Air Conditioning

It is one on the warmest days of the year and my a/c is not blowing cold air. I actually see a buildup of ice, why is this happening? And what can I do?

The first step is to shut off the a/c at the thermostat. Turn the fan setting to auto on.  This will unfreeze your evaporator coil (inside) and you will be less likely to further damage the compressor (outside).  The thawing process can take up to 24 hours.

Possible reasons for the freeze up:

  •         -Blocked air flow, air is not getting through the system properly. Check the furnace filters, if dirty change them. Make sure the                                condensate line is not blocked. Check the inside coil, a dirty evaporator coil can restrict air flow. Check the vents, the return air vents                can’t be covered or blocked. The supply air vents need to be kept open for airflow. Call DENOCO for a maintenance of your system.
  •         -Faulty motor, check this by determining if the outdoor condensing unit is running. If outside is running but nothing is happening inside                   Call DENOCO
  •         -Leak in Refrigeration, refrigerant collects the heat in your home and moves it outside. Over time with wear and tear and vibration a leak                can develop. For this to be diagnosed you will need to Call DENOCO. They will check the refrigeration levels with gauges. If levels are low,              the source of the leak will need to be determined. The system will need to be evacuated to locate the leak, once located the leak needs to            be fixed, the system will then be pressure tested, refrigeration levels brought up to the manufacturer’s specifications, then a/c started up.              Repairing a leak most likely is only temporary fix, it may be time to replace/upgrade your system. Call DENOCO

An external AC unit

Air Conditioning Facts

Air-Conditioning Operating Costs

If you are interested in purchasing an air conditioner, chances are that comfort is the main reason. However, cost is also a major factor. You may want to calculate the annual cost of operating an air conditioner to determine whether it is worth the investment.

Factors affecting cost

Many factors affect the operating cost of an air conditioner:

        -geographical location of the house

        -variance of weather conditions from year to year

        -efficiency rating of the air conditioner (SEER or EER)

        -size of the air conditioner relative to house cooling load

        -thermostat setting

        -number of occupants in the house

        -habits of people in the house – if windows are open or closed; if window shading is used; and frequency of appliance, cooking and lighting           use

        -local cost of electricity

Method of calculating annual energy cost

The output of an air conditioning unit is conventionally measured in tons. 1 ton = 12000 British Thermal units (BTU’s). So a 2 ton unit produces 24000 btus, a 2.5 ton unit produces 30000 btus, a 3 ton unit produces 36000 btus, etc.

The SEER rating is defined as the total cooling output of an air conditioning unit in British Thermal units divided by it’s total energy consumption in watt-hours

You can estimate the yearly cost to operate your central air conditioning system. In the Smiths Falls area the estimated cost of operation is calculated by:

(24 x DDc·18 / TOD – 18) x (CAP/ SEER) x (Cost/kW/1000)

Where,

DDc·18 = number of cooling degree-days (base 18°C) is 200

TOD = summer outdoor design temperature (°C) for location (SMITHS FALLS IS 30°C)

CAP = the capacity of the air conditioner (in Btu/h)

SEER = the rated seasonal energy efficiency ratio (Btu/h/W)

Cost per kWh = local electricity cost (in $/kWh)

ESTIMATED COST PER YEAR FOR A 13 SEER 2 TON CENTRAL AIR:

(24 x 200/(30 – 18) x (24000/13) x (.18/1000) = $132.92

ESTIMATED COST PER YEAR FOR A 14.5 SEER 2 TON CENTRAL AIR:

(24 x 200/(30 – 18) x (24000/14.5) x (.18/1000) = $119.17

ESTIMATED COST PER YEAR FOR A 16 SEER 2 TON CENTRAL AIR:

(24 x 200/(30 – 18) x (24000/16) x (.18/1000) = $108.00

The actual energy consumption can vary depending on several factors, including those listed in the previous section entitled “Factors affecting cost.” these are estimated yearly costs, based on .18 kWh. Your cost could be significantly higher if you choose to set your thermostat lower for example lower than 75°F (24°C).

