What You Need to Know Before You Hire A HVAC Technician
May 10, 2016
There is perhaps nothing more irritating than having to deal with an air conditioning system that refuses to work properly during the hot summer months. Believe it or not, there are some simple maintenance tips that you can follow to keep your system flowing cool air all summer long. While these simple tasks are easy enough for just about any homeowner, it is best left to HVAC technicians to take care of more complex issues that may be hindering your systems performance.
Some of the tasks that a homeowner can perform on an annual basis include checking air filters for flow restrictions. If you are experiencing a weak airflow, the problem may be an issue with the ducts or blower itself. If that is the case, an experienced HVAC technician should be called to correct those issues. The following are four things that you need to be aware of when choosing an HVAC technician.
There is an old adage you have more than likely heard “if it seems too good to be true then it probably is.” There are always going to be great deals to be found, but companies that are offering deals that are too good to be true fall into the above category. Typically, these types of companies will find a way to make up that lost money with higher replacement or repair fees.
It is wise to really look at your estimates and ask why one company’s estimate is so much lower than the rest. If you get a really low estimate, the technician is usually finding a way to cut corners or is doing sub par work.
Be sure to look at how long a company has been around. It is estimated that one out of every five HVAC companies will fail within a year. For those that have been around for several years, means they are doing a good job. You want to find a company that has been able to survive and find a way to thrive in all the competition and bad economic times.
If you happen to have the Yellow Pages in your home, you may want to reconsider before looking in it to find an HVAC tech – this is likely a shot in the dark. You have no idea what type of tech you are going to get by scouring the Yellow Pages. The ads can be quite deceiving and just because a contractor has the biggest ad does not mean they are the best.
Finally, do not wait until your system is not working to call on the services of an HVAC technician. It is better in the long term to have a technician come out regularly to maintain it and keep it from breaking down. Not only will you find a true professional this way your costs will be lower in the long term.
Having a technician routinely look at your system is going to benefit you in the long-term. Your equipment is going to have a much longer lifespan, it is going to work better, and it is going to be safer in the long run. In addition, once a system breaks down it is much more expensive to have fixed or replaced as opposed to regular maintenance. Think of regular maintenance as a form of investment in your equipment, one that is going to pay for itself over the years.
The Top Tips for Ensuring Proper Heating and Air Conditioning Function
May 4, 2016
Home maintenance plays a huge role in the efficiency and effectiveness of your heating and cooling systems. Here are our recommendations for the best ways to keep heating and air conditioning systems functional through personal maintenance.
– Make sure to never neglect your air filter changing schedule. It’s best if you keep to a monthly maintenance routine, which entails checking the status of the filter every month and cleaning or replacing the unit entirely every 3 months or so. When you use a dirty filter, your heating and cooling systems have to force air through a buildup of debris. This means they have to work harder to achieve less.
– Never forget to check and perform maintenance on your outdoor unit, something which many individuals neglect to do because the problem is largely out of sight. Over time, things like dirt, dust, leaf litter, and garbage can accumulate in and around the unit. This type of debris should be cleaned off carefully with a hose or soft bristled broom. Because debris can block the airflow of the outdoor unit, it can reduce efficiency if left where it is.
– Always inspect the indoor supply and return vents on a frequent basis. Never block them with large objects like furniture or rugs, and make sure that they are consistently clear of dust, pet hair, and other debris.
– The best way to make sure that none of these maintenance chores never gets forgotten is to keep a careful schedule. Problems can quickly get out of hand if allowed to persist, so your best tool in ensuring that your heating and cooling system stay properly functional is to keep to a strict maintenance schedule. Consider keeping a calendar with all the inspection dates marked out if you think you might forget.
Another essential part of keeping these easily broken systems viable is to schedule professional maintenance once a year. The best time to do this is before the summer or winter, which is when heating and cooling systems see the most usage. Professionals will be able to do the following tasks, which are not accessible to most homeowners.
– Check Refrigerant Levels – The lifespan and efficacy of your system is highly dependent on the level of refrigerant. Keeping proper levels helps make the unit longer lasting and more effective.
– Leaks in the Ductwork – The duct system is comprised of hoses that are only to easily compromised by leaks. Good ductwork saves a considerable amount of energy and money.
– System Diagnostics and Other Maintenance – These are the other assorted duties required to keep units in good shape. Specialists can use their expertise to diagnose and promptly nip these issues in the bud.
A Look into The Future of Efficient HVAC
April 18, 2016
For everyone in Canada, residential energy efficiency is an important concern. Every home that reduces its overall power requirements for heating and cooling helps bring down the nation’s need for non-renewable energy sources. Less reliance on fossil fuels translates into less pollution, less climate change, and a smaller environmental footprint. More importantly, reducing the amount of electricity and gas we use in our homes brings down our utility costs! If you’d like to find out what the future has in store for home heating and cooling, check out the information below http://www.furnace-repair-edmonton.ca.
The Ministry of Energy has issued some encouraging news regarding upcoming technologies that could make a big difference in energy efficiency in Canadian homes. Here are some of the highlights:
Smarter Homes Grow More Efficient
While making the equipment that heats and cools our homes more efficient is important, we can also get a lot of mileage out of making the electronics that control that equipment more intelligent. Smart thermostats exercise an impressive level of control over your home’s HVAC system, keeping temperatures throughout your home comfortable while eliminating wasted energy. Now the government says we can expect to see more sensitive and intelligent sensor systems in the next generation of smart controls, giving our HVAC systems even greater control over their output.
