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?


HVAC-friendly landscaping is important!

The HVAC systems that are out there in your yard need due care when you're performing work there and a care also on a regular basis. Wrong landscaping can affect the HVAC efficiency and at times result in damaging the very unit. Instead of facing the scenario of frequent repairs and compromised HVAC efficiency, better learn some to do's and not to do's to avoid such circumstances. Here are some important to learn things regarding landscaping and how it can impact the HVAC units.

To do's and not to do's for HVAC system landscaping

- Be very vigilant towards maintaining your yard. After a thunderstorm, go to your yard and perform the necessary cleaning. Remove any twigs, leaves and clean the area around the HVAC unit immediately if not the entire area - At the time of clipping grass, it is highly recommended to point the grass clipping away from the compressor in order to not let the popped pieces into the unit - In the case of an upcoming wind, clear the area surrounding the HVAC unit. Wind can bang table, chairs etc in the unit resulting in damage - If you're planning vegetation in your yard, make sure it's 3 to 4 feet away from the compressor unit - While many people do not keep this in consideration, the unit should not be under the direct sun. The efficiency gets affected when the unit is under the direct sun. Also, in the winter season, the compressor unit should be covered to protect it from snow and pets. - On a routine basis, do not allow any pets or stray animals to accommodate the space near the compressor unit. Animal urine corrodes the metal very fastly. - When the compressor fan is running, do not cut the grass around it. The clippings can get stuck in the fan blades and or may clog the compressor coils - When mowing the lawn, make sure no twig or stone is in the way. A rapidly moving mower will throw them and in case it hits the compressor, you are ruined! - In order to keep maintenance, inspection and repair easy for yourself and the technicians, better not try camouflaging the unit with shrubs or plants - And needless to say that the surroundings of the compressor has to be well clear in the times it is being used. The unit needs space to exhaust the heat properly. When tightly packed, it cannot perform the job of exhausting the heat - Last but not least, always choose professionals to install the unit. It is because they know where and where not to install the unit. When the unit is installed in the right place, you don't have to worry too much about it later. And since the location matters a lot, choosing a wrong technician, who would choose the wrong location, will ultimately become a deal of loss for you. With proper maintenance and wisely made HVAC choices, you can manage to enjoy comfort throughout the year, save on monthly energy bills and also reduce the possibilities of sudden breakdown and frequent repairs. For now, you are well equipped to perform a safe and HVAC-friendly landscaping the next time.


Using a malfunctioning Furnace? You are in danger

The furnace is no less than a blessing in a season like winter and that too of Canada's when everything just freezes up. A lot of Canadian homeowners prefer to use Furnace as their primary home heating source in winter. Some other may prefer fireplace, heat pump or space heater but Furnace nonetheless remains the most widely used and the most favourite. However, when it comes to maintaining the appliance, there are very few people who are regular and concerned about performing in time maintenance of their Furnace unit. Even worse, a vast majority in addition to delaying maintenance keeps units in use even when they are in need of repairs realizing not that doing so is synonymous with calling upon serious dangers. This blog will highlight the dangers associated with using malfunctioning or unmaintained Furnace units.

- The scariest - Fire 

You do come across news mentioning house fires incidents throughout winters, don't you? And behind many of such incidents, there is a malfunctioning Furnace responsible. As the Furnace operates, it releases CO as a by-product. In normal cases, this by-product is designed to escape through the vents but an unmaintained unit can actually fail to expel the residual gas outside resulting in accumulation of the gas inside. Since CO is odourless and colourless, it is not possible to find it out even when it is there. And being highly flammable, only a slight fire is enough to turn your home into ashes.

- Silent death - CO 

As mentioned above, CO is poisonous and yet this poison cannot be suspected. Similar to the fire accidents, the next most common accident associated with Furnaces is the CO poisoning. This gas also called, "The Silent Killer can cause situations like extreme fatigue and loss of consciousness. In worst cases, death. While on one hand it is suggested to not use a malfunctioning Furnace, on the other hand, it is also important that a CO detector is installed in order to detect the CO presence well in time.

