Choosing the Right Contractor

Get Your A/C Unit Ready for Summer!

The warm weather is finally here: Summer is (dare we say) just around the corner.  With the outdoor temperature increasing, you’ll want to make sure your air conditioning unit is in top form.  But before you turn on your unit, we’ve compiled a checklist of 5 tips to help ensure your indoor temperatures are nice and cool, all season long.

  1. Book a Precision Tune-up: The benefits of an A/C tune-up from a qualified technician are endless.  Not only do regular tune-ups extend the life of your A/C, but they will actually help lower your energy cost.  Get your HVAC tech to double check Freon coolant levels, to ensure there are no leaks or issues.
  2. Prepare Outdoor Unit: Remove the cover and hose down your A/C. Pay special attention to cleaning the condenser coil: make sure outdoor debris including weeds, grass clippings, twigs, and branches are cleared away.  Turn `ON’ the outdoor switch also ensure the breakers are ‘ON’. The humidifier bypass should be closed.
  3.  Clear Away Buildup: In- home A/C units should be cleaned to remove buildup, created by dust and dirt, to maximize air flow. Wet shop-vacs can be used to remove sludge that can accumulate in drainage pipes. For a thorough job, call a professional duct cleaner to give you vents a full dusting.
  4. Open Vents:  Furniture can obstruct airflow from entering a room: No more than 20% of return and supply registers should be closed. Turn on the A/C at your thermostat and let it run for an hour to ensure it’s properly cooling all the rooms in your home.
  5. Check Air Filters:  Filters should be checked and unclean filters should be replaced to improve indoor air quality and achieve optimum airflow.  As a rule of thumb, filters should be examined every 30-60 days, minimum.

 

How are you handling the consistent heat waves this summer? Is your central air conditioning system running on its last leg?

The truth is that the average life of a central air conditioning system can vary. On average cooling units built in the 1970s and 1980s can last 7-15 years, give or take depending on a few factors;

  • Temperatures (indoors/outdoors)
  • Frequency of use
  • Frequency of maintenance
  • Cleanliness of the unit

The climate can affect the lifespan of your A/C unit as it will increase the intensity of use. During heat waves such as the one in Southern Ontario that we’ve been experiencing, your unit has to work harder. Fortunately for Ontario the average summer temperatures range from 22 – 28 degrees Celsius and this summer is looking like it will exceed those averages regularly. Even during days of high heat, we recommended that you keep your thermostat at its usual settings. Be sure to proactively close your blinds and window treatments early in the day to reduce the effect of the sun adding to your cooling requirements. Also, in order to help evenly distribute the temperature around the house, turn the thermostat fan to on, rather than auto. This will help keep you comfortable without increasing the frequency of use.

An A/C unit that is rarely serviced, if at all, may only last 7 to 10 years. Whereas regularly cared for systems can last anywhere from 15-25 years. So take the time to care for your system.

In this economy, most of us are interested in saving money, and conserving energy too. Cleaning your HVAC units seasonally can do both.

Whether you’re looking for a new unit or parts, seasonal maintenance, an inspection or a tune-up, call your local ClimateCare contractor!

Door-to-door sales agents can leave you out in the cold

There are many door-to-door sales agents promising great savings on furnaces. These savings may seem hard to believe – and they are. Don’t be fooled. Here are a few of the tricks you should watch out for:

  • Sales agents dressing like a technician or representative from another well-established and credible company.
  • Implying they represent your current utility.
  • Signing you up for a long-term contract at rental rates higher than others, while claiming to be saving you money.
  • Telling you your furnace isn’t energy efficient.

BEWARE! READ THE FINE PRINT.
Don’t get trapped in an expensive, long-term contract.

The front door of your home is no place to make an important decision like buying a furnace. This should not be an impulsive decision. The installers may not be qualified, which can result in frequent breakdowns or poor performance. Installing a heating or cooling system properly requires taking the time to get all the technical specifications right. If it’s the wrong furnace or isn’t installed properly, it may not be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
Industry leaders and consumer advocates regularly issue warnings about the dangers of dealing with door-to-door heating and cooling sales agents. Don’t be pressured by their scare tactics!