 

A man repairs his AC unit

How many times has your air conditioning unit been a saving grace at the end of a long, hot day? Don’t you owe it to the air conditioner to keep it in top working order?  Without a properly installed and operational unit, the dog days of summer can seem everlasting and unbearable. Instead of waiting for disaster to strike, why not just keep your air conditioning unit maintained thanks to Denoco Energy Systems so you can relax?

Good Air Conditioners Are Better for Your Health

Outdated or broken air conditioners can do more than make you sweat; they can actually make you sick. Air conditioning units use chemicals and electricity to work, meaning that they require proper maintenance. An adequate air conditioning system can prevent heat stroke, stop mould from growing, get rid of foul smells, and make life a lot more comfortable.

Sudden Problems Can Cost You Big Time

When you don’t take the time to maintain your air conditioning unit, you might end up paying for problems that shouldn’t ever have been an issue in the first place.  Preventative maintenance on any appliance is key and your air conditioner is no different. Paying for upkeep is a lot less expensive than handing over large sums of cash for big breaks. Save yourself some headache and some of that hard-earned money and stay on top of things instead.

Well-Maintained Air Conditioning Increases the Value of Your Home

If you ever plan on selling your home then you may want to start taking your air conditioning maintenance more seriously. Almost all homes have air conditioning these days, which means nobody wants to buy a house that has a system in need of serious repair. A well-maintained air conditioning unit increases the equity of your property and can even boost the resale value when it’s time to sell. However, a broken air conditioner can cost you a potentially lucrative offer. Maintaining your unit is pretty inexpensive when you do it throughout the years instead of trying to fix everything in a pinch as you attempt to move.

Tip: Hire a professional like Denoco Energy Systems to maintain your air conditioning unit. Some systems are rather complicated and require the knowledge of an expert. As a general rule, never try to tamper with your air conditioner on your own unless you have received proper training. You could hurt yourself or damage the AC unit beyond repair.

A woman cools off by her fan

Thanks to the ingenuity of modern man, we can escape inside on a hot day and enjoy the cool relaxation provided by air conditioning. There once was a time when this was not possible, and fans were the only option to rid your brow of sweat. Now, air conditioning is in nearly every home and business in the country. If you happen to be lucky enough to have air conditioning in your living space, then it would be in your best interest to know ways that you can make the most of it.

Close Off Unused Rooms

Your air conditioner can only work so hard, which is why forcing it to cool down rooms in your home that are seldom used is such a bad idea. This habit can make the rest of your house balmy, especially if the workload is too heavy for the air conditioning unit you have.  Instead, try closing the doors and windows in those unused rooms. While you’re there, shut off the air returns and close the vents if you can. You will not only enjoy a much cooler common living space, but you will also save a bit of money in the process. However beware if that if you close too many vents, your AC could freeze up.

Ensure You Have Proper Insulation

The air in your house has finally cooled down and you want to sit and enjoy it for a little while. That means you need to have a home that is properly insulated. Otherwise, the crispness that your air conditioner has created will go right out the window – literally. Be sure that there are no cracks or holes around your windows and doors and if so, block them with something while your air conditioner is running. You will find that your home stays cool for much longer this way.

Maintain Your Unit

Air conditioning is nice, but don’t get too used to it if you’re not willing to maintain your unit. Keeping your machine or system in good working order is one of the best ways to make the most of your air conditioning. Schedule Denoco Energy Systems to come and look things over once a year just to stay on top of any issues that may become a problem.  Unless you have the means to dress incredibly light while in your home, air conditioning on a hot day is a necessity. Add maintenance and repair into your budget or you will be sorry.

If you follow these three tips, you’ll be able to make the most of your air conditioning.

An external AC unit

If your air conditioning unit zonks out in the middle of a heat wave, this is definitely a clear sign that it needs to be repaired or replaced, but you never want to be caught in that position. Scheduling an AC inspection from Denoco at the first sign of trouble could save you a lot of sweaty nights in the near future. Here are six signs that your AC unit needs to be inspected:

It Doesn’t Produce Cool Air

If you have your AC running at full blast and it’s only emitting mildly cool or room temperature air, it’s time to schedule an inspection. Your system’s compressor may have failed, or the Freon levels may be too low. If you don’t take quick steps to repair the unit, you may have to go with a costly replacement instead.

