Spring Tips for Summer Comfort

Posted On June 15th, 2018 by Lanz HVAC

Make Sure Your Outdoor HVAC Unit Can Stand the Heat

Homeowners know that we’re in a crucial period of the year. These beautiful, comfortable spring months of May and June only mean that the dog days of summer are on the horizon... So your home’s air conditioning and ventilation systems need to be up to the job!

When inspecting HVAC systems as those warm summer days approach, we often see issues that can be resolved or even prevented by the homeowner! Although we’d love to make an appointment to meet regarding your residential or commercial A/C, we would like you to consider a few tips before you call your local friendly HVAC company for routine maintenance or a yearly inspection of your entire system.

Step outside and take a look for yourself! You might be able to save yourself a big headache (and an even bigger HVAC repair or replacement bill) by simply taking advantage of these pleasant spring mornings out in the yard for a do-it-yourself home service inspection.

This spring, let’s take a look at the external equipment that, if properly maintained, will keep the air in your home nice and cool this summer.

Here are some of our Top HVAC Tips for maintaining your outdoor air conditioning equipment - just in time for summer:

— Keep bushes, branches, brush, shrubs, trees, plants - all vegetation away from your outdoor HVAC unit (that big block sitting outside your house that cranks up its fan every now and then). This is called a condenser coil and it’s what keeps the air in your home (office, business, etc.) in check, in both temperature and humidity during the summer and the winter.

If the airflow into your HVAC condenser coil is obstructed or constricted by plant life or stray debris, the unit has to work extra hard, your energy bill goes through the roof and the system runs hotter than it should, potentially causing burnout and failure.

Avoid an expensive repair bill before the hot summer months.

Trim back bushes, trees, and shrubs at least 12 inches - preferably 18 - from your outdoor HVAC unit.

— Make sure all pipes and valves connecting the HVAC condenser coil to your home are tight, fast and dry. Remove brush, backyard toys or anything else that may have fallen on or against the piping.

— With a garden hose, spray a soft jet of water all over your outside HVAC unit, from top to bottom and every side (We emphasize, not too hard! Pressure washing the condenser coil could damage the thin fins that protect it).

— The moment the weather turns spring-like, pollen, grass, and dirt start to collect around the coil. This means less air can reach the coil, increasing energy usage and potentially burning out your HVAC compressor entirely, which requires an expensive emergency replacement to avoid catastrophe in the oncoming heat of summer.

— Look closely at the fins which cage the coil; Dents, tears or holes could introduce pollen, bugs, detritus and other unwanted contaminants into your HVAC system. With great care (and ONLY with electrical power to the unit turned OFF!) you can use a butter knife to straighten the protective fins.

— Get regular professional maintenance checks for your entire residential or commercial air conditioning system. The fact of the matter is today’s home comfort equipment is exceedingly complex. It is a series of unique machines, and each machine has to run smoothly on its own, along with all the other machines - and what’s more, the connections between them have to be reliable at all times as well. Before too long, your HVAC checkup might no longer be a DIY job.

Give us a call for a whole-system maintenance check of your all-important heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

Get it done during this lovely spring weather, before the heat of summer sets in and you’re stuck with a very unhappy (and expensive) surprise.

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3 Reasons to Hire a Professional for Dryer Vent Cleaning

Posted On April 12th, 2017 by Lanz HVAC

Everybody knows how to clean the lint trap in their dryers after every load. It helps keep the system clean and prevents the dryer from overheating. But anything that escapes the trap ends up in the dryer vent, which sends damp air form the interior of the dryer outside of your home. Over time, that lint can build up, creating a serious problem. Even if you disregard the fire hazard, a blocked vent will keep damp air in your dryer and decrease its efficiency. Sadly, cleaning the dryer vent takes a little more than cleaning the lint trap does, and if you want it done properly, you usually need a professional. Here in Champaign-Urbana, IL, dryer vent cleaning can be performed by the same service that handles air conditioning and heating ducts. Here are 3 reasons to hire a professional for dryer vent cleaning.

  • Know-how. Cleaning the dryer vent means moving your dryer, which involves disconnecting it from the gas or electrical lines. Chances are you haven’t performed such an operation more than once or twice in your life at most. But a trained service technician handles such issues every day, and knows how to perform the operation without damaging any of your equipment. That’s worth a little extra money to ensure the problem gets treated right.
  • Insurance. Along those lines, if you try to clean the vent yourself and end up damaging some component of the system, you’re on the hook for the additional costs. A professional, on the other hand, is bonded and insured – for his protection as much as yours – which means that damage like that is covered.
  • Equipment. Cleaning the vent takes more than a store-bought wet-dry vac. Specialized equipment makes the job much easier, but only trained professionals have the skills to use it properly.

