Ways To Make Bypass Humidifier More Water Efficient

If you've been struggling with dry skin, scratchy throat, or a nagging cough, you know what's missing in your life: humidity. It's super high in summer. It's super low in winter. Relative humidity (RH) hovers between 40 to 55 percent on the ideal or rare occasion and doesn't stay that way long. During summer, the best approach is to run your AC more frequently or to install a whole house dehumidifier. While in winter, you might need to add humidity and installing a Humidifier is the right solution. 
How about the level of water wastage by these humidifiers. Surprisingly, Ontario's water rates rise even more rapidly than our property taxes. And to lower the water bills, you might have struggled all from fixing leaky faucets to shut down your lawn sprinklers, also tried to shorten your showers – but in your ever-growing utility bills, it hardly makes a dent. 
To make any Bypass humidifier more water efficient, we need to understand:
- How a humidifier works
- Difference between fan-powered and bypass humidifiers
- Top ways to make any bypass humidifier more water efficient 



How a humidifier works?:

A humidifier is of two types, Portable Humidifier that only humidifies a surrounding area and another is the Whole House Humidifier that has the power to humidify the entire house. 
A humidifier tends to push moisture into your indoor air. The Cold air will expand when it warms up. In case the quantity of water vapor remains the same as the temperature increases, the relative humidity drops in space. Humidifiers counteract this by increasing the air moisture. There are several ways to do this – some humidifiers produce steam, while others use a moistened ' vapor pad ' to draw air.

Difference between fan-powered and bypass humidifiers

Bypass humidifiers use the Furnace's blower motor while fan-powered humidifiers push air through the unit using their own fan. To run a bypass humidifier, the Furnace needs to run while a fan-powered unit can operate on its own. Bypass humidifiers require additional ductwork, known as a bypass duct, and air must be recirculated back through the furnace before being distributed to the home, whereas fan-powered units can be directly installed.

Top ways to make any bypass humidifier more water efficient:

Bypass humidifiers are way more efficient and quiet but have one disadvantage: Waster waste.
- The device switches on automatically when the humidifier receives a call for water and limits the supply of water to the vapor pad. The humidifier is functioned to release the amount of water necessary to keep the pad moist – no more and no less – so less water ends up in the drain. To cut water waste by minimum, 50% make sure to use default settings. If you adjust the settings to a specific model, settings, and season, savings of up to 96% can be achieved.
- Like any other part of the heating system, a bypass humidifier also requires proper maintenance and care to perform more effectively. Regular service is also essential to prevent expensive leakage of the humidifier. 

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Could these 9 avoidable mistakes be making your bill spike in summer?

Want to stay cool this summer? Know these 9 avoidable mistakes impacting adversely on cooling efficiency of the Air Conditioner and making the bill spike.

The rising temperature is good news for most of the Canadians who were desperate to beat the winter
fatigue. But how about the hydro bill, which is soaring too? You will be surprised to know that air condition accounts a mere 3% for the overall energy use for most of the Canadians. If still, any wallet senses a heat, there lie some common factors which are driving up the cost.


1. Installing the right sized system:

The air condition should size right to the space they need to chill. A big air conditioner creates an
imbalance and inconsistency in the house and disturbs the on and off frequency. While a small AC stays in a continuous struggle to cool your place and ends up wearing out prematurely.

2. Having clogged filters:

The air filter is a vital part of the air conditioner. It catches debris so dust does not blow around your
place. Dirty air filter results in freezing evaporator coil and increase 5-10% to a hydro bill. The filter needs to be changed after every three months or more often if the unit is running all the time.

3. Opening windows:

Opening windows is probably a fair way to undermine the HVAC system’s efficiency and to keep a home in the best comfort zone. If you want to enjoy the cool breeze, don’t turn the a/c on at the same time. Instead, when you open the windows, consider running a ceiling fan.

4. Use the newest version of thermostat:

A Smart Thermostat can save hundreds of bucks annually by adjusting the temperature. The newest
version of thermostats is more advanced and user-friendly.

5. Right positioning of a thermostat:

Right positioning of a thermostat is essential since most thermostats are functioned to measure the
temperature of the nearby surrounding. Placing the unit right beneath the sun throws off reading and
the unit will begin working unnecessarily. Therefore, while positioning air condition, make sure it is
placed away from sunlight.