There Are Moisture Leaks

Do you notice moisture leaking around the AC unit? Schedule a service call, because this could be caused by two big problems. For one, the refrigerant could be leaking, which will put the health of your family at risk, so you need to get it solved immediately. Or, the drain tube that takes care of condensation in the unit may be broken or blocked. Though it is not as concerning as a refrigerant leak, it could lead to mould growth if you don’t address it.

It Has Weak Air Flow

Feel the air coming from the AC vents. If the air flow is weak or – even worse – if there is no air flow, schedule an inspection. There could be many causes of this problem. The compressor may be failing, there may be trouble with the ductwork, or there could be debris stuck in the vents obstructing airflow. Or, it may be that you need to change your filter, so try this first.

You Hear Strange Sounds

Does your air conditioner squeal, squeak, and rattle? These noises are a sign that something is amiss inside the unit. It may be as simple as a small component needing more lubrication. Grinding sounds usually indicate that the motor’s bearings are in need of repair. No matter the sound, strange noises mean it’s inspection time.

You Smell Strange Odours

If you smell a burning or off-putting odour coming from your AC, the wire insulation may have been burnt out. Musty smells mean mould, so get it taken care of ASAP with an inspection to identify the problem.

Remember, you want to spot a warning sign and get it inspected before your AC breaks when you need it most. Contact Denoco Energy Systems today to schedule an AC inspection and nip any problems in the bud.

A man takes notes on how to save

Let’s say you make it a point of pride to tough it out and endure the hottest days of summer in all their sweaty, sticky, melty glory. Whether you’re trying to cut down your energy bill or just want to prove a point, it can be done. But if you have small children, live with elderly parents, or have special equipment that can’t endure scorching temperatures and high levels of humidity, sometimes air conditioning is a must. Here’s how to cool off your air conditioning bill and keep your energy consumption low even in summer:

Hotter When You’re Gone

If no one is home all day, do you really want to waste money cooling an empty home? If you’re out of the house all day, set the temperature on your AC to about 78°F (25.6°C), and keep the windows and drapes closed. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to ramp back up to a comfortable temperature when you walk in the door in the evening. Your AC unit won’t have to work too hard to get the home back to a cool temperature.

Become a Fan of Fans

Fans circulate cool air, which means less air needs to be pumped into the room to make it feel comfortable. Though fans do use energy, it’s a lot less than an AC unit pumping on full blast. For ceiling fans, make sure air is blowing downward. If you are investing in a new fan, make sure it is energy efficient.

Lights Off

Interior lighting not only adds to your energy bill, it also creates heat. Avoid turning lights on if you can – rely on natural light from outdoors instead. Yet remember that opening the blinds and drapes allows hot sunlight to beam in, so it’s definitely a balancing act.

Close Off Vents

You’re just throwing money away if you have vents pumping cool air into a room that doesn’t get used. First off, the basement is noticeably cool anyways, so it likely doesn’t need the extra cool air. Shut those basements vents. Then close off any vents found in closets, a storage room, or an unused guest room. You have to be careful with this one. If you close too many vents, your AC will freeze up.

AC Inspection

If your AC unit isn’t operating at the optimal condition, it can be a huge waste of energy (and by extension, money). Contact Denoco Energy Systems to inspect all components of the AC system, including the condensing unit and ductwork. Our friendly and professional team has the experience and expertise to spot any problems and get everything running at peak condition to put money back in your pocket.

Stay cool this summer, folks!

Plumbing

 

A water softener is a unit that is used to soften water by removing the minerals that cause the water to be hard. When water contains a high level of calcium, magnesium, it is called hard water. Hard water is known to clog pipes, complicate soap and detergent dissolving in water, and leave behind water spots. It creates a scale buildup inside your pipes and water appliances reducing the efficiency of your water heater. This means more energy is used to heat water which will result in increased energy expenses. Soap is also less effective in hard water because it reacts to form the calcium or magnesium salt of the organic acid of the soap. Skin washed in hard water is typically reported as feeling scratchy and dry as a result of the soap scum. Hair washed in hard water is reported as being dull-looking and sticky. The resulting soft water is more compatible with soap and extends the lifetime of plumbing. Water softening is usually achieved using lime softening or ion-exchange resins.

