plumbing and heating

Pinterest Guidelines for Plumbing and Heating

Plumbing and Heating Pinterest Guidelines

The online networking site Pinterest can be a great resource for finding new ideas and some basic how-to’s. Although the site is more popularly utilized for the fun factor it offers, what most people do not know is that you can get some amazing household tricks and guidelines including some plumbing and heating tips that you will find really helpful.

Clean Out Your Disposal

The first helpful plumbing tip you can get from Pinterest has something to do with your garbage disposal. Having a garbage disposal in your kitchen can be a nice treat but it can also be the main reason for the clogs, break down, and even the unpleasant smell in your home. In most cases, homeowners choose to call the plumbing company to get the issue resolved and the more adventurous one eventually learn to get things done and fixed on their own. Either way, the stress of having to go through repairing the disposal can be avoided by following these tips to regularly clean your disposal.

To remove the buildup of grease in your disposal, turn on the hot water and then the disposal.

Squeeze a generous amount of dishwashing soap into the disposal while letting the hot water run for half a minute.
Turn off the disposal but keep the hot water running until all the bubbles have cleaned out the grease buildup.

Clean Your Showerhead

Showerheads are frequently used on a day to day basis and are almost always left wet throughout the day. Because of this, showers especially showerheads can get slimy and grungy. If you’re one busy homeowner and doesn’t have all the time to stay in the shower for a thorough cleanup, this trick may just help you out. You only need distilled white vinegar poured into a plastic bag and secured to the shower head with a rubber band. You can leave it this way for about an hour or two – just enough time for you to get some other work done. The vinegar can break down the grunge and dissolve it making your showerhead look almost brand new. The cleanup process can be completed by wiping down the handle and the rest of the shower fixtures.

Quiet Your Sink and Pipes

Some homeowners may find the kitchen sink a source of some annoying sounds. The hot water that runs through the pipes and the high pressure being turned off can cause the pipes to expand and make some noises. Although you won’t necessarily have to stop the noises, what you can actually do is to muffle the noise and not make it as annoying as it could get. Having a dual model sink makes it easy for you to fill in the void where the noise comes from. Make use of a spray foam and spray it onto the gap between sinks to establish a unified unit.

You can also check if your basement has copper pipes that are adjoined by another metal pipe. The noise can be silenced by simply wrapping the pipes in some adhesive-backed felt tape and that should do the trick.

Conceal Your A/C Compressor

Having an air conditioning unit installed in the home makes life a little more comfortable especially in the heat of a Canadian summer. However, some homeowners might find the bulky outside compressor an eye sore that doesn’t do justice to your home’s decor. To conceal the outside A/C compressor, you can take advantage of the most popular way of hiding a compressor by using the lattice fencing. This design allows the compressor to freely breathe while adding an awesome touch of imagination to your lovely home. Planting a shrub around the unit can also be another option although this can probably make access and repairs a little more difficult to handle. Lastly, another simple way of hiding the bulky compressor is by painting it the same way as the wall it is attached to. This can create an illusion that the bulky part is just an extension of the house.

Follow the A/C Cost Reduction Guide

Pinterest also provides the following guides to lowering air conditioning costs.

  • Close Blinds and Drapes. The refrigerator stays cooler when you leave the door closed. This is the same concept applied to air conditioners in your home. You can keep the low temperature in the home by making sure that the processed air is not sucked out by the sun’s rays that beat through the windows. Close the blinds and draw the drapes to keep the cold air from seeping out of your home.
  • Ceiling Fans are your Friend. Ceiling fans create a slight breeze from the hot air that rises from the ground. This breeze makes it possible for you to increase the temperature of the thermostat by a tad and in the mean time lower your utility bills.
  • Install a Programmable Thermostat. This is an amazing device that can be programmed to take some pressure off the air conditioning unit when nobody is at home and adjust the temperature to a cooler setting when you or your home’s occupants are back from a hot day out.
  • Change Air Filter. This is a no brainer. A clogged filter restricts the amount of airflow needed for the A/C to properly function. This doubles the workload of your A/C which also drives up the utility bills.
  • Limit the Use of Oven. Summer time calls for grill time outside. Give your oven a break which will keep some pressure off your air conditioning unit too.

These are some of the amazing household plumbing and heating tips found in Pinterest. It is important to understand that while all these may be easy and very doable for any homeowner, it is always the best option to get recommendations, assessments, consultations, and major repairs done by your trusted HVAC and plumbing professionals http://plumbers-edmonton.ca to ensure that comfort and safety is always achieved.

hvac contractors

4 Major Lies HVAC Contractors Tell Their Customers

Major lies told by a lot of HVAC contractors

HVAC contractors are all unique. Some heating and A/C contractors (such as found at Kijiji.ca) do an excellent job, but there is a handful who are outright deceitful and make shortcuts that lead to issues with HVAC systems. The lies told by dishonest heating and A/C companies results in substandard heating and A/C systems.

The following are four of the major lies told by a lot of HVAC contractors:

ALL COMFORT SYSTEMS AT HOME ARE THE PLUG-AND-PLAY TYPE

Comfort systems may be pricey, but they are significant items inside your residence. They not only provide more comfort, but it also keeps your family safe.

Around 60% of your utility bills come from the cost of heating and cooling your home. But you can reduce it by more than 35% if you change your faulty system or repair certain installation flaws and pathetic system designs. Aside from saving energy, you can reduce operational costs because of fewer breakdowns.

Your problem is that a few HVAC contractors let you believe that purchasing a full system is just like purchasing a refrigerator or some other home appliance. They lead you to believe that you can take it home fully assembled, and you just need to plug it into a wall socket with nothing left to do. Do not heed their advice!

Your HVAC system is different from a furnace or an A/C. They are just mere components, and you need to consider more, like the controls, exhaust, heating, cooling electrical, ductwork and filtration. One of its significant components is the duct system, but only a handful of homeowners knows what it is for. All its different components must be a match in terms of size and function together, so you have a safe and efficient system.

YOU HAVE A “BETTER” SYSTEM WITH A “BIGGER” SYSTEM

Ensure that your system is of the right size for your home by getting load calculations on each ductwork, furnace, and A/C. Read “How to Steer Away from these Four Usual Furnace Installation Issues.”

A HVAC contractor sometimes neglect to do load calculations because they do not have the right training for it, or because they’re just too lazy to do it. A lazy contractor will usually determine the size of your system according to your home’s square footage or the size of your former system.

You need to consider several factors when a HVAC contractors conducts load calculations for various cooling and heating systems. These are the following:

  • Window size and R-value
  • Solar orientation
  • Doors
  • Shading
  • Floor, walls, and ceiling insulations
  • Floor, roof, duct system, and foundation type
  • Building materials utilized
  • Ceiling’s height
  • Square footage of the property
  • Home construction considerations

A very big furnace generates too much sensible heat inside the house. It is the kind of heat that you can sense or feel. An abundance of sensible heat results to a home that quickly heats up, leaving your thermostat to come up with the wrong reading and turn off the furnace.

