Home renovation and Furnace usage: Reason behind the dirty and used furnace

Construction or renovation of a home is a messy process that brings sawdust, paint fumes and many other airborne particles that you would not even think to breathe in. These particles are not even suitable for the HVAC equipment either! 
Since new home construction has started to pick up again, do not let your Furnace be used as a ‘ construction heater.’ This construction dust is highly likely to enter heat exchanger, burner area, venting system, and in the blower housing and wheel.

HVAC technicians warn that you must not turn the Furnace or Air Conditioner on while you’re either renovating or constructing home. Dust like sawdust, paint fumes, drywall dust or glue vapours enter the system through return air vents and clog the equipment causing severe strain - especially the drywall dust that tends to infiltrate the whole system.

We helped to shine a light on some of the issues about furnace usage and construction that every homeowner must know about. 


Why Your home’s new furnace is USED

Homeowners often feel cheated when they discover the furnace that they expected to be un-used in their brand new home is used by the builders first. In general, no builder is allowed to run a residential furnace during construction – especially when the house is in the drywall phase.

Back in 2016, a stand was taken by the furnace manufactures where the industry adopted a position that gas furnaces will not be permitted to use in Canada when the building will be under construction!

In case the furnace is to be used in the last stages of construction, the following condition should be met!

The interior drywall should be installed and taped.

The system’s supply air and return air opening must be sealed to reduce the infiltration of dust. The purpose is to protect the system prior to and during drywall installation and woodworking.

The building must be thoroughly free from drywall dust and debris.

A new furnace rated at MERV 11 or finer must be installed.

The necessary arrangement should be made with fuel distributor to figure out the furnace subsequent to it being employed for finishing the heat. 

What should you do when the furnace was operating during construction?

If you suspect the furnace being operated either during home building or renovation, follow these two steps to stop the problem before it gets worse.

Firstly, don’t panic; instead, do a visual inspection by taking off the front panel. If you suspect drywall isn’t okay; look for the evidence of damage right away. The harm or damage could be seen like a small bag of flour exploded in there.

Secondly; consider calling a knowledgable HVAC professional who can advise you about the best available options. You can avoid the furnace from being caked with the sawdust or drywall by having the air ducts cleaned before moving in. But it will not always be the case. Better hire a pro HVAC technician to get the best help!

Still have issues and want an HVAC professional to help you out? 
Call us today; 1-855-245-4328

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5 To Do's - How to shut off the Air Conditioner after Summer

To many people, shutting off the Air Conditioner means unplugging the switch and covering the outside condenser unit. While this is a layman approach towards a heavy duty HVAC system like the Air Conditioner, the professional's approach is all the way different. Since we know little about the heating and cooling system, we should rather rely on professional's advice. So here we bring to you; the professional's recommended way of switching off the Air Conditioner for the season. 


1. What you already do - Switch off!!!

You already switch off. So yes, begin by switching off the unit. In the case it is a Central Air Conditioner, switch off first from the Thermostat and later, disconnect the power supply to the condenser unit from the electrical box located close to it. Switch it to ''off'' position.

2. What you don't (usually) do - Clean filter at the end of season

A lot many people, as the summer ends, forget about changing the filter, not realizing the fact that the same duct work would be used to blow warm air in winters. As a result, the filters are usually very dirty when the Furnace is turned on for the first time in winters. From now on; add this to-do of cleaning/replacing filters at the end of summer in your list. 

3. Let the indoor breathe fresh

Nature has its own way to take us through different seasons. You don't have an abrupt change in seasons. They are very subtle and serene. And this is why, as the summer ends, there is a period of moderate weather that neither requires Air Conditioner nor Furnace. And that is the time when you should allow your indoor to breathe fresh air. Some homeowners continue to use Air Conditioners until they see the first blow of Winter (a little exaggeration). This practice results in a very contaminated indoor. Since the indoor does not get sufficient fresh air and becomes more polluted than the outdoor air. So make the most use of the moderate weather period after summers and use only fans if needed. Keep the windows open and let fresh air circulate.

4. Clean the outdoor condenser unit thoroughly

It is recommended to clean the unit before starting using it but the same is recommended as you bid good bye to your unit. First remove the leaves, dust and debris from the unit using a fine brush. A low pressure vacuum will do as well. After that, use a hose to clean the unit with plain water. During this course of action, if any damage to the unit is inspected, get it repaired instantly instead of postponing it for the next summer. This is because the problem might worsen over time.

5. Cover the condenser unit 

One confusion that homeowners face is whether or not to cover the condenser unit. Some say not covering the unit makes it a home to pests and animals. While others say that covering their unit results in excessive moisture accumulation and eventually causing the unit to rust. So what to do?
The right way is to cover the unit but not just with any cloth. Cover it with insulated covers manufactured specifically for the condenser units. If you wish to keep it cheaper, use vinyl tarp waterproof plastic to cover the unit. Use elastic cords to hold it tight around the unit.

The advice of all advices if to provide your unit with proper maintenance throughout the season. The wise homeowners, even at the end of summer, call a maintenance tech to ensure that they are closing the system with no sickness. Make sure you do the same this time.





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What Not To Do When AC Stops Working

A good AC is one that boasts exceptional home comfort by even temperature, reduce the energy bill and deliver the highest or exceptional reliability. HVAC manufacturers keep rolling out the enhanced and competitive product to exceed the expectation and leave no stone unturned to provide homeowners the best of the best HVAC equipment. However, there are still some inevitable consequences of neglecting timely AC maintenance which leave homeowners in an urgent need of appliance repair. But hey! There are things that must not be tried as part of DIY. Read on the article to know what not to do when the Air Conditioner stops working.

Don’t lose the cool and try not to fix it yourself:

Don’t be panic; call Air Conditioner specialists for the fastest emergency service. Tinkering with the AC unit is not as simple as it seems and is best to be left to the HVAC technicians. They can troubleshoot the system to get it up to function smoothly. Meanwhile, you can google to wrap your head around to watch HOW TO VIDEOS or DIY tips to troubleshoot the problem.
Unless you have prior experience with troubleshooting unit or mechanical repair, pass the problem to a pro who can fix the problem in half the time.

Don’t ignore the obvious:

Before you lose the cool and start calling the expert or looking at the replacement parts yourself. Be sure to check Thermostat to ensure program settings are correct; it should be set to auto. It is also good to verify that the thermostat battery is not running out.
Make sure the circuit breaker is not tripped, if so, flip the breaker on and see if the unit works. The other glaring problem can be clogged air, clean the filter with soft brushes, lukewarm water, and soap and check if it remedies the problem. 

Most frequent AC Unit Problem homeowners face:

The best remedy to make AC unit work again is to clean and repair the filters. If the problem persists, there may be a list of other issues to diagnose with simple DIY methods. However, if you are running a new system and have no knowledge about HVAC equipment, consider availing the services of a professional – especially when problem is severe and can’t be fixed on your own.

- AC unit not blowing the cold air
- Ac unit does not turn on
- Ac does not turn off
- Leaking water inside and outside
- Sudden leakage when turned off
- Unusual smell and noise
To resolve the issues outlined above requires expertise. Therefore we recommend consulting an HVAC technician. 

Avoid switching on and off your AC unit:

When AC runs as it supposed to, it automatically turns on and off according to the changing temperature. When you repeatedly switch on and off; it puts an extra burden and maximize the chances of wear and tear. 

Don’t Miss Out Yearly Inspection

We wholly rely on an air conditioner in hot and humid months hence can’t afford its sudden breakdown. Having an AC unit serviced annually makes it run more smoothly, improves longevity, and saves you money on electric bills.

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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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