L & H SERVICES BLOG



The Truth about SEER Ratings.
June Blog

If the air condition system in your home is over 8-years old, it’s probably time to think about a replacement. Even if you’ve properly maintained it and it appears to be performing, it’s likely costing you.

As you search for the ‘right’ air conditioning unit, you’ll see and hear the term SEER. What does this mean? And, how does it impact you, your home, and your family?

SEER is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It’s a mathematical computation to gauge how energy efficient a specific air conditioner unit is. The current minimum SEER ratio by Federal standards is 13; the highest I’ve seen is 25. A higher rating is always more energy efficient.

I’m not going to bore you with the mathematics of SEER ratios. In short, it has to do with tons, BTUs, days in use, and kilo-watts consumed. There’s no high-level math formulas here because it’s really just about value – what it costs to buy an energy-efficient air conditioner and the monthly energy costs to keep your home and family comfortable.

There is a simple balance between the cost of a unit with a high SEER ratio and the operating cost you can expect from that unit.

When you ask your local HVAC dealer for a quote for a new air conditioner, you’ll likely receive 2 or 3 alternatives – each air conditioning unit will likely have a different SEER rating.

Yes, the installed cost of an air conditioner unit with a higher SEER ratio will likely cost more than one with the lower SEER ratio. But, overall, the one with the higher SEER ratio will cost less in monthly energy costs.

For example, the monthly energy budget for an A/C unit with a SEER rating of 23 can easily be about half of one with a SEER rating of 13; the monthly energy budget of a 23 SEER rated unit can be 25% lower than one with a 16 SEER ratio.

In addition to monthly savings, the 23 SEER rated unit is more environmentally-friendly.

Whether you’re replacing your furnace, central air conditioning, adding a dehumidifier or clean air system, or cleaning and servicing your system, we are knowledgeable and expert in delivering the service you need.

Look to us for installing advanced, state-of-the-art high-efficiency Armstrong Air furnaces and Air Conditioners. Superior quality equipment and Trained Certified Technicians – we’re the Team that truly delivers for you.

We’ve been serving homes in your neighborhood for years with prompt, dependable, and reliable service that meets the highest standards. Experience counts! Your neighbors rely on and trust us to treat them ‘right’.

Your neighbors rely on us for advanced products and expert service. We make the HVAC updating and maintenance process as stress-free as possible. We’re just a phone call away.


Winter to Summer Change-over
May Blog

Spring is in the air and everything is about to change. No more winter coats. Sun setting later. No more wrapping-up the kids. Trees filling with leaves. Birds return. It’s time to re-acclimate!

The annual transition from Midwest winters with freezing temperatures to 90˚ days can be hard on your home heating and cooling system. Your heating system worked hard all winter to keep us comfortably warm and now it needs to be readied for cooling.

The key to re-acclimating from winter to summer is simply to remember that warm air rises and cooler air sinks. That’s it in a nutshell. In a 2-story home, that means over the winter, nature saw to it that warm air rose from your furnace to the second floor. It was automatic – little force was necessary to keep your upstairs bedrooms warm. But now, for summer, you’ll need to ‘force’ cooler air up to the second floor to maintain a comfortable temperature.

I recommend an easy 5-step approach for an efficient and cost-effective Winter-to-Summer re-acclimation in your home:

  1. Air Vents
    Open the air vents in rooms on the higher floors; close those in your basement and on lower floors. Since warm air rose during the winter, you probably closed the upstairs vents last fall – now it’s time to do the opposite. With the upper floor vents now open, your air conditioning unit will efficiently force cool air to these rooms.
  2. Filters
    Spring is the perfect time to replace the furnace filters – it’s amazing how much dirt and dust they collect. This is the air your family breathes and filters are inexpensive. Also, don’t forget to change the filter on the air cleaner and dehumidifier. Once again, filters are inexpensive and relatively easy to change.
  3. Test
    Over the winter your outside central air conditioning unit has been dormant. Spring is the time to test your air conditioning unit – before you need it. Simply set your thermostat to the lowest possible temperature and switching to ‘cool’ should start your outside air conditioning unit. You should feel cool air coming through your vents. If not, you need to contact a local HVAC professional to inspect the unit. Even if you covered your outside air conditioning unit for the winter, it probably needs a thorough cleaning – debris removed, hoses checked, connections tightened, and eliminate any rodent or pest infestation. Your local HVAC technician can perform a thorough cleaning service.
  4. Duct Debris
    Should the ‘test’ of your air conditioning be successful and cool air is coming through the heat vents, watch for any dust coming through the vent. This might suggest you need your vents cleaned by a professional HVAC service technician.
  5. Continuous Fan
    I live in an older 2-story home and realize that older homes were not build for air conditioning – the duct work is too limited to power cool air to upper floor. To adapt, I set my thermostat to run the fan ‘continuously’. This gives my upstairs a constant flow of cool air when I need it on those hot days.

