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Spring Maintenance on Your ACThe heat of the summer months might seem like only a speck on the distant horizon, but before you know it, it’ll be here. Beating the heat is easy with air conditioner. However, failing to inspect your AC prior to the first heat wave could leave you without the cooling relief you’re looking for. Any number of issues can affect how well your AC works. That’s why spring is the perfect time to perform maintenance on your AC.  

Lower the Cost of Your Energy Bills

How well your air conditioning works directly effects your wallet. Any number of issues, such as dirty condenser coils or loose electrical connections, can cause your AC to work harder than it should. Therefore, more energy is being used. The more energy being used means the higher the electric bill will be. Even more frustrating is knowing that you’re paying for something that isn’t even helping to keep you cool.

Increase Your AC’s Energy Efficiency and Lifespan

Performing spring maintenance on your air conditioning unit is the best time to find and resolve problems. Issues with the ductwork, electrical connections, and other parts directly impact the overall function of your AC. Even dust and debris that build over time up can disrupt how efficiently it works. Making sure that parts are cleaned, securely connected, lubricated, and replaced if needed not only improves the function of your AC but the lifespan as well. Units that receive regular maintenance also run more quietly.

Better the Air Quality in Your Home

Just like the furnace, your air conditioning unit needs its filter replaced regularly. If the filter is dirty, restricted air flow can cause your AC unit to use more energy. It’s also less effective at purifying the air. As part of your regular maintenance, you should change the filter before using the AC for the first time every summer. How often it should be changed after that depends on various factors, such as whether or not you have pets or occupants with allergies.

Limping Along with an Old AC?

Lennox LogoIf you think your current air conditioner is too old and you are worried about the coming summer, we can help. We recommend a Lennox Home Comfort System for its high quality and energy efficiency. If you are considering replacing your air conditioner, check out check out these great deals from Lennox that will save you some serious money.

If you need help performing maintenance on your AC or need to replace your old AC, just reach out to the professionals at Lancaster Brothers Heating & Cooling. Give us a call at (913) 851-3399 or contact us online.

March 18th, 2018

Posted In: Cooling, Indoor Air Quality

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Setting Programmable ThermostatUtility bills are the biggest expense most households incur. According to the latest statistics (Dec. 2017) from Expatistan, an international cost of living website, the average price of utilities for one month (heating, electricity, gas…) for 2 people in 900 sq. ft. home in Kansas City, Missouri is $230. Multiply that by 12 and it’s approximately $2,760 per year. The larger the home, the larger the utility bills. Reducing your utility bill is one of the best ways to put a significant amount of money back into  your pocket. The good news is, it’s easy to do with a programmable thermostat.

The team at Lancaster Brothers Heating and Cooling has put together this simple tutorial on how to save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply using your programmable thermostat. The Department of Energy reports that turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting will save you up to 10%. If you live in a 900 sq. ft. home, this means you save about $276! Read on to learn the secrets to saving big.

How Do I Program My Thermostat to Save Money?

Since you don’t need to heat or cool your home as much while you are away at work or sleeping, those are the times to lower or raise the temperature to reduce the amount of energy you use. The good news is, you won’t even notice! Here are some simple guidelines for year-round programming:

Winter Settings – for the winter months, we suggest setting the thermostat to 72 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re awake, and set it seven to ten degrees lower while away or asleep.

Summer Settings – for the summer months, set the thermostat for 72 degrees Fahrenheit when you are at home and warmer than normal while you are away. We suggest that you set your thermostat up no more than five degrees at any point in time. With the open floor plans of modern homes today, the volume of space your air conditioner is trying to condition makes it counterproductive because it’s too hard for your system to catch up on really hot days.

Tips for Choosing a Programmable Thermostat

If you don’t yet own a programmable thermostat, you’ll find there are a lot of choices out there. Here are some tips for purchasing a programmable thermostat. Some of the features to consider include:

  • User-friendly digital displays so you can easily preset the temperatures for different parts of the day.
  • Wi-Fi compatibility. Homeowners are able to adjust the settings using a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  • Alerts for changing the filter in your HVAC unit.
  • Allow manual overriding of a setting without losing preset programming.
  • Programs that differentiate between weekdays and weekends.

If you need help installing a new programmable thermostat, just give Lancaster Brothers a call.

