Why Whole House Ventilation Is Crucial?

Energy efficient homes consider mechanical ventilation as the ideal home building strategy. You may have heard a lot about the whole house fans, whole house ducts, full house ventilation, etc and all these terms possess no significant distinction and somewhat used interchangeably.

It’s hard to sense the effects of failing ventilation system early on. However, homeowners need to keep a close eye to the old or destructive ventilator to pre-avoid any health-related problems. 


What is whole house Ventilation?

Whole house ventilation is the latest expression of a mechanical system where an air continuously moves through the house at a considerably low rate. The aim is to provide your home with a consistent fresh air to maintain impeccable indoor quality.
Generally, two fans and duct systems are employed to remove the stale air and to bring the fresh air in. We classify whole house ventilation into various types, and each has pros and cons associated with it. 
 

Supply ventilation:

In supply ventilation, a home gets pressurized air, meaning a fan is used that pushes outside air inside while a duct or vent helps in leaking the stale air. Supply ventilation is not what we prefer for extreme weather but can go a long way for the mild climates. 

Exhaust Ventilation:

As opposed to the supply ventilation, exhaust ventilation is functioned to depressurize a home by exhausting air from a place. The major disadvantage of this ventilation is that pollutants or mold or dust from the attic, are more likely to draw into your home. 

Balanced Ventilation:

In balanced ventilation, two fans and ducts are used that banish the air wherever pollutants are likely to grow. This type of ventilation is the amalgamation of both supply and exhaust ventilation as the home neither gets pressurized nor depressurized. 

HRVs and ERVs

HRVs and ERVs are the energy system with a tendency to receive 60%-80% of energy exiting the system. These systems are built to minimize energy loss and control the ventilation inside a home.

Signs the ventilation needs attention:

To live in a healthy and comfortable place; we need to ensure our home meets all standards for an authentic style and ideal amount of ventilation.

Feeling tired to the bone due to high fatigue: The poor IAQ (indoor air quality) means the more exposure of occupants with contaminants or dust particle. When the air with pollutant is inhaled, it may impede the function of the lungs, making oxygen circulation difficult and a person feels more overtired or drowsy.

Stuffy air that leads to improper breathing: The visible sign of poor ventilation is when the air feels more stuffy, and you can’t breathe properly. Generally, a malfunctioning ventilation system that does not let the adequate amount of fresh air enter raises such issues.

Horrible smells: A horrible smell more like smelly socks and musty odors or feeling of dampness are the symptoms of poor ventilation. 

What happens if ventilation does not work:

Never let the ventilation system fail as it generates many issues related to your home aesthetics and health, including:

- Running water and moisture from cooking begins to build up around the ducts
- Accumulation of volatile organic compound
- High level of carbon dioxide

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Ways to keep kids cool when there's no Air Conditioning available

Thermal discomfort is something that can severely affect sleep quality as well as general health for
adults and children alike; this particularly impacts babies and young children. If the Air Conditioner has gone for the emergency repair or you don’t just want to fire it up or save energy money, then we have some great tips to keep you and your children protected from the heat when the mercury level on the thermometer rises.



Stay Hydrated:

No one likes to sit around being hot, sweaty, and gross - the first step to mitigating the heat is to reduce the body temperature. And the best way to do that is to fill your body with cooling foods
and fluids. Otherwise, when the Air Conditioner dies or goes out for an emergency repair you will find yourself scrambling to keep your kids cool. Children need to drink more water to fulfill their body's effort to stay cool. Children aren’t as hydrated as adults, so it is your responsibility to make sure they drink plenty of fluids.

Sleep in the basement:

One of the significant drawbacks of life without an air conditioner is having to sleep in a hot, sweaty
room. The higher the temperature, the more difficult it is to get the right amount of night-rest.
If you are lucky enough to live in a multi-story house, then there is an escape: the basements! They are comfortable than the bedrooms on the first or second storey. So, how about letting the children sleep for a night in the basement while the AC is out?

Body’s cooling spots.

Do you know a cold washcloth over your wrist or neck will assist in reducing your body temperature
faster than trying to put it on your forehead? It enables to target cold compresses. You can use wet towels, or ice packs to get the best results.

Make a specialized DIY AC

Need ac for a few days out of the year? Then consider saving money on real things and make your very own air conditioner for free.
· Get a shallow bowl or roasting pan and fill it up with ice and bring it in front of a fan.
· Take a sheet, wet it, and then hang it in front of an open window.
· Roll up a wet towel and attach it to the front of a box fan.
These methods are quick and convenient to keep the children fresh while you are waiting for the completion of an emergency ac repair.

