5 Smart mobile apps for smart HVAC techs

Isn't technology creating ease for us? A lot! Remember the times when our grandparents would go to telephone booths to make calls? The advent of landline and later the emergence of mobile phones made lives amazingly simple and easy. You can make calls from anywhere to anywhere in the world without having to worry about going outside or wait in front of the calling booth for a callback. Thanks to the mobile phone technology for this ease of one-click call and message. But that's not all! Using the latest smartphone technology, there's a lot more that can be done and this time thanks to the Google Apps.
You must be wondering why are you reading this all on an HVAC blog? Well, this blog is dedicated to exploring applications that can be useful for HVAC technicians.

Smart apps for Smart HVAC technicians 


Duct Calc Elite 

When installing a ductwork, there are tens of things that need to be considered. And even professionals can forget some figures sometimes so this application is here to help. Duct Calc Elite helps with sizing. In addition to providing standard and metric units for measurements, this app helps calculate velocity, flow rate, pressure drop and duct size with a few touches. Oh yes, tap tap tap and you're done with the most accurate duct sizing.

HVAC - Refrigerant PT - A/C 

Are you one such tech who doesn't want his learning to stop while he works? Great! We have an app to help you continue widening your HVAC knowledge. HVAC - Refrigerant PT - A/C. With complete data regarding temperature, pressure, physical properties and potential hazards of around 33 refrigerants, this app also allows personalisation of settings by allowing a shift between Fahrenheit and Celcius temperatures as well as 7 pressure measurements. Imagine how much it will increase your daily learning as you look at the given information several times on a daily basis.

HVAC Flashcards 

Are you on HVAC training? We want you to complete your training certification with distinction and here's an application to help you with that. HVAC Flashcards will help you prepare for your HVAC exam. Not only can you benefit from the already made cards, you can also make your own.

HVAC Buddy 

When your buddies can't go along with you to work, HVAC Buddy will. This app helps with diagnosis and inspection of HVAC appliances and refrigerant charge. In addition, it offers airflow and TEET calculation, detailed user manual and guidelines. Complex calculations now made easy! Ranked among the best HVAC apps, this app is a must-have if you are a DIY HVAC enthusiast or a professional HVAC tech.

ESC Mobile Tech 

Who has time to keep separate notepads for different needs and then maintain them all? Now you don't have to search your customer's contact information in your mobile contacts with a mental torture because you have already forgotten his name. And now you don't have to mess up with invoices and schedules. Keep all this record in one app. Invoices, quotes, schedules as well as service history, now can be arranged and found at one place in ESC Mobile Tech app.

Are you an HVAC tech? Which of these mobile applications do you use? And how useful have they been for you?

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Inspect AC repairs in time

This summer, before your Air Conditioner breaks down randomly on a very hot afternoon, inspect the necessary repairs in time. There are signs and symptoms that you can carefully look for in order to make sure whether or not your system is in need of repair. But before that; here's a quick reminder;
Many homeowners prefer to delay repairs in the hope to save some money. Remember that delaying of repairs never helps save money, it rather keeps multiplying the expense that you'll have to make when a worsened repair will be fixed. So if you are one such homeowner who has been in a habit of delaying repairs, don't continue this practice any further. Instead, look for repair needs yourself and fix them as soon as possible either with a DIY or with the help of a professional.
Here are some signs for you to inspect AC repairs;

- Compromised cooling 

You spend a whole season with your AC and you can easily tell how long does your AC take to cool the indoor. You can also tell if the cooling is not sufficient at the temperature you always set or when the cooling goes away all too quickly. This is one quick sign of AC needing repair. This could be due to leaking ducts, damaged refrigerant line or some issue with the compressor.
Please note that it is normal for the AC system to not give sufficient cooling on extremely hot days. But if the situation persists in normal temperature, you need to check where the system is ailing.