A thermostat is restricted to sense the temperature of the circulating air inside the room. If it senses a wrong reading, it is led to believe that you already have a warm home and directs your furnace to shut off. Your furnace turns on and off constantly and consumes up to ten times the energy than when you just leave it on all the time. It is a typical process called cycling.

If you have a very warm room, it will prompt you to stand up and adjust your furnace’s temperature all the time. If it is very cold, you turn it up and vice versa. But finding the ideal temperature always elude you. It signifies that your home’s HVAC system is faulty, or you have a very big furnace. It is highly possible that you are experiencing both issues at the same time.

The National Comfort Institute states that the US has an average performance rate of 57% on furnaces and A/Cs. Even if there’s no statistic like that in Canada, it is likely true that the figures are similar. You pay twice the amount that you pay when heating or cooling your home.

You can improve your system’s efficiency and lessen its operational costs by hiring an expert company to determine the right size for your furnace, A/C, or ductwork. Always ask for a load calculation from HVAC contractors who work with your home.

CARBON MONOXIDE IS NOT AN ISSUE

A combustion gas is full of deadly compounds and is deadly to all of you in the house. Some of these concerns are having headaches, carbon monoxide poisoning, and even death! Persistent low-grade conditions are sometimes hard to diagnose and are the usual issue related to long-term gas exposure. Despite an exposure to low concentrations, you will still likely experience some undesirable side-effects.

You typically need to check the furnace first for any cracks in its heat exchanger. If you can’t see any cracks, a lot of HVAC contractors think that there’s no need to worry about carbon monoxide and neglect to conduct additional combustion safety checks.

In the summer, clothes dryers, fans, and even kitchen range hoods, releases air outside of your house. As a result, fresh air can come inside the house through various cracks and gaps around doors and windows. Open the windows or doors to replace the circulating stale air inside. It also aids in maintaining the delicate balance of the air pressure both inside and outside of your home.

The maintenance of a balanced air pressure is more difficult come wintertime because a lot of modern houses are airtight and blocks the cool air from getting inside. But it continues to pump the air outside over the various exhaust fans and similar devices. And because the exterior air pressure is much higher than of that indoors, combustion gasses like carbon monoxide are pulled toward the chimney or the flue. You call this effect as “backdrafting.” The air goes down rather than up the chimney. You can also experience this issue if you have a blocked flue or not configured right.

You can test if “backdrafting” is something you should be worried about by:

  • Release the smoke or powder into its draft hood (a draft diverter) to inspect for any secondary flue vents. You want the smoke to go out of your house, but it can also go back in.
  • Utilize a lighter flame to determine if a draft pulls it in the direction of the flue. It can happen if the draft is not enough.
  • Watch out for any dark residues or soot on your water heater. The presence of soot signals that backdrafting is a phenomenon inside your home. But if there’s no soot or any dark residues, it is not also an assurance that backdrafting is not present.
  • Secure a carbon monoxide analyzer in your home. You need proper training for it though or else you’d get a false reading.

THE AIRFLOW AND DUCTWORK ARE NOT ESSENTIAL

A lot of leaks happen. You end up with small ductworks since certain HVAC contractors do not have a clear understanding on airflow and incompetent at providing quality work. Despite the significance of a ductwork to your home’s comfort system, only a few homeowners know its value.

Consider the ductwork as your home’s arteries. It sends blood all over your body from your heart. Likewise, the ductwork distributes the warm and cool air in your entire house from your home’s comfort system.

A doctor must take your blood pressure while an expert HVAC contractors must take the static pressure of your ductwork. A very high pressure indicates insufficient airflow and results to a rise in energy costs and the premature demise of your equipment.

A ductwork that has the right size makes sure that airflow is at its peak level. A lot of homes only get measured for the home’s heating system and totally neglect the cooling system. Since cooling needs around 30% up to 50% of the airflow in contrast to heating, a small ductwork limits the airflow. And because of this, it puts undue stress on your furnace and A/C. And because of the added stress and work, your equipment breaks down constantly and sooner.

HVAC contractors conduct load calculations in every room to ensure you have a duct system that is the perfect size for your home. This load calculation identifies the heating and cooling amount necessary for every room, the size of the ductwork, and the required amount of air.

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How to Keep Your Garage Warm in the Winter

Garage Heater – How to Keep Your Garage Warm in the Winter

If there is one part of the house that can serve so many different purposes, it is the garage. Some homeowners use the garage for its primary parking space purpose especially during the cold Canadian winters while others use it as storage for home decorations and other home comfort systems that are out of season. Others make it their own personal space where they can keep a pile of their favorite tools or make it a spot where they can enjoy some drinks with the neighbors. Whatever purpose a garage serves for homeowners, one thing is for sure – garage heater is necessary.

Canadian winters can be brutal and having a garage that is not heated could mean rendering it useless for the entire duration of the cold season. Imagine not being able to use part of your house for half a year just because the cold is simply unbearable. On top of that, whatever is stored in the garage whether it be a car or some other important things could be easily damaged because of the cold. With all that in mind, here are different ways to keep you garage warm and comfy during the heating season.

Insulate Walls

garage heaterThe very first step to keeping a garage warm is to properly insulate its walls and ceiling. This is a vital step if you want to prevent cold and wind from seeping through to the inside. Insulating walls is also essential when you decide that your garage needs some warmth from a heater.

There are different kinds of garage heaters to choose from; however, getting them installed will be a total waste of money without proper insulation. It doesn’t matter how efficient or top-of-the-line quality the garage heater is, the heater will always be fighting a losing battle against the cold weather as the chilly air can simply suck out all the warmth that your heater creates.

Ductless A/C with Heat Pump

With the important of proper garage insulation established, we can now move on to the different types of garage heaters that you can choose from.

Just like the rest of your home, a garage does not only need warmth during the winter season but it also needs respite from the scorching heat of the summer basically for the very same reason why it needs warmth. That being said, installing a ductless air conditioner with heat pump can function as a heating and cooling unit in one. This type of heater can be easily mounted high up the wall without taking up so much space and can be controlled to function on the same power supply as all the other three rooms that are run by the same compressor. This feature is called zone cooling.

Overhead Radiant Heaters

For those who utilize the garage as their work space, understand that when you work in a chilly garage your body heat escapes from the top of your head. That being said, having an overhead radiant heater allows warm air to come from above and keep you more comfortable. This type of garage heater is resourceful especially if you are only focusing on warming a specific spot and not the entire garage. With an overhead radiant heater, you can protect certain important parts of your garage such as the spot for your tools or your workbench. Overhead radiant heaters combined with a foam insulation pad on the floor makes your work space a really comfortable one.

In-Floor Radiant Heating System for New Garages

This type of garage heater is especially recommended for those who a building a new garage. In-floor radiant heating system is set up by installing tubes right into the garage floor’s foundation. The entire system can be run by electricity, hot water, or fuel depending on the kind of in-floor radiant heating that you choose. The garage’s main foundation – in most cases a concrete floor – blocks the cold and keeps your toes warm. The heat generated from this system rises up and passes through your body before it dissipates in the ceiling.

