All posts by D&B ClimateCare

How Do AC Units Affect Home Value?

AC unit on the side of a house

Air conditioning is one component of a home that is always in the conversation whether you are buying or selling. Sellers want to know if upgrading will add value and if so, just how much, and buyers want to know if the current system is adequate for their needs. In southern Ontario, summers can be hot and humid, so not having one isn’t really an option, but does it affect the value of the home?

The Invisible Upgrade

The fact that air conditioning is such a basic part of new homes these days makes the “does AC add value to a home?” question relatively tricky. Most homebuyers simply expect AC to be a part of the package. So having a new system won’t necessarily add additional value to the home and allow you to raise the asking price. If you add a new air conditioning system, it will likely be seen as an “invisible upgrade” meaning it won’t carry as much weight as more obvious upgrades like new countertops, a bathroom renovation or flooring. The new addition will be noted and may be appreciated, but people won’t likely pay more for it.

It’s Still a Must

Despite the fact that it likely won’t add monetary value to add a new AC unit, it’s still important that the air conditioning is there and in good working order. You may not recover all of the costs of installing an AC system, but if you don’t have one or if the one you have is in disrepair, it might affect the sale of the house. Since it is just an expected part of the process, you may lose the sale or have to settle for a lower price if the buyer feels they need to have one installed.

AC unit with clipboard and tool kit ontop

Different Variables to Consider   

There are several variables to consider when determining how an AC unit will affect the value of a home, and not all situations are the same. If most of the homes in your area have no AC unit at all, then installing a new system will be seen as a valuable addition. On the other hand, if most of the homes on your street have upgraded over the past few years, you might notice lower offers if you don’t do the same. 

The current value of your home is also a factor. You can find out how much a new AC system has improved home values in your area, then factor in the cost of the system and use some basic math to decide if an upgrade is worth the money. If you aren’t able to recoup enough of your investment but can still make the sale, perhaps a maintenance call would be better to get the system you have in good shape for summer instead of upgrading to a new one. 

Whether you want to upgrade your A/C unit or simply keep it maintained, the experts at D&B ClimateCare have got you covered. 

Different Ways Rain Can Affect Your HVAC System

Rain on Umbrella

It’s easy to take your outdoor AC unit for granted. After all, you never really have to look at it, and as long as it continues to produce that cool, comforting air when you need it, you likely never give it another thought. But when you think about it, your air conditioner spends its entire life out in the elements, which are often anything but comforting. 

Every quality air conditioner is built to withstand inclement weather, but that doesn’t mean they can handle everything. Normal precipitation should never pose a threat to your outdoor unit, but there are some weather conditions that can cause damage. 

About Your Outdoor Unit 

Since the outdoor unit is supposed to go outside, it only makes sense that it is built to withstand normal weather patterns during the year. It consists of the condenser and compressor that are built with metal that resists corrosion. Any internal connections and wiring are sealed to protect against dust, rain, snow and anything else that may cause trouble. The evaporator coil is also housed in the outdoor part of your air conditioning system.  

Risks of Extreme Weather 

When the weather goes from normal to extreme, that’s when you can encounter trouble. Everyone is going to get some rain on their air conditioner, but there are times when severe storms can cause widespread damage to homes, including your AC system. 

Some of the things that could put your outdoor AC at risk include: 

  • Lightning strikes resulting in a power surge 
  • Hail, sleet and strong winds 
  • Flooding 
  • Heavy snow 

Keeping Your Unit Protected 

Covered A/C Unit

It’s not possible to protect against every act of nature, but there are steps you can take to keep the likelihood of damage to a minimum. Having regular maintenance performed on your AC system will allow you to keep it in good running condition, and fix any smaller issues before they have a chance to get bigger. It’s also a good idea to keep your unit elevated to reduce the risk of flooding, install hail guards to protect against flying debris during wind storms and use a quality cover for the off-season. 

What If My Unit Gets Damaged? 

If you do end up with damage despite your best efforts, call for professional service to ensure your AC is running safely and it will continue to provide you with the comfort you need. If you notice reduced performance after a storm or if there is visible damage to the unit itself, call for professional help before it gets worse. 