Lennox Makes a Wide Variety of Programmable Thermostats

Lennox LogoWe are proud to install Lennox brand furnaces and air conditioners, and when you install a programmable thermostat, you are sure to gain the most efficiency you can from your new heating and cooling system. Lennox makes a wide variety of programmable thermostats. If you need help choosing one, give us a call and our comfort specialists can give you all the details.

If you’re ready to make the switch to a programmable thermostat and keep a few hundred more dollars in your pocket each year, contact us and let our dedicated and knowledgeable technicians install one for you today! Or call us at (913) 270-0698.

December 12th, 2017

Posted In: Cooling, Geothermal, Heating, Indoor Air Quality

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Whole House HumidifierWinter is here and that means you’ll be running your furnace 24/7. Unfortunately that also means all of the humidity will be sucked out of your home and you’ll be left with dry, uncomfortable air. If you experience any of these symptoms below, your home needs more humidity:

  • Dry skin
  • Dry eyes
  • Chapped lips
  • Nose bleeds
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Static electricity
  • Chipping paint
  • Dried out wood furniture
  • Large gaps between wood floor planks

What Is the Ideal Humidity Level for Your Home?

First of all, you’re probably wondering how to measure the humidity in your home. This is relatively easy. You’ll need a hygrometer (humidity meter for measuring water vapor in the atmosphere) which is easy to find at a home improvement store and very affordable (usually under $15). The ideal relative humidity level for health and comfort is about 35-45%. In the winter months, it may have to be lower than 40% to keep condensation from forming on the inside of your windows.

Whole House Humidifiers Keep Your Home Comfortable Automatically

The best way to fix this problem is to add a whole-house humidifier. A whole-house humidifier is very low maintenance and once set, should need very little adjustment throughout the winter. The only maintenance they require is replacing the pad each season. We install the Lennox Healthy Climate HCWB3-17 Bypass humidifier. It’s integrated into the blower system on your furnace and draws water directly from your water supply.

How Does the Lennox Humidifier Work?

When the level of moisture in your home drops below the setpoint on the humidifier, the water solenoid valve opens, water flows into the distribution tray and slowly runs down through the evaporator pad. By-pass air flows over the evaporator pad, increasing the humidity of the air, and then back into the return air stream. When the setpoint is reached, the water solenoid valve closes.

Portable Shmortable – Get a Hassle-Free Whole House Humidifier

Lennox LogoThe Lennox Healthy Climate whole-house humidifier offers several advantages over portable units. It is practically maintenance free, runs quietly, never needs refilling and costs pennies a day to operate. A one-time setup keeps your home at a set humidity level all winter long. Plus, the initial cost is less than what most portable units cost. So if you’re sick of static shock, dry, itchy skin and chapped lips, and don’t like the idea of refilling a portable humidifier every few days, give us a call and ask about our whole-house humidifier.

We install hundreds of these Lennox whole-house humidifiers a year and they work great! Call Lancaster Brothers at (913) 851-3399 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to install one in your home.

November 27th, 2017

Posted In: Indoor Air Quality, Maintenance

Air Conditioning ZoningHouse too hot upstairs in the summer? Downstairs too cold in winter? If you struggle with making your whole house comfortable at the same time, there’s a solution and it doesn’t involve purchasing another furnace or air conditioner. It’s called zoning and the team at Lancaster Brothers is here to tell you how it works. Zoning can help you save on your heating and cooling bills and make your home more comfortable and it can be added to your existing heating and cooling system.

What Is Zoning?

Most homes rely on one unit to heat or cool the home. A zoned home breaks your home into different segments based on your heating and cooling needs. Instead of trying to control the temperature throughout the entire house, zoning allows you to control temperatures in individual areas. Zoning can be added to your existing heating and cooling equipment. A zone control panel communicates with your thermostat, dampers and your furnace and AC. The thermostats in each zone send a signal to the control panel to send air to that area. Dampers placed in your ductwork are wired to a specific zone on the control panel, which is controlled by a specific thermostat. They automatically open and close depending on what the thermostats tell them they need.

Related Reads: Is your furnace acting up? Make sure you know the signs of trouble here!

What Kind of Homes Benefit from Zoning?

