Signs That You Should Have A Professional Check Out Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system should be routinely checked and inspected at least every other year if it’s under ten years old, and every year if it is over ten years old. Of course, there are signs that your system should be checked right away, rather than waiting for your yearly inspection. Here are some signs that you should call L&M Heating and Cooling right away to check your HVAC system.

Burning Smell

When you first turn on your furnace for the winter season, a burning or overheating smell for the first 24 hours could be normal, but if it lasts longer than that, it could indicate an issue with the motor or wiring of your HVAC system. Turn off your system and call L&M Heating and Cooling right away.

Water Puddles

If you notice a small puddle of water near your air conditioning unit or furnace, it could just be condensation. But a large amount of condensation could indicate a major issue that needs to be addressed by a professional. Excess moisture could cause mold and then you’ll be dealing with an expensive and potentially dangerous issue, so call L&M Heating and Cooling right away to prevent a small problem from causing permanent damage.

Odd Sounds

If you hear whistling, clanging, buzzing or loud pops coming from your air vents, this could be an indicator of several different issues involving your HVAC system. They could be as minor as a blocked air duct or something major like failing hardware. Either way, it’s best to call the professionals right away to diagnose the problem.

Poor Airflow

If you notice weak airflow from your vents, first change your air filter. If the problem persists, this could indicate a problem such as a failing compressor. Calling a professional right away can prevent a minor issue from becoming a major one.

If you notice any of these signs, call L&M Heating and Cooling right away to check your HVAC system.

Bad Allergies? Check Your Air Filters!

Asthma affects around 24 million Americans, 6 million of those being children. Even if you don’t suffer from Asthma, odds are you have some sort of reaction to airborne allergens. According to WebMD, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. So how do you protect yourself and your family? Installing the proper air filter and changing it regularly can significantly reduce the number of allergens in your home. Let’s take a closer look.

What air filters are good for allergies?

Regular air filters are not meant to clean the air to make it easier for you to breathe; they are designed to protect the air conditioning equipment, not your lungs. If you do suffer from allergies, it is crucial that you look for an air filter specifically for that purpose. Regular paper filters trap large dust particles from the air and prevent it from damaging the AC system, while HEPA (High Energy Particulate Air) filters are designed to block much smaller particles of dust, mold and other allergens that could negatively affect your breathing.

How do HEPA filters work?

HEPA filters are densely packed layers of glass fibers. High-quality HEPA filters can trap more than 99% of pollen and other airborne allergens, keeping them out of the air and your lungs.

How often should you change HEPA filters?

A HEPA air filter needs to be changed more frequently than a standard paper filter, at least every other month, sometimes more depending on the amount of pollen in your area.

If you have allergies, it’s not only important to use a HEPA filter, but also to have your entire HVAC system professionally maintained and cleaned at least every two years. A dirty system can accumulate a lot of dirt and dust in the ductwork, meaning your filter will have to work overtime. If you have any questions about air filters, call L&M Heating and Cooling today.

Installing An Air Conditioning System for A Business

If you own a business, you know that everything is done electronically in this day and age. With technology comes electronics – expensive computers and devices that keep your business going. You’ve probably learned by now that all these electronic devices holding your precious data generate a lot of heat. To protect the core of your business -your data – it’s essential to keep the room you store this equipment in cool. This can be complicated and involves more than installing a few fans. Let’s take a closer look.

Use a Professional Company

A professional HVAC company, like L&M Heating and Cooling, can create a cooling system in your business that allows you to control the temperature not only in different rooms but in different zones. These types of multi-split air conditioning systems use variable refrigerant flow control, allowing the temperature to vary in different zones.

The Only Way to Avoid Overheating

Using a standard air conditioning system with only one thermostat means you’d either have to keep your entire facility at a very low temperature, wasting money and energy, or risk your data center overheating and potentially losing valuable information. L&M Heating and Cooling will ensure that your data center is continually kept at a safe temperature, while the rest of your facility is at a comfortable temperature for you and your employees. It is not only safer, but it can also save a tremendous amount of money over time.

Avoid Emergencies 

Power outages happen, and you need to be prepared for them. Even a short-term power loss could cause your data center to overheat, especially in the extreme heat of the summer. Use a portable spot cooler when your AC fails. Although this is only a temporary solution, it will keep you covered until the power is restored or L&M Heating and Cooling comes to inspect your system.

Call L&M Heating and Cooling today to install your personalized AC system to protect your data center.

Major Reasons Why You Should Change Your Air Filters Often

You may not realize how important it is for your family’s health to change the air filter in your home regularly. Keeping up with regular HVAC maintenance can help your system last longer and also save you from costly emergency repairs. Certain factors can affect how often you should swap out your air filter, let’s explore those in more detail.

Allergies

Depending on the composition of your home (specifically how many people and what amount of space you are heating/cooling), you may need to change your air filter more frequently. In an “average” suburban home, the air filter should be swapped out every 3 months or so. If you have a pet like a cat or dog, or if anyone in the home suffers from allergies or other chronic respiratory conditions, the filter should be changed every 60 days to prevent discomfort.

