10 Things to consider when buying a Furnace

What exactly is a Furnace?

A furnace is one of the many heating devices used in the modern age. It is powered by propane, natural gas, and electricity. In the past, it was used mainly for ceramic work but nowadays is used as a heating source for residential homes and commercial buildings. This useful device has evolved to come in several types such as room heaters, stoves, and steam-water systems.

What does a Furnace do?

When it comes to Gas Furnace, the pressure is the key. The control board recognizes the call made by the thermostat and sends power to the ignitor. Then through the gas valve, the flame sensor is ignited which eventually results in heated blows of air through the ducts. Whereas, propane and oil furnaces need oil storage tanks to vaporize the fuel in a sealed chamber. So yeah! Here's what Furnaces do.

What should be kept in mind while buying a Furnace?

Following are the key points which must be considered on your next furnace purchase:

- Choose the prime fuel type

You must select a suitable fuel type based on your area. In the case of mild winters, electric furnaces are the best. But ones that work in natural gas are preferred in areas with harsher weathers

- Know the energy efficiency rate 

Greater AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) ratings, the better.

- Take account of size as per your needs

Of course, size matters. Too small and it won’t do the job properly. Too large and it will result in unnecessary energy cycles and wear and tear of the components.

- Air Quality and Filtration

Your furnace will play a big role in determining the overall air quality of your home and thus the furnace’s filtering features must be kept in mind. You may also consult a qualified HVAC technician.

- Pay attention to the Fuel Price Range

As oil prices vary a lot, you should get one with predictably fewer fluctuations to not get out of budget. If you like consistency more, it is better to get a gas furnace.

- Keep in mind the TOC

Now, what exactly is a TOC? It stands for the “Total cost of ownership” and measures the repair cost, installation and repair measure, etc. Professional advice must be acquired to calculate the TOC considering the numerous factors and ratings. It is better to buy one which has less upfront costs.

- Choose one with the best Ignition System

A furnace must be chosen with an ignition system with a consistent flame. Intermittent and hot-surface ignition systems are more reliable.

- Got budget for a Two-Stage Furnace?

If your answer is yes, then it will become one of the best appliance purchases you will make for sure! Two-Stage works like a one-stage, except that it utilizes a three-position valve which is way more efficient and reliable.

- Check Online Customer Reviews

Others’ reviews can come a lot in handy while buying your own stuff.

- Go Eco-Friendliness

Although they may be a bit pricey, but these come with additional features that are certain in increasing the overall device’s efficiency.

Consider these 10 factors while making your next purchase and you would enjoy absolute indoor comfort. Bet? 


Beware the consequences of a leaky Heat Exchanger

HVAC appliances, while they are meant to give comfort, can also become a reason for causing absolute discomfort. Leaks in components like ductwork is discomforting but leakage in the component like heat exchanger is lethal. One reason why HVAC professionals highly endorse getting inspection and tune-up for Residential Furnaces is to minimize the threats that the prospect issues in the Furnace and its components can cause. This blog defines the threats a leaky Heat Exchanger poses and explains how in-time annual maintenance and tune-up by a professional can save you from great havocs.

Abrupt and sudden Furnace Fires

With a Furnace unit not maintained on a regular basis, cracks, dents, and holes in the heat exchanger unit is a clear consequence. Cracks in the heat exchanger mean that gases and air can mix anytime in disproportionate measures to cause a sudden and totally unexpected fire. This is especially horrendous for the times when you are away for groceries or to pick your kids from school.

In order to understand how this fire can set, you need to understand the mechanism. In the inside of a heat exchanger, uncombusted gas is present. This gas heats the heat exchanger and the cold air slides on the outside walls of the heat exchanger to receive the heat. The hot air is then circulated in the indoor, while the air inside of the heat exchanger is then expelled through the vents. However, in case of cracks in the heat exchanger, the inside gases can get mixed with the outside gases and get circulated in the indoor. Also, as the combustion gases mix, they can sometimes cause fires that cause severe damage. It takes more than $4,500 to recover from the damage caused by Furnace Fires. 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

CO Poisoning is another consequence of a leaky heat exchanger. The heat exchanger, as it is designed to expel combustion gases outside from the vent fails to do so when there is a crack in the heat exchanger unit. As a result, the combustion gases get mixed with the air that is meant to circulate in the indoor. This can cause CO poisoning and the presence of the CO in the indoor can go unfelt for hours until its impacts start to reveal. And by the time it is felt, much damage has already been made.

How to avoid and identify Heat Exchanger Cracks?

