A homeowner's complete guide to AC Filter Replacement

When we talk about regular HVAC maintenance, cleaning/changing of Filters comes on top of the list. And that is because the efficient functioning of a whole home heating & cooling system depends to a great extent on clean and efficient filters. And did you know that one of the main causes of sudden HVAC appliance break down has been recorded to be dirt and debris? Which indirectly indicates towards the absence of regular filter cleaning/maintenance. So, how does an Air Conditioner filter works, what filter sizings and qualities are available, which one can work best for your system and how often should you replace your filters? This blog is all about Air Conditioner filters so brace yourself!

What does an Air Conditioner filter do?

Air Conditioner Filters help keep your indoor air as well as your HVAC components clean. For this purpose, a filter is installed between the return air duct and Air Conditioner. The indoor air that rushes towards the AC passes through this filter which is designed in a way so as to capture the dust, debris and other such air pollutants. The cleaned air reaches the Air Conditioner and after getting cleaned comes to the indoor.

MERV ratings and Filters

The Filters have been classified into a range of efficiency ratings; MERV rating from 1-20. The MERV rating filters of 8-13 are considered extremely good for residential use. Lower than 8 MERV just perform a formality filtration and don't do enough good to make the indoor air clean. However, there's one thing that should be noted. And that is while purchasing filters, the system requirements should be known. Usually, the Filters any higher than 13 MERV are not suitable for conventional residential HVAC setups. Installing them can actually block the airway resulting in motor damage.

How often should I change/clean my filter?

The time of replacement of filters varies from home to home. It depends on what kind of indoor activities take place in the home, whether the home is in a commercial area, how often the HVAC appliances are used and some other factors. But roughly, an Air Conditioner filter should be replaced once in 3 months. For filters of different sizes, the following routine can be followed;
- For filters of 1-inch width - 1-3 months
- For filters of 2-inch width - 3 months
- For filters of & 3 & 4 inch width - 6-9 months
- For filters of 5 & 6 inch width - 9-12 months
But as said, the duration can vary and since the routines and practices change too, it is recommended to check your filter once a month to see if it's dirty enough to be replaced.

How do I find out my Filter size? 

Well, most homeowners never get to know their filter size and keep purchasing filters of random sizes. This is dangerous for your system and safety. But as it takes money to consult a professional regarding the filter sizing and calling him home, homeowners prefer to follow their estimates. The interesting thing is you can find out the size all by yourself that too very easily. Just slide the already installed filter out of the compartment and check the frame of the filter. Almost always, the size is printed on the frame in length x width x format! Problem solved!

If there's something that worries you regarding Filter selection, Filter replacement or upgrading your Filter type, connect with us today at 1-855-245-4328


Choosing the right Duct Cleaning service

If you have lately been reading reports and news that suggest, bad indoor air quality becomes the primary source of many respiratory tract problems and other diseases, it is likely that you are thinking to make sure you have a healthy IAQ. And when one becomes cautious about the IAQ, one of the first thoughts go to the ductwork; ''Should I go for Duct Cleaning''?
But before you go for a random Duct Cleaning service, here's a warning we would like to make;
You may take a service and spend a few hundred dollars and still be left with bad IAQ or in some cases a worse IAQ if you choose the self-claimed professionals. So here's what we suggest homeowners to do when they are on a Duct Cleaning tech hunt. Do this to choose the right professionals for having your ductwork cleaned the right way.

Ways to meet the best Duct Cleaning service in your vicinity

- You need a real professional else all your home will turn out into a mess of dirt and debris. People who don't exactly know the right way of cleaning take the all the dirt out of the ductwork and with the help of their unprofessionalism spread it all around. In order to protect yourself from such neophytes, you need to check the certifications. Before you hire someone, ensure he is a certified professional if an individual and if company, a certified company following the HVAC standards

- Never fall for a service if it appears to be cheap and fascinating. Always take multiple quotes and try at least 3 different companies/services

- Look for a service that offers a free inspection of the duct. There are times when the duct doesn't need cleaning. But of course, to make money, some services will jump into your duct and do the service whatsoever. So choosing a service that offers a free duct inspection to tell whether or not the duct needs cleaning can actually save you from spending on Duct Cleaning if your duct doesn't need cleaning

- Don't be deluded by offers that seem overly discounted. Such offers usually have hidden prices. So when you fall for a full house duct cleaning in $99 offer, what usually happens is that you'll be told later the basement or the HVAC units are the exemption and then you have no choice but to take separate service and pay extra for anything additional that you assumed as included.

