AC Maintenance

HVAC Myths Busted

Whether it’s a cold winter morning or a hot summer afternoon in Northern Colorado, your HVAC system is working hard to keep you comfortable.

There is a lot of well-intentioned and good advice out there on the internet, along with a lot of misleading myths that can end up costing you time and money. Fortunately, Lion Home Service is familiar with all of the most common HVAC myths, and we have the facts to debunk them.

 

Myth #1: Crank up the T-Stat

Truth: Thermostats send information to your system that tells it when to turn on and off based off of the temperature you want to maintain. Your heating system will deliver air at the same constant rate no matter how high the temperature is set. The only difference it will make is that it will run longer until it reaches the setting you have set. So cranking up the heat or turning the temperature way down, generally wont speed up the process, just cost you more money in the long run.

 

 

Myth #2: Close those vents and registers

Truth: This myth makes sense in theory—if you’re not using a room in your home, why not close the vents so you won’t have to pay for heating or cooling an empty room? However, closing vents can actually cost you more money in the long run by damaging vital components of your HVAC system. Even if your vents are closed, air is still circulating through your ducts. This increase in pressure can damage your ductwork, and damage your blower fan by causing it to leak or overwork. Bottom line, it’s best to leave all of the vents in your home open so that air can circulate throughout your home properly. If you have hot and cold spots in your home, talk to one of our experts about zoning and duct sealing.

Myth #3: Fixing an old furnace repeatedly

Truth: Maintenance matters! Just as you schedule routine maintenance for your car, and annual checkups for you and your family, your HVAC system needs an annual check-up as well. While it may be tempting to skip a routine maintenance appointment to save some money, this decision can have negative financial impacts in the long run. This is due to the fact that routine maintenance gives a service expert the opportunity to spot and fix small problems before they become more serious, and more expensive.

Having your system assessed annually can save you from costly repairs down the road or worse. The systems fatigue will trigger damages in the furnace’s firebox, which increases the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

Myth #4 High Efficiency system solves all

Truth: It takes a combination of various insulations, such as sealing your doors, windows, attic space, plumbing pipes, duct work and any leaks and cracks, Together, with the air produced by your efficient system will in and keep you comfortable and save money.

Myth #5: The larger the system, the better

Truth: Bigger can actually be worse. The size, or power, of a system is carefully measured to properly heat and cool your home. A more powerful system can occasionally be fine, but most often ends up short-cycling (shutting off and on prematurely), which can cause long-term damage to the system, costing you more money to operate and shortening its lifespan.

Be careful when choosing the contractor because some will convince homeowners to make a bigger purchase than necessary and pay for power you don’t need. When it is time for you to replace your HVAC system a Lion Expert will measure your home and offer you a system with the exact specifications you need to ensure you receive the most energy efficient system available.

 

Myth #6: Only changing filter once a year

Truth: Your filters are your home’s first line of defense against all the dirt, dust, and other contaminants that can circulate throughout your HVAC system. Because of this, it’s important to change your filters much more often than once a year. Dirty filters can constrict the amount of air that flows through the system, causing the system to work harder—which can lead to a possible breakdown. Dirty filters can also have an overall negative effect on the air quality in your home.

Ideally, you should clean or replace your filters every six weeks. If anyone in your home has asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions, you should change your filters monthly. This also holds true if you have pets, as their hair and dander can contribute to your filters getting dirty faster.

Take advantage of our Filter Subscription program and have filters delivered conveniently to your home.

Myth #7: Keep the temperature the same

Truth: If you’re not at home, you can save money by raising or lower the temperature on the thermostat. Rather than remembering to do this before you head out the door in the mornings, you can set a programmable thermostat to do it for you. For example, if you’re home in the mornings, but away at work during the day, you can program the thermostat to automatically increase or decrease the temperature as needed. According to the EPA, homeowners can save around $180 a year by using a programmable thermostat.

 

Myth #8: Using you HVAC system in short bursts saves money

Truth: Your HVAC unit actually uses the most energy during the first 3-5 minutes after you switch it on. If you continuously turn your unit on and off, you’ll end up using a lot more energy than necessary, which will be reflected in higher energy bills.

