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 Lincoln's Greener Savings Blog 
Thursday, January 22 2015

Act Like Your Life Depends on It; IT DOES!

Last month, a Plymouth customer called because her furnace wasn't working properly. I soon found a cracked heat exchanger. I immediately opened doors and windows throughout the home. Deadly carbon monoxide gas had been escaping into the home. We installed a new furnace.

When I asked the homeowner if she had carbon monoxide detectors, she reported that they had in fact gone off a few days earlier so had been unplugged to stop the noise. But nothing was checked!

When I asked if she had been having any health issues, the homeowner said that she had experienced headaches and dizziness and had even visited the hospital emergency room one day.

THIS HOMEOWNER AND HER FAMILY WERE SLOWLY BEING POISONED. 
THE DOCTORS MISDIAGNOSED, AND SENT HER BACK TO THE HOME!

Here's what you should do whenever your carbon monoxide detector sounds:

  1. GET FRESH AIR IMMEDIATELY! Open doors and windows.
  2. THEN LEAVE THE HOME, AND CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT. They'll check for carbon monoxide. If they detect it, they'll turn off all fuel burning appliances. That will include your fireplace, oil or gas-burning furnaces, water heater, generator, stove, oven, space heater, etc.
  3. GO TO AN EMERGENCY ROOM AND REPORT THAT YOU SUSPECT CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING. THIS IS IMPORTANT! The emergency room medical team that treated our Plymouth customer did not diagnose carbon monoxide poisoning and sent them home. That's not unusual. Such symptoms are often mistaken for those of flu, food poisoning or other common respiratory ilnesses. It is critical that you tell them that your carbon monoxide detector went off!
  4. CALL YOUR BALANCED HVAC PROFESSIONALS TO CHECK YOUR FUEL-BURNING APPLIANCES BEFORE RETURNING THEM TO SERVICE.

​Carbon monoxide poisoining is serious business.

It's the leading cause of poisoning deaths in the U.S. This silent killer is colorless and odorless. At high levels, it can kill within minutes. Even low levels can cause shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea and headaches and may have long-term effects on health. 

PREVENTION IS THE KEY!

Of course your best protection lies in prevention

  1. EQUIP YOUR HOME WITH A WORKING CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR. NEVER disconnect its power supply, and ALWAYS check batteries. (We send all newsletter readers email reminders twice a year. Let us know about friends and loved ones you'd like us to include.)
  2. SCHEDULE ANNUAL HEATER MAINTENANCE SERVICE. Had this homeowner followed our recommendation, we would have detected the problem well before her heat exchanger failed.

If you have not yet had your heater inspected this season, schedule now. If your home does not have a working carbon monoxide detector, contact us. Ours detect low level contamination that standard store-bought detectors miss. If you have not checked your detector's batteries in the last six months, do so immediately.

Please take this advice seriously. It can save your life and the lives of those you most love.

Lincoln

Posted by: Lincoln Stubbs AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 16 2014
Ductless Heating/Cooling Rebate Ending Soon

If you have ever thought about boosting
your home's comfort and energy effiency,
there's never been a better time to act!

Ductless Heating and Cooling by MitsubishiThrough its Clean Heating and Cooling program, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is now offering rebates to eligible homeowners who install qualifying air-source heat pumps. These are among the most efficient forms of heating available and serve as energy-efficient air conditioners in the summer months.

Qualifying units include either central or split units. Split units typically provide ductless heating and cooling to just one room, enhancing comfort while reducing demand on the existing system.

Act NOW! Offer Expires February 28, 2015.

These rebates are only available for a limited time and are IN ADDITION TO FURNACE REBATES STILL AVAILABLE from the MASS SAVES(TM) program. They range from $750 to a maximum of $3,750, based on system type and size.

You MUST Choose a Qualified HVAC Company.

certified Mitsubishi contractor

The rebates are only available from an installer certified by a participating manufacturer. As a Mistubishi Diamond contractor, Balanced HVAC is one of a very few Cape Code HVAC contractors approved for this program.

Ductless Mini-Split Heating & Cooling
by Mitsubishi:

  • Add comfort to hard to heat or cool areas. 
  • Energy-efficient supplemental support reduces demand on central system reducing fuel and electric costs.
  • Ductless design makes installation as simple as mounting low-profiled indoor and outdoor units, connecting the refrigerant lines and making a few electical connections.

Schedule a no-pressure no-obligation consultation with Lincoln today.

Learn more about Mitsubishi ductless systems.