6. Incorrect use of Thermostat:

The common misconception is to lower some degrees of the thermostat to quickly cool a place. In
reality, it does nothing but increases the burden on the air conditioner. It eventually cools the room faster which further needs to be adjusted to raise the temperature.

7. Use windows covering in summer:

Make sure to keep shutters and blinds close in summers to prevent sun rays from heating up your
room.

8. Install a ceiling fan:

Ceiling fans take the burden off of an air conditioner. Make sure it runs counter-clockwise in summer.
You can install any type of fan but a ceiling fan helps in the even distribution of air in winters and
summers as well.

9. No need to cool unused part of the home:

There is no need to cool any part of the home that is not being used. We are not recommending to close the registers, however, the load can be significantly reduced by shutting down the doors and windows of a room.

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4-Signs that your Central Air Conditioner needs repair

The time to think about summers and how will you be cooling your indoor during summers is not in summers at all. These are the things you should be done with well within Spring. And that is because, during summers, the technicians have loads of work. And during that peak season, if you rush out to make a purchase, get an installation tech or find a service for maintenance and repair, it is most probable that you wouldn't find things as easy as they might have been during the spring. So, let's come to the point now; to find out whether or not your system needs a repair/upgrade, the time is now.



Before we talk about identifying system issues, the question is that, should homeowners inspect the system themselves or call a professional technician for this? The answer is; it is better to schedule a session with a professional in order to get a precision tune-up and have the components inspected but there are signs that can help homeowners find out whether or not the system is working properly. These problems indicated by the signs may not always allow the homeowner to resolve by themselves but the one benefit of recognising the signs is that they are identified in the first place and action can be taken in time.

Signs that your Central Air Conditioning Unit needs repair

Warm Air 

Warm Air is one big sign. The Air Conditioner is supposed to spill cool air towards you. When the air from the supply registers is warm to feel, know that the system needs help. It could be a leaking refrigerant, a fault in the compressor or dirty coils. Note that warm air supply instantly after running the AC is normal. But if the air remains warm even after running the system for a few hours, there's a problem!

 Low Airflow

A compromised airflow is another indication of the Air Conditioner needing repair. This could be because of filthy filters or fault in the blower fan. Try replacing/cleaning the filters. If the problem persists, there's a need to call for professional help. You might consider checking the ductwork. As one of the reasons for a compromised airflow is often leaking ductwork.

Unusual noises 

You know well what the usual noises are. Every homeowner can identify them after using the Air Conditioner for a few months. So anything other than the usual noises is the unusual noises. This could be a banging, rattling, hissing or any other sound. If the noise comes from near the registers, the reason could be an accidentally fallen object stuck there. If the noise comes from the main unit, you'd have to call a professional.

Rising energy bills 

A rise in energy bills is not always an indication of high usage. You could be using the Air Conditioner with the same patterns and still receiving high bills. This signifies that the system is pushing hard and running more to cool the indoor because of its reduced efficiency or damaged/unmaintained parts. 

This summer, before you start using your system, make sure to try a test run and see if it shows the above-mentioned signs. If it does, don't delay the repair.

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Avoid these Air Conditioner repairs this Spring | Go for a tune-up!

One reason why HVAC professionals emphasize on tune-up is that this reduces the possibilities of repairs. Unmaintained appliances have to go for frequent repairs. In addition to increasing repairing frequency, the efficiency level drops significantly and the energy bills rise as well. So as a result, you have to pay more for insignificant comfort. When it comes to Air Conditioner, a spring tune-up can actually save you from 3 most common AC repairs that homeowners have to go through frequently in Summer.


- Damaged evaporator coil

The evaporator coil damage can result in preventing the refrigerant from cooling the air or can result in freezing the coil. This one damage becomes the core reason for damaging other components as well. With a spring Air Conditioner tune-up, a professional technician can inspect such damages in the evaporator coil saving you from hefty repairs later in the middle of the summer.

- Leaking condensate line

During a tune-up, a technician also inspects the condensate line to make sure there's no blockage or leakage in the line. While this might seem an unimportant inspection, this saves from very hefty repairs that result as the leakage from condensate line damages the attic, cabinets, kitchen and other parts. Once a tune-up takes place in Spring, such damage is fixed in time.