- Deteriorating IAQ 

Other than the above-mentioned consequencing of using a malfunctioning Furnace, one consequence is that of a bad IAQ. Even if your unit is not releasing CO, it is releasing dust and pollution whatsoever when not maintained. And the air that circulates in the entire home after passing through a dirty unit indubitably takes the pollution with it and spread it all around. Also, the dirty filters will result in the blockage of airflow burdening the system and once again, creating circumstances for a breakdown.

Moreover, a malfunctioning unit causes frequent repairs which results in unnecessary expenses and one problem gives way to another. So if you have been using a malfunctioning Furnace last winter, do not repeat the same mistake this time. Get the unit repaired by a certified professional and ensure that it is working properly. A properly working unit ensures safety as well as savings.

Are you facing any Furnace related issues? Do you want to learn some quick Furnace DIY troubleshooting? Explore our blog to find out more.


Reasons to purchase a UV Light Air Purification system

So every time you are told about a product, you are told why you need it in the first place. And what benefits would that product give you? We are about to share some useful information about UV Light Air Purification systems and would want you to know why investing in these air purification system could be a wise choice.

Benefits of UV Light Air Purification systems

- Did you know that one of the major causes of illness reported in the past few years is bad indoor air quality? And when we talk about indoor air quality, there are a number of types of air pollutants that contribute together to worsen the air quality. And among those pollutants come the biological pollutants primarily the mould, spores, bacteria, viruses and other microbes. These contaminants can severely affect the homeowners and can make them vulnerable to sicknesses. Installing a UV Light Air Purification System ensures a protective indoor environment by eliminating such microbes. What the UV Light does is that it kills the microbes or destroy their DNA so that they can make no further reproduction. Since the design is usually a whole home design, the air of the entire home can be treated.

- And here we go with another benefit; The installation of UV Lights can protect the ductwork as well as the AC cooling coil from bacterias, mould and other similar microorganisms that affect the efficiency of the system. Due to a warm and damp area, such microbes find ductworks and coils a good place to make their abodes. One reason behind fouls smells from ductworks is the production of these moulds and bacteria. Installation a UV Light Air Purification System not only keeps the ductwork clean but also the coil which maintains an efficient operation resultantly.

- Compared with other air purification systems, the UV Lights systems are better and efficient. The filters usually only trap large particles while on the other hand, the activated carbon cleaners are not good enough at combating microorganisms. And then, the ozone generator cleaners are not only tricky to use but also have a particular function of killing odours and not all the other germs and bacterias.

- One reason to go for a UV Light Air Purification system is its maintenance which is relatively easy. Once installed, you don't have to take care of cleaning or replacing filters every now and then. The only maintenance it demands is that of changing the filter and that too after a year or so. So if you are a homeowner who finds maintenance irritating, this would work best for you.

- UV Light is dangerous and no human contact should be made with the light. It is for this reason that the design is made safe and the light itself is installed well inside of a ductwork. Out of sight, out of mind. No hectic maintenance and yet a very well-cleaned air comes right out of the ductwork because of the UV Light.

So yeah! Installing a UV Light Air Purification System is a wise decision you will make.
If you are planning to purchase one such system, call us today 1-855-245-4328


5 horrendous mistakes that HVAC contractors make

We say time and again that HVAC is not to be taken non seriously and that HVAC is a professional's to do. While there are many services that offer certified and experienced technicians, there are many that hire technicians on the basis of their interest and not on the basis of their HVAC knowledge. This puts homeowners at risk and they remain under risk even after taking regular maintenance or in time repairs. Below are some situations in which a contractor's incompetency puts home and the homeowners at risk. 

