Q&A Does My Home Need a Humidifier?

(Gretna, NEBRASKA)  — Snell Heating & AC, a 5-star Google and BBB-rated heating and air conditioning company serving Gretna, Omaha and surrounding areas, including Bellevue, La Vista, Offutt, Papillion, Springfield, Ashland and the metro area, is here to answer consumer questions about home comfort systems. We replied to a question on Nextdoor.com, an invitation-only neighborhood social media platform where people ask for service provider referrals.

Question: What are your thoughts on having a humidifier added to your system?

Answer:  Snell Heating & AC’s Owner Jerry Snell replied:

A humidifier is an accessory that can help you and home feel more comfortable. Whenever I’m asked should I or do I need a humidifier I like to ask a few questions that will direct “us” to the correct answer.

1. Is your home dry during the winter?
2. Do your kids scoot across the carpet and shock each other?
3. Do you get shocked when you reach for a light switch?
4. Is your wood floor, wood molding, wood trim and cabinets joints opening up or splitting causing gaps?
5. Is your skin and or scalp extra dry and itchy?
6. Do you have more sinus infections than normal?
7. Is your throat dry and scratchy?

If your answer is yes to a majority of these questions, then yes, your home should have a central humidifier installed on the central heating system.  humidifier-omaha-snell

For more information on buying a humidifier in the Omaha metro, please call Snell Heating & AC at 402-332-3531 


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Use Common Houseplants to Clean Air

Photo Credit: Wolvertonenvironmental.com

ad-feb-2017-snell-heating-ac-company(Omaha, NEBRASKA)  —  Keeping air clean in our homes and offices is a top objective of HVAC companies, like Snell Heating and AC, serving the Omaha metro.  Besides installing air purifier systems to prevent sick building syndrome triggered by the use of energy-efficient synthetic building materials, Snell suggests you might consider purchasing specific house plants to help clean the air we breathe. Although, if you are an allergy sufferer, certain house plants may give off pollen to which you may be allergic. 

That said, the recommendation to add common air purifying house plants to your home or office stems from NASA research conducted in years past by environmentalist scientist Dr. B.C. “Bill” Wolverton. His team worked with the U.S. Military and the space agency to remove what’s called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air discovered inside the self-sustaining Skylab II space system. NASA.gov reports that researchers found that synthetic materials used to build the tightly-sealed Skylab had given off low levels of chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene – known irritants and potential carcinogens. When these chemicals got trapped in closed spaces that lack circulation people inside the Skylab faced the likelihood of sickness, including burning eyes and respiratory problems.

So Wolverton looked for a solution on how to remove air pollution inside self-sustaining environments. This applies here on Earth where in the 1970’s during the energy crisis builders generally switched to synthetic products to make structures more enegy-efficient.

This science of using key plants to purify the air was neccessary due to “chemically formulated personal care products, carpeting, fabrics, pesticides, business machines, bio-effluents (emitted in the human breathing process) and airborne microbes…create a chemical pea soup and resultant complaints of poor indoor air quality (IAQ),” states Wolverton environmental.com

The scientist found that common houseplants do the trick and remove air pollution like the Chrysanthemum (full sun, replaced annually due to not re-blooming) and the Peace Lily (shady light and hardy) – the latter the preferred choice for its longevity of survival.

Graph Credit: Wolvertonenvironmental.com
















Dr. Wolverton wrote a consumer-friendly book to educate consumers on his research findings: “How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office.” “In it, he explains, in easy-to-understand terms, how plants emit water vapor that creates a pumping action to pull contaminated air down around a plant’s roots, where it is then converted into food for the plant,” reports NASA.Gov. He also details which plants and varieties remove the most toxins, as well as to rate each plant for the level of maintenance.

In addition to adding air purifying houseplants to your home or office, you’ll also want to consider investing in an air cleaner from us.

Give us a call. Snell Heating and AC serves Bellevue, Springfield, Offutt, Papillion, La Vista, Elkhorn, and the entire Omaha metro. You can purchase from our heating and air company effective air filtration systems, plus a furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, geothermal heat pump and more.