In-floor radiant heating systems are easier to set up in homes simply because the sub floor isn’t usually made of concrete and professionals can easily manipulate the sub floor to get it completed. However, in garages that have been completed, there really isn’t much you can do with hard cement foundations. Hence, this type of heater is better for those who are building a new garage.

Electric Space Heater

If the time you spend in your garage is very limited during the winter and there really isn’t a lot of stuff stored in that space, an electric space heater might just work out for you. This type of garage heater is great for when you only need an hour or two to get some stuff done and you want to make sure you are still warm throughout that duration. You can purchase a couple of electric space heaters for under $100, use it only when needed, and store it back in the garage when not in use. It’s a great alternative if you are looking to make some savings on utility bills.

Kerosene Torpedo Heater

Some homeowners make a sanctuary out of their garages during the winter and they spend hours and hours there for hunting purposes or even for enjoying some drinks after having fun in the snow. If you’re one of them, you could also use a kerosene torpedo heater to keep you warm. This type of heater is a little more intense than the electric space heater and can easily warm up a two-car capacity garage. Kerosene is preferred over the use of diesel simply because it burns cleaner and the smell from the fumes isn’t as strong. Sure the kerosene torpedo heater will have fumes, but that is normal and is necessary so you can crack the garage door open and let some fresh air in. The chilly air will be no match for the heater. This option may not be feasible for some locales where kerosene isn’t widely used.

Whatever you use your garage for and how often you stay in there will be your starting point when deciding on the kind of garage heater to purchase http://www.air-conditioning-edmonton.ca/. All these mentioned above are great options and will only work best for you depending on how and how often you utilize your garage. If unsure, you can always start with the smallest (or cheapest) and see how it works for you. If that doesn’t do the trick, you can work your way up until you figure out if your garage needs a fully functional and well integrated HVAC system.

central air conditioner

Central Air Conditioner – 9 Considerations before Replacing Your AC

9 Considerations before Replacing Your Central Air Conditioner

The installation of a new central air conditioner or the replacement of a former unit back home is one of your major investments to attain a comfortable home that you wish to have. It has a major effect on your family’s comfort for the following years, or even a decade.

The reasons you are replacing your central air conditioner are constant pricey repairs, high energy costs, and relevant environmental issues. Regardless of the reason, determine your best alternative and do not fail in asking all the proper questions. Take into consideration the succeeding nine factors prior to calling an expert to change or install a new central A/C http://air-conditioning-toronto.ca.

CENTRAL A/C ALTERNATIVES

The kind of central A/C available for your home consists of a packaged unit or a split system. A split system, cools one or a couple of rooms, is said to be the most economical alternative if you already have an existing furnace in your home. A split system comprises of an indoor and an outdoor unit. Its outdoor unit has a metal cabinet that contains a condenser, a compressor, and an expansion valve. Meanwhile, its indoor unit has the evaporator and its coil, and for some, a heat pump or the furnace itself. If you have a furnace or a heat pump, you can typically see the coil in its main duct.

On the other hand, an all-in-one or a packaged central A/C is used at times to heat up more than just a couple of rooms. Or when indoor space is considered to be at a premium. All of its parts (condenser, compressor, and evaporator) are within a single cabinet that is usually on a slab of concrete near your homes’ foundation or its roof. The supply air ducts deliver the cool air all over your home while the return ducts transport the recycled air as it goes back to its packaged unit.

CHANGE THE WHOLE CENTRAL A/C

It depends on the frequency of usage of your central air conditioner unit and how long it has been with you. If you have a failing compressor or a leaking refrigerant, your HVAC contractor will likely tell you to change the entire system. Or else, you can opt to change the failing components or fix uncomplicated and affordable issues as they pop up. You must also consider the type of refrigerant you presently have since modern ones are friendlier to the environment and energy-efficient as well. Over time, you will spend more on a refrigerant that is already obsolete. Read the article “11 Obvious Signs that your HVAC Equipment is Dying.”

WHAT ARE YOUR TIME LIMITATIONS?

You need to make a decision according to your preferences, purchasing power, and current home needs for a central A/C. You may realize that it is better to purchase a portable A/C if you want an urgent answer for your family’s health and safety. You can make use of it just until you can afford to buy a full central A/C. You need several weeks though to look for all the right equipment and to hire an expert HVAC contractor for your home’s new system.

SIZE MATTERS

A lot of homeowners perceive that their present central air conditioner system is the ideal size and will buy exactly the same thing when the first one wears out. But then, it can be that the initial size of your old system is not ideal for your home. Or maybe you made renovations in your home that has a significant effect on the size of HVAC system ideal for your house.

Your A/C will not be able to cool down your home if you do not assess all your needs first. Meanwhile, if you have a very big A/C, you’ll be burdened by high energy costs, humidity issues, and many more concerns. You must consult with a HVAC contractor to determine the right size of the central A/C your home needs.

DO YOU NEED TO COOL DOWN YOUR ENTIRE HOUSE?

When you condition the air inside your house, you enjoy improved air filtration and circulation, and will no longer worry about numerous cold or hot spots. However, it is not practical to cool the rooms upstairs when nobody is using them.

You have two alternatives when it comes to zoning your space. Buy an extra A/C to cool space not often used. Or you can use a highly effective system that lets you regulate your unit’s cooling capabilities according to the frequency of use of a particular area. You can easily regulate and maintain the level of humidity when you use highly-efficient HVAC systems.

INSTALL A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT

A programmable thermostat helps you lessen your energy costs by allowing you to regulate the heating and cooling of your system automatically without the need to handle the thermostat yourself. It is useful when you are asleep or not at home.

THE IMPORTANCE OF FINDING THE PERFECT MATCH

Central air conditioner come with an exterior condensing unit and an interior coil unit. The components are specifically designed to work together and promote efficiency and comfort. If you want to change your exterior unit to a highly efficient one, you must match it to the interior unit. It’s the same principle when the interior unit needs replacement.

However, it is more affordable if you only need to change on of them, not together altogether. But changing just one is not an ideal long-term solution. And even though your system will keep on working, it won’t be able to work to its full potential or provide an excellent energy efficiency score. It will not only provide you the comfort you long for, but it might also cause your unit to fail earlier than expected.

HIGH-EFFICIENCY CENTRAL A/C SYSTEMS

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) determines a cooling system’s efficiency. A highly efficient system boasts of a higher SEER score. From November 2006, all new central air conditioner units and heat pumps manufactured in Canada need to secure a score of 13 or above that.

Natural Resources Canada also acknowledges the Energy Efficiency Ratio or EER. It determines an A/C’s cooling effect on each electric energy it uses up. A high-efficiency unit has a much higher rating.

