Dollars and Sense: HVAC Systems Using R22 (Freon) To Be Phased Out Forever

Posted On June 24th, 2019 by Lanz HVAC



Do you have an HVAC system that was installed in 2010 or earlier? If so….this information applies to you.

If your HVAC system was installed in 2010 or before, it most likely uses a chemical coolant called “R22”. R22 is an air conditioning refrigerant, commonly called ‘Freon’ that has been widely used in residential heating and cooling since its introduction in the 1950’s. Air conditioners operate using chemical coolants like R22/Freon inside coils. Air is cooled by being blown over these frosty coils and comes out icy cold. As your system ages and experiences normal wear and tear, your coils may leak or break, and the coolant will need to be refilled or replaced. Since R22 is widely used and readily available, this has not been an issue.

The bad news is that after decades of use, it turns out that R22 is EXTREMELY bad for the environment and is ripping our ozone layer apart! In an effort to save our ozone, the EPA, together with agencies and groups around the world, have enacted agreements to phase out its use, specifically the “Montreal Protocol”. This global agreement, finalized in 1987, is designed to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances such as R22. It has been in effect since 2003, and by 2010 all production and consumption of R22 became prohibited BUT servicing current, existing equipment is still permitted, as long as there is an available supply of R22. Homeowners who had HVAC systems that used R22 (and their HVAC service providers) have been able to repair and maintain these systems due to a preexisting supply of R22. That is about to change. The next phase of the Montreal Protocol calls for the production and import of R22 to be continually reduced by law until 2020, when all production and import will be eliminated.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?

Quite simply, the freon that keeps your AC blowing cool air is about to be unavailable anywhere in the marketplace. Today, the cost of R22 is dramatically increasing because of the declining supply. Options for licensed professionals to service units installed before 2020 will become more and more expensive. Until 2020, customers will spend more and more on service/upkeep on HVAC units that use R22.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

There is an alternative that the HVAC industry is turning to. R410a, brand name Puron, is safer, cleaner, and more energy efficient. Homeowners should consider upgrading NOW (before 2020) and taking advantage of HVAC units that use R410a. These systems save consumers hundreds of dollars in energy bills, as well as service costs. Do not try and simply swap out your old R22 for the R410a. Doing so will ruin your unit and will force you into a new unit anyway. The best choice for homeowners is to replace their old system now.

This is a change affecting the entire industry. We are always happy to sit down with a homeowner and discuss the changes outlined here. Professional HVAC firms like ours provide excellent financing options for homeowners to make the most sensible choice for their financial needs. Our best customer is well-informed, and well-educated, in terms of the HVAC market. We add value by making sure we give our customers the most up-to-date and helpful information possible, when it comes to taking care of their homes. The HVAC industry is affected by many factors, from international tariffs to changing rules and regulations, and it is our responsibility, and our pleasure, to pass on this valuable information to our customers. If we can provide our customers with the best information available on the market today, and assist them in making the best choice for their home, we have done our job.

About Lanz Heating, Cooling Plumbing: Founded by HVAC contracting veteran Troy Lanz of Illinois, in 2002, Lanz Inc. has grown in number of employees and in services offered to the homeowners and commercial businesses of Champaign County, Il. Lanz Inc. now employs more than 50 highly qualified professionals providing certified installations, repairs and maintenance of heating and cooling systems, heat pumps, air handlers, dehumidifiers, humidifiers, indoor air quality control systems, ductless split systems and geothermal solutions, plus cleaning of drains, vents and air ducts. Ask about our Comfort Club. Please call Lanz Inc. at 1-800-AIR-REPAIR or 217-355-5512 and connect with Lanz Inc. on the web at www.LanzInc.com.

Posted in Latest News

Allergies & Asthma: Your Home’s HVAC System Can Help You Breathe Easier

Posted On May 20th, 2019 by Omnispear Developers


Do you remember last spring - the spring of 2018 - when so many of us here in Central Illinois were slammed by a sudden attack of the sniffles? A cold, snowy winter lasted into April and when the thaw finally came - so did the pollen and hay fever. The Herald & Review over in Decatur even wrote an article about it, headlined THE BIG SNEEZE.

Hey, Champaign County, let’s not go through that again. Allergic reactions and the potential for asthma attacks are serious health concerns. We can’t help the weather, of course, but homeowners can drastically lower the risk of bad seasonal allergies by ensuring their family breathes clean air from high-quality, well-maintained HVAC systems - particularly the “ventilation” part.

A few simple preventive measures with your home’s HVAC unit can eliminate many of Central Illinois’ most common household allergens - dust and house dust mites, grass and tree pollen, pet dander and fur, mold and fungus spores, etc. - so your family can breathe easier all spring and summer.

