Winterizing Your HVAC System

When the cold temperatures hit, it’s essential to prepare your HVAC system for the snow and ice. Putting in a little extra care when the temperatures begin to drop will keep it working properly when it’s time to use it again. Here are some easy ways to winterize your HVAC unit.

Clear the Area

Before the snow and ice of winter hit, it’s important to clear the area around your AC unit of any debris. Remove sticks, leaves, and weeds and spray the outside of the unit down with your garden hose. This will remove any dirt, dust or bugs that may have accumulated over the summer. Allow it to dry completely.

Insulate the Pipes

To prevent the pipes on your unit from freezing, apply tubular foam installation. Look for a foam installation with self-adhesive to make the job easier.

Cover Your Unit

By using a waterproof air conditioner cover, you can prevent ice, snow and rain from entering your unit. Keeping your HVAC system dry during the winter will prolong its life and keep it working smoothly in the summer.

Keep an Eye on Your Unit

During the winter months, be sure to check on your AC unit periodically. Remove any ice or snow that may have accumulated on the top, even if it’s covered. Make sure the cover is properly placed and adjust it if needed.

Cut the Power Supply

Your outside central air conditioning unit has an electrical circuit box that usually has a metal or plastic lid. Open the lid and switch the power supply off. Turning the power off will prevent it from turning on in warmer temperatures which could cause water to enter the unit and freeze when the temperatures drop again. Be sure to turn it back on in the spring.

For help winterizing your HVAC system or for any questions on how to do so, call L&M Heating and Cooling today.

Cannabis HVAC Regulations for Greenhouses

Information and knowledge related to the benefits of cannabis have been evolving rapidly over the last few years, as well the laws and regulations related to it. If you own a cannabis greenhouse with an HVAC system, there are a whole set of regulations specifically for HVAC systems. Let’s take a look at what these regulations pertain to.

Special Considerations

HVAC systems used in cannabis greenhouses are much different than the ones used in residential homes. While you should always check with your specific city when installing any sort of HVAC system in your greenhouse, here are some common things that are considered in the regulations.

  • Humidity: Growing marijuana has many complicated considerations. Grow rooms need to be kept at specific temperatures and humidity settings, and these vary with each strain and crop. If the temp or moisture setting is even just a tad off, it can ruin the entire crop, so HVAC systems must be able to accommodate accordingly.
  • Energy Use: HVAC systems that are used in greenhouses are extremely powerful, so they use a large amount of energy to operate. The regulations are made to make sure this is done safely.

Open or Closed

The type of HVAC system you need for your greenhouse depends on whether it is open or closed. With an open greenhouse, an evaporative cooling pad and fan system are usually used. This kind of system keeps the air moving by pushing the hot air out through exhaust fans on the edges of the structure. In a closed greenhouse, you can have more control over the temperature, meaning a more powerful HVAC system.

If you own a cannabis greenhouse in need of an HVAC system, contact the experts at L&M Heating and Cooling. They will be able to go over all the specific regulations and get you up and running in no time.

Best Smart Home Devices

Home technology has made some pretty amazing advances over the last ten years. Owning a smart home device can increase your home security and make everyday chores and habits much more convenient. You don’t have to buy the same brand or models of different devices or appliances for them to work together. It’s easy to find the corresponding devices that each item works with listed on the label, so with a little research, you can choose which devices will work best for the ones you already have in your smart home system. Wondering which devices are some of best smart home devices to have? Let’s take a look.

Amazon Alexa

Not only is Alexa by Amazon one the best smart home devices, but it’s also probably the most well-known. You probably know that you can ask Alexa to tell you the current weather, news or to play you a song, but you may not know that you can program Alexa to control your TVs, thermostats, lights and security systems. Many smart home devices coordinate with Alexa, so it is currently the most popular smart home system on the market.

Nest Thermostats

Nest thermostats coordinate with all the popular smart home devices and allow you to control the temperature in every room in your home. Nest thermostats will track and learn your habits so they can automatically adjust the temperature to your comfort level while saving you money on your utility bill by conserving energy whenever possible.

Smart Locks

Smart home technology can increase the security of your home by allowing you to control who has access to your property. Smart locks can work with your smart home operating system and smartphone so you can allow or deny entry to anyone at any time with just a click on the screen.

Smart devices can save you time and money and give you peace of mind that you have complete control of your home, even when you are away from it.

Historic Homes and HVAC

If you own a historic home or are thinking about purchasing a historic home, you may have some questions about installing or maintaining an HVAC system. Let’s take a look at some common questions people have when it comes to historic homes and HVAC.

What are the limitations of installing an HVAC system?

Historic homes may have a different set of rules applying to HVAC systems that vary from county or town. Check with your city for specific rules for historic homes. A professional HVAC company in the area will be aware of any specific rules and codes and can check on them for you.

Will my home be able to accommodate an HVAC system without any changes?

