Top 5 Home Heating Problems To Avoid This Winter

Posted On January 3rd, 2019 by Lanz HVAC




Winter is here! With Illinois winters come frigid temperatures in the 20s and 30s, sometimes lower, and usually no small amount of snow. Winter around Champaign County means plenty of time spent indoors in the company of family, some favorite electronic devices and your trusty HVAC heating system.

But how do homeowners know if their home’s heater is really up to to the task? What could be wrong with your HVAC system this winter, and what can be done to prevent being left in the cold? Ignoring the signs of small issues could result in BIG problems later…

Symptoms of an HVAC unit or a heat pump that is NOT up to winter duty include:

  • frequent power-cycling of the furnace unit (turning on and off and on, and so on)
  • noises, such as loud clangs and whistles
  • noticeable loss of heat and uneven distribution of warm air within your home

To make sure our customers are as informed as possible, we have some great tips to share on some of our most frequently seen wintertime HVAC/home-heating problems around Central Illinois, so folks might know better whether their heater can beat the winter weather.

Issue No. 1: Frozen pipes, coils and valves.

When the outside temperature falls below the freezing point of water (32 degrees Fahrenheit at sea-level pressure), your HVAC system’s network of pipes, valves and coils freezes too. When water can’t flow, steam radiators and other hydronic systems fail, and heating stops. Ice can expand and burst pipes. To prevent, drain pipes of all water before the first freezing night, as well as other standard winterizing tasks.

Issue No. 2: Malfunctioning or underperforming heat pump.

If your home relies on an outdoor heat pump, that external apparatus sits exposed to winter’s worst elements. Heavy snow, ice and frost can block coils and bust mechanical parts. Take advantage of the heat pump’s automatic defrosting features, or make sure frost does not accumulate on the unit.

Issue No. 3: Dirty heater filters and restricted airflow.

In winter, people tend to run their heating systems full-blast. Extended usage causes buildup of dust, dirt and debris within vents and air ducts, and on fans and motors. Keep a clean HVAC filter by changing or cleaning it monthly, and don’t forget to have the system’s ductwork professionally cleaned.

Issue No. 4: Broken ignition system and extinguished or insufficient pilot light.

The pilot light is the small gas-powered flame in the center of your heating unit that essentially keeps your heater heating. If for any reason it goes out or weakens - due to a damaged sensor, for example - your home’s HVAC will suddenly put out far less heat.

Issue No. 5: Broken, miscalibrated or faulty thermostat.

Aging electronic circuitry has been known to cause HVAC systems to put out incorrect levels of heat. Loose wiring, rusted connections and other electrical problems should be repaired or replaced for best energy efficiency - as well as temperature certainty.

Special Bonus Pro Tip from the Life-Threatening Category: Carbon monoxide leakages.

To produce heat, many types of heaters make carbon monoxide (CO) as a byproduct. If a heating unit has cracks, rust or other defects, this deadly poisonous yet odorless and tasteless gas could waft undetected by the human nose and be a silent killer.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a rare but tragic occurrence, so keep obstructions from blocking airflow out of kitchens and basements, and always maintain a working CO monitor/detector, preferably on each level of your home.

One of the many amazing benefits of modern first-world living is air-conditioning technology that literally keeps people comfy and warm against the bracing harsh chill of a Midwestern winter. Make sure your HVAC system is up to snuff with a little homeowner care and regular checkups by our expert techs.

Before HVAC problems happen in your home this winter (or when they do) - call Lanz Heating & Cooling Inc. - a proud Illinois company serving Champaign, Piatt, Ford, Vermilion, Douglas, Iroquois and McLean counties - at 217-355-5512 or 1-800-AIR-REPAIR.

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

Wall-To-Wall Warm: Keeping Temps Constant Throughout Your Home This Winter

Posted On December 30th, 2018 by Lanz HVAC




Warm in one room… cold in another! It is a frustrating reality of winter. Hot air rises, cold air sinks so how can you maintain a nice, even, constant, reliable temperature - and enjoy consistent temps throughout your home, throughout the winter?

As experienced HVAC technicians, we are constantly asked by homeowners how they can keep the same temperature going all over their homes, from level to level and from wall to wall. Whether you have a large single-family home, townhouse, duplex, condo, or apartment, here are some tried and true tips to a wall-to-wall warm home.

Make sure your home’s heating, ventilation & air conditioning (HVAC) equipment - from heat pump to thermostat, valves to pipes - has been professionally inspected and winterized. This is not just a call for our service... it is entirely true. Professionals, whether it is us or another qualified HVAC company, can pinpoint inefficiencies which may result in your home’s HVAC not spreading the heat well enough. Pros use highly sensitive pressurization equipment to locate and seal leaks in ductwork joints and fittings.

Unless someone’s going through them, keep exterior doors closed. An open door is a one-way ticket for your warm air generated by your home’s electrically powered HVAC system to fly away. Plus, if outdoors is substantially colder than indoors, the temperature inside will drop even faster. Remind the kids of this common-sense habit.

Have your home’s exterior windows, panes and sills inspected for possible air leaks. In the winter, leaky windows mean lost energy, meaning higher energy costs. Rooms where windows are leaking can be significantly colder, too.

Install more or thicker insulation in attics and exterior walls. A building is only as warm as its walls will allow. If you live in an older home or are unsure when the home’s insulation was last inspected, it’s a good idea to check it out. Otherwise the heating system may need to go into overdrive to make up for the consistently lost heat.

Run ceiling fans at the lowest speed, with blades pushing the air down. Warm air rises and always will. Once it’s as warm as you like it, keep it down where you are and spread it around.

With the sorts of winters we have here Champaign County and Ford, Piatt, Douglas and Vermilion counties, it’s important to your family’s wintertime comfort that your home’s temps not vary too wildly from bedroom to basement.

One of the major functions of your home’s modern HVAC system - the heat pump, the thermostat, the entire complex apparatus - is to help keep a balanced, constant temperature…at your preferred level of comfort…throughout your home. However, Nature being what she is, it isn’t easy. You can help your HVAC system keep your family comfy. Try these tips and see how you and your heating unit can keep your home comfy and isothermic all winter long.

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