Keeping My System Healthy

How Can Your Home’s HVAC System Help Your Allergies This Spring?

Posted by on 9:19 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Can Your Home’s HVAC System Help Your Allergies This Spring?

Your HVAC system moves air all over your house. Whatever allergens are hidden in your ducts are circulated by your heating and air conditioning system. Dirty air ducts can exacerbate allergies whenever the HVAC system is in use. Knowing how to tell when your HVAC system needs to be cleaned and who to turn to for a cleaning can help you control your indoor air quality and provide you with allergy relief this spring. Know the Warning Signs of a Dirty HVAC System If your home’s HVAC system is dirty, you’ll likely notice many warning signs, including: Your allergies are worse when the HVAC system is in use. Your furniture gets more dusty at times of the year when the heating and air conditioning is in use. Your HVAC’s air filter needs to be replaced frequently or it becomes filthy. Perform an HVAC Inspection, Get a Duct Cleaning if Necessary To check your home’s HVAC system for dust and mold, remove a vent cover and shine a light into the duct. The duct should be relatively clean. If you see a blanket of dust and debris inside the vent, this is a sign that your HVAC system needs to be cleaned. While you’re standing at the open vent, sniff the air. The air inside the duct should have little or no smell. If the air inside smells musty, this could be an indication that mold is growing inside your ducts. If your air ducts look dirty or smell moldy, contact an HVAC professional for a more thorough inspection. He or she can tell you the status of your air ducts and clean them if necessary. Replace the Air Filter Cleaning your air ducts can help improve the air quality in your home, but if your HVAC system’s air filter is clogged with dust and allergens, your HVAC system may still be circulating dirty air. The air filter is located in a slot between the air blower and the return air duct. If the air filter is more than 3 months old, it’s time to replace it with a clean filter. To do this, remove the old filter, purchase a new filter at a local home improvement center and put the new air filter back in the slot. Run the HVAC System to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality Once your HVAC system is clean and the filter is new, your HVAC system can actually help clean the air in your home. To keep your home’s air as clean as possible, shut the windows and run your HVAC system. Doing this throughout the spring can help you breathe easier while at home. For more information about how your home’s HVAC system can improve your indoor air quality, speak with your HVAC professional, like HVAC Clément Marchand Natural Gas Service. He or she can give you tips and tricks for keeping your HVAC system clean throughout the...

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It’s A Matter Of Communication: 3 Things Your Water Heater May Be Telling You

Posted by on 8:42 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on It’s A Matter Of Communication: 3 Things Your Water Heater May Be Telling You

There’s nothing worse than having your water heater break down in the middle of a hot shower. Luckily, if you pay attention, your water heater will tell you when it’s about to malfunction. The handy guide provided here will help you understand, through sight and sound, the problems your water heater may be experiencing. You’ve Got Floaters If you’ve noticed rust or dirt floating in your hot water, your water heater tank is probably dirty. As your water heater ages, dirt and water build up in the tank. Usually the debris sinks to the bottom of the tank. However, over time, the debris will begin floating to the surface. When it does, you’ll notice that debris in your hot water. You can get rid of the debris, and extend the life of your hot water heater, by flushing out the tank as soon as you see the debris. You’ll need a garden hose for this project. Directions Turn your water heater off and allow the water to cool for several hours. Attach your garden hose to the water outlet valve located on the outside of your water heater. Extend the hose out to your yard. Turn the water outlet valve to the on position. The water will begin flowing from the water tank. Wait until all the water has drained from the tank. Remove the hose and close the water outlet valve. Turn your water heater on and allow it to refill. It Sounds Like a Popcorn Popper If you live in an area with hard water, your water heater could contain lime deposits. Once your tank is filled with large lime deposits, the particles will begin to break off into smaller pieces. As the water heats up, so do the lime particles. Once the particles heat up, they start popping like kernels of corn. Unfortunately, those popping lime particles can damage the interior of your water tank. If your tank is popping, it’s time to have a new water heater installed in your home. Whistle While It Works If your water heater is whistling, it’s time for a new one. That whistling sound is an indicator that pressure is building up inside the tank. Water heaters have a pressure release valve that is designed to release water when there’s too much pressure in the tank. If your water heater has started whistling, you should inspect the outside of the tank. Check your tank. If water is leaking from the base of the tank, or from around the pressure release valve, turn the tank off and call a repair technician. Your water heater is trying to communicate with you. The information provided above will help you translate the problems your water heater may be experiencing. For more information, contact a company like Kamloops Heating & Air...