If you have a home with more than two stories, a home with a finished basement, areas with large windows or high ceilings, or unused rooms that you close off in the winter or summer because they aren’t comfortable, you are an ideal candidate for zoning. Older homes can benefit from zoning as well because many older houses are unable to be equipped with traditional heating and cooling ductwork. Empty nesters can also benefit because empty rooms don’t need to be heated and cooled every day.

Zoning Gives You Flexibility

Air Conditioner Zoning FlexibilitySometimes examples help make the benefits of zoning more clear. Let’s look at a few. With zoning you would be able to have the master bedroom set at a colder temp than the kids rooms if you like it colder when you sleep. Or let’s say you’re having a party and lots of people would be gathering in the kitchen and family room. You would be able to direct additional cooling to the kitchen/family room to balance the heat from extra bodies, heat from cooking, and heat from soaring outdoor temperatures. With a zoned system you can control the temperature when and where you need it.

Air Conditioner Zoning Saves You Money

Zoning saves you money on heating and cooling bills because you only heat/cool the zones you’re using, instead of the entire house. It gives you more control over which zones are heated or cooled, saving you money on the zones you don’t need to be heated or cooled all day, every day.

Related Reads: Want to save even more money on your energy bills? Try a programmable thermostat! Read more about this handy device here.

Lennox iHarmony Zoning SystemLennox iHarmony Zoning System

At Lancaster, we install quality Lennox products including the Lennox iHarmony zoning system. The iHarmony system makes heating and cooling your home simple and convenient. It allows you to control up to four zones and each zone has its own independent thermostat. Adjustments to zone temperatures can be made at each thermostat, and you have the option of adjusting every zone at your main thermostat as well.

Customize AC Zoning PlanIf you’d like to learn more, call us at (913) 851-3399 or contact us online and one of our professional technicians can answer your questions and customize a zoning plan specifically for your home.

September 5th, 2017

Posted In: Cooling, Heating, Indoor Air Quality

Tags: ,

how to fix leaky AC unitA very common complaint with AC units is the leaking of water. This happens because the evaporator coil in your unit cools the warm air that blows over it, and condensation occurs as a result. That moisture is supposed to drip into a drip pan or drain line and go away from your home. You know you have a problem when you see this water elsewhere.

Here are some common causes for these leaks, and ways to fix them.

Related Reads: Your Air Conditioner Would Like a Massage

1. Dirty Air Filter

A dirty air filter will block airflow to the evaporator coil, causing the evaporator coil to become too cold and possibly freeze over. When the ice melts, it drips. This dripping may overwhelm the drip pan, and result in leaking water.

To correct this, have your air filter checked and replaced frequently (about every 1-3 months). If it is dirty, replace immediately.

2. Low Refrigerant

If your air conditioner is not cooling well, or you hear a hissing or bubbling noise, the refrigerant is leaking. When refrigerant is low, the pressure in the AC system lowers and causes it to freeze over and melt, much like the symptoms a dirty air filter causes. Depending on the severity of the leak, the leak may either be repaired or you may have to replace the entire AC unit.

3. Damaged or Rusted Drain Pan

The drain pan catches water that drips from the unit, and can become rusted and damaged over time. After around 12-15 years, this part will need replacement.

Related Reads: Helpful Tips When Your AC Is on Life Support

4. Clogged Condensate Drain Line

When the condensate drain line is clogged with dirt, dust, sludge or mold, water backs up into your home. A professional can use a wet/dry vac to unclog the condensate line. A clogged condensate drain line is one of the most frequent causes of water leaking from an AC unit.

5. Broken Condensate Pump

For units that are located in basements, a condensate pump pumps water outside of the home. When this breaks, water cannot leave the unit and backs up. Replacing this pump will amend the problem.

LennoxIf your system’s aged and you think you need a replacement, we can help with that too. Lancaster Brothers proudly installs Lennox furnace and air conditioning systems. Check our Specials page for current rebates and special financing for qualified homeowners.

See What Our Customers Are Saying

My wife and I are very grateful for fitting our installation project as swiftly as you did. We had central air last night, and what a blessing. You men are the best.

Adam came back this morning to button a few things up… He is one terrific technician and person. You couldn’t have a better representative for your company than Adam.

– M.D.

Lancaster Brothers Heating and Cooling proudly serves the entire Kansas City area. If you notice any of the listed issues or notice that your unit is not working as efficiently as it was before, please contact us today. Our technicians will be glad to help diagnose the problem.