To heat or cool your home more efficiently, try toggling the switch on your HVAC unit to “on” and then leave the system to run uninterrupted. This allows the fan to blow air constantly, helping to maintain the temperature in your home and reducing the amount of energy that’s used.

 

Myth #9: If its not broke, don’t fix it

Truth: If you’ve been holding out on replacing your HVAC system, it’s time to see how technology has changed. When it comes to comparing older and newer HVAC systems, the differences are clear. Newer systems are exceptionally energy-efficient, allowing you to save on your monthly energy bills. Newer systems are also generally quieter, easier to operate, and less prone to breakdowns. Additionally, older systems may use defunct parts or equipment, such as R-22 refrigerant, which can make repairs costly. Rather than continuing to pay for a system that’s past its prime, replacing the system altogether is a better investment overall.

If you need help with Furnace or Air Conditioner maintenance or repair, We serve For Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder, Windsor and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with an expert you can trust. 970-399-9940

 

 

 

 

AC Maintenance

Inside our Lion HVAC Maintenance Assessments

 

What separates Lion Home Service from other HVAC companies, and positions us as experts in our field, is our comprehensive Maintenance programs. Unlike other companies that only perform a simple check for loose bolts or dirty filters, we check the entire system from top to bottom—to help it work efficiently all year long.

To help you understand what our maintenance assessment entails, we’ve compiled a list of the major points for both the heating and cooling season. In this article, we’ll explain what each major point is, and how it benefits your system.

HVAC Maintenance for the Heating Season

 

Every year we find ourselves turning up the thermostat to keep our homes warm—especially when Northern Colorado temperatures really starts to drop! During a heating maintenance assessment, our service expert will inspect your home’s heating system and ensure that it’s ready to keep you comfortable in the winter months.

Heating

  • Check all the burners for proper operation
  • Check thermocouple for proper operation
  • Check the flue pipe
  • Check the inducer and blower motors
  • Check and tighten all electrical connections
  • Check the safety switch and controls
  • Check the pilot assembly
  • Check temperature and pressures
  • Check thermostat for proper operation
  • Check drain lines and traps for proper function
  • Testing and labeling of emergency shut-offs
  • Check gas valve
  • Check zone valves
  • Check expansion tank
  • Check aquastat, relay and water regulator
  • Check air flow across indoor coil and blower wheels
  • Check duct work for leaks
  • Start and test operation and cycle of unit
  • Check air flow
  • Check humidifier/dehumidifier

Here are the top 4 services you can expect during a heating season maintenance assessment and why we do them.

 

1. Check gas valves and connectors

The gas valve of your furnace supplies the gas it needs to allow combustion. Since it’s an important part to a fully functioning furnace, it should be thoroughly checked out to ensure that everything is in good working order. The service expert will inspect your furnace’s gas valve to make sure it’s allowing combustion, as well as inspecting all connectors to make sure they’re doing their job of powering the furnace.

2. Check burners

Burner flames should be a bright blue color. Yellow flames indicate dirty burners or that the gas is not completely lit, which can impact your unit’s heating performance. Problems with the burner can also indicate a potential gas leak, which could be dangerous. Since burner fixes are best left to the professionals, the service expert will inspect them and alert you to any problems during your maintenance assessment.

3. Check duct connection

Ensuring that your ducts are free from damage, debris, and leaks will improve the air quality in your home and keep your heating system operating at its best.

A duct system helps deliver and remove air from your home through a controlled path. This path begins at an outlet connected to your HVAC system, and runs throughout your home. As part of your maintenance call, the service expert will inspect your duct connection and ensure that it’s in good shape and free of any leaks. If there are any leaks, the service expert will let you know how to improve efficiency.

4. Check furnace belt

In most cases, the air fan that provides heat for your home is powered by an external motor. If the belt between the motor and the fan breaks or is worn out, problems can arise—including less efficient heating and higher energy bills.