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Winter Weather Alert For These Three Parts Of Your Home

Posted by on 11:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Winter Weather Alert For These Three Parts Of Your Home

Winter can be brutal in some parts of Canada. Snow and freezing cold temperatures can wreak havoc on houses. Even if your home has survived winter so far, you’ll want to be sure to check these three parts of your home before the next blast of frigid air or blanket of snow. The Roof Before the snow flies, you’ll want to make sure your roof is prepared. Four things you’ll want to do include: Clean the gutters Check for damage Remove debris Ensure attic has proper ventilation and insulation While it is not very common, roofs have been known to cave in due to heavy snow. It is more common for roofs to develop mold, or the drywall can become damaged if snow sits on the roof for an extended period of time. To safely remove snow from your roof, it’s a good idea to call a professional roofer. The Pipes Frozen pipes can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. To ensure your pipes are ready for winter or the next polar vortex, you’ll want to pay close attention to pipes located near the exterior of the home. This includes pipes located in these three areas: Attic Crawl spaces Outside walls To keep them from freezing, you’ll want to ensure your home is warm enough. This is especially important if there are parts of your home that are not insulated. Some other things you can do to avoid frozen pipes are to wrap water pipes with insulation sleeves and keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets that are connected to pipes running through unheated spaces. If you notice any frozen pipes that are cracked, it may be time to call a plumber or HVAC contractor such as Blackburn Bennett Plumbing & Heating Inc. The Furnace You’ll want to make sure your furnace is up to the task of keeping your house warm for another winter. Due to sediment that can build up and cause it to work less efficiently, your furnace should be cleaned at least once a year. Sediment buildup can also be a fire hazard which is another reason it should get cleaned. It is also important to change your furnace’s filter every one to two months during the heating season. If your system won’t turn on, your fan is going but not producing heat, or the furnace turns off before the house is warm, these could all indicate a problem. If you notice any of these problems and you want to stay warm during the winter, call an HVAC contractor for...

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Fighting the Arctic Blasts? 4 Ways to Keep Your Heating Bills Level When the Arctic Cold Blasts Your Province

Posted by on 10:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fighting the Arctic Blasts? 4 Ways to Keep Your Heating Bills Level When the Arctic Cold Blasts Your Province

The Arctic winds that come down out of the North and slam into every province during a Canadian winter can cause many people to turn up their thermostats. While that may be tantalizing and agreeable in the moment, your heating bills could go through the roof. Instead, you can adopt the four following ways for keeping your heating bills level when the Arctic winds cause the temperatures to plummet way below freezing. Use Blankets, and Lots of Them Keeping the thermostat at a constant temperature is easy to do if you have a backup method for staying warm. If you do not already have several blankets to snuggle under, you may want to purchase several more. Better still, buy a few electric blankets, which use just a little electricity but produce a substantial amount of warmth. Use Space Heaters in Unused Rooms If there are a few rooms in your home that you currently do not use, close the vents to those rooms and then close the doors too. If you are not heating rooms you don’t frequently use, then you can heat the rest of your home more effectively and efficiently. It will also save you some money to close these rooms off and just use space heaters to heat them when you have guests stay the night or prevent pipes from freezing. Get Programmable Thermostats Install a programmable thermostat in your home. An HVAC contractor can replace your current thermostat with one that will initiate a higher temperature during the couple of hours you are home in the evening, right before you retire for the night. Then it can drop a few degrees while you are under warm blankets or an electric heating blanket at night, and return to a set temperature during the day. The programmable thermostat retains all of the information you place in it, and runs automatically once it is fully programmed to your liking. Convert to Gas or Boiler Heat If you are currently using electric or oil/kerosene heat, you probably see the highest bills of anyone around you. Converting to natural gas, propane and even boiler heat can dramatically reduce your bills. Your HVAC contractor can remove your electric or oil furnace and fuel drums and replace them with a boiler system or a natural gas/propane system. Be sure to make this conversion before the first winds of winter blow or before you receive your first tankful of heating oil. For more information learn a bit more about heating by Polar Refrigeration Sales & Service Ltd or other local...