The simple answer to this question is probably not. Older homes don’t usually have the proper electrical to support an HVAC system, so updates will most likely have to be made. There also may be structural issues like ceiling height, room for ductwork, and certain finishes that will need to be tweaked or modified. A professional HVAC company like L&M Heating and Cooling will be able to walk you through the process.

What kind of HVAC system is best for my historic home?

There are a few different options for HVAC systems that may work in your home. Let’s take a look at the most common choices.

  • Mini-Split System: This system has both an indoor and outdoor unit and doesn’t require much ductwork making it a popular choice for historic homes.
  • High-Velocity AC: If your home doesn’t have existing ductwork, this may be the right choice for you since it uses small tubes that can be fitted around existing structures.
  • Modulating-Condensing Gas Boiler: A common heating system in historic homes.
  • Central Air: Can be used in homes with adequate attic or basement space.

When deciding on HVAC systems, talk to other historic homeowners in your area and then contact the experts at L&M Heating and Cooling to get started.

How To Prevent Drafts From Entering Your Home

One of the most common reasons for a spike in your gas bill is a drafty home. Even a small draft can make It much more difficult for your home to get to and stay at your preferred temperature. So before breaking down and lowering your preferred temperature to save money, try these easy draft preventing tips first!


Throw Rug

Hardwood floors are very popular but unfortunately, they insulate a room much less effectively than carpeting. Thankfully there is a solution to keep your beautiful flooring and reduce the risk of unpleasantly cold feet. Adding a throw rug to your room can give your room a decorative touch while serving this purpose. You can utilize it in the winter only and it is much more pleasant to walk on than on a cold hardwood floor.


Weather Stripping on Doors

A common draft culprit are your home’s doors to the outside. Weather stripping is a very simple way to prevent cold air from entering the home right through your front door! Even though the door is closed, there is still the potential of gaps in between the door and door frame. If you want to check if your door is allowing air to enter the home, then a creative way to find out is to light an incense stick and hold it around the door frame. If you notice the smoke is moving, then there is a draft!


Caulking Windows

Even though windows could have been properly installed in your home, the house will slightly shift over time. As a result, some small gaps may be created near the windows. These gaps may be small in size but could create a large increase in your gas bill over time. Caulking the holes shut will prevent cold air and other things like bugs, dirt, and pollen, from entering your home.


If you are looking for any more draft preventing tips, give us a call! We can take a look at your system as well to see if some maintenance would also improve your home’s temperature control.


Benefits of Regular Maintenance on Your Heating System

Your heating system will be turned on soon. Do you remember the last time it was serviced? Did you know that it is recommended to have your system inspected annually? If you answered “no” to either of these questions, then you need to have your system serviced before you make the switch from AC to heat. There are many positives to servicing your system annually, below are just a few.


Lower Your Risk for Malfunctions

One of the worst feelings in the world is attempting to turn on the heat on a cold day only to have it malfunction. An even worse feeling is finding out that you could have saved a lot of money if the system was maintained regularly. Regular maintenance will most likely catch a problem before it results in a system breakdown.


Provide an Opportunity for Preemptive Repairs

Regular maintenance can potentially catch parts of the system that are wearing down and need to be replaced prior to it breaking down. HVAC professionals, like L&M HVAC, can recognize these parts very easily in a heating system.


Avoid Carbon Monoxide Leaks

All gas furnaces naturally produce carbon monoxide. Only malfunctioning units will improperly ventilate the dangerous gas out of your home. Having your system inspected annually will greatly reduce the chance of carbon monoxide entering your home.


Increase the Lifespan of The System

Everyone wants their system’s lifespan to be as long as possible. Regular maintenance is a great way to extend the lifespan of your heating unit. You can rest easy knowing that your system will be reliable to keep you warm even on some of the coldest days in the winter.


Contact L&M HVAC to conduct your annual servicing on both your heating unit and air conditioning unit. These checkups are an investment into your systems. They will run better and last longer with proper servicing. Our employees have over 15 years of experience and top of the line equipment to ensure your system is properly serviced.


What You Need to Know About Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is a major concern for any home owner with a gas furnace. It cannot be detected in the home by sight, smell, or taste. This makes it extremely dangerous. However, there are many easy ways to protect you and your family from the dangerous gas. First, we’ll discuss how the gas is created in your furnace.


How Carbon Monoxide is Created in A Gas Furnace

In order for a gas furnace to produce heat, it must burn gas. This process naturally creates carbon monoxide. As a result, all gas furnaces produce carbon monoxide. A properly working furnace will ventilate the gas safely out of your home. If this ventilation process malfunctions, the gas will stay in your home. For this reason, you should have your furnace inspected annually to ensure that carbon monoxide is exiting your home efficiently and effectively.


Installation and Maintenance Tips for Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Even if you service your furnace annually, the system could potentially malfunction in between visits from an HVAC professional. As a result, it’s important to have properly working carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. When installing them, keep in mind that carbon monoxide is lighter than oxygen so an optimal location to install them is eye level or higher. Also, install them near sleeping areas. Detectors that are interconnected are the most effective because if one goes off then all the connected alarms are activated as well. Test the alarms monthly and change the batteries yearly.


