Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Troubleshoot your Furnace's Pilot Light Problems


So who wants to go to to the Furnace to check the pilot every now and then? Particularly, when the temperature falls below minus 30? None, of course! And what do you think about that embarrassment when, in front of the guests, the Furnace keeps shutting off and the guests leave early because of the discomfort felt at your home? Well, there are numerous reasons behind why a Furnace shuts off and among them is that the Furnace Pilot won't remain lit for long.

So, in your Toronto home, with Winter on its peak, how to troubleshoot a frequently problematic pilot? And, are there any simple hacks to solve the issue as a DIY without worrying to call an HVAC specialist? Fortunately, yes! While a problematic pilot halts the operation of the entire Furnace, fixing it doesn't take much. Below we discuss some primary reasons behind the scenario of the Furnace pilot that won't stay lit and the possible DIY solutions to that.


Dirt and Debris on the Thermocouple:  

Here's for your information; dirt and debris is the primary reason behind Furnace breakdowns. And one reason behind a problematic pilot is also dirt. If your Thermocouple component (which is responsible for measuring the temperature) has dirt on it, this will frequently turn the pilot off.

How to Fix? Rid the thermocouple of the dirt. Don't forget to shut the power and gas supply off. Then clean the component with a soft brush or with sandpaper. You're good to go.


Bent/Twist in the Thermocouple

When the thermocouple is bent, the flame won't be able to reach it and as a result, the gas valve will then shut off.
How to Fix? Begin by turning the power and gas supply off. When the unit cools down, bend the Thermocouple back in place to be able to access flame.


A Broken Thermocouple

If the dirt has been cleaned and the device has been checked for any bends, this is the time to thoroughly analyse if the thermocouple is old enough to be replace. There could be rust, holes or other factors affecting its performance.

How to Fix? Reach out to your trusted HVAC retailer to purchase a new Thermocouple. If you are not a good DIY handyman, consider calling a professional to replace the old unit with a new one.

Poor location and Problematic Pilot

Other than the above-mentioned causes, wrong location of the Furnace unit could be one reason why the pilot won't remain lit. If the location is conjested, the Furnace will have less oxygen for combustion. This will eventually let the pilot to burn out fire. Also, a wrongly placed Furnace may as well cause accumulation of Carbon Monoxide in the house
How to fix? Allow enough space around the Furnace. If possible, change the location of the Furnace.

Bottom Line

These are some easy to do DIY solutions that you can try if the Furnace pilot keeps burning the fire off. However, if the problem persists, it is always recommended to call a professional to thoroughly analyse the unit.

We are here to respond to your queries 24/7.
Call today 905 201-1293

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

What is Air Balancing: Ways to avoid hot and cold spots

Do your rooms not feel comfortably conditioned or there are some pesky hot and cold spots? Homeowners complain that they suspect change in temperature moving from one place to another. Fortunately, this inconsistency in temperature can be figured out by optimising your HVAC system.
In this article, we have unearthed some of the easiest ways to balance airflow for your home comfort.

What is air balancing?

- Balancing a residential system is a process that involves readjusting the HVAC system to ensure the air is evenly distributed throughout the home.

- Every part of the HVAC system should work in harmony, ensuring that each zone has an equal amount of heat transfer.

- Air Balancing is one of the most crucial steps to increase air circulation, produce more comfort, reduce energy bills and enhance the overall performance of the heating and cooling system. 

Why is air balancing needed?

Air balancing is needed to test the HVAC system efficiency and to spot any issue that causes uneven airflow or negative air pressure. By this, every part of your home will be as comfortable as possible.

DIY methods for air balancing

Check filters for cleanliness

The role of filters to improve the air quality and efficiency of furnace has always been imperative. In addition to this, it reduces unwanted strain and extends the lifespan of your heating and cooling system. One of the reasons for the improper airflow will be an accumulation of debris that puts an extra burden on the system and results in the inconsistent heat in your home. 

Avoid placing electronic equipment near a Thermostat

Heat generating equipments like high-end computers or large screen TV’s tend to change the heat in a room and require adjustment to the vents. Especially if these types of equipment are close to a thermostat, they make AC to run for longer hours. The reason is, the Thermostat is likely to pick heat from these appliances. 

Check for drafts

Windows and doors should be properly sealed in order to avoid the hot and cold spots in your building. It is one of the best quick-fixes that homeowners should pay heed to for the even and better heat distribution.

A 3-degree offset:

If you are living in a two-story home, and have two thermostats: Set the temperature for each floor differently. For example, upstairs should always be set 2 or 3 degrees higher than the downstairs. This simple remedy aims to rectify the airflow issues. 

