Ceiling stains and what causes them

If you are buying a home and the home under consideration has ceiling stains, it is obvious that the sight will make you worried since ceiling stains immediately bring the thought of a leaking roof. Similarly, if you are selling or renting a home, a ceiling stain can impact the actual rate and may as well contribute to pulling buyers away. And let's say there's no such scenario of buying and selling, a home that you are living in should be in a good state. The ceiling stains, however, suggest that there is something wrong and this wrong could turn into a hefty expense. This blog is dedicated to helping you inspect and identify ceiling stains
Ceiling stains could be caused by a number of reasons. Here are the most common;

Stains below the bathroom exhaust fan 

The bathroom exhaust takes a whole lot of moisture out. And it does so via the duct attached to it. If the duct is not well insulated and does not have a proper airtight connection with a roof cap, the condensate will drip backwards and cause ceiling stains below the bathroom exhaust vent.
The fix of this issue lies in what causes it. The bathroom exhaust vent should be well insulated and well installed with an airtight connection in order to take the moisture outside, straightaway.

Stain on ceiling corners 

Stains on ceiling corners are what you see near the outside walls. And the most obvious reason for such type of stains is the ice dams. Air leaks in the attic or insufficient insulation in the attic allow the melting water of the ice dams to seep in. From the attic, it drips on the ceiling corners resulting in this type of stains which can start from a small spot and extend to a stain several feet in diameter.
In order to avoid or fix this kind of stains, there's ample need to check the insulation and fix the air leaks in the attic.

Random stains 

Random stains are stains that are basically not the roof stains. The frost that builds up in the attic when becomes unnecessarily more, it causes excessive condensation and as a result, water builds up at several places. This causes stains at random spots.
The fix for this type of stains is once again an insulation refill and fixing of the attic air leaks.

Ceiling leaks could turn out to be a matter of serious concern if immediate action is not taken. They may destroy the ceiling, parch the wallpapers badly and cause direct roof leaking. Since the signs are very easy to observe, it is imperative for you, as a homeowner, to take the signs seriously and call out a professional technician for resolving this issue of ceiling stains.

If you are fighting with ceiling stains issue or are looking for attic insulation, insulation refill, ductwork repair, ductwork inspection or a proper and professional ductwork installation, call us today 1-855-245-4328.


Why You Should Not Buy HVAC Parts Online

We have become so habitual to look up the prices online and that made developers design hundreds of apps dedicated to assisting us to compare prices and spec online before buying. The Internet is a blessing for people since it offers a wealth of knowledge and high transparency in pricing. Therefore, it is the second nature of homeowners to find the items online so they can get better and cheaper HVAC items. Below we explain why we don't recommend purchasing HVAC equipment and parts online.

The installation will always be smoother when it involves guaranteed parts certified by the distributor and a qualified installer that you can trust on.

It is difficult to find the right part for the job:

You may find the expensive replacements parts that your technician suggests in a fraction of amount on eBay and Amazon. Most of the companies do not prefer customers supplied items since every item which apparently looks similar won’t be compatible with your appliances. Generally, on the internet, the technical equipment will be either mislabeled or miscategorized to win a sale. 

Warranties are not trustable:

A new Furnace or Air Conditioner is a major financial investment for homeowners and in protecting that investment, warranties play a crucial role. Many resellers in the online market are non-certified distributors and do not honour any trustable warranties for HVAC parts and equipment. Besides this, “consumer - sourced parts” that are not covered by the manufacturer's warranty, can void your existing equipment warranty. Therefore, it is good for you to not take any risk.

Little to no resource for defective parts:

Unfortunately, consumers who buy parts over the internet may not have the eye for technical abnormalities. Moreover, if the equipment turns out to be defective, consumers who source parts from resellers have little or no recourse. Even in a best possible scenario (the seller provides a replacement at no cost), the consumer still pays more than twice the normal service cost: once for the initial installation, once again for the removal of the defective equipment and a final appointment for the replacement equipment installation.

You can Save hard-earned money in another way:

It is understandable that homeowners would consider purchasing their own equipment and parts for HVAC and can hire someone to install it. Purchasing online equipment, however, is not the right way to save. Instead, use that internet browser to search for heating and cooling equipment rebates in Ontario and other provinces of Canada  – including the IESO's Save on Energy rebates and manufacturer rebates through trusted names such as Lennox.

