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.

 

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.