Did you know that a Lennox PureAir™ whole-home air purification system improves indoor air quality better than any single system on the market?* If you or a family member suffer from allergies that are triggered by indoor air irritants, a PureAir system can provide efficient and effective relief. 

The more you know, the better you’ll feelrelief from allergies

Asthma and allergic diseases, such as hay fever, food allergies and eczema, are common among all age groups in the United States. In fact, it’s estimated that asthma affects 24.5 million Americans, while more than 50 million suffer from some type of allergy.

Although there is no cure for asthma or allergies, getting the right information about their triggers and treatment makes the conditions more manageable, and life more enjoyable. Two great sources of information are the AAFA and the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

Allergy triggers and treatment

Allergies are one of the most common chronic diseases. There are many types of allergies, including drug, food, insect, latex, mold, pet dander and pollen. Some allergies are seasonal and others exist year-round.

An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system identifies a substance/allergen as harmful and overreacts to it by producing antibodies. This response is called an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, hives or a rash. Other more serious symptoms, like trouble breathing and swelling in the mouth or throat, may be life threatening.A board-certified allergist can help determine the severity and cause of the allergy problem. Treatment and advice may include avoidance of the allergen, medications (over-the-counter and prescription) and immunotherapy (allergy shots), all of which can provide effective allergy relief. Making changes to your environment can also be helpful.

Asthma is a chronic disease that causes the airways of the sufferer to become inflamed, making it hard for them to breathe. Asthma symptoms can appear when the sufferer is exposed to a trigger. Common asthma triggers include pollen, chemicals, extreme weather changes, smoke, dust mites, stress and exercise.

Although many people with asthma rely on medications to prevent and relieve symptoms, there are many simple things that can be done to lessen the possibility of an asthma attack. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, taking steps to reduce exposure to asthma triggers is a key part of asthma control, these steps include:

  • Use your HVAC system for asthma relief. Air conditioning reduces the amount of airborne pollen from trees, grasses and weeds that finds its way indoors. Air conditioning also lowers indoor humidity and can reduce exposure to dust mites.
  • Decontaminate your decor. Minimize dust that may worsen nighttime symptoms by replacing certain items in the bedroom. For example, encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dustproof covers, and use washable curtains and blinds.
  • Maintain optimal humidity. If you live in a damp climate, a dehumidifier can help.
  • Prevent mold spores. Clean damp areas in the bath, kitchen and around the house to keep mold spores from developing.
  • Reduce pet dander. Avoid pets with fur or feathers. Having pets regularly bathed and groomed also may reduce the amount of dander in the house.
  • Clean your home regularly. Clean your home at least once a week. If you're likely to stir up dust, wear a mask or have someone else do the cleaning.

Call us today at contact us today at 608.205.4410 to schedule an appointment to discuss your future PureAir whole-home air purification system.

This post was originally featured on the Lennox Comfort Matters blog.

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Do you ever get one part on your car replaced only to have another part fail soon afterward? Car engines are complicated systems, and all of their individual parts are carefully matched for maximum performance. A new part with radically different operating characteristics can put extreme stress on other related parts, causing them to fail.

Similarly, your home's heating and air conditioning units form another complex system, and actually share critical components, in particular your furnace and air conditioner. Both of them use the same blower to force conditioned air throughout your home. If you're thinking about replacing your air conditioner, should you also be replacing your furnace at the same time? To answer that question, let's take a look at what the furnace and air conditioner have in common, and the pros and cons of replacing both systems at the same time.Lennox System

Your air handler or furnace and the evaporator coil are located in the indoor portion of your air conditioner, and are connected to your home's ductwork. If you replace your air conditioner without replacing your furnace and coil, you will only be replacing your air conditioner's outdoor unit. Energy Star, the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) recommend the air conditioner, coil and furnace be replaced together in order to meet their Quality Installation Guidelines.

Like the car engine above, not doing this can have serious implications on the performance and efficiency of your entire HVAC system, and may encounter the following issues:

  • A decreased lifespan of your system - According to AHRI, “When improperly matched, the efficiency and longevity of these systems are significantly compromised.” With matched equipment, you'll get the best possible system performance without additional stress on any one component of the system.
  • Lower system efficiency - Would you put used tires on a brand new car? Of course not, because it would prevent your car from running as smoothly as possible. The same is true for your furnace and air conditioner. Even if your new outdoor unit is 18 SEER, the old indoor section (probably for an 8-10 SEER unit) could cause the system to lag behind, keeping your energy bills higher than they should be.
  • Premature breakdowns - As in the automobile example, an old air handler may not be capable of moving the required volume of air as a new one. This creates undue stress on the other components of your air conditioner and forces them to work harder, resulting in unnecessary, premature breakdowns.
  • Increased installation costs - Replacing the outside unit, waiting a few years, and then having another contractor come out to install the furnace unit means paying for two separate installations instead of one. Replacing your furnace and air conditioner at the same time will cut down on overall installation costs for both systems.

Obviously, if your air conditioner just stopped working, you're facing some quick and tough decisions. It may be better to take a moment to think, and then respond rationally without rushing into an uninformed decision.