Cheaper Equipment Can cost Unexpected failures:

There is probably a reason for our inclination towards online purchasing - an expensive item is suddenly available for cheap, then how we can resist buying!  Although there are several exemptions for HVAC parts and equipment.
The equipment could have been opened previously.
The equipment could be falsified and lack the original manufacturer's minimum quality and safety standards. Such equipment can cause sudden appliance failures.

Have you ever purchase an HVAC spare part online? How was your experience and how durable it was?


Top Ways to Warm the House without Touching Thermostat

You have to find a moderate way, to cop up with the freezing winters. Here we acquaint you with the easiest ways that help you to feel warmer at home, without frequently tuning the Thermostat. We witness the thermostat war that begins in our home right after when the winter comes. Let's try to warm our place without blasting the heat – seems weird but not unattainable. Fortunately, there are some methods that can be employed to keep the electricity bill down and stay warm simultaneously.

Plastic insulation in windows and doors

The cool air is often felt through doors and windows. There is one easy fix for the people who want to prevent that cool air. Get the plastic insulation or weatherstrip foam tape for both windows and doors – which is nearly invisible. It is an easy and economical option, where you don’t have to change the curtains, just do it with the help of scissors and some plastic insulation.

Roof insulation:

Does your electricity bill go sky high? Invest some bucks in insulating the attic which preserves 25% of heat and makes the place warm without touching the thermostat. Loft insulation is worth considering as it can last up to 40 years. Get it done by an expert and make sure the party walls or chimneys are insulated, otherwise, your effort will be wasted.

Service the Furnace every year:

A question which often bewilders us is whether we should service the furnace every year or not? The answer is yes! This helps to keep your Furnace efficient and to identify the issues before it is too late. You must service it - a regularly maintained furnace can warm the place more effectively, and most of all it can lower the utility bill up to 40%.

Clockwise direction of a ceiling fan:

In summers, the direction of a ceiling fan is counter-clockwise that pushes the cool air downward which in results cools the entire room. On the contrary, the reversal of a ceiling fan direction can push the warm air, stuck around the ceiling downwards. To execute the trick effectively, set a fan at low speed. It is certainly a convenient way to warm the place and even turn a Thermostat down a degree.

Warm and cosy floor clothing

In order to reap the warmth, spread a furry and cozy carpet/mat in your living area. Laminate or hardwood flooring will never make anyone cozy because it can’t preserve the heat in our hands or feet. We feel cold and this ultimately leads us to turn the Thermostat down. Therefore, having those fluffy rugs can bring in a strong foundation, and keep us warm without touching the Thermostat.

5 Quick tips to stay warm:

1.       Drinking warm beverages
2.       Snuggle with spouse, kids, or pets to share body heat.
3.       The warm feet have a tendency to keep the whole body warm. Therefore, prefer wearing slippers and thicker socks all the time at home.
4.       To preserve the body heat, wear merino wool, which is non-scratchy and comfortable to wear.
5.       Play games or find ways to keep yourself moving. Doing something active can generate more heat and you feel less cold.


5 productive activities to do in the indoor during winters

No matter how much scientists try to prove the ‘winter blue’ a myth, we all know that we have gone through this at times. Staying active is very hard for a majority of people in winter. Not only is it a problem for adults but kids start acting up in this season too.
We always have the holiday breaks to enjoy but don’t you feel bad after you have broken all the new year resolutions? It makes people feel even more discouraged and low.
You just can’t let the start of your new year be ruined. Even if you could not stay very productive and energetic in the beginning, you can still buckle up and be productive and have fun. You can always have light indoors even if the day ends too soon outside in winters.

Spring Cleaning in Winter
While you cannot go out and have fun, you can still end up all your work inside your home. While you will be stuck with all of this later, you can end it now so you can enjoy outdoors freely in the bright sunshine. Not only will it end your work soon, but will also help you stay active in these months. A clean home and closet will help you stay in a good mood and feel more active the whole winter.  Not will it be only good for you but also the kids will feel happier inside.