Call us 402-332-3531

Snell Heating and AC. Service to the Highest Degree!

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How To Spend Your Tax Refund | Buy New Furnace?

image buy furnace omaha tax refund ad(Gretna, Nebraska)  —  Is your furnace approaching the 15-year mark? Do you anticipate an income tax refund check? Snell Heating and AC offers a simple suggestion. Why not use your refund check toward the purchase of a new furnace system is one option. According to a May 2, 2016 article published on Forbes.com, financial adviser Rick Kahler describes as wise using your refund dollars on one of the following items:

  • Build up an emergency fund
  • Pay down debt
  • Add to retirement savings
  • Open or add 529 college savings plan for your children
  • Replace an outdated furnace

A major appliance like a furnace system tends to be a big ticket item. Furnace replacement can cost several thousand dollars or more depending on the square footage of your home.  So, using an income tax refund check to purchase a new furnace is indeed smart.

tax refund road signWe at Snell Heating and AC, based in Gretna, Nebraska, yet serve the Omaha, Bellevue metro area – are here to help you find the best furnace for the right price. Financing options are available with approved credit.

Should you decide to use your income tax check toward a new furnace, AC, heat pump or air purifier system, give us a call. We’ll provide a Free estimate. Plus, we offer regular maintenance, 24/7 emergency repairs and an annual customer care savings plan option, as well.

Send us a note!

Call us 402-332-3531


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December Tips for Homeowners

omaha furnace repairs snell ad 2016 holidaysHoliday/Winter Tips From Snell

Snell Heating and AC, your Omaha metro furnace and air conditioning contractor offers tips on maintaining home comfort during Nebraska’s cold winter snap, during the holidays and beyond.

Keep Open Registers
Keep all registers open, do not close them, because you can run the chance of over heating the furnace. The heat has to get OUT of the furnace.

Call Local HVAC Humidifier Service
Humidifiers, get them serviced! The water panels can lime up and mold can grow.

“Bad, very bad things can happen to a humidifier that is not serviced at least once per year. Also, DO NOT open the water valve wide open, this can cause the humidifier to over flow and possibly cause water damage to your furnace or belongings. Remember, any water exiting the drain hose is a waste, minimize this by turning the water flow down,” emphasizes Jerry Snell, owner of Snell Heating and AC, an HVAC company based in Gretna, Nebraska.

Rita and Jerry Snell, Owner/Operators Wish You Safe & Happy Holidays!

Replace Air Filter Monthly
Air filters, the more expensive is not always better. We recommend replacing the filter MONTHLY. Also, if you replace the air filter, you can save yourself some money by purchasing a less dense AKA cheap filter. Another tip. Spray the inlet side of the filter with a filter coating spray, OR use your in-home dusting/cleaning spray. Please don’t soak the air filter with the spray because a soaked filter will collect dust, dirt and other particles.

“Oh, did I mention service? Make sure your home is safe and comfortable this season, by having your furnace system serviced,” notes Snell.

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Thank You! Sarpy County People’s Choice Award

best-omaha-bellevue-papillion-furnace-and-ac-repair-nebraska-snell-Nov-2016-adBy Susan Stern —  Gretna, Nebraska-based Snell Heating and AC wishes to say thanks! Thank you everybody for setting aside your time to cast a vote for our Omaha metro heating and air conditioning company. For the third-year-in-a-row, our satisfied customers chose our HVAC company – as one of the top three furnace and ac companies that serve, not only the Omaha metro, but Sarpy County, where our home base is: Bellevue, Gretna, La Vista, Papillion and Springfield, Nebraska.

“It’s a really nice honor. We really appreciate the recognition. Thank you for your business,” said Jerry Snell, owner of Snell Heating and AC, in business since 1998.

The Sarpy County People’s Choice award was the brainchild of the Omaha World-Herald’s advertisement department. The OWH owns small town newspapers in Sarpy County.There’s the Gretna Breeze, Papillion Times, Ralston Recorder, Bellevue Leader and the Base: 68113. The goal of the program, besides finding another ad revenue source, is to honor businesses in Sarpy County that are not eligible to participate in the “Best of Omaha” Award program.