July 31st, 2017

Posted In: Cooling, Indoor Air Quality

fix buzzing AC unitWhen it’s working efficiently and correctly, your air conditioner should not produce any noises louder than a low hum. If you hear a loud, distracting buzz from your AC unit, that is a sign that there is something wrong. Several issues can cause a buzzing noise from your AC unit. Some are very simple fixes, while some are very serious.

What’s the Buzz I Hear from My AC Unit?

The team at Lancaster Brothers has put together this list of possible causes for buzzing to help you diagnose your system:

1. Your AC Unit is Frozen

When the air conditioner is running for long periods of time, it can freeze up, which will cause a loud buzzing sound. If this happens, turn off the unit to let it thaw. After a few hours of it being off, it should be running again without issue when you switch it back on.  Refrigerant leaks cause the unit to freeze, so if this happens frequently, or it is still buzzing after a few hours, professional assistance is needed.

2. Your AC Unit Has Loose Parts

With so many pieces moving in conjunction inside your air conditioner, parts sometimes vibrate loose. While it may seem like no big deal, missing or loose parts can affect the efficiency and performance of the unit and lead to more expensive problems over time.  

3. Your AC’s Condenser Fan Motor isn’t Working Properly

The condenser fan is the large fan that blows from the outside unit when your AC unit kicks on. If the inside blower is working but the fan is not turning, the fan motor will emit a loud buzz. Debris inside the unit, a failing fan, or loose parts can all be reasons for why the blades aren’t turning.

4. Your AC Has Electrical Issues

Electrical issues are also common causes to loud buzzing sounds. One of the easiest electrical fixes is replacing the contractor relay switch which is a low-voltage switch in your exterior unit that is controlled by the interior thermostat. When it goes out, it will create the loud buzz. However, more serious electrical problems, such as aging or loose electrical connections can also cause the buzz from the unit. If those aren’t repaired, they can lead to more serious problems, including electrical shorts.  

Call Lancaster Brothers for Fast AC Fixes

A loud buzzing sound is a sign there is something wrong with your air conditioning unit.  If you hear this noise, turn off the unit immediately, and give us a call. Here at Lancaster Brothers, our professional and experienced technicians are available to diagnose the problem quickly and fix it fast. From routine maintenance to keep your system running in top condition to replacing your AC unit, Lancaster Brothers will get your house cool and comfortable in no time.  

We Install Quality Lennox Air Conditioners and Furnaces

LennoxIf your AC is on its last leg, give us a call. Our experts can set you up with a system that is the right size for your home and your budget. Check out the savings on Lennox systems on our Specials page.

If you need AC repairs or replacement, call the professionals at Lancaster Brothers at (913) 851-3399 or contact us online and we’ll be there to fix it fast!

July 12th, 2017

Posted In: Cooling, Indoor Air Quality

family laughing about air conditioningWhen you consider that your heating and cooling bills account for about half of your energy expenses year round, it makes sense that a little maintenance can go a long way in making your system run more efficiently and saving you money. With that in mind, the team at Lancaster Brothers Heating and Cooling has put together this 8-Step DIY plan to help your system run at peak efficiency.

Safety First!

Before you begin, turn off the power to the unit. Turn the condenser switch on the outside unit to the “off” position. Go to your breaker box and turn off the breaker to your furnace and AC. You don’t want it turning on while you have your hands near the fan blades!

Indoor AC Steps

1. Clean the evaporator coils

On many systems, these will be behind a door near the blower motor. It may even be sealed with foil tape. Open the cover and use a soft brush to dust off the coils. A paint brush or dust pan broom should work just fine. Spray the coil with coil cleaner, letting it drip into the drain pan. Afterwards, clean the drain pan with soap and hot water. Check the drain to make sure water is flowing freely. If it does, you can skip the next step.

2. Clean the evaporator drain tube

This tube is usually a 1-inch PVC pipe coming from the evaporator. It could be white or clear. Follow it to where it drains out. Attach the wet/dry vacuum to this end, sealing it with duct tape or with a rag. Remove the vacuum’s filter to avoid damaging it and turn the vacuum on for 2-3 minutes to clear out any blockage.

