Burning Smells and Professional Maintenance

As you turn on your furnace for the first time, you may notice a smell as the heat starts coming out. Most times that smell is the dust and lint that has built up over the summer months burning off in the unit. It sounds nasty and can be if this is a regular occurrence in your home every winter season. The best way to get rid of the dust in your unit is to have it cleaned at the beginning of the heating season.

Eliminate Odors and Prevent Problems

However, the smell could be caused by something else. Electrical malfunctions and debris from inside the duct could also cause a burning smell in the furnace. The only way to be sure is to have your yearly maintenance cleaning performed by a professional. Regular maintenance will not only help to eliminate potential odors from your unit but will also help to keep your unit running efficiently and safely.

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Fall is Here! Time to Prepare for Winter

We have officially entered the fall season. The weather is changing as well as the color on the trees and it’s my favorite time of year. However it is also a time of year were many people while enjoying the fall colors forget about preparing for the winter just ahead.

Pre-Winter Maintenance

Have you done the pre-winter maintenance? Checked your humidifier for proper operation? Replaced the bulbs in your UV light? Changed your filter and had the furnace and hot water tank combustion compartments cleaned? What about covering your air conditioner with a proper fitting cover has that been taken care of too? Continue reading

Duct-Less Air Conditioning and Heating

Recently, a friend asked me to help him find a way to air condition his new TV room in the attic of his home. He has an old Chicago house with a walk up attic, and he and his wife thought that the attic was the best place for the kids to watch TV and be out of their hair all in one shot. Unfortunately, their attic was never a conditioned space, and therefore did not have any duct work attaching it to the existing heating and cooling systems. We checked out all of the possibilities, and even considered snaking flexible duct work up to the attic. Despite our best efforts, we could not come up with any way that wouldn’t involve ripping out a wall or two. Continue reading

Programmable Thermostat Location and Use

There has been a lot of talk about how much money programmable thermostats can supposedly save the average homeowner, but can a programmable really save you as much money as they say it can? Energy Star states that the average homeowner can save about $180 a year when properly using a programmable thermostat, but the problem is that most of us invest in these pricier thermostats but never use them correctly. You have to find a program that works best with your schedule and actually set the thermostat to run that program! If your schedule changes you have to adjust the program. This is the only way you will see these kinds of savings on your energy bills. Continue reading

Blower Motor Breakdown

The blower motor is one of the most important parts within your HVAC system. It works all year round with both the furnace and the air conditioner, and when there is something wrong with your blower it will either make a lot of noise or no noise at all. Without a functional blower motor, you will never feel the heating or cooling being produced by the furnace or air conditioner because the blower motor’s job is to circulate air across the heat exchange or the cooling coils and then deliver it to the home. When the blower motor is broken, homeowners will usually call with one of these two complaints:

  • It Sounds like there is a Helicopter Landing in My House: The blower motor is encased in a cage and unless the motor is properly balanced within the cage, it will make a lot of extra noise. The noise made by an unbalanced blower is caused by the blades knocking into the sides of the housing, and when this happens, the entire motor, blower, and housing will probably have to be replaced. Continue reading

Why Should I Invest in a Wi-Fi Thermostat?

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past five years you have probably heard about programmable thermostats and the benefits they could potentially have for your home and your wallet. Unfortunately, very few people actually see the savings that a programmable thermostat can provide. Programming a traditional programmable thermostat is very tedious and if you don’t know what you are doing you might never figure it out. You are more likely to simply use the thermostat like a non-programmable digital unit because the programming is so difficult to set. However, programmable thermostats have been changing. Touchscreen capabilities coupled with Wi-Fi access is the new standard in programmable thermostat technology. Continue reading

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Programmable Thermostat?

Are you getting the savings you expected from your programmable thermostat? If not, you are not alone. Most homeowners invest extra money in a programmable thermostat but then fail to use it properly. Half of the problem is a lack of education on the part of the contractor that installed the thermostat and the other problem is the design of the unit. They are not designed for ease of use and any homeowner that has a busy day to day life is not going to have the time to fiddle around with the program every time they have a schedule change. What we really needed was an easy to use thermostat that could be adjusted from anywhere and Lennox Home Comfort Systems delivered.

Easy and Innovative Temperature Control

The new and improved icomfort™ programmable thermostat is now Wi-Fi enabled! This feature expands the capabilities of this impressive thermostat making this a programmable thermostat that you can actually benefit from having installed in your home.  There are some of the features included in this high-tech yet easy to use thermostat: Continue reading

Put Winter in the Past

As we all know, we are now in full blown air conditioning season, and if you are anything like me your air conditioner has been running off and on for about two months. We put a lot of time and effort into making sure the system is ready for the season, and these steps we take are crucial to ensuring out comfort all summer long. However, if your winter equipment was never properly shut down and put away for the season, you could find yourself facing some problems this summer.

Stop Feeding Water to the Humidifier

The first system you need to check is the humidifier. Now is the time to turn the water off to your humidifier. Every year we get calls from hundreds of homeowners asking about leaking water near the furnace. The water is causing serious damage to the surrounding equipment, and the source of the water is the humidifier. Protect your equipment and get some peace of mind by simply turning the water valve feeding your humidifier to the “off” position. If there is no water you can’t have a leak. Continue reading

Get Your Humidity in Balance with Your HVAC

As this winter comes to a close, ask yourself a question. Have you noticed any new squeaks in your hard wood floors? If the answer is yes, you probably have a humidity imbalance in your home. You may say that you don’t even notice the squeaks in your floors, but allow this problem to continue and selling your home may become very difficult. Taking actions now to prevent further damage is easy and affordable. Not taking action will leave you with a costly repair on your hands once the problem gets out of hand.

Keeping Humidity in Balance isn’t Easy

Keeping humidity and temperature in balance is not as easy as you may think. The furnace dries out the air in the home during the winter, and sometimes the air conditioner cannot keep up with high humidity that occurs during the summer. Your HVAC system needs a little help. When the air is allowed to dry out, the wood in your floors also dry out and shrink. The excess moisture in the summer will cause the wood to swell and over the years the wood will become brittle and warped. Keeping the humidity between 35 and 55 % and the temperature in the home between 60 and 80 degrees will prevent this from happening. Continue reading

Temperature Differential Causing Discomfort

The thermostat is in control of one of the most important systems within the home: the HVAC system. This system dictates your comfort level and allows you to choose the temperature that you find most comfortable. However, there is a setting on the thermostat that can disrupt this comfort if it is not set appropriately. The temperature differential can give the thermostat a few degrees leeway before turning your HVAC system on or off. This could allow your homes temperature to fluctuate drastically all while the thermostat continues to read the original set temperature.

Resetting the Differential

Let’s say that you are most comfortable at 70 degrees during the winter season. You set the thermostat and go about your day. Every time the furnace comes on the house gets to feel uncomfortably warm. In between cycles when the furnace is off, the home becomes uncomfortably cold. The temperature differential is probably set at three degrees. That means that the temperature can get as warm as 73 degrees and as cold as 67 degrees before the thermostat responds to the temperature. This is what is causing your discomfort. Check with your thermostat manual for instructions to change the differential and set it back to one degree. This will give you the temperature you desire and eliminate this source of discomfort.