Request An Appointment

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Close window  

Blog

How to best use your car’s HVAC system and save time in the morning

January 17, 2018

How to best use your car's HVAC system

For all of us, there are big questions that remain unanswered for too long. Thankfully, the Internet provides guidance when we need to immediately know the origin of the Twinkie or the health benefits of black tea. But what about the times our phones aren’t accessible for a quick search – namely, these cold winter mornings when we’re behind the wheel, late for work and can’t see out the windshield?

Fear not! We have your car heating questions answered, so you don’t have to suffer through any more half-defrosted windows when you’re already behind schedule. To protect you and everyone else on the road, we compiled all the tips in one place, so you can read them safely in the comfort of your home. Enjoy.

The fastest way your HVAC can defrost your windows and the science behind it

We investigated nearly every possible scenario to properly address this question, and found the answer in science. To defrost your windows most quickly, use both your car heater and a DIY melting spray.

First, your heater settings. You’ll want to do four things:

  • Turn climate control to the hottest setting
  • Turn on the A/C
  • Make sure recirculation is disabled
  • Turn fan to full blast

We know, three of those four make complete sense. But why would we turn on the A/C? Well, the trick is to remove excess moisture from inside the car so that the windows don’t fog up as they’re warming. That moisture will just freeze again or cloud your view as you’re driving. Warm air can hold more moisture than cold air, so we want to get things warm as quickly as possible. And our cars’ A/C systems run air through an evaporator that removes moisture as it passes through, ensuring that we’re bringing the driest air possible through our vents.

Next, we use some science to quickly get the ice off the outside. The recipe for our melting spray is a simple mix of two ingredients — 1 part water to 2 parts rubbing alcohol. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and have it ready for the next cold morning. Alcohol has a freezing temperature of -128 degrees Fahrenheit, so when it comes into contact with ice, it immediately begins to melt it.

Combine those two methods and you’ll be ice-free in no time at all.

What that recirculation button really does

Only use your recirculation button in the winter if you want your windows to fog up inside the car. The recirculation setting is really meant for summertime, to save your A/C from having to cool hot summer air. Recirculating air in the winter also recirculates moisture from you and your passengers, trapping humidity inside of the car. As we learned above, cold air can hold less moisture than warm air, so we end up with lots of fog.

Save recirculation for the summer.

Save gas and skip “warming your engine”

If your car was built in the last couple decades, its engine is ready to run after about a minute of running, even on the coldest days. Let it idle beyond that, and you’re wasting fuel. In the days of carbureted engines, running them for 10 minutes prevented stalling, but today’s cars don’t need to wait.

A best practice is to let it run for as long as it takes to scrape any ice off the windows – no more than 5 minutes – and then start driving slowly (slamming on the gas will add wear to the engine). Cars actually warm faster when they’re being driven, rather than running idle. After 5 to 15 minutes of normal driving, your engine will be warm.

The future is looking warm

Automotive climate control systems are getting more advanced every year. Teslas today can even be warmed in advance using an app. But until everything is electronically controlled, it’s helpful to know how to use your car’s HVAC to save fuel and time.

 

We’re Always Here When You Need Us

January 05, 2018

We're always here when you need us

Boy, is it cold outside!

The frigid temps have led to a very busy week for our call center and technicians here at Lee Company, and we want you to know we’re always here when you need help. Here is a quick reminder that you have a number of options when you need to get in touch with us.

1. Customer Portal

If you’re a returning customer and do not need a same day appointment, the newest and best way to schedule your service is our online Customer Portal. On the portal, you can request service and book appointments online, whenever it’s convenient, 24/7. Once scheduled, you can even track the status of your service requests — getting updates on the Lee Company technician scheduled to come to your home.

Access the Customer Portal here.

2. Get a Call Back

Giving top-notch care to every customer takes time during weather like this, so we’ve tried to make it easy if you ever find yourself waiting. If you call in and all our representatives are helping other customers, simply press 1 and we’ll give you a call back when it’s your turn in line.

You won’t lose your spot and you won’t have to keep the phone glued to your ear. We call that a win-win.

3. Online Chat

Don’t feel like picking up the phone? Our website has a live chat tool that lets you get your questions answered anytime. In the bottom-right corner of any page on the Lee Company website (including this one), you’ll see a Chat Now button. Click the arrow on right side of the button, enter your name, and you’re ready to chat.

We know that these bitter temperatures can wreak havoc on even the sturdiest HVAC and plumbing systems, which is why we’re committed to doing the best we can to serve every customer in need. Thank you for your patience as we work to take care of you, our wonderful customers!

Home Security, Pet Security: Keeping Sparky Safe

December 18, 2017

There’s nothing like coming home to a joyous welcome from your dog: Beau, Honey, Tiger, Scarlett – your beloved pet greets you at the door with a wagging tail and a happy bark. No matter how your day has gone, that pup is glad to see you!