Whether you’re replacing your furnace or central air conditioning, adding a dehumidifier or clean air system, or cleaning and servicing your heating and air conditioning system, we are knowledgeable and expert in delivering the service you need. Look to us for your annual inspection. Duct cleaning. Diagnose malfunctions. Improving ventilation. Replacing Filters. Installing advanced, state-of-the-art high-efficiency Armstrong Air furnaces and Air Conditioners. Superior quality equipment and Trained Certified Technicians – we’re the Team that truly delivers for you.

We’ve been serving homes in our neighborhood for years with prompt, dependable, and reliable service that meets the highest standards. Experience counts! Your neighbors rely on and trust us to treat them ‘right’.

They rely on us for advanced products and expert service. We even help you take advantage of rebates from manufacturers and energy companies. We make the HVAC updating and maintenance process as stress-free as possible. We’re just a phone call away.


Double Savings with Smart Rebates
April Blog

When you make energy-savings improvements to the heating and central air conditioning in your home, you can actually save TWICE:
First with rebates on the equipment installed by a qualified HVAC Dealer.
And, again with monthly savings on your energy bill.

With more than half the energy costs for your home going to heating and air conditioning, high-efficiency equipment saves on daily energy use and costs. When you upgrade to a more energy-efficient furnace or central air conditioning system, you may qualify for Rebates and Tax Credits when it’s installed by a professional HVAC Dealer.

If the furnace or central air condition system in your home is over 8-years old, it’s probably time to think about a replacement. Even if you’ve properly maintained it and it appears to be performing, it’s likely costing you every month when you pay your energy company. Your local HVAC Dealer can:

  • Recommend the ‘right’ equipment to meet your needs.
  • Provide expert installation.
  • And, help you file for Rebates and Tax Credits.

You’ll save on the equipment and every month on your energy bill.

Your professional HVAC Dealer does most of the work. That means identifying the ‘right’ Armstrong Air high-efficiency furnace and central air condition unit that qualifies for a Rebate or Tax Credit. Among rebates available are:

  • Up to $700 INSTANT Rebate on an Armstrong Air home comfort systems (indoor, outdoor, and ComfortSync) installed by a qualified HVAC Dealer.
  • $400 Rebate from the electric company on an Armstrong central air conditioning system with a 16 SEER rating (see next month’s blog for more about SEER ratings).
  • $250 Rebate from your natural gas company on selected Armstrong furnaces.
  • $125 Rebate from the electric company on an upgraded furnace blower motor.
  • $50 Rebate from your natural gas company on a new SMART thermostat.

Not everyone will qualify for these rebates and there are no guarantees that the utility companies will continue with their offers. Fortunately, your professional HVAC Dealer can share their understanding of the details of their offers, provide the necessary documentation, and supply the appropriate claim forms.

Your professional HVAC Dealer can also address areas where your system can become more efficient by cleaning and sealing ducts. Yes, there are also rebates available when a qualified HVAC professional improves the flow of air through your ducts, seals leaks in your ducts, and improves insulation.

Today’s furnaces and central air conditioning units are incredibly sophisticated machines – far superior to their predecessors. They’re fine-tuned, highly-sensitive operating systems designed with controls and sensors to maximize efficiency.

The ‘best’ solution for your home depends on a number of variables including your climate, how well insulated your home is, your comfort preferences, your budget, and your feelings about being environmentally-friendly. Your professional HVAC Dealer can calculate the annual estimated operating cost of models you’re considering and knows which qualify for Rebates.

Whether you’re replacing your furnace, central air conditioning, adding a dehumidifier or clean air system, or cleaning and servicing your system, we are knowledgeable and expert in delivering the service you need.

Look to us for installing advanced, state-of-the-art high-efficiency Armstrong Air furnaces and Air Conditioners. Superior quality equipment and Trained Certified Technicians – we’re the Team that truly delivers for you.