The ENERGY STAR label is being acknowledged throughout the world for its energy efficiency. An A/C with an ENERGY STAR label needs a minimum of 14.5 SEER score and a 12 EER rating. You can save up to 20% on your energy consumption by using systems with this label in contrast to other brands.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE IDEAL CONTRACTOR?

Buying the best central air conditioner system and equipment is not an assurance that you’ll get excellent results. Hire a licensed HVAC contractor to size your system properly and do the installation.

It is highly suggested to ask quotes from around three or more contractors unless you already have an HVAC contractor in mind. Having several quotes in hand will let you see that most of them use similar equipment and allows you to compare an apple to another apple. The best HVAC contractor knows what you need and will suggest the best equipment that solves your problem. Do not hesitate to ask questions and go with the HVAC contractor you’re comfortable with.

A contractor must conduct load calculations prior to making a written quote. It identifies the capacity of a cooling equipment perfect for your home. A contractor must not assume that your home needs a similar system as your previous one.

Take note that an ideal contractor will talk to you about your requirements and discuss the selection process for finding the ideal central air conditioner system. Changing one part with something else can be easy to pull off. But you need to pay close attention, analyze carefully, hire an expert to do the installation, purchase matching components, and be educated on the important things you need to know.

air conditioning

Do You Need an AC Repair or Replacement?

Air Conditioning Repair or Replacement – When Do You Need It?

It is either each winter season gets worse as each year passes, or we are all just advancing in age and can no longer tolerate the extreme cold. But nevertheless, we cannot hide our intense joy at the initial signs of Spring. We all breathe a sigh of relief as we shift back to our reliable air conditioning to soothe us amidst our warming environment and give our dependable furnace a much-needed break. All of us are just too excited to have fun and frolic outside after being cocooned inside our homes for months.

As the Spring grass gradually turns green, and the beautiful and lively flowers start to bloom, it is the perfect time to take a closer look at your air conditioning. After all, it will be your lifesaver this coming summer. A/Cs usually start to experience some wear and tear problems while stored away in the attic or basement during the cold winter months. Hence, it is always a wise thing to do to check your A/C unit first before turning it back on to find out whether an AC repair is needed http://furnace-repair-calgary.ca. Or perhaps, the dreaded need for a replacement.

PERHAPS, AN ADDITIONAL A/C UNIT WILL BE OF GREAT HELP

An idea you should look into before the temperature starts getting hot is not usually about getting a replacement, but mostly in considering whether an additional cooling unit can lighten the load off your main A/C. You will likely remember that the large window A/C you put in the middle of the room was not enough to cool down the entire place last summer, so you were stuck with hot and humid bedrooms at the back. Despite the presence of a central A/C system, you’ll realize that having a small window A/C in your bedroom will make the work of your main A/C’s compressor lighter. At times, the additional energy charges incurred by your extra window A/C pales in comparison to the damage caused on your main A/C and hasten its usual wear and tear. You will surely regret having to replace that pricier cooling device much sooner than expected. You will be glad to have that spare window A/C around so you will be able to extend the life of your central A/C system for up to five years more.

OLD AGE

Even if you don’t evaluate how your central air conditioning fared the previous season or determine how it will do this summer, you can rely on this tell-tale sign to indicate that a replacement is inevitable. It is no other else than your unit’s old age. An A/C unit has a usual lifespan of 10 years. Some can push their luck and have it working for 15 years. However, you might run out of luck and end with a defective unit that can barely make it for three years. As your A/C goes through its seventh, eight, to ninth year, you might be living it off a borrowed time. You can ask HVAC experts to do some necessary repairs to lengthen the life of your air conditioning for an additional year or two. But it strongly resembles using a duct tape to hold your broken door handle. It is a band-aid solution that will soon give up.

YOUR HOME’S SCHEDULE

It is usually not a practical and environmentally wise-decision to replace a major appliance in the house like your central air conditioning before it stops working on its own. But then, it is not also environmentally friendly to continue using an inefficient A/C until it breathes out its last breeze of cool air. If you used to have a very busy air conditioning that kept your home cool and comfy as your children were growing up but now finds an empty home, it is time to make a downgrade. If no one is at your house during daytime, you will surely benefit from a programmable thermostat that will turn your vents on and off according to your home’s set schedule.

Likewise, it might also be necessary for you to make an upgrade if your children are around during Summer, or perhaps there will be guests around for a short vacation. Your window A/C that was perfect for your room will not likely be enough to cool down your home with around seven or eight people in it. But then, it might also be to your advantage since unwelcome guests will not prolong their visit and might leave as soon as they can.

LOUD CYCLES OR OFTEN BREAKS DOWN

One of the initial warning indicating that your A/C is nearing its end is when it starts making unusually loud, running sounds, or that it often breaks down. Faced with this circumstance, it is wiser and more practical to buy a new system altogether than pay for more or less twenty emergency or service calls and cost of new parts over the summer season. A loud A/C is indicative of a failing compressor, drive motor, fan, or some of its interior parts. You can always replace these items, but your HVAC system soon turns out into a money spending machine. Sometimes, you just have to learn to accept that it will no longer make it.

ROOMS ARE NO LONGER COLD

It does not take a genius to realize that a room that is no longer as cool as it once was requires a new air conditioning. As long as the reason is not a leak in your vents or a change in your air filter and a fluid check, an uncharacteristically warm room is a sign that you need an outright replacement. Or, perhaps a visit from your nearby air conditioning serviceman.

CONSULT AN HVAC EXPERT

Perhaps, the best and sure-fire way to know whether you need a repair or a replacement is by consulting an HVAC expert. A qualified HVAC serviceman can visit your home and inspect your unit from its compressor all the way to the duct work. They might also be able to inform you about leaks caused by gaps in your windows, or perhaps drafts by your door. It might be the probable reason the cold air escapes leading you to believe that you are having air conditioning issues. The rule of thumb is that it will never hurt to ask the opinion of an expert.

The most important thing you must bear in mind even after ensuring that your unit is in perfect condition by the onset of summer is to utilize it wisely. It is not good for the environment and your pocket if you waste energy or use it irresponsibly. One more useful tip you can also try during extremely warm days and energy consumption is at its peak is that bars and malls do not charge you for the use of their air conditioning. Make the most out of it, you might even have a great time without burdening your unit at home or your wallet.

floor heating system

A Basic Introduction to In-Floor Heating Systems

Do you find stepping on your cold floor an irritating and startling part of your morning routine? Unfortunately, this is a common scenario for some people. If you hate getting up in the morning only to be shocked by a cold floor, you could probably wear a couple of socks or get some blankets laid out on the floor ready for your early morning trip to the bathroom. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, the answer to your issue could be in the form of an underfloor heating or in floor heating. For those who are looking to have a better understanding of a floor heating system or those who are simply new to this concept, here’s a basic introduction to floor heating systems http://www.furnace-repair-edmonton.ca/.

How Does a Floor Heating System Work?