ClimateCare would never employ door-to-door sales representatives. We respect your privacy. If you ever do need us, just call and we’ll be there right away. Call us before you sign a contract that you may regret later.

Air quality and safety in the home

We know that the comfort and safety of your family is number one. You can reduce the risk of dust particles, bacterial growth, radon, carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks and fires by keeping the condition of your furnace clean and efficient. And according to the American Lung Association, you avoid the possibility of respiratory conditions, bodily irritations, illness and disease by having clean air flow in the home.

August is traditionally a bad time for allergy sufferers, and this group of people tend to hide inside to avoid the pollens and plants that give them those awful symptoms. What these people need to remember is that indoor air quality is important to help alleviate the symptoms too!

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one of the most important ways that you can reduce the build-up of indoor air pollution is to properly ventilate your home. Take advantage of the days that you can open your windows, avoid hard cleaning products and ask your father in law to stop smoking his pipe in the house. Furthermore you can use exhaust fans that send their exhaust outside of the home, or even install an air filtration system with a HEPA filter.

On average, you should have your ducts and HVAC system cleaned out and sprayed with a disinfectant every 1 to 2 years. If you’re a new home owner, duct cleaning and air cleaning should be one of the first things you do before turning on your central air conditioner or furnace. If you or the previous home owners have pets, smoke inside or if there is a lot of old carpet you should consider getting your system cleaned more frequently. If anyone in the home has health concerns such as allergies or asthma, you should be getting your system cleaned a minimum of once a year.

Without sounding too much like your mother, we’d like to ask you to change your furnace filter as part of your regular cleaning routines. When you allow it to go too long, you risk wearing out your blower quicker, using much more electricity or gas, and you won’t get the most efficient use out of your system – or your paycheck.

Not only can you ensure the safety of your family with regular HVAC and duct cleaning but research has demonstrated that it can help reduce power cost and conserve energy. It will run more efficiently and decrease the chance of break down.

If you have further questions or would like book a maintenance service, please contact us!

Stay Safe At Home: How Installing a CO Detector Can Save Your Life

co2-detectorDid you know? Installing a carbon monoxide (CO) detector can mean the difference between life and death!

The colourless, odorless and tasteless gas is untraceable without a CO detector.  Inhaling low levels of carbon monoxide can lead to symptoms like headaches and impaired motor functions. Even worse, higher levels can be especially dangerous causing loss of consciousness or even death.

In 2008, Conservative MPP Ernie Hardeman addressed the CO issue by introducing a bill requiring households to install CO detectors to identify carbon monoxide. You can check out the ‘Safe at Home’ website for more details on Ontario’s CO bill, prevention programs and safety tips: http://www.safeathome.ca.

The bill was created as a result of the deaths of Ontario Provincial Police officer Laurie Hawkins, her husband Richard and their two children, when carbon monoxide seeped into their house because of a blocked chimney. The Hawkins’ weren’t the only family that lost their lives to carbon monoxide poisoning, 250 people in the province were killed by the gas over the last decade.

As part of our commitment to home safety and comfort, ClimateCare Canada has partnered with the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation. ClimateCare will support the efforts of the foundation by educating homeowners on the imminent need for CO detectors in the household.  For more information on the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation and their efforts, visit: http://www.endthesilence.ca.

The number of deaths in Ontario may lessen with new provincial laws. Soon, it will be mandatory for CO detectors to be installed in every home with a fuel-burning device, attached garage or carport. Until then, here are some ways you can protect your household from carbon monoxide leaks:

  • Get a CO detector. The detectors often cost $50 or less.
  • Ensure your furnace, gas fireplace and hot water tank are well maintained.
  • Don’t let vehicles idle in the garage and keep the garage door connecting to the house, closed.