Winter 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
- 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
The 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.
Chris Lancaster November 27th, 2017
The last thing you want when the cold weather arrives is to turn your furnace on and discover it is broken. Unfortunately, the team at Lancaster Brothers sees this scenario play out every year. Everyone turns their furnaces on about the same time and we get swamped with repair calls. We try to get to all of them as soon as possible, but the situation is never ideal. So be one of the smart homeowners who turns their furnace on early this year, stay warm, and avoid any hassle.
Furnace Troubleshooting Tips
Sometimes, the problem may be easy to fix and you may not need a service call at all. Here’s a list of some of the most common furnace issues we see and a few troubleshooting tips to try this season that just might save you some money.
Furnace Won’t Turn On
- Check circuit breakers. A fuel-run furnace has some components that require electricity.
- Check the air filter. A dirty filter can block airflow, shutting down the furnace.
- Double check that the thermostat is set to Heat or Auto.
- Make sure the gas valve is turned on.
Special note: If your furnace contains a pilot light, your furnace may be outdated and in need of a replacement.
Related Read: Save Money with a Programmable Thermostat
Furnace Blows Cold Air
- Change air filter.
- Check that the thermostat is set to Heat or Auto. The “on” position keeps the fan blowing continually. However, if the furnace is not fired up, it’s simply recycling room temperature air.
- Make sure the gas supply is turned on.
- Check that the condensate drain line is not clogged. Clogs activate a switch that will prevent the furnace from lighting.
Furnace Makes Strange Noises
- Rattle: It could be loose panels, a misaligned blower, or a motor malfunction. The latter two require the skill of a technician.
- Clicking: Repeated clicking could be your control panel, the compressor, or a defective electrical relay. Again, you may need to call a technician to fix this.
- Grinding: Motor bearings may need replacement or a belt may require alignment – all jobs for a trained furnace technician.
- Squealing: The belt connecting the motor to the fan may have slipped or needs to be replaced.
Important safety warning: If you have a natural gas furnace, you need a carbon monoxide detector in your home, no matter the age of your furnace.
Related Read: Carbon Monoxide Safety – What Families Need To Know
If you have an older furnace (and you know who you are) start it up early so you’re not living without heat on a cold day. If you think this is the year you’ll need a new furnace, give us a call and we’ll fill you in on the great deals going on with Lennox. A new high-efficiency furnace will heat your home better and save you money on energy bills. Lancaster Brothers proudly installs Lennox furnace and air conditioning systems. Contact us for current rebates and special financing for qualified homeowners.
If you try these troubleshooting tips and you still don’t have any heat, you need professional help. Give us a call at at (913) 851-3399 or contact us online. Expert help will arrive fast!
Chris Lancaster October 12th, 2017
So you have an older air conditioner. You know eventually you’re going to have to replace it, but no one wants to think about that. The cost is not something any homeowner looks forward to paying. So you’ve been limping by, year after year, adding Freon every year, and paying the repair bills to keep it going. So where do you draw the line and say, “It’s finally time to replace it with a new one.”? At Lancaster Brothers, our technicians get asked this question a lot. So how many AC repairs are too many? Luckily, there’s a simple formula you can use to help you decide. We call it the $5,000 rule.
Replacement Rule of Thumb
So what is the $5,000 rule?
Simply multiply the age of your AC unit by the repair cost, and if that exceeds $5,000, then replace the unit. If less, go ahead and repair it.
For example, if your unit is 10 years old and the repair will cost $350, multiply 10 x 350 to equal $3,500. It is less than $5,000, so it is okay to have it repaired. It’s a great guideline to help you decide.
Inefficiency Leads to Higher Energy Bills
Do you ever wonder if your AC is just nickel and diming you to death? Here’s another rough rule to follow. Generally, if you have had your air conditioner repaired three or more times in the last three years, it’s time for a replacement. Parts are wearing, motors are losing their power, it’s losing efficiency every day and that is leading to higher energy bills. If your air conditioner is costing you in repair bills, chances are it’s also costing you in higher energy bills. It may make more sense to replace it with a newer, more energy-efficient model and start recouping your investment in energy savings.