Prevent all air-flow restriction

When the registers are covered by furniture or any other item, it will impede the airflow, making your system to work harder and consumes more electricity. To fix out this issue, rearrange the furniture or object that is coming in the way of vents. Remember, vents need at least sixteen inches of space to throw air evenly. 

Wrapping up:

Some issues can’t be figured on your own like the adjustment on the system’s blower fan or problems related to ductwork or when you are not aware whether the home is insulated correctly. In these scenarios, we recommend contacting an HVAC professional for the better guidance or a professional evaluation.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

What Is The Best Time To Change Humidifier Water Panel

The importance of a Humidifier is not overstated in maintaining the best home comfort. The humidifier is functioned to add moisture - it does so using a component namely humidifier water panel. Hearing the term for the first time? It also goes by names like water filler, water panel, evaporator pad, and humidifier. Typically, it is constructed with aluminum honeycombed mesh dipped in a ceramic slip. These water panel evaporators are an integral part of humidifier and are meant to be changed on regular basis. Water panel, if goes unchanged, can dry out air and make your nose bleed. It can also result in itchy skin, headache, and other health-related issues – making the life of allergy sufferer miserable. Therefore, we recommend to replace it every season to get numerous benefits.

Why should I change my Humidifier water panel?

Water panel is more likely to clog over time as particulate move into a unit by air that continuously moves through it and mixes the various particulates with water. It is recommended to change humidifier water panel once per session, and if you somehow fail to do this, it will result in problems like:
- Itchy or dried skin, nose bleeds, and other health-related issues due to lack of appropriate moisture.
- The clogged drain lines of a humidifier can cause problems to the unit and surrounding area.
- An inadequate amount of humidity can cause increased static energy in the homes and poor indoor temperature.
- Poor HVAC unit performance as the dirty water panel can bring more burden on the system’s fan motor. 

How To Change humidifier water panel?

The process of changing a humidifier water panel is as simple as changing the battery in your remote. It hardly requires a few minutes, and you neither need to be techno-freak nor real mechanical to do that. However, each model will have different steps involved in changing the water panel. Locate the unit and follow the steps:

- Remove the cover either pressing a button or with the help of pressure panel that releases the lid
- Take out the enclosure that carries the humidifier water panel and insert the new unit
- After successful insertion of a new unit, make sure to put it back on the same way you toot it out
- Ensuring everything is secure and stable, replace the cover. AND YOU ARE DONE!

Important to note:

- Before you start, make sure to turn off the heating and cooling system.
- Each humidifier can have various steps to carry out the process; therefore, it's better to get guidance from the user manual.

- In case you encounter a trouble, immediately call an HVAC technician.

How Often Should I Change My humidifier Water Panel:

Manufacturers suggest homeowners should replace it once per season. For best performance, plan your replacement in advance. Sometimes, you may have to change it more often than a year – especially if a home has more water and water panel gets clogged with mineral water deposits.

Do you have a whole-home Humidifier? How often do you replace your water panel?

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

5 Slush Recipes To Keep Your #Summer Refreshing

Are you a slush fan and is it one of your favorite drinks in the summers? If yes, we have the best slushie recipes for you that too at the comfort of your own home. 

Coca Cola Slush Recipe

Who doesn’t like coke and that too in the summers? Let’s enjoy coke but in a different way with the slush recipe.

- 3 cups coca cola
- 8 large ice cubes

- Freeze 1.5 cups of coca cola in an ice cube dish for at least 4 hours. Once the cubes are completely frozen, they are ready to make the slush.
- Chill the remaining coca cola in the refrigerator.
- Blend the chilled coke and the coke ice cubes in a blender. Once the mixture is blended well, is it ready to be served.

Strawberry Lime Easy Slush Recipe

Are you a strawberry fan? If yes, than get ready to enjoy this simple and easy recipe.

- 12 strawberries (frozen)
- 1 cup sprite/7 up
- 2 limes
- ½ cup ice cubes

- Freeze the strawberries for at least 4 hours.
- Put the strawberries, sprite and the lemon juice in a blender.
- Blend all the ingredients well and once the mixture is ready add the ice cubes.
- Blend again until it becomes a smooth slush.
- You can add sugar if the slush is very tangy for you to add a pinch of sweetness.

Coffee Slush

Mostly people love having coffee but coffee in summers doesn’t sounds like a great plan. You can replace the hot coffee craving with a cold coffee slush.

