Dad used to ask me: "If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you”? His point was, I needed to make the right decisions and not do something because it was the latest trend.

Dad followed his own advice, too. During the Cold War between Russia and the United States, the fear of Russian attacks made people nervous; especially some neighborhood farmers. Their fears became obvious when a company was in the area selling fallout shelters to provide protection after an inevitable atomic bomb attack. We were led to believe everyone without a fallout shelter would die.

Our neighbors were shocked dad would not buy a fallout shelter like they did. Dad explained the world would probably not be worth living in after a nuclear attack.

The fallout shelters were huge tanks cut into four sections and delivered nearby. The fallout shelter tank sections sat around upside down in pastures for years because no one actually used them. Some used them years later for livestock shelters. Dad did not “jump off that cliff” like the others. Dad was right ...again.

Some trends like fallout shelters are short-lived and typically seldom make sense. Other trends are obviously great decisions. A good example is picking the right components in heating and air conditioning systems. Successful trends have resulted from choosing the following system components for efficiency, comfort, and health reasons.

The old furnace purchasing trend was basically to install the biggest furnace that would fit through the front door. Some of those furnace efficiencies were 60% or less, which wasted 40 cents or more per dollar spent on fossil fuel. Regulations in 1987 increased minimum standards to 78% efficiency, which still meant every dollar spent on fossil fuel wasted 22 cents.

The trend today is 95% or more efficiency, which wastes 5 cents out of every energy dollar. Installing 95% furnaces provides payback immediately.

The 95% efficiency furnaces with variable speed allow the furnace speed to ramp up or down to closely match heating or cooling needs, making temperatures more even.

Another proven long-term trend is heat pumps in our community since Lincoln Electric System (LES) has kept their rates low compared to the majority of other providers in the United States. The most common heat pump trend is the 16 Seer efficiency, because of the low investment cost and good payback. LES also will pay up to a $500 rebate on heat pumps for the remainder of 2017.

Duct cleaning is a trend that is important for health reasons and equipment protection. Why have clean air blowing across layers of dirt and mold? The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends getting your air ducts cleaned every three to five years.

The duct cleaning trend also makes sense when heating and cooling system equipment is changed out. Access is easier and the new components need to be protected. Skipping duct cleaning is kind of like changing the oil in your car but not changing the oil filter.

A very important health-driven trend is better air filtration. The Lennox Merv 16 air filter has high efficiency removal and a carbon filter to remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), which are chemicals and other pollutants in the air. The Lennox Merv 16 is the highest rated pleated filter. It’s 98% effective in capturing particles such as viruses, bacteria, dander, pollen, dust and odor-causing agents.

The really great thing about the Lennox Merv 16 air filter is it only needs to be changed every 9 to 12 months depending on the quality of your air. Why not have the filter changed during regular service maintenance rather than worrying about changing it each month?

Another health trend is the Air Scrubber - a scientifically proven method to clean and purify your home or office continuously by using certified space technology developed for NASA. Air Scrubbers protect us from 90% of airborne contaminants such as dust, germs, odors, pet dander, and viruses. An important virus on the list it kills is Norovirus. Other contaminants include E. coli, streptococcus, pseudomonas, and hepatitis. Should doctor’s offices, daycares, churches, and schools have them?

Another necessary trend in Nebraska is whole house humidifiers. Flu and cold viruses flourish at humidity levels below 40% and in portable humidifiers.

Following all these proven trends will provide a heating and cooling system that will keep you healthier and more comfortable while saving energy costs. Now, that’s a great trend!

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