Turning on Heat In Dallas, TX

Turning On the Heat for the First Time

The cold weather came quickly this year, even for Dallas, TX. With our first freezing temperature hitting in early November, we are 10 days ahead of the normal schedule. The cold temperatures are expected to last through the week before warming back up for the rest of November. So take this week as a training exercise for the long term, cold spell we will face in December.

Turning on the furnace for the first time in Dallas, can cause more problems than turning on the A/C for the first time. This is because we rarely use our furnaces compared to other parts of the country. With fewer months of use, that means our furnaces sit for a lot longer and can face bigger problems with initial use. Follow the steps below to ensure your furnace will work well for the few cold months in Texas.

1. Check the Air Filter

The hot weather of Dallas means our furnaces collect dust, literally, most of the year. Cleaning the air filter or even (replacing it) should be done especially at the start of the season. Every 3 to 4 months is recommended, but for those of us in Dallas, replacing it once at the start of the cold season can be done. Air filters are cheap and well worth it compared to cleaning a filter by hand.

2. Follow Your Nose

According to FEMA, heating is second only to cooking as the leading cause of residential fires in cold months. You will likely smell a burning scent, while this is normally caused by dust and lint blocking the air filter, it could lead to a fire. It should only last for a few hours, if the furnace smells every time you turn it on, it’s likely a more severe issue with the air filter. It could also be a toy dropped in the heat exchange or items near the furnace. Always be sure to remove any items touching or close to the furnace to avoid a fire.

3. No Heat or Not Enough?

The two main problems of a furnace are not producing any heat or not enough heat. While the cause could be minor, it might also require a heating expert. First check that the thermostat is on heat and working and set to a warm temperature. It’s best to allow the home to warm slowly, rather than crank it up in a rapid amount of time. Second, confirm the circuit isn’t tripped, something that can happen if you have a high load near the furnace. Finally, check the air filters, if the problem still persists it could be a more serious problem that deserves a technician.

Top 5 Creative Ways to Cool Down in Dallas

No question about it, Dallas is hot in the summer, fall and spring. But you can only hide in your air-conditioned home for so long before you get bored. Venture out and try something new.

bahama-beach-dallas

1. Get Wet

When the going gets hot, the smart get wet. That’s why Dallas has so many water parks. Bahama Beach Family Waterpark, 10 miles south of downtown, is the perfect choice for a group with different levels of thrill seeking. More sedentary visitors tube down the Calypso Cooler Lazy River. Adrenaline junkies plunge down the Riptide Slide and the Bahama Bullet. Entertaining a group of little ones? Bedford Splash has tot-accessible features like the beached boat slide and small bubbling fountains to play in. And every September there’s even a chance to bring the family dog. The annual Dog Splash Day welcomes an onslaught of canines to this small park between Dallas and Fort Worth.

2. Expand Your Cold Treat Horizons

Everybody knows snow cones and ice cream are summer staples. But maybe it’s time to up your frozen treat game. Visit India – okay, Carrollton via Agha Juice – and sample smoothies, fruit juices and ultra-rich homemade kulfi, which is Indian ice cream. You’ll definitely encounter flavors you never see in the grocery store aisle. Cutting back on dairy? Swing by Central Market and pick up a pint of Savoy Sorbet. Flavors include clove, hibiscus flower and lavender.

boat rental in dallas3. Cruise

Is your yacht in the shop for repairs? No worries. You can still enjoy some time on Lake Lewisville.  JT’s Boat Rentals offers wine cruises, party cruises and even an on-lake nightclub with flashing lights and pounding music.  Bring your own picnic dinner for the weekly adults-only sunset cruise. Want the whole boat for you and yours? Charter a 26’, 40’ or 50’ boat for your special occasion.

4. Go Bowling

Bowling has gone upscale from its blue collar roots, at least in places like Splitsville. The Fairview bowling alley combines a vintage aesthetic with modern amenities. Sure, you can get pizza, nachos and sliders while you bowl. But what about the bowler who hungers for sushi? This is the alley where you can satisfy your urge for a crab Rangoon roll complete with water chestnuts and Thai chili sauce. Book online to reserve a lane. And if you go on Tuesday, bowl for two bucks per game per person.

5. Take Your Baby to a Movie

Having a hot summer at home with a fussy baby? Enjoy the A/C during a Cry Baby matinee at Angelika Film Center & Café. On early Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, join other stir crazy parents and their offspring for a child-friendly film. Children under five get in free. At other times of the day, enjoy independent and specialty films at this 8-screen theater. You can wash down your popcorn with espresso, beer or wine.