- Electrical Components 

As the unit remains unused for long, the electrical components are often damaged by insects or animals. If the damage is not massive, the unit may work as it is turned on but will soon become problematic. Getting a spring tune-up ensures safety for the unit and your family as well. The most common types of HVAC accidents include fire because of damaged electrical components. 

- Emergency Breakdowns 

Above all other benefits is the benefit of protection from a sudden breakdown. In the middle of summer, as the unit fails, it becomes difficult to deal with the failure provided that the technicians are not available and the services become expensive. A Spring tune-up let's a professional see the possibilities of breakdown and he can identify them well in time.

Why should you avoid unprofessional tune-up if you have a new unit

If you have a new unit and it is still on warranty, abstain from performing DIY tune-up or taking service from an unprofessional technician. Doing so will keep the appliance at risk while will also cancel the warranty.
And if your unit is old, it is even more important to avoid DIY or unprofessional tune-up as it will deteriorate the efficiency even more. Also, since you shall not be able to inspect possible threats, the possibilities of breakdown and repairs will still remain there.

If you are living in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Barrie, London, Etobicoke or anywhere else in the GTA, we are here to serve you for your Air Conditioner tune-up needs. With over 15 years of experience, we serve homes and homeowners with the best of the best HVAC services.
Call today: 1-855-245-4328

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When does your Air Duct need cleaning?

Should dust in an air duct be no cause of concern for you? A culprit behind the major IAQ problems is your clogged or dirty air duct. A leak or hole in air ducts can cause expensive and uncomfortable problems which neither of us likes to deal with.
Airborne contaminants, dirt particles or other microbes that fit into your ducts can be found in it. Although it's not always harmful yet some allergic reactions can get triggered due to leaky or dirty air ducts. If you witness any of the signs, you should roll up your sleeves right away.


The 5 disturbing things Canadians discover in their air ducts:

1.     The improper air ducts provide the easiest pathway to the critters. Leaky air ducts attract the mice while appealing to all those rodents who nest out in a moist insulated environment.
2.      It is certain that every animal who manages to get into air duct will leave droppings – very dangerous contaminants. Moreover, the furry animals will leave their danders, if they somehow expire in the air duct, the smell and contamination can spread throughout the home.
3.      Dust in air duct is no cause of concern but excessive debris is surely problematic. Most of the people forget to switch off the Furnace while renovating home. That results in accumulation of drywall dust, construction debris and saw debris ultimately reducing the flow inside the air ducts.
4.      Bacteria are everywhere and the ducts are no exception. Sometimes bacteria are not harmful, yet some viruses and bacteria can still trigger cold and flu in winter seasons. Therefore, cleaning air duct is essential to make it germ-free.
5.      The spots of mould can appear anywhere in air registers, return ducts, and on other parts of the HVAC system. The brown or grey fungus can set off spores that spread throughout the home.

The obvious signs that indicate your air ducts need cleaning:

If you witness signs of people in your home getting allergic attack whenever you turn the AC/Furnace on or notice the dust puffs lingering around the vents, be alert!  This and the below-mentioned signs are clear indications of your air duct needing cleaning.  

·         Reduced or uneven air flow is the first sign. To avoid the issue make sure to check it every month and ensure vents are opened while inspecting the air flow.
·         Sometimes whistling or beep sounds come out of your vents - an obvious sign that air ducts are filled with excessive dust or other contaminants.
·         People who do not clean air ducts for years. Also, a recently renovated place may see a blast of dust whenever the heating and cooling system is turned on. It is a telltale sign that you should avail the services of professionals on an immediate basis.
·         The respiratory problems like feeling mentally foggy, fatigue, coughing or sneezing are signs that you are battling against some allergens. To cope up with such situations, you should immediately hire a professional to stop the problem before it gets worse. 

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5 surprising things which can trigger seasonal allergies

Most of the times, so-called “seasonal” allergies comes with winter. Did you ever wonder why this is so? Are you allergic or that’s just a cold? In this article, we will share surprising facts about being allergic or having a cold, as well as things that you should care about during the winter.
The air inside our homes contains a huge amount of microscopic particles, many of which often trigger allergy symptoms throughout the year.


Are you allergic or it is just a Cold?

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), shows in research that 70% of allergy sufferers have symptoms of allergy throughout the year which means that they don’t just have seasonal pollen allergies. If someone is prone to summer allergies, he or she is likely to experience symptoms of allergies in the winter as well.

