conditioning, they can opt to have ductwork installed in every room. That would entail a lot of exposed ducts, holes in walls, and a considerable expense. The cost of retrofitting a house with ducts can run more than a brand-new furnace and air conditioner put together.

Adjusting a home thermostat

Or they choose a ductless system.

Especially for smaller homes, or homes with an open floor plan, ductless can create both heating and cooling so that you get comfort year-round. They allow you to control the temperatures in individual rooms or spaces. We call that zoned heating. In other words, each head controls the temperature of its zone. If you have three heads in three different rooms, you can have one set at 72, one at 70, and one set at 68 if you like.

They are also especially popular in additions, bonus rooms, and even home gymnasiums. If you have a room or two that your central heating and cooling system can’t satisfy, ductless could be a perfect solution.

Read more: Eight Benefits of a Ductless Mini-Split HVAC System

Benefits of a Ductless System

  1. Efficiency: Mini-splits can operate up to a 33 SEER Rating. This is much higher than the best high-efficiency air conditioners. Your energy bill will thank you.
  2. Zone control: You can heat the game room in your basement while cooling the guest room in the attic. You can automate and program them with your phone. Some heads have a sensor built into them that detects when people are in the room. If the room is empty, it powers down a bit, which will help you save energy.
  3. Environmentally friendly: This is some of the greenest HVAC equipment on the market.
  4. Even heating and cooling: Some systems can sense hot or cold spots within a room and adjust accordingly to provide even comfort.

Chapter 10: Cost of a Ductless System

You should expect to pay between $5,000 to $8,000 per zone. If you have more than two zones, you can expect to pay $11,000 and up. For a full house of ductless units (a typical ductless system can have up to five heads) expect to pay $20,000 or more.

Chapter 11: What Types of Thermostats Do You Need?

The brain of your HVAC system is that little box or dial on the wall. Without it, nothing works.

We have had service calls from folks who have complained that their air conditioner wasn’t working. We checked the thermostat first to find out that it was set to “heat.” No wonder it didn’t tell the AC to turn on.

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There are two different types of thermostats: digital and analog.

The old, analog type had a dial with which you could set the temperature. It also usually had three settings: heat, cool, and fan. The fan setting allowed air to go through the vents without the furnace or air conditioner turning on.

They needed a mercury bulb to function. Most of these thermostats are now illegal because of the mercury. They are no longer manufactured.

Digital thermostats are more modern, safer, and operate differently.

Adjusting a home thermostat

Most modern digital thermostats come with a myriad of options that allow you to customize the comfort of your home, such as:

Programmable Thermostats

The programmable features of these thermostats will allow you to create schedules for varying temperatures and times of the day.

For instance, you can set a weekday schedule and a weekend one. You can also set the time of day that you want to heat or cool. And there is always an override function when the real-world schedule doesn’t match the programmed one.

Wifi Thermostats

In addition to being programmable, your smart thermostat can be connected to your wifi, allowing remote access to your system. Any wifi-capable thermostat will have an app associated with it through which you can program, change, or check in with your home system.

If you’re heading home early from work and would like to walk into a warm house in the winter, you can tell your thermostat to kick the heat on before you arrive.

Or if you’re away for an extended period and forgot to power down the system, you can connect to it remotely to reset the temperature. That can save you a bundle on energy consumption.

Read more: What Kind of Home Thermostat Do I Need?

Communicating Thermostats

Here’s where we get really high-tech. In a communicating HVAC system driven by the thermostat, everything is communicating with each other based on your unique comfort needs.

Systems such as these can keep the temperature within a half degree of its set point, adjust a humidifier or dehumidifier to find the ideal humidity, and save you the most money on your energy bill.

Say goodbye to uneven temperatures in your home. This will mix the air such that everything will even out.

Here at Fire & Ice, we include a compatible thermostat free of charge with the installation of an entire HVAC system. Compared to the cost of a full system installation, it might sound small, but some thermostats can cost $500 and up.

Read more: HVAC Thermostats 101: Installation, Features & Controls

Chapter 12: Do You Need to Replace Your AC and Furnace at the Same Time?

Wait…what? You mean you just can’t pick out an air conditioner and be done? Maybe.

There are situations where you need to replace both your air conditioner and furnace (or air handler), and there are also situations where replacing both isn’t necessary.

If you opt for a communicating air conditioner and you want to pair it with an older furnace that doesn’t have that capability, you may have to replace both. Otherwise, the air conditioner won’t know how to “talk” to the furnace. Remember, the furnace’s blower motor moves the cool, conditioned air. The AC may not work, or, at the very least, you’ll have spent money on technology that’s wasted.

When you upgrade your air conditioner, your blower motor must be able to support your new air conditioner’s cooling output. Otherwise, your upgraded air conditioner may not work to its full extent.

Compatibility becomes a concern if you upgrade to a communicating system, a variable-capacity air conditioner, or a two-stage AC. (In most cases, compatibility isn’t an issue with single-stage air conditioners.)

If you don’t have a variable-speed blower motor, a variable-capacity air conditioner won’t be able to reach its full potential, if it works at all. And worse, it may void the warranty.

There’s another reason why your upgraded air conditioner may not work with your existing furnace: manufacturer-specific technology.

In other words, if you purchase anything more sophisticated than an entry-level air conditioner, you generally need to purchase a compatible furnace from the same brand.

Even though air conditioners and furnaces work similarly regardless of their brand, manufacturers do build HVAC equipment with their own patented components. In many cases, you’ll likely need to purchase both systems from the same brand.

Chapter 13: HVAC Services for Owners of Multi-Family Properties and Rentals in Grandview

Fire & Ice provides HVAC services for owners of multi-family properties and rentals in the Grandview area. We offer significant discounts for the HVAC “offseason” that should help your planning and budgeting. We also offer a two-year labor warranty as part of our standard service.

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We provide:

        Heating and cooling repair services. Multi-family service partners get 10% off equipment repairs. If you become a Replacement Partner (i.e. you replace 10 or more systems with us), you get 20% off.

        New installation of air conditioners, furnaces, and heat pumps. For our Replacement Partners, we’ll provide tools and resources to help you administer this on your own. We also offer support if you can’t handle the workload internally.

        Support and training for multi-family properties. We offer this training during several months of the year and will work with your maintenance staff’s schedule.

Chapter 14: Heating, Air Conditioning, and Ventilation in Grandview Heights

The exact price of your new HVAC system is something you’ll only be able to get with an in-home estimate from one or more HVAC contractors. But we hope this has given you a sense of what to expect in terms of your options so that you can set your budget accordingly.

If you’re ready to start researching financing options or to have your in-home estimate, check below to see if you’re in our service area. If you’re in Grandview Heights or elsewhere in Central Ohio, we’d love to have a Fire & Ice sales professional walk you through your options and help you choose the best system for you.

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