April showers are upon us, which means your outdoor unit is weathering the storm. Keeping your outdoor HVAC unit in tiptop shape is possible when you rely on the experts at D&B ClimateCare. 

6 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Green Home

You have probably heard before that conserving energy is essential. By doing this as a homeowner, not only will you be cutting costs, but also contributing to the preservation of the planet. Global warming is becoming more predominant, and its effects are quite detrimental.

As a property owner, you can do your part by limiting how and when you use utilities in your home. Due to the high demands for energy, it is becoming even more pivotal to conserve. Here are some energy-efficient home improvements you can make to help you become more eco-friendly.

1 – Change Over to LED Lights

The old bulbs you have in your home are likely playing a role in your high utility costs. By making a switch from incandescent bulbs to LED energy-efficient ones, you can reduce your energy consumption. LED bulbs use up to 10% less power, making it a remarkable switch that significantly plays a role in decreasing energy expenses.

2 – Light Automation & Sensors

Having a lighting system that is automated and regulated by sensors is very beneficial. It enables you to have more control over how energy is used in your home. It ensures that light is used only when it is required. The addition of sensors with this system ensures lighting is turned on upon entry into a room and turned off as you exit.

3 – Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is designed to regulate temperatures based on programmed settings. It offers precise temperature control to maximize comfort as these systems learn your heating and cooling cycle and adapt accordingly. This smart technology provides you versatility and responds to how you use energy and saves you money.

4 – Proper Insulation

The cracks, gaps and open crevices by your doors and windows are likely contributing to your high energy bills. Poor attic insulation can be impactful as well. Hence, filling these openings, performing attic upgrades and installing proper insulation can improve the outcome of your utility bills.

5 – Clean or Replace Air Filters

For your air filter to operate efficiently, you must clean or replace it regularly. Failing to do so leads to a restriction of airflow. Dirt hinders the movement of air through the unit. As a result, this restriction forces HVAC systems to exert more energy in an effort to compensate for the lack of power. Dirty filters can cause a significant increase in your energy bills.

6 – Wash Clothes in Cold Water

Laundry Room

Of the various energy-efficient home improvements, another one you can implement right away is changing the temperature you use to wash your laundry. Washing clothes in cold water has a notable influence on your energy costs.

A high percentage of energy used by washers stems from heating water. So, choosing to wash your clothes in warm, preferably cold water can vastly decrease utility expenses. Furthermore, choosing to do laundry during non-peak hours, such as after 7 pm, can also improve costs.

Contact D&B Climate Care for Quality Service

Since 1992, D&B Climate Care has been providing reliable HVAC products and services. If you are looking for a team of HVAC contractors committed to improving and maintaining the comfort of your home, consider our team. For all of your HVAC needs, contact D&B Climate Care first.

How to Help Your Furnace Work Better in Your Home

Although your furnace might appear to be working, the question is, how well?

It’s not uncommon for a furnace to be in good condition, but still not reach optimum performance. In fact, issues such as poor insulation or old doors and windows can keep even a brand-new furnace from working efficiently. If you would like to keep your furnace working better, here are some easy tips to keep your home toasty warm this winter.

How Long Should a Furnace Last?

First, it helps to know the age of your furnace. According to the experts at This Old House, a furnace should last about 15 to 20 years. If your furnace is over 15-years-old, it’s reaching the end of its expected life span.

Although a well-maintained furnace could last beyond its years, you should pay attention to the factors that will age your furnace, as well as signs it has seen better days.

Signs Your Furnace is Aging

An obvious sign your furnace is aging is frequent breakdowns. If you find you’re calling in a repair team every fall, ask them if it makes more sense to replace your furnace instead of investing in constant repairs.

Some less obvious signs your furnace is aging include:

  1. Rising energy bills as your furnace becomes less efficient at heating your home.
  2. Uneven heating where you find some rooms or areas of your home tends to be colder than others.
  3. Frequent cycling where you can hear your furnace turning on and off often as it tries to maintain the set temperature.
  4. Issues with air quality such as noticeable humidity or more dust in your home.

If you are noticing any of these signs, you can speak to our heating experts. We can assess your furnace to determine if it is time for a new heating system.