Homemade Beauty Treatments

Is your schedule too busy the whole year? You never got time to try all the homemade remedies that you keep seeing on the internet? Well, this is your time to shine. While you have plenty of time inside your home, you can now start taking care of your skin and your hair. There is a lot of videos and tutorials available on the internet that you can try and they will keep you busy the entire winter. Productively!

Explore New Music

Snow outside! It's time to listen to something new. It is the right time that you catch up with the latest trends and create some new libraries. You can even keep doing this while doing other home chores to stay in a good mood. We already know that music is the best thing which can fix your mood.

Try New Dishes

You might be a very good cook already but at this time you can try the dishes you couldn’t the whole year. Bake cookies of new styles, try different soups or even cook a whole fancy meal for yourself and your family. It would not only enhance your cooking skills but you would also be able to interact with your family better by breaking the bread together.

Happy Hour

Every person deserves some time off from everything so that he can get to know himself better. Now it is the perfect time that you forget everything and relax. This time will not just help you relax but will also help you brainstorm. New ideas which would help you make your life better.

So this winter, how are you going to make productive progress?


A Winter Furnace Checklist for Toronto Homeowners

Christmas is near and so is the time when the winter will go high on the swing of extreme cold. No party, no get together and no other indoor enjoyment will provide with ultimate joy unless there is comfort and comfort cannot be felt when the HVAC system is operating inefficiently. In order to keep all things all right, it is crucial to prepare yourself and your HVAC system well before the extreme cold blows start blowing. Below is a checklist that will help you prepare your HVAC system to provide you with ultimate warmth for the entire winter.

First and foremost - Filters 

Before you start inspecting any other component for issues, make sure you're done with cleaning the Air Filters. Whether or not any other component has developed a problem, the filters have certainly accumulated a lot of dirt. If the system is turned on with the same clogged filters, the accumulated dust will not only spread in the home but will also go and stick to other components of the system. So change/clean the filters before doing anything else.

Give a quick check to ductwork 

The ductwork is supposed to provide you with warm air throughout winter. For this, the ductwork has to have a clear pathway and in addition to that, NO LEAKS AND HOLES. Quickly inspects your ductwork first to check if it needs cleaning. Later, inspect the ductwork for any leaks. A leaking ductwork can raise energy bills up to 15%.

Clean the heat exchanger 

The accumulation of dirt on the heat exchanger can affect the heating efficiency. Clean the heat exchanger properly in order to maintain excellent heating levels.

Check fuel level 

If you're using oil-fired or Propane Furnace, fill the fuel up to the mark.

Change Thermostat batteries

Although the Thermostat remains in use almost throughout the year, it is still recommended to check batteries at the beginning of the winter season. A faulty thermostat can put you in irritating situations like system shut off, constant tripping or hot & cold spots. Change the batteries in time to avoid any such circumstances.

Clear supply and return registers 

The supply and return registers need to be cleared of any hindrances. If you had placed sofas or carpets on supply/return registers, remove them and clear all registers for a smooth flow of air.

Check exhaust vents 

Blockage in the exhaust vents can result in devastating situations. While you check and clean other components, make sure the exhaust vents are also clear of any blockage.

Check CO batteries 

Did you know that homeowners suffer from CO poisoning even after having a CO detector installed? That happens when they install the detector but don't change the batteries. If you have a CO detector installed, you have an addition in your checklist; change the batteries.

While all of these maintenances to do's are those that individuals can perform on their own, it is always suggested that a professional maintenance from a licensed HVAC technician is also taken.


Here's why you should not fully cover AC condenser in Winter

With the approaching winter, homeowners are preparing their Furnaces and Fireplaces and at the same time putting their AC condensers on snooze for a long winter break. For winters, you must have heard of the importance of covering the condenser unit since not covering it damages the unit, particularly as the environmental factors make their influence. But we can say it for sure that you must have heard half of the tip. While covering is fine, fully fledged covering is not a good idea and there as convincing reasons why;

- Moisture in a fully covered unit 

The compressor unit develops moisture because of high humidity, rain, snow or other climatic conditions. This moisture easily gets dispersed when the unit is not completely covered and get sufficient sunlight. In the case of the fully covered unit, moisture will still find a way in but will not get away easily once it reaches in the inside of the unit. Long presence of moisture, as you can guess, will contribute to producing rust and mold on the unit and corrode the compressor parts. 