While floor heating process may be new to some people, this system has been around and utilized for years. Floor heating started from the Ancient Romans when they made use of pipes to warm their floors. It was also adapted by the Europeans and has been their primary choice for heating since the 70’s. In-floor heating or also known as underfloor heating involves setting up of electric heating coils or water heated tubes under your home’s floor. The heat rises from the floor and keeps the floor and the entire house warm. This kind of heating system basically makes your home’s floor one giant warmer as opposed to having a furnace that only supplies heat through registers and vents until your home is filled with warm air. The types of flooring that are associated with radiant heat are tiles, hardwood floors, laminate, and even carpets have been integrated in the system nowadays.

Types of In-Floor Heating

Here are the three different kinds of in-floor heating systems that are used.

  • Hydronic Radiant Flooring. This type of in-floor heating makes use of heated water that is produced by a boiler and is pumped through the tubes that run through your home’s entire floor. What makes hydronic radiant flooring the most popular choice for in-floor heating systems is the fact that not only does it effectively warms the floor and the home, it is also the most cost-efficient among all the other types.
  • Electric Radiant Floor. Next to the hydronic radiant floor is the electric radiant floor. This type of in-floor heating system entails mounting cables to either the sub floor or the electrically conductive plastic mats just beneath the actual flooring and wiring them directly into the home’s circuit where the rest of your appliances are controlled. The disadvantage of having an electric radiant floor is the obvious fact that it consumes electricity which can greatly increase your energy bills.
  • Air Heated Floor Systems. The least economical in-floor heating system which also makes it the least favorable for most residential homes is the air heated floor systems. Air is a not a very good heat conductor. That being said, air heated floor systems are impractical as they take longer time to heat your home which makes them not very cost effective.

Installation Process is Cost Effective

Installation of in-floor heating systems may seem to automatically make consumers think that it requires a huge amount of money for the completion of the project. Normally, installation of any kind of home comfort system that aims to lower utility bills will come at a hefty price; however, what makes in-floor heating systems a great alternative for your heating needs is the fact that installation price is very affordable. The amount obviously depends on the size of your home or at least the area that you are trying to heat, the type of flooring you have, and of course your choice of the type of heating system that you want to install. The cost of the floor heating project is just about $3 per square foot covered. An entire home can incur a total cost of somewhere between $5,000 up to $14,000 depending on the size of the entire home. However, if you choose to have just the bathroom hooked up, your total cost might just be under $700. What makes in-floor heating systems even better is that not only is it cost effective but homeowner will almost never have to worry about floor heating upkeep.

In-Floor Heating System Lowers Bills

Because heat is radiated from the floor which is so much closer to your body, it becomes easier for you to feel warmer and more comfortable without the need for cranking up the temperature on the thermostat during the cold season. The hydronic floor system is the recommended type of in –floor heating for most consumers as this allows homeowners to save both on fuel and energy. This is possible in this type of in-floor heating system because when the entire floor functions as a radiator, the boiler will not have to work so hard as it needs the water to be on lower temperatures.

The No Maintenance Approach

This part is something I am pretty sure that most homeowners will love and appreciate – very few to no maintenance required, at least depending on the kind of heating system you have installed. Since radiant floor heating is a closed system, what it basically does to keep you and your home warm is do infinite laps. As for you, there is no need to do any further maintenance. Over time, the pipes of your hydronic floor heating system could get corroded which will necessitate an inspection and a repair from the professional. Valves and pumps might go bad but even that is something that the manufacturer has to take care of.

Comfort

Perhaps the biggest advantage from having an in-floor heating system is the comfort you get from it. Heating systems are primarily there for you and then your home. In-floor heating systems make the home’s occupants feel warmer and more comfortable easily as the warmth radiates from the floor directly to your body and the space around it. Compare this with the how a regular heater works where the hot air still has to travel through the vents and registers before it warms the air around you and eventually you. Comfort is definitely an amazing advantage on top of the fact that you have a maintenance-free heating system that helps lower utility bills.

The advantages of having in-floor heating system in your home go well beyond just the need for a warmer floor in the morning. Think about having a warmer home where you don’t have to worry about huge energy bills and never ending maintenance tasks. If any of these makes you realize the need for changing your current flooring or your heating system, it is best to contact an HVAC professional to get the best advice.

plumbing

50 Expert Plumbing Tips to Help You Save Money

Plumbing – 50 Expert Tips to Help You Save Money

Homeowners face a lot of problems related to their home’s plumbing system. The good thing is that you can take many simple and affordable measures to prevent the likelihood of a plumbing repair. Our highly specialized and trained plumbers came up with a list of recommendations to reduce your monthly water bill and save yourself from the cost of unnecessary plumbing repairs as well. Do not hesitate to share this list with all your loved ones, so they can also learn a lot from it too http://calgary-plumbers.co/.

DISHWASHERS, ICE MAKERS, AND WASHING MACHINES

  • Save temperature and water pressure by operating your dishwasher and washing machine in the evening and at times when no one is at home.
  • Check for leaks, weaknesses, or bulges in your home’s supply hoses.
  • Utilize a pantyhose or a wire trap to conceal your washing machine’s hose that drains its water out.
  • Inspect its connections on a regular basis to make sure that they are tight and free of leaks.
  • You can fix a leak in your dishwasher’s drain line. You’ll likely find out that the hose inside the cabinet to your main sink’s drain is not put up accordingly. Suspend the drain in an upright manner. Then, put in your sink drain to make sure that the water flows freely down the line.

GARBAGE DISPOSAL

  • Do not throw away wastes that are hard to grind to prevent the formation of clogs in your drain. For instance, the likes of banana peel, chicken skin and bones, carrots, and celery.
  • Run cold water on it for about 15 seconds before and after using it to flush the waste completely.
  • Establish that your garbage disposal is up and running before you add any more waste.

DRAINS

  • Do not pour down cooking oil or fat down your drain. Once they harden up, they will clog your pipes.
  • To avoid additional clog from forming down the line, use a strain on top of your drains to block soap, hair, or ay debris from going down.

FLOORS, WALLS, AND BASEMENT

  • Use a snake on the drains of your floor so it can flush away water as quickly as possible, especially if it gets flooded.
  • You can inspect your pump sump when you pour water down the pit. Quickly turn on your pumps by pouring two buckets of water over it, get rid of everything and then shut it down.
  • Install a battery-operated flood alarm.
  • Check for signs of water damage around the base of your toilet such as black or white stains and even rolled vinyl.
  • Check your wall tiles if they are leaky or loose by pressing over them, most especially around your bathtub. If you feel that it is soft to touch, you can suspect it is because of the water’s damage.

OUTDOORS

  • Clean and take away all the debris on your drains, gutters, and downspouts.
  • Inspect the flow of your water and determine if it is appropriate by taking a look on the faucet and hose bibs. A leaky outdoor faucet in your home suggests a frozen pipe that you have to replace right away.
  • A pool of water outside in your yard secondary to a busted sewer line signals a leaking or broken pipe. You need to address this problem immediately since it is dangerous to everybody, especially to young children and your pets.