Tips to Improve Your Furnace’s Efficiency

Although your goal is to help your furnace work better, a lot of the steps you should take don’t directly involve the furnace itself. Instead, you want to ensure your home is properly insulated to reduce wasted energy.

To improve your home’s heating efficiency, you can try the following:

Improve insulation: Your home has insulation in the walls, ceiling, and attic to prevent heat (and cool air) from escaping. Making sure your attic is properly insulated can help keep heat inside your home.

Caulk door and window frames: Check your door and window frames and make sure there aren’t any cracks. You can also hold up your hand to see if you feel cool air or air movement around windows and doors.

Add new weather-stripping: You can use weather-stripping as an added seal where doors and windows have moving parts. This provides a tighter seal when your doors and windows are closed.

Change furnace filters: Your furnace filters should be changed at least every one to three months. You can put a reminder in your phone, so you don’t forget!

Annual maintenance: Annual maintenance will help keep your furnace operating efficiently. Every fall you should call your local heating and cooling experts to arrange a furnace tune-up.

These tips will help your furnace work better in your home. If you’d like more information about heating efficiency for your home, speak to our team.

 

References: 

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/how-long-things-last 

How Long Should the Air Conditioner Run to Cool Your House and Other Tips

 

woman sitting on couch under air conditioner and enjoying cool air

If you’ve been wondering how long you should run your air conditioner to cool your home or whether you should have your AC on all day long, you’re not alone. These are some of the most common questions people ask themselves with regard to their air conditioning unit as the warm weather arrives.

Let’s look at whether it’s more beneficial to turn your air conditioner off when you aren’t home and other ways to efficiently run your A/C during the warmer summer months.

How Long Should I Run My AC Unit?

To answer the question of how long should your air conditioner run to cool the house, a good working central AC unit should be able to cool a moderate, four-bedroom house by ten degrees in three hours.

Certain factors including the power, size, and age of your unit, as well as the current temperature outside will affect the cooling powers of your AC, but wherever yours falls on the scale, your home should be noticeably cooler within a few hours. If it isn’t, you may have some separate issues to contend with that need to be addressed by a professional sooner than later.

Best Tips for Using Your Air Conditioner Efficiently This Summer

Run Your AC More Economically

To help your air conditioner run more efficiently, set your AC as high as is comfortably possible and use a programmable thermostat to increase temperatures when you’re out of the house.

It is much more beneficial and cost effective to do this instead of turning your unit off altogether when you are away from home. If fact, doing so could increase your summer cooling bills by 10%.

The less difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the less you will spend. Set your thermostat to 28ºC instead of 22ºC, and you could save up to 18% off your cooling costs.

Take Care of Your AC Unit

One of the best ways to keep your AC in top shape is simply to keep up with regular maintenance. Dirty AC filters can block air flow and make your unit work harder to cool your home. Cleaning and/or replacing them once a month can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by up to 15%.

Also, keep your unit’s outside evaporator and condenser coils free of dirt and debris as well to help keep things running smoothly.

Use a Ceiling Fan

Your room can feel six to seven degrees cooler via the wind-chill effect if you use a ceiling fan. By using a ceiling fan alongside your air conditioner, you can disperse cold air more efficiently and raise your thermostat by as much as four degrees, without feeling uncomfortable.

Just remember to turn off your fan when no one is in the room, as this can waste electricity.

Ceiling fan

Avoid Heat Build-Up

Stop your air conditioner from working overtime by limiting the use of big heat-generators like computers, stereos and TVs. When the outdoor temperature exceeds the temperature indoors, also refrain from activities that generate a lot of heat including cooking, using the dishwasher and clothes dryer.

As an alternative, try washing dishes by hand and letting them air dry, hang clothes on a line, grill outside, or simply wait to do these activities until after dark to help keep excess heat and humidity at bay. Closing your curtains or blinds can also prevent solar heat gain.

If you have more questions about how long your air conditioner should run to cool your house or keeping your air conditioner unit on all day, contact D&B ClimateCare for all of your heating and cooling needs.

Keeping Your Home’s Air Fresh: Tips for Air Circulation

split unit floor

Wondering if split AC circulates fresh air? Learn the benefits of good ventilation in the home and more from D&B ClimateCare.