- Air flow problem  

There are two cases;
1. The airflow from all the vents is unusually light. This could suggest your unit's compressor has a problem
2. The other case is in which the air flow is different from different vents. Some rooms might be getting normally or overly cool while others getting partial or no air flow at all. This indicates a problem with the ductwork. Also, don't forget checking filters before giving a shout out to the repair tech; it is possible that your filters have problems and not the ductwork.

-Unnecessary moisture 

It is normal to have little moisture when the system is running. If small water pools are created close to the AC unit, it suggests the drain tube is blocked or broken.
Also, if the unit has icing on the refrigerant tubes, the refrigerant could be leaking. Call a professional to resolve this particular matter since this would require refilling of the refrigerant as well.

- Unusual sounds 

Banging, rattling, grinding, grating kind of sounds isn't a good sign. They usually indicate something wrong inside the unit. If you don't recognise where the sounds are coming from, better not try any DIY and contact a professional instead.

- Unusual odours 

It is normal if your system gives a stale and dusty odour when it is turned on after a whole long season. But pungent and foul smells aren't normal. They indicate burning of wire insulation. On the other hand, musty odours indicate the presence of mould in the unit or in the ductwork.

Bottom Line 

There are some repairs that are simple and can be fixed by homeowners all by themselves. But some repairs require professional assistance particularly the ones that are related to the system's inner components. But inspection is the first thing. As a homeowner, you should be able to inspect repairs well in time in order to avoid costly expenses of replacement.

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Purchasing a new home? Call an HVAC specialist for inspection!

Whether you are purchasing a new home or renting one, a home inspection is part of the purchase process. Every homeowner as he invests in such big deals need to make sure his home would make him feel comfortable and for this, it is important that the home is thoroughly inspected. Since common homeowners are not specialists, they can't perform the inspection on their own and it is for this reason that we have home inspectors. But did you know, oftentimes home inspectors are not specialists enough for HVAC inspection? When they perform inspection, they focus on overall medium to serious level home problems. For HVAC inspection, only a turn on/off is usually checked to see if the Air Conditioner and Furnace etc is operational. Usually, nothing more. And this does not end here. Most home inspectors are not certified and at many places, certification is not a legal requirement either. So, you never get to know how professional is the inspector and his inspection report. 

Keeping all the above-mentioned telltale in mind, another point to consider this fact;
Home inspectors often have a direct or indirect relationship with the profit in the buying/selling process. So it is never known how dishonest they might actually act in order to save them the deal and thus declare the home ''All Okay!''. Since HAVC inspection is a serious concern and taking it non seriously can cost you hundreds of dollars if any of your units stop working right after few months/weeks of purchasing the home, it is important to make some wise investment on HVAC inspection from a professional HVAC tech. We recommend not to solely rely on home inspector for HVAC inspection. 


Benefits of HVAC inspection through the third party 

You can enjoy several benefits as a result of proper and professional third-party HVAC inspection. Find some below; 
- Getting to know HVAC system flaws, you can have a discounted purchase price 
- Negotiations can be made for system replacement 
- Fixing the flaws in time lowers the possibility of high energy bills 
- Making sure the system is all well reduces risks of breakdowns and gives safer and durable operation 

What do specialised HVAC techs inspect?

Unlike the home inspectors, the specialised third-party HVAC techs inspect the following; 

- Ductwork: The tech will inspect the entire ductwork for leaks, cracks and other damages
- Refrigerant Inspection: Insufficient or leaking refrigerant will become an additional cost for you if it is not identified at the time of purchase. The HVAC tech, therefore, sees if the system has sufficient refrigerant and is free of refrigerant leaks. Also, the system is checked for what refrigerant type it is operating on. R-22 and some others have been banned. Ask the seller to either pay for the retrofit or have it done before making the sale final 
- System maintenance: And here's an important one. A specialised tech will give you an insight into how maintained the system has been kept. Proper maintenance means longer lifetime while irregular or no maintenance would mean compromised lifetime and efficiency 
- Leaks and Insulation: A third party professional HVAC tech is also capable of telling you of the major house leaks and the necessary insulation to be done 
- Additional installations: An HVAC inspector can tell you about the additional appliances that need to be installed in your new home keeping the environmental conditions under consideration while also the home's architecture and the peculiar HVAC needs of the prospective homeowners. For example, people with breathing problems of sensitivities would most probably require an Air Filtration system if it has not been installed already. You can manage to make an estimate of purchase for new appliances before finalising the purchase of the home, helping you keeping yourself within your budget range 

So, now you know what went wrong at the time of last home purchase? The next time, don't forget to call a pro for the pro's work. HVAC inspector!