We’ve been serving homes in your neighborhood for years with prompt, dependable, and reliable service that meets the highest standards. Experience counts! Your neighbors rely on and trust us to treat them ‘right’.

Your neighbors rely on us for advanced products and expert service. We make the HVAC updating and maintenance process as stress-free as possible. We’re just a phone call away.


The Truth about Cleaning Air Ducts
March Blog

A recent news article caught my attention. It recommended that when we turn our clocks ahead or back, it’s time to think about getting your air ducts inspected. All sorts of things affect the air we breathe inside our homes. Nearby road construction. Cozy wood burning fireplaces. Cooking. Cleaning solvents. Humidity. Rain and moisture. All impact the quality of air in your home.

While the cautious EPA says scientific studies are inconclusive about the impact of dirty air ducts on indoor air quality, it’s common sense to have an expert inspect these ducts to insure their integrity and to protect your family.

A trained HVAC expert will look for . . . mold . . . infestation by rodents or insects . . . debris from damaged or pierced vents . . . water or moisture . . . air leaks . . . deteriorating or improperly connected flex ducts . . . and a build-up of pet hair, dirt, dust, and contaminants.

If an inspector finds air quality issues in your home, always: See Examples. Insist that the inspector show you examples of any problem before you proceed. That means seeing examples of mold, rodent droppings, cracks, holes, water stains, discolored walls or floors near vents, or separated seams in your ducts.

Should the inspector find and show you evidence of any problem, the most important step is to determine the cause. Only after the cause is clearly defined and understood can you proceed with corrective action.

Don’t wait. The air your family breathes is too important. Correcting the problems as soon as possible will ensure that no further deterioration occurs. We’ll systematically help you schedule, resolve, and keep track of improvements.

Once the repairs are done, go forward with a thorough duct cleaning. Everyone in your home will breathe easier. You may even want to set up a regular maintenance program with your HVAC expert. Scheduled checks of the blower motor, cooling coils, gas lines, and heat exchanger (for gas unites) insulating liner, drain line and emergency drain pan help avoid serious problems and repairs in the future. Peace of mind is a beautiful thing.

Whether you’re replacing your furnace or central air conditioning, adding a dehumidifier or clean air system, or cleaning and servicing your heating and air conditioning system, we are knowledgeable and expert in delivering the service you need. Look to us for your annual inspection. Duct cleaning. Diagnose malfunctions. Improving ventilation. Replacing Filters. Installing advanced, state-of-the-art high-efficiency Armstrong Air furnaces and Air Conditioners. Superior quality equipment and Trained Certified Technicians – we’re the Team that truly delivers for you.

We’ve been serving homes in our neighborhood for years with prompt, dependable, and reliable service that meets the highest standards. Experience counts! Your neighbors rely on and trust us to treat them ‘right’.

They rely on us for advanced products and expert service. We even help you take advantage of rebates from manufacturers and energy companies. We make the HVAC updating and maintenance process as stress-free as possible. We’re just a phone call away.


The Truth about In-home Air Cleaners
February Blog

Did you know that indoor air pollution is a top five environmental health risks? We all want the air quality in our home to be as clean and comfortable as possible. But the tricky thing about air quality is that so much that is harmful to us is undetectable with our noses.

Dust, cleaning chemicals, pet dander, humidity, bacteria, and just plain stale air have led many of us to pursue air purifiers and clean air systems to protect and improve our homes. While allergies, asthma, and respiratory issues are among the health reasons to pursue an air cleaner, dust and airborne contaminants also impacts furniture, wallpaper, drapes, carpeting, and causes paint to flake.

Many ‘air purifiers’ on the market are really just dust filters. They’re offered at low prices online or at big-box retailers. But, a closer look at these ‘bargains’ indicates that they basically just have a fan, some type of filter, and some controls. These usually have just a fine mesh carbon filter – nothing like the solid carbon found in a true air purifier. These are only as good as how frequently you change this thin filter. And, even then, their impact is limited to a few feet around where you put them in a room.

Are you sneezing or have a lot of headaches? Is your furniture dusty? Is asthma an issue? Are you concerned about odors, mold, or airborne bacteria and fungus? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you need a clean air solution. Regardless how well you clean your home, a ‘real’ comprehensive Home Air Purifier will help.