By having your water independently tested, you can get a reading into how “hard” your water really is. DENOCO Energy Systems Ltd. offers this testing free of charge.  If the testing proves your home would benefit from a water softener some of the advantages are as follows:

Water Softener Advantages

        -With a water softener your silverware and glassware, are cleaner and shinier

        -Your hair and skin feels softer, cleaner and smoother with water treated by a water softener.

        -Hard water treated with a water softener, greatly reduces housework by eliminating the formation of soap curd.

        -Hard water made soft through a water softener restores the rich lathering of your soaps and shampoos, thus reducing the usage and                     costs of these products by 75%.

        -Fabrics are also softer without hard minerals become trapped in them. Fabrics last longer and whites stay white without the dingy gray                 caused by hard water.

        -Soft water also preserves the life of all water using appliances such as coffee and ice makers, dishwashers, and clothing washers. A                     water heater protected by a water softening system could also reduce the yearly energy cost of that appliance.

Call DENOCO, one of our expert team members will be happy to help you decide what is most beneficial for your home.

Renovation Plumbing Needs

What makes a home livable? While many point to the four walls and roof, others make mention of the role HVAC services play in making a space pleasurable to live. When doing renovation work, there are a lot of things you can do on your own. However, when it comes to HVAC and plumbing, you need to hire a professional. The integrity of your home and health of your family are too important to risk.  Below are four important reasons why.

 

1. Plumbing Requires Experience

 

The do-it-yourself movement for home maintenance and repair is amazing. It can empower people to be better homeowners, it can result in people learning how to problem solve quickly, and it can save a lot of money. There are some things in the home that should not be done by people as they can be complex or even potentially dangerous to people and property. Plumbing is one such thing. When planning a renovation, hiring a professional plumber is the best way that you can ensure that a complicated job is done by someone with the right training and experience. While you may have luck going about this on your own, there is always the risk associated with being unfamiliar with the task.

 

2. Hiring A Plumber Reduces The Risk Of Damage

 

We all make mistakes. A professional plumber is trained to recognize these mistakes and prevent them from occurring. If a valve is too tight, if the plumbing is done incorrectly, or if there is anything wrong with the system, then you are looking at leaks, issues with raw sewage, and a great deal of potential damage to your home. Don’t flood your home and instead go with a professional.

 

3. Hiring A Plumber Ensures Continued Quality

 

Congratulations, you completed the plumbing on your own! At the moment, everything is working as it should. However, what if something goes wrong? A professional plumber designs a system that not only works now, but will work as individual components get old. This ensures that when weaknesses occur, leaks and other potentially damaging problems do not occur.  

4. A Professional Plumber Will Save You A Lot Of Time

As we began with this statement, it makes sense to end with it as well. Plumbing requires experience, learning, and care. These are all things you may be able to accomplish. At the same time, they can represent a considerable time investment on your part for an outcome you cannot be completely certain about. Like other professional HVAC services, you can guarantee that hiring a professional will save you a lot of time and even money in the long run.

If you are planning a renovation in Smiths Falls or the Ottawa area, contact Denoco Energy Systems to ensure your plumbing is done right the first time.

A running faucet

After a long, hard day you want to take a nice, hot shower, but you can’t. Something is wrong with your water pressure and you’re not quite sure what it is. Denoco Energy Systems offers quality plumbing services in Smiths Falls and the Ottawa region to inspect your water pressure issues and get that water flowing smoothly again.

If you want to investigate before calling the pros, where do you start? What could be causing your water pressure issues? Well, there are a few things you need to consider before picking up the phone to call an expert.

  1. You Could Be Dealing with a Water Leak

One of the most common reasons for water pressure issues is the presence of a leak.  Breaks, cracks, and holes in the pipes can cause water to seep out along the lines, which might spell disaster on your property if you’re not careful. Water leaks are responsible for structural damages, fires, floods, and even mould – all of which are more serious matters than simple water pressure issues.

