Archive for September, 2017

Back to Cool

September 14, 2017

Once the kids go back to school, it seems like fall is right around the corner. In Tennessee, the change of seasons means it will soon be time to turn the air conditioner off and the heater on!

You might think the change is as simple as throwing a switch on your thermostat. However, there are smart steps you can take now to help ensure you’re heating your home as safely and cost-efficiently as possible.

The first thing to do is schedule the annual maintenance appointment for your heating system; don’t wait until the last minute. These yearly check-ups do more than protect your heater. They protect your family. Gas heating systems have many components that can be very dangerous to your health and your home if not properly serviced.

For example, if there’s a problem with ventilation, carbon monoxide might leak from the heat exchanger area, where the combustible gases ignite to produce the fire that produces heat. A professional heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) technician will check to be sure the heat exchanger and other parts are in safe working condition.

If your home has a heat pump keep in mind they consume extra energy if there are leaks in the refrigerant circuit. The leaks lead to low refrigerant pressure which can become a real energy drain as they kick your emergency heat on to maintain temperature.

In addition to checking the circuit, the HVAC technician will inspect the coils on your heating system. Dirty coils can cause the system to freeze up outside, once the weather turns really cold. If that happens, the system goes into continual defrost mode: It runs air-conditioning for defrosting, along with electric heat to keep the house warm.

Does it matter? Absolutely. Most people don’t like leaving a 40-watt lightbulb on because it burns too much power – and mom always says to turn the lights off! Running the heater in emergency mode continually is like leaving a 9600-watt lightbulb burning eight-to-10 hours per day. Imagine what mom would say about that!

As you get your house ready for the cooler temperatures, don’t forget to check the fireplace. Some people use it for heat, others like the ambience of a crackling fire. Either way, if your fireplace isn’t clean, it can create too much carbon monoxide inside the home. Vented fireplaces should have professional maintenance at least once every two years. Ventless fireplaces should be cleaned at least once a year, and twice if you leave the pilot light burning.

Learn your lessons before we go back to cool! Get your home ready for the Tennessee fall and winter now. Lee Company has friendly, experienced, professional technicians ready to inspect your heater, make repairs, and handle all your HVAC needs. Check out leecompany.com/promotions for special offers on tune-ups and financing.

Dan Kalman
Vice President of Home Services
Lee Company

Keep Your Furry Friends Comfortable All Year Round

September 13, 2017

HVAC and SPOT

We’ve made it through the official and sultry “dog days of summer,” but the heat can still pose challenges for you and your pets. While we look forward to cooler weather ahead, here are a few tips to keep you and Spot and all your canine friends happy and comfortable:

  • Check your dog’s nose. Is it cool and wet? Dogs need a cool, moist nose to best sense – and smell – the world around them. If your HVAC system is pumping too much cold air into your home and pulling moisture out, your dog’s nose can dry up. Find a temperature that’s reasonable for you and your pet, and consider installing a humidifier if needed. (Bonus! You’ll feel better with a little more moisture in the house too, and your good wood furniture will appreciate it.)
  • Encourage pets to avoid the air-conditioning vents. While some dogs love to sit on the vents and enjoy (block!) that cool air, there are steps you can take to keep your pets away from the drying effects of blowing air. Make sure their food, water, toys and beds are not in a direct path to the HVAC vent or located right next to a vent.
  • Consider the age of your pet. If it’s too cold in the house, senior dogs can suffer joint pain, leading them to move less and less. Puppies don’t have fully developed immune systems – excessive cold can make them ill.
  • Remember your pets are home when you’re not. Programmable thermostats are a terrific way to be more energy efficient. Just make sure you’re not running the temperature too high during the heat of the day when you’re at work.
  • Going for a walk? Great! The exercise is wonderful for people and pets. But hydration is essential. Make sure you bring a bottle of water for yourself and more water for your dog. Know how your dog drinks best – some dogs can drink water right from a bottle, while others need to lap it up from a bowl. Portable water bowls are readily available in local stores.

Make a habit to safeguard your pets now, and it will also help them when the weather turns cool. Hot air blowing from an HVAC vent can have a drying impact too.

The quality of air in your home is a year-round issue too. Poor air quality can be stressful for a pet, and lead to behaviors that create stress for you – everything from excessive shedding to unexpected chewing. An HVAC expert can check your system and air quality to make sure everything is operating efficiently to create a happy, healthy home environment for you and all your loved ones, furry and otherwise.

At Lee Company, we love our pets and your pets. We understand how important they are, and we’re honored to help you maintain the systems that keep everyone comfortable. Your home is where our heart is.

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