The most effective solution to improve in-door air quality is a purifier system that attaches to your home’s central heating and cooling system. Sure, there are portable units that can be moved from room to room, but cleaner air is a whole house matter. Therefore, the best choice is a ‘real’ solution – a purifier system that is attached to your furnace. It will measurably improve air quality throughout your entire home, not just an individual room or area.

A state-of-the-art filtering systems address all the most common in-home air quality issues . . . Allergens . . . Bacteria, Mold & Germs . . . Household Chemicals . . . Humidity Imbalances . . . Mildew . . . Must Odors . . . and Stale Air.

Your local HVAC dealer can help you determine the ‘right’ state-of-the-art air filtering system that best fits your home’s needs.

Whether you’re replacing your furnace or central air conditioning, adding a dehumidifier or clean air system, or cleaning and servicing your heating and air conditioning system, we are knowledgeable and expert in delivering the service you need. Look to us for your annual inspection. Duct cleaning. Diagnose malfunctions. Improving ventilation. Replacing Filters. Installing advanced, state-of-the-art high-efficiency Armstrong Air furnaces and Air Conditioners.

Superior quality equipment and Trained Certified Technicians – we’re the Team that truly delivers for you.

We’ve been serving homes in our neighborhood for years with prompt, dependable, and reliable service that meets the highest standards. Experience counts! Your neighbors rely on and trust us to treat them ‘right’.

They rely on us for advanced products and expert service. We even help you take advantage of rebates from manufacturers and energy companies. We make the HVAC updating and maintenance process as stress-free as possible. We’re just a phone call away.


The Truth about High-Efficiency.
January Blog

Each year when you turn your clocks ahead and back, it’s also time to think about getting your heating and air conditioning system in shape for another season. And, if your system is more than 10 years old, it’s probably time to begin thinking about upgrading and replacement as repairs become more costly and frequent.

With more than half of the energy used in the typical home going to heating and cooling, it’s important to make smart decision about your home’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning.

Energy costs aren’t getting any cheaper. You’ve heard that there can be “big savings” with the latest high-efficient HVAC systems. But, is that savings worth the extra cost? Will you see that savings on your monthly bills? What’s the truth?

If your current furnace was 80% efficient when installed, that means that 80% of the fuel that is burned is turning into heat and 20% is directed up your chimney through the exhaust. So, for every $1 of your heating cost, 20¢ goes up the chimney – not very efficient. And, as your furnace ages, it likely gets less efficient.

If you upgrade to a 95% efficient unit, will that translate into an immediate 15% savings in fuel bills and less lost up your chimney?

The time in which you recoup your investment in a new HVAC system will vary from house-to-house depending on a number of critical elements. The key critical variables include:

  • The temperature you find comfortable.
  • How well your home is insulated.
  • How well your ductwork is functioning.
  • How ‘clean’ the house is in terms of secondary filters, ventilation, and humidity.
  • How well the new system is installed and maintained.

If you miss any one of these, it will extend the time before you break-even on your investment in a new heating and air conditioning system.

For example, having a new 95% EnergyStar system installed in a poorly insulated home may result in no savings because much of the heating is going out the doors, walls, and windows. The warmer you keep your home in the winter and cooler you prefer in the summer will limit savings. And, some believe that improper instillation can reduce system efficiency by up to 30%.

A Certified HVAC expert can help as you weigh these variables. Local contractors should have the experience and worksheets to address these and other local variables. Plus, your local HVAC expert can offer advice on manufacturers’ discounts and rebates and applicable government tax credits.

You’re making a 10-year investment in your home. Careful study is necessary to weigh the variables mentioned here and project your future comfort level. There’s no easy answer. Each situation is truly unique.

Whether you’re replacing your furnace or central air conditioning, adding a dehumidifier or clean air system, or cleaning and servicing your heating and air conditioning system, we are knowledgeable and expert in delivering the service you need. Look to us for your annual inspection. Duct cleaning. Diagnose malfunctions. Improving ventilation. Replacing Filters. Installing advanced, state-of-the-art high-efficiency Armstrong Air furnaces and Air Conditioners. Superior quality equipment and Trained Certified Technicians – we’re the Team that truly delivers for you.

We’ve been serving homes in our neighborhood for years with prompt, dependable, and reliable service that meets the highest standards. Experience counts! Your neighbors rely on and trust us to treat them ‘right’.

They rely on us for advanced products and expert service. We even help you take advantage of rebates from manufacturers and energy companies. We make the HVAC updating and maintenance process as stress-free as possible. We’re just a phone call away.