- Rodents are not kept away this way

Many people cover their outdoor compressor units in order to protect them from animals. particularly rodents. Interestingly, covering the unit actually helps the rodents find a warm place to spend their winters at. So they make the inside or downside of the unit their home. The mess they create and the damage they cause is, of course, something you already have an idea about.

- A simple cover is all okay 

While there is no need to fully cover the unit, there is a need to cover it. And that is because, in winter, leaves fall and dust & debris gets accumulated on the unit particularly when it is not operational. So covering it up with a simple cover helps keep dust, debris and leaves away. Also, in case of a storm, other stuff may bang into the unit and get stuck therein when there's no cover at all.
So yes, cover it but the cover shouldn't be a seal.

Bottom line - Outdoor units are durable! 

The parts of the air conditioner that are meant to stay in the outdoor are designed in such a way so as to withstand the toughness of the climate conditions. The latest models, in particular, come with designs that offer special safety to the unit. So there is not really a need to fully cover the unit but even if it is covered, it should be done in such a way so as to leave some space for the unit to breathe in and out. And as said above, a normal fabric cover is well enough to protect the unit from dust, debris and leaves and at the same time, to keep it cool enough so as not to offer a residence to rodents and other animals.
A side tip in order to keep pests and animals away is to use a professional's suggested spray around the unit to keep all these unit corroding elements away.
Do you cover your unit in winters? If yes, how? If not, why not?


Replace your AC before next summer

While everyone else is busy purchasing Furnaces and tuning their home for winter, here we are talking about Air Conditioners. Is there a particular reason for this post? Oh yes, there is! But before knowing that reason, you should make sure whether or not your unit needs an upgrade.

Does my unit need an upgrade? 

To be sure of whether or not your unit needs an upgrade, the best way is to allow a professional technician to evaluate it. But since many homeowners are always trying to save, their preference is to not spend on a professional analysis and instead, make an analysis all on their own. For such homeowners, here are some useful tips;

- If your unit is old and has lately been costing too much, it is suggested to replace it. That is because even if you don't upgrade, you'll have to pay in the form of hefty energy bills whatsoever. And despite high energy bills, there will be compromised comfort. So if the bills have been unusually high lately, better replace!

- In addition to bringing hefty bills, one of the signs for a unit needing a replacement is when it breaks off frequently resulting in costly repairs. Once again, if you do not replace and drag the same unit, it will continue to create costly repair circumstances and your budget will continue to experience shocks. Better replace and relax!

- Even if the unit is not causing high energy bills or frequent repairs, an age of over 15 years is an indication of replacement in itself. While many people wonder why should they replace when the unit is running, the answer is; the running unit can stop anytime, most probably on the hottest noon possible. And why should you wait for a unit to bring high bills or frequent repairs and breakdowns? Why not replace well in time? Professionals suggest that it is better to replace a system when it crosses the age of 15 years. And should be replaced whatsoever if it exceeds 20 years.

Does it make sense to purchase Air Conditioner in Fall? 

And here we are at the point of concern. Why should an Air Conditioner be replaced in Fall or Winter? What sense does it make?
Here are some of the reasons that prove replacement is beneficial when it is done in an off-peak season:
- Goes without saying that in peak season the price tags suddenly go unusually high. And this is quite opposite in off-peak season.  In off-peak season, the prices usually drop. So one of the benefits of replacing AC for the next summer is savings. Savings, something that you love, don't you?
- Making a purchase in the off-peak season gives you the privilege of taking the wise decision. Many times, homeowners make purchases in a rush which often turns out to be an unwise purchase. Contrarily, when there's time to think, search, check reviews and consult a professional, the outcome is a unit that best suits your home and your needs.
- With a purchased unit at home, you can wait for the best time for installation and make some saving of installation as well.

If your Furnace is new/performing good and there's no other costly appliance purchase on the list but you have money to invest, invest in replacement of Air Conditioner. And make the purchase now!