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3 Reasons to Call a Plumber Instead of Making Repairs Yourself

Plumbing repair in Champaign-Urbana, IL is sometimes attempted by enterprising do-it-yourselfers hoping to save a little money. Sadly, most efforts ultimately end up costing more than they save. In all but the most benign cases, you’re usually better off bringing in a professional. Here are 3 reasons to call a plumber instead of making repairs yourself.

  • Know-how
    Even the most prolific do-it-yourselfer has usually only handled a tiny handful of plumbing problems in his or her life. Professional plumbers, on the other hand, deal with hundreds of different problems on a regular basis. That means they can identify the problem sooner and correct it more efficiently than a layman. Speed and efficiency are often worth a few extra dollars in the grand scheme of things.
  • Equipment
    Plumbers have the professional-grade tools necessary to handle tasks that are far beyond the capability of store-bought wrenches and plungers.
  • Reliability
    If something goes wrong while you’re making repairs yourself, you have to shoulder any additional costs and time allocation, which can turn a relatively simple job into an unending nightmare. A good plumbing service spells out all costs in advance, and often guarantees their work. That means there’s no unexpected surprises, and the insurance required by licensed plumbers means that both they and you are protected from the unexpected.

Above all, calling a plumber instead of making repairs yourself means peace of mind and the avoidance of a whole lot of hassle, something even the most adamant do-it-yourselfer will admit is worth quite a bit. Plumbing services in Champaign-Urbana, IL doesn’t get more reliable than it does with the experts at Lanz Heating & Cooling. We stand by our work with an ironclad guarantee and we’re completely dedicated to your happiness at every step. If you have a plumbing problem, don’t take the chance of trying to fix it yourself. Give us a call today and let us show you what a professional can do!

Does It Matter When You Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance?

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.

Consider Replacing Your Old Air Conditioning System

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.

3 Reasons to Hire a Professional for Dryer Vent Cleaning

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.

3 Reasons to Hire a Professional Plumber

If you encounter a clog in a sink, what should you do? Hopefully, you have a sink plunger on hand, and you can use that to attempt to clear away the clog. Sometimes, this will be enough. But what should you do if it isn’t? If you know that you shouldn’t use chemical drain cleaners (and you shouldn’t), do you hunt out a tool belt stocked with wrenches, crawl under the sink, and try to detach the pipes to get at the mysterious and obstinate blockage? Or call a friend who’s handy with these sorts of jobs?

No… you should call a professional plumber! In fact, beyond any job as simple as clearing out a clog using a plunger, you should always call professional plumbers for any issue in your plumbing system. There’s no shortage of plumbers available, but make sure you call one with experience and commitment to excellence. Lanz Heating & Cooling has more than a decade of work helping residents of Champaign-Urbana, IL with plumbing trouble, and we take pride in the quality of service we provide.

Here are 3 reasons to rely on professional plumbers

  1. Equipment: Plumbers have the professional-grade tools necessary to handle tasks that are far beyond the capability of store-bought wrenches and plungers.
  2. Speed: Professional plumbers work every day on home plumbing. For most repairs that will require you call a plumber, he or she has probably already done the same job three times that week. Professionals can get work done far faster than any amateur without needing to rush. With skilled plumbers, you’ll have the work finished quickly and without worry that it was done poorly.
  3. Cost: Yes, it’s less expensive to go with a professional plumber than to try to do the work on your own or call on amateurs. Trying to perform repairs without proper training will often lead to larger plumbing issues, and you will need to call on the professionals eventually anyway—only now they will have a more expensive job to take care of. Mistakes in plumbing can also lead to flooding and water damage in your house. Save yourself the risks of astronomical repair costs and call the experts in from the start.

There are many more reasons that you should turn to trusted and licensed plumbers for fixing your plumbing in Champaign-Urbana, IL. Find out for yourself the difference that trained professionals make the next time you have leaks, high water pressure, drain clogs, or any other plumbing trouble: call Lanz Heating & Cooling.

Why Are Commercial Air Conditioning Systems Located on the Roof?

Even people who don’t work in commercial buildings know that the majority of businesses have their HVAC systems located on the roof. (At the very least, people have seen action movies with foot chases and shoot-outs on the top of buildings where the characters use rooftop AC cabinets for shelter from opposing gunfire.) But why are the HVAC units for businesses located up there—aside from providing cover for action scenes in movies? There are some interesting reasons, and we’ll look at a few of them in this post.

