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The Trouble with Winter

Posted on: February 1st, 2020 by admin

snow covered homeBesides the cold, winter can wreak havoc inside your home in other ways.  One of the most common complaints other than the cold is how dry the air inside your home gets during the colder months of the year.  Here we’ll discuss some of the more common symptoms of dry air and how to combat them.

Upper Respiratory Issues – This can include sinus headaches, nosebleeds, and the common cold.  Your nasal passages require a moist environment to be able to appropriately trap viruses and other unwanted debris before they can make their way into your system.  When your nose and sinuses dry out, you are more susceptible to colds, sinus infections, and nosebleeds.  Plus, when your heat turns on, it can stir up allergens like dust and pollen, triggering allergy attacks and irritation to your airways.

Dry Skin – Just like your nasal passages, cold air sucks the moisture out of your skin as well.  This can be compounded by hot showers.  Hot water can strip your skin of its natural oil layer, drying your skin out even further.  You may notice your lips get more chapped in the winter and your skin may have a more aged appearance due to the lack of moisture.

Static Electricity – You’ve probably realized that you create many more static shocks in the winter than during other months.  This is because the decreased moisture levels in the air cause static electricity to build up.  When that happens, clothes and blankets stick together and you may get shocked every time you touch a metal surface like a doorknob.

Harm to the Wood in your Home – Just like your body, cold air draws moisture out of wood as well.  You may notice your wood floors creaking more during the colder months.  It can affect door jambs also making some doors hard to open or close.

What can you do?

One of the best things you can do to combat winter dryness is to add moisture back into your home.  The best way to do this is with a humidifier.  While you can add a portable humidifier to one or multiple rooms of your home, there are more permanent solutions such as a bypass humidifier.  These humidifiers use your HVAC airflow to deliver moisture to your home.  An example is the Lennox HCWB17.  Another whole-home option is a power humidifier like the Lennox HCWP18.   A power humidifier does not require an air handler or furnace to distribute moisture.  Other than adding moisture into your home, you need to add extra moisture to your body.  Increasing your water intake, using a skin moisturizer, and shortening your showers can all help to combat winter dryness.

Lennox Rebates Available

Posted on: January 15th, 2020 by admin

 

Lennox® is currently offering rebates that could save you up to $1,500!!  These rebates are available on qualifying purchases made through February 7, 2020. 

The first is a savings of up to $1,200 when you purchase a complete qualifying Lennox® home comfort system.  This includes a gas furnace or blower coil, an air conditioner or heat pump and thermostat. 

Additionally, you can receive a rebate of up to $300 when you purchase an iComfort® S30 ultra smart thermostat, iHarmony® zoning and a PureAir S air purification system.

We are held to a superior set of standards as a Lennox Premier Dealer. You can rest assured that you’ll receive top of the line installation and customer service when you partner with us. Providing our customers with superior service and support that surpasses your expectations is a commitment we hold in high regard. We can help you select, design, and build the perfect system for you. From heating and cooling to air quality control and zoning. Need help in deciding which smart thermostat will help you achieve the perfect balance between total home comfort and energy efficiency? Contact us anytime! We are here to answer any questions you have, help you fix any issues that may arise, and assist you in your purchase when you are ready.

Click here to get more information!

 

Common myths related to HVAC

Posted on: January 2nd, 2020 by admin

Information spreads like wildfires in today’s day and age.  If one person says it, reads it, hears it, it must be true and everyone must share.  There are truths and myths about everything so we thought we’d start the new year with some straight up facts and clear up any misconceptions about HVAC units and their usage.

Myth #1:  It is more energy efficient to keep the thermostat at one temperature than to change it throughout the day based on your schedule
If this myth were true, there would be no need for programmable thermostats to exist.  It is recommended you program your thermostat to start heating or cooling your home about 20 minutes before you get home every day and to stop about 20 minutes before you leave.  If you have a flexible schedule, look for a thermostat that allows you to set a different program for each day versus one that only allows 1 program that repeats daily.  You can save energy by setting your system higher or lower when you are sleeping too.

Myth #2:  To get your home cooler faster, set the thermostat to a temperature much lower than you need
When was the last time your HVAC technician checked out the speed controls on your system?  Never?  That is correct.  HVAC systems don’t have speed controls and therefore will always heat and cool at the same rate no matter what it is set for.  Don’t put extra strain on your unit by making it reach unrealistic temperatures.  Simply set it to your desired temperature and let it do its job.  If you are finding that your system is having a hard time getting to or maintain a normal temperature, contact us, there may be something wrong.

Myth #3: Keeping vents closed in unoccupied rooms will save you energy
False.  By disrupting the airflow in your home by blocking or closing certain vents, you may actually be putting more strain on your system.  Most HVAC units are installed based on the square footage of the home so by eliminating some exchanges, you are causing the unit to work harder than necessary.  You may also cause damage doing this by increasing the air pressure in the ducts which could potentially cause leaks.  If you have a large home and you wish to control the temperature differently in different parts of the house, consider a zoning system rather than closing off vents and even doors.