Unplug

How to keep the place cool when the electronic appliances start working against you?
Any home devices and appliances with a standby or sleep mode, consume phantom power, which means they produce heat even when not in use. Some of the biggest offenders are your satellite or cable box, a stereo system, video game consoles, your PVR, computer, and speakers. Therefore, when you try to stay cool without air conditioning, make sure to unplug all devices running standby. It saves energy cost and reduces the excessive
heat loss.

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DIY Ductless Air Conditioner Power Problems

It can be absolutely frustrating to find yourself in the middle of a hot summer day with no cooling at all because your ductless unit has stopped working. And even worse is that, at this time, it is almost impossible for you to find a reliable service which could respond instantly. As a result, the only alternative is to spend a few days in discomfort or use other cooling means; fans, although you know well when it gets extremely hot, fans are not the answer. But why keep waiting for an HVAC saviour and why not do what you can do to fix the problem? It is true that many HVAC professionals strictly abstain homeowners from trying DIY solutions with their HVAC appliances but it is also true that sometimes the issues are so petty that they do not need a technician's help in the first place. For example, if your Split Air Conditioner doesn't turn on and the reason is that the switch is not properly plugged in, do you need a technician to do that for you? Of course, not!
So today, we are going to discuss the AC issues which you can easily troubleshoot on your own. Just some confidence!

Ductless Air Conditioner Power Problems

The power issue. "My AC doesn't turn on!" 

So you pressed the power button on the remote control and the unit did not turn on? Don't panic! Here's are the possible reasons for that;

  • Faulty Remote Controller Batteries

- If you are trying to turn the system on using a remote control, the most probable thing is that the batteries on the remote need to be replaced and that it is the remote which needs fixing. Please note to always keep extra batteries at home in order to save yourself from panicking in such situations. Replace the batteries and try again. Turned on? Great! Did not turn on? Move to the next part.

  • Improperly plugged power switch

- You know that a ductless system is directly plugged into a power supply. The switch may have been loosened from the plug and thus may not allow the needed power supply. Or, the circuit breaker may have been tripped.
i. Check the power supply. Unplug it and then replug properly. 
ii. Check the circuit breaker. If it is found tripped, do the following;
a. Always turn it off
b. Turn it back on
Please note to never directly turn on the circuit breaker if is it tripped 


  • Faulty Thermostat


If you had begun with trying to turn on the system using a Thermostat, try doing it otherwise; use a remote controller. If the unit is turned on using remote but does not turn on through the Thermostat, you know where the problem exists; it is with the thermostat. Once again, consider checking Thermostat batteries if it is a Smart Thermostat. But since this is a problem that does not affect the supply of cool air directly, you can choose to call a professional technician to help you resolve the Thermostat issue later.

Have you ever tried to troubleshoot a Split Air Conditioner? What methods did you follow and what problem was that which you had identified? Share to help our readers benefit from your experiences.

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How to control indoor humidity in Summers without installing a Dehumidifier?

High humidity may sound unimportant to those who have never experienced the consequences of it in the indoor but those who have, they know that excessive moisture in the indoor can lead to complete distress. Some of the immediate consequences of high indoor humidity are; itchiness, soggy food items, production of mould & mildew and stuffiness. While on one hand, this situation affects the homeowners, on the other hand, it also leaves impacts on the interior of the home, tightening your budget even more by increasing expenses on repair. So there is a need to take immediate action when the indoor moisture goes beyond normal. There are multiple solutions to dealing with this problem unlike what many homeowners think, i.e installing a Dehumidifier. Below we discuss, how you can manage excessive moisture without spending money on purchasing an HVAC add-on.

Control Humidity without Dehumidifier


Figure out the cause 

First thing first; figure out the cause. The indoor moisture could be more than the outside moisture. In this case, it is the indoor producing the moisture; cooking, baking, washing, bathing or other heat and moisture producing activities. Since high temperature increases the humidity, even more, you'd need to find out where the warmth and moisture are being produced. For example, a pipe leak in the basement or attic could be increasing the moisture in the indoor. Not venting the moisture in time could be circulating it in the indoor etc. In this case, the production of the moisture in the indoor needs to be controlled and/or vented in time.
But there are cases in which the weather, in general, is so hot and humid that it is the outdoor weather itself that causes the indoor to develop high moisture content. In this case, proper ventilation and using desiccant can help.

Fix excessive indoor moisture - Here's how 

Whether the moisture is produced within the indoor or is coming from the outside, three practices can help fight with this ghost.