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Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

Carbon Monoxide, the silent killer as you might already be aware of is a gas that is used in heating/cooling appliances, engines, stoves, generators and other everyday appliances. While it is a useful gas when used to run appliances, it turns out to be fatal as is inhaled by humans or animals. Nonetheless, the presence of the Carbon Monoxide around us and in our homes necessitates some safety measures that could save us from the dangers that it carries. Here we mention some CO safety tips and tricks and at the end a brief mention of the symptoms of CO poisoning.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

CO Safety - Tips & Tricks


* The best ever safety tip is to have a maintenance and safety check of heating appliances; Furnace, Boiler, Water Heater etc as well as CO and smoke detectors in order to make sure they are posing no danger

* Since CO is produced by engines as well, do not run them in enclosed rooms. Opening the doors and windows won't suffice. Make sure the area is all open around the engine. For the engines that are meant to run constantly on the outside or corner of the home, keep an eye on them as the CO leak, if it occurs, would find its way into the home

* In winters, don't perform the warming of the car action in the garage. Start the car and quickly drive out to warm the engine outside in open air

* Any seals and blockages in the flues, chimneys and fireplaces can cause the carbon monoxide to spread all around. If you can't make sure your appliances and heating elements are all well, call a professional before starting using them in winter

* Here's an important one; Dirty Filters hinder the air flow that further burdens the system and results in CO leaks. Have your filters cleaned/replaced every 3-6 months

* Your home need to have ventilation whatsoever. So, if you have a well insulated home, make sure you also have a ventilation system installed

* The Carbon Monoxide Alarms need to be installed in every portion of home separately and in the middle of every sleeping area. While you can sense the leak when awake, it is difficult and often times too late to sense it when you are asleep

* Different CO detectors offer different functions and different manuals. Always read the user manual in order to make sure the right installation and follow the right cares

* Once you're done with installing the unit, don't forget to keep it maintained. The maintenance is keeping its outside clean and changing the batteries as prescribed by the manufacturer

* The snow and dust build-up on vents is a leading cause of CO leaks. For dust, make it part of the maintenance routine to clean the vents and surrounding area. But perform the cleaning specifically after snow storms

* When there's a barbeque plan, celebrate the grilling enjoyment outside. Charcoal and gas grills produce CO

* It is also important to make sure the alarm of CO is audible and everyone at home recognises the alarm while it is also important that homeowners know about the emergency to-do's

Now that the tips and tricks are over, we are mentioning some symptoms of CO poisoning.

Symptoms of CO poisoning
3 early symptoms
* Headache
* Nausea
* Dizziness

3 worsening symptoms
* Hallucination
* Blurring of vision
* Increasing heart rate

3 absolute danger symptoms
* Chest pain
* Loss of consciousness
* Coma  

For all of these symptoms, try to take the victim in the open fresh air and to the hospital as quickly as possible. Do not try any supposed DIY remedies. CO poisoning is fatal and causes death if action is not taken in time.
Take care of yourself and family. Follow the safety tips and tricks to enjoy all seasons without coming at a risk of deadly dangers.

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Make Winter the time to strengthen relationships

While it might seem odd to find a relationship blog on an HVAC related blog, the truth is; there is a link between the two. And even if there’s not, let’s create one. We are not only concerned about your outer comfort, we are also concerned about you inner comfort that is for the majority of the times affected by relationships directly or indirectly. We are HVAC professionals secondly and yours truly friends firstly. So here we are; sharing with you today how you can utilize the extreme winter season in order to strengthen relationship issues, particularly of the familial relationships. 