Heat Pumps Make a Splash
Heat pumps are already making a big wave in the residential market, providing efficient heating with much less power than ordinary electric resistance heaters. This same technology is coming to gas heating in the near future, too, and gas heat pumps equipped with low-emission burners are likely to be both economical and highly efficient.
Better Windows for a Brighter Future
The home envelope needs to be well insulated at all points in order to heat and cool the home efficiently. At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, researchers are developing new technologies to make windows a stronger part of that envelope. Not only will tomorrow’s windows release less air into the outside world, they’ll also be equipped with sensors and shades to automatically manage the amount of solar energy they admit into the home.
More Powerful Insulation
Of course, insulation has always been a key part of an energy-efficient home. The latest forms of foam insulation offer amazing insulation efficiency, packing even more thermal resistance into smaller volumes. The next generation of insulation materials is environmentally friendly, too, reducing the impact of upgrading the home.
Energy efficiency is about more than just the equipment and insulation that goes inside of your home. Roofing materials can actually do a great deal to make a home more efficient by reflecting more of the sun’s energy on warm days.
Take Your Own Steps Towards Greater HVAC Efficiency
While a lot of the technology described above hasn’t filtered its way down to the residential market yet, there is still a lot of great, highly efficient heating and cooling equipment already available. If your own home is ready for a newer, more efficient air conditioner or furnace, speak to a local HVAC professional about upgrading now.
Using Heating Elements to Prevent Ice and Snow Buildup On Your Roof
April 18, 2016
Snow and ice buildup on your roof often causes serious problems in the winter. Large quantities of snow are capable of collapsing a flat roof, and ice buildup around the roof’s rim can block the gutters and cause water to seep into your house. This is why many owners opt to install heat mats or other similar products on their roofs, melting excess winter precipitation and allowing the water to drain in a safe, gradual manner. Keep reading in order to learn more about heat mats and how you can use them to protect your home http://www.plumbers-edmonton.ca/.
Melt Troublesome Ice & Snow Automatically
When people think about their air conditioning and heating system, they usually think about the inside of their home. In the winter, however, it’s a good idea to utilize strategic heating elements as a way to prevent ice and snow buildup problems. An option is placing heat mats under the roof, in order to keep the surface warm and prevent ice and snow from accumulating. Another good trick is running heat cables over your roof, along your gutters.
Since you’ll have to take up the singles in order to install heat mats, they are more economical as you build a new home or are considering replacing your roof already. Cables are considerably easier to install, and much more flexible, allowing you to choose options such as lining the gutters all the way down to the ground, preventing icy blockages. Heat mats usually have sensors too, so they will switch on automatically whenever the moisture levels and temperatures reach a certain threshold.
The Pros & Cons of Using Heating Elements On Your Roof
Naturally, you can always deal with excessive ice and snow on your roof by climbing up to it and manually removing it – but it can be a strenuous, dangerous task. Chipping ice off of your gutter requires you to stand in awkward, dangerous positions on a ladder in windy, cold conditions – and if you walk on the roof, you’re risking slipping on ice and sustaining serious injuries.
This is the reason why many consumers think it’s worthwhile to spend some time and money installing heating elements on their roof – especially the ones who live in very cold climates. There are also a few ongoing costs associated with cables and heat mats, since they require power to function.
How and Why to Use Outdoor Heating
April 18, 2016
For most homeowners, heating is something that has to do strictly with the inside of the house. In winter time, in fact, the entire point is keeping the heat in! Some people have discovered there are a few advantages to expanding one’s point of view beyond the boundaries of the house when it comes to wintertime heating, though. Electric or hydronic heating systems can be deployed outside the house to keep walkways and driveways above freezing. This minimizes the amount of snow and ice build-up, making these areas safer and more convenient in the winter months http://air-conditioning-edmonton.ca.
Why Heat Outdoors?
Outdoor heating is particularly popular in those parts of the country where heavy snowfall is virtually guaranteed every year. The installation of durable heating elements beneath outdoor paving can put a huge dent in the problem of snow accumulation, though. In-ground heating takes away the risks involved with endless snow-shoveling and reduces your chances of slipping on ice. Outdoor heating systems even offer some environmental advantages when compared to alternative ice-removal methods: They don’t contaminate your green spaces the way using salt or chemical melters does.
Mechanically, the process of installing and operating exterior heating elements is a lot like installing radiant floors indoors. Professional technicians lay heating elements in even patterns underneath the surfaces you want to heat up. Like their interior counterparts, exterior heating systems can use either electricity or water to heat their elements. Most outdoor heating systems include automatic as well as manual control. Some of the most advanced systems actually use climactic sensors to turn themselves on automatically when precipitation is detected.
The Cost of In-Ground Heating
Obviously it’s a lot less expensive and labor-intensive to install in-ground heating prior to putting down the paving it’s going to heat. Although it is possible to install in-ground heating after the fact, the retrofitting process is much more complex and can add thousands of dollars to the cost of the project. The best time to think about in-ground heating is when you’re already planning to replace the paving you want heated.
Of course, these systems also cost money to operate. They’re not the best choice for homeowners who want to keep their power bills as low as possible. The general costs are very similar to radiant floor heating indoors: hydronic systems that use water will cost more initially but offer lower operating costs. Electric-only systems make for cheaper installations, but the operating costs mount up faster. The overall cost of outdoor in-ground heating causes many homeowners to balk at the idea, but in areas where shoveling snow is a time-consuming and much-maligned chore every year, this is one luxury that’s often appreciated.