10 Ways To Fight Indoor Allergies

It is estimated that 40 million people in America suffer from allergies. The sneezing, itchy, water eyes and congestion can be quite bothersome. The good news is that there are several things that you can do to alleviate indoor allergies. Below are some tips for alleviating indoor allergies:

Choose Your Indoor Plants Wisely

It is best to keep indoor plants to a minimum if you suffer from allergies. You will definitely want to keep them out of your bedroom. Indoor shrubs are one of the worst plants to put inside of your home.

Use Hot Water To Kill Dust Mites

Dust mites are one of the top causes of indoor allergies. You can find them on your stuffed animals and bedding. You can prevent dust mites from accumulating by washing your stuffed animals and bedding at least once a week in hot water.

Reduce The Humidity In Your Home

Moisture helps fuel the growth of mold. That is why you will need to keep the humidity in your home as close to 50 percent as possible. You can reduce the humidity by turning on the air conditioner or using a dehumidifier. You should also make sure that you fix any leaks in your home.

Keep Your Home Clean

The blinds, curtains and windows are some of the areas in your home that frequently accumulate mold. Mold can also develop in less-ventilated areas of your home, such as basement or laundry room. You can keep your home free of mold by wiping these areas down with bleach. If you have carpet, then you should vacuum on a regular basis.

Get Rid Of Cockroaches

Cockroaches are often a cause of indoor allergy systems. You can prevent cockroaches from entering your home by removing any food or water source. You may also want to consider calling a professional.

Use An Air Filter

The air that you breathe can be contaminated with pet dander and dust mites. You can keep your air clean by using an air filter.

Get Plenty Of Sleep

You should get seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Sleep allows your body to heal from allergy symptoms.

Shower

If you have been outside during the times when the pollen was heavy, then you should take a shower and change your clothing. Pollen can stick to anything, and it can trigger allergies.

Maintain Your Air Conditioner

Your air conditioner can help control indoor allergies, but it has to be maintained. Air filters should be changed at least once a month, and the air filter should be cleaned at least once a year.

Keep Dogs And Cats Out Of The Bedroom

Many people are allergic to an allergen found inside of the pet fur, saliva or urine. You do not have to get rid of your pet, but you should consider keeping him or her out of the bedroom.

Lower Your Energy Bills by Setting Your Thermostat

gg54633740People are always looking for effective ways to save money. Heating and cooling a house has become a major expense of many households. There is a lot of information available in the Internet about how to save money on your monthly energy bills. However, the best way to do this is by having a digital and programmable thermostat installed in your home.

Every homeowner has experienced the feeling of turning on the air conditioning to get cooled off and later feeling a chill because the air conditioner has turned your home or apartment into a place that is cold enough to hang raw meat. On the other hand, many people turn on the heat to warm themselves on a cool night. They go to sleep and wake up a few hours later in a room hot enough to double as a sauna. Obviously, these are both giant wastes of energy that can easily be avoided. There is no need to take a major hit in the wallet each month because you are paying for hot and cold air that you did not even need.

The installation of a programmable digital thermostat will prevent this type of energy wasting from ever happening in your home again. A digital thermostat has the ability to be set to the exact preference of the person using it. However, the programming goes far beyond simply programming the temperature. A person can also set the exact time he or she wants the heater or air conditioner to start and stop. For example, if you are at work all day during the winter, there is no need for you to keep the heater running if there is nobody else living in your house. If you wait until you get home from work to turn on the furnace, you will need to wait an additional 30 minutes or more for the furnace to heat the entire house. Meanwhile, you are still cold and uncomfortable.

If you install a digital thermostat, you can program it to turn your furnace on at a specific time, say 30 minutes before you usually arrive home. When you walk in the door, your furnace will have already been cranking out the heat for a half hour, so you will not have to sit there shivering while you wait for your house to warm up.

So who do you call to handle the installation of a programmable digital thermostat? Lex Air has been doing this for many years. Located in Carrollton, Texas, this is a company that is family owned and operated. The satisfaction of their customers is the only thing they are concerned about. They provide same day service and installation, so you will not have to wait a week or two for them to come to your home. They always answer their phone, no matter when you call. Service is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They do not charge by the hour, so you will not need to worry about a technician wasting time in an attempt to milk the clock. Call Lex Air today to set up an appointment at 972-466-1917.