How to Keep Your Home’s Air Fresh: Air Circulation Tips

Getting enough air circulation in your home can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you don’t have the addition of fans or other alternatives to help circulate the air. A split air conditioning system is an ideal solution for this.

A split AC unit can change the temperature, humidity and general quality of indoor air. It separates the temperature from the humidity during operation, compared to some other AC units which do not.

But how exactly does a split AC circulate fresh air? Find out below.

How Does a Split AC Work?

Split AC systems cool and circulate air throughout your home. Instead of moving cool air inside, they push unwanted heat out. Heat is taken from the room and cold air is pushed back in.

split unit product shot

The split AC system consists of an outdoor and indoor unit and unlike regular air conditioners, doesn’t have duct work. The outdoor unit consists of a condenser and compressors, while the indoor unit has a blower with evaporation. The two work together to provide effective cooling.

How Does Split AC Affect Air Quality?

Unfortunately, indoor air quality (IAQ) is more than ten times more polluted than outside air, with pollutants contributing to respiratory conditions like asthma and allergies.

To combat this, installing a ductless air conditioning unit improves humidity and IAQ by absorbing hot air and decreasing the air temperature overall. This makes the air less capable of holding moisture. Moisture that remains is then transferred to the unit’s condenser. As a result, there is less condensation on widows and your home’s humidity level is well controlled.

In addition, with less humidity, there are less pathogens that exist to contribute to illness and allergens. Split AC systems also usually have a multistage filtration that decreases the level of air particles such as dust, bacteria, allergens and pollen. This provides better quality indoor air overall.

Importance of Good Air Ventilation in Your Home

A poor ventilation system alongside indoor air pollution opens your household up to a number of health concerns such as allergies, rashes, headaches, asthma, and more. Installing a good ventilation system can put a stop to these.

Here are some additional reasons why having good air ventilation is important:

  • Your home can often become hot and stuffy if there are many people in a confined space for a prolonged period of time. A well-ventilated room will instantly make everyone feel more comfortable.
  • Although good for your physical health, a well-ventilated home will stay fresher for longer. It will be pleasant and relaxing and you can prevent the build-up of stale and musty odours.
  • Condensation can lead to damp, mouldy and rotten surfaces. Having good ventilation in place will reduce your risk.
  • The ability to control airflow and ventilation can help you save on your energy bill.

Experience the benefits of improved indoor air quality and a balanced humidity level this summer with split AC! Contact D&B ClimateCare for all of your heating and cooling needs.

Does Closing Air Vents Actually Save Energy?

air vent

Closing your vents to save energy sounds like an obvious solution to high energy bills. Closing off vents in unused rooms means less square footage to heat or cool, right?

Sadly, this logic doesn’t hold up. Instead of saving energy, closing your vents can actually cost you money.

What Happens When You Close an Air Vent

Your HVAC works by pulling air from the house through the return ducts and then pushing it back into the house via the supply ducts. Closing a supply vent doesn’t decrease the amount of air flowing through the system, it just forces it elsewhere.

This increases the pressure within your vents. At this point, any air duct leakage gets much worse, as the increased pressure forces even more air out of the leaks. It may even expand those leaks.

Also, depending on the type of blower your system uses, increased pressure has two other likely outcomes:

  • A PSC (permanent split capacitor) blower cannot overcome the extra pressure and have lower air flow – meaning it will take longer to heat or cool your home
  • ECM (electronically commutated motor) blowers can overcome the pressure but you will see this extra effort as an increase in your energy bill

How Closing Air Vents Can Harm Your System

Other consequences of closing your vents can result in damage that requires replacement parts. Or, if you don’t have a warranty, an entirely new outside system or furnace.

For example, because PSC blowers slow down when you close vents, you risk damaging your air conditioner’s evaporator coil as well as your furnace’s heat exchanger.