Commercial HVAC systems need specialized work that goes far beyond the domain of amateurs or even professionals with residential comfort training. To protect your business’ comfort during summer, call on services for commercial air conditioning in Ogden, IL from Lanz Heating & Cooling. We are a trustworthy source for excellent HVAC repairs and maintenance for businesses.

Why you find most commercial ACs on rooftops

The great workhorses of the commercial HVAC world are packaged rooftop units, which combine heating and cooling in one convenient cabinet. Larger businesses will have more than one unit on the roof, working together to provide sufficient cooling in the summer and heating in the winter that will keep employees and customers happy.

In the earliest days of commercial air conditioning, only buildings in major downtown areas were equipped with cooling. The layout of U.S. cities in those days (pre-World War II) pressed commercial buildings close to each other, as we can still see in the older downtown sections of Chicago. There simply was no space to place the large cabinets for air conditioners—except up on the roof. So the rooftop unit started as a basic expediency.

But when U.S. cities began to expand and more commercial buildings moved into the suburbs, the rooftop unit remained as the system of choice. They look more visually appealing removed from the public areas around a building, and permit a better use of floor space. Rooftop units are also more convenient for repair and maintenance technicians to access, and they can do so without disturbing workflow. The tradition that started out of necessity because of the nature of U.S. cities has turned into the ideal way to position HVAC systems.

No matter where the air conditioning system in your business is located, you must have specialists in commercial HVAC take care of the necessary repair work. When you call on Lanz Heating & Cooling to handle your commercial air conditioning in Ogden, IL, you’ll receive top level repair and maintenance work from technicians with excellent training. You can reach us 24 hours a day whenever you need help to keep your business comfortable and your workers, customers, and clients happy. Give us a call today.

Stages of Geothermal System Installation

Geothermal systems are an innovative way of heating and cooling your home, drawing upon the ambient temperature of the earth itself to do the job. Once you get down past five or six feet under the ground, the temperature of the earth doesn’t change, which the system can use to facilitate a heat exchange. Tubes are planted beneath the ground, and a water and antifreeze solution is pumped through it. In the summer, the tubes pull heat from your home and release it into the ground. In the winter, they pull heat from the ground and bring it into your home. It’s very efficient and environmentally friendly, and here in St. Joseph IL, geothermal systems make a lot of sense. But before you pull the trigger on a new system, you should understand the basic stages of geothermal system installation. We’ve provided a basic outline below.

  • The technician surveys your property and plans out the placement of the system: usually either horizontal (spreading the tubes out across a wide, shallow field), vertical (sinking the tubes beneath a single deep shaft, in cases where you don’t have a lot of property space), or water-based (in cases where you have a pond or similar body of water on your property).
  • The technician excavates the land where the tubes will go, digging holes (and grouting the sides in the case of vertical installations) then digging a trench back to your home.
  • The technician installs a water-to-water heat pump inside your home, providing the energy required to pump the mixture through the tubes and disperse the warm or cool air through your home.
  • The technician lays out the tubing in the holes, usually in coils, and then attaches them to your pump inside the home.
  • The technician tests the system to make sure it works and then buries the tubes by filling in the holes and trenches.

Every home is different, which means that the stages of geothermal system installation could very slightly from case to case. That’s what you should talk to the experts at Lanz Heating & Cooling before proceeding. Geothermal installation services in St. Joseph, IL don’t get more reliable, and we’ll discuss every step without before performing the operation with courtesy and care. Pick up the phone and give us a call today!

Common Repairs for Toilets

Few appliances in your home see heavier use than toilets, and when something goes wrong, you need to get the problem fixed as quickly as possible. The good news is that toilets are comparatively simple devices, so repairing them can usually take place quickly. The bad news is that when problems do arise, you typically need a professional to take care of them properly.  In Seymour, IL, bathroom plumbing services handle common repairs for toilets all the time. The more you can be prepared for them, the faster you can react when they arise.

Common repairs for toilets can include, but are not limited to the following.

  • Leaks. Leaks often occur at the line between the toilet and the rest of the plumbing system. A good repairman can replace the line without too much difficulty. In some cases, however, it’s more serious: there’s a crack in the tank or in the toilet bowl itself. In such cases, it’s usually best to simply replace the entire toilet, rather than try to patch the crack.
  • Phantom flushes. When the flapper valve corrodes or the refill tube has trouble, it can create a sudden draining and refilling of the water. These “phantom” flushes can cost you a lot of money in higher water bills and increase strain on the other components of your toilet. The valve or line needs to be replaced before it will function as normal.
  • Slow to refill. A toiler that is slow to refill can be extremely annoying, running for far longer than it should. This usually indicates a problem with the shutoff valve – either with the valve itself, or with something blocking it in some way – and can be corrected by replacing the valve or removing the blockage.

