5 simple steps to boost HVAC system efficiency

We are living in the second millennium and technology today has made our lives much easier than the lives of those that have passed before us. So many facilities are just at one click and one-touch and the automatic lifestyle is taking the lead. But it needs to be understood that no matter how automatic the technology and devices become, the influence of human involvement will always be there and it is the use and control of technology by the man himself that will make the difference. Let's take the example of the home comfort heating and cooling appliances. Almost every home in Canada has some kind of HVAC appliance and there are many homes where the systems in use are of advanced level, however, the truth is; only a handful of homeowners are actually making the right and efficient use of the efficient appliances. As a result, a majority is facing the consequences in the form of high energy bills, frequent repairs and sudden unhappy accidents. So you see how human influence matters? We shall discuss today the ways by which you can make the most of your HVAC system. We shall tell you how to increase your home's HVAC efficiency in just 5 simple steps.



Step# 1 Replacing/Cleaning Filters and its influence


So here's something that doesn't take place with an ''auto'' button. Despite having the Smartest Thermostat and the smartest appliances, you will have to do this by yourself. And mind you, Filter cleaning/replacing may seem ordinary, it can put your entire system at risk. Studies say that 9/10 HVAC system failures are caused by dust and debris. Your filter is meant to trap the dust and debris but once its power diminishes by getting dirty itself, you are supposed to give it a power pack by cleaning/replacing. Ever noticed how your system suddenly becomes more efficient and the indoor air more soothing after replacing filters? That's the power of filter cleaning.

Step# 2 Seals are a serious to-do


Homeowners think that small leaks, holes etc won't make much difference and, therefore, leave them as they are. In actual, the smaller the leak, the greater the air leak would be as the air will exit with higher velocity from there (that's what science tells us). So what happens as a result is that we keep wondering why the Furnace/Air Conditioner isn't working as efficiently as it was working the last year. Sealing leaks & holes is a serious to do. Take into account the doors and windows where there are possibilities of air leaks or where there are visible air leaks and seal them right away. You'll notice the difference in your system's efficiency soon after that.

Step# 3 Don't postpone repairs!


Here's what 7/10 homeowners do; they postpone repairs as long as their system is running by hook or by crook. Apparently, this appears to be a money saving practice, in actuality, it is a money wasting practice. When repairs are not taken seriously, not only the system ceases to operate with optimal efficiency, it also aggravates the situation even more that then leads to further damages to other parts of the system. So, First thing first. Call a pro!

Step# 4 Become smart - Install smart appliances 


There is no denying the fact that smart appliances are a wonderful way to increase efficiency and decrease energy bills. So if you can afford or can manage to make savings for purchasing smart appliances or at least a Smart Thermostat, it would be an investment worth making and worth returning in terms of ROI.

Check some latest models of Smart Thermostat HERE.

Step# 5 Revive your belief in professionalism


Professionals are professionals and no matter how efficient you are in HVAC service on your own, a professional's work will always speak for itself. So revive your belief in professionalism and call a professional for the annual checkup of your HVAC system. This will ensure the following things for sure;

- Any serious repair needs would be diagnosed in time

- With a detailed check-up, the system will revive its efficiency and will work will optimal performance

- The lifetime of the system will increase

- An increased efficiency will decrease the energy bills

You see, there are simple steps that can help you improve the HVAC efficiency of your system but did you observe what has actually been said above? That your contribution matters no matter how efficient the system is. Become concerned about your system from today.

For HVAC queries & consultations, call: 1-855-245-4328

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IAQ dropping in Winter? Try these tips

There's no denying the fact that Winter is a wonderful season but along with its wonderfulness, it also causes some other consequences that are irritating, annoying and unhealthy. We're not talking about the typical cold and cough. We are concerned today about the level of indoor quality that drops in Winters due to several reasons the most common of which are:
- Constant running of heating elements like; Furnaces, Fireplace, Space Heaters etc that produce residual gases or make the air drier

- Improper or irregular cleaning is another reason that contributes to lowering the IAQ in Winter. Due to cold weather, people get lazy and become less regular about cleaning. The dust keeps circulating in the indoor and make the IAQ unhealthy

- Insulation and ventilation go hand in hand. You should not lower the quality of air in the pursuit of keeping the indoor warm. As tight insulation is made and there's no proper ventilation system, no fresh air get in the house. And the air that continues to circulate in the indoor eventually becomes extremely unhealthy with lots of bacteria and contaminants in it.