  • Heat exchangers can overheat and even crack with a lack in air flow. Cracks allow exhaust gases to mix with conditioned air. In some cases, it can send deadly carbon monoxide into your home.
  • Air conditioner coils can become too cold and become encased in ice. Liquid refrigerant then destroys your system by flowing back into the unit’s compressor.

air vent

Additional Consequences of Closing Air Vents

Besides energy bill increases and possible extreme damages, closing air vents may cause other issues. The lower surface temperatures in rooms with closed vents may lead to condensation and mold growth during winter months, causing more headaches and costly repairs down the road.

Solutions to Save Energy

The examples provided here are some of the more intense issues that arise from closing your air vents but for the most part these issues won’t appear over night. So, if you’ve already started closing off your air vents, you can still find a better way to save on energy bills.

Alternative solutions include lowering your thermostat in winter and drawing the blinds in unused rooms in the summer – just remember not to close your air vents!

For more tips and advice on how you can save energy today, contact the trusted professionals at D&B ClimateCare directly.

Benefits of Energy Efficient Homes

green energy efficient home

Whether you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint or you need a new furnace, you might be wondering – are high efficiency furnaces worth it? The quick and easy answer is yes, absolutely.

A high-performance and efficient furnace is a great example of the four benefits associated with an energy efficient home:

• Reduced electrical costs
• Energy savings
• Designed to last
• Reduces your overall carbon footprint.

New HVAC tech is here and you should have it in your home

Like most technology, HVAC tech is always evolving. The newest HVAC tech has many benefits to you and your home. As mentioned above, switching to new HVAC tech will cut down on the amount of energy used in your home. Most HVAC products have been designed with this purpose in mind.

But saving energy isn’t the only benefit of new HVAC technology. New HVAC systems help families create greener homes. Less energy attributes to a reduction in your carbon footprint, which is good for everyone. These positive benefits also turn into cost savings on your hydro bill. Having high efficiency products in your home just makes sense.

green home energy efficient

A few examples of HVAC products and energy efficiency

Furnaces

New high efficiency furnaces are completely state-of-the-art. This includes motors that reduce electrical demand and operating costs, as well as computer boards that offer high-level self-diagnostic and two-stage heating.

Ductless cooling

Ductless cooling is the way to go for homes that may not have the space for bulky ductwork. This system uses an outdoor compressor that cools the air into the indoor unit, which then keeps you cool. The unit in your home is quiet and barely noticeable. This is a far step away from the window shakers of years past.

If you want answers to questions about energy efficiency around your home or are wondering if high efficiency furnaces are worth it then make sure you contact the heating and cooling professionals at D&B ClimateCare.

Is Your Furnace Making a Loud Buzzing Noise? Here’s What You Can Do About It.

Is your furnace making a loud buzzing sound? Or a crackling or humming sound? There are a few common noises that may be coming from your furnace. Read on for these and more issues, what they mean and how you can remedy them.

Is Your Furnace Making a Loud Buzzing Noise?

  • Your furnace has a transformer box. If it is dying or not secured properly, it can buzz. You can fix a poorly mounted box with a screw driver. However, if the transformer itself needs to be replaced, you must call in a professional.
  • The capacitor might also be broken which could cause the motor to buzz. The capacitor is a silver device that stores electricity and helps the motor start. Call in a professional to replace the capacitor, which is quite easy and inexpensive to replace.
  • If the blower motor has blown, it will often buzz or hum when the power to the furnace is turned on. Replacing a motor is complicated and requires you to disconnect the old wires and remove the motor shaft from the blower housing. This is a job for a professional HVAC specialist.

Other Common Furnace Noises

Crackling Noise:

If your furnace is making a crackling noise, it could be operating normally. Just after your furnace turns off you may hear a crackling sound coming from it. This sound could be the ducts cooling after operation. Pay attention to when the sound occurs. If it’s persistent, or occurs when the furnace is in use, it might be a sign of a bigger problem.

Knocking Noise:

Your furnace making a knocking noise or a loud pop or bang when starting up could mean problems with the expanding and contracting of your air ducts. They may have issues that need to be repaired such as undersized ducts, flimsy ducts, closed vents or a clogged air filter.

If dirt builds in your furnace burners it can delay ignition and cause gas to build up. When it does ignite you will hear a loud pop or bang. If not checked out, this process could crack or damage your heat exchanger, which can be expensive to repair.