3. Change the air filter

This should be done once a month on average (though manufacturers’ recommendations may vary by unit). At the bare minimum, change it twice a year; once at the start of the cooling season and once at the start of the heating season.

4. Turn the power back on and let it go through a full cycle

If it’s not cooling like it used to, it’s time to call a pro.

Outdoor AC Steps

5. Clean out around your condenser

Make sure the unit is free from plants, sticks, dirt, mud, animal nests and any other foreign objects. Rake any ground-level debris away from the condenser and prune any branches or bushes away at least two feet.

6. Clean the condenser

Remove the grate over the fan and vacuum away any debris found inside. With a garden hose, spray the fins from the inside out. (Never use a pressure washer. The fins are very thin and can be easily damaged.)

7. Inspect the fins

They are very thin and bend easily. If you see damaged spots, straighten them gently with the butter knife or fin tool. Be careful not to damage the tubing within the fins.

8. Level the condenser

As soil settles, it’s not unusual for the condenser pad to lean or sink on one side. Using shims and a level, bring the condenser back to a level position.

 

Following these steps will keep your home’s indoor air cleaner, reduce allergy symptoms, and allow your system to work more efficiently, reducing energy costs.

 

Give Lancaster Brothers a call and we can check your AC to make sure it is running at peak efficiency. You can save even more by joining our Maintenance Club. To schedule a maintenance visit, please feel free to contact us online or call us at (913) 851-3399. If you need a new air conditioner, we can install a quality Lennox unit at great savings.

lennox air conditioner unit

June 26th, 2017

Posted In: Cooling, Indoor Air Quality

If you’re not an allergy sufferer, you may not understand the importance of having a place to go where you can breathe clean, fresh, allergen-free air. Springtime is hard on people with allergies. Sneezing, runny nose, that feeling that you want to claw your own eyes out because they itch so badly – we sympathize.

We have some good news for allergy sufferers. While you can’t control the outside air, or even the air at your place of work, you CAN control the air in your home. You sleep in that home at least eight hours every night, so you have the ability to breathe healthy, allergen-free air at least one third of your day. Read on to find out the three secrets to making your home a haven from allergens.

Why Is the Air in Your Home So Bad?

First, to understand why there is so much room for improvement in the typical home’s air quality, we must understand what causes it to be so bad to start with. While there are some well known causes for poor air quality, like car exhaust or carbon monoxide, many of the culprits behind inferior air are household products we use every day.

Air fresheners, pesticides, cosmetic products, types of glues, and even office equipment like printers or copiers can release particles into the air that can sabotage the quality. Not all of these kinds of pollutants will cause serious health damage, but some can cause lesser symptoms like fatigue, irritated eyes or skin, or coughing.

It’s important to remember that air moves through your home – sources of poor air quality in one room rarely stay in that room. However, it’s also worth noting that we like to seal our home up tightly to create more efficient heating and cooling. So, when the air in your home becomes polluted, it stays in the home. If you’re not sure about the air quality in your home, ask yourself some simple questions:

  • Do you have leaking or standing water anywhere inside your home?
  • Can you smell mold or mildew?
  • Have you recently renovated any rooms (painted, installed carpeting, etc.)?
  • Do you use solid fuels (like wood or coal) for heating or cooking?

If you answered yes, you may have some serious indoor air quality issues. These activities, and any others that release particles into the air you breathe, bring down the quality of that air. Most activities that leave a strong smell behind – painting, refinishing wood, grilling or smoking meat – are leaving particles in the air. Careful attention and ventilation are required to keep these activities from polluting the air in your home.

Make Your Home Your Sanctuary

While we are a heating and cooling company, we want you to know that we can help with allergies, too. At Lancaster Brothers, we offer whole-house air cleaners that remove dirt, dust, pet dander, mites, and other allergens from the air in your home. We recommend the Lennox PureAir purification system for allergy sufferers.

What’s Wrong with My Current Air Filter?

Most homes are heated by a traditional heating and cooling system, and with that system comes an air filter. Most of us are familiar with that 1” filter that you normally change once a month. You do realize you have to change that, right?

That 1” filter is designed to capture about 10% of what is flying around your home. Meaning, it really only captures the largest dust spores in the air and not much else. A larger 4” filter is a better option since it will collect about 80% of what is in the air. This type of filter is able to collect more of that dust and smaller particles as well. However, if you have allergy sufferers living in your home, there are contaminants that still remain in the air you breathe. You need a serious air filter.