How to maintain a healthy IAQ in Winters?
So now the question is, how to maintain a healthy indoor air in Winters? There are some tips that we want you to consider seriously:

1. First and foremost: Do not make unnecessary use of heating appliances. There are days in Winter when the temperature is bearable and thus the heating appliances can either be turned off or used in a limit. If you have a hard time keeping a check, install a Smart Thermostat and it will do the job for you. Remember that it is not only about bills. You could be the person who can afford hefty bills easily and thus doesn't care about usage but the unnecessary usage will spoil your IAQ and that’s what you don’t want no matter how rich you are

2. Get some natural heat. Let your body generate heat for you. Get up! Do your work and perform the cleaning job if you don't want to breathe unhealthy air. This will do 3 benefits at a time
You will get a warm blow by working
Your home will be clean
Your IAQ will improve

- We just talked about that balance between ventilation and insulation. If your home is tightly insulated, you'll have to go a step ahead to make sure your home gets proper ventilation.
Either install a heat recovery ventilation system or follow this:
  • Open doors and windows partially in the daytime when there's sun to let fresh air in
  • Use a portable air cleaner if installing a Whole Home Air Cleaner unit isn't economical or impossible for whatever reasons
  • Keep indoor plants to do the air cleaning for you

- Make sure you replace filters regularly else the indoor air will start to have plethora of contaminants

- Low humidity also contributes to making the IAQ bad. As the humidity is low, the bacteria, viruses and other contaminants keep floating in the air. Maintaining a desirable humidity using a quality Humidifier keeps these consequences away
- Don't bring dry cleaned clothes inside the house without first letting them in sun or open air as dry cleaning produces chemicals that can be unhealthy when directly brought in the indoors

- Don't plan wall paint, furniture replacement etc in Winter. It becomes difficult to diffuse the effects of chemicals

Following the above mentioned tips you can manage to enjoy a good IAQ even in Winters. Have any questions? Connect anytime: 1-855-245-4328

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Biological Contaminants - What they are and how to combat them?

We hear so much about different types of air pollutants but our focus remains on dust & debris. However, when the term ''Air Contaminants'' is taken, a lot more is meant than is understood. One such contaminant is the Biological Contaminants. Very few people know about these pollutants and only fewer know what to do to make the home safe from them. Let us help you understand the truth about Biological Contaminants, how harmful they can be and how to combat them.   

Biological Contaminants - What are they?

Biological Contaminants are basically living organisms that are hazardous for living beings i.e humans/animals if inhaled, swallowed or otherwise get absorbed in the body. This type of contaminants are caused by;
- Bacterias, carried by humans, animals or plants (yes, PLANTS)
- Viruses
- Mould
- Pet saliva and pet dander
- Dropped off body parts of living or dead insects and pests
- Pollens
- Dried urine of rats and mice
- Unmaintained central heating/cooling system (become home of bacterias)

And here an important question arises. What are the places in the home where biological contaminants are supposed to be present in abundance? Roughly, there are two such places;
1. Damp areas like wet bathroom floors, cooling coils, pans of humidifiers, ductwork (in case there is dampness)
2. Places where there is high accumulation of dust, like; curtains, draperies, carpets and bedding etc

Biological Contaminants

Are they harmful? Like how?

An impression comes from the name ''Biological'' that this type of contaminants can't be harmful or at least can't be so very harmful. Wrong wrong! Not only can Biological Contaminants be harmful, they can also become life-threatening depending on the severity of the situation. However, the common problems caused by this type of contaminants are;
- Watery eyes
- Shortness of breath
- Sneezing
- Dizziness
- Coughing
- Fever
- Digestive problems
and
- Lethargy
With a continuous exposure to the biological contaminants, the illnesses may go unusually serious as said earlier.

Ways to reduce exposure to Biological Pollutants

Instead of using high-cost appliances, medicines and other anti-allergens, there are simple practices that if followed can reduce the exposure to Biological Contaminants and thus automatically reduce the risk of consequential illnesses.

- Don't let water stand in i.e, bathrooms, around HVAC appliances, on kitchen slaps and other such places. Dampness is a perfect ground for the Biological Contaminants to originate and grow
- Make in time use of exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms. Exhaust contaminants before they could spread in the indoors
- In case Humidifier or other similar appliances are being used at home that needs refilling of water regularly, be very precise about following maintenance instructions. Refill water regularly as suggested by the manufacturer
- If you face basement flooding, fix it as early as possible. Better go for a reliable waterproofing solution
- Don't leave water damaged property, i.e carpets etc to dry on their own. Clean/dry/replace them as early as possible, preferably within 24 hours
- The level of Biological Contaminants can significantly be reduced just by keeping more cleanliness
- Maintain relative humidity level of 30% - 35%
- Last but not the least, if you're too lazy to keep all those careful approaches, consider installing an Air Cleaner

Things aren't as simple as they seem and aren't as demanding as they're depicted. It is only by using a careful and responsible approach towards our health and homes that we can make the indoor environment a place of healthier, cleaner and fresher breathing.