Keep your HVAC system clean. Sniffle-starters like dust, dirt, dander and pollen collect on your home’s surfaces, ride along air currents and build up inside HVAC ductwork. If you like breathing clean air, as we all should, a little spring cleaning goes a long way.

  • Change the HVAC filter at the recommended frequency (usually every six weeks) and use a filter with a MERV score of at least 8 to remove microscopic particles. If your HVAC unit has a permanent filter, have it professionally cleaned.
  • Remove dust from air intake vents and floor registers.
  • Hire a licensed professional HVAC contractor to clean dirt out of the ducts.

Keep indoor humidity low. High moisture content in the air attracts a host of allergens, especially dust mites, according to an article published by ACHR News entitled “Allergies, Asthma and the Role of HVAC” citing research presented at the 2001 IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) Conference. Dehumidification reduces water vapor levels, thereby avoiding environments conducive to mites, molds and fungi and preventing triggers for allergies and asthma.

Keep pollinating plants, trees and bushes away from the outside A/C condenser. Air conditioning technology works by literally changing (heating or cooling) outdoor air and moving that changed (conditioned) air indoors. If the air entering your home is carrying pollen, it could eventually circulate around the house and cause allergic symptoms. Maintain a sizable buffer around the exterior condenser tank so your home can breathe clean air too.

Keep your HVAC system up-to-date on its maintenance schedule. This is our top HVAC tip for springtime air purification and allergy prevention. Professional maintenance performed on your home’s ventilation system - in which we clean ductwork, check for leaks, improve airflow and ensure optimum A/C operating efficiency - is arguably the most effective way to keep allergies and asthma at bay.

Call Lanz Heating & Cooling Inc. today for an allergy-alleviating appointment. With high-performance ventilation and indoor air quality equipment regularly maintained by the premier professional HVAC company, serving Champaign-Urbana and the Central Illinois counties of Douglas, Ford, Piatt, McLean and Iroquois, you’ll keep your HVAC system and all its components running so your nose isn’t.

Please request an in-home HVAC appointment (or ask a question) through our website at LanzInc.com/contact, or call 217-355-5512 or 1-800-AIR-REPAIR. Lanz Heating & Cooling Inc. is proud to provide award-winning residential and commercial HVAC and plumbing services in Champaign-Urbana, Danville, Oakwood, Bondville, Pesotum, Savoy, Rantoul, Mahomet, Sidney, St. Joseph, Fisher and Gibson City IL since 2002.

Posted in Latest News

Top Five Signs It’s Time for a New Residential HVAC Unit

Posted On May 15th, 2019 by Omnispear Developers



Your in-home HVAC system is an investment in your family’s comfort. It’s a miracle of modern technology that keeps the air in your Central Illinois home warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and clean all year long.

But that HVAC system is a complex machine with many moving parts, and eventually all machines must be replaced. As we visit customers’ residences all around Champaign, Douglass, Ford and Piatt counties, one of the questions we hear most is,

“So how much longer you think this thing’s got?”

Good question. Is the heating and air conditioning equipment in your home on its last gasp? When do you, as a proactive homeowner, know the time is right to invest in a total replacement of your home’s heating/cooling/ventilation systems?

Here we present the Top Five Signs It’s Time for a New HVAC System:

Sign #1: It’s noisy.

Bangs, clanks, groans, and loud droning hums are no sounds for a proper HVAC installation to be making. Components like motors, fans and blowers should kick on and run smoothly with little to no noise. If you hear strange noises coming from your home’s air conditioning equipment, those could indicate that parts are wearing out and components may start to fail.

Sign #2: It’s constantly running.

Hey, wait a minute - didn’t the A/C unit just crank up a little bit ago? And now it’s revving up again? When HVAC units run for a long time - or when they frequently spin up and turn off only to crank back up again - they’re unable to produce and circulate enough conditioned air to keep the building they’re cooling at the desired temperature. The solution is a total overhaul of the HVAC system, or a complete replacement.

Sign #3: It’s less and less time between repairs.

It’s highly recommended that every 12 months, you hire certified, licensed professionals like Lanz Heating & Cooling Inc. to perform regular routine maintenance on your home’s entire HVAC system from furnace to vents. Annual maintenance will help your heating and A/C units stay efficient and last longer.

But, if you experience multiple major HVAC repairs in the same year-long span - whether or not the system has been on a regular maintenance schedule - then the decision becomes a financial one: Should you spend money on repair bills, or invest in a newly installed HVAC unit? In the long run, buying new is usually preferable to repairing constantly.

Sign #4: It’s a bit musty in here.