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Four Options To Keep Your Home Warm With Radiant Heating Systems

Posted by on 12:59 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Options To Keep Your Home Warm With Radiant Heating Systems

If you want to have an efficient way to heat your home during the winter months, radiant heating systems offer you many different options. You can choose from things like boilers and fuel types, as well as between radiators and floor or wall heating systems. Each of these different solutions offers their own benefits. Here are some of the options you have for heating your home with radiant heating: 1. Choosing The Type Of Boiler And Fuel To Heat Your Home Boilers come in many different flavors. They can be outdoor boilers that use firewood and can be used for district heating, or they can be conventional systems installed in a basement. You can also choose between fuel sources, such as biomass, gas, oil and electricity. If you use conventional energy like gas, you may want to consider adding solar collectors to improve efficiency. 2. Conventional Hydronic Radiators For Home Heating Radiant heating is often used with radiators that heat as liquids pass through them. This is one of the most conventional types of radiant heating solutions. If you want an affordable solution to heat your home, radiators are an inexpensive solution. They can also be updated later if you want to switch to something like in-floor heating. The radiators can also be expanded to add heat to additions or areas of your home that do not have heating. 3. Steam And Floorboard Radiant Heating Systems For Your Home Steam heating is one of the oldest types of radiant heating solutions. This is often the type of system found in older homes. The pressure of expanding water and steam is used to heat radiators, which can also be baseboard systems that are less visible. This is a good solution if your home has an existing steam heating system. 4. Radiant Floors And Wall Heating Systems For Efficient Solutions Radiant floor heating is also very old technology that has been used since Roman times. In modern systems, it consists of tubing that is run beneath the floor. This solution can provide your home with even heat throughout the structure. It also has the benefit of not interfering with home décor, as such is the case with radiators that take up wall space. These are some of the options you have for heating your home with radiant heating. If you are ready to update your home with a radiant heating solution, contact a heating contractor like one from Marino’S Plumbing & Gas Fitting heating and talk with them about some of these options for the heating in your...

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Tips For Improving Heating Efficiency And Indoor Air Quality

Posted by on 6:21 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Improving Heating Efficiency And Indoor Air Quality

Your heating unit has probably been siting without use for the last couple of months, so it is crucial that you start preparing it for the winter. Failure to prepare your HVAC system could lead to insufficient heating or increased utility costs. With the days getting colder and shorter, now would be a good time to perform routine maintenance such as clearing your air filters and heating ducts. However, there are several easily forgettable HVAC maintenance steps that may impact on the performance of your heating unit. Read on for important reminders on several steps you should take to ensure your indoor air and heating efficiency aren’t compromised. Pay attention to the blower The blower on your outdoor condenser is often exposed to the elements for most of the year, leading to damage to the belts and as well as loss of lubrication. To ensure the HVAC system runs smoothly, have your heating technician examine the blower for damaged belts and pulleys that could cause heating inefficiencies. Have frayed or worn out blower belts replaced and ensure that the blower motor is well lubricated so as to improve the rate through which hot air is circulated in your home. Blower door inspection is another important, yet frequently overlooked maintenance step. The blower doors ensure that toxic gases produced by your heating system exit the home safely, so having the doors sealed properly can help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning during the dead of winter. Check the exhaust flue and indoor air vents The ability of air to flow freely inside the home greatly impacts how effectively your HVAC unit is able to dissipate heat to all rooms evenly. Obstructions in your indoor air vents can force your heating unit to work much harder, resulting in outrageous heating costs. Your HVAC contractor can easily clear out any debris and seal leaks in the vents to ensure proper circulation of heated air. Carpets or furniture that could be blocking air vents should be removed to improve heating efficiency within the home. Next, check that the exhaust flue is clear of any debris that could block the flow of combustible gasses out of your living space. You can check for any obstructions by removing the flue cap on your furnace and water heater and looking through the exhaust flue to the outside. Finally, ensure that you install door louvers or vents to bring in more air into your furnace room so as to ensure the system gets plenty of combustion air for efficient heating. For more information, contact companies like Fraser Valley Heating Ltd...