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Space Heaters Safety Tips

Here we are hearing of its arrival and there it will come in a few weeks. We're talking about Winter, yes! While there are people that are busy with their routines and postponing some important Winter preparation to do's thinking they'll do them tomorrow, there are others that are vigilantly doing the much needed preparatory stuff on a daily basis be it having the heating system inspected, upgrading the old units, brief HVAC cleaning etc. And guess who will be feeling comfortable when the Winter will be at its peak? Of course, the ones that are preparing themselves, their homes and their systems well before the time and those that are postponing things will soon find themselves in troubled waters when a lot of things would be needed to be done in a haste. Prepare yourself and your home for the coming season and only then you'll be able to enjoy it. That's all from our side. A quick piece of advice you understand. Let's now move on to our safety tips.

Space Heaters Safety Tips

Home is synonymous with safety, security and comfort. But the same home can provide you with extreme dangers, unimaginable discomfort and total insecurity if little things and little cares are taken for granted. With special reference to the Space Heaters, it needs to be understood that despite they are small appliances, they have the potential to cause great harms. Whether you use a Space Heater as an additional heating source or as a primary heating source, strictly follow the tips given below:

Space Heater Safety Tips

- Remember the 3 feet rule when it comes to Space Heaters. Keep the heater away from beds, sofas, curtains and other combustible materials     

- There would be a lot of things that are flammable within your room; body sprays, perfumes etc, make sure none of it is anywhere close to the heater  

- Before you turn on the heater, make it a habit of checking the cords carefully. Have them repaired if they are damaged, twisted or frayed

- There are a lot of homeowners that rely on extension cords even when a direct electrical connection can be created. It is safer to not use extension cords for Space Heaters

- Fix the plugs if they are loose or fall out when inserted. The heater needs to be securely plugged else danger remains there

- Call an electrician if the plugging cord or the heater itself feels hot on touch

- Do not place your heater at a place where there are falling risks. Place it in a stable position and on a levelled place

- Space Heaters come with a certification or safety logo. Make sure yours is safe to use at residential level

- Goes without saying but using Space Heater around damp spaces or with a wet body can take you to the hospital, beware!  Dry out

- If you're using any appliance that causes smoke or produces carbon monoxide, install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Do the same if you use Space Heaters  

- Most homeowners in order to hide the cords, cover them using rugs, carpets or furniture. Doing so can damage the cords and worse is that you'll not be able to see the damage in time

- Turn the unit off when you are away from home, are in a different room for a long period of time or go to sleep particularly under the effects of medicines

- Just like the size of an appliance matters for other heating and cooling appliances, it matters for Space Heaters too. Install a unit that is compatible with your home's area

- If you've children at home that can be taught, teach them the proper use of the appliance and also the cares that need to be taken

- Do not use the Space Heater with an improper fuel type or it will cause fire

- Places where fuel burning heaters are kept, need to have proper ventilation

Prevention is better than cure they say. Take preventive measures so that you don't have to face any unhappy incidents

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Summer Preparation and General HVAC Tips for Summer

For some people, Summers is the most delightful season because they're able to make the most of it by spending time with the friends and family, enjoy vacations and most importantly, enjoy the time they spend in the indoors. Contrary to this, there are several Canadians that loathe Summers primarily because of the thought of heat that they'll have to bear. For them, Summer spoils all joys. But after a careful analysis, we've come to this solution that people who have a hard time bearing Summers are the same people that do the least to maintain their HVAC systems. As a result, they've a hard time keeping themselves cool in the indoors. And then, who is comfortable to enjoy himself in an intense heat? None!


All seasons are beautiful. What makes them loathsome is the fact that we are not able to bear their severeness. Ask someone with a poor indoor heating system whether or not he likes Winters and he'll tell you that Winters for him is synonymous to discomfort. The same is true for someone's views about Summers who is having a poor cooling system.
By now, we're able to make sense of the statement that in order to enjoy all seasons, what is important is to follow the rights practices for that season. And when it comes to the indoor heating and cooling, the right HVAC practices are the backbone for comfort. We want you to enjoy all seasons and to make it possible, we're providing some general HVAC tips for Summers as well as some insight into Summer preparation.