  1. The Issue Could Just Be Mineral Deposits

If you are lucky, then your water pressure issues will be due to a simple mineral deposit in the pipes. This is an easy fix and requires you to replace small sections of pipe and really nothing more.  It can be done without the help of a professional, as long as you are confident that you can install new pipes correctly. If you have any doubts, don’t take a chance – call Denoco Energy Systems to take care of it. Just keep in mind that your water pressure issues could just be an effect of natural sedimentation and won’t cost you a boatload of money to fix.

  1. Debris in the Water Won’t Help Matters Any

Should the water pressure issues be caused by mineral deposits, you might want to check into the amount of debris that is in your water. The problem may be perpetuated by the fact that your water is unclean, and with your pipes already clogging with minerals the issue can result in low water pressure throughout your entire house. Now, this issue may take the help of a professional, but it’s not the end of the world. At least you know that it can be fixed.

*TIP: Iron pipes are notorious for rusting and breaking loose and plastic pipes can disintegrate and bust into pieces.  When checking your pipes for leaks and debris, check to see what material they are made of and consider which one would be best for your home.

A sump pump is taken apart

Owning a home means taking responsibility for all maintenance and repairs required on the property. That includes your sump pump. Your home is where you live, work, and love, which means it should not be where you deal with a backed-up system. Sump pump repair is sometimes necessary to maintain a comfortable home, but you might not need to spend the money on it if you’re wise. In order to save yourself some trouble, consider a few things before paying for a sump pump repair.

  1. Your Sump Pump Works Harder When it Rains

There may be times during the year when you practically forget you even have a sump pump because it operates so quietly. However, once it begins to rain or when the snow finally melts, you may start to notice your sump pump again. A properly installed and operational sump pump works to keep groundwater from seeping into your house and is most commonly found in the basement. It has direct access to the weather and will begin to make some noise as it works to keep up with the demand.

  1. The Float Is the Most Vulnerable Part of a Sump Pump

Although the float found inside a sump pump is quite vital to proper functions, it is still the most sensitive part of the entire contraption. As the float becomes inundated with water it triggers the pump to pull water away from the pit, but a malfunctioning float will not do this. If you notice an issue, it could just be that your float is in need of repair. To check it, simply pour some water directly into the pit and see if the float rises on its own. Do this a few times a year just to stay on top of things.

  1. The Sump Pit has to be Cleaned

You might encounter a few problems during those quarterly tests, but it could be due to an influx of debris in the sump pit. Take some time to dig around (with a glove on, of course) and remove any loose items you find. Even if the rest of your unit is still working just fine, this is still a good idea just to ensure proper maintenance and save you some money later on. If all else fails, you can always call a professional like Denoco Energy Systems to help you with the upkeep.

If you do end up with a sump pump in need of repair, call Denoco Energy Systems for fast and friendly service.

 

Furnace

A technician adjusts HVAC controls in a home.

There are so many decisions to make when it comes to your home and every one of them is crucial. Some could be small in monetary terms but have big importance. Such is the case with your home’s HVAC system. If you want to live in peace in your house, make sure you discuss these five things with any HVAC technician you are thinking of hiring, and make your decision based on the answers you receive:

Whether or not they are certified.

You need to be sure that you are leaving your home in capable hands. Any faulty work and you could be paying for this for the years to come. Ask the technician of their experience and whether he has had formal training in the field. In Ontario, for examples, HVAC contractors must have a license and TSSA (Technical Standards & Safety Authority) certification. To work on ACs, contractors must have a refrigeration license, and so on.

How often does the HVAC system require maintenance?

If you have no prior experience of maintaining an HVAC system, then ask the technician what needs to be done to maintain the system so that it works at its full potential. The right technician will be happy to walk you through simple but effective year-round maintenance tips. Also make sure you know what you can do yourself and what you need to hire a technician.

Is there a new product that he would recommend?

The rapid pace at which technologies are upgrading is no surprise to anyone. So make sure you know what you are buying and whether or not there is another product with better value for money. The right technician will recommend high-performing HVAC products that make sense for your needs and budget.

Any energy efficient options available on the market?

Chances are these kinds on products are more expensive to purchase initially, but in the long run you are likely to see a reduction in your energy bills. In addition to the benefit to your bottom line, energy efficient HVAC systems are the environmentally conscious choice.

Warranty and protection plan.