- Mistake#1 Combustion safety

A CO leak is not something that can be detected only near a Furnace or a Fireplace. Carbon Monoxide could poison the indoor when there are technical issues with the combustion vents. Unfortunately, one of the most horrendous mistakes contractors make is that in order to test a CO leak, the gas supply lines and the Furnace components are inspected. What is not inspected and should be inspected is the vents. Blockage in the vents can return all the combustion gases resulting in CO poisoning.

- Mistkae#2 Underestimating the "V" of HVAC

Ventilation is important no matter what kind of heating and cooling appliances you are using. In order for the latest heating and cooling appliances to function with optimal efficiency, the homes are tightly sealed. The doors and windows are sealed, the option of home insulation is often taken and the home at the end turns into a tightly closed cabin where natural ventilation becomes only possible through mechanical ways; HRV systems. Contractors do seal the homes with the best of their skills but forget to install a good ventilation system or to suggest homeowners to install one. This results in bad indoor air quality.

- Mistake#3 Applying one technique everywhere

We are probably here today to screw HVAC contractors. Seems so. So let's move on and screw them more.

Another commonly made mistake by HVAC contractors is applying the same technique to every home, not realizing the fact that every home is different and so is every home's HVAC needs. The insulation that was dire need of one home may not be necessary for other. The Air Conditioner size that was perfect for the last home may be the worst size for another. So using the same strategies for every home does not work and an entire equation needs to be set for every single home in order to get the most satisfactory results.

- Mistake# 4 Low prices - low quality

In order to attract homeowners, there are many contractors that tend to be low bidders and in doing so not only their service charges lower but also their service quality drops. For providing services at cheap rates, hirings also have to be made at cheap rates and when that happens, of course, they are not the right professionals that get hired. Keeping rates low and then providing low-quality services is no way to take place in the town of high competition.

- Mistake#5 Non-cooperative attitude

So this is what so many contractors do; a noncooperative attitude with homeowners. What they think is that they are there to perform a particular job and have to run away as early as they are done with it. No questions from homeowners are responded and no helpful guidelines are given to them. This, in general, lowers the graph the potential customership. A homeowner would prefer to hire the next time, a contractor who will listen to him in detail and respond to him instead of hiring someone who is very professional but prefer to remain dumb as he comes for a visit.

This usually happens when services don't teach their technicians the ethics to deal with the homeowners and the favours, doing which, they can actually raise their number of customers. For example; if a technician tells homeowner in detail why his appliance failed and how he can avoid the situation next time while also tells him the technical details for free, it will certainly leave a lasting effect and the customer will surely contact the same service again.

So, how many of these HVAC contractor mistakes have you caught? And what was your best and the worst experience with an HVAC technician?


Tripping of Air Conditioner circuit breaker - Hows and Whys

While many people out there would try to convince you to call a professional for every single HVAC repair and maintenance need, we won't. Because, the truth is, there are several issues that you can fix on your own and that too very easily. All that is needed is proper knowledge and proper precautions and there you go! \

The problem of air conditioner circuit breaking is one such problem that is commonly considered as a problem for which you need to dial a number and call a pro. Today, we'll help you figure out the how's and why's of the AC circuit breaker and also the quick fixes that you can perform on your own. So don't leave until you take with you a real piece of information from here.

What does circuit breaker do?

The purpose of a circuit breaker is to discontinue the supply of electricity to a particular unit if the supply is more than what the unit can handle. So in the case of your AC, anytime a large ampere of electricity tries to reach your AC's power station, the circuit breaker trips and saves your system from burning. You can consider the circuit breaker a lifesaver or at least a repair saver. It is!

If it is, why is tripping a problem? Well, tripping becomes a problem when it happens frequently. Since tripping turns the AC off, you'll have to face discomfort if your AC circuit breaker trips frequently. So tripping requires fixing. Here are some DIY fixes.

Resetting the circuit breaker!

Before you do this, tell yourself 10 times that you have to do it only once. And before you do this, ensure that the circuit breaker is fully at the off position. If not, make it so. Then turn it ON. The system should turn on after this. But if it doesn't or trips a second time, then you have to do what all of them always say; ''Call a pro''.
There's a third case and that is; if the circuit breaker trips again after some time then you have to follow the following steps.