To learn about Snell Heating and AC, the history, consider reading a quick write up about the founders – Jerry and Rita Snell.

Meantime, Snell offers sales, service and maintenance of home and office comfort systems. Services aplenty:

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Troubleshooting: Why Heat Not Turning On – Snell Tips

compressed-jerry-snell-working-furance-repair-omahaIt’s that time of year. Fall is here! And soon, if not already, you’ll be firing up the furnace to heat your home. Of course, you’ve heard it before, and we’ll remind you again, before you start the heat, our Gretna, Nebraska-based heating and cooling company highly suggests that you schedule a furnace check-up appointment to diagnose any problems, and clean the system. In Omaha, Bellevue and Gretna metro areas, please call us at 402-332-3531.

Furnace Not Turning On?
So, what do you do if your furnace does not kick on? Snell Heating and AC offers some troubleshooting tips – as you await your next HVAC appointment.

First off, double check that the thermostat is turned to heat, and that the temperature is set to – above room temp. You may consider replacing the batteries. Step #2. Check the breaker box to see if the furnace breaker is turned off. If the answer is yes, switch it to on.

“From our experience, it’s not out of the ordinary for a child to play with the breaker box, and flick the furnace switch to off,” notes Jerry Snell, owner of Snell Heating and AC, whose been in the business since 1998.

Check the furnace filter, if has not been changed recently, like within a month, replace it.

More Troubleshooting
Furnace still not kicking on? Listen to hear if anything is blowing, like a motor? Check the registers. If the furnace does not turn on, what comes out of the registers would be air room flow.  This troubleshooting step would have eliminated a breaker issue.

Go to the furnace. Do you see a pilot light or a glow coil? Do you smell gas? If you don’t see the glow or  pilot light, and you do smell gas call your HVAC company right away.

Spider Webs Can Cause No Heat
“We run into cob webs obstructing key elements of the furnace, triggering no heat. I had one two nights ago. Spider webs filled the PVC pipe intake of a high efficiency furnace.  I removed them, and all was OK.

Potential Problems Galore
There are many causes of a furnace not turning on. It can be a number of things. There could be a loose wire, a defective glow coil, a defective vacuum hose or a pressure switch. The heat exchanger may need replacing.


Cracked Heat Exchanger. Credit: Susan Stern

Cracked Heat Exchanger Calls Up In Metro
The heat exchanger – is the heart of the furnace, and it’s the most expensive system part to replace. “We received quite a few calls from customers (Fall 2016) mentioning they don’t have heat. We found quite a few cracked heat exchangers. At that point, a decision needs to be made, to either replace the heat exchanger or the entire furnace.

Replace Big Part or Buy New Furnace?
You’ll want to consider the age of the system. If the system is out of warranty or over 15 years old, you want to strongly consider buying a new, more efficient furnace. If you decide to replace the heat exchanger, be aware that this is basically like a sometimes pricey band-aide.  After all, in a couple of years, if your system is old, you’ll want to replace it all together,” added Snell who also mentioned that  financing is available with approved credit – should you opt for a furnace replacement.

No Heat? We hope these troubleshooting tips help you discover why maybe your furnace is not turning on.

Annual Checkups Advised
All in all, consider making it a habit to schedule a yearly furnace checkup to make sure the system performs well and safely producing warm, comforting heat for you and your family.

Ask for an appointment now online.

Send a note or Call Rita Snell direct at 402-332-3531


Tips to Lower Energy Bill


Jerry Snell | Call 402-332-3531

Is your energy bill high? There is one way to lower your utility bill – seal leaks. Here at Snell Heating and AC in Gretna, which serves the Omaha metro, we offer a strategy on how to do air leakage testing, and a plan of action.

How to Find Air Leaks in Home

Snell Heating and Air recommends you schedule an appointment to come out for a home comfort system check up – of your AC and furnace.

“We also will have a conversation. We talk about how your home is working for you – comfort-wise, such as is it hot in one room, and other may be cold?  Is one area of the house, more uncomfortable than another,” said Jerry Snell, owner of Snell.