When installing a brand new HVAC system, make sure you ask your technician about the length and breadth of the warranty, for both parts and labour. Furnaces, water heaters, boilers, A/Cs, fireplaces, and other HVAC components can have a lifespan of decades, but you don’t want to be paying out of pocket for parts or service six months after you bought the unit. A robust warranty will ensure you get optimal performance and service for years to come.

Any more questions about HVAC? Give us a call at Denoco, we’d be happy to help.

carbon-monoxide-fireplace

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous, odourless gas. It is known as the “invisible killer” because the deadly gas cannot be smelled or seen. In fact, according to the TSSA (Technical Standards and Safety Authority), it is the leading cause of accidental poising deaths in North America.

In the home, carbon monoxide is generated by household appliances like the furnace, water heater, dryer, stove, and fireplace – any appliance or device that burns fuel can be a source of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is usually safely filtered outside of the home by vents or the chimney. However if these appliances are poorly maintained, there is damaged or blocked venting, or limited air-flow in confined spaces, this creates a CO hazard. How can you stay safe and keep your family safe?

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Carbon monoxide is odourless and invisible. If you do not have a carbon monoxide alarm in your home, the only way to know that CO is present is at the onset of CO poisoning – and by then it may be too late. Protect yourself and your family by installing CO alarms on every level of your home or cottage. The alarm should be CSA or ULC-certified and tested. If there are elevated levels of carbon monoxide, the alarm will set off giving you and your family time to escape to safety.

Test your CO detectors on a yearly basis at minimum. First, you need to check that the unit has an adequate power supply, which can be done by pressing the “Test” button – it should emit a high-pitched tone.

Next, you need to make sure that the unit is actually detecting carbon monoxide. The safest way is to purchase a carbon monoxide detector test kit, which includes a small container of gas with a high CO concentration that you affix to the detector. The alarm should certainly sound. You can also (safely) wave a lit incense wand or cigarette in front of the alarm to see if it detects lower CO levels. Contact your local HVAC contractor if you prefer to have a professional test that the CO alarm is in good working order.

Annual Appliance Inspection

Finally, you will want to schedule an annual inspection of all your fuel-fired appliances, including your furnace, stove, dryer, fireplace, BBQ, water heater, space heater etc. as applicable. Your HVAC contractor will inspect all elements and ensure that the appliance is in good working order and that there is proper and safe ventilation. Only use a trained, certified HVAC technician registered with TSSA like Denoco to inspect your appliances and ensure CO is safely ventilated.

To learn more about carbon monoxide safety or to schedule an inspection for any fuel-burning appliance, contact Denoco today.

natural gas stove home

For millenia we have taken from nature and now is the time to give back by making very simple and small choices. Here we will learn about how it is a wise idea to switch to natural gas from oil. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it is also great for your wallet too.  

Natural Gas in Ontario

Natural gas is the principle energy source of choice for the majority of homeowners in Ontario. According to Statistics Canada, 58% of households in the province of Ontario use natural gas for home heating, water heating, and to fuel large appliances likes ranges and clothes dryers. The majority of homes in Ontario use natural gas instead of electricity or oil as the main fuel source.  

Better for Your Wallet

It all comes down to dollars and cents. Natural gas costs homeowners less in energy expenses compared with oil, electricity, and propane. You’ll notice your bills take a big dip from the moment you make the switch. In the current economy where expenses are sky high, a change like this can make a huge difference to quality of life.   

Let’s do a conversion to prove it. For a home with the following characteristics:

  • Located in Eastern Ontario (Ottawa/Carleton, Leeds/Grenville, Prescott/Russell)
  • Single detached
  • Built in the 1990s
  • Under 2,000 sq. ft
  • 3 bed, 2 bath

Convert to natural gas could cut your energy expenditures by 70% when compared against electricity, and 62% compared with oil. Plug your own home into the Savings Calculator and try for yourself!

Natural Gas Appliances

Homes use natural gas for more than just powering the furnace and water heater. Natural gas can power almost any appliance in and around the home, from BBQs and fireplaces to dryers, stoves, and pool heaters. Name a household appliance, and there’s a good chance it is compatible with natural gas.