Regardless of the cause of the problem, you need a trained plumber to handle it appropriately. Bathroom plumbing and other plumbing services in Seymour, IL can be provided by Lanz Heating & Cooling. We have the proper skills to identify the problem and resolve it smoothly, while treating your home with the utmost respect in the process. If you need common repairs for toilets, or even not-so-common repairs, pick up the phone and give us a call today!

What is the Condensate Pan?

Here in Danville, IL, air conditioning repair services are accustomed to handling all kinds of issues. Among the more common are problems with the condensate pan, which can be surprisingly problematic when they arise. What is the condensate pan and what kind of trouble is associated with it? We’ve included a brief discussion below.

As your air conditioner cools the air, the moisture in it coalesces into beads of condensation on the evaporator coils. (The process is similar to the creation of dew on your lawn in the early hours of the morning.) The condensate pan exists to remove that moisture from the system safely. As the condensation drips down, it falls into the pan. A drain line attached to the pan removes the liquid, keeping electronic components and similar parts of the system safe from shorts or water damage.

Normally, a condensate pan works just fine: it’s simple and doesn’t involve any complicated parts that can break down on you. That doesn’t mean it can’t suffer damage, however. Clogs in the drain line will cause it to overflow, as will a crack in the pan or even just the pan becoming misaligned. In addition, pans can overflow due to problems with other parts of the system. For instance, if refrigerant levels are low, then ice will form on the evaporator coils. When it melts, it could quickly fill up the pan faster than the melted water can drain out of it.

The result of such issues is invariably the same. Overflowing condensation will damage or short out other components in the air conditioner, and suddenly a comparatively minor repair takes on serious proportions. Some air conditioners have a safety feature: a floater switch that shuts the system off when the water rises too high. But even then, you’ll still need to correct the problem with the condensate pan before the system will function again.

Air conditioning repair services in Danville, IL like the folks at Lanz Heating & Cooling can resolve your problems quickly and efficiently. We treat issues with the condensate pan on a regular basis, and can replace a defunct one if a repair isn’t feasible. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!

3 Things You Need to Know about Geothermal Cooling

Are you giving serious consideration to installing geothermal cooling as your next option for home air conditioning? Good for you: geothermal is a growing field for home comfort that not only benefits you, but also benefits the environment with emission-free performance and use of renewable energy.

You are probably already aware that going geothermal is a large choice, and the installation work is more extensive and will take longer than that of a standard home comfort system. Make sure that you rely on the geothermal experts in Champaign, IL at Lanz Heating & Cooling to help you with this process. We will make sure that geothermal cooling is the right choice for your home, and then provide you with excellent installation that will ensure your new system works well for many years.

Here are three important facts you need to know about geothermal cooling:

1. Geothermal Cooling is Also Geothermal Heating

When you invest in geothermal comfort for your home, you are receiving heating as well as cooling. Geothermal systems are ground-source heat pumps, which means like heat pumps they can move heat both out of your home (air conditioning) and into your home (heating). However, they use the stable heat of the earth as the medium for exchange, unlike air-source heat pumps. Because of the reliable ground temperature 10 ft. beneath the surface, you never have to worry about a ground-source heat pump turning inefficient during the winter.

2. Geothermal Systems Will Save You Money in the Long-Term

Some homeowners shy away from geothermal installation because of the higher initial price tag. However, the efficient performance of geothermal heat pumps means they will start paying back their costs almost immediately. The U.S. EPA estimates that a geothermal system will return its installation investment in 5–10 years. The longevity of a geothermal heat pump (the underground coils can last more than 50 years!) means you will have plenty of time to reap the benefits of its energy-saving properties.

Geothermal Systems Use Different Ground Loop Configurations to Fit Your Property

One of the restrictions of geothermal heat pumps is that they need enough space for their underground coils in order to work. Fortunately, there is more than one configuration for the ground loops to make it easier to fit them for different properties. The common set-up is horizontal loops buried 6–10 ft. below the ground. However, deeper vertical loops are common when there is less space available. Either configuration will deliver the quality performance you need from the system.
The technicians at Lanz Heating & Cooling are ready to help you discover the best way to supply your home with the efficient and long-lasting power of geothermal in Champaign, IL. Give us a call today to find out more about how geothermal systems operate and your other options for energy-saving home comfort.