Posted On April 1st, 2019 by Lanz HVAC

It’s springtime in Illinois! You might not know it yet, with temperatures still getting down around freezing at night, but the calendar doesn’t lie - winter is over and spring is here. Warmer weather in Champaign County, IL is just around the corner.

While you and your family are definitely ready for it – your home’s air comfort system may not be. What should you do to ensure your A/C unit can take the heat? A little spring cleaning of your home’s HVAC system may be in order.

Follow these easy tips to prepare your air conditioning equipment and components for those sunny spring days on the horizon:

Spring Cleaning Tip 1: Dust surfaces (tables, mantels, countertops, picture frames), clean windows and window sills, vacuum carpets to the edges, and mop the kitchen and bathroom floors.

This sounds like a ubiquitous spring cleaning task, but it’s wonderful preventive maintenance for your home’s HVAC components. The key is to be thorough! Clean the stovetop in your kitchen. Dust off the blade tops of all ceiling fans. Wipe down the bathroom fan blades. Beat the dust out of sofa cushions. The more dirt and dust you remove, the less will reach your home’s A/C system and your family’s lungs.

Spring Cleaning Tip 2: Swap out the air or furnace filter.

It can be easy to forget to change the HVAC filter every couple months – and even more often during times of heavy  usage of the home’s heating and cooling systems. A dirty filter allows particulate matter (dust, dirt, mold spores, allergens, etc.) to enter the home’s air circulation, causing more problems than it helps - especially if anyone in the household suffers from asthma or allergies. For clean air quality and efficient energy usage, make sure the filter is nice and new.

Spring Cleaning Tip 3: Keep weeds, plants, branches, grass clippings, debris and other hindrances from encroaching on the outdoor A/C unit.

Maintain a buffer of 24 unfettered inches in every direction from your HVAC system’s outdoor condenser and, if your home is equipped with one, its heat pump. With a soft, gentle spray of water, use a garden hose to rinse the coils surrounding the condenser. Doing this allows for airflow to be smooth, consistent, and clean when it reaches the house’s HVAC intake.

Spring Cleaning Tip 4: Hire a professional HVAC contractor to clean out ducts and ductwork and perform a Spring Maintenance Checkup.

No doubt, this is the most important spring cleaning tip. A modern HVAC system contains a myriad of component parts - ducts, valves, electronics, sensors, pumps, not to mention the furnace inside and the condenser outside. Like any machine, your home’s HVAC equipment performs best with regular inspections and tune-ups. Keep it in top shape by calling Lanz Inc. for a springtime appointment.

Using these tips, some elbow grease and regular in-home maintenance checkups by Lanz Heating & Cooling, your HVAC system will be in the best shape to handle whatever the Spring brings.

For professional spring cleaning of your home’s A/C unit, vents, pipes and entire HVAC system - inside and outside - please call Lanz Heating & Cooling Inc. In Champaign-Urbana, Oakwood, Bondville, St. Joseph, Danville, Fisher, Savoy, Rantoul, Mahomet and Gibson City IL, we invite you to visit LanzInc.com/contact - or phone Lanz anytime at 217-355-5512 or 1-800-AIR-REPAIR to make an appointment and ask questions about our residential HVAC and home air quality services.

Posted in Latest News

Between the Seasons: How to Handle Your Home’s HVAC System During Up-and-Down Temps

Posted On March 24th, 2019 by Lanz HVAC

We just passed the vernal equinox - when Winter is done and spring has sprung - as we write this Lanz Heating & Cooling blogpost in our hometown of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois…and as usual this time of year in Central Illinois, the weather can’t make up its mind. Warm? Cold? How about both in the same day?

One night the temperature can be in the 20s, and the next day rise into the 60s. This is life in the Great Midwest. We’re used to wild temperature swings from day-to-day, or even day-to-night, when it’s changing seasons like it is now. But homeowners in Champaign, Piatt, Douglas, Ford, McLean, Iroquois and Vermilion County know that volatile temps can put a home’s Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems to the test.

So, how can your family stay consistently comfortable when outside the mercury is rising and falling like a yo-yo...while still keeping your energy costs reasonable? Since 2002 when we opened for business in the residential HVAC service industry, Lanz Heating & Cooling has pretty much seen it all. In this blog we’d like to pass along a few smart tips to stay comfortable between the seasons:

Use a programmable thermostat. Quoting from our own blogpost Wintertime HVAC FAQs: Keeping Your Home Warm For the Holidays: “Installing and programming an automatic [programmable] thermostat is a high-tech, proven way to control your home’s temperature on an hourly basis, letting you save energy (therefore money) while everyone stays comfortable at peak times of the day.”

A programmable thermostat is a big help when temps might approach 70° by day and sink into the 30s overnight. If your home is equipped with one, program your thermostat to raise the house temperature two or three degrees when it’s warm, but then lower it a couple notches when it’s cool. (This is generally an excellent energy-efficiency tip, any time of year.)

Mind the gaps. Your home is a fortress against the elements - at least, to some extent. A well-insulated house is like a large heat-trapping box. Look into whether your home needs additional insulation in the attic and exterior walls, as well as sufficient weather-stripping around doors and windows.

Keep your HVAC system in top shape. A few measures homeowners can take to help their HVAC units perform at peak potential:

  • Keep branches, leaves, toys, debris, etc., off and away from the outside condenser coil, housed within that big block bolted outside your house.
  • Swap out any filters - air filter, furnace filter - in your HVAC system’s indoor components.
  • Dust off the intake registers and keep vents clear.
  • Call Lanz Heating & Cooling at 1-800-AIR-REPAIR to keep your HVAC working on a regular maintenance schedule - or when anything doesn’t sound, feel or smell right with your home’s heating and air conditioning systems.

All of us at Lanz Heating & Cooling Inc. wish everyone a happy and comfortable Spring. Please give us a call whenever it’s time for a regular maintenance checkup of your home’s A/C unit and HVAC system, or if your air-quality systems aren’t performing like they should. Request an in-home HVAC appointment or ask us a question through our website at LanzInc.com/contact. In Champaign-Urbana, Danville, Oakwood, Bondville, Savoy, Rantoul, Mahomet, St. Joseph, Fisher and Gibson City IL, phone Lanz anytime at 217-355-5512 or 1-800-AIR-REPAIR.

Posted in Latest News

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