Keeping You Breathing Comfortably in Your Home

Reducing allergens in the home is an important task to keep the household breathing comfortably. An overabundance of allergens in the home can leave the family sneezing, itching and coughing. Allergens can be anything from dust particles or mold all the way to dander from animals. There are a few easy ways to efficiently help reduce the allergens in your home.

Keep Humidity Low In The Home

A great environment for allergens to thrive in, especially mold, is a damp, cool environment. Keeping the humidity low in the home by the use of a dehumidifier, air conditioner and heating unit help make it hard for allergens to thrive.

Keep Filters Clean

One of the easiest ways to help rid the home of allergens is to keep all of the filters in the heating and air unit clean. Clean coils, heat exchangers, and filters help ensure the air the family is breathing in the home is as clean as possible.

Check Furnishings Frequently

Allergens tend to accumulate in areas of the home such as drapes, upholstery, blinds, couches and carpet. For items such as drapes, if it is possible to wash them, that is the best course of action. For items that can not be put in a washing machine such as blinds, couches, and carpet, it is imperative to keep these items clean by vacuuming frequently.

Launder Bedding Weekly

Allergens can easily attach themselves to bedding. Washing all bedding, including sheets, blankets, and pillowcases, weekly helps cut back on the allergens that are dealt with while sleeping at night. The best way to launder the bedding is to soak it in warm water with detergent then wash in warm water. This helps rid the bedding of any allergies that might want to cling to it even after washing.

Dust Frequently

Dusting frequently is imperative to help fight battle of ridding the home of allergens. Dusting and vacuuming at least once if not more times a week helps ensure dust does not find a place in the home to stick around.

Use Ventilation Techniques Whenever Possible

Natural ventilation of the home helps fight against allergens. Opening windows when possible is the most natural form of ventilation. If opening windows is not an option due to climate or any other circumstance, using ceiling fans and exhaust fans helps ventilate the home also.

Reducing the allergens in the home requires constant upkeep. If the home is cleaned regularly and items such as bedding and draperies are washed regularly, the allergens in the home are greatly reduced. Ensuring filters and coils in heating and air units also significantly help in the battle against ridding the home of allergens.

Is Your Home Properly Insulated?

Take a look at your heating or cooling bill. Is it more than $100 per month and you’re barely using any energy? If so, you may have an insulation problem that may need to be addressed immediately. Experts have shown that 25 percent of heat can be lost through a basement, and 60 percent of air leaks in a home are found in the attic. There are teams of technicians at Lex Air Conditioning who can address any insulation problems that may arise. Here’s what you need to know about insulation:

Proper insulation is Required to Keep the Home at Moderate Temperatures

If you want to properly heat and cool your home, you must get the right kind of insulation. The most popular types of insulation include spray foam, blown-in loose fill, and fiberglass rolls. Upgraded materials are a necessity to help the house remain a moderate temperature at all times.

R-value is an important term to know if you are going to purchase insulation by the thickness and also by the ability of insulation material to regulate and control temperature in the home. If the insulation is not installed properly, the accuracy of the R-value may be off. Missing vapor or air leak barriers may also affect the accuracy of the measurement.

Old Homes Versus New Homes

People who purchase a new home will probably have proper insulation. In fact, in certain states, new home builders are also required to meet new energy saving codes. Homes built in the time period from 1900 to 2000 will probably need better insulation to ensure that the heating bills remain low and moderate.

Home insulation should not be a do-it-yourself project. There are so many things that could go wrong that may adversely affect your heating and cooling bills. If you lose more money because it’s not done properly, you’ll negate any savings that you may have earned by doing it yourself. Spend the extra money upfront to save for many years to come.

How to Save More by Paying Attention to Basements and Crawl Spaces

To conserve energy, you should also properly insulate your basements and crawl spaces. Vapor sealing is an important part of this process. Drafty, cold floors, and heat loss can be prevented with proper insulation to prevent air seepage through crevices in the floorboards. After you’ve insulated, run a BPI certified energy to determine if the home is properly insulated. Common problems include drafts and parts of the room getting hotter than other regions.

Keep Your Home Properly Insulated

You can keep your home properly insulated and keep the temperatures moderate with a few simple steps. Contact a professional at Lex Air Conditioning to find out more about how we can be a part of properly insulating your home. It may cost a lot up front, but it’ll save more in the long term.

Maintaining Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system may seem like a twisted enigma of ducts, vents and machinery, but it is not that difficult to maintain if you know how it works. With two units located inside and outside, a refrigerant flowing through the system is systematically pressurized between a liquid and gaseous state. Through this conversion process, hot air is converted to cool air, and vice versa. Caring for the system’s basic components prolongs its life.