Weapon #1 – The PureAir Air Purification System

The best option for clean air in your home is an electronic air cleaner. Indoor air contains three classes of contaminants that negatively affect indoor air quality. Many air cleaning systems available today only combat some of the irritants found inside your home. We choose to use this system because it is the only single indoor air quality system that is designed to address all three classes of indoor air contaminants:

  • Airborne Particles – The PureAir system filters out more than 95% small, breathable particles such as dust, dirt, pollen, and allergens down to .3 microns
  • Germs and Bacteria – The PureAir system combats 90% of airborne mold spores, bacteria, and viruses  down to .01 micron
  • Chemical Odors and Vapors – PureAir destroys household odors and chemical vapors from sources like pets, cleaning products, and cooking appliances

For allergy sufferers, this is the best type of air filtration to have in your home. Not only can it be installed on any existing furnace and air conditioner system, it will also provide the cleanest possible air to breathe in your own home.

Weapon #2 Follow These Tips for Allergy Sufferers

  • Shower at Night – This helps remove any pollen and other allergens from your hair that would otherwise get transferred to your pillow…where you breathe every night
  • Go Barefoot at Home – Removing your shoes helps keep from tracking allergens around your home and embedding them into the carpet
  • Keep the House Closed Up Tight – It may be tempting to let the fresh air in, but allergy sufferers will pay for it, so don’t do it
  • Change Your Filter on Your AC Often – Keep the air as clean as possible by replacing your air filter at least once a month
  • Use the Re-circulate on Your Vehicle’s AC – When driving in your car, you can reduce the amount of allergens you breathe by recirculating the existing air, rather than letting fresh air in
  • Lower the Humidity in Your Home – A humidity level of less than 60% will discourage spores from mold growth
  • Pay Attention to the Pollen Count Outside – If the pollen, ragweed, mold, etc. count is high, it’s best to limit your outdoor activities that day

Weapon # 3 Houseplants

One other way to make your home a haven from allergens is to let nature remove them from the air for you. One of the best additions allergy sufferers can add to their homes is houseplants. Plants remove toxins from the air 24 hours a day just by living there!

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, yes, that NASA) did a Clean Air Study in 1989, in an effort to find ways to clean air in space stations. That study revealed a number of plants that not only absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen (as all plants do), but also remove other toxic agents like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air. Their recommendation efficient air cleaning is to use at least one plant per 100 square feet of space. Here is the list of the 16 best plants you can add to remove toxins from the air.

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum ‘Deborah’)

Chinese Evergreen Plant

This plant likes low light and humid air. Mist the leaves lightly to keep them from turning brown.

  • Removes: benzene and formaldehyde
  • Warning: Toxic to dogs and cats

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

English Ivy House Plant

This climbing vine does well in low light environments and prefers moist soil and occasional misting.

  • Removes: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene
  • Warning: Toxic to dogs and cats

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

pleace lily

This plant can grow in low light and blooms year round. Weekly watering is required, but it lets you know when it’s thirsty by wilting, but quickly recovering when watered. It has a high transpiration rate that will humidify your air.

  • Removes: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene
  • Warning: Toxic to dogs and cats

Broadleaf Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)

Broadleaf Lady Palm

Palm trees are relatively easy to care for and add a tropical feel to any home. They prefer cooler temperatures (60-75 degrees). Dwarf date palm, bamboo palm, areca palm, and parlor palm are all good air cleaners in the palm family.

  • Removes: formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, ammonia, and acetone
  • Non toxic to dogs & cats

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Boston Fern

The Boston fern is considered one of the most efficient air purifiers, but can be temperamental requiring constant moisture. They require weekly feeding in the warmer seasons when they’re growing, monthly during the winter, and they like to be watered and misted regularly. The Kimberley Queen is a larger fern with broader leaves that fares better in drier air. It’s a great natural humidifier.

  • Removes: formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene
  • Non toxic to dogs & cats

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Snake Plant

This plant’s common name is mother-in-law’s tongue, named for its long, sharp leaves. It thrives in low light and humid conditions making it perfect for placement in the bathroom.