Dogs have a special Spot in our hearts. So do cats – even those dignified kittens that would never wait at a door for someone. In their own unique way, our pets are always there for us. Now, with a home security system, we can return the favor.

Keep an eye on Sparky

People typically purchase home security systems for the peace of mind that comes from protecting their most expensive asset, their home. For pet owners, there’s an added bonus. Many features offered in a home security system help us stay close to our pets, even when we’re not with them.

For example, pet monitors work much like baby monitors. You can keep an eye on Sparky and see what he’s up to while you are at work or out running errands. The visual update is especially comforting when you have a pet that’s not feeling well. Or, if you have a young pup that you’ve kept kenneled, it’s a huge relief to see what she’s doing those first weeks of freedom. Using remote access through a phone app, the pet monitor allows you to observe your furry friends throughout the house, throughout the day.

If you prefer not watching day-to-day activities, the home security system offers another tremendous benefit. It’s a huge safeguard for pets in case of an emergency.

For example, if there’s a fire, pets can’t get out of the house. The smoke detector signal on your home security system will trigger an email and/or text notification to let you know something is wrong. The monitoring station will call the fire department as well. The quick response time enabled by the home security system could make all the difference for your pets.

Did you leave a light on?

A complete home security system also provides the answer to nagging questions that can haunt you when you go out at night. For example, “Did you remember to leave a light on?” Check the phone app. You’ll not only see what lights are on, you’ll be able to turn lights on and off remotely. Sparky won’t have to sit in the dark while you enjoy dinner with friends.

If you use a dog sitter or pet walker, the home security system gives you the ability to unlock and lock the door remotely. You don’t have to leave a key under the mat. It’s a safer approach for you and your pets.

Don’t let Spot get hot (or cold)

Middle Tennessee’s temperatures can change a lot in the span of a couple of hours. We can wake up to a 60 degree morning and be baking under the sunshine by noon.  Or the winter cold hits and freezing temps are all we see in the forecast. No worries: You can keep your pets (and your home!) comfortable all day with the use of a programmable thermostat. To accommodate the ever-shifting weather, you can control the thermostat from your app.

At Lee Company, we love our pets and your pets. They’re family. We’re dedicated to keeping everyone in the family safe, secure and comfortable. Including Sparky!

Quick Tips: Keep Your Home Safe this Holiday Season

December 14, 2017

December is a busy time of year, and we want to remind you to take the time needed to keep your home and loved ones safe and secure. Our gift to you? A few quick tips!

Keep the home fires burning – safely

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more home fires occur during the winter than in any other season. Take extra care:

  • Keep your Christmas tree watered – dry trees are like tinder.
  • Don’t leave candles burning unattended.
  • Allow space around space heaters.
  • Don’t overload outlets and extension cords.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy – and know how to use it!

If you use gas logs in your fireplace, have one of our professionals inspect and clean the logs; gas logs are a source of carbon monoxide issues. Speaking of that, when was the last time you changed the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? It’s a little step that saves lives.

Don’t invite unwanted guests

We’re not talking about your odd aunt, or that constantly complaining cousin. You may not be able to avoid them. However, there are steps you can take to avoid burglars and other unwanted disruptions:

  • Put automatic timers on lights, so your home looks occupied even when you’re gone.
  • Install outdoor lights to brighten the path to your front door.
  • Pause your mail if you’re on a trip, or have a trusted neighbor pick it up. Stacks of mail are an invitation to burglars.
  • Don’t advertise your adventures on social media – avoid posting updates about holiday travel that make it clear you’re not home.

Gift ideas to keep you and your favorite homeowners safe and secure

Help Santa give the gifts everyone wants! Check out these suggestions from the Lee Company home security team:

  • Honeywell combo detectors for carbon monoxide and smoke: These wireless devices communicate to the Honeywell touchpad.
  • Honeywell touchpad: These home systems lock doors, control lights, change the thermostat and more – and they connect with Alexa.
  • Skybell: Who’s at the door? Find out. Receive a video each time your doorbell is pushed. (It’s a great way to know when online packages arrive!)
  • Arlo: Security cameras provide remote access to check on your home over the holidays

Want more cool ideas for the people on your list? Check out our 2017 Gift Guide: Best Presents for Every Homeowner.

From all of us at Lee Company, we wish you a very safe and happy holiday season!

2017 Gift Guide: Best Presents for Every Homeowner

December 11, 2017

There’s no place like home for the holidays – and no time like now to buy your favorite homeowners the perfect gift! Not sure what that is? No worries. We’ve explored the options, and selected sure-to-please presents for even the hard-to-please people on your list. Stress less. We’ve got your back, so you can get the gifts!