BATHROOM

  • Do not flush down items such as cotton balls, hair, facial pads, diapers, cotton swabs, and other sanitary stuff down your toilet.
  • Inspect your toilet for signs of a hidden leak. Pour some food coloring inside your toilet tank and let it sit for around 30 minutes. If you have leaks in it, the food coloring will show up in your bowl.
  • Observe for signs of leaks and cracks in your bowl and its tank.
  • Refrain from holding the handle down or jiggling it to flush your toilet properly, or when you want to stop it from flushing. When you do, it is a sure sign that its parts are already falling apart. The parts are pretty affordable and easily replaceable. You’ll also save money by the reduction in your monthly water bill charges.
  • Check how fast or slow your toilet flushes.
  • Inspect the flapper for signs of mineral deposits buildup or damage. It can trigger the water to cycle continuously, and lead to high water bills. You can easily change the flapper because it is cheap. Remedy this issue by removing the deposits. There is no need for a replacement.
  • Check for the appearance of an orange or a pinkish discoloration around its fixtures. It signals an overabundance of iron and a need for a water softener.
  • Buy a new and a higher quality showerhead. You’ll realize that cheap versions wear out often and sooner.

VALVES

  • Find your home’s main water valve and master its usage. This skill will come in handy in the event of a water leak in your home.
  • Move your supply valves from below your sinks and toilet to make sure they don’t stick together.

WATER HEATER

  • Maintain the temperature of your water heater below 120 F. It will help you lower your heating costs and not leave you with scalding water.
  • Use several gallons to drain your home’s water heater tank to flush out the sediments that lead to corrosion.
  • These sediments shorten the lifespan of your water heater and greatly reduces its efficiency.
  • Water heaters that are 15 years old or above needs a replacement right away. You can look for its age by checking the first four numbers in its series number. These numbers refer to the month and year of its production. After all, old models are incomparable to the efficiency of newer models.
  • Never store flammable products near your home water heater or furnace.
  • Watch out for rust. Its appearance signals impending issues with your unit.

AVOID FROZEN PIPES

  • During frigid weather, disconnect your exterior hoses to prevent it from freezing once water gets inside it. It can ultimately lead to the freezing and then breaking of your home’s faucets and pipes.
  • Observe if your outside faucets are dripping or leaking. Fix it right away to prevent further complications.
  • Turn off interior shut-off valves that go to the exterior faucets. Remove all the water from the pipes by draining it.
  • Utilize an insulation kit on your exterior faucets.
  • Provide proper insulation on pipes that do not have access to a heater or furnace. You can make use of a heat tape or thermostat-controlled cables.
  • Make sure that your furnace is regulated to around 15 degrees during the winter to avoid freezing your pipes. A frozen pipe leads to the buildup of water pressure, which in turn makes it prone to cracking regardless of the pipe’s material. A tiny crack can instigate a water loss of up to 250 gallons each day.
  • Remove the sediment that leads to corrosion in the winter since this is the most stressful time for your home’s water system.
  • Maintain your water heater at the level of 50 C for its safest and optimum performance.
  • Take off all the leaves and debris from your gutter and downspouts to ensure that your drain is working efficiently during the cold winter season.
  • Remove all the rocks and debris to maintain a clean sump pit. To ensure that it works well, pour water on it. To establish that it is in excellent condition, it must turn on, drain all the water, and turn off as well.

UTILIZING SOMETHING APART FROM LIQUID PLUMBER

Liquid plumber removes clogs, but it is extremely toxic. It can lead to poisonous liquids sticking on the pipes but not remove the clogs. For professional plumbers, this is what they utilize:

  • Hot water. It is extremely effective and will not cost you anything as well. Just boil a pot of water on your stove and let it cool down a bit before pouring it down your drain.
  • A plumber’s snake. This tool is made of metal and is highly flexible. It goes down pipes and remove the clogs with no fuss at all. It may be a bit disgusting, but it is extremely efficient and way cheaper than hiring a professional plumber.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SUMMER END

  • Inspect for the presence of roots on your sewer line. The summer heat allows the roots to grow. However, but it can obstruct your pipes.
  • Check your garden hoses and taps for signs of leaks. You will mostly overlook leaks or drips during Autumn since they are not that obvious, but they are the culprit in your home’s water wastage.
  • Inspect your appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine. Observe for any leaks and ensure that the drain operates at the ideal speed.
heating and air conditioning

11 Signs Your Heating & Air Conditioning Unit is Failing

Heating and Air Conditioning – 11 Signs Your Unit is Failing

When your heating and air conditioning unit starts to malfunction, you need to decide whether to fix it or just buy a new one. Sometimes, you’ll have a hard time figuring this out especially if you consider your finances in the picture. You have the option of putting more money on an earlier investment, or just simply invest in a brand new heating and air conditioning system. Hopefully this time, it is a more efficient one.

In reality, waiting too long before making up your mind compromises your pocket by paying more for your system’s poor performance and pricey repairs. Also, you want the assurance of getting the most out of your heating and air conditioning equipment prior to spending on another substantial investment.

A bad system will not only affect your finances, but it is also risky for your home aside from its added discomforts. In short, a cracked or obstructed system can be a fire hazard and spread toxic gases inside your house. But then, there is no need to worry since you can avoid such circumstances by staying proactive and addressing the issue before it happens.

HVAC contractors assist homeowners in figuring the ideal climate control system that specifically addresses their home requirements. Service providers like them also make suggestions on installations and other alternatives on your chosen heating and air conditioning solution.

Hence, when is the ideal time to change your old heating and air conditioning system then?

The obvious answer is to change it once your furnace starts to falter. When you are already facing such an issue, you have no choice but to look for an option even though it is just a sign of a failing equipment.

Thus, it is an excellent idea to look out for these surefire signs indicating a failing heating and A/C system, or you might need to hire an expert to fix it.

It is an excellent idea to call an HVAC professional when:

• YOUR HEATING AND A/C EQUIPMENT ARE OUT-OF-DATE

If you own a furnace, air handler, or a heat pump that is over 15 years old, you should seriously consider making a system upgrade. The installation of a modern and more efficient unit prior to the complete breakdown of your existing unit will free you from unnecessary stress and discomforts later on.

Also, even though you own a system that is over 15 years old, and you believe it can still work for a couple more years, remember that it won’t be working to its full potential. Your best recourse is to change it with a new ENERGY STAR label unit. This label is significant especially when the unit is installed properly, this kind of system will allow you to save around 20% of your heating and cooling costs.

• AN UNPLEASANT ODOR IS EXUDING FROM YOUR SYSTEM

Rely on your strong sense of smell in letting you know if something is not right. As soon as you can smell an unpleasant scent coming from your cooling and heating system, it can be any of these issues.

The most typical issue is the congestion of toxic gases on the flue. Aside from its unpleasant smell, these gases are deadly to man and animals. Hence, call the attention of a heating and air conditioning contractor right away as soon as you notice any unpleasant smell lingering inside the house.