The best way to avoid accidents associated with cracky Heat Exchanger is to have the system maintained annually by a professional. A tune-up visit by a professional is highly recommended as it helps identify possible threats. The second way to identify the cracks is to install a CO detector. Since Heat Exchanger leaks also usually cause CO poisoning, a CO alarm can detect that. Make sure to be vigilant about changing CO detector batteries in time if you have a detector installed. Most people suffer accidents despite having a detector installed but one with expired batteries.
Your life is precious and so is your family's. Play safe, take precautions.


Exploring Lennox's SL297NV & SLP98V Furnace models

Lennox is serving in the field of home comfort heating and cooling from the time your grandpa was first able to recognise a Fireplace as a toddler. To your surprise, Lennox was founded in 1897 and since then, it is winning hearts by offering world class home comfort heating and cooling solutions. With the advancement in technology, the products have become far superior than how they were back then in the 1800's and until the 90's. The 21st century advancements, has made availability of comfort easier than it ever was while also making it affordable for the vast majority. A Furnace unit, for instance is available with price range of $800 minimum and this can go on up to $2000+. We must consider this availability of the wonders of technology to people of all budget range, a good omen. In addition, the variation in features of different makes and models makes it even more ideal for individuals to choose the units according to their peculiar needs. For instance, no-noise units, variable speed units etc. And while we are talking about variations, choices, ease and affordability, we can't forget to mention Lennox; a brand with versatile variety.

This blog is dedicated to finding out the features of two latest Lennox Furnace models and establishing comparison among them.

- Signature Collection SL297NV - Variable Speed, Eco-Friendly

This unit won the 2019 sustainability award and holds the title of being the lowest gas emission unit in the market; a good choice to the people concerned about global warming. As long as the primary features are concerned; this is a variable capacity unit which also means an energy efficient unit. Officially, it holds the AFUE rating of 97.5 AFUE and is, like other Lennox products, an Energy Star product. Compared to a unit of 60 AFUE, SL297NV offers a 38% saving on energy bills annually, which becomes a $3,823 saving in 5 years. The unit is compatible with Lennox iComfort S30 Smart Thermostat which adds to the family's comfort by adapting to their temperature preferences.

When it comes to warranty, there is a limited time warranty on the heat exchanger and a 5 year limited warranty on other components (only those covered under warranty).

- Signature Collection SLP98V - The most efficient and quiet baby

The last Furnace you used must not have exceeded an AFUE of 70. But hey there! Lennox Signature Collection SLP98V comes with an AFUE rating of 98.7 and is therefore advertised by Lennox as "the most energy efficient Furnace you can buy". Compared with a 60 AFUE unit, SLP98V gives an estimated saving of 38% on heating. It as been marked as the most energy efficient (Energy Star) product of 2019.

Talking about exclusive features now. The Precise Comfort technology employed in SLP98V allows the unit to offer the exact temperature as needed and combat with the hot and cold spots completely. An exclusive feature is also its quietness. SLP98V is 10 times quieter than its competitive models of other brands. It is so quiet that you would have to look at the Thermostat to confirm if the system is running.

When it comes to warranty, this model comes with a 10-year part limited warranty (on covered parts) and a limited lifetime warranty on heat exchanger.

So fellas! Did this exploration of features open your eyes towards how smart Furnaces can become in 2020's?
Looking for some smart purchases?
Call today: 905 822 5550


On the importance of Furnace maintenance and tune-up in Toronto

Winter time in Canada is always tough on one’s daily routine, with day-to-day chores piling up, and temperatures dropping to levels that may lead to serious injuries such as frostbite, one should keep a working furnace properly maintained and regularly checked. Hence winter furnace maintenance is one of the most important elements to your life in Toronto, especially for the fall and winter routine.

Many technicians suggest that instead of saving up to buy a brand new furnace it would be wiser to spend a small sum on service and maintenance of your existing furnace at least once a year. Such proactive steps make sure that your Furnace keeps you warm throughout the winter season without breaking down in the middle of the season when you need it the most.

In a place like Toronto, you would be using your furnace through the entire winter season as winters there can go from being relatively mild to very harsh in a matter of days if not weeks, hence maintenance for your furnace should be kept in mind around fall season. Doing regular maintenance proactively around that time would result in you using your furnace efficiently during the coldest months of the year. Moreover, the more efficient your furnace is, the less it would cost to operate on a daily basis. When its functional all day throughout the winter season it would lead to you saving up big by spring season just by operating efficiently.