Posted by: AT 11:22 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 06 2014

Flu shots, frequent hand washing and cleaning of home surfaces are important ways your family can stay protected during cold and flu season. Equally important is maintaining everyone's general health with enough sleep, exercise, drinking plenty of fluids and eating nutritious foods.

But few Cape Cod homeowners know about the benefits to winter health available with three important enhancements to their home comfort systems. These include:

  1. Humidification systems. These keep throats and nasal passages moist and healthy, better able to resist firus infections. In a study pblished in the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Jeffrey Shaman of Oregon State University concludes that the influenza virus' "ability to survive and be transmitted person-to-person is greatly affected by how dry or wet the air is."

    Several types and capacities are available. Lincoln will help you decide on the best model to fit your home's size, your heating/cooling system and your budget.
  2. State-of-the-art air purification & filtration. Ours not only Captures and KillsTM flu viruses from the airstream but eliminates dust, mold spores and other allergens that can irritate air passages making them more susceptible to cold and flu infections both inside and away from the home. The patented three-stage technology purifies the air in your entire living space as often as 8 times each hour. The unit can be fitted to work with any brand ducted heating and/or cooling system.

    Learn more and see the three-stage air filter in action.
  3. Revolutionary air scrubbing system. While the purification/filtration system effectively destroys 99% of germs that pass through the filter, two problems remain unaddressed: Ours generates safe oxidizing molecules that circulate throughout your home killing viruses & bacteria as well as neutralizing odors, toxic chemical fumes and other pollutants both midair and on every surface in your home.

    This amazing product is widely used in the medical, food, defense, hotel, airline and cruise ship industries. 

    Learn more and see this revolutionary air scrubber in action.
Posted by: AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, September 01 2014

Every month we publish seasonal savings tips and special offers. Here's September's: http://archive.aweber.com/balancedstartup

Posted by: AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, September 01 2014

Here are a few useful tips to bring relief to the allergy sufferers in your family:

  1. Control your home's humidity and with it two of the most virulent allergens.

    Mold & Mildew. The Cape's high humidity encourages mold growth throughout our homes. The worst areas are to damp areas like basements, crawl spaces and bathrooms but because mold spores are dispersed in the air and then circulated by your heating/cooling system, allergy sufferers will experience symptoms in every room.

    Common household dust miteDust Mites. These microscopic creepy crawlies thrive in high humidity. They live in mattresses, upholstery, carpets and other home fabrics. Their waste products and dead body parts are among the most irritating triggers to allergy and asthma.

    Frequent vacuuming; weekly washing of bed linens and mattress covers in hot water; and replacement of heavy drapery, rugs and carpets with hard surface window treatments and flooring will control dust mites, but by far the EASIEST solution is to control your home's humidity. Where humidity remains below 50%, these creatures desiccate and die.

    Lincoln recommends Aprilaire's whole-house central dehumidifier. This low-maintenance unit is installed into your existing ductwork to pull air through the return ducts. It drains away moisture and then sends dry air back into every room. Where air conditioning exists, it works in conjunction to balance humidity levels. During cooler periods or where air conditioning isn't installed, it works independently to monitor and control your home's humidity. Learn more by scheduling a no pressure, no cost, no obligation consultation with Lincoln today.
     
  2. Keep doors and windows closed on even the most inviting fall day.
    Rather let your air conditioner continue to run even when temperatures are moderate.


    Nothing is more natural than the desire to throw open windows after a hazy hot and humid summer. But for allergy sufferers, this means just more red noses, scratchy throats, wheezing and labored breathing. Keeping your air conditioner running will circulate air through its air filter. With the fall's moderate temps, the cost will not be burdensome. And always remember to check filters often and to change them when dirty. This will not only keep your air cleaner but will keep your system energy-efficient and problem-free. If you haven't already, sign up for our FREE monthly reminders.

    Those with today's high efficiency systems have the added advantage of a two-speed compressor and variable speed blower. In fall, these systems run at lower more energy-efficient speeds. And because of the extra-efficiency of their DC powered blowers, you can set your thermostat for continual fan for maximum air circulation and filtration. Many come equipped with humidity monitors that enlist the air conditioner in maintaining a set humidity target.
     
  3. Consider upgrading your air filters. This is NEVER SOMETHING YOU SHOULD DO YOURSELF! The "high efficiency filters sold in home centers and hardware stores WILL obstruct the airflow so critical to your comfort and to your system's energy-efficiency. The consequences are grave including damage to expensive compressors and fan motors.Lincoln has solutions designed capture the most microscopic allergens with minimal impact on air flow. Learn more by scheduling a no-pressure, no-cost, no-obligation consultation today.
     