Absorb it! 

In order to stop the spread of moisture in the entire indoor, absorb it! The simplest of ways to do this is to place a desiccant in the indoor, for example, Silica, Calcium Chloride or others. They are cheap chemical materials with the property to suck moisture without causing any harm.to the indoor air quality. Placing a few bags close to the places that produce the most moisture; kitchen, bathroom etc can help absorb the moisture, reducing humidity.

Dry it!

The air gets moist when there is excessive water content in it. And what do we do when we want to dry the water? We dry it with warmth. By using an electric heater or wooden stove, warm the indoor. This will help dry the moisture. This solution is especially good when you are cleaning cupboards, bedsides etc and there is the presence of mould and mildew because of high humidity.

Ventilate it!

The easiest of all solutions has been discussed at the end. And the reason is, most people suffer from excessive indoor humidity only because of not providing the indoor with fresh air. The indoor needs to breathe in fresh to rid itself of the moist air. You could easily fight the moisture problem, in many cases, simply by allowing the indoor to have good air flow. As the fresh air flows in and the moist air goes out, the humidity comes to normal. Make use of windows, Air Conditioner fan and exhaust fans to execute this plan.
Note that ventilation is important on a daily basis. However, do keep a check on outdoor humidity and when on very hot summer days, the outdoor humidity level is high, avoid opening windows for ventilation in the day, except in the early morning time.

Using these ways, you can keep the indoor humidity always in control.

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Schedule Spring Duct Cleaning and here are 3 reasons why

For many people, ductwork is something that does not need maintenance. The truth is; dirty ductworks have been proven to be a primary cause of allergies and bad indoor air quality. Let's begin with what people think and how things actually are. Homeowners assume that ductwork has filters at the openings that supply air to the home; so dust and debris if there's any, gets trapped by the filters. The reality is; this does not always happen this way. The reason is; there are different types of filters and the filters commonly used by homeowners are of such quality so as not to completely filter the pollutants. As a result, whatever dust and debris get built up in the ductwork, begins to circulate with the air that cycles throughout the home. And the duct cleaning reminds equally important even in the case of advanced filters. So whatever the type of air filter, the ductwork does need cleaning. Scheduling a spring ductwork cleaning could be especially very beneficial and here's why;



Reasons to schedule Spring Duct Cleaning 


- Improvement in airflow 

The benefit of getting a spring duct cleaning is that the ductwork becomes clean and this improves the airflow. Usually, in spring, the high presence of pollen and other allergens affect the airflow, further hindering the proper flow in summers when it is much needed. Getting the ductwork cleaned in spring ensures a peaceful summer.

- Odour removal 

In winters, the moisture created as a result of warmth produced by Furnace creates dampness in the ductwork. This moisture gives way to the production of mould and eventually bad odours. Getting the ductwork cleaned in Spring after a long Winter prevents odours from spreading.

- Easy cleaning 

The dirty ductwork, as said above, makes the indoor air dirty. And when it pollutes the indoor air, it actually affects the home as well. So you have more cleaning to do. More dusting, more vacuuming is included as your daily and weekly cleaning. Getting the ductwork cleaned in Spring when there are more pollutants than any other season of the year, a cut-down on routine home cleaning can be ensured.

Dirty ductworks also burden HVAC appliances. The more an Air Conditioner/ Furnace has to push harder to blow the air, the more it gets burdened. And an appliance when it has to push hard comes at a risk of breakdown and wear & tear. This suggests that dirty ductwork can actually increase repairing possibilities so there's no sanity in avoiding duct cleaning in order to save some dollars.

How often should you schedule Duct Cleaning? 

Experts suggest that duct cleaning at residential spaces should be done at least once a year.  And the best time this can be done is the springtime. But be sure, as you invest in Duct Cleaning, to choose the right professionals. Getting service from unprofessional technicians would be synonymous to wasting your hard earned money.

What was the last time you had your ductwork cleaned? What were the changes that you felt after that?

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Air Conditioner Buying Guide 2019-2020

Our unbiased guide will run you through the essential factors you must consider before buying an air conditioner for your home. There are various kinds of central air conditioners available, and each associated with different pros and cons. To beat the heat effectively - choose the air conditioner that can cool the entire place effortlessly. Eco-conscious consumers are more inclined towards the energy efficient air-conditioner which are less costly to run and can keep you cool and comfortable for the extended period of time.


Basic types of central air conditioner:

Before you are all-prepared for installing the new air conditioner; acquaint yourself with the major distinctions of two types of air conditioners that are presently in-use in Canada.