Make winter the season to love more express more

There’s no denying the fact that technology has offered us with a hundred of benefits and has contributed significantly in making our lives comfortable but on the other hand, it is also true that the same technological advancement ; (or maybe its wrong use) has adversely affected human relationships. There was a time when family members would sit together to talk, communicate regarding important matters, contribute to resolving familial issues and much more. And today we are in the times of extremely busy schedule and intense hustle & bustle where even the family members don’t have time for one another. And even when they have; they are busy with their smart devices instead of getting busy with one other. One of the basic human needs according to psychologist Abraham Maslow is the relationship bond of a human with a human. While we do have so many acquaintances today; there are only a few or in some cases none, who we could really consider the people of solace and reliability just because the bonds are weak. 


If you have been having a hard time making an understanding with your spouse, are struggling with having quality time with your children or haven’t served your home in years like you once used to, peak winters is the time when you can fix all these relationship problems that bother you throughout the year. Since the extreme escalation of winters bound people to stay at homes, this homebound time can be used wonderfully. Here are a few tips that we would like you to consider;

  1. If you are an elder, reduce your use of smart devices and instead give time to your children by sitting with them, visiting their rooms, making discussions about their life affairs.
  2. It would be effective to initiate activities that would involve all members or at least the one you need to strengthen your bond with. It could be a game, some random cooking together, watching a movie or exploring old family photos.
  3. While the above mentioned is a general suggestion, the particular suggestion in order to resolve familial relationship matters is to give yourself time and contemplate on how would you repair the bond. Then use this homebound time to actually discuss the matter with the other person. Be careful to not end up worsening the matter as you have no place to go after a hot debate; it’s chilling cold outside. 
  4. Winters can be a wonderful time to learn new habits. As the schedules change altogether, some useful practices can be adopted that will keep the familial bonds stronger even after the winters have passed. For example; playing an indoor sport together at a particular time could be adopted as a habit. This will increase the time that the members will spend together while also will provide the family members with some memorable time to spend together. 
  5. Don’t forget to express love to your family. A kiss, a hug can do wonders. Winter is expressive so let it make you expressive as well.

Some other winter to do’s that will make your winters soulful

  1. Relationships are not limited to familial relationships. Extreme winter can be used to mend some long lost relationships with friends or relatives. 
  2. Think of the people you haven’t talked you in years. Make them a call 
  3. Post and home delivery services remain available even in extreme winters although with some delay. Think of some people you should express your love to; parents, grandparents, an old friend etc. Send them a gift, a handwritten card, a hand cooked dish, a hand-sewn sweater or whatever you think will please them the most
  4. Don’t forget to make the beautiful season of winter, the season of making the much-needed apologies. A sorry call, message or email will make your heart light enough to enjoy the season even more

Winter is beautiful but it does not remain beautiful when you have a sad heart and a torn soul. Make this season of Furnaces and Fireplaces the season to lit the fire of love and forgiveness by strengthening the relationships bonds. And in doing so; keep your family your priority. The best of all times is the time well spent with family.
A very happy winter!

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Furnace Gas Burner - Leaks, Flames & Emergency to do’s

Did you know that 9/10 house fires in Winters are caused by heating appliances? Gas fired Furnaces and Water Heaters are widely used today in Canadian homes. It is, therefore, important that homeowners know about the issues that should be taken seriously. One of them is the gas burner leaks. How can a common homeowner get to know that his gas burner is leaking? Before we learn about that, learn about the importance of fresh air for the heating appliances.



Why does heating appliances need fresh air?

It is your home actually that needs a constant supply of fresh air else it causes back drafting which is a super serious condition that pulls residual gases back into the indoor. In order to check whether or not your home is having a sufficient supply of fresh air, do this;

Close all windows and doors and turn on all exhaust fans of your home. Then turn up Furnace, Water Heater or any other gas vented appliance that you want to test. Holding either an incense stick or a lit matchstick, go to the air intake of the burner draft hood. If the smoke resulting from the incense stick/matchstick goes up inside in the hood, congratulations! your home has a sufficient supply of fresh air, however, if the inverse happens, i.e the smoke is blown away from the hood, you could be experiencing back drafting. Call a professional immediately to fix the problem.