- 2 cups of coffee
- 2 tbsp sugar

Recipe:- Brew your favorite coffee and chill it in the refrigerator.
- Freeze 1.5 cups of coffee in the ice cube tray for at least 4 hours.
- Store the remaining cup of coffee in the refrigerator.
- Once the coffee cubes are ready, blend half of the coffee cubes with half of the remaining stored coffee.
- Add 2 tbsp sugar to the blender and blend until the sugar dissolves.
- Once done, add the remaining coffee ice cubes and blend well to make a smooth and chilling coffee slush.

Summer Tea Slush

Who doesn’t like a one ingredient slush recipe specially a tea lover? Get your summer rolling and save money with this easy one ingredient slush.

- 1.5 cups tea ice cubes
- 1.5 cup tea

Recipe:- Freeze 1.5 cups of tea in refrigerator for 4 hours.
- Keep the remaining 1.5 cup of tea chilled in the fridge
- Once the ice cubes are ready, put the ice cubes and the tea in the blender. Mix well until the ice cubes turn into a smooth drink.
- You can add sugar if required.

Mango Slush

Mango slush is one of the most common and favorite slush. It gives you a fizzy, icy taste keeping the fruity part in it.

Ingredients:- 1 frozen mango
- 1 cup lime soda
- ½ cup ice cubes

Recipe:- Mix all the ingredients well in the blender.
- Is that all? Yes, the slush is ready! 

How about trying one of the slushies this noon? 

Friday, June 28, 2019

Basement flooding and homeowner's insurance in Ontario

Basement flooding is steadily increasing due to intense rainfall, earlier snowmelt and abrupt changes in the Canadian climate. The problem has become too familiar in Ontario, and families who fall victim to flooding pay a hefty amount in repairs. Besides costs, these urban floods are highly distressing as getting things back to normal requires a lot of effort and time. In some situations, homeowners have to face extreme disaster and prolonged time to get back on feet.

In order to be on the safe side, you may have homeowner’s insurance for flooding or water damage. But this insurance that majority of Canadians have with them is not necessarily providing adequate coverage and relying on this insurance can’t suffice since damages related to overland flood or sewage are not covered. 

Don’t delay unless you are in crisis and be aware of what the insurance covers in Ontario. 

Basement flooding is the topmost climate-related cost in Canada:

Intact centre on climate adaption in Canada has revealed, “The most significant climate-related damage Canadian have to deal with is “Basement flooding”. The average cost to repair the loss in 2018 was $43,000 – chances are high that the figure can rise as basement flooding incidents are not going to stop any time soon due to uncertainty in weather and climate changes. The report found that many homeowners don’t do enough to prevent water damages while cracks in basement windows, basement drain with low grading and ground level windows augment the chances of basement flooding

What does basic Homeowner's insurance offer for basement flooding?

Insurance plans do cover the basement flooding to some extent, yet most of the time it is contingent upon the source of water leakage. The insurer is likely to cover water damage resulting from malfunctioning home appliances or pipes bursting from freezing. But what if something causes sudden and accidental flooding due to plumbing issues like swimming tub outflow, or sudden toilet overflows that can damage the expensive flooring - this is where these instances fall short, and you regret not having additional coverage for flooding.

Do I need additional coverage for flooding?

No one likes to see anything where water seeps through basement wall windows and flooring. Therefore, before the home befalls due to sewage backup from the municipal system or you experience overland flooding; it's better to be proactive by getting extended home insurance as the unreinforced block basement can’t withstand heavy pressure and collapse easily. 

How to protect yourself:

It's in the best interest of any homeowner to take as preventive measures as they can - Getting an extended home insurance plan, and installation of backwater valve can go a long way to reducing flood cost. While there are other fool-proof actions, you can carry out to mitigate the flood risks like:

- Installing flood alarms, windows wells, and covers.
- Storing valuable belongings in watertight containers.
- Replacing deteriorating appliances and pipes.
- Extending downspouts along with regular cleaning of eaves.
- Installing a sump pump and maintaining backup powers.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

What should the AC be set at in hot summer to get the most out of it

The scorching heat of summer is all set to overheat our body. The very first question that haunts us; what should the AC be set at in hot summer to get the most out of it. Well, the efficiency and cooling of an air conditioner is somehow contingent upon the ideal setting of a thermostat, which eventually saves cost and increases the useful life of an AC. As per National Resource Canada
“ The indoor thermostat should be set somewhere in the range of 22–25°C, depending on your comfort requirements.”
Statistics Canada reports from 2009 suggest that more than two-thirds of Canadian households with air conditioning adjusted the temperature in thermostats either by shutting down their air conditioner (55 %) or setting the temperature at or above 24C (13 %).

How to find the sweet spot?