Clean Or Replace Air Filter

The simplest component to maintain is the air filter. As air moves into the inside unit, the air filter stops particulates from entering the intricate mechanisms. If the filter is not replaced or cleaned, it becomes a barrier to incoming air. The HVAC system works harder to cool or heat the home, and eventually breaks down from overheating or excessive exertion. To save money on replacing the filter each month, invest in a reusable filter. You simply rinse it and place it back in the HVAC unit. A clean unit remains reliable for years.

Straighten Air Conditioner Fins

The outdoor unit has a system of fins that are typically visible from the outside. Over time, these fins may be struck by objects or weathering, causing them to press together or apart. The fins need to be parallel with one another to allow proper refrigerant pressurizing. Use a fin comb designed specifically for air conditioning units. Similar to combing hair, you straighten the fins to rejuvenate your system.

Clean Out Debris

The outside unit is vulnerable to damage from debris accumulating inside the housing. With the system off, remove any leaves, twigs or other debris from the housing. In the future, use a cover on the air conditioner to keep it as clean as possible. Do not operate the system with the cover on, however. You may damage the unit, requiring extensive repair or replacement.

Seal Ducts

Your HVAC system uses flexible or rigid ducts to move heated or cooled air to individual rooms. Inspect as many of the ducts as you can access. Seal any ducts that are cracked or dislodged. Any air that escapes into walls or attics is wasted energy. Your initial reaction is to turn up the HVAC system when the home is not cooling or heating correctly. You want all the air to travel to the rooms’ vents to save on energy costs and reduce wear on the system.

Inspect For Refrigerant Leaks

The inside and outside units are connected mainly by the refrigerant line. Examine these lines periodically to pinpoint any possible leaks. Current refrigerant is non-toxic, but older systems may have a liquid that is highly toxic. If you see any refrigerant leaks, it is best to call a professional for an evaluation. A refrigerant leak may indicate an associated problem within the system that only a professional can evaluate.

Maintaining your HVAC system keeps your home and family comfortable throughout the seasons. Simple maintenance chores prolong the system’s life. Call a professional for any major problems or repairs to avoid further damage to the system.

Tips for Keeping Your Energy Costs Low this Winter

Between keeping your home warm and your pipes unfrozen, energy costs can skyrocket during winter. Luckily, there are several ways of keeping energy costs affordable, if not exactly ‘low.’

Adjust your thermostat at night.
Did you realize that cooling your house off before bed time will help you sleep better? In addition, dropping the temperature 10 to 15 degrees can save you nearly 10% per year on energy costs. That temperature loss is nothing a thick, warm blanket and some quality sheets can’t solve. If that’s not enough, consider getting an electric blanket – they don’t use much energy, and are extremely comfortable and warm.

Keep your thermostat set at a reasonable temperature.
When winter hits, many people want their homes to be as warm and balmy as a tropical island. However, keeping your thermostat at 80 degrees will only result in very high power bills and unnecessary strain on your system. Power companies recommend keeping your thermostat around 68 degrees in winter, as this means the system doesn’t work as hard.

Insulate your home.
If your home isn’t properly insulated, you’re wasting a lot of energy and power. By making sure that you aren’t losing heat through the windows, doors, walls, and ceiling, you can ensure that you don’t spend nearly as much money each winter blasting heat into the atmosphere. Let the sun warm the trees; your home doesn’t have to.

Make sure your HVAC system is in good repair.
Many people have heating and cooling systems that are long overdue for maintenance, yet few ever have them taken care of. Give Lex Air a call today; as a family run business, we understand the necessity of trying to cut costs and save money. We also understand that you shouldn’t neglect vital systems that heat and cool your home. We offer free estimates on any heating and cooling installations, as well as repair work that might need to be done. Our company is very experienced, and strives to offer the customers the best we can.

Lex Air is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we can give you same day service – no need to sit in the cold until your system is fixed. If we have to stay later in order to repair your home, the price won’t change – we don’t charge for overtime. We understand that high repair costs might stop you from repairing your heating and cooling systems, but your family’s comfort should be your number one priority. Our low, affordable prices and quality workmanship ensure that you get what you pay for, and that you aren’t overcharged for what is a necessary service. If you suspect there is a problem with your heating system, give Lex Air a call today.