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Understanding Heat Pumps

Posted by on 10:48 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Understanding Heat Pumps

If you are trying to set up HVAC for your building, then you have a lot of options to choose from, one of which is the heat pump.  What is a heat pump? Heat pumps move heat from one place to another, effectively working as either a heater or an air conditioner, depending on your needs. The basic idea behind a heat pump is that it has two components, one on the inside of the building and one on the outside. When you want to cool down a building during a hot summer, the heat pump will take some of the heat out of the air inside the building (through the internal component of the heat pump) and vent it outside (through the external component), where it will have a negligible impact on the environment. Conversely, if you want to heat up your building during winter, the heat pump will absorb some of the heat from the air outside and push that heat into the building. What makes a heat pump different than a heater? The basic difference is that a heat pump simply moves existing heat while a heater generates new heat. While heat pumps do generate a small amount of heat (since some amount of heat is generated whenever an appliance does work), they create a lot less than heaters. While your aim is to create a lot of heat, a heater can use a lot more power than you are comfortable paying. On the other hand, heat pumps can’t necessarily provide the amount of heat that you might need during particularly cold winters. Heat pumps become a lot less effective if the internal and external environments are drastically different. During a very cold winter, a heat pump will be a lot less efficient than a traditional heater. What makes a heat pump different than an air conditioner? Air conditioners and heat pumps can both be used for cooling a home, but they have some key differences. Both tend to use refrigerants during cooling cycles, but they differ in levels of efficiency. If you live in a temperate climate, then a heat pump will generally be a lot more efficient. This can save you a great deal of money in operating costs over the course of your lifetime. However, as was mentioned earlier, heat pumps are quite inefficient when the climate outside is very different from the temperature that you want inside. Read more about heat pumps...

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2 Ways To Get Your AC Primed For Summer

Posted by on 4:50 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Ways To Get Your AC Primed For Summer

Air conditioners are among the most beloved home appliances–and rightly so. But you may find yourself sorely disappointed in your air conditioner if you don’t give it some basic maintenance at least once a year. This article provides two helpful tips to keep your AC running like it should. Keep your condenser coils clean. For those who don’t know, the condenser unit is that large cube that commonly resides along the outside of a house. As a result of this location, which increases its exposure to the elements, the condenser requires a bit of cleaning at least once a year. Always be sure to start by cutting off the condenser’s power; this will protect you against electrocution. Begin by inspecting the metallic fins that surround the condenser. You will probably notice that a good deal of debris and dirt has built up between them. This can be removed using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Be careful, though, as the thin fins can easily be bent or damaged. Luckily, bent fins can be fixed using the tool known as a condenser fin comb. If you can’t find the fins on your air conditioner, you will need to remove the protective metal box around the condenser. In order to do this, consult your unit’s manual  to learn which screws should be loosened. Remove loose debris with a vacuum cleaner as above, and then carefully replace and attach the box. Replace your air filter. The air filter is one of the most important parts of an air conditioner. It is responsible for trapping dirt and dust, thereby keeping them from penetrating into the delicate mechanisms at the heart of the machine. However, when a filter becomes excessively choked with this debris, it can begin to cause problems. Not only can it reduce airflow, but it may also increase your unit’s energy consumption by as much as 15%. For these reasons, it is important to check your air filter on a regular basis, and change it if necessary. Central air conditioners generally share an air filter with the furnace. Thus you should be able to locate it in the basement of your house, somewhere along the main return duct. If the filter appears excessively dirty or clogged up with dust, don’t hesitate to replace it with a new filter. Those who would like to reduce the amount of waste they generate should consider investing in a reusable filter. These can be cleaned with a hose or a vacuum cleaner. Just make sure that the filter has dried completely before reinstalling it. You can also contact an air conditioner repair professional for...