Here are important factors to consider when purchasing a new heating or cooling system:

What is the age of your system?

On average, a furnace will last 15 to 20 years and a central air conditioning system will last 12 to 15 years, depending on quality and efficiency of the equipment. If your furnace and air conditioner were installed at the same time, then they are both the same age. So if your air conditioner stops working at the end of its usable life (10-12 years), then your furnace is also at the end of its usable life. You if you have to replace your air conditioner, consider replacing your furnace and coil in order to maximize the return from your investment.

What is the SEER?

The higher the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating the more efficient the unit, which translates to less money spent monthly cooling your home. A 13 to 14 SEER rating is the minimum; 15 SEER is good; and above 16 is high efficiency. A high efficiency system can cut energy bills in half when compared to an old 8 SEER unit, and provide many comfort benefits.

An unmatched system will never be able to achieve the SEER designated on the yellow hang tag affixed to your condenser. In fact, it will probably be closer to the SEER of your old system. When you match your condenser with the correct coil and furnace you are guaranteed to get the SEER you paid for. Oftentimes, matching the best furnace will boost your efficiency beyond the yellow hang tag. Remember, the higher the SEER with your matched system the higher utility savings for you every month.

What type of refrigerant is used?

R-22, also referred to by brand names like Freon® and Puron®, has been restricted from use in all new units produced after 2009. As an ozone-depleting gas, R-22 refrigerant should NOT be used in new systems. If you're buying a new system, make sure it uses R-410A or a similar approved refrigerant. In some cases repairs can be made to existing systems using the R-22 refrigerant already in your old system, or it can be repaired and recharged with “re-claimed” and recycled R-22 refrigerant from other old systems.

R-22 system components such as indoor coils, refrigerant controls and driers are NOT compatible with new R-410A systems!
Don't go for the lowest price.

A low price does not always equal the best value. A higher efficiency system might cost extra upfront, but could save you extra dollars per year in energy costs throughout the life of your new system. In addition, new furnaces have stronger blowers and can move more air to cool your entire house better. Your air handler has a huge impact on your heating and cooling bills. Even if you install a high efficiency air conditioner, it will not operate as efficiently as it would if you installed a new furnace or air handler also.

Should you consider a maintenance contract?

Maintenance is necessary to keep your system functioning in optimal conditions over the life of the unit. Over time dirt, debris, and other foreign substances can cause build up in your system, erode electrical connections and cause other damage that is expensive to replace. The buildup can also cause a 14 SEER unit to perform like a 10 SEER one, making your system work harder and your utility bills higher. Ensuring your system is clean and maintained annually can extend the life of your system and help you avoid expensive and preventable repairs.

How do I know if it's time to replace?

There are certain telltale signs that indicate it's time to replace your heating and cooling equipment, or improve the performance of your overall system:

  • Your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old
  • Your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old
  • Your energy bills are going up
  • Your cooling or heating isn't as efficient as they used to be
  • Some rooms are too hot or too cold
  • Your home is too dry in the winter or too humid in the summer
  • Your home has excessive dust, or
  • Your heating or cooling system is noisy

You may qualify for a federal tax credit.

A number of tax credits for residential energy efficiency have been renewed, and are available for purchases made in 2016, as well as retroactive to purchases made in 2015. ENERGY STAR products eligible for tax credits are independently certified to save energy, save money, and protect the environment. The total credit can be as much as $500. It only applies to an existing home and it must be your principal residence. New construction and rentals do not apply.

Replacing an air conditioner and a furnace at the same time is going to be expensive, however; based on the information given, replacing your furnace and air conditioner at the same time is smart and cost effective. It will save you money in the future by lowering your energy bills, reducing repairs and installation costs. Your comfort level will increase year around by getting the best performance possible out of your system, and better maintain the temperature and humidity levels in your home.

Ultimately, the decision is yours and we will support your choice, but we strongly suggest you make the smart choice and get a matched system; replacing both your air conditioner and furnace at the same time.

Call us today at contact us today at 608.205.4410 to schedule an appointment to discuss your future system.

This post was originally featured on the Lennox Comfort Matters blog.

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Now You Can Spring Clean Every Part Of Your Home—Including The Air!

A PureAir™ whole-home air purification system from Lennox® improves indoor air quality better than any single system you can buy.* So if your family suffers from allergies that are aggravated by the effects of indoor air pollutants, a PureAir system is the solution you’ve been looking for.

woman sneezing in a towel

Breathe cleaner, healthier indoor air Allergens, mold, mildew, pet dander, odors and chemical vapors, these are just some of the unpleasant things that can be present in the indoor air you breathe. Luckily, a PureAir air purification system takes out what you shouldn’t breathe in. Simple to install and extremely effective, PureAir works with almost any heating and cooling system and can be added to almost any home. So you don’t have to purchase an entirely new HVAC system to enjoy the clean-air benefits of PureAir.

Unmatched purification and filtration

Many technologies available today only combat one or two categories of air contaminants, and often only in a single room. The PureAir air purification system is the only single indoor air quality system to combat all three classes of indoor air contaminants—particulates, bioaerosols and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)—for comprehensive air purification throughout your entire home.