Techie Tyler

Your eyes may glaze over when talk turns to technology, but techie types love all the latest gadgets. This year’s best technology gifts are more than cool. They’re practical. They’re romantic. They’re hot.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo

Is there an Echo in here? There should be. Echo is all new this year, and it looks – and sounds – better than ever. Sure, you can ask for a weather report or news update. But Echo, with Alexa Voice Service, is also high-tech mistletoe. Play your song. Dim the lights. And never get off the couch.

 

Touchscreen System

Honeywell Touchscreen System

The best technology makes life better. This year’s touchscreen systems allow techies to literally keep their finger on the pulse of their home, no matter where they are. At work? Out for dinner? With a whole-home system, like those Lee Company installs, your techie can turn lights on and off, check locks, and more – all with a tap on an app.

 

Nervous Nellie

Be secure in the knowledge that you’re buying exactly the right present for the homeowner who’s – well – a tad insecure. This year’s hottest gifts include affordable protection and peace of mind.

 

Keypad Lock

Touchscreen keypad

We all have one friend who forgets, or loses, her house key. All. The. Time. Or, she gives it to someone to hold – and that someone leaves the party without her. A keypad lock for keyless entry is the perfect security solution. Make this gift even better! Lock up holiday joy by having a handyman from Lee Company handle installation.

 

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Camera

Weatherproofed to withstand both indoor and outdoor storms, the Netgear Arlo camera line provides a 24/7 view of what’s really happening at home. Watch for intruders from a phone, or see how the nanny handles a three-year-old’s tantrum. Would your friend like to check on a fur baby? Security systems like Arlo are always Spot-on.

 

Home Pro Harry

Home is where the heart is – and the hobbies and the hideaways. For people who consider their home a sanctuary, this year’s innovations make home sweet home even sweeter.

 

Keen Home Vents

Keen Home Vents

Does your friend watch Shark Tank? If the answer is yes, then they may already be familiar with Keen Home Vents. These vents keep each room at the right temperature, and are controlled from a phone.  Whether they like their home hot or cold, these vents will balance the temperature by redirecting airflow between rooms.  Keen Home Vents also help lower energy bills. What friend wouldn’t love the gift of comfort and savings?

 

Netgear Orbi Wifi System

What do they really want for Christmas? World peace and wifi. And you can put a bow on half of that. The reviews are in, and this system rocks. It’s super awesome wifi for the best Netflix binging of all time. This system covers the entire house. From the porch to the patio. After all, the Walking Dead shouldn’t have to fight dead zones.

 

Eco-Conscious Emily

Is there an environmental activist on your list? That’s great! We can help you double their delight. Buy an eco-friendly present, and wrap it up in the comics page from last Sunday’s newspaper. No newspaper? Use an old map or a grocery sack.

 

Solar Landscape Lighting

Some people make the world a little brighter. Now, you can brighten their lives, with solar landscape lighting! These super-attractive solar-powered lights look great, day or night. Lee Company’s landscaping experts can help place the lights in the best spot to capture the sun and light up the night. Solar landscaping looks great – and people feel great about it.

 

Ecobee

Bee the first on the block to bee super energy efficient with Ecobee. It might look like a thermostat, but it’s way more than that. Ecobee can save an average of 23% in heating and cooling costs each year. And it works with Alexa and Keen Home vents. Hmmm. Some lucky homeowner’s treasure chest is filling up!

From our home to yours, happy holidays! We hope the gifts you get are as perfect as those you give.

Honored to Serve – and to Win!

December 07, 2017

Our customers are the best, hands down. It’s an honor to work with you, and a true delight to be recognized for our work. We’re pleased to announce that Lee Company has been honored for excellence in construction by the Greater Tennessee Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the North Alabama Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

These awards reflect the decisions of a panel of independent judges. The panel reviews all submitted projects, looking at project scope and safety records, and then selects the “best of the best.” The judges consider the very things you look at when choosing a contractor: innovation, quality control, scheduling, value provided and ability to overcome special obstacles and extenuating circumstances.

Year after year, ABC’s close examination reveals that Lee Company delivers exceptional results. Thanks to our customers for trusting us with their projects, and congrats to our construction team for your great work! Our 2017 ABC award-winning projects include:

Middle Tennessee – Eagle Award

CKE Restaurants
Ensworth Tennis Facility
Harry’s Fresh Foods
Redstone Arsenal
Westin Nashville Hotel

Middle Tennessee – Merit Award

Horizon Medical Center
Lee University

North Alabama – Award of Excellence

Harry’s Fresh Foods
Westin Nashville Hotel

North Alabama – Award of Merit

CKE Restaurants
Ensworth Tennis Facility
Horizon Medical Center
Redstone Arsenal


 