Keeping your Heating Unit Working Properly

In winter’s cold temperatures, having indoor heating is a must if you want to be safe and comfortable in your home. However, all appliances are vulnerable to problems, and your furnace is no exception. In order to get the best and most reliable performance from your heating unit, regular maintenance is key. Neglecting certain areas of furnace care can result in sub-standard heating, abnormally high energy costs and even damage to the unit itself. If you want to stay cozy and avoid problems this winter, here are some tips for keeping your heating unit working properly.

Keep Outdoor Vents Clear

If your home’s furnace vents to the outside, it’s essential that you keep this clear of obstructions. This time of year, snow drift can accumulate near the vent and block the flow of exhaust. However, this isn’t so much a functionality issue as it is a safety hazard. When exhaust can’t leave, it will be dispersed throughout your house instead. This can result in a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can prove fatal in high enough levels. While you’re clearing your sidewalks and brushing off your car, take a few minutes to clear the snow away from your exterior vents, too.

Change Your Filters

You should make sure to change your furnace filters as often as indicated by your unit’s manufacturer. These filters are responsible for cleaning the air from your furnace, and they can become clogged surprisingly fast. A full filter won’t allow as much warm air to pass through, which means you may experience inadequate heating. Furthermore, any allergens trapped in the fibers are released back into the air, worsening your allergies and making you feel miserable.

Schedule Professional Maintenance

At least twice per year, it’s recommended to have a heating technician come to your home to inspect the unit and perform routine maintenance. The technician will use this time to clean all of the components, inspect them for potential issues and replace them if necessary. By adhering to a regular maintenance and inspection schedule, you can reduce the chances that you’ll have to deal with an inconvent furnace outage on a cold winter’s night.

Duct Cleaning

If you want cleaner air and a more efficient heating system, then consider having your ducts cleaned at least every three years. Over time, ducts will collect large amounts of dust and debris. This reduces space and increases resistance, which cuts down on the flow of warm air throughout your home. By keeping them clean, you’ll experience higher efficiency and better air movement. In addition, a duct cleaning will also decrease concentrations of airborne allergens in your home. It’s important to keep in mind that this is a job for properly equipped professionals and should never be attempted by yourself.

Be Keen to Problems

Part of good furnace maintenance means being able to recognize when things aren’t working properly. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these signs and to keep an eye out for them. Stay alert for knocking or grinding sounds, uneven heating, electrical issues or anything else out of the ordinary. If you notice one or more of these signs, call a professional heating company right away so they can diagnose and fix the problem.

Lex Air Offers Professional Pipe Insulation for Winter Weather

When the water in pipes becomes frozen it will not only prevent them from working but can permanently damage the pipes. Lex Air offers services for pipe maintenance in Carrollton to prevent the costly repairs caused by frozen pipes that have burst.

The reason pipes will burst when water freezes is fairly simple. When water reaches freezing temperatures the molecules crystallize. Most molecules will contract at this point because there is very little to no movement in them. Water, however, has a special structure when it crystallizes that actually causes it to expand when it freezes. When the pipes are filled with water there is no room for expansion. So when the water becomes frozen the pipes will burst if they are completely filled.

Another common problem that can cause damage to pipes occurs when the pipes are frozen but empty. If hot water runs through a pipe that is frozen, the difference in temperature causes a lot of stress on the pipe. This stress can result in a warped, twisted, or cracked pipe that will need to be replaced.

Pipes will need to be prepared for the winter in order to prevent them from freezing and bursting. Many times people do not believe their pipes need to be prepared for the cold weather because temperatures are still relatively warm. However, all it takes is one night when the temperature drops just below freezing to cause a major issue. Our services for pipe maintenance in Carrollton will provide the experience needed to prepare pipes in any location of the house for the winter weather.

Outside pipes like those used for a sprinkler system or hose are especially vulnerable because they are directly affected by the weather. Pipes that are inside can also be affected by cold weather as well; especially when they are located in the outer walls of the house or in a room with no heating such as the garage.

There are many ways in which pipes can be protected. The best method depends on several factors including their location, size, shape, and design. Lex Air has the experience and knowledge required in order to maintain pipes and protect them from the elements. Our technicians have seen the resulting damage that can occur, and, therefore, know exactly what to look for and how to prevent such problems.

To protect pipes from freezing and bursting they need to be insulated. The professional pipe insulation services Lex Air offers are designed to protect pipes from even the coldest temperatures. Do-it-yourself pipe insulation jobs may protect pipes from temperatures just below freezing but will not be much help if the temperature drops much lower.

Give us a call today for the most comprehensive protection available to prepare your pipes for the oncoming winter weather with our services that are fast, affordable, and professional.

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