Hey! Do my ducts even need cleaning 

So, why get worried about the bad IAQ and hire a very expensive service when your ducts don't need cleaning in the first place?
There are certain points that can help;
- If you have a ductwork installed recently, it does not need cleaning
- If you are regular with the cleaning of the filters and units, once again it's most probable that your duct is clean or at least not as dirty as to cause any problem for your IAQ

How often you should go for Duct Cleaning depends on the area you live in, the kind of home you have, the kind of indoor activities and the type of HVAC practices you follow. But a rough estimate is that the Ducts should be cleaned once a year or at least once in three years.
And before you go here's another tip; Use a torchlight to inspect the ducts before and after the service. It will help you find out whether or not you got what you paid for.


Economic ways to control moisture in summers

Spring is already here and we'd soon be entering the summer territory. Every season has its own joys, there's no denying the fact but every season has also some problems that are associated with it. For spring, we know, the most common association is allergies, for winter, frozen bites and home boundness and for autumn, dry leaves sticking in stucco and gutters etc. There are for sure some other season specific issues, but the above-mentioned are the ones almost every Canadian experiences to some extent. So what is one of the major summer issue other than heat strokes? It's excessive humidity. With an increase in temperature, the air becomes more moist. Just like an insufficiently humidified air in winters causes problems for homes and homeowners, an overly humidified air is unsuitable as well. And did you know, high level of relative humidity has been related to high risks of cancer? One of the most common problems faced in summers is how to control the excessive humidity. While on one hand, this affects homeowners, on the other hand, it affects homes as well. Moisture destroys walls and wallpapers as well as other interiors and decoration items.

Today, we'd talk about how to control the mould production in homes in summer which indirectly means how to stop the causes the excessive moisture. Let's begin!

Controlling moisture this summer

- Check for leaks

All the indoor moisture in the indoor is not caused by seasonal moisture. Sometimes, it is a byproduct of our own uncarefulness. Leaving leaking toilet tanks, pipes and drains etc and not repairing them in time becomes one of the major cause of mould production. And the supplied moisture of the environment adds to the spread of mould. Fix your leaks before fixing anything else.

- Following the right practices

Taking bath and leaving the mirrors and walls wet does the same job that the leaking fixtures do. Clean bathroom walls, mirrors after the bath. Be careful about kitchen equally and dry out any water that is left on slabs, close to the sink table and on the floor. In summer, water evaporates quickly. It will rise and become moisture in your indoor environment. Dry it out before it takes flight.

- Timely use of exhaust fans

Most homeowners use their exhaust fans only occasionally when it's too smoky to bear inside. However, exhaust fans are a wonderful way to keep humidity and moisture in control as they expel the air outside. Use them especially at the time of bathing, cooking and performing any other activity that heats the indoor. Do not leave bathroom doors open, the moisture will spread in the entire room. Instead, close the door, open the ventilator and turn the exhaust fan on. Use the same for the kitchen if yours is not an open kitchen. 

- Air Conditioners that dehumidify

Although all Air Conditioners as they cool the air automatically dehumidify it, there are some Air Conditioners that are designed with special dehumidification features. So as you cool yourself off, they also allow you a control on the humidity level. If installing a separate dehumidifier unit does not come in your range of compatibility for whatever reasons, consider purchasing an advanced Air Conditioner (be it second hand) to kill two sparrows with one arrow. Once the AC efficiently combats the moisture every time it runs, the consequences of moisture and mould can be controlled to a great extent.

Wonder where you can purchase one such unit? We have them, we have them! Latest Air Conditioner models of renowned brands that offer advanced dehumidification controls. Want to try? Here you go; 1-855-245-4328


Save bucks by smartly using your Tank Water Heater

While it is a common perception that Tankless Water Heaters are much more efficient than Storage Tank Water Heaters and that the storage tank units can help save only negligibly even when used efficiently, the truth is; even the tankless water heaters can bring you hefty bills and even the storage tank water heaters can help save a great deal only if; the right methods and techniques are used. Although there is a wide majority who is shifting towards the tankless units, there are still thousands of Toronto and GTA homeowners whose most favourite and most suitable water heating solution is the Storage tank Water Heater. This blog, therefore, is meant to help all those homeowners who wish to save on energy bills with having their storage tank buddies at home.

Before we begin, here's a piece of important information for you. Did you know that water heating accounts for the second largest heating expense? 18% of the energy bills come as a result of energy used for water heating. Trying to make changes in this 18% can help save a great deal annually.

Smart ways to save with Tank Water Heater

Insulation of appliance

Did you know that only the insulation of the heating unit and the pipes can make a significant reduction in energy bills? Cover the heater tank and the hot water pipes with a quality insulation material; foam etc. However, be careful to not cover the vents, the burner area, the thermostat or the bottom of the water heater.

