Modern technology has taken a turn towards more sustainable ways to power the conveniences that we’ve all become accustomed to over the past few decades. Solar power is definitely one of the top contenders, but did you know there’s an air conditioner in the works that’s powered by outer space? A team of inventors and scientists from Stanford University have begun to develop a device that has the ability to cool buildings as it generates electricity. Talk about high tech!
Massively Reduce the Carbon Footprint
If this outer space AC prototype does indeed become a real purchasable device, it could help massively reduce the carbon footprint of the US. Commercial air conditioners play a major role in carbon emissions so the demand for more sustainable ways to cool on a large scale has never been higher. As climate change slowly heats up our planet, the need for AC units increases, trapping us between a rock and a really hot hard place. If we don’t make some dramatic changes soon, we’re going to be in big trouble.
Harnessing the Power of the Sun…and Space
This super cool device that could save us all, in theory, collects heat from the sun and cold from space simultaneously and uses them in tandem creating an effect called radiative cooling. Using the already utilized element of solar technology mixed with sci-fi space cooling, these Stanford researchers came up with a device fit to blow the minds of even the most hardcore space nerds.
Air Conditioner of the Future
Using radiative cooling could completely change the way we use air conditioning in not only homes but large buildings across the world. Although this piece of technology is years away from public consumption, it gives us hope that one day we’ll be able to help save our planet while still enjoying the type of comfort we’re used to, without any guilt. Here’s to the air conditioner of the future from outer space!
Wireless thermostats have many benefits, most of which make your HVAC system work more effectively while saving you time and money. Let’s look at some of the perks of wireless thermostats.
A wireless thermostat is programmable, meaning you have more control over your heating and cooling systems. You can set the program to have a lower or higher temperature while you’re gone, or at night while you’re sleeping, conserving energy. Having a thermostat that allows you to control it through your smartphone gives you even more say over the temperature of your home. Even if you’ve forgotten to change the program before you’ve left the house for an extended period, like on vacation, you can still change the temp using your smartphone, no matter how far away you are.
With a wireless thermostat, you can receive alerts via email or text when your home reaches a temperature that you’re uncomfortable with. So if you’re on vacation and left the heat off but the temperature outside drops unexpectedly, you can turn your heat on to prevent the pipes from freezing.
A wireless thermostat can send you reports on your energy usage and offer tips on how to conserve energy. For example, if you tend to use more energy at night, your app may suggest turning down your heat a few degrees before bed.
A wireless thermostat can alert you to possible system failures before they happen. Any mechanical problems may be able to be prevented by having your system inspected if the thermostat alerts you to a problem. Preventative maintenance could save you a lot of money in the long run and ensure your HVAC system is always working efficiently.
Have any questions about wireless thermostats or are you ready to upgrade your existing thermostat? Call the experts at L&M Heating and Cooling for an appointment today.
By lessening your carbon footprint, you can do your part to help the environment. You can also lower your energy bills at the same time. Here are some tips to make your HVAC system more environmentally friendly.
Have Your Ductwork Inspected
If your ductwork isn’t sealed correctly, you could be losing up to 25% of your energy. Have a professional HVAC company inspect your ductwork and make any repairs as needed.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
If you have an older thermostat, start thinking about an upgrade. A digital programmable thermostat allows you to set a daily schedule for both your heating and cooling system so that you’re never using energy you don’t need. For example, if you’re at work for 8 hours a day, you can set your thermostat at a low temp during the day and have it warm up shortly before you arrive home. Setting your thermostat 5-10 degrees cooler when you’re not home for hours at a time can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Change Your Filters Regularly
A dirty air filter can restrict the air flow in your HVAC system as well as allow allergens to enter your home. Dirty filters also cause your HVAC system to work harder than it needs to, meaning higher energy costs and unnecessary impact on the environment. Depending on the type of air filters you use, you should be changing them every 30-60 days. Ask your L&M Heating and Cooling tech which air filters are best for your system.
A neglected HVAC system is more likely to develop problems. Having a professional service your system regularly will go a long way to keeping your HVAC system in top shape. A professional tech will be able to spot problems before they cause costly permanent damage.
The best way to keep your HVAC system environmentally friendly is to take care of it. Contact the pros at L&M Cooling for all your HVAC needs.
Air vents can build up layers of dirt and grime over time if neglected, which allows allergens in the air and raises your energy costs, so it’s essential to clean them on a regular basis. To save money, it is possible to clean your air vents yourself in between professional cleanings. Here are some tips on how to clean your air vents yourself.
Make Sure the Power is Off
Before you clean your air vents, make sure to turn off the power source to both your heating and air conditioning system.
Unscrew the Vent Covers
Use a screwdriver to unscrew the vent covers on the floors and using a dish brush or an old toothbrush – scrub the dirt and grime off each grate. A homemade mixture of dish soap, water, and baking soda works great for this, but feel free to use an antibacterial cleaning spray for a deeper clean.