If your home’s air is dusty, moldy or more humid than you want, that means your HVAC system can’t perform its job well enough to ensure your comfort. (This is especially a problem for folks suffering from allergies or asthma.) If mold, fungi and other allergens are invading the airspace in your home, then a new HVAC system is absolutely the correct decision. Poor air quality is a serious health risk - and improving your home’s indoor air quality is one of the top areas of expertise for Lanz Heating & Cooling Inc.

Sign #5: It’s old.

If your HVAC system was installed more than 10 years ago (or if you don’t remember when it was put in), then you should definitely consider investing in a new HVAC installation before a major component like the primary motor, compressor or condenser coil dies of old age - or simply isn’t up to the task anymore.

Old machinery means less efficiency. Modern A/C equipment comes with Energy Star ratings for maximum energy-efficiency, whereas older systems may not. Additionally, HVAC units manufactured today use R-410A Puron as a refrigerant, instead of R-22 Freon. This is because the newer stuff deals better with extreme heat and pressure, reducing the chances of cracking and overheating.

Please request an in-home HVAC appointment (or ask a question) through our website at LanzInc.com/contact, or call 217-355-5512 or 1-800-AIR-REPAIR. Lanz Heating & Cooling Inc. is proud to provide award-winning residential and commercial HVAC and plumbing services in Champaign-Urbana, Danville, Oakwood, Bondville, Pesotum, Savoy, Rantoul, Mahomet, Sidney, St. Joseph, Fisher and Gibson City IL since 2002.

Posted in Latest News

Air Quality Matters: How Your Home’s HVAC System Affects the Air You Breathe

Posted On May 8th, 2019 by Omnispear Developers



We are lucky to live here in Champaign County IL, because across all Central Illinois we are blessed to breathe plenty of fresh, clean Midwestern air - at least outside we are. The air indoors - in homes and office buildings - could be a completely different story, especially if your HVAC equipment and systems are old or outdated.

Take a nice deep breath... and keep in mind that every time you inhale, you’re getting a lot more than oxygen and nitrogen. You’re also breathing in airborne microscopic particles, things like dirt, soot. and pollen as well as other types of pollution we’d rather not think about. Common pollutants, aerosols and irritants which negatively affect indoor air quality include:

  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Smoke
  • Pet dander
  • Dust mites
  • Bacteria
  • Pesticides
  • Radon
  • Household cleaning chemicals
  • Building materials (asbestos, formaldehyde, lead, etc.)

Indoor air quality (IAQ) matters to your family’s health. It’s so important that the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA.org) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have an entire section of its website devoted to the topic (EPA.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq).

Poor air quality in a building is a very serious medical concern for young children, elderly persons, chronically ill individuals and anyone with a weakened or compromised immune system. The World Health Organization estimated that in 2012, some 7 million deaths worldwide could be attributed to constantly breathing bad air. This is an especially terrible problem in Third-World regions, but poor indoor air quality harms those of us in First-World countries, like the United States, too. In the HVAC business the term “Sick Building Syndrome” refers to situations where nearly everyone who spends much time inside a particular building gets sick. Sometimes the offending culprit can’t be identified - but poor air quality is a top cause in many cases.

Do you have a high IAQ? Smart homeowners and property managers keep their HVAC and A/C systems on a regular maintenance schedule. This ensures that your air conditioning equipment - which plays a critical role in cleaning up your indoor air - is doing the best job possible for your family.

Lanz Heating & Cooling is here to help. Clean, pure, healthy indoor air quality is as important to good health as eating right and exercising regularly. Trust your local experts on residential and commercial indoor air quality. Check out our special IAQ- improvement services at LanzInc.com/indoor-air-quality and give us a call (217-355-5512) or send us a message (LanzInc.com/contact) to make your next HVAC appointment.

Since 2002, Lanz Inc. has been proud to help people in homes, offices and places of business around Champaign-Urbana and Piatt, McLean, Iroquois, Ford, Vermilion and Douglas counties to breathe the freshest, best air possible.

About Lanz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing: Founded by HVAC contracting veteran Troy Lanz of Illinois, in 2002, Lanz Inc. has grown in number of employees and services offered to the homeowners and commercial businesses of Champaign County, Il. Lanz Inc. now employs more than 80 highly qualified professionals providing certified installations, repairs and maintenance of heating and cooling systems, heat pumps, air  handlers, dehumidifiers, humidifiers, indoor air quality control systems, ductless split systems and geothermal solutions, plus cleaning of drains, vents and air ducts. Ask about our Comfort Club. Please call Lanz Inc. at 217-355-5512 and connect with Lanz Inc. on the web at www.LanzInc.com.

Posted in Latest News