Shift from electric to gas 

How much an appliance is costing you depends also on the type of fuel you are using to run it. Since electricity is usually costlier than gas, consider the option of fuel conversion to save in long run. Convert from electric to natural gas and you will find the difference in energy bills.

Low flow fixtures 

The higher the flow of faucets and showers, the more hot water will be used and the more your heater will have to work. Install low-flow plumbing fixtures, showerheads and faucets. This might seem like a thing that won't make a difference, it will. The use of every single day multiplied by 365 days surely makes a difference.

Upgrade dishwasher/cloth washer 

An outdated dishwasher/cloth washer consumes more water. Upgrading them would be a one-time investment that will reduce the energy bills for a long run.

Draining the tank 

In storage tank water heaters, sediments accumulate over time which contributes to lengthening the water heating duration. Drain the tank at least once a year to remove those sediments.

Check water leaks 

It is important to keep a check on water leaks. Did you know that one drip of water per second will waste 1,600 gallons of water a year? It is, therefore, important to fix the water leaks be they from the water pipes of the water heater tank.

Reduce the temperature 

The more the temperature is reduced, the more the savings will be. Shifting from the typical temperature of 140 degrees to a more efficient temperature of 120 degrees promises a 3%-5% decrease in energy bills for lowering every 10 degrees.

On the last note, it is recommended to upgrade your system to a more efficient system if your current system is outdated and has already completed its lifespan. Consult an HVAC professional and go for a replacement. Efficient systems can help reduce energy bills 15%-20%. 
Act smarter - save more! 


It’s getting frostier – Survive the cold weather with these tips

Constant snow falling and temperature falling below -20, it isn’t easy to survive the chilling cold weather of Canada dudes! With piles of snow, roads and streets blocked and extremely cold blows of air, it needs both careful practices and careful strategies to enjoy the weather without getting hurt by it. Else, the very same weather of beautiful white snow and tantalizing fireplace crackles becomes the weather of deadly dangers. So, here we present to you tips that can help survive as well as enjoy the Canadian winter. Let’s begin;

Keep yourself updated:

With the weather making unsteady changes, it is important for you to keep yourself updated with the weather forecasts and updates. And it is easier than before to keep one’s self updated with the gadgets that we have with us all the time. So before you head out for skating, a chairlift ride or just a winter long drive, make sure you aren’t heading towards a warning sign weather.

Be very conscious of proper clothing and food:

Do it or not in any other season but never underestimate the power of protection that the clothes provide. Cover yourself with as many layers as possible but also, be sure your bodily movement doesn’t get adversely affected by layers of clothes as this itself can become a source of harm. Prefer wool or polyester fleece winter wears.
And yes, let’s talk about foot wears now. Wearing the wrong footwear would mean you will be losing a great part of warmth through your feet. Use thick sole shoes and when you are out on snow; make sure your shoes can stand the slipperiness of snow.

Here’s a quick note on food and drinks:

Warm drinks will help you maintain body heat but that does not include; caffeinated drinks and alcohol as it accelerates the loss of bodily heat.

Combat cold in crisis:

And there are probabilities that you will be in a cold combating situation some time if not today as long as you live in a climate like Canada. So what to do when such a crisis occurs?

Well, mainly the situations that take place are;
* Hypothermia
* Frostbite

Frostbite is a very serious condition and it can take place with as little as 30 seconds exposure to extreme cold. The affected area gets grey, pale or waxy. In such a situation, DO NOT RUB the skin to make it warm and also DO NOT expose it to direct heat. Use the bodily heat to warm the affected area without rubbing it. Or just place a warm object at the affected area in order to conduct some heat. This is what you can do as first aid steps. Don’t forget rushing to the hospital for further treatment.

Hypothermia is another emergency situation caused by cold weather. It takes place when the body begins to lose heat faster and is slower at generating heat. This result in an extremely low body temperature which then results in;
* Shivering 
* Numbness 
* Mumbling
* Confusion

When hypothermia takes place, try to gradually retain the body’s heat and remove wet clothing if there’s any.

When you are travelling with children and elderly people, keep a careful eye on them as they are more supposed to suffer from hypothermia. Just a bit of careful approach and you can stand the deadly winter of Canada. And can enjoy it as well.
Have a safe and joyful winter!


Space Heater Buying Guide

HVAC choices are among the most important choices that you make for your home. And that is because one thing that you aspire for your home is comfort which is impossible in these times of harsh climates without using relevant and efficient HVAC appliances. Although Furnaces and Fireplaces are the most used heating elements, there are several reasons that make Space Heaters a wise choice both as a primary heating system and as a standby heating system. This blog is dedicated to learning about Space Heaters, their types, features and when it is best for you to purchase a Space Heater. 