Related articles:
Delicious Success: Helping Hardee’s
Love-Love: Ensworth Tennis Facility
Full Steam Ahead: Harry’s Fresh Foods
Pooling Our Talents: Redstone Arsenal
High Expectations for a High-Rise: Westin
Accepting a Healthy Challenge: Horizon Medical Center
Lee University + Lee Company = Success

Delicious Success: Helping Hardee’s

December 07, 2017

• 2017 Eagle Award and Award of Merit from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
• Client: CKE Restaurants Holdings

It’s probably not surprising that a company built on fast food would want to move fast on a construction project. When CKE Restaurants Holdings, the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl Jr.’s, decided to move its headquarters to the Nashville area, the schedule was tight. The relocation involved consolidating offices in California and Missouri. With employees moving – and new employees coming on board – CKE Restaurants needed everything ready on schedule. And they trusted Lee Company to make it happen.

Lee Company’s state-of-the-art fabrication shop gave us a real edge. Prefabricating all the ductwork in our facility enabled us to deliver exceptional materials on time and ready for installation.

Timing wasn’t the only challenge with this innovative office build-out. The project included construction of a test kitchen on the 10th floor of a high rise in Two Franklin Park, a new office site in suburban Nashville. Since the kitchen equipment was too large to fit on the elevator, we removed several windows, and flew the equipment in using a crane. The work was safely and successfully accomplished at a full jobsite, without damage to the landscape work underway.

With Lee Company, it’s fast forward to success!

Love-Love: Ensworth Tennis Facility

December 07, 2017

• 2017 Eagle Award and Award of Merit from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
• Client: Ensworth High School

“Love” is more than a score at the new 154,000 square-foot, four-story indoor tennis facility at Ensworth High School, a coeducational, independent day school in Nashville. Students, families, faculty – and Nashville residents – love the addition of this sports center and parking lot on the school’s growing campus.

To complete the project on time, Lee Company had to overcome bad weather, oddly shaped ceilings and unexpected challenges, including underground rock that had to be carefully pulverized before work could continue.

Success built on both time-tested and innovative technology; the Lee Company team used smart glasses to save time throughout the project, enhance safety on site, and improve communications with everyone involved. The result is a beautiful facility, allowing Ensworth to offer additional programs to students and the community.

In tennis terms, the final score for this project is definitely love-love!

Full Steam Ahead: Harry’s Fresh Foods

December 07, 2017

• 2017 Eagle Award and Award of Excellence from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
• Client: Harry’s Fresh Foods

Back in 1977, the recipe that Rod Harris used for clam chowder at his Portland, Oregon, restaurant was so good, other restaurants wanted it. Harris launched Harry’s Famous Original Clam Chowder Company – and quickly discovered that his soup recipes brought in more revenue than his restaurants. Today, operating as Harry’s Fresh Foods, the company is one of North America’s leading producers of chef-inspired refrigerated food products.

The expanding success of the company created a logistical challenge. While Harry’s Portland facilities could serve the Western states, a more centralized location was needed for other deliveries. And what better place than Nashville?

Harry’s selected a 200,000 square-foot facility for renovation, and chose Lee Company as its design-build partner – confident that our innovative professionals could develop the complex mechanical infrastructure required to support 19 kettle production lines.

To meet FDA regulations and Harry’s expectations, this new infrastructure had to include a hot ingredient water system for each kettle, four steam pressure reducing stations, and a new exhaust system. Lee Company moved full steam ahead, using our state-of-the-art fabrication shop and an elaborate, time-saving, on-site logistical plan to safely and successfully hit the project deadline.

How’d we celebrate? With a big bowl of clam chowder!

Pooling Our Talents: Redstone Arsenal

December 07, 2017

• 2017 Eagle Award and Award of Merit from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
• Client: U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal

The Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, was built in 1941, and is home base for a number of military and government tenants, and the contractors who work with them. One popular amenity on base is the indoor pool, used for training, recreation and fitness classes. Unfortunately, humidity and temperature control made the poolside area incredibly uncomfortable.

As Lee Company came in to address these HVAC concerns, Redstone officials made it clear that the pool had to remain in operation during the project – and it had to be kept free of debris. Since the plan called for construction work right by the pool, this posed a real challenge.

The creative minds at Lee Company went to work, developing a solution that would do more than improve the pool environment, it would also cut energy costs. The project included creating a “tent” to capture construction debris, so the pool could remain clean throughout the project. When a protective wall obstructed construction progress, Lee Company flew equipment in using a crane.

The end result? Everything went swimmingly. Redstone now has an indoor pool that’s comfortable for people in and out of the water, along with lower energy bills.

Chat with Lee Company  Have a Question? Chat Now.
You may now schedule and confirm
upcoming service visits with one of
our representatives via chat.