A worn furnace belt can create a squeaking noise, while a belt that is too loose will keep the fan from turning as it should. The service expert will inspect the belt for signs of wear and tear, and let you know how its operating.

 

 

HVAC maintenance for the Cooling Season

During the cooling season, your AC system should be serviced to ensure it’s ready to withstand the blazing summer heat. We’ll inspect the unit to make sure you won’t have any unwelcome surprises when the temperatures start to rise. As part of your maintenance assessment, a service expert will examine your air conditioning system and alert you to issues on components such as refrigerant levels, condenser coils, and more—which are typically overlooked by other HVAC companies.

Even if you had a maintenance assessment the previous winter, it’s still important to schedule maintenance for the summer. This is because the two assessments differ and address different elements of the HVAC system.

Cooling

  • Check condenser coil
  • Check evaporator coil
  • Check blower motor
  • Check refrigerant charge
  • Check and tighten all electrical connections
  • Check temperature and pressures
  • Check thermostat for proper operation
  • Check and labeling of emergency shut-offs
  • Check controls and safety devices
  • Check capacitors
  • Check condensate drain
  • Check relays and contactors for proper operation
  • Check duct work for leaks
  • Check proper amperage and voltage of A/C system
  • Start and test operation and cycle of unit
  • Check air flow
  • Check humidifier/dehumidifier

Here are the top 4 services you can expect during a maintenance assessment on the Cooling system and why we do them.

1. Check refrigerant levels

One of the first things our service expert will do on a maintenance assessment is check your AC unit’s refrigerant levels. Refrigerant is a compound that absorbs heat and generates cold air when combined with components such as compressors and evaporators. If your refrigerant levels are low, a leak is mostly likely to blame. Without any refrigerant, your AC system won’t work at all, and you’ll quickly notice a hot and uncomfortable home. It’s our service expert’s responsibility to check for any leaks and alert you to any needed repairs, to ensure your unit will be set to run all summer long.

2. Check condenser coils

Condenser coils absorb the heat from inside the house and release it outside. If the condenser coil is dirty, this process is interrupted, and the system doesn’t function as it should.

A dirty condenser coil can cause problems including:

  • Higher energy bills
  • Uncomfortable room temperature
  • A system breakdown

During a maintenance assessment, the service expert will clear any debris, that may be surrounding the unit. They’ll also alert you if any additional cleaning is required.

3. Check thermostat calibration

If your thermostat is out of sync with your unit, your home may never actually reach the temperature you set it to. Your air conditioning may also show signs of short cycling, meaning it turns on and off frequently. This can wear down your system and result in higher energy bills. If the service expert notices your thermostat is reading wrong, they’ll re-calibrate it to make sure that it reads accurately.

4. Check air flow and filter size

Even the best air conditioning system won’t be able to cool your home effectively if your filters are clogged, dirty, or the wrong size. Additionally, filters that are too big or too small can let unfiltered air into your home, increasing your exposure to allergens and pollutants. The service expert will check the filters in order to ensure that they’re the right size, and that air is flowing correctly. If there’s a problem with the filters, they will either replace them during the maintenance assessment or schedule a follow-up.

 

It’s important to perform regular annual maintenance on your units to make sure both your air conditioning and heating systems operate at peak performance well into the future. Just as you take your car in for regular maintenance, regular maintenance is required of your HVAC units to ensure they operate effectively and efficiently.

Your manufacturer’s warranty will not cover maintenance visits. However, most manufacturers require your unit to be maintained annually to protect your warranty and keep your part warranty up to date.

When to schedule maintenance

We recommend scheduling your maintenance calls in the Spring and in the Fall, before the Summer or Winter temperatures start. That way, any problems with your unit can be addressed before you need to rely heavily on heating or cooling. We will even call to remind you!