Energy Efficiency and Cost

If you notice that your heating system isn’t running as hot as you’d like, or your air conditioner isn’t cooling your home as well as it used to, it’s possible that a dirty air filter is interrupting the air flow. Since the system is working harder to push air through, your energy bill will be higher without a satisfying temperature. Changing your air filter regularly can help reduce the average $2,200 spent annually on your home energy bill by 5 to 15 percent.

Maintaining a Healthy HVAC Unit

A dirty air filter can affect your family’s quality of life just as much as it can affect your HVAC unit’s lifespan. Dirt stuck in an older filter can end up polluting the entire heating system and lead to costly repairs or emergency service if the system tries to work too hard to maintain normal air flow. A burnt-out motor or the replacement of an entire system is much more expensive than buying a pack of replacement filters to keep on hand.

Overall, replacing your air filter regularly can increase your peace of mind as well as improve breathing conditions for your family and your HVAC unit. If you have any questions about how your specific HVAC system should be serviced, the experts at L&M HVAC would be happy to answer!

Importance of Regular Residential Air Conditioning Maintenance

Thanks to air conditioning, we have a refreshing retreat from those hot spring and summer days. It’s what keeps your family cool and comfortable…except when it’s malfunctioning. Air condition units need to have regular maintenance completed on it to ensure optimum performance. It also helps to avoid any sudden break downs where you could be left without AC for days at a time. There are many benefits to regular maintenance for your AC unit. Below are just a few!

 

Enjoy Maximum Comfort

When you come home after a hot day at the park or beach, the last thing you want is to wait an hour until the house finally cools down. By ensuring maintenance is performed regularly on your unit, you can rely on your air conditioning to cool you down quickly and efficiently.

Extends its Lifespan

All machines are prone to wear and tear. AC units will deteriorate just like any other machine. As the years pass, it’s performance and reliability will start to decline. You can increase the lifespan of an AC unit by ensuring it is maintained properly by a professional. You will also be alerted by the pro when it is time to get a new unit before it fails.

Saves energy

One of the most frustrating parts of running the air conditioning is the corresponding electric bill. Maintaining your unit also helps you lower that bill by ensuring it is not working harder than it needs to throughout the spring and summer. There are many filters that can be changed in your system. If changed regularly, it will help the airflow to travel easily throughout your system.

 

Don’t wait for a malfunction or a failure to call a repairman. Ensure you will be cool all summer through conducting regular maintenance on your system. Call L&M HVAC to schedule an appointment!

The Dangers of DIY Freon Repairs

While there may be many YouTube videos and “how-to” articles online regarding how to refill your Air Conditioning unit with freon, it doesn’t mean that this is a good idea. Trying to do this on your own can result in not only damaging your A/C unit, but also yourself! Here are only a few of the many reasons why you should never try to refill freon on your own.

 

Freon is a Very Dangerous Chemical

Accidental inhalation of freon can cut oxygen from reaching vital organs and cells in your body. Spilling the chemical onto your skin can also result in injury. This chemical can harm you in many ways and therefore should only be handled by a licensed professional!

Freon May Not Be the Issue

Just because your Google search told you that a low level of freon might be the issue, it’s also very likely that it’s not the issue. Without consulting a professional, you could be risking damage to yourself and the unit without knowing with certainty that a low level of freon is causing the issue.

Overfilling the Unit with Too Much Freon

The most common result of DIY freon refills is overfilling the unit with freon. This could cause severe damage to the compressor. Many of the DIY freon products only show the freon pressure and not the actual amount of freon. This makes it very easy for an amateur to make this very costly mistake.

Increase in Electric Bills

By attempting to fix the unit yourself, you are eliminating the possibility of lowering your electric bill as much as a professional can. For example, accidentally overfilling your unit with freon will cause it to work harder and use more electricity. While trying to save a few bucks on hiring a professional, you will certainly pay more in the long run!

 

For the reasons above, and many more, please contact L&M HVAC to repair your unit. We can pinpoint the issue and if it does turn out to be the freon levels causing the issue, we can adjust the levels safely and effectively.

Switching from Heat to Air Conditioning in A Large Building

Once you install a cooling system in your building, you expect to enjoy controlled temperatures. However, this may not always be the case. Occasionally, you are likely to encounter hiccups from the unit. If you are switching from a heat to air conditioning unit, here are some of the problems you are likely to face:

Irregular temperatures

Some rooms are likely to be warmer or even colder than others are immediately after the switch over. These irregular temperatures can be quite drastic.  The location of the unit is another factor that may cause irregular temperature changes. Regular maintenance ensures all the debris in the ducts are cleared and boosts the efficiency of the system.

Freezing pipes

The temperatures outside will keep rising and falling depending on the season. However, if you were to install pipe insulation, you don’t have to worry. A change from a working air conditioner to a broken heating unit is likely to lead to frozen pipes throughout the building. Engage with an experienced company when switching from heat to air conditioning for your building.