Snell then thoroughly checks your system. If you’re having air flow problems, the Omaha heating and cooling contractor tries to figure out what can be done to get more air into the zones. It can be something as simple as a blower speed adjustment. It could be more in-depth, like having to seal the duct work due to leakage, noted Jerry.

Here’s a great analogy:

“We like to think of the air distribution line as a garden hose. If you have a garden house with holes spraying everywhere, with not much water coming out the end, then we seal the holes,” Snell added.

How to Detect Air Leakage Yourself
Besides scheduling an in-house service call, here’s what you can do. First, answer these questions. On a breezy day do you feel a draft? Do the curtains move? During the heating season, do you get ice on the inside of your windows? If it’s snowing, and the snow/ice blows inside the door or window, you may have a problem!

If you detect leakage, you can caulk and seal windows, doors and siding with products you can purchase at your local hardware store. Plus, Snell can point you toward local companies that can remedy the issues, too.

Again, you can try to address yourself many of the air leakage problems.  Here are some tips from OPPD, the Omaha Public Power District.


  • Schedule a fall check-up of your heating equipment with a licensed contractor. Dirt and neglect are the main causes of system failures.
  • Clean or change your system’s air filter monthly to save energy and help prevent system failure.
  • Set your thermostat as low as comfortably possible.
  • By resetting your programmable thermostat from 72 degrees to 65 for eight hours a day, you can cut your heating bill by up to 10 percent. (Resetting not recommended with heat pumps.)
  • Close the damper when you’re not using your fireplace. This will greatly reduce heat loss up the chimney.
  • Never use a traditional fireplace for supplemental heating. A fireplace sucks air out of your home to fuel the fire and exhausts warm air out through the chimney.
  • Leave shades and blinds open on sunny days, but close them at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
  • Seal cracks and other openings in your home to minimize air leaks.
  • Replace or add weather-stripping around door frames and window frames.
  • You also may need to caulk between the frame and the siding on the inside and outside.
  • Check the insulation in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors and crawlspaces to make sure it meets ENERGY STAR-recommended levels.
  • Learn about OPPD’s Home Energy Analysis.
  • Get more tips from the Department of Energy.


  • Schedule spring check-up of your cooling equipment with a licensed contractor. Dirt and neglect are the main causes of system failures.
  • Clean or change your system’s air filter monthly to save energy and help prevent system failure.
  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. A one-degree increase can save 3 to 5 percent on energy.
  • Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away. Consider installing a programmable thermostat for this.
  • Use ceiling fans to enable you to raise your thermostat about 4 degrees, with no reduction in comfort.
  • Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
  • Keep window shades and blinds closed to block direct sunlight.
  • Seal cracks and other openings in your home to minimize air leaks.
  • Learn about OPPD’s Home Energy Analysis.
  • Check the insulation in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors and crawlspaces to make sure it meets ENERGY STAR-recommended levels.
  • Get more tips from the Department of Energy.

When in doubt, call Snell, your Omaha area heating and air conditioning company for more information on how to save on your energy bills, and make certain your home comfort system is running right.

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Cast Vote for Snell | Sarpy County People’s Choice

Our staff here at our Gretna, Nebraska-based heating and cooling company, serving Papillion, Springfield, Bellevue, La Vista and Omaha, is crossing our fingers again this year. The 2016 Sarpy County People’s Choice voting is underway until September, 9th. We are truly thankful and humbled by the recognition in 2014 and 2015.

Offering exceptional customer service remains a top priority to us here at Snell Heating and AC. Last year and the year prior, voters picked Snell as one of the best heating and cooling companies in Sarpy County, which includes the cities of Bellevue, Papillion, Bellevue, La Vista, Gretna, La Vista and Springfield, Nebraska.

best of omaha sarpy county heating and air conditioning company
Since 1998, the year husband and wife, Jerry and Rita Snell, founded Snell Heating and AC, our heating and cooling company has striven to offer the highest quality service and customer care. We stand by our work, and our slogan – Snell Heating and AC. Service to the Highest Degree! 