Tips-for-Cooling-Your-Home-This-Summer-Picture-1.jpg


General Summer Tips

  • Tune-Up
You'll know that Summers have begun when sleeping in an afternoon, you wake up with your skin sweating and a desperate need for cooling.  A majority of homeowners rush to turn their systems on as soon as they feel hot, without any prior tune-up and maintenance. But you are not suggested to do the same. Bear the heat for some time, as long as the system is not properly made ready to run. And here's what you need to do for that.

Changing of Filters:

Whether or not the system was active, it is sure that it must have been dusty. Begin with cleaning the filters. Please note that if the Filter seems torn, try to install a new filter. It is recommended to use an improved model of Filters if they're supported by your system.


Cleaning the Condenser coil:

Just like dirty filters affect the efficiency of the system, the same goes for dirty condenser coils. These coils are responsible to throw heat outside in order to cool the refrigerant. The refrigerant that is responsible for cooling the home. When the coil is dirty, it fails to do its work consequently failing to cool the refrigerant. And thus, no or reduced cooling results. In addition, a dirty coil lets your system work harder and raises the energy bills. Clean the condenser coil before turning the system on.


Checking the refrigerant Lines

Refrigerant lines are basically the copper coils that connect the outside condensing unit to the inside evaporator unit. These pipes are made insulated using a foamy material. Over time, the insulation may get old enough to be made again. Carefully check the coils for any repairs and make sure the pipes are properly insulated.


  • Turning the system on

And now, you're good to go to turn the Air Conditioner on. But even when turning the system on, be alert to suspect any unusual sounds or performance. If the unit makes unusual sounds and they continue to come even after hours or it unusually cools the home/doesn't cool at all, considers contacting an HVAC professional.


HVAC Summer Preparation Tips

  • Maintenance

The best tip to get your system prepared for Summers is to have it tuned-up. Either call a professional for the maintenance or do it yourself but do it anyway. Systems that are properly made ready and then turned on, work better than those that are randomly turned on on any Summer afternoon.


  • Turning up Thermostat when you're away

Raising the Thermostat up when you are away helps save a lot of energy and as a result a lot of dollars. HVAC professionals do not suggest shutting the system completely off when you're not at home. That is partly due to the reason that heat and humidity give way to mould, spores and other bacteria in the house, also causing a fishy odour that does not go easily. However, raising the Thermostat to 80-85 F not only keep the home in shape but also create a comfortable temperature easily when you're back.
If you've a programmable Thermostat, you can easily set the temperature to change on the day you're supposed to return. Or if you've a Smart Thermostat, no one has an as comfortable life as you have. Click from anywhere, and set your desired temperature!


  • Surge Protection

It is always wise to use technology in order to make your home safer and safer. While you're away on Summer vacations and there's a power outage, there's nothing you'll be able to do from miles away. Since the system would be running, it might get damaged. To stay safe and worry free, we suggest installing a surge protector. A surge protector helps protect the system when there's a power outage, power shortage or power over flow.


  • Filter Maintenance


Enjoy Summers but let your system be at ease too when you're away enjoying on the Scandinavian beaches. When you're home, it's easy to change the filter, but when you're away who will do it? Change/Replace the filter before leaving so that a replacement is not needed for at least 3 months. Hopefully, you'll be back by then. Who spends that long holidays, hmm?

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Why is my Air Conditioner blowing hot air?

One of the most common problems that homeowners face during Summers is insufficient cooling. On extreme hot Summer days, the reason of insufficient cooling is the outside temperature that affects the cooling while on other days there could be other reasons like the dirty filters, the problematic compressor or the leaking refrigerant contributing to the lack of cooling. However, it needs to be understood that Air Conditioner giving insufficient cooling and Air Conditioner blowing hot air are two different things with different reasons and different solutions. Let us explore when does the Air Conditioner blow hot air and how to fix it.

DIY AC Repair

Reason 1: Disturbed Thermostat

The Thermostat technology is advancing with every passing year. Touch Screen Thermostats took the place of Mercury Thermostat and then that place was taken by the Smart Wifi Thermostats. Although the upcoming new models of Thermostats are more energy saving and more advance, it is unfortunate that more than many homeowners fail to make the most of them by not using them properly. Air Conditioner begins blowing hot air when the Thermostat is set from cool to heat or from auto to ON. By changing the setting to ON, the fan is asked to operate continuously. And when this happens, the AC fan keeps blowing air even when the system isn't working. This way, the air coming from the supply ducts would feel warm since it hasn't been conditioned.  

Reason 2: Insufficient air flow

Restricted air flow which is mostly caused by dirty filters is another reason of why the Air Conditioner blows hot air. The simple fix to this issue is cleaning the Filter, however, if the problem persists, it is recommended to contact a reliable technician.