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Heater Troubleshooting Tips

Posted by on 10:54 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Heater Troubleshooting Tips

Having a heater break down can be an incredibly stressful experience. However, before you commit to calling a technician, you might want to take a glance yourself. There are quite a few different problems that can be fixed if you simply know where to look. The heater is working, but it isn’t generating enough heat If this is the case, then you might want to consider your ventilation first. With a couple of simple tests, you can figure out if the problem is actually with your heater or if your ventilation is the culprit. Even if you can’t solve the problem yourself, this can give you a good idea of what kind of professional you need to hire. First of all, you should close up as many windows and doors as possible and then crank up the heater. Let it run for about an hour and then check each room that has a vent. You should be able to tell which rooms got heat and which did not quite easily. Based on this information, you can get a good idea of which areas of the house are affected and where the blockage might be. If only a single room is affected, then you might be in luck. This could mean that the blockage is very close to that vent and easily accessible. Open up the vent and shine a flashlight to get a better idea of where the blockage is. If you can see it, try to pull it out with a broom or other such long, thin object. If you can’t find the blockage, but if you are pretty sure that the problem lies with your ventilation, then you now know that you need to hire a professional ventilation cleaning service. The heater is not working at all In this case, you should take a look at the power for the heater. In many cases, this means looking at the circuit breaker. It’s pretty easy for a switch to get accidentally flipped, so you should check to make sure that everything is in working order. If that still doesn’t solve your problem, you might want to take a look at the power line to the heater. By tracing the path of electricity to the heater, you might be able to find a frayed cord or some setting that is wrong on the heater’s control panel. If you still can’t find the problem, then it might be something inside the heater itself. If you don’t feel comfortable opening it up or if you are inexperienced, then it’s a good idea to hire a professional, like those at Fred’s Plumbing & Heating Repairs. Heaters use a lot of electricity and can be pretty dangerous if you don’t know what you’re...

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Save Big On Your Heating Bills This Winter

Posted by on 12:36 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Save Big On Your Heating Bills This Winter

With the winter season right around the corner, you are sure to start seeing your energy bills rise each month as the need for your central heating system increases. While you may have become accustomed to suffering through a long winter filled with high heating bills, you should know that you do not need to suffer this fate again this winter. This is because there are several ways that you can go about saving money on your heating bills without sacrificing your comfort in the process. The tips outlined below can help you to accomplish this goal. Turn The Heat Down Just One Degree Chances are, you will never feel the difference that one degree can make in the temperature of your home. However, while this change may be minor to you, it can be quite significant when it comes to the cost of your heating bills. This is because turning down the heat by just a single degree can save you as much as 3% on your energy bills. In order to supercharge your savings, consider turning the thermostat down another degree each time you adjust to the new temperature inside your home. Continue this trend until you have successfully reduced your standard temperature setting by at least five degrees. Before you know it, you will be saving 15% or more on your heating bills. Replace Your Old Thermostat With A Programmable Thermostat If you are still using a mercury thermostat, you could be paying a small fortune each month for heating fuel that you and your family never truly benefit from. This is because these old style thermostats possess very limited settings. In fact, in most cases, these settings will be limited to “on” and “off.” Consequently, if you want to ensure you return home to a warm house at the end of the day, you will need to leave your heat running all day, even if no one is home to benefit from this heat. With the use of a programmable thermostat, you will be able to eliminate the cost of this wasted energy. This is because a programmable thermostat gives you the ability to dictate exactly when your heating system turns on and off, even if you are not home to physically control the system. This means that you can easily program your thermostat to turn off once you leave for work in the morning, and turn back on shortly before you return home. This will allow you to still enjoy the benefit of returning home to a warm house, without the need to pay for heat that you are not using. Click here for more...

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