Use a Powerful Vacuum
Once you’ve taken the vent covers off, use the hose attachment of a powerful vacuum to suck up as much dust and dirt as possible from the vents. A rented vacuum might be the best choice since standard household vacuums don’t usually have enough suction to clean vents thoroughly. If your ducts aren’t getting as clean as you like even with a vacuum, or if you notice mold or mildew anywhere inside the vents, call the professionals at L&M Heating and Cooling.
Don’t Forget the Ceiling Vents
Using a broom or a long attachment on your vacuum, be sure to clean the grates on your ceiling as well. Wearing a face mask is a good idea, especially if you are sensitive or have allergies, since dirt and dust particles are sure to fall as you’re cleaning above your head.
Cleaning your air vents is a good way to cut down on allergens in between professional cleanings. If you have any questions about cleaning your air vents, call L&M Heating and Cooling today.
You rely on your furnace to heat your home and keep you and your family warm through the cold winter months. Furnaces have come a long way since the wood burning days, but the most modern changes in the common household furnace have been made in the last decade. Let’s look at how furnaces have progressed in the last ten years.
A furnace in the ’80s used to take up half of your basement. Now, thanks to computer designs and electronic controls, furnaces are small and compact and don’t take up much of your valuable space. Smaller sizes mean easier installation as well.
You can probably still recall the sound your furnace made when it cranked on in your childhood home. Because of quieter, more efficient motors and advancements like baffles and installed panels, modern-day furnaces are so quiet that you barely notice they’re on.
Modern-day furnace controls are incredibly user-friendly and convenient. You can even get a smart thermostat that you can control with your phone from anywhere.
The most dramatic changes to furnaces have been the advancement in comfort they provide to the homeowner. They can stay as close to your set temperature as possible almost constantly, so your home never drops to an uncomfortable temperature or overheats. Microprocessors in the motors can sense decreased air flow due to dirty air filters and will balance out, so you never experience a drop in temperature. And they’re able to do all this while using 75% less energy than older models.
Furnaces made within the last ten years are extremely safe due to pressure and temperature sensors that react by automatically shutting off the system when they sense a problem.
Is it time for you to install a new furnace in your home? Call the experts at L&M Heating and Cooling, and we’ll help you choose and install the perfect furnace for your home right away.
Your furnace has many different components that help it to run safely and efficiently. Sometimes you may not know many of these components exist until something goes wrong and you have to have it repaired. It’s important to understand how your furnace works so that you can spot problems quickly.
The Importance of a Furnace Flame Sensor
The sensors on your furnace are essential not only to keep your furnace working properly but to keep your home and family safe while it’s doing so. One of these important safety mechanisms is the flame sensor. When your furnace ignites, the flame sensor produces an electric current which is measured in microamps. If the level of microamps is off kilter, the furnace will not release any gas to ignite the unit. This prevents an accidental fire or explosion from happening if your gas flow is off.
A Dirty Flame Sensor
Without regular cleaning and maintenance, carbon buildup can cause your flame filter to malfunction, which will either stop your furnace from igniting all together or cause it to shut off frequently. If you suspect your flame filter is causing a problem with your furnace, call L&M Heating and Cooling right away. A professional tech will be able to determine if your sensor needs to be replaced or if there is a larger issue causing it to malfunction.
Regular Cleaning Will Prevent Sensor Malfunctions
Seasonal furnace maintenance and cleaning by HVAC professionals is the only way to prevent unnecessary sensor malfunctions. Not only will your sensors and all furnace components have a longer life and work more efficiently, but your HVAC tech will be able to spot problems before they turn into costly repairs. Get your furnace maintenance done before the cold weather hits, so you’re not stranded without heat when you need it most.
For any problems with your furnace flame sensor or any other HVAC concerns, contact the professionals at L&M Heating and Cooling today.
Winters can be brutal, and the frigid temperatures can cause your energy bills to rise. It may be tempting to purchase some space heaters to use in areas of your home that tend to stay colder than others. But space heaters are extremely dangerous in homes and even offices. Let’s take a closer look at why you should avoid space heaters.
The biggest threat from a space heater in your home or office is that it could cause a fire. Space heaters cause about 55,000 fires every year. Because space heaters use so much electricity, this massive use of energy can cause power overloads in circuits which lead to sparks and ultimately, fire. Other reasons space heater use can lead to fires are fabric resting on the heater or a heater tipping over.
The heating elements of space heaters can burn the hands or paws of small children or pets who play with the grates, but they also can cause burns just by being brushed up against accidentally, so even adults are vulnerable.
Fuel filled space heaters can build up a dangerous level of carbon monoxide if they’re left on for extended periods of time. Without a carbon monoxide detector to alert you, this could be deadly.