Myth #4: You only need to change the air filter once a year
Does it seem like we mention changing the air filter in your HVAC unit in every one of our blogs?  That’s because it is a very important part of maintaining your unit properly and allowing it to function efficiently.  Ideally, you should change the filter every few months.  A dirty air filter causes unnecessary strain on the system and reduces efficiency. 

Myth #5: It doesn’t matter where my thermostat is installed
In fact, it matters greatly.  If your thermostat is in a very sunny location, it could read much warmer than the house actually is.  The same goes for putting our thermostat in the kitchen where the stove can heat up the room or directly above or below a vent.  Inaccurate readings by your thermostat can make your system work harder than it should or simply make your home uncomfortable to be in because the thermostat is not detecting the proper temperature in the home.

We hope we cleared up a few things about HVAC.  There is so much more inaccurate information out there about how to care for and use your HVAC unit.  If you ever have doubts about any information you hear about HVAC, please call us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!

How to maximize your heat this winter

Posted on: December 1st, 2019 by admin

ocean county hvac service

With the cold weather now upon us, it is, unfortunately, time to turn the heat on.  Heating bills can get expensive so make sure that whichever method(s) you use to heat your home is as efficient as possible. No matter if it is a wood-burning stove, fireplace, or furnace, making sure that the heat being produced is actively heating your home and not being wasted.  Confirming that the product used is in good working order can all help save you money this winter.  Don’t get stuck in the cold this winter!

One of the easiest things you can do to ensure your furnace is as effective as possible is to change the air filter about every 3 months.  When you leave a clogged air filter in your furnace, it has to work much harder to get the job done.  When you maintain a clean air filter in your furnace, it allows the machine to be much more productive while using less energy. If you are unsure of where to find your air filter, what type to get, or how to change it, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

Scheduled maintenance for any type of heating or cooling mechanism is very important.  If you use a fireplace or wood-burning stove, an annual inspection is of utmost importance prior to using the stove each season.  This ensures you can safely use the apparatus and that it will adequately heat your home for you when necessary.  The same goes for having a furnace inspected.  Having a certified technician look at your furnace at least once a year helps to identify small problems before they become catastrophic.  Fixing small problems can usually be handled faster and are typically much less expensive than mending larger issues.

Sealing any leaks in your ductwork or fixing any drafts in your home will help keep the heat inside your home in the area where you need it most.  It can be very expensive to have to run your heater all day just to maintain a certain temperature inside your home when most of it is being lost to the outside through drafty windows or badly sealed doors.  In addition, leaky ductwork can cause a loss of about 25% of the energy generated by your HVAC system. Call us to take a look at your ductwork to make sure you don’t have any problems that are not easily identified.

There are many more things you can do as a homeowner to ensure your HVAC system or alternative source of heat is running as efficiently as possible, but these three things are a great place to start.  You can also visit the energy.gov for a free download of their Energy Saver Guide for more ideas.  The most important thing you can do is schedule regular inspections of any heating system you have in your home.  Regular checkups ensure each part is doing its job and doing it well.  Keeping your HVAC system running efficiently is one of the best ways to be sure that you are not wasting energy and money during the cold weather season.  Be sure to get in touch with us if you need to schedule a service call or regular maintenance – we’re here to help!

 

When to clean your dryer vent

Posted on: November 1st, 2019 by admin

A clogged dryer vent is a very dangerous thing for a home.  It reduces the effectiveness of the dryer, causes the dryer to work harder than it should, uses more energy than is necessary and is the cause of many home fires.  It is recommended to clean your dryer vent out at least once a year depending on type and amount of use.  If you cannot remember the last time you had the tubing that runs off of your dryer cleaned, it’s time to have it done.

A dust-filled dryer vent greatly diminishes the ability of the dryer to do its job efficiently.  If you find that it is taking you more than one cycle to dry your laundry, you may want to check the dryer vent and ductwork.  It is very possible that it is because the ductwork is filled with lint.  When air cannot freely pass through the tubing meant to vent the air to the outside, it affects the performance of the dryer.

A blocked-up dryer vent also forces the dryer to work much harder than it normally does or should.  This requires a much larger amount of energy.  So not ensuring your dryer vent and ductwork are clean is costing you money each time you have to run your dryer.