  • Removes: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene.
  • Warning: Toxic to dogs and cats

Red-Edged Dracaena (Dracaena marginata)

Red Edged Dracaena

This slow-growing shrub has purple-red edges on its narrow leaves. It can reach up to 15 feet in height.

  • Removes: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene
  • Warning: Toxic to dogs and cats

Warneck Dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckei’)

Warneck Dracaena

This shrub is also slow growing but features white stripes along the leaf edges and requires even less sunlight than the red-edged variety.

  • Removes: benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene
  • Warning: Toxic to dogs and cats

Aloe (Aloe vera)

Aloe Vera

Aloe is easy to grow, and loves the sun. Besides cleaning the air, the gel inside the aloe plant helps heal cuts and burns including sunburn.

  • Removes: benzene and formaldehyde
  • Warning: toxic to dogs and cats and dogs

Barberton Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

Gerbera Daisy

Gerberas (sometimes called gerber daisies) like well-drained soil, a little misting a couple of times a week, and at least six hours of sunlight a day. Brightly colored cut blooms can last as long as two weeks. Bonus – their happy, colorful flowers stay fresh for a couple of weeks when cut.

  • Removes: benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene
  • *Non-toxic to dogs and cats

Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium)

Chysanthemum

Mums, as they’re commonly called, love bright, direct sunlight. Choose a floral variety, not a garden variety for inside use.

  • Removes: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and ammonia.
  • Warning: Toxic to dogs and cats

Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)

Weeping Fig

Ficus trees can be finicky. They prefer bright, but indirect light and don’t like large fluctuations in light or temperature. Once you get the light conditions and watering schedule right, they last a long time.

  • Removes: formaldehyde, xylene and toluene
  • Warning: Toxic to dogs and cats

Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron cordatum)

Heartleaf Philodendron

Heartleaf philodendron are very low-maintenance plants. They thrive with indirect light and very little maintenance. Like other vines, it can trail from a hanging container or can be trained to climb trellis.

  • Removes: formaldehyde
  • Warning: Toxic to dogs and cats

Rubber Plants  (Ficus elastica)

Tolerates very little sun (the less sun, the slower the growth) and is aesthetically pleasing.

  • Removes: formaldehyde
  • Non-toxic to dogs and cats

Janet Craig (Dracaena deremensis)

Janet Craig

Janet Craigs will also tolerate very little sun, but are hardier than the rubber plant and will survive more abuse and neglect than the rubber tree.

  • Removes: formaldehyde
  • Warning: Toxic to dogs and cats

These beautiful additions can allow you to experience the difference of a home free from allergy inducing particles. If you know someone who suffers from allergies, share this blog with them to let them know they have options!

Want more information? Call the professionals at Lancaster Brothers Heating & Cooling at (913) 851-3399 or send us your questions at tina@lancasterbrothers.com today!

March 23rd, 2017

Posted In: Indoor Air Quality

photo-humidifierDo you really need a humidifier for your home? Because each home is different, Lancaster Brothers Heating & Cooling put together a handy guide to help you decide. Read below to see when we recommend using a humidifier, plus some helpful tips for using one!

The Lancaster Brothers’ Humidifier Questionnaire

There are many signs that indicate your home is in need of a humidifier. Take a peek at the signs that we have listed below. If you notice three or more of these signs, we recommend installing a whole-house humidifier.

  • Dry skin

  • Dry eyes

  • Chapped lips

  • Nose bleeds

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Static electricity

  • Chipping paint

  • Dried out wood furniture

  • Large gaps between wood floor planks

 

Related read: Indoor Air Quality Tips & Tricks  

Tips for Using Your Humidifier

When using your home’s humidifier, there are a couple rules of thumb that you will want to follow. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “The ideal levels of humidity for your living space will be less than 60% in the summer and between 25-40% during the winter.” Controlling this will help sustain the life of your furniture and the quality of your air. Another important tip: Clean your humidifier! Why? A dirty humidifier can cause bacteria and mold to develop and grow. Clean or replace the water pad, evaporator pad, and filter) annually, or more often if required. Your instruction manual should give you details on how!

Are you in need of a whole-house humidifier for your home? Give the Lancaster Brothers a call, at (913) 837-2000 and we would be happy to help you out!

 

January 22nd, 2016

Posted In: Indoor Air Quality

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