Ductless Air Conditioner
The system will have two major components evaporative coil and a condensing unit.
A ductless air conditioner will have a wall-mounted indoor unit and one compressor.
The compressor unit delivers the refrigerant to evaporator coil and removes moisture.
It distributes the air through piping, not from large air ducts.
Split air conditioners are easier to fix and repair.
Ductless air conditioners are comparatively less expensive.
If you have a furnace in the home, it is possible to amend the existing ducts in such a way, that air conditioner can be easily accommodated.
The ductless air conditioner can only be installed in a place that has no pre-existing ducts.
A split air conditioner is larger in size.
It is perfect for small finished attics

Perfect sizing:

An air conditioner is a long-term investment for your place and it should be the one that accurately fits your home and budget. When it comes to perfect sizing, you should acquaint yourself with two fundamental terms:
·         Cooling load is the sum of heat that accumulates in space, in the absence of a cooling system.
·         Cooling capacity is synonymous with the size of the air conditioner and it is designed to remove the heat.
Sufficient cooling capacity is essential to meet the cooling load of a home. in order to mitigate the discomfort, humidity and dampness, calculate the cooling load effectively through any method developed by the Canadian Standards Association.

Efficiency:

Efficiency is the amount of cooling generated by the unit against each watt. The more SEER (seasonal energy-efficiency rating) means the less cost to run an AC. There are some factors like advanced compressors, efficient heat exchangers and a good refrigerant flow that act as core determinants to make the SEER as high as 17. Make sure you choose a split air conditioner with a minimal SEER rating 13.

Programmable Thermostat and a maintenance plan:

A programmable thermostat has the potential to reduce the cooling cost by 10%. When buying a central air conditioner choose a maintenance plan that has a well-constructed inspection plan with labour discounts and other benefits in repairs.

Noise rating:


Most municipalities in Ontario have a certain level of noise allowed. Therefore, Canadians have to consider noise factor in-check prior to installing an air conditioner in the home. Generally, an energy efficient air conditioner will have minimal sound ratings. 

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Signs of a Failing Furnace

Winters can become horrendous with a failing Furnace. In order to prevent yourself from an ice age inside your home, you may need to repair or replace your Furnace as soon as possible. As a responsible homeowner, you should keep an eye on your Furnace and if a malfunctioning is found, get it repaired instantly.
Here are 7 furnace problems you should never ignore. With a little hand, you can save the day!



1. Strange Noises

Ever experienced strange noises coming out of your furnace? If yes, then that’s quite a big sign of a failing furnace. Not paying attention to this problem may cause you a big deal. This failure may need a technician to repair or replace the blower motor as the set screw on the blower wheel may have loosened causing the wheel to wobble on the motor shaft and create noise.

2. Pungent Smell

That awful rotten cabbage smell we all experience is a sign of gas leaking from the Furnace. This pungent smell is actually a component added to natural gas for safety precautions. If your house is becoming smelly like a rotten egg or cabbage, immediately leave your house and call the gas company to fix this problem.

3. Mounting Utility Bills

Utility bills emptying the pockets cannot always be blamed on utility companies because a malfunctioning Furnace can give you chills through bills. If a Furnace is not working efficiently, it consumes more energy to produce the desired results increasing utility fees. To fix this problem, a professional needs to check and repair your Furnace and in some cases even replacing the whole unit.

4. Carbon Monoxide Leakage

Now, this is quite dangerous as leaking carbon monoxide may not be deducted instantly. If a yellow flame appears in your Furnace flame rather than striking blue (a proper functioning furnace has a blue flame), moisture on the nearby surface and no upward airflow from chimneys then it’s a clear sign of carbon monoxide leakage from either exhaust flue or heat exchanger pipes. Cracks and rust in these areas are a sign of dying Furnace too. If any of these signs along with nausea, headache, burning eyes or vomiting are noticed, make sure to leave the house immediately as it is Carbon monoxide exposure which can be lethal and call the gas company to shut your gas immediately.

5. Heat Distribution

When some rooms in the house remain colder than others, that’s a sign of malfunctioning Furnace which is caused by the internal systems not working properly. Call a professional immediately to prevent from greater damage.

6. Frequent Repairs or Replacements

A Normal modern furnace has a lifespan of 15-20 years, however, every machinery depending on its usage and annual inspections may encounter mechanical failure. Any machine beyond its age limit can cause a big deal. If your Furnace requires a repair every few months then you should consider getting a new furnace for your own good!

How old is your Furnace? What was the last time you had your Furnace repaired?

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