Did you change Filters?

As the filters get clogged, it becomes hard for the Air Conditioner to circulate the air and cool it off rightly. The system has to push harder and this pushing harder overburdens it, causing it to heat up which as a result, trips the circuit breaker. So if your circuit breaker trips again after resetting, rush and check the filters. Dirty? Change them!

Dirty condenser coil

You had to change the filters because they were dirty and couldn't let a smooth flow of air through them. Clean the condenser coil for the same reason. The heat can't escape easily with the coils that are dirty and clogged, burdening the system and tripping the circuit breaker as a result. Take a garden hose and clean the condenser.

More reasons for AC circuit breaker tripping

There are two more causes that can result in tripping of the circuit breaker.
- One is, ageing components, loose wiring and short-circuiting
- While the other is the low refrigerant
Unfortunately, in these two cases, you can't do a DIY stuff and in these cases, we won't suggest any DIY either. Call a professional to help you out.
The next time your circuit breaker trips and the AC shuts off, you know what to do. Yeah! You learned something great.


How often should you clean your Split/Central Air Conditioner unit?

How often should I clean my Air Conditioner? 

As the cooling season arrives, you see promotions of Air Conditioner maintenance, clean up and tune up services everywhere. While you might only think that it is just the HVAC companies making their business, you should also think of how often it is important to get your system tuned and cleaned up. Usually, people don't give their systems any checkup or cleaning until they actually begin to experience compromised efficiency. It is a known fact that Air Conditioner, be it a Split Air Conditioner or Central Air Conditioner ceases to work properly even only if its filters are dirty. But when we say, cleaning, the cleaning of the entire unit is meant. So a very basic thing to understand is; Cleaning is important and you should perform the cleaning of the units thoroughly before the efficiency gets affected. Now the question is, how would you know the system should now be cleaned without the system giving any indications? Well, the formula is simple;

Everything that gets used needs maintenance and cleaning. And we know that the cooling system in your home runs more than any other electronic or electrical appliances; almost all the time. So professionals suggest, keeping this constant use in consideration that every system, be it a central air conditioning unit or a split, should be thoroughly cleaned annually, preferably at the beginning of the season in which they'll be used the most. And this is true for all; residential as well as industrial units with the exception of situations in which a system is installed at such a place where it gets overly dirty or gets used unusually more. In that particular case, the unit can be cleaned twice during the season.

Security risks associated with delaying cleaning

As said already, AC's are among the most used appliances. And since they are electrical units, delaying of necessary cleaning and maintenance can lead to security risks. For example, the dirty condenser coils, dirty fan or other components may result in a fire break out. Also, when cleaning is not performed, insects and animals set their homes in or around the units causing a threat of electrical wiring damage. And did you know, the urine of animals can actually corrode the very metal of the outdoor AC unit?
This necessitates that a thorough cleaning is performed to keep the unit a safe cooling unit.

Some precautions when cleaning

It is always preferred to seek professional help when performing annual cleaning of the Air Conditioner units but if you are already convinced by all the do it yourself tutorials, do it yourself but don't forget to follow precautions;
- Do not use random cleaning agents. Always purchase a proper cleaner that is made with the purpose to clean AC units or even if you use some dishwashing or laundry detergents, make sure they won't damage the unit.
- People prefer using a high-pressure pipe to clean units assuming this will take less time and the difficult rubbing won't be necessary. The truth is; by using very high-pressure pipes, you can end up with damaged coils or twisted fan fins.
Keep the pressure limited.
- After using any soapy thing for cleaning, do not forget to pour clean water to clean all the soapy stuff

Before the summer sun gets really hot, give your Air Conditioners a thorough cleaning in order to enjoy ultimate coolness in summers. 
Need help? Connect any time; 1-855-245-4328