Inadequate airflow

Working in a stuffy office is not your idea of a comfy and serene environment. If you are putting up with this kind of scenario, you risk catching colds and nasal infections. This eventually leads to low staff productivity due to sick offs and a poor working environment. If the air filters are not clean, airflow will be minimized. It could also be as a result of poorly installed ductwork. The only way to be sure of the problem is to have the units checked. Regular maintenance will also ensure the air filters, and cleaners are always in mint condition.

Enjoying the comfort of your office is within reach. Ensure the air conditioning unit and heating unit of your building are always in excellent condition through regular maintenance and switching from heat to air conditioning will be flawless.

What’s Involved With Replacing an Air Conditioning or Heating Unit

Air conditioning and heating units are vital parts of your home, so it’s important to care for them properly and replace them when needed. New units should always be installed by professionals. A typical furnace install can take anywhere from four to ten hours, depending on your specific unit. A typical air conditioner unit install takes anywhere from four to eight hours. But what exactly is involved in replacing an air conditioning or heating unit? This is what you can expect when calling L&M Heating and Cooling to install a new air conditioning or heating unit in your home.

The Installation Process

When the heating and cooling installation professionals come to install your new unit, the general process can vary slightly depending on what type of unit is needed for your home. You should always prepare for your installation appointment by clearing the area where they will be working and keep your pets and small children a safe distance away. Here is a general overview of what will happen during your installation.

Air Conditioning Install

  1. The old unit will be removed.
  2. The duct systems will be prepared.
  3. The installation site will be prepared with the support system necessary for your specific type of unit.
  4. The new unit will be positioned and installed.
  5. The thermostat will be installed.
  6. The new system will be charged with refrigerant.

Furnace Install

  1. The old unit will be removed.
  2.  The new unit will be aligned to ductwork.
  3. The unit will be attached to the return.
  4. The plenum will be reattached.
  5. The gas line will be reconnected and checked.
  6. Spent fuel gases will be removed from the flue pipes.
  7. The thermostat will be reconnected.
  8. The power supply will be reconnected.

After your new units are installed, the technicians will perform a thorough inspection and make sure everything is working properly. Call L&M Heating and Cooling today with any questions regarding replacing an air conditioning or heating unit in your home.

What is a Building Automation System (BAS)?

When someone refers to a “smart building” or a “smart home,” they are referring to a building or house that has a Building Automation System. A BAS system automates and centralizes control of a building’s heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, security and other systems. To do this, a BAS consists of a series of electronic devices, which all monitor the various aspects of a building’s systems to make sure they are secure and functioning properly.

Most new office buildings are built with BAS. However, they can be retrofitted into an older building or upgraded when they become outdated. It is also possible to limit automation to one or two rooms, but this would not provide you with all of the benefits that having an entire building or home automated would.

Benefits of Building Automation

While building automation is most common in multistory office buildings, many of its benefits are also available to homeowners that decide to install Nest products and similar devices.

  1. Improved Energy Management and Lower Utility Costs

A BAS enables building owners to have more control over their energy output. With building automation, you are able to set a schedule and different zones. This allows you to lower the temperature or turn lights off when no one is in a room. By cutting down on wasted energy, a BAS can lower your energy bills anywhere from 5 to 30 percent.

  1. Control Your Property Remotely

With building automation, you do not have to physically be in a building to lower the thermostat, turn off lights, or check in on the security system. Many BAS let you check the status of your building through a smartphone.

If you are thinking about switching your home or office building over to a Building Automation System, contact L&M Heating and Cooling with any questions. We’ll be happy to help you determine which BAS meets your needs.

Why Room Temperatures Vary

We’ve all been in a house or building where every room is a different temperature. Often, these temperature differences are drastic. One room feels like it’s summer, while another room feels like it’s the middle of winter. It’s common for these temperature difference to be exasperated by older buildings, which tend to have drafty rooms and old, inefficient heating and air-conditioning systems.

Even newer buildings may have inefficient heating systems. Regardless of age, any building can have clogged ducts and/or a thermostat that isn’t located in a central location. When a thermostat is not in a central location and the house or building doesn’t have multiple zones, you may not get an accurate temperature reading of the building. However, the thermostat in that room controls the entire system, so the thermostat will turn the air on if that room is too hot and the heat on if that room is too cold. This can be a problem because it doesn’t take into account the temperature in the other rooms.

Multi-level homes and buildings make the problem worse because heat naturally rises and cool air sinks. If you have a multi-level home or work in a multi-level office building, you may feel like you need a bathing suit on the top floor and a winter coat under three blankets on the bottom floor.

This happens because the rooms closest to the heating and air conditioning system will receive a temperature close to an optimal one, while rooms at the end of the ducts will have less temperature control.

The weather also affects room temperature. Depending on the time of day, some rooms may feel warmer because the sun is beating down on them, especially if they have a lot of windows. Other rooms may get cold when it’s windy because there’s a draft.

The only real solution to this problem is to have a zoning system, which are becoming more common in office buildings and larger homes.  If you would like to explore options to level out the temperature, L&M HVAC will be happy to help.