Types and Kinds

- Radiant Space Heaters

As the name suggests, Radiant Space Heaters warm by radiating heat around them. They are a wonderful as well as an economical choice for smaller spaces

- Radiator Space Heaters

This type of heaters are filled with oil which is warmed by electricity. Efficiency is promising since oil is good at retaining heat

- Convection Space Heaters

They heat the indoor air and create lasting warmth. Such heaters are ideal for large spaces (not very large though)

- Gas Space Heaters

If you are looking for a fast and powerful space heater, Gas heaters are what can suffice for your need the best. Also, they are inexpensive while the operating cost is also less. One care, however, regarding these heaters is that they should be used in screened patios or well-ventilated areas since they pose a carbon monoxide threat

What features to look for?

You should not only look for a device that warms, instead look for a device that efficiently warms. Look for the following features when purchasing a Space Heater;

- Hunt for automatic turn off temperature. There are models available in the market that shut off automatically when they reach an unsafe temperature. This can save you from great havoc

- If you've children or pets at home, look for a unit that has a cold to touch surface or a guard around the heating part in order to provide safety from burns

- Heaters that run at a single temperature can bring fatty energy bills. If your budget allows, look for a multiple heat setting unit. This will require a little more investment but will indeed save in long run

- If you're too used to using remotes or are too lazy to get off your warm bed, don't put on hold the feature of the remote control. There are remote control space heaters available now. Control from anywhere in the room

Important factors to consider when buying Space Heaters

- Keep this formula in mind. Electric units are suitable for the indoors and gas units for outdoors. As mentioned above, gas space heaters pose serious risk of CO poisoning and are relatively risky so better use them in open spaces

- If you're a person who gets annoyed by appliance operational noises, search for noise-free units. Bedroom and office use space heaters have limited to no noise

- Consider energy efficiency as an important factor. Compare the efficiency ratings of different units of different brands and try to choose the most energy-efficient unit that comes in your range

- Last but not the least; Not all Space Heaters are meant to be portable. If you think you would be dragging your heater here and there, tell your retailer this requirement so that he shows you those units that are designed to be portable. Who can drag heavy heaters in so cold weather?

If you have something else to share regarding space heaters, go on! We would encourage your contribution.


Keep kids busy in the indoors with these 7 exciting activities

You certainly don't want your kids to go out in the pursuit of enjoyment and come back with a fever and other seasonal illnesses. But you can't stop them for long unless you have some interesting activities to keep them busy. So until the weather outside gets suitable enough to be enjoyed without any fears, here are the activities that you can serve your children with. Remember, children love to do new things and the ones they can take part in. When they find enough excitement in the indoors, they won't insist on rolling on the ice sheet outside.

Activity# 1 - Cook some cookies
Be it girls or boys, baking does have something that fascinates all. So gather together the little ones and bake cookies, muffins or any other eatable that they like. With special reference to Winters, kids like to eat snowman cookies particularly when they are denied the activity of playing with it in the outdoors.

Activity# 2 - Watch a Winter themed movie together
Sitting in warm blankets, eating popcorns and sipping hot cocoa, another activity that the kids would enjoy particularly in the evening or night time is watching a movie that too of a Winter theme. Some quick recommendations are hereunder;
- Happy Feet
- Eight Below
- Snow Dogs
- Mr Popper's Penguins
Activity# 3 - Make a snowman
No! Not from snow. Make it from pillows. Gather pillows with plain white covers and pile them one over the other. Use mufflers and caps to decorate this pillow snowman and if the facelessness of the snowman irritates you, use buttons and laces to bring him a beautiful face.

Activity# 4 Indoor Snowball Fight
It's isn't entirely pleasurable when there's a snowman but no snowball fight. Just like you have made an effort to create this indoor snowman, make a little more effort to please and involve your kids. Roll some furry clothes and make balls of them. Then allow your kids to enjoy this indoor snowball fight.

Activity# 5 Introduce children to the deceased family members and values of the family
One of the most insightful and interesting activities is spending time with children and making them aware of the family roots and values. This is a great way with which you would be able to do their grooming while also be able to keep them engaged. Bring out your family album and introduce the little ones to those that have passed or live far away and also to the family values that were once there.

Activity# 6 Start Scrapbooking  
Once you have fascinated children with the old photographs, you can give them another idea and that is of making their own scrapbook. You can help them compile old and new photographs and design them to make a beautiful hard copy of the memories that their children will be able to rejoice when it is their Winter time in the indoors.

Activity# 7 Redecorate home
Here's something that will not only keep you and your children warm but will also keep you busy in exciting and productive activity. Redecorate home or kid's room according to their own likes and dislikes. They will come up with unique ideas and will enjoy this indoor activity more than enough when the outcome will fascinate them.

What other ways do you use to keep your kids busy in the indoors in Winter?