Choosing the Right Contractor

What to look for when you’re buying a furnace

Buying a furnace is one of the most important investments you’ll make in your home. To help make sure you get the right furnace at the right price, we’ve prepared this checklist for you:

Size.
The size of your furnace is determined by many factors, including the square footage of your home, number of rooms, levels, climate and number of windows. A trained, experienced heating and cooling advisor can help to determine which is best for you.

Efficiency.
ENERGY STAR® qualified furnaces will save you money on your heating bills — and they’re better for the environment. They may also qualify for government rebates.

Rent vs. Own?
While renting often sounds like an attractive alternative, it can be expensive in the long run. Renting a furnace can cost as much as $18,000 more than buying. Ask your provider which option is best for you.

Expertise.
There are a lot of people claiming to be experts in our industry. Unfortunately, many of them don’t have the adequate training or experience. The ClimateCare network has 20 years of experience in the heating and cooling industry, and all of our technicians are trained and certified, so you don’t have to worry.

ClimateCare is Canada’s largest network of independent heating and cooling experts. We are a 100% Canadian, member-owned organization. All of our contractors meet our strict guidelines for licensing and certification, plus pass a rigorous screening process.

We’re personal climate experts, but we’re more than that. We’re also your neighbours.

Did you know you should be servicing your furnace regularly?

During the summer season, who really wants to be thinking about the winter? While enjoying the summer heat, we at ClimateCare want you to be prepared! With fall being just around the corner, it’s important not to forget about your furnace. Just as you have regular service for your vehicles, it is important to schedule maintenance for your HVAC systems too. Servicing your furnace regularly will provide efficient operation and a longer lifespan. You’ve worked far too hard to let your heating system be wasteful with your money! Reducing furnace fuel consumption, ensuring peak efficiency and lowering your utility cost are some of the many advantages to annual furnace tune-ups.

Your furnace has three major components; the heat source, the distribution system and the thermostat. Having a ClimateCare technician inspect your system thoroughly will help detect issues before they become major, unexpected and inconvenient problems. What you don’t want is to wake up in the middle of the night to a broken furnace and a freezing cold bed. A 3:00am furnace repair is not desirable under any circumstance.

The heat source is the most likely to be forgotten but can lead to major distribution problems in the future. This is the portion of your HVAC system that must also stay clean. A dirty furnace system will waste fuel, drastically decrease the efficiency and put your family at risk for contaminated air flow in your home.

Turning your thermostat fan to on will help to remove more particles in the system however many are hesitant to do this as it can add hundreds of dollars to your power cost yearly. It is crucial that you change your air filter regularly. And it is recommended that you check the filter once a month, however you may find it does not need to be changed more than once in a 3 month period. This is regular maintenance that you as a home owner can do on your own and it will increase the air quality in your home.

We have several maintenance plans to choose from that will provide your family with long term protection and save you money too. ClimateCare has a WeCare plan that is fit for you! When in doubt, just give us a call. We can answer all of your questions and help you find a plan that is worth your hard earned dollar.

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.

What’s the fastest, easiest way to save energy in your home?

An ecobee Smart Thermostat can help you in many ways to keep your home and family safe and comfortable.

But let’s start with saving you money. Did you know that heating and cooling your home accounts for over 50% of your energy use? A lot of that energy is wasted, heating or cooling your home while you’re at work, asleep or on vacation. Just think about how much time you actually spend awake and in your home – not as much as you think. That’s why an ecobee thermostat makes so much sense. Use an ecobee thermostat to help you conserve energy, they have been proven to reduce energy costs by 26%. That’s a lot.

The ecobee Smart Thermostat is smart – very smart. It actually pays attention to how you consume energy, and figures out how you can save the most energy and money over time. It’s also WiFi enabled, so you can make adjustments on the go from your tablet, computer, iPhone or Smart Phone.

No engineering degree required.

With its simple, intuitive design and plain, non-techie language, it’s easy to use your ecobee thermostat whether you’re using the touchscreen or accessing it through your smart phone.

How does it work? Here’s an example. You can set the ecobee thermostat to go into Quick Save mode while you are at work. Before you come back home, use the ecobee app on your smartphone to increase the home temperature. This means you do not have to rely on timing your arrival at home. Instead, you can get your home’s climate to the perfect temperature, no matter what time you plan on getting there.

With all the energy you use, an ecobee thermostat can pay for itself in its first year.