Humming Noise:

Your furnace making a humming noise could simply be the blower motor. This sound could be a result of improper lubrication. Turn off your motor and check it when it is cooled enough to touch.

Clicking Noise:

If your furnace is making a clicking noise while running it will need immediate attention. This sound could be an indication of a faulty flame sensor, or a problem between the ignition and the gas.

These are just some of the problematic noises that your furnace can make. If you hear any noises that concern you, please don’t hesitate to get your furnace checked out by a professional at D&B ClimateCare. Whether your furnace is making a loud buzzing noise or another strange sound, sorting things out early could prevent other potential problems from occurring and even save you some money down the line. Contact D&B ClimateCare for all your heating needs.

3 Reasons Why You Should Update Your Carbon Monoxide Detector

CO alarm

If you’ve been fortunate enough, you’ve probably had your carbon monoxide detector for years and years without it ever going off.

And if you’re like most homeowners in Simcoe, Port Dover, and Tillsonburg, you only think about your CO alarm twice a year: When the clocks change and you test the batteries.

Just like many appliances, your carbon monoxide detector can lose its effectiveness as it ages.

That – among other reasons – is why you should update your current alarm with a new one from D&B ClimateCare.

1. Carbon monoxide detectors have expiry dates

Did you know that carbon monoxide alarms have a limited lifespan of approximately 6 years?

It’s true. And this information can usually be found in the instruction manual which came with your detector.

CO alarm expiry date
Image from healthycanadians.gc.ca

However, if you don’t have the manual with you, here’s how you can find this information:

  • Remove the carbon monoxide alarm from the wall.
  • Look at the back or inside the battery cover.
  • You should either find an expiration date or a build date.

Should your alarm have a build date stamped on it, add 6 years to find out when it’ll expire.

Here are a few reasons why CO detectors have a limited lifespan:

  • Humidity and temperature changes can impact the accuracy of the sensors inside the alarm.
  • Older models with digital readouts may not display the proper CO levels in your home.

2. Testing the batteries does not guarantee your alarm works (but you should always test them anyway)

As mentioned off the top of this blog, you probably test the batteries twice per year and change them as needed.

Alarm test

But testing your batteries does not mean your alarm is in good working order (especially if it’s older).

Pushing the test button usually checks the following elements:

  • Battery.
  • Horn/alarm.
  • Circuits.

It does not test the gas sensing element inside the unit. The only true way to test that is to expose it to carbon monoxide.

Since compromising your indoor air quality with CO isn’t an option, your safest bet is to swap out your old alarm for a new one.

3. Your alarm tells you it needs replacing

Many carbon monoxide detectors come with an “end-of-life” feature that clearly indicates it’s time for a new alarm.

END digital

These alerts vary from alarm-to-alarm. For example, they could be:

  • Persistent beeping (i.e. 2 times every 30 seconds).
  • Digital display readouts (some alarms will display the word “End” when it’s no longer functional).
  • After a specific time frame (such as 30 days), the “end-of-life” alarm cannot be silenced.

If your carbon monoxide detector begins to beep consistently and updates the digital display, first and foremost, confirm there is no leak inside your home.

Afterwards, check the alarm instruction manual (or look it up online) to determine if it’s time for a replacement.

How D&B ClimateCare helps

When you select a WeCare Maintenance Plan or WeCare Protection Plan for your home heating or home cooling systems, you can purchase a new carbon monoxide alarm which we’ll install for you

CO prevention

Here are some other tips to maximize the effectiveness of your CO detector:

  • Place a CO detector on every floor of your home.
  • Ensure alarms are installed near every sleeping area.
  • Any room with a gas appliance (furnace, gas fireplace, stove, etc.) should have an alarm nearby.
  • CO has the same density as air, it doesn’t rise, nor does it sink. Alarms should be placed approximately 5 feet from the ground.

More resources for you to check out:

Contact us for more information

Carbon monoxide is known as “the silent killer.”

It’s colourless. It’s odourless. And it’s deadly.

The only way to protect you and your family from it is with a working, up-to-date carbon monoxide alarm.

Contact us with any questions you have. We’ll get back to you ASAP with the answers and information you need.

Contact ClimateCare