Therefore, we thank you for choosing our HVAC company as one of the best in the metro. We are also appreciative that the Sarpy County People’s Choice Awards were created several years ago to recognize heating and cooling companies and other businesses that serve the Omaha metro, but are located outside of Douglas County. Companies outside of Omaha do not qualify to participate in The Best of Omaha Awards.

So here’s to another great year at Snell Heating and Air Conditioning! As always, we appreciate your vote in 2016. Here’s where to go to cast a ballot, if you like. Thanks again in advance.

In the meantime, give us a call for a furnace or ac check up!

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The author of this article is Omaha Marketing Firm Consultant Susan Stern, who also is a very happy customer of Snell Heating and AC:

I’ve used this heating and cooling company since 2000. I couldn’t be more pleased. In the middle of a snow storm, Jerry Snell trekked out to my home and fixed a broken down furnace. He and his crew always go the extra mile! I like they are not a franchise, too. They thoroughly clean my furnace and AC, run all the important diagnostics and are always friendly!


sarpy county peopls choice winner heating and cooling

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AC Repair Calls Up – Omaha Heat Wave

image-ad-snellheatingac-omahaOmaha AC Repair Company
Reports Uptick in Calls

(Omaha, NEBRASKA) —  With temperatures baking the metro for weeks, the heat wave hitting the area takes a toll on home and office air conditioners. Omaha AC repair companies report working overtime to keep up with the high demand for service repairs.

“We are getting swamped with calls and have been from June through now,” notes Jerry Snell, owner of Snell Heating and AC in Gretna, an ac repair company serving the Omaha area.

There are many reasons why your AC unit stops working properly from a refrigerant leak to malfunctioning electrical components – system failures that would be spotted during seasonal checkups.

Regular Maintenance is key. Just like your car, your home or office air conditioning system needs service checkups that not only diagnose problems, but clean components including your outdoor AC unit.

Hose Down AC Unit. Cottonwood, grass clippings and other outdoor debris often accumulate. Clearing debris keeps system working more efficiently.

Change HVAC Filters Monthly. Air filters need to be swapped out every 30 days. Dirty filters make system work harder.

Keep Blinds & Curtains Closed. Do whatever you can to keep heat out.

Need an Omaha ac repair company? Call Snell Heating and AC. Serving Omaha, Elkhorn, Valley, Bellevue, La Vista, Papillion, Ashland and Gretna.

Since 1998,  – Offering Service to the Highest Degree!

call omaha furnace repair companyCall 402-332-2531


Omaha Hail Damage to AC

image - omaha hail damage ACBy Susan Stern —  If your home received hail damage by the May 11, 2016 overnight storm that struck the Omaha metro area, Snell Heating and AC recommends you have your service technician take a good look at your AC unit for damage. This particular storm pounded northwest Omaha, a huge swath primarily extending on the north and south-side of 132nd – 180th and West Maple Road.

“We’ve been getting quote a few service calls for AC unit damage,” notes Jerry Snell, owner of Snell Heating and AC, serving the Omaha metro.

Snell points out that coil fins struck by hail can bend and damage the unit thereby reducing the airflow, efficiency and may result in higher electric bills. While a lot of people request the damage to be combed out,  this process is not always effective.

“When I come out for a service call I take a look for dents in the coils. A lot of them are so damaged, that if we tried to straighten them they rip and tear out. Depending on the severity of the damage, if I see one that is approaching 40-50% coil space damage, then we try to address it. Sometimes the damage is beyond repair, no matter how hard we try, we cannot get the coils back to factory-fit condition,” added Snell.

If damage is severe, homeowners may want to consider replacing their outdoor AC unit. If you already filed a claim for roof and siding damage, you might consider supplying your insurance adjuster with a supplement estimate for AC unit replacement.

One more bit of important advice for Jerry Snell, owner of Snell Heating and AC based in Gretna, Nebraska:

“Just have your units inspected by a qualified heating and air company. Of course, try to stay away from fly-by-nighters and a friend-of-a-friend,” said Snell.


For air conditioning service calls to inspect Omaha hail damage to AC units, call Snell Heating and AC today. Serving Omaha, Elkhorn, Bellevue, Papillion, Gretna and Ashland Nebraska.

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Service to the Highest Degree! 

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