Most importantly, not maintaining the cleanliness of your dryer vent and ductwork appropriately is putting your home at risk.  Dryer fires are one of the most common causes of house fires and the most frequent cause of these fires is lint buildup in the venting.  Some things to watch out for that would indicate clogged dryer ductwork are:

  • dryer cleaning trhacA musty odor on your laundry when you remove it from the dryer – this indicates that the tubing is filled with lint and air is unable to vent properly leading to wet lint in the vent which distributes itself onto your laundry because it is unable to be released to the outside.
  • The room which holds your dryer gets very warm when you run your dryer – when a dryer has to work harder to do its job, it produces a lot of heat. While a properly functioning dryer does produce some heat, if you notice your laundry room is inexplicably hot when you run your dryer, it is a red flag to have your dryer vent checked.
  • The vent hood does not open when the dryer is running – this is on the outside of your house and should open when the dryer is on to allow the air to escape. When air is not passing through the ductwork properly, there is not enough force to open the hood.
  • Laundry is extremely hot to the touch – when the warm air from your dryer is not able to be directed outside due to a blocked dryer vent, your loads of laundry will retain much more heat than normal.

These are just a few things to keep an eye out for that indicate it is time to have your dryer vent work cleaned, but there are many others.  If it has been over a year since you’ve cleaned out the ductwork attached to your dryer, it is time to have it done.  If you simply don’t know if you’ve ever had your dryer vent and ductwork cleaned, it’s time.  If you notice any of the above signs or are having issues with your dryer, it is very likely not a mechanical issue, but instead, it may be time to clean your dryer vent.  Check your dryer vent today and protect your home from the possibility of fire.

It’s the perfect time of year to consider Radiant Heat Flooring

Posted on: October 1st, 2019 by admin

Now that summer is over and the days and nights are getting cooler, you may be thinking about how nice it would be to have radiant heat flooring.  It’s the perfect time of year to consider this upgrade.  No more walking around on freezing cold floors first thing in the morning.  Let’s look at some positive aspects of radiant heat flooring.

 

  • It heats the room evenly, unlike heating systems like radiators or forced hot air. Since the product covers the entire floor, there are no hot or cold spots in the room where the heat is focused so tightly in one area that other areas seem chilly in comparison the farther you get from a vent or exchange.  Think of radiant heating like the warmth of the sun versus standing in front of a space heater.  Where something like a space heater that heats the air around you, radiant heating actually warms the floors themselves, which then warms the room itself fully and evenly.
  • It is set by a thermostat so you have complete control on how warm you want your floors and room. It can also be programmed just as your regular heating system, so no wasted heat while you are not home. 
  • Once installed, it is relatively maintenance free. Most radiant heat floors come with a long-term guarantee around 30 years.  When installed properly by a reputable technician, radiant heat flooring very rarely has any issues once completed. 
  • Another pro of radiant heat is that it tends to be better for people with allergies because it doesn’t force particles in the air around the room like other forms of heating. With the elimination of duct work and heat exchanges, allergens in the air are reduced, keeping your air cleaner and your family and friends happier.  You can also get rid of allergen capturing carpeting.  With radiant heat floors, your floor will be comfortable to walk on year-round, barefoot.
  • It works with all types of flooring. There’s no reason to change your design plan just to add radiant heat.  It also takes up no space!  No ugly radiators to see or worry about burning yourself on and no unsightly heat exchanges on the walls makes radiant heating an easy to incorporate and safe design element.
  • Radiant heat is virtually noiseless! How wonderful is that?  Do you hate having to keep the TV remote in had as your heat kicks on and off?  You can forget all about that with radiant heat.  No fans and no blowers make for a practically noiseless heating system.
  • Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, radiant heat is energy efficient as there is little to no heat loss with this system. Where traditional heating systems can lose heat out of drafty windows, open doors, and structural leakages, rooms with radiant heat retain nearly all of the heat that is produced.

Radiant heat has so many benefits and we would love to discuss it further with you.  If you’ve ever considered adding radiant heat to your home, have questions about it, or are ready to start talking about an installation, give us a call today!

Hello September

Posted on: September 1st, 2019 by admin

Summer is coming to a close, the kids are going back to school, temperatures are dropping, and a lot of things in our area are changing.  So, what does this mean for your heating and air conditioning system?  It’s a good time of year to do some routine maintenance before the fall and winter months roll in.  While you may not use your system as much this time of year, it makes it a great time to schedule a maintenance call to have your system inspected.  Better to have your system checked before a minor issue becomes a major one.  As a homeowner, there are a few things you can do on your own to keep your system healthy.

Change your air filters – If you have neglected doing this during the summer, like most of us probably have, do it now.  Spring and summer are prime months for dust and pollen.  A clogged filter means your system is working overtime.  Give your system a breath of fresh air and pop in new filters to keep your system running smooth throughout local summer and into fall. 

Give it a break – During the summer, most of us run around non-stop enjoying every possible moment of the summer months, but while you’re running non-stop, so is your air conditioning unit.  When the evenings start to cool down, think about opening your windows at night and give your ac a break.