• RISE IN ENERGY BILLS

It is a given that fuel and electricity are both pricey. You surely wouldn’t want to operate an aging equipment that is no longer that efficient as it once was. Hire a contractor to make a comparison of your monthly usage and costs to know if your heating and air conditioning system is becoming more pricey to operate.

Cooling and heating systems produced nowadays are around 60% more effective than the systems produced a decade ago. Furthermore, its expected wear and tear and not maintaining it regularly decreases your HVAC system’s efficiency. If you are facing pricey repairs and constant worries on your energy costs, do not hesitate to change your system and save cash later on.

Your savings on lower energy costs is a good return on your first investment. And if you paid for it, ensure that you think of your energy costs savings as you make your purchase.

Whenever you change an appliance, go for an ENERGY STAR item. Aside from Boilers, it is around 15% more energy efficient than a product that does not bear the label. An ENERGY STAR boiler is 5% more energy-efficient than other makes and model.

• CONSTANT REPAIRS

If your existing heating and cooling system had repairs during the past couple of years, it is an obvious sign that you need a replacement equipment looming. You’ll soon enjoy the return on your investment as you start saving a lot of money from lower energy costs and less need for repairs.

• UNUSUAL SOUNDS COMING FROM INSIDE THE UNIT

You need an expert to inspect your heating and air conditioning equipment once unusual sounds emanate from it. And talking about sounds, you need to be on the lookout for a blower fan that keeps on running. Remember that all sort of equipment has their particular quirky sound. So, be alert for anything out of the ordinary.

• YOU ARE PLANNING FOR A MAJOR HOME RENOVATION

When you plan on making a major home renovation, like an additional room, don’t forget to make an upgrade of your HVAC equipment. When you build a bigger home, your original system is not up for the cooling or heating requirements of a larger space.

• YOU ALWAYS HAVE AIR-QUALITY CONCERNS INSIDE YOUR HOUSE

If you can’t manage the dust buildup inside your home, you must replace your A/C and heating filters more regularly. Furthermore, it also signals that your existing unit is not big enough for the exchange of air, or you have an aging system. Find out how to make improvements in the air quality inside your home.

• DISCOMFORTS INSIDE THE HOME

Do you feel comfortable in each room of your home? An efficient heating and air conditioning system is a source of comfort for you and your family in your entire house. When you start to recognize certain discomforts, think about changing or fixing your system. Be on the lookout for spaces that do not warm up or cool down like before, drafts, and a buildup of dust or mold growth.

• TOO MUCH HUMIDITY OR A DRY FEELING INSIDE THE HOUSE

Whenever you experience too much humidity or dryness inside the house, you can solve this issue by upgrading your equipment with something that has more advanced characteristics.

• YOU DECIDE TO “GO GREEN.”

Despite a perfectly working equipment, you still want to change it because you decide to go green and purchase a more efficient and state-of-the-art unit. By going green, you get to save cash on heating and cooling; hence it is beneficial both to the environment and your finances.

• LIKELY SAFETY CONCERNS

If you have installed a gas furnace in your home, you’re always at risk of carbon monoxide leaks. A newer furnace lessens this risk because of its more advanced built-in features.

A distinguished heating and air conditioning contractor can give you recommendations whether a replacement or a repair will do your HVAC system some good. They are capable of inspecting the various parts of the system like the duct system, refrigerant and flue piping, insulation, wiring, electrical service, and so on. Repairing failing components prior to a complete breakdown will save you tons of cash much later.

Hence, don’t hesitate to hire an heating and air conditioning expert once you have decided to change your existing system. They’ll handle its installation and maintenance. They will also assess your HVAC system to ensure you get all your penny’s worth.

heating system

7 Helpful Tips When Installing a Heating System

Heating System 7 Helpful Installation Tips

A lot of people hold off their doctor’s appointment only because they dread what the doctor might find out during the examination. This kind of scenario is very similar to home repairs when a contractor is scheduled to do a minor renovation only to find out that there is more to the job than the homeowner originally thought. For instance, a simple project of changing carpets turns out to be a rigorous repair of the damaged sub-floor that was discovered when the carpet was ripped out. Unfortunately, this could also happen during the installation of one of your most expensive appliances in the home – your furnace. There is so much more to having a heating system installed than just having a brand new unit. To help you get the most out of your investment and prevent future problems, here are some heating system installation tips http://www.air-conditioning-calgary.ca/.

Repair Duct Work

Homeowners are always offered a choice to get new ducts set up when a furnace company installs a new heating unit. Although this move may not be necessary, it could be a wise decision to make because it ensures optimum efficiency of your new furnace. However, if you are attempting to save some money as this step requires a significant amount, you may opt to keep the current duct work and just have it hooked up to your new furnace. Just make sure that you have run a thorough assessment on your ducts to ensure that it’s hole and clog free, complete rivets, is properly attached to the suspension, and just ready for the new heating system.

Install Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats have proven to be the best pair for your heating system as it increases your unit’s efficiency. Because you can set the thermostat to heat the home at a specific time when the family is back from a day out, you basically don’t waste a lot of money on energy bills because the furnace only kicks in when it’s needed. A programmable thermostat can also be set to prepare the home and warm it up even before the occupants of your home arrive, sort of a warm welcome from a cold winter day. The furnace company can have thermostats installed and at the same time they can educate you on the proper settings and navigation.

Insulate Your Home

As previously mentioned, there is more to the entire heating system than just a quick installation of a new furnace. There are things around the home that need to be considered for you to really enjoy the efficiency of your unit. Insulating your home is one way to ensure that you get the most out of your system. Basically, a new furnace, a new duct work, and a programmable thermostat will all be rendered useless if all the heat will automatically be sucked out of your home because of uninsulated or poorly insulated home. It is advisable to do a home insulation inspection before a new heating unit is mounted in. The walls in all rooms even up to the attic should be adequately padded with insulation materials. Insulating the home can also be an extra expense but the rewards will easily be recovered and appreciated as this step increases the life of your furnace while it lowers your utility bills.

Install New Windows

Old, inferior windows can also be a huge energy drain to your home during the winter season. Because windows tend to shift over time, there could be hidden gaps or loose insulation around the pane that serves as an entryway for the cold air into the home and the same passage for the warm air to exit from the home. Although a temporary solution for old windows is to cover them up with plastic, this is still not a recommended long term solution for the problem. Aesthetically speaking, having windows covered in plastic isn’t very appealing. If you get new windows installed, not only are you improving the overall make of your home but you are also making sure that you have not wasted money on buying a new and highly efficient furnace.

Add a New Siding

Adding a new siding especially for areas where the siding is open and exposed has the same purpose as having new windows and properly insulating walls. A damaged siding causes loss of heat and pressures the new furnace to work double time to ensure that the home is appropriately heated as the thermostat requires. Although adding a siding isn’t as easy as sealing some cracks and gaps around the doors and windows, getting this task completed always means you boost the overall appearance of your home and increase its market value.