A space heater by itself isn’t exactly a danger, but it’s the common human errors associated with it that makes them so dangerous for your home or office. You could forget to turn it off when you leave, or an animal could knock it over when you’re not aware. Dirt and dust could also build up around the grates which could cause fires when it begins to touch the heating element.
Instead of using dangerous space heaters, why not upgrade your heating system? Call us at L&M Heating and Cooling to speak with our trained professionals about what heating system would be best for your home or office.
Our homes lose a lot of heat in the winter, which makes them hard to keep warm. Instead of cranking up the heat and paying higher energy costs, here are some ideas to easily insulate your home in the winter.
Use Area Rugs
Have hardwood, tile or laminate flooring? The cold floors really can make it seem much colder in your home than it actually is, especially to bare feet in the middle of the night. Using large plush area rugs in the open areas of your home and smaller rugs in hallways or by doors can really go a long way to add a little extra warmth.
Block Gaps Under Doors
The space under doors can let warm air escape while cool air creates a draft. To prevent this, use foam tubing coated in fabric placed underneath a door. Cute animal-shaped ones are available all over the place online or you can make one yourself to match the décor of your home.
Open Your Curtains and Blinds on Sunny Days
The winter sun may not feel like much when you’re standing outside, but it can warm things up inside. Any windows on the south or west side of your home should have open curtains during the day to let in light.
Move Furniture Away from Vents
If your couch or larger furniture is partially blocking your heating vents, you could be wasting a lot of warm air that could be heating your home. Rearrange large furniture pieces so that they aren’t blocking any vents.
Consider Additional Insulation
25% of the heat in your home is lost through the roof. Adding more insulation in your attic or loft can really make a difference in your energy bills. The initial investment will pay off over time.
Make sure you’re getting your furnace serviced regularly by the HVAC experts at L&M Heating and Cooling. Regular inspections will catch problems before they start and make sure you’re getting the most out of your heating system.
Your basement is a treasure trove of space that you can utilize for a multitude of things. Playroom, craft room, man cave; the possibilities are endless. But when the cold temperatures of winter hit, your basement may not be very comfortable anymore. Here are some tips for keeping your basement warm in winter so you can make use of your extra space all year long.
Losing heat in your basement is not only inconvenient, but it could also be costing you more money on your energy bills. Adding insulation could help turn your basement into a warmer space for your family while saving you money. If your basement is unfinished, blanket or foam board insulation is a good option. Spray foam would work for an already constructed room. The initial investment, along with installation, may seem steep, but you’ll save a significant amount of money down the line, plus you’ll gain the use of space that you might otherwise avoid in the winter. Don’t forget to check your crawl space to be sure it’s properly insulated as well.
If your basement has concrete or tile flooring, that may be contributing to the cooler temperatures. Installing carpeting, at least in the most used parts of your basement, can add warmth and comfort. Even a large plush area rug would make a difference.
Old, cracked or single pane windows in your basement can cause warm air to escape and let cold air in, lowering the temperatures and costing you more money on your energy bill. Consider replacing your basement windows with Energy Star certified windows.
Add a Heating Vent
If you don’t have an existing heating vent in your basement, consider tapping into your ductwork to add one. Installation is best left to the professionals when adding vents.
If you have any questions about improving the comfort level in your basement this winter, contact L&M Heating and Cooling, we can help!
We’ve all had that sinking feeling before. Your home feels a little chilly, so you walk over to your heating vents and feel cold air blowing out at you. Uh-oh. Don’t panic. Here are some ways to figure out why your furnace is blowing out cold air and whether you can fix it yourself or if it’s time to call the professionals.
Check the Thermostat
It may seem silly, but the reason your furnace may be blowing cold air instead of warm could be a wrong setting on your thermostat. Someone could have brushed up against the thermostat, or you may have a toddler or young child that accidentally changed it. Make sure your thermostat is set to HEAT instead of AC and make sure the fan setting is on auto and not ON.
Check the Air Filter
A dirty air filter will block airflow over your furnace’s exchanger which causes it to overheat. When your furnace overheats, it will shut off its burners to protect itself from cracking. This causes it to blow out cold air. Turn off your furnace from the thermostat and replace your air filter. You may need to call L&M Heating and Cooling to reset the system.
Check the Pilot Light
If your furnace is an older model with a standing pilot light, it can not heat if it’s not lit. To turn on the pilot light, turn off your furnace and find the reset switch at the bottom of the unit. There should be a knob with three settings for the pilot light that read “pilot,” “on” and “off.” Turn the knob to off and wait five minutes. Turn the knob to pilot and press down the knob while holding a lighter to the pilot opening until it lights. Turn the knob to on. Your furnace should now ignite.
If these things don’t cause your furnace to start blowing warm air again, call L&M Heating and Cooling today.