Adjust your thermostat – Most households go through a complete schedule change come September so make sure your thermostat gets updated too.  No sense running the unit while no one is home so be sure to make the modifications to the timing and temperature to ensure you are using your system as efficiently as possible.  If you don’t yet have a smart thermostat, it’s a great time to think about it.  Call us today if you have any questions about having one installed.

Schedule a Check Up – While you’re still enjoying the warmth and beauty of summer, fall and winter are on their way.  Don’t wait until it’s too late to make sure your system is healthy and running well.  Scheduling a preventative check up can be a lot less expensive than an emergency repair call and it will save you the headache of having to go any amount of time without heat this winter.

Take a visual and audio inspection – Check the outdoor fan for any blockages.  If there is any damage to the fan or any debris blocking it, it could result in reduced efficiency.  Make sure no bushes or grasses are impeding air flow around your unit and give it a listen to make sure there are no unusual noises.  Strange noises could be an indication something is wrong.

You’re heating and air conditioning unit could use some freshening up as the heat of summer starts to cool.  There are a few things you can do yourself that helps to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently, but for any of the big stuff, give us a call!  We’ll be happy to help answer any questions you might have and we can get your maintenance call scheduled before winter blows in!

Common HVAC terms everyone should know

Posted on: August 2nd, 2019 by admin

HVAC unit, heating, air conditioning, Toms River NJ

First things first, let’s cover HVAC.  This stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.  It covers all the equipment, technologies, and systems that allows you as a homeowner to have control over the temperature and quality of your indoor air.

Air filtration system – Helps to remove allergens, dust, bacteria, and mold from the air.  A filter should be changed on average every 3 months.  Different things will affect how often you need to change your filter such as the presence of pets, occupants with allergies or asthma, and how much your system is in use.

Air flow – Self explanatory to a degree, but this measures the amount of air moving through your system.  It’s important for you to know because reduced air flow can be a major red flag that something may be wrong somewhere within your HVAC system.

BTU – British Thermal Unit; a traditional unit of heat.  It is used in terms of calculating the capacity of an air conditioner and is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.

Compressor – This is a part  of the outdoor unit that powers the heat transfer by compressing the refrigerant and pumping it through the system.

Duct – Insulated pipes that run throughout a building that transfer the air from one place to another.

Furnace – This is what generates heat and distributes it through your home using a fan.

SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.  This rates an HVAC systems competence similar to a miles per gallon rating of a car.  It is calculated using the cooling output for an average cooling season divided by the total electric energy input for the same time period.  The more efficient a system is, the higher the SEER rating.

Thermostat – An indoor portion of an HVAC system that allows you to control the temperature.  By setting the temperature and indicating whether you want the temperature to increase or decrease at that degree, you are controlling when your HVAC system turns on.

Zone – Individual sections that can be controlled independently of one another.  Having different zones set up allows you to make your system run more efficiently by reducing the systems use in unoccupied areas.

This is just a basic list of terms, but if you ever have any questions about your HVAC unit, it’s parts, or it’s repair feel free to give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!

Lennox Rebate Extended!

Posted on: July 31st, 2019 by admin

Lennox HVAC Systems

The Lennox Summer Promotion has been Extended! 

PLUS All financing-only offers are now rebate AND financing offers!!

Updates:

  • Extended Summer Program Dates 
    • Sell Between: July 1 – August 31
    • Install By: September 7
    • Claim By: September 21

 

Lennox Rebate

Posted on: July 12th, 2019 by admin

Lennox is offering a rebate of up to $1,600 on the purchase of any qualifying system. Alternatively, they are also offering a finance option for as low as $116 a month. Why choose Lennox? With a huge selection of energy efficient products and systems, including solar options and tons of smart home products, there’s something for every home and business. They continue to be leaders of the industry by consistently pushing and improving the technology with increased energy efficiency, lower noise levels, and improved air quality. Lennox has been helping people live comfortably for well over a century with reliable, sustainable, durable systems that come with comprehensive warranties. Lennox is a brand you can trust.

As a Lennox Premier Dealer, we’re held to a superior set of standards. You can rest assured that you’ll receive top of the line installation and customer service when you choose to partner with us and Lennox. We are committed to providing you with service and support that surpasses your expectations including offering our customers highly efficient systems from the Dave Lennox Signature Collection. From heating and cooling, to air quality control and zoning, we can help you select the perfect system for you. Need help with changing your filter to keep your system running smoothly and increase indoor air quality? We can help with that! Wondering which thermostat will help you achieve the ideal balance between energy efficiency and total home comfort? Give us a call! Not sure if your system should be repaired or replaced? Our expertly trained technicians can help you decide.

We can help develop a custom Lennox system for your home or business that will keep everyone comfortable and maximizes your investment. The rebate is only available on purchases made from July 1, 2019 through August 9, 2019 so get in touch with us today!