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When it’s cold outside, your heating units need to be able to keep you home comfortable. But if your furnace isn’t sized right for your home, you’ll just end up wasting money. Or worse—you’ll be dealing with a chilly “winter wonderland” inside!

 

Furnace Size and Ductwork

Most people tend to think that furnace size is only determined by square footage of their house. However, the biggest factor is actually the size of the ductwork. If your furnace size and ductwork don’t match up, you’re bound to have some problems.

For example, if the ductwork is too small for your furnace, the furnace will end up having a shorter lifespan than it should. The reason is because the amount of air that the furnace produces doesn't have enough space (ductwork) to travel through. Therefore, it restricts air flow and can eventually cause the furnace to overheat. To compare, it's kind of like driving a big truck with a MINI Cooper radiator in it.

If you want to get the best lifespan out of your furnace, you need to make sure it’s sized appropriately for your ductwork—not just your square footage. Experiencing any of the problems listed below is a sure sign that your equipment need a review.

 

Problems with Furnace Size

There are basically three possible scenarios for your home’s furnace size. You’ll either have a furnace that’s too big, one that’s too small, or a unit that’s sized just right for your home’s layout, the ductwork, and family needs. Keeping all these factors in mind will help you get an effective, energy-efficient setup.

 

Too Small

Having a furnace that is too small for your home means the system won’t be able to keep up with the dropping temperatures outside. They simply can’t make up the difference to heat your home properly. It might come with a lower price tag upfront, but the trouble of having a furnace that can’t even do its job isn’t worth the hassle.

When furnaces are too small, they’ll have to kick on often—or even non-stop—try to increase your indoor temp. They end up running and running, but without any real progress. This leads to excessively high energy bills, and not much help in making your home comfortable.

 

Too Big

Of course, a furnace that is too big won’t be much help either. When units are oversized for the space they’re heating, the furnace ends up working in quick bursts. They’ll turn on when the temperature is low and just end up creating heat pockets. Since the system works at full blast and heats some areas super-quickly, there isn’t enough time for the heat to travel throughout the home evenly.

The furnace then ends up turning on and off more times than is necessary. A few areas get toasty, and then the system turns off. Then, as that heat spreads out, the unit has to warm up again and start all over again. This makes over-sized furnaces really inefficient. For most homes, bigger units aren’t better.

 

Your Right-Size Furnace

A furnace that is appropriately sized for your home and needs will turn on and heat your space gradually. This makes the process much more energy-efficient and puts less strain on your equipment. If you’ve been noticing that your furnace is running non-stop, there’s a good chance it’s too small for your home. And if it’s constantly starting and stopping, you might be living with a unit that’s too big.

When you have a furnace that’s sized correctly for your home, you shouldn’t have to worry about any hot or cold pockets in your home. But even the most efficient systems aren’t totally fool-proof. On the coldest night of the year, your furnace may not be able to keep up. This is actually normal. Systems that plow through those sub-zero temps are likely working inefficient the rest of the year. You may need to throw another blanket on the bed during that extra-chilly spell, but at least you’ll know you aren’t over-paying for a unit that’s too big!

 

Finding the Perfect Fit

Working with an experienced local HVAC company is a great way to ensure you’ve got a heat pump or furnace that’s working with your home setup and ductwork—not against it. The best way to get the best heating system for your home is to work with the pros. An experienced HVAC technician can help you find the right-sized unit for your space and get it installed properly so it lasts longer and stays efficient.

Not sure if your system is running at peak efficiency? Contact LCS Heating and Cooling. We’re proud to provide our neighbors with great service and honest feedback. Give us a call at 317-238-3961 to schedule your Heating Tune-Up before the holidays hit. We’ll help keep your home comfy all year long!

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Outdated dial thermostats prevent you from enjoying a comfortable (and fuss-free) home environment. For easy home upgrades, new tech is where it’s at!

The latest programmable thermostats are an easy upgrade for energy-efficiency. And a smart thermostat will even let you change your home’s temperature remotely. Depending on the model you choose, you can enjoy a few other perks, too.

 

About Programmable Thermostats

Most programmable thermostats include different settings based on the day of the week. This is great for homeowners who have a pretty consistent routine Monday through Friday. When your thermostat is set to your schedule, it will automatically adjust your indoor temp when you’re away, then bring it back to a comfortable level when you return.

As a general rule, you want your programmable thermostat to do the thinking for you. You don’t want to be worried about changing the temperature and checking in when you’re getting ready to leave the house. Programming your settings helps you save on energy costs when you don’t need that “perfect” indoor temp—like when the whole family is out running errands, working, or at sports practice.

 

Comparing Thermostat Models

When it comes to programmable thermostats, there isn’t always a clear winner. It usually just depends on what features would be most useful to you. Of course, some devices are made better than others. They might come with better warranties or have a more intuitive display. These factors should always be considered, as should price. You don’t want to pay for a model that doesn’t do everything you want—just like you wouldn’t want to overpay for a setup that does more than you need.

At LCS Heating & Cooling, we like to set our customers up with programmable thermostats. Hands down, our two favorite are Lennox and ecobee. They’re different enough to provide unique perks, and they’re also both easy to use. If you’re still dealing with a dial thermostat or some other inconsistent system, either one of these would be a sweet upgrade.

 

Lennox

If you’re already using Lennox equipment with your home's heating and cooling equipment, it usually makes the most sense to stay on-brand and go with the Lennox Smart Thermostat. We really like this unit because it holds your temp within a half a degree of your preferred setting. (Talk about precision!)