However, most of us don’t know the potential allergy triggers and tend to attribute the symptoms of winter allergy to the cold virus. Waking up with a sore throat or a runny nose in winter is considered as a cold - not allergy. The first thing to recognize whether you are having a cold or you are allergic is noticing that how long the symptoms last. Cold symptoms are mostly at their worst in the start, but taper off after a few days; but in case of allergy symptoms, they can persist for weeks with slight to zero change.

What Causes Allergies in winter?

In winter, as the temperature falls, we start spending most of the time indoors. This is when we experience indoor air pollution or airborne allergens.
Here are 5 surprising things that may trigger allergies during winter especially in holidays;

1. Wood Smoke

You should know that wood smoke is not a single cause of allergies, but it can irritate your lungs and make the impact on other symptoms even worse. If somebody around you has allergies or asthma, try to use gas fireplace instead of a wood fire (which is cosy plus safer to boot.)

2. Holiday Decorations

In the case of artificial trees, it depends on how you store them. Dust mites on these trees are a source of triggering allergies. It is better to seal your festive decoration items in closed boxes during off-months.

3. Scented Candles

Aromatic candles, sprays and deodorizers contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and tiny particles that may trigger allergic symptoms. Try saving the real candles for special events and decorate your house with flameless candles.

4. Freshly-Cut Boughs and Trees 

Some people are allergic to the evergreen trees, though few may react to the terpenes that give boughs their fresh scent. On the other hand, Christmas trees have a tendency to harbour the mould spores. So, if these trees sit longer outside, there are more chances to attract mould.

5. Dry Air

In our homes, turning up the heat also makes the Winter drier. As the humidity decreases, your throat and nose become more prone to irritation, resulting in sensitivity to airborne allergens.

So keep checking the humidity in your home and if it drops below 35% (check via thermostat or hygrometer). Also, consider installing a Furnace humidifier in order to regulate humidity.

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3 ways to find out if your Furnace is Energy Efficient

Seen that "energy efficient" prefix with so many HVAC appliances and, in this case, Furnaces? What does that mean? And how do energy efficient Furnaces help save? Also, how a common homeowner can find out if his system is energy efficient? This blog will help find the answers to these questions.

The term energy efficiency refers to the system's ability to make the most use of energy. A high energy efficient Furnace utilizes almost all the energy provided while a less energy efficiency unit wastes a significant amount of energy provided. Evidently, energy efficient Furnaces help save on energy bills. While they are costlier than the conventional less efficient units, the longterm saving is promised along with better and swift comfort.
If you want to find out whether or not your current system is an energy efficient system, keep reading.


Check AFUE rating 

Every unit has an AFUE rating. AFUE mean, annual fuel utilization efficiency. The better the system is at utilizing the fuel, the less it will waste it and the higher will be the AFUE. So in the case of 98% AFUE, the system wastes only %2 energy which is almost negligible. Such units are very highly efficient units. The AFUE rating varies according to brands and then models within brands. Lower AFUE units which may be as low as 50% are lower in prices as well but then the utility bills go higher and higher.
Here another point needs to be kept in consideration and that is; a system's claimed AFUE doesn't mean the system will always run with the same efficiency. AFUE and SEER (in case of air conditioners) give the estimated highest possible efficiency. This efficiency drops partly due to age and partly due to lack of regular maintenance. So the first point to assess your Furnace's efficiency is to check its AFUE. The rest of the points are coming below.

Calculate age 

Done with checking the AFUE? Great with that. Now check how old your Furnace is. Did you know that unmaintained unit drops 5% in efficiency every year? If you have not been doing maintenance, you can calculate on your own how much the efficiency must have dropped. In the case otherwise, even if you have been performing maintenance but the unit is very old, it has still dropped efficiency and raised energy bills and this goes without saying. If you don't know what is an average lifespan of a Furnace, it's 15-20 years for Gas Furnaces and 25-30 years for electric Furnaces.

Analyse energy bills 

Thoroughly analyse energy bills of the ongoing year and the past year. Do they show a significant difference even when your usage has been the same throughout? Then this is an indicator of efficiency drop. The efficiency has dropped and the system is wasting more energy resulting in higher energy bills.

These 3 factors considered together can tell you a whole lot about your Furnace system's efficiency. And also about whether or not it's the time to go for an upgrade.

Did you find this blog helpful? How old is your Furnace? And what is its AFUE?
 

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