  4. Keep pets away from allergy sufferers. As much as you love them, pets bring in plenty of outdoor allergens -- especially this time of year. Their dander is also an irritant. Obviously the best solution is to keep them outdoors, but if that's not possible, you should maintain at least one pet-free room (preferably a bedroom) where your allergy suffer can find relief.
     
  5. Change clothes and shower when you come in from outdoor activities. This time of year, even a short walk or time spent in the yard can cover you with allergens. These will then be tracked through the home and deposited on furniture.

We hope you will find these tips useful in bringing relief to the allergy sufferers in your life. To learn more, schedule a no-pressure, no-obligation consultation with Lincoln today.

Posted by: AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, July 22 2014

Balanced HVAC Has the Solutions

  • Musty odors?
  • Clammy stuffy room air?
  • Condensation on water pipes?
  • Wet stains on walls and ceilings?
  • Mold and mildew in baths and in basements?
  • Floors and other surfaces ever feel sticky or sweaty?
  • You or family members suffer from allergies or asthma?

Pleasant ocean breezes and pristine beaches -- no question we Cape Codders are blessed to live in one of the most treasured spots on Earth. But our beautiful ocean climate also brings with it the discomfort, damage and potential health problems associated with high humidity in our homes.

Where there is dampness,
there are also mold and musty odors.

Mold spores are among the most virulent allergens plaguing allergy and asthma sufferers. Although molds themselves are generally isolated to damp areas like bathrooms, basements and crawl-spaces; their spores become airborne and infect your entire living space. Humidity control is critical to comfortable living and to the health of many.

High humidity is also associated with dust mites feces,
another significant allergen.

Common household dust miteThese microscopic pests live in upholstered furniture, carpets and mattresses. They feed on human and animal skin cells and get their moisture from the air. As relative humidity climbs, their appetites increase as do their waste products. Where humidity is controlled, dust mites desiccate and die.

Properly sized, well-maintained and balanced
air conditioning goes a long way to providing comfort
& humidity control in our hot and humid summer months
.

An air conditioner that is improperly installed or neglected will cool air but won't remove humidity. The result is cold and damp clammy air along with dust mite, mold & mildew growth.

Today's more advanced air conditioners and heat pumps now
include electronic controls that keep humidity under control.

Unlike conventional systems, these respond not only to room temperature but to a sophisticated analysis of outdoor temperatures relative to indoor temperature and humidity levels. When for example humidity is high but temperatures too low for a standard air conditioner to turn on, these advanced systems will operate at very low fan speeds -- enough to reduce humidity while not significantly cooling your living space.

For those with no A/C or with standard heating/cooling,
we recommend Aprilaire's whole-house central dehumidifier.

This low-maintenance unit is installed into your existing ductwork to pull air through the return ducts. It drains away moisture and then sends dry air back into every room. Where air conditioning exists, it works in conjunction to balance humidity levels. During cooler periods or where air conditioning isn't installed, it works independently to monitor and control your home's humidity.

Portable dehumidifiers sold in home centers and hardware stores are notorious energy wasters and treat air in just one space. Collection bins must be emptied by hand. 4X more energy-efficient, the low-maintenance whole-home central dehumidifier installed as part of your home's central heating and cooling system is the safest most effective way to rid your home of excess humidity.

The Aprilaire central dehumidifier will
wring out your home like a damp sponge!

When first installed, your new Aprilaire dehumidifier will likely run for an extended period. That's because your home's materials and fabrics act like sponges absorbing moisture to the same level as the ambient air. As your new dehumidifier dries out your home's air, that trapped moisture will be released. Once your home is fully dried, the dehumdifier will continue to monitor the air and keep your home and furnishings free from dampness.

Ready to dry out your home?

Schedule a no-pressure, no-obligation consultation with Lincoln now.

Been a while since your system has been maintained?

Schedule your seasonal maintenance service now. 

Posted by: AT 10:32 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 01 2014

Experts are calling the Spring 2014 allergy season "the worst in decades." Here are a few useful tips to bring relief to our Cape Cod neighbors who suffer are suffering from our high spring pollen counts:

  1. Control your home's humidity and with it two of the most virulent allergens.

    Mold & Mildew. Cape Cod's high humidity encourages mold growth throughout our homes. The worst areas are to damp areas like basements, crawl spaces and bathrooms but because mold spores are dispersed in the air and then circulated by your heating/cooling system, allergy sufferers will experience symptoms in every room.

    Dust Mites. These microscopic creepy crawlies thrive in high humidity. They live in mattresses, upholstery, carpets and other home fabrics. Their waste products and dead body parts are among the most irritating triggers to allergy and asthma.

    Frequent vacuuming; weekly washing of bed linens and mattress covers in hot water; and replacement of heavy drapery, rugs and carpets with hard surface window treatments and flooring will control dust mites, but by far the EASIEST solution is to control your home's humidity. Where humidity remains below 50%, these creatures desiccate and die.

    Lincoln recommends Aprilaire's whole-house central dehumidifier. This low-maintenance unit is installed into your existing ductwork to pull air through the return ducts. It drains away moisture and then sends dry air back into every room. Where air conditioning exists, it works in conjunction to balance humidity levels. During cooler periods or where air conditioning isn't installed, it works independently to monitor and control your home's humidity. Learn more by scheduling a no pressure, no cost, no obligation consultation with Lincoln today.
     
  2. Keep doors and windows closed on even the most inviting fall day.
    Rather let your air conditioner continue to run even when temperatures are moderate.


    Nothing is more natural than the desire to throw open windows after a hazy hot and humid summer. But for allergy sufferers, this means just more red noses, scratchy throats, wheezing and labored breathing. Keeping your air conditioner running will circulate air through its air filter. With the fall's moderate temps, the cost will not be burdensome. And always remember to check filters often and to change them when dirty. This will not only keep your air cleaner but will keep your system energy-efficient and problem-free. If you haven't already, sign up for our FREE monthly reminders.

    Those with today's high efficiency systems have the added advantage of a two-speed compressor and variable speed blower. In fall, these systems run at lower more energy-efficient speeds. And because of the extra-efficiency of their DC powered blowers, you can set your thermostat for continual fan for maximum air circulation and filtration. Many come equipped with humidity monitors that enlist the air conditioner in maintaining a set humidity target.
     
  3. Consider upgrading your air filters. This is NEVER SOMETHING YOU SHOULD DO YOURSELF! The "high efficiency filters sold in home centers and hardware stores WILL obstruct the airflow so critical to your comfort and to your system's energy-efficiency. The consequences are grave including damage to expensive compressors and fan motors.Lincoln has solutions designed capture the most microscopic allergens with minimal impact on air flow. Learn more by scheduling a no-pressure, no-cost, no-obligation consultation today.
     
  4. Keep pets away from allergy sufferers. As much as you love them, pets bring in plenty of outdoor allergens -- especially this time of year. Their dander is also an irritant. Obviously the best solution is to keep them outdoors, but if that's not possible, you should maintain at least one pet-free room (preferably a bedroom) where your allergy suffer can find relief.
     
  5. Change clothes and shower when you come in from outdoor activities. This time of year, even a short walk or time spent in the yard can cover you with allergens. These will then be tracked through the home and deposited on furniture.

We hope you will find these tips useful in bringing relief to the allergy sufferers in your life. To learn more, schedule a no-pressure, no-obligation consultation with Lincoln today.

Posted by: AT 11:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 01 2014

When Pacific Electric and Gas commissioned an independent study of the air conditioners of customers who had complained of high summer electric bills, here is what they found:

  • 67% had improper air flow.
  • 53% had dirty or clogged coils.
  • 40% had dirty, clogged or missing filters.
  • 27% had refrigerant that was overcharged.
  • 27% had refrigerant that was undercharged.
  • 20% had refrigerant leaks.
  • 93% had duct leakage greater than the recommended maximum.

In all cases, they found that energy use could be lowered 10% to 30% without a major repair.

The study concluded that most of these problems were the result of improper installation, neglected maintenance, or service by either unqualified or unscrupulous technicians who failed to take sufficient time to diagnose or repair problems.

Lincoln Stubbs considers our seasonal heating/cooling maintenance the most important service we perform for our Cape Cod neighbors. Your Balanced HVAC technician takes the time necessary to insure that the job is done right. He never cuts corners. His every step is guided by testing with precision instruments.

Here are just a few important benefits Cape Cod homeowners will enjoy with Balanced HVAC:

  1. BEAT THE RUSH! The most likely time for your air conditioner to fail is when hot weather first hits. That's when our phones ring off the hook. Scheduling early both assures you uninterrupted comfort and scheduling at your convenience.
  2. SAVE MONEY! A clogged or out-of-balance system, low refrigerant, a loose electrical connection, a part needing lubrication -- These are just some of the conditions that will run up your summer electric bills. The sooner you service -- the lower your electric bills, the less chance of an expensive inconvenient summer breakdown, the longer your unit will last, and the more likely your manufacturer's warranty will be honored if you do have a problem.
  3. MAXIMIZE FAMILY COMFORT! A room that never cools? Large temperature swings? Cold clammy air? All are symptoms of a neglected system. Why suffer this summer? A good cleaning and tune-up resolves most problems.
  4. GET ALLERGY RELIEF! Although you can greatly enhance air quality with advanced filtration and special air cleansers (discussed next), allergy relief begins with a clean well-tuned unit and sound duct work. Duct leaks not only waste energy but can draw dust and contaminants into the air stream that then circulate throughout your home.

Schedule your precision cleaning and maintenance service now.

Posted by: AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, December 11 2013

One of the most frequent winter heating complaints we hear is of rooms temperature swing. One minute a room feels too cold; the next it's too hot. This often results in thermostat "juggling" which NEVER solves the problem but which ALWAYS wastes energy.

Here are two steps you can take to improve your family's comfort and your home's energy efficiency:

  1. During the colder months, set your ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise. Then run them at the slowest speed when you're in that room. This will keep air from pooling on the ceiling and keep it circulating.
     
  2. If yours is a high efficiency system with a variable speed blower, run the fan continuously. This will improve circulation and keep temperatures stable. Unlike standard single-speed blowers, these run slowly and ramp up gradually as needed. Their DC motors consume a small fraction of the energy consumed by standard blower motors. The result: less noise, more consistent heat and energy savings because you're no longer fiddling with that thermostat!

Don't have a system with variable speed but interested in learning what higher efficiency can mean to your comfort and family budget? Schedule a no-cost no-pressure no-obligation consultation with Lincoln today.

Posted by: AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, October 23 2013

Carbon Monoxide is a serious threat to family health and safety.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is the leading cause of poisoning death in the U.S. But even low level exposure over time while not lethal has been linked to respiratory illness. Because of this Lincoln recommends:

  1. Annual maintenance service for your fuel-burning heaters by your Balanced HVAC professional. Many HVAC technicians merely "eyeball" the flame before making adjustments to your fuel-burner. Balanced HVAC has invested in the training and the precision instruments to guide our adjustments to achieve optimal safety, performance and energy-efficiency.
  2. Continual monitoring of your home's air with smoke and CO detector/alarms.
  3. Preferably CO monitoring with the NSI 3000 -- the only monitor/alarm that employs the same electrochemical technology sensor technology used in the precision instruments we use in our service and installations.

Your Smoke and CO Detector/Alarms May Need Changing.

Consumer's Reports Buying Guide to home safety devices warns of "limited useful life" for smoke and CO alarms. They recommend replacement of "CO detectors every five years and smoke alarms every 10 years."

We offer both:

  • A combination smoke/CO detector by Kidde
  • The NSI 3000 -- for the ULTIMATE in family health and safety.

We encourage all owners of fuel-burning heaters to install the NSI 3000 -- particularly those with elderly, infant or infirm family members. The fine print on the packaging of standard carbon monoxide detectors warns that these devices are designed to protect individuals ONLY from acute (lethal) effects of exposure but "may not fully safeguard individuals" with specific medical conditions like cardiac and respiratory illness or CO sensitivity. Because symptoms of long-term low level exposure are so similar to those of colds and flu, these CO poisonings are often misdiagnosed by medical professionals.

Almost 5X more sensitive, the NSI 3000 professional CO detector -- available only from your heating/cooling professional -- will alert you to levels of contamination standard detectors routinely miss. It offers a sensitivity setting that sounds an alarm after reaching 15 parts per million (PPM) for five minutes. Standard CO detectors don't alert you until concentrations reach 70 PPM for 3-1/2 hours.

While the higher measurement is sufficient to prevent lethal exposure, levels as low as 15-20 PPM can cause adverse health effects in many people according to the World Health Organization. Some medical studies report a marked increase in cardiac & respiratory complaints at 27 PPM.

Call us at 508-428-0974 or visit us online to
schedule maintenance service for your heater,
or call Lincoln to learn more about available smoke and CO alarms.

Posted by: AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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    About us

    Cape Cod's Choice for Total Comfort and Efficient Air Conditioning, Heating and Heat Pump Installation, Maintenance and Repair.

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    15 Jan Sebastian Dr.
    Sandwich, MA 02563
    Phone: 508-428-0974
    Email: lincoln@balancedhvac.com

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