Get started today

Whether you’re looking to schedule a maintenance assessment, or have no heat, no cool, or any other HVAC, Furnace, or Air Conditioner repair need, contacting Lion Home Service is the best place to start. With more than 20+ years of experience, we’ve remained dedicated to providing quality service you can trust. No matter what time of year, Lion Home Service is here to help with all your heating and cooling needs. We serve For Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder, Windsor and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with an expert you can trust. 970-399-9940

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AC Maintenance

New and Improved Total Care Club Membership

 

ALL OF YOUR HOME SERVICE NEEDS UNDER ONE ROOF!

Over the years, Lion Home Service has added services in an attempt to make our clients’ lives easier. We know that everyone is busy and our goal has always been to offer full home services, so that you only have to make one call to a company you trust.

 

OUR MEMBERSHIP JUST GOT BETTER!

We are now offering Roofing, Gutter, Indoor Air Quality, Safety and Septic annual assessments in addition to all the other assessments we have always offered our membership!

Heating, Cooling, Electrical, Plumbing, Drains, Indoor Air Quality, Safety, Roofing, Gutters, and Septic

Total Care Club Memberships will cover preventative maintenance assessments for Heating, Cooling, Electrical, Plumbing, Drains, Indoor Air Quality, Safety, Roofing, Gutters, and Septic services.

NOW EVEN MORE BENEFITS!

  • Free Estimates – we will gladly assess any repair needs within your plan and provide estimates at no additional charge to you for the duration of your club membership
  • Guaranteed Response Time
  • Priority Scheduling – Whether you’re calling for routine maintenance or emergency service, you will receive the earliest available scheduling.
  • 15% Member Rate Discount– 15% Off of Septic Pumping and ALL Repairs!*
  • Money Saving Coupons – that never expire
  • Maintenance Assessments
  • 24/7 Great Service Discount – emergencies don’t always happen when it’s convenient, rest assured knowing Lion Home Service is there when you need us. If you require emergency service, you will never pay a premium fee after hours.
  • Fast 0% Down, 0% Interest Financing Available

All for the same low cost!

1 Year and 1 month FREE- Total 13 months $299

2 Years and 1 Year FREE- Total 3 years! $499

3 Years and 2 Years FREE- Total 5 Years! $699 BEST VALUE !!

Heating

  • Check all the burners for proper operation
  • Check thermocouple for proper operation
  • Check the flue pipe
  • Check the inducer and blower motors
  • Check and tighten all electrical connections
  • Check the safety switch and controls
  • Check the pilot assembly
  • Check temperature and pressures
  • Check thermostat for proper operation
  • Check drain lines and traps for proper function
  • Testing and labeling of emergency shut-offs
  • Check gas valve
  • Check zone valves
  • Check expansion tank
  • Check aquastat, relay and water regulator
  • Check air flow across indoor coil and blower wheels
  • Check duct work for leaks
  • Start and test operation and cycle of unit
  • Check air flow
  • Check humidifier/dehumidifier

Cooling

  • Check condenser coil
  • Check evaporator coil
  • Check blower motor
  • Check refrigerant charge
  • Check and tighten all electrical connections
  • Check temperature and pressures
  • Check thermostat for proper operation
  • Check and labeling of emergency shut-offs
  • Check controls and safety devices
  • Check capacitors
  • Check condensate drain
  • Check relays and contactors for proper operation
  • Check duct work for leaks
  • Check proper amperage and voltage of A/C system
  • Start and test operation and cycle of unit
  • Check air flow
  • Check humidifier/dehumidifier

Indoor Air Quality

  • Free Annual Radon Test
  • Filter Inspection
  • Duct work inspection – video/pictures
  • Insulation Inspection

Electrical

  • Main Panel Check Up
  • Check all wiring in main panel for proper sizing
  • Check breakers and fuses for proper operation
  • Check outside meter and enclosure
  • Check outside main feeders
  • Check ground fault protection for proper operation
  • Check surge protectors
  • Check attic fans for proper operation
  • Check exhaust fans for proper operation
  • Testing of circuit breakers
  • Check all accessible lights, switches, dimmers, receptacles, ceiling fans
  • Check all main service grounding and tighten as needed
  • Check any outside and inside disconnects