  • Smart, programmable thermostat—compatible with all Lennox equipment
  • Make temperature adjustments from your smartphone with the iComfort App
  • Plus, the option to update the screen’s background display with a personal photo

The iComfort Wi-Fi setup can even be used to monitor the 5-day weather forecast and other key weather alerts. It’s also really user-friendly. The simple design also lets you adjust settings with one touch. That way, you can tap a button for both “Leaving Home” and “Returning Home” status as you head in or out the door.

Not sure about the one-touch option? The iComfort S30’s Smart Away mode can adjust your temperature settings for you by sensing when your smartphone enters and exits your home. If your thermostat notices that your phone is out of the house (presumably because you, yourself are away), it will know to tweak the temperature accordingly. The same thing happens when you’re at home. Because it can quickly coordinate with your activities in real time, you can be sure to get a great efficiency with your home’s heating and cooling.

 

ecobee

Tech-savvy homeowners really appreciate the communication style of the ecobee. These units come with an ultra-modern design and easily connect with your smartphone.

  • Sleek designs and smart, programmable thermostats
  • Options to sync with your Amazon Echo account or Alexa App
  • Plus, the newest models come with room sensors to help monitor hot and cold spots

The latest ecobee 4 model comes with Amazon Alexa Voice Service already built-in, so it’s super helpful if you want to create a “smart” home. You can communicate with your Amazon account through the ecobee unit and ask it to order groceries, check the news, and more. The voice control is great for hands-free adjustments, like if you’re busy in the kitchen or on the other side of the room.

Need a break from the tech for a little while? You can always turn off the microphone for Privacy Mode. Because ecobee is designed with the end-user in mind, you can trust that customizing your settings will be a breeze. For a jump start, though, it can help to work with a professional for your thermostat install. They can help show you all the ins and outs of your new system, right from day one.

 

Professional Thermostat Installation

A lot of people don’t realize that they can get a better warranty with their new thermostat when they work with a local HVAC company or contractor. Because the major manufacturers offer different products to contractors, you’re more likely to get access to better models. That’s why it's usually better to skip the DIY and go with a registered dealer.

At LCS Heating & Cooling, we’re here to make the process easy for our customers. We’ll even register your new equipment for a 5-year part warranty and a 1-year labor warranty. You can get an even better warranty (up to 10 years) and extra savings if you get your new thermostat installed with new HVAC equipment. If you’re ready to make the switch, contact LCS to schedule your in-home consultation. We know you’ll love your new setup!

LCS Heating & Cooling van

In an ideal world, furnaces and air conditioners would only need service during regular business hours of 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday.  That's not reality though!  Customers will often say things like "I'm having people over for the holiday and my furnace just quit working" or "of course this couldn't have happened during the day" or "it was working fine yesterday!"  HVAC can be unpredictable which is why Emergency Service or After Hours Service is available.

We want to provide a little information on our after hours service and some changes that have taken place within LCS.  We have a story for you:

Many of you have either met or spoken to Travis or Renee, the owners of LCS Heating and Cooling.  For over eight years, Travis and Renee took all of the incoming calls. With the continued growth of LCS, they were finding that they couldn't keep up on the calls.  People were getting frustrated for a few reasons:  1. They were getting voicemail when they called  2. Their calls were not getting returned fast enough  3. They felt that their HVAC needs/projects/jobs weren't important.  4. Travis' phone ringing while he was meeting with customers made the customer feel like he wasn't focused.

Obviously, this was a problem!  Travis and Renee felt that their inability to keep up with the phone calls was affecting the high level of customer service that they wanted to offer.  The solution:

In July of 2013, they hired an office manager.  Chasity is a great asset to the LCS team!  Phone calls that are coming in during the day are answered, phone calls are returned and follow-up calls are made in a timely manner.  Of course, Travis and Renee are always reachable by phone or email but Chasity handles much of the scheduling now.

The one problem Travis and Renee were still having was answering all of the after hours calls.  These calls were being forwarded directly to Renee's cell phone.  Every night, every weekend and every holiday, Renee and Travis were answering calls.  Their solution to being on the phone so much was to let after hours calls go to voicemail and then returning the calls that were emergency calls in which someone needed service right away.  As it turns out, people don't like leaving a message!  If they needed service at 9:00pm, they didn't want to leave a message about it.  They wanted to talk to someone about getting service!  After receiving some great feedback from customers regarding talking to a real person versus leaving a message, Travis and Renee decided they needed a new solution.  They couldn't handle all of the calls but customers didn't like leaving messages.  The solution:

In February 2014, Travis and Renee hired an answering service.  The answering service simply acts as an extension of LCS Heating and Cooling after regular business hours.  ALL calls are answered and our customers will always have a person to talk to...whether it's midnight, a Sunday or a holiday.  If the call is for immediate service, the information gets sent to the LCS technician on call.  These calls are then handled right away by the technician.  If the customer is calling regarding something other than immediate service, the information is sent to the LCS office and either Chasity or Renee will follow up the next business morning.

Why are we telling you all this?  Because we care about what our customers think and we want our customers to understand the process.  We've had some mixed feedback regarding the answering service.  Most of it has been good as people are happy to have the phone answered no matter when they call.  We've also had some great feedback regarding phone conversations with the answering service themselves.  They are efficient and we are happy with their service.  We have had some feedback in which people are unhappy that it's not Travis or Renee answering the phone or that Travis isn't available to talk at that time.  This has been an adjustment for everyone.  It's hard to make changes when things have been done a certain way for almost nine years.

We promise, these are GOOD changes. Providing the best possible customer service is a priority for us.  We want to thank you for your business, your referrals and an exciting 8.5 years!  We're looking forward to growing our business with you and providing you exceptional service...any time, any day or any night.  If you have any feedback for us, it's always appreciated and can be emailed to Renee through the website:  www.LCSheatingandcooling.com