The Convenience of Natural Gas

We live in the age of convenience. Who wants to worry about buying firewood for the fireplace or hauling bags of coal home for a weekend barbeque? Sit back and relax in the crinkling light of a natural gas fireplace or cook your steaks to perfection with a consistent and reliable natural gas BBQ.

The Environmental Choice

And lastly, there is the environmentally friendly advantage that presides over all the other sources of energy. Natural gas produces less solid waste and water pollution in comparison to electricity and oil, making it the recommended choice by environmentalists.  

There are so many benefits of using natural gas in our homes. Call Denoco today to schedule a conversion from electric to gas or conversion from oil to gas. Make the switch to the safe and cost-efficient choice.

furnace winter home maintenence

Your furnace is what keeps your home warm and cozy during those long, cold winter months. It can prevent your family from getting sick from low temperatures and can create an inviting space for you to unwind at the end of the day. However, with all that hard work it is doing, your furnace will eventually need to be tuned up. Here is how to tell if it’s time.

1. The Heat Temperatures are Low

If your furnace is not creating enough heat anymore, it might be a sign of a problem. Try to turn up the heat manually or have a professional do it for you. See if that fixes the issue. If it doesn’t, then it may be time for you to have your unit serviced. There could be a problem with your manifold. It is responsible for producing the flame that heats the air inside your furnace. If you notice cooler air blow from your vents, it’s time for a furnace tune-up.

2. The Air Pressure from Your Vents is Weak

If the air coming out of your vents is nice and hot but not very strong, then you could have an issue with the blower motor. This is what produces air pressure within your unit.  A blower that needs a tune-up will render a weak current and should be checked right away.

3. The Thermostat is Not Functioning Properly

This is one of the key components to a properly operating furnace, so if it is not working right then your entire unit will not run correctly.  Begin by checking the wire on the wall unit to make sure it is functioning properly. If your thermostat is below par, it is a good opportunity to upgrade to a new programmable thermostat for better energy efficiency.

4. There are Problems with the Pilot Light

A pilot light that keeps going on unexpectedly is a sign of your furnace needed some attention.  Keep in mind that issues here can be dangerous when addressed haphazardly.  For safety reasons, it is best to have a professional HVAC contractor do this for you. If there is indeed a problem, the HVAC contractor will be able to address it safely and promptly.

5. The Filter is Clogged

If your filter is clogged, it will restrict the airflow to the furnace and suffocate it.  Your air flow will suffer, your unit will work harder, and your bills will get higher.  Maintain a clean filter by having your furnace tuned up at least once per year.

fall furnace inspection

Owning a home can sometimes be a mixed blessing. Sure, there are the benefits of having your own space, storage for your things, and a communal place for your family. At the same time, it means having to maintain the home, problem solve, and sometimes spend money. In addition, it requires thinking critically and taking proactive steps to ensuring that small problems do not grow in size.

Thankfully, there are plenty of professionals who can save you time and money. In particular as we enter fall and winter approaches, many homeowners are having their furnaces inspected by professional HVAC technicians. What do they know that you don’t? Let’s find out.

1. Cost & Efficiency

It should come as no surprise that once the temperatures begin to dip in Canada, homeowners across the country want to crank the heat. The more inefficient the furnace is, the more energy it will require to produce the same comfortable temperature. When your gas or electric bill comes, you will notice a dramatic increase in the bill. By having your furnace inspected by a professional HVAC technician in the fall, you can ensure that it is at peak performance during the winter, providing you with the most amount of heat for least amount of energy used.

2. Furnace Health

How healthy is your furnace? Is it making disconcerting sounds? If you have any question as to whether or not your furnace will survive the winter, then you should have it checked out immediately. Along with costing you more money if no action is taken, you stand a chance of having your furnace give out on you during the coldest months of the year. This can lead to a miserable few weeks as a new furnace will take some time to be installed right. In addition, providing some maintenance beforehand can stop you from having to buy a brand new furnace for a few more years, giving you time to find one at a cost that works for you.

3. The Best Time For Downtime

If you have to replace your furnace, then it is best to do it at a time when it is not going to be cold. As early to mid-fall provides comfortable weather, everyone would rather have their furnace inspected or replaced during October or November instead of during the dead of winter.