Plumbing & Drain Cleaning

  • Check Water Pressure
  • Field Test Drinking Water
  • Check Washing Machine Hoses
  • Check all faucets for leaks to ensure proper operation
  • Dye test toilets to check for leaks to ensure proper operation
  • Check all drains for proper flow
  • Check garbage disposals for proper operation
  • Check all emergency shutoff valves for proper operation
  • Labels all main shutoffs at locations
  • Check main water meter
  • Check all outside spigots

Safety Inspection

  • 10 -Point Fire Safety check which includes but not limited to:
  • Check Carbon Monoxide alarms
  • Check Smoke Alarms
  • Check main disconnects

ROOFING*

  • 21-Point Roof Inspection
  • Photos taken on inside and outside of the roof with attic assessment

GUTTERS

  • 17- Point Gutter Inspection

SEPTIC*

  • 15-Point Septic Assessment – Includes but not limited to:
    • Check tank liquid levels
    • Tank construction and structural integrity
    • Access point structural integrity
    • Inlet/Outlet Tees and baffles
    • Checking for any cracks/leaks

During the year, your Lion Service Expert will perform a plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning, roofing, gutter, and septic assessments. These assessments allow you to protect your home’s investments by ensuring all systems are running and performing correctly – saving you money on costly repairs!
For more information about starting your Total Care Club Membership, call 970-399-9940

*15% member discount does not apply to new roof installations or new septic installations. 15% off is applied to roofing repairs, septic pumping & repairs, Hvac installations and other inside repair services.

AC Maintenance

What to do About a Rusty Air Conditioner

A rusty air conditioner isn’t just an eyesore. If you allow rust to develop on your air conditioner’s surfaces for long enough, eventually it will corrode vital parts and cause your unit to stop working altogether. At Lion Home Service, we advise our customers in the Fort Collins, CO, area to take all the necessary preventative actions to ensure that their air conditioner continues to operate efficiently for years to come. Here are the reasons your air conditioner can develop rust and how you can prevent further damage.

How Does Your Air Conditioner Get Rusty?

If you live near the ocean, you have an elevated risk of seeing your air conditioner develop rust as the saltiness of the humid air can eat away at the surfaces. Snow and ice can also break down the coat of paint on your air conditioner. The change from hot summer months to freezing winters can wreak havoc on your AC system’s surfaces. Be mindful of what is stated on your unit’s warranty because rust may cause it to be void.

How Can You Prevent Rust on Your AC?

If your environment is conducive to making your AC develop rust, you may want to consider buying a model that comes covered in protective paint. This should keep you from having to deal with rust for a few years. If you already have an older air conditioner that is starting to show signs of rust, you can buy special paint and make sure to cover your unit in time to prevent further damage.

Repainting Your Air Conditioner

Start by removing the rust from your air conditioner with some fine-grit sandpaper. Then, use a degreaser to wash the dust and debris from the rust removal you’ve just conducted. Cover vital internal parts with a tarp or a cloth and add a layer of rust-proof primer to the areas that were rusty. Finish off the process by coating with rust-proof paint.

If you’re a homeowner in the Fort Collins, CO, area and you need help assessing the extent of rust damage on your air conditioner, call Lion Home Service today to consult with one of our friendly experts. We also provide 24/7 emergency support for your emergency heating and cooling needs while also offering electrical and roofing services for your home.

AC Maintenance

4 Helpful Indoor Air Quality Tips

The quality of the indoor air in your home determines how well you breathe each day and the cleanliness of your surroundings. Many residents struggle to protect their air from contaminants, pollutants, and allergens that enter the building. Here are a few indoor air quality tips to utilize that should prove to be helpful for your Fort Collins home.

1. Use Green Cleaning Products

Many people don’t realize how many chemicals and toxins circulate throughout the building when they clean their home. Due to the different types of cleaning products that are used to wipe down various surfaces, harmful chemicals can spread. Opt for using green cleaning products that are made from natural ingredients to protect the air quality in the building. You can also rely on household cleaners like vinegar and baking soda to remove grime throughout the space.