Consider the Rising Cost of Freon
Most older systems use a refrigerant called Freon (R-22). If your repair involves adding Freon because of a refrigerant leak, you have something else to consider – rising Freon costs. If you have a Freon leak, you will have to add more every year. There’s just no getting around it. The price of Freon is rising each year. That’s because about 25 years ago, the EPA ordered the phasing out of Freon as part of an international treaty focused on protecting the ozone layer. Because production is limited, costs to charge existing units that are leaking R-22 refrigerant are rapidly increasing. By 2020, production of Freon will end, so the price will only continue to rise until then.
Production also ended in 2010 for new air conditioning units “charged” with R-22. Today’s air conditioners use a more environmentally friendly refrigerant (R-410A) instead of Freon, but it is not compatible with older models.
Let Lancaster Help with Repairs or Replacement
If you experience problems with your older AC, we will be happy to take a look and either repair or replace the unit so you and your family stay cool and comfortable. Lancaster Brothers is proud to install Lennox air conditioners, so if your air conditioner is on its last leg, we will be happy to provide a free estimate. There are also rebates and financing available for qualifying systems, and our comfort specialist will let you know about available programs.
Our Customers Say It Best…
“Please pass along to Chris and Curt how much we appreciate them getting to us right away and for sending down two very professional men to do the job of replacing our AC/heater. They were very conscientious about doing the job right. It’s nice to have a hometown business we can count on. ”
– J & P, Louisburg, KS
Call us today at (913) 851-3399 with any questions, repair or replacement needs, or just to get a free quote on a new Lennox system!
Chris Lancaster August 24th, 2017
Tags: energy savings
So every day your air conditioner faithfully cranks out cold air keeping your home at a comfortable temperature day and night. How many years has it been cranking away? Every year, it gets older, dirtier, and parts get looser or belts get more worn. And just think about that outside unit. It sits out all year long getting dusty and dirty and clogged with pollen and leaves and sometimes even small animals! When’s the last time you did something nice for your air conditioner?
An AC Tune-Up Is Like a Massage Treatment for Your Air Conditioner
When people get run down, a massage or spa treatment usually does the trick to make them feel better. The same thing applies to your air conditioner. Instead of relaxing tight muscles, our technicians lubricate parts to make them move easier. They tighten loose parts so they move more smoothly. The team at Lancaster Brothers follows an extensive checklist to ensure everything is tightened, oiled, and working properly.
They check all electrical connections and motors and they clean any dirty parts so everything feels good again. Ahhh.
Your AC Will Pay You Back
Air Conditioner tune-ups are an absolute must before heading into full-time air conditioner season. They help your AC unit work more efficiently. When your unit is working at its peak efficiency, energy bills are lower. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that heating and cooling costs account for about 48% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home. This percentage makes it the largest energy expense for the average home.
But there are other ways getting a tune-up will pay you back as well.
Avoid Unwanted Breakdowns
Like a car, your air conditioner needs to be tuned up regularly to ensure it operates properly. Our technicians use tune-ups to help identify problem areas with your air conditioner as well. Finding these issues early on and taking care of them sooner rather than later will help you avoid a breakdown on the hottest day of the year.
Extend the Life of Your System
Air conditioners and furnaces are a significant investment for homeowners. Taking care of your equipment with an annual tune-up helps to keep your system in good condition, ensuring that you will get the most out of your investment.
Keep Small Problems from Becoming Costly Ones
Regular tune-ups will catch small problems before they cause larger, more expensive problems. Let’s say your fan blade is loose. Tightening the screws ensures it functions properly and in balance. But, if nothing is done, the constant vibration of a running system will loosen them even further and your fan could come off altogether and do damage to surrounding parts of your AC. Then you’re looking at an expensive repair bill. Ughh.
Schedule Your Air Conditioner Maintenance Today
Don’t wait for a problem. Let Lancaster Brothers Heating and Cooling give your AC a tune-up and make your air conditioner run and feel great. We are able to schedule appointments up to eight weeks out to ensure that you get the dates and timeframes that best fit your schedule.
If you’re looking to replace your system, we can help with that too. Lancaster Brothers proudly installs Lennox furnace and air conditioning systems. Contact us for current rebates and special financing for qualified homeowners.
Call us today so we can help you mark one more thing off your Spring to-do list! Just call (913) 648-9442 or send an email to email@example.com to make an appointment.
Chris Lancaster May 30th, 2017
Posted In: Maintenance