How the PureAir system works
The PureAir air purification system reduces indoor air pollutant levels through a combination of hospital-grade filtration and a contaminate destruction process called photocatalytic oxidation (PCO). The process involves three steps:

Step 1

The Carbon Clean 16® filter captures particles and bioaerosols as small as 0.01 micron, removing them from the airstream—contaminants that standard filtration systems simply can’t stop.

Step 2

As the odor- and chemical-vapor-filled airstream flows through the PCO cartridge, the airstream is exposed to the catalytic surface (titanium-dioxide-coated PureAir cartridge).

Step 3

The light energy from the UVA lamp and catalyst work together to break down odors and chemical vapors.

All the filtration, without the harmful side effects

Unlike other air purification products on the market, the PureAir system does not produce any ozone as a by-product and actively works to reduce ozone, a known lung irritant.**

Breathing easier starts here

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of a PureAir whole-home air purification system, contact us today at 608.205.4410 to schedule an appointment.

*Based on internal benchmarking.
**U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Ozone Generators that are Sold as Air Cleaners: An Assessment of Effective and Health Consequences," August 2006.

This post was originally featured on the Lennox Comfort Matters blog.

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Spring has already sprung—but it’s not too late to get your lawn ready for a season filled with cookouts, backyard games and stargazing on a blanket in the grass. With just a little work, you can transform your great outdoors into an extension of the comfort of your home. To help you get your property into shape, here are a few springtime lawn care tips.

Spring Cleaning

autumn 473059 640The first thing you can do for your lawn is to clear out the cobwebs. Start with a light raking to pull up any sticks and dead grass. Along the way, make sure to pull up any weeds you come across. Then, to ensure water and nutrients can reach the roots of your grass, use an aerator to loosen your soil and avoid compaction.

If you want to take that extra step, you can also take note of how water moves over your property when those April showers fall. Regrading uneven ground can help avoid poor drainage and multiple problems caused by standing water.

Where the Green Grass Grows

After clearing, pulling and patching, your grass will be thin in some places and downright bald in others. Planting new grass and fertilizing properly will be key in filling out your lawn. Having your soil tested and choosing the right seed for your particular property and local climate will help determine the success of your new growth. Soil tests can be found through the USDA or local government branches of the Natural Resources Conservation Service. These tests are often provided free of charge. 

After spreading the seed (by hand or with a spreader), make sure to maintain soil moisture through regular watering. Additionally, placing straw on top of the newly seeded areas will help retain moisture and heat should a spring cold snap strike.

Lastly, fertilizers and herbicides can have a tremendous positive impact on lawn growth while helping to control unwanted weeds that choke out new grass. But before you apply any chemicals, make sure you understand the possible personal impact any ingredients may have on you, your family, or your pets.

Mowing your lawn

Once all that new grass starts growing, it will be time to crank up the lawn mower. Before cutting the grass, it’s good to look over the mechanics of your mower—after all, there are a lot of moving parts in an engine, and it will have been sitting idle in the cold for months.

Once you’ve given your mower a tune-up, it’s time to get cutting. Be sure to set your mower to the correct height given the kind of grass you planted (this information is usually provided with the seed you purchase). Cutting your lawn too short could damage the grass and promote weed growth.


gardening 1047252 640Other than your mower, the most visible piece of machinery on your property is likely your air conditioner. As you are landscaping, it’s a great time to also perform some HVAC equipment maintenance. To ensure optimal performance, make sure to trim shrubs, bushes, or branches back to at least 18 inches of clearance around your outdoor unit. Also, clearing away any grass clippings, leaves, foliage and other debris will prevent possible airflow obstructions. Finally, double check to make sure your HVAC unit is resting level on its concrete pad.

Additionally, if your unit is not already obstructed from view, there are many different plants that can help your HVAC blend into your landscaping more seamlessly. If maintaining the pruning of plants around an outdoor air conditioner seems like a daunting task, you can always build a decorative, gated enclosure to hide it from view.

Ready for Summer

Spring is a time to throw open the windows and shutters, and breathe deeply as we air out our homes after a cooped-up winter. But summer heats up quickly, and it won't be long before you need to close those windows again and crank up the AC. Before you do, it’s important preventive maintenance to set an appointment with us to ensure your system is ready for summer. Contact us today at 608.205.4410 to schedule an appointment.

This post was originally featured on the Lennox Comfort Matters blog.

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R 22

If you own a home air conditioner that was manufactured before January 1, 2010, your system could very likely be using a refrigerant (Freon™) called hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-22 (also known as R-22). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires that R-22 be phased out by 2020 in an effort to protect the Earth's ozone layer.

Since we are getting closer to the phase out, and production of R-22 has dropped by 90%, the industry cost of R-22 has gone up dramatically. We do still have R-22 in supply to service older air conditioning units if needed, but the price to recharge those units is going to keep rising.

Replacing your air conditioner with a new, more efficient model will save you money on your cooling bills year after year. Our Lennox air conditioners are ozone-friendly and energy efficient, with excellent SEER ratings from 13 through 25 SEER.

For more information, visit the EPA's Website.

Check out our current offers.

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