Most of the people often get tired of fighting over a thermostat. As everyone has the opinion regarding the perfect indoor temperature, and finding that sweet spot becomes so hard. We understand for everyone being picky for the ideal temperature, but the study has suggested that the ideal temperature range is 22-26°C – neither too hot nor too cold, but just perfect. 

Saving on cooling cost:

We all don’t like to be spending our hard earned money on cooling our place 24/7. The right temperature setting is key to stay cool and save efficiently in summer. A recent study suggested a rise of each degree of a thermostat saves on 4-5% cooling cost.

Other no-cost ways to improve the efficiency of an air conditioner:

The role of the air conditioner in keeping your indoor environment comfortable is inevitable. Here we present the cost-effective and simplest ways to improve the efficiency of an air conditioner:

1. A proper cleaning around the outdoor condenser unit is mandatory. As the outdoor unit can work at its best if it has not any debris or dirt. The process of outdoor cleaning has no complication although you can opt for a technician in case you need thorough and in-depth cleaning.

2. In order to activate the saving mode, you must proactively use a Programmable Thermostat.

3. Make sure not to place any heat-producing equipment near a thermostat. If there is any generating equipment, it may excel the temperature and your air conditioner will have to work harder to cool a place.

4. Another no-cost way to improve the efficiency of an air conditioner is to keep the curtains and blinds closed as it prevents your air conditioner from overworking.

5. Insulating the exposed ductwork with the right duct insulating material also enhances the efficiency of an air conditioner. Any duct which runs through any unconditioned part should be sealed so the air does not leak in any part of your home.

6. The indoor cooling coil has a drain. Generally, mounted above the basement furnace. You can keep your drain clear through the summer if you flush one cup of chlorine bleach down your air conditioning drain and rinse it with a gallon of water.

Did this blog help? How do you keep yourself cool in the intense hot summer and what AC settings do you prefer?  

We have been helping homes and homeowners since the past two decades to enjoy the ''just perfect'' temperature. If you are having a hard time enjoying the expected Air Conditioning cooling, consider giving us a call for inspection & maintenance. We are here 24/7 to respond. Toll-Free 905 201-1293

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The importance of disposing of your Thermostat properly

We are living in the age of progressively spreading smart technologies. From the things of personal use to the items of domestic and commercial use, everything is becoming smarter by upgrading itself to wifi support. The same is true for Thermostats. In the past few years, the use of Smart Thermostats has increased in Canada. More and more people are shifting to Smart Thermostats. While on one hand, this is good, this is also alarming because a large number of the conventional, old Thermostats are being disposed of and not everyone is disposing of them the right way. When these old Thermostats are thrown away in the garbage, the mercury tube in them bursts over time and the toxic element is spread in the environment. The phenomenon is hazardous for groud life but it is even more lethal for marine life.

How lethal mercury could be? 

Mercury is a neurotoxin and as it gets in contact with river or stream water, it turns into an absolute disaster. Usually, a mercury Thermostat contains somewhere around 2.5 to 10 grams of mercury. Just a minuscule amount of 1 gm of mercury can poison water for up to 80,000 square meters. This water then becomes undrinkable and in order to get an idea of how poisonous it gets, consider the fact that the fish from such water becomes unfit for consumption for up to one year. The water, if accidentally consumed can lead to severe consequences, the most probable of which is death.

Don't act mean. Think of others when you think of yourself 

When you think of upgrading your comfort by upgrading the Thermostat, don't forget to think about others. At the end of the day, we also have to live in the same environment that we pollute for others. So when you upgrade, seriously consider how the old unit will be disposed of. If it still works, consider gifting it to an underprivileged family so that they can improve their comfort. Or if the old Thermostat is in a condition which makes is unfit for further use, your job to find out the right way of disposal begins. And we are helping you out by suggesting some available solutions.

The TRP program in Canada

Recognizing the hazardous impacts of mercury on the environment, Canada's HRAI institute has launched ''Thermostat Recovery Program''. This program is dedicated to recycling and disposing of mercury thermostats safely in order to ensure that the mercury content does not get in contact with the environment. By April 2019, the TRP has safely recycled or disposed of up to 166,752 thermostats and the counter is still running. In order to give the Thermostat to the TRP, the nearest drop off location can be checked over HRIA's website; The Thermostat can be dropped there for recycling. Or alternatively, a ''send it back'' request can be sent to the TRP. This brings you a pre-paid personal recycling container so that you could safely recycle the Thermostat.
Although there is no law so far that punishes unsafe disposal of Thermostats, homeowners need to take personal responsibility and you, the reader, need to dispose of your mercury Thermostat with absolute safety; for yourself, for the environment.