Having professionals check your furnace during the fall season for maintenance is a good way of ensuring how reliable it will be during the cold winter season. There are numerous professionals that can be found all around Toronto who are available to ensure that your furnace machine is working in top shape and is ready for the winter season. As with any machine, with the passage of time, the machine is likely to breakdown which is why regular checkups should be made a habit. Routine maintenance during the fall season also leads to you having a whole season to prepare the Furnace into being used generally, testing it every other day would also add to its long term efficiency. Some issues that many people face and professionals have also noted are flaky igniters in your furnace, cracks in the combustion chamber and even blockages in utility lines. Such problems can be avoided by having an expert come by and have a thorough look at your furnace, hence it is recommended that a professional come have a look at the machines at least once every year to maintain their warranty. Regular maintenance will not only help resolve minor issues and increase efficiency but also ensure that your warranty is still valid in case you run into much larger issues down the road. Last but not the least, it will also be easier on your

pocket as compared to buying a new furnace every single time!


Uneven cooling - Troubleshooting for Two-storey home

Does your home suffer uneven home cooling? Do you sense a temperature difference from storey to storey or room to room? Hold on! You are not alone. The problem is more frequent with older buildings or multi-storey homes. Homeowners often complain that it is always hot upstairs and cold downstairs. Some assume the reason is “sudden heat rise.” Well, it can be valid to some extent but is not always the case.
When we purchase an Air Conditioner, it is expected, the system will keep cooling all parts of home evenly. However, over time, factors like system gas, duct work problems, and dirty filters reduce the ability of AC to cool the entire part of your home evenly.
We'd help you to tackle causes that contribute to the uneven cooling along with some simple solutions.

Check air ducts for air leaks and holes:

Holes or air leaks make central air conditioner hard to work, resulting in missing or uneven air cooling around the home- meaning the air that is intended to reach a specific destination, bleeds off before it arrives. A professional inspection of the duct can help to save the problem before it gets worse. 

Control cooling with a zoning system:

Zoning system works best for those who want absolute control over cooling as the summer hits. This system is featured to control the temperature in each floor or room. It can be an expensive investment yet worth every penny.
You can hire an HVAC contractor to set up customized zones in different areas of the home. The number of zones depends upon the size and layout of the house. In general, it is the efficient and the best way to get even-cooling as summer begins to come around.

Look for blocked vents

Blocked vents and registers can be the culprit of uneven cooling. Move furniture or anything that blocks vents or registers and impede the proper circulation of air. Sometimes, build-up inside the vents can also lead to uneven cooling. You can use a vacuum with an attachment to loosen and clean the debris or dirt.

Use air vents to redirect air

You can redirect air to any area by partially closing vents of the floor. This way, air can be redirected to second-storey or any desired location. However, make sure, to never fully close the vents. 

Dirty Air filters:

Dirty air filters restrict airflow and decrease the amount of cold air. Hence, a reduced amount of cool air delivered throughout the storeys. Homeowners must clean and replace air filters twice in a year for the optimal functioning of the system. 

Add insulation in the attic:

Attic’s insulation can go a long way in serving you with two benefits: keeping the cool air inside and hot outside air out. Lack of quality insulation leaks the air and creates a noticeable temperature difference from floor to floor or sometimes room to room. There must be proper insulation with the right R-value according to the size or region of home.

Do you experience hot and cold spots in your home? How have you tried to fix those? 


How to protect yourself from Heat Wave

The heatwave is the excessive period of hot temperature which can cause humidity and sweating among people. The heatwaves are becoming common around the globe in different continents. A heatwave can be dangerous if it causes extreme sweating as it can result in dehydration. Excessive hot temperatures can also result in killing people. 7,000 die every year due to extreme temperatures. This necessitates that awareness regarding protection from heatwave is shared.

We will share a few ways to protect yourself from Heatwave:

How to protect yourself during Heatwave

- Overheating can be problematic for people who have breathing problems. The hottest time of the
day is between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Mostly, doctors advise people to stay indoors during these
timings. Keeping the windows and doors closed can also prevent the effect of the heat.

- Cold water is your best friend in hot weather. Doctors suggest 8 glasses of water during a regular
day. But during a heatwave, it is better to consume more water, chilled drinks and healthy smoothies
to keep your body hydrated. Avoid taking bath with hot water as it will further dehydrate your body.

- Reduce the intake of caffeinated drinks such as tea or alcohol.

- Wear loose cotton clothing and wear light colours. Dark colours attract sunlight and heat. And light
powder colours will give a cooling effect and make you look fresh. Wear shades when going out. This
will protