Helpful Tips

Lodi Services provides our customers with helpful tips to keep you well-informed when taking care of the needs of your home and family.

Be Aware
Not all heating specialists have the same work ethic and expertise as Lodi Services. Furnace scams are happening more often. One of the more popular scams is when a repair man tells you that you have cracks in your heat exchanger, when in fact, you may not. To learn more about this troubling trend and how to protect yourself, watch this video. And remember, here at Lodi Services we do everything in our power to protect our customers from unethical repairmen in order to provide trustworthy and affordable service.

Heating Tips

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If you want heat, make sure the temperature control selector is set above room temperature and the SYSTEM switch is at HEAT or AUTO. The FAN switch should be set at ON for continuous blower operation or AUTO if you want the blower to function only while the unit is operating.
Check disconnect switches (indoor and outdoor if you have a split system). Make sure that circuit breakers are ON or that fuses have not blown. Is the furnace plugged in? Is the power to the furnace turned on?
Is there a power outage? Your furnace probably won’t work until power is restored.
Is the furnace door properly closed? Newer furnaces have a switch that needs to be depressed by properly closing the blower door completely before the blower will come on.
Do not close off more than 20% of the registers in your house. This can cause high resistance and unnecessary heat build up in the furnace.
If you don’t have an automatic pilot lighter, is the pilot lit? Generally furnaces prior to 1986 do not have automatic pilot lighters.
If you have an automatic ignition system, the furnace may lock-out if it has a problem. On most furnaces you can unlock the ignition by turning off the power to the furnace or turning the thermostat to the off position for a few seconds and then back on again. You should call for a qualified service technician even if the furnace comes on so the source of the trouble that caused the lock-out can be found.
Is your filter clean? If there is too much air resistance, the furnace can trip out on a high temperature limit. Also check that the supply-air and return-air grilles are open and unobstructed.
Keep the burner area of your furnace clean. If the flame on a gas furnace burns yellow, then the burners need cleaned. A yellow flame means incomplete combustion is taking place. Carbon monoxide is one byproduct of incomplete combustion. Carbon monoxide can be deadly in high enough concentrations.
You should change or wash your filters on a regular schedule. We recommend at least twice a year depending on the activity in your home. More often is better, once a month would be a maximum.

Cooling Tips

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If you have pine trees or oak trees near the air-conditioner, you may want to place something over the air-conditioner in the winter season. Do not cover the air-conditioner completely. Warning: IF YOU DO PLACE SOMETHING OVER THE AIR-CONDITIONER, MAKE SURE YOU REMOVE IT BEFORE TURNING THE AIR-CONDITIONER ON.
Air-conditioners are designed for about a 20 degree temperature differential. When it is 105 degrees outside, be happy if it is 85 degrees in your house. Don’t wait until the house is un-bearably warm before starting the system, the unit may run well into the night to cool down the house.
Is there ice on the pipes at the evaporator coil (the indoor portion of the air-conditioner)? If there is, turn off the unit and call a technician. WARNING: DO NOT SET THE THERMOSTAT BELOW 68 DEGREES. THIS CAN CAUSE A MULTITUDE OF PROBLEMS WITH YOUR AIR-CONDITIONER, INCLUDING FREEZING UP.
Is the condensing unit running? (The condensing unit is the outside portion of the air-conditioner.)
Is the air-conditioning disconnect or breaker turned on? If you know how to check the fuses, see if there are any blown. If you do not know how to check the fuses, call Lodi Services Heat & Cooling Inc. (209) 368-COOL (2665) .
Is your furnace plugged in or is the power switch turned on? The air-conditioner needs the furnace to circulate the air.
Check the settings on your thermostat. If you want cooling, make sure the temperature control selector is set below room temperature and the SYSTEM switch is on the COOL or AUTO position. The FAN switch should be set at ON for continuous blower operation or AUTO if you want the blower to function only while the unit is operating.

Tips for Hiring a Heating and Cooling Contractor

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Study up — Find out about license and insurance requirements for contractors in your state. And before you call a contractor, know the model of your current system and its maintenance history. Also make note of any uncomfortable rooms. This will help potential contractors better understand your heating needs.
Ask for referrals — Ask friends, neighbors, and co-workers for contractor referrals. You can also contact local trade organizations for names of members in your area.
Call references — Ask contractors for customer references and call them. Ask about the contractor’s installation or service performance, and if the job was completed on time and within budget.
Find special offers — A heating and cooling system is one of the largest purchases you’ll make as a homeowner. Keep your costs down by checking around for available rebates on energy-efficient ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling equipment.
Look for ENERGY STAR — ENERGY STAR qualified products meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and offer significant long-term energy savings. Contractors should be able to show you calculations of savings for ENERGY STAR heating and cooling equipment.
Expect a home evaluation — The contractor should spend significant time inspecting your current system and home to assess your needs. A bigger system isn’t always better; a contractor should size the heating and cooling system based on the size of your house, level of insulation, and windows. A good contractor will inspect your duct system (if applicable) for air leaks and insulation and measure airflow to make sure it meets manufacturers specifications.
Get written, itemized estimates — When comparing contractors’ proposals (bids) be sure to compare cost, energy efficiency and warranties. A lowest price may not be the best deal if it’s not the most efficient because your energy costs will be higher. 
Get it in ink — Sign a written proposal with a contractor before work gets started. It’ll protect you by specifying project costs, model numbers, job schedule and warranty information
 Pass it on — Tell friends and family about ENERGY STAR. Almost one-quarter of households knowingly purchased at least one qualified product last year, and 71% of those consumers say they would recommend ENERGY STAR to a friend. Spread the word, and we can all make a big difference.10. Get the ENERGY STAR Guide — For complete information on keeping your home comfortable year-round.