Fix Leaks Inside and Out

Leaks can exist anywhere on the home and that they can be such a nuisance. Cold air goes through leaks and warm air escapes because of leaks. Additionally, cracks and gaps in the home can also become a sanctuary for rodents and other insects that need shelter during the winter. These are the reasons why it is vital to do a thorough inspection of the home for possible leaks and gaps before a new furnace is installed. Inspect all areas of the home and make sure all the spots are secured and free from any kind or size of leaks. Leaks are a huge energy drain to your home.

Add a Backup Heat Source

You can never tell when your generally dependable furnace decides to go down. This is why most furnace companies will recommend adding an alternative heat source either as a back up when your main heating unit dies on you in the dead of the winter or simply as an additional source of heat to take some pressure off your main unit. The backup heat source can also be used on days when the cold is bearable so that you can give your central heating system a break and at the same time save some money on utility bills.

Some homeowners avoid getting their entire heating system checked simply because they are afraid that their heating problems are not just from an inefficient heater and that the furnace company might just open a can of worms when they have their homes checked. Well, you don’t have to dread no more. All these tips should help ensure that everything is properly set in place so you won’t have to worry about dealing with heating issues that are far more expensive, stressful, and complicated than just having the heating unit itself replaced. Getting these items completed leaves you and your home on a safe state and ready to face the cold Canadian winters.

heating options

Advantages and Disadvantages of 5 Heating Options for Your Home

Heating Options Advantages and Disadvantages for Your Home

The Canadian winter usually compels people to make important and at times really expensive decisions for their home’s comfort and safety. The sad truth is heating systems and the processes it involves can cost a small fortune. That being said, it is imperative that you take your time to understand the heating process, your home’s heating needs, the costs and expenses, and the advantages and disadvantages of the different heating options that are available for your home.

London homes usually spend 80% of their entire energy consumption on home and water heating alone. Given that huge percentage, it’s only reasonable that homeowners be presented with different options to choose from and be made aware of the pros and cons each option gives them. To help you make the final decision on the best heating option for your home, read on to find out more about the 5 different heating systems http://www.furnace-repair-toronto.ca/.

Choose the Right Sized Heating System

Finding the best heating option for your home doesn’t only mean choosing the right unit that works for you. It also entails choosing the right size based on your heating requirements. This is not an easy task that can be done by just about anyone who can do some math. You will need a reputable HVAC contractor who is equipped with the latest technology and updated knowledge to do some tests and calculations needed to assess the amount of heat your home requires and the how much heat your home loses.

Here are 5 heating options available for your home today.

Forced Air Heating Systems

Almost 90% of homes utilize forced air system for their heating needs. The main parts of a central forced air heating system are:

  • Furnace to heat the air and a fan or blower to circulate air.
  • Supply ducts that deliver warm air into all the rooms.
  • Return ducts that suck the cold air and draw them back to the furnace for processing.
  • Thermostats that are used to control the heater’s operation

Advantages

  • Forced air heating systems are generally affordable.
  • Heats and/or cools room fast.
  • Heating and cooling system can run through the same ductwork.
  • Humidifies and dehumidifies the home.
  • Filters the indoor air.

Disadvantages

  • Requires a huge amount of space for the ductwork.
  • If left unattended or uncleaned, the circulated air may contain allergens.
  • Noises coming from the unit may be distracting.

If your current heating system is on its 10th to 15th year in service, it is said that the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) is at about 60%. This means you are squandering up to 40 cents for every dollar that you spend on fuel. This also means that even if your system is running well, the fact that it can be a huge energy drain should be enough to get you to consider replacing your current system for a high-efficiency unit that ranges from 90 to 98 percent AFUE.

Note that the federal government has also issued a minimum performance standard for gas furnaces and that all manufacturers should strictly adhere to this standard since its implementation on December 31, 2009.

Electric Heating

Electric heating is the next popular option for heating in Canada. Despite its popularity, only a few homes utilize this because of the high electricity bills that it brings about.

Advantages

  • Because it uses a convection process, it eliminates the inefficiencies of combustion which makes the unit 100% efficient.
  • Low initial cost.

Disadvantages

  • This system consumes a lot of power or electricity.
  • It can be a fire hazard if not properly used.

Hydronic Heating System

Hydronic heating systems make use of water heated in a boiler that is run by gas, electricity, oil, or fuel. When the water mixed with glycol is heated, it goes through infinite laps through the coils of plastic piping that are installed beneath the floor. The most popular version of this hydronic heating system is found in in-floor radiant heating that takes advantage of the same effect when you feel the warm heat of the sun.

Advantages

  • Heat radiates from the floor and creates a consistent warm effect throughout the home.
  • The system continuously produces heat even when it is not on.
  • Takes up lesser space compared to forced air systems.
  • Hydronic system can also function to heat water used throughout the home.
  • Does not produce loud annoying noises.
  • There is no risk of having dust or allergens in your indoor air.
  • Requires less or no maintenance.

Disadvantages

Does not have an integrated heating and cooling unit in one which makes an air conditioning unit an additional expense for the homeowner.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Another heating option to choose from is the ground source heat pump (GSHP). This type of heating system makes use of a refrigerant that is sent through an underground piping that is installed about 200 feet below the ground. The refrigerant pulls the heat from the earth and is coursed through the entire home through the pipes. This system is run by electricity can be used in the summer with the cycle reversed.

Advantages

  • GSHP will work with other heating options such as forced-air heating or hydronic systems.
  • Highly efficient.
  • Heat produced by the system is more stable.
  • No harmful emissions.

Disadvantages

  • This system is more expensive to install.
  • The long underground piping that this system requires makes installation difficult and even impossible on smaller lots.
  • As is with the other systems and appliances that use electricity, they have very limited potential for decreasing greenhouse emissions.
  • You can find out more about ground source heat pumps by visiting Natural Resources Canada’s website.

Woodstoves

Lastly, woodstoves are another heating option you can have for your home. Whether you are trying to heat a small, well-insulated home or a large open area, woodstoves can do a great heating job. In fact, the newer models of woodstoves today can have an efficiency rating of 70%. If you are looking for a cheaper option for your home’s primary or supplemental heating, woodstoves can be the wise choice.

Advantages

  • Wood is cheaper to purchase as compared to having to use electricity which can be very expensive.
  • Any homeowner who can get wood from their own property can make a huge deal of savings.
  • Wood is a renewable resource.
  • Woodstoves are great supplemental heating options if nothing else works.

Disadvantages

Incorrectly sized units could cause some problems. If a stove is too big for the space it is trying to heat, it produces excessive heat and leaves black residue in the flue and the stovepipe. On the other hand, one that’s too small could potentially be a fire hazard as it exerts great effort to heat the space.

When choosing woodstoves, it is important to always opt for the units that are approved by the Canadian Standards and those that are highly efficient with low pollutants. The installation of woodstoves also must comply with the fire safety regulations and all building codes.