While carbon monoxide is dangerous, it’s extremely unlikely to have both your furnace and carbon monoxide detectors malfunction at the same time if you are properly maintaining them. Contact L&M HVAC for your annual maintenance. We’ll ensure that your system is not malfunctioning in any way, including carbon monoxide detection. We have state of the art tools to test the system and see if any maintenance needs to be performed.

NJ Clean Energy Rebate Program

New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program is an incentive program that offers benefits and services for all New Jersey residents, businesses and local government offices which can save costs, energy and help improve the environment. There are even direct rebates available on certain equipment for your home or business. Let’s take a closer look at this NJ Clean Energy program.

Benefits for Your Home

  • Energy Star– This is a program that offers ways to reduce energy costs for your home by up to 30%. A contractor will inspect your home and make recommendations according to your specific needs. Up to $4000 in incentives may be provided to you plus no interest financing for energy-efficient improvements.
  • WARM Advantage– This program provides up to $500 in incentives for installing or replacing energy-efficient appliances like furnaces or water heaters.
  • COOL Advantage– This program offers up to $500 in incentives for installing or replacing energy-efficient air conditioning systems and other related equipment.

Benefits for Your Business

  • Direct Install- This program was designed for small to medium-sized facilities and will pay up to 70% of the costs of replacing the lighting, HVAC systems and other equipment that may be outdated or inefficient. A participating contractor will be able to inspect your business and make recommendations based on your specific needs.

Specific Rebates

NJ Clean Energy Rebate System offers rebates directly on:

  • Appliances like washers, dryers and refrigerators
  • Home Cooling equipment including several different air conditioning systems
  • Home Heating Equipment such as furnaces or boilers
  • Home Water Heating Equipment including several different varieties of water heaters

A more in-depth list of what equipment may be eligible for rebates is available here. Whether you’re looking to update your home or equip your new business facility, it is important to take advantage of the NJ Clean Energy Program for the benefit of not only your home or business, but also the environment.

Tips to Lower Your AC Energy Costs

Summers in New Jersey can be brutal, and there’s nothing more refreshing than walking inside your air-conditioned home after being outside in the sun. But energy bills can skyrocket in the summer, messing with your entire monthly budget and tightening your wallet during a time when you’re supposed to be enjoying the more relaxing things summer has to offer. There are ways you can lessen your energy bill while still enjoying a cool home. Here are tips to lower your air conditioner energy costs.

Use a Ceiling Fan

Using a ceiling fan can help circulate the cool air in your home, especially in rooms that tend to stay warmer than others. Running a fan costs significantly less than running your AC, so you could run the fan all day while setting your thermostat a little higher and still save money on your energy bill.

Program Your Thermostat

Almost all thermostats these days have programmable settings that can really make a difference in your energy costs. Setting your system at a higher temperature at night while you’re sleeping and during the day while you’re at work can save you a lot of money.

Maintaining Your Air Conditioning Unit

Regular maintenance and repairs are essential to keep your AC unit working efficiently. If your system has a neglected issue that is causing it to overwork or run constantly, that could greatly increase your energy bill. Systems over ten years old should be inspected yearly and newer systems should be inspected every other year for best results.

Keep Your Curtains, Blinds and Shades Closed

Sunlight in a room is appealing, but it can quickly heat things up. To save as much energy as possible, keep all windows covered during the day, especially when you’re not home. 

Using these great tips will make a huge difference and lower your air conditioner energy costs quicker than you realize. Start implementing them today to save money on your energy costs.

Benefits of Heated Floors

Imagine waking up on a chilly winter morning and stepping onto your hardwood floors. Instead of ice cold radiating up your body, you are greeted by a toasty warm surface that helps you start your morning in comfort. Installing heated floors in your home, otherwise known as a radiant heating system, can make this fantasy a reality. But it’s not just comfort that heated floors provide. Let’s look at more of the benefits.

Lower Utility Bills

Installing a radiant heating system is the most effective way to heat your home. In fact, according to Bob Vila, floor heating systems are up to 30% more effective than forced-air systems. The heat is aimed directly at solid surfaces, as opposed to into the air, which is more productive at conducting heat. You will be able to warm a room faster and maintain it at a lower temperature than you would via a forced-air system. That means less energy use and lower utility bills.

No More Floor Vents

Heated floors eliminate the need for air vents on the floor. That means no more having to design your furniture or decor around the floor vents. It also is safer for children and pets who tend to play with vents when they are accessible to them.

No Ductwork

Radiant heating systems do not require any ductwork. If your home doesn’t have a central air conditioning system, you won’t need ductwork at all. If you do have central AC, your ducts will get less wear and tear without a heating system to support, meaning less maintenance and repair costs.

Better Air Quality

Forced air continually cycles air through a home’s duct system. If the ducts are not properly cleaned and maintained, this essentially means your family is breathing in dirty air, possible allergens and even mold spores. Radiant systems do not circulate air at all, meaning they don’t contribute to any airborne allergens.

Consider heated floors for your home or business.