Reason 3: Electrical Issues

The electrical issues could also be the reason of hot air supplied by the Air Conditioner. As a result of a fuse or a tripped circuit breaker, the electrical supply to the outdoor unit gets disconnected and it stops working. In this case, it is suggested to call a professional to fix the electrical issues.

Reason 4: Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant used as a liquid or gas in the Air Conditioners as a refrigerating medium often gets leaked through the refrigerant lines and give way to the reduced efficiency of AC since the system fails to cool the air and thus begins to blow warm air in the indoors. Refrigerant leaks need a leak repair before the refrigerant is refilled. If a hissing sound is heard from the compressor or the refrigerant lines have ice around them, it is an indication that the refrigerant is leaking. Once suspected, call on a professional asap.     

Reason 5: Dirty Condenser
Condenser needs a sufficient space around it for it to operate properly. While you might give it that space at the time of installation, it is probable that the accommodation is taken by dirt, grass, weeds, plants and bushes that had grown around it. When this happens, the compressor unit can't breathe well which simply means an airflow restriction has been created. This restriction causes warm air to be blown inside.

Reason 6: Condenser problems
In addition to a dirty condenser, there are other Condenser issues that cause the Air Conditioner to blow warm air. For example, electrical issues as said above, overheating,  refrigerant leaks and loose compressor parts etc. All these problems result in either partially affecting the operation of the Air Conditioner or completely affecting it. If not fixed in time, the compressor issues may also lead to complete Air Conditioner break down.

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3 serious problems caused by not changing Air Filters

There are instances when you fall sick or experience a problem at home but are uncertain about the cause. While the problem might be big and irritating, the cause is often something easy to fix. Today, let's us talk about the problems that are caused by not changing the Air Filters regularly.

Air Filters

In case, you aren’t sure what do we mean by Air Filter, read this paragraph before moving on.
As the name suggests, Air Filters are basically Filters that Filter the air and clean it. They are made up of a fibrous material and can remove solid particles like mould, dust, pollen and bacteria etc. Some Filters also combat smoke and odours but they work in combination with other mediums. A simple air filter primarily only traps solid particles. They’re placed on the supply and return vents of the duct system and also sometimes within an appliance as in case of a Furnace.

Air Filter

3 Problems caused by not changing Air Filters

The question almost all HVAC professionals ask when they're contacted for an AC problem by homeowners is whether or not the homeowner changes Air Filters regularly. While Filter changing takes hardly five minutes, a vast majority doesn't care about regularly changing the Filters primarily because they think all an Air Filter does is filtering the air and are unaware of other consequences that a dirty Filter causes. Let us talk about what else a clogged filter has the potential to do other than blowing dusty air towards you.

1. A sudden breakdown! Oh Gosh!

You heard it right. Clogged Air Filters can lead your system towards a sudden breakdown. Since on dirty clogs, the system needs to insert more energy to blow air through, it uses more power and as a result strains the motor more than what it is designed to afford. Motor burns!
And a burned motor is synonymous to purchasing a new Air Conditioning system. An expense of almost $4000-$8000.

2. Comfort turns to discomfort

Why in the first place do you need an Air Conditioner? Because you need to keep yourself comfortable in the indoors! What use is then of an Air Conditioner if it doesn't provide comfort? By not changing Air Filters, you choose to live in discomfort. It is already understood that the system gives off dusty air but more than that, the air it provides is also less cool since clogged filters suffocate the system. Just like when you've your hand clamped over your mouth and it results in shorter breaths, the same happens with your AC system. It receives lesser air through return ducts and has less air to treat. Moreover, restricted air flow causes the refrigerant coil to freeze up and this restricts the airflow even further. As a consequence, you've fatty energy bills but limited cooling.    

3. Unbearable energy bills

The word ''unbearable'' is no exaggeration. Imagine your system running double or even more than required using more and more energy. What else should you expect other than fatty energy bills that would shoot your anger right away? It's not the fault of the electricity company neither are they charging you extra. It is just that you've been too lazy to change/clean the filter that has led to this consequence. Clogged Filters raise bills up to 15%.

Bottom Line


Maintenance takes time be it less or more but the benefits of maintenance are several as well as long term. Not only does maintenance elongate the life of your HVAC system, it also keeps its efficiency maintained and keeps bills limited. Changing of Filter comes under maintenance and as said it takes hardly 5 minutes to change Filters, that too needs to be done only after 3-6 months depending on the level of dust in your home. Therefore, perform regular maintenance and enjoy durability and affordability at one time.

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