2. Ventilate the House

Proper airflow is necessary to improve the quality of the air. Proper airflow also lets dust, particles, and allergens exit the home. Open the doors and windows throughout the day to remove stagnant air and refresh the space. If you live in a downtown area or a busy city, be specific about the time of day when you open your windows and doors to prevent pollutants from entering the home.

3. Replace the Air Filter

Many people forget to replace their air filters every few months, which can cause dust, pet hair, and allergens to circulate after the particles are trapped. Replace the air filter every two to three months, depending on how much the HVAC system is used. The filters can also be regularly cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Purchase a Salt Lamp

Salt lamps are increasing in popularity because they fight positively charged ions that lead to allergies. Residents can also experience relief with their respiratory issues or asthma.

Quality AC Repair

Contact Lion Home Service in Fort Collins today to learn more about how you can improve the quality of the air in your home with the help of one of our service experts. We also offer heating, cooling, electrical, roofing and water heater services.

AC Maintenance

3 Advantages of Duct Sealing

Ducts are responsible for carrying warm and cold air throughout your home. However, poorly designed or poorly installed ducts can result in leaks or other problems that result in energy loss. Let’s look at some reasons why duct sealing may be in your best interest.

1. Prevent Air Loss

You could be losing up to 30 percent of the air that your furnace or air conditioner produces. That could result in heating and cooling bills that are much higher than they need to be. At Lion Home Service in Fort Collins, can perform duct sealing services to ensure that your home is more efficient and more comfortable. We can also clean ducts and take care of any other HVAC needs that you may have.

2. Your Home Will Be More Comfortable

If cold air doesn’t get to a room in your home, it can be incredibly hot and humid during the summer months. That same room could be colder than the rest of the house during the winter even when the heat is on. If you spend time in a room that suffers from uneven heating or cooling, it may be hard to sleep or otherwise enjoy occupying that space on a regular basis.

3. Keep Your Home in Good Condition

It is not uncommon for ducts to be located in a wall, in an attic or in an area that has been covered by drywall. Therefore, it may be impractical or too expensive to repair defective ducts. By sealing the ducts instead, you can maintain your home without going over your budget. Our service experts can work with you to develop a plan that can improve your ducts without causing too much interruption to your daily life.

If you are looking for a company that can do quality duct sealing work, call Lion Home Service today. We can also provide water heater service as well as perform work on your home’s electrical system.

AC Maintenance

Tips Xcel Energy Wants to Keep Quiet

Summer is here and energy costs are rising. Between the warmer weather and children being out of school and using more electricity, the market for electricity expands. As it expands, electricity suppliers raise costs. While the average homeowner has no recourse but to pay their electric company the market rate, they can change some of their habits to reduce their use. Respected area heating and cooling service company, Lion Home Service wants to get the word out on how to save on energy costs during the dog days of summer. According to CEO and founder, Barton Palmer, there are several tiny steps that homeowners can take to save big on energy costs.

“A lot of service companies will try to tell people that need a new, energy-efficient cooling system for their home and while they can certainly lower a home’s energy use, not everyone can afford it,” says Palmer. “I usually tell people to look for tiny ways here and there that they can save on energy use because over the course of a few months those tiny changes in behavior will add up to big bucks.”

Lion Home Service recommends changing filters and performing routine maintenance on heating and cooling systems will make a huge difference. When a system doesn’t have to work hard to do its job, energy is reduced. Dirty air filters play a huge role in cooling costs, which is why Lion Home Service stresses changing filters regularly.

Other tips include purchasing UV shades to block out the suns more harmful rays and being sensible with the cooling dial. Instead of setting the temperature to 69 degrees, set it to 70 or 72. According to Palmer, the little things add up to big savings.

“If our customers have a little extra money,” he says,” installing solar powered attic fans, roof vents, or additional insulation may also help. You’d be surprised how much heat is stored in the attic of a home. If you can reduce that, it lowers the effort on the cooling system to regulate the temperature.”

For more information on how to adopt energy-saving polices or have a system serviced for summer contact us.