For more reasons to hire a professional for dryer vent cleaning, or to schedule a cleaning for your home, contact the experts at Lanz Heating & Cooling for help. Dryer vent cleaning is a standard service, and we have the skills and experience to do the job right. Call us today to set up an appointment and let us show you what we can do! We also specialize in a variety of indoor air quality services such as duct cleaning in Champaign-Urbana, IL.

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Consider Replacing Your Old Air Conditioning System

Posted On April 12th, 2017 by Lanz HVAC

During the last weeks before summer arrives, homeowners should take time to evaluate their air conditioning systems to make sure they are ready to handle the amount of work they must do to combat the coming heat. Part of evaluating an AC is asking the tough question: Has the time come to replace it?

Modern air conditioners have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years, depending on the model. As an AC enters the later years of that range, replacement becomes a viable alternative to the costs of continued maintenance and repairs. Choosing to install a new system is a big step, but often a necessary one.

Our technicians at Lanz Heating & Cooling have years of experience with air conditioning replacement in Champaign-Urbana, IL, and they have some bits of advice about when it’s time to schedule new installation as the most cost-effective option.

When “repair or replace?” becomes “replace”

If you air conditioner is 15 years or older, you should have it replaced even if it still seems to work well in most respects. The chances of it declining rapidly are high at this point: 15 years is more strain than even the most well-maintained AC can handle. The inevitable aging will soon take hold of the compressor—the most vital component—and when the compressor dies, the system will go with it. Planning for replacement is preferable to requiring an emergency replacement.

There is another benefit to a “pre-emptive” replacement of an aging yet still functioning air conditioner: the advantages of the high efficiency models now available. A new system will probably work 10-20% more energy-efficiently than your older system ever did. Think of it in this light: you have already received a bargain from your air conditioner because of its long life; now you can start receiving even more savings from a new system.

If your air conditioner has started to malfunction frequently and elevate your power bills, than you should have it replaced even if it hasn’t reached the outer edge of its estimated lifespan. A good benchmark for repairs: if you must spend more than $500 a year to keep the system running, it should be replaced. If your electricity bills show a steady rise each year because of the air conditioning system—such as a 5% increase—that no repairs or maintenance seems to change, then you should also replace the system before it becomes a major money waster.

Schedule new installation

Replacing and old AC doesn’t have to be an enormous burden for you. Call professional installers to help you decide on a new system, and then rely on them to remove your old AC and correctly hook up the new one so it works without flaws.

Lanz Heating & Cooling has more than a decade doing air conditioning replacement in Champaign-Urbana, IL. We also offer free estimates on new installations, so call us right away to get your AC replaced.

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Does It Matter When You Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance?

Posted On April 12th, 2017 by Lanz HVAC

For an air conditioner to work its best, avoid unnecessary repairs, and continue running for many years, it must have maintenance from a professional once a year. During a maintenance visit, a technician performs checks and tests on the AC; adjusts and cleans it; and takes any steps needed to keep the system functioning at its peak ability.

Most HAVC repair services advise homeowners to schedule AC maintenance during spring, and the maintenance for their heater during fall. But does it really make that much a difference when you schedule maintenance?

The answer is: yes and no. We’ll explain what we mean.

Whenever you decide to schedule your air conditioning maintenance in Champaign-Urbana, IL, make sure you have Lanz Heating & Cooling handle the job. We put professionalism first in all our work.

Yes, It Matters When You Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance

Spring truly is an ideal time to have your AC maintenance done, for two reasons. First, it puts you in a good position with your system right before the time when you’ll need it the most, the summer. You’ll still have time to schedule any serious repairs, but you’ll also have the maintenance work done near enough to the hot season that you should have few worries about system degradation before the first blazing day arrives.

Second, spring is a less busy time for HVAC companies: they are between the emergency calls of winter and summer. You should have little problem finding a convenient date to have the maintenance work done during spring.

No, It Doesn’t Matter When You Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance

The important thing about AC maintenance is that it gets done, period. Ultimately, if your air conditioner is overdue for maintenance, the time of year makes no difference: you should schedule it right away. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall… it’s never the wrong time for maintenance when the system hasn’t received it in over a year. And it’s never too late to re-start with maintenance, no matter how many years have passed since it was last done.

Annual Maintenance is Mandatory

Without regular maintenance on your air conditioner, you can expect…

  • …to pay higher electrical bills.
  • …the system to need more repairs.
  • …abrupt, uncomfortable breakdowns.
  • …a shortened lifespan for the system.

So for air conditioning services in Champaign-Urbana, IL, the right time to schedule it is now. Call Lanz Heating & Cooling today and arrange for your annual visit so you’ll get the most from your AC this year.

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