What to do if you suspect a gas leak?

There are many ways you can suspect a gas leak. One has been mentioned above but the other most simple way to suspect a gas leak is the smell. You can easily differentiate between any other types of indoor odours and the gas leak odour. Once you smell it whether close to a Gas Furnace or a Gas Water Heater, here's what you are supposed to do;

- Rush outside! You have no idea what quantity of gas has already been leaked. So just turn off any electrical connections and quickly rush outside

- Call an emergency service to suspect the leaks in detail and fix them

- If you know where the main gas valve is located and find the time to shut it off, do shut it off as soon as the gas leaks are suspected

What are the right colours for burner flame?

When we started, we talked right in the beginning about the importance of the fresh air that the home and the heating appliances should be getting and only then they can perform with the expected optimal efficiency. In order to maintain a balance between gas & air for the burner, the burner should be producing a levelled amount of gas and should also be getting the sufficient amount of fresh air. When both these supplies are just right, you will see a blue burner flame which is soft-edged while a light green inner flame. However, when the air supply is deficient the burner flame will be having a yellow tip and a lazy inner flame. In case of too much air supply, a blue flame with sharp outlines can be observed with a hard-edged inner flame. Find the balance and keep yourself and your family safe. Also, don't forget to call an HVAC professional once every year for a safety inspection.

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Cold weather on the way - Take precautions for kids safety

Kids, compared with adults are more prone to weather changes and this necessitates that more care is taken when the climate begins to get harsher and harsher. Following some wise precautions, you can not only protect your children from getting sick but can also save the hard earned money that will otherwise get spent on appointments from the physician. They say; ''Prevention is better than cure'' and of course they say it right. Let us learn how can we keep our children safe from the monstrous effects of harsh Winters while also allowing them to enjoy the season fully.

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Care with layer
You might feel irritated with a double or triple layer of warm clothes in Winters since you are an adult with better body heat, your child, nonetheless needs it. From an early age, make children used to of covering themselves up completely and fully. This is the best and easiest remedy you could do to protect them from Winter effects. However, beware to not cover small children with scarves and hood strings since they have a potential to cause accidental strangling

Safety with alarms & awareness
One major reason for house-fire in Winters is the heating elements that are, no doubt, a potential threat to the safety of home and homeowners. Whether or not you have children, install fire and carbon monoxide alarms. They will help protect you in case of an emergency situation. Also, teach your children how to evacuate in case of an emergency and to keep away from appliances that can cause harm.

Comfort with Humidity   
Often times, children find it harder than adults to enjoy a comfortable indoor environment when there's a drop in humidity. And that is especially true for infants. If you find your child suffering from breathing unease, skin irritation or simply complaining about dry air, consider installing a Whole-home Humidifier or at least a room humidifier.

Hydrated with warm drinks
In Winters, everyone in general and children, in particular, tend to drink less water. They, at the same time, are losing water through their breath. This sometimes causes dehydration that can be life-threatening. So know what your children's daily need of fluid is according to their age and keep them hydrated with warm drinks and soups etc

Skiing with helmet
While you need to make sure children are safe in the indoors, you should be equally concerned about making their outdoor activities safe. Since they love to make snowmen, do skiing and play ice-hockey, it's wonderful if you let them enjoy the Winter with a full swing but it is also important that you teach them the safety measures to enjoy without getting hurt in any way. They should have proper clothing for outdoor Winter activities which include warm clothes, snowshoes and most importantly helmet for games like skiing, ice-hockey, snowboarding and sledding etc

Bottom Line
It is by taking precautionary measures that you and your family can enjoy every season. Childhood is the best time one gets in his lifetime. Let your children make their best of the best memories in Winters by providing them with a safe and secure season through wise precautions.

What other Winter precautions do you consider for your children?  

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