Homeowners in Smiths Falls, Ottawa and the surrounding area can contact Denoco Energy Systems to schedule a furnace inspection this fall.

Air Quality

Parents play chess and read with their children by their fireplace

During the cold winter months, it is estimated that Canadians spend 90% of their time indoors. This is no surprise – most of us only go outside to drive to work and shovel away last night’s snow fall.

Since you’ll be spending a lot of time indoors, it has never been more important to ensure that the air quality in your home is safe to protect you from allergies and other breathing problems. There are certain steps you can take to maintain the quality of air in your home all winter long.

Invest in a Humidifier

It is a well-known fact that the air is drier during the winter months. Dry air in our homes causes our skin to dry out and crack, our sinuses to dry up, and creates static. It can also cause dehydration and a general feeling of irritation on your skin, eyes, and throat. To counter all of the problems associated with dry winter air, you should certain invest in a humidifier to return much-needed moisture to your home. Your HVAC technician can also recommend a humidifier that attaches directly to your furnace to spread comfortable air throughout the home.

Ventilation in Good Working Order

You might be surprised to hear that studies show the air outside is up to three times cleaner than air inside your home. This sounds shocking, until you think of how the average home is filled with allergens like dust and pet dander. In order to fight back against these allergens, ensure that you have a solid ventilation system and that it is good working order. You want to drive bad air away from your home and minimize the build-up of dust and other allergens. As a bonus, a proper ventilation system will also minimize heat loss in the winter and A/C loss in the system, cutting down your energy expenses.

This one is beneficial all-year round if well-maintained. A properly installed and maintains HVAC system will improve air quality, maintain consistent temperature indoors, control humidity, and eliminate odours.

Smoking Safety and Awareness

If you are a smoker, you may be tempted to light up indoors rather than freeze outside. Considering how damaging secondhand smoke is, this is inadvisable. Couple it with the fact that cigarette smoke causes unsightly yellow staining and leaves a strong odour, not to mention the considerable fire risks, indoor air quality is just one of many reasons not to smoke indoors.

There are more ways to keep the air indoors clean and safe for your family but how about you start small. And remember, a neat and tidy home is a happy home.

Fireplaces

Install Fireplace Winter

Imagine this. A cold winter night, a dim lit room, a cup of hot cocoa, your comfiest sweater, a good read and you snuggled up in front of a fireplace. Sounds heavenly, right? But this is not the only reason to install a fireplace.

Fireplaces just have their own feel and warmth that is so much better than a heater.  When has anyone ever spent quality time cuddled up in front of a heater, anyway? So as winter approaches, it might be time to invest in a modern and energy efficient fireplace.

Heated Comfort, Guilt Free

Wood fireplaces are an all-time classic, but there’s a bigger picture at stake than your comfort. If you are concerned about your carbon footprint, then opting for a gas fireplace instead of a wood-burning fireplace is the right choice for you. A gas fireplace is cost-efficient, energy-efficient, and eco-conscious compared with a traditional wood-burning fireplace.

The Value of Aesthetics

If you’ve ever walked into a living room or master bedroom outfitted with a sleek gas fireplace, you know how much it can enhance the look of a room. Nowadays fireplaces come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Picture an elongated fireplace in a stainless steel frame with a single elegant flame, a horizontal panel fireplace flickering above your soaker tub in the master bathroom, or a classic fireplace insert with a decorative mantel in your living room. The variations are endless, and each style is as irresistible as the next.

Add Value to Your Home

If you end up putting your home on the market, few features will stand out like a warm flickering fireplace in the middle of a harsh Ottawa winter. Fireplaces provide good ROI and could set your property apart from a comparable home for sale down the road. Install a fireplace for your own purposes, but you might be pleasantly surprised by its impact should you decide to sell the home in the future.

And having said this once is just not enough. Fireplaces are convenient, cozy and they set a different tone to your home. They show elegance and warmth.

So before the winter is upon us, think about what you want to do about your heating situation.  A fireplace will relieve you a little from depending a 100% on those power companies. Plus they give your house a personal touch, turning it from house to home. I don’t know about you, but I for one cannot wait to get the fireplace going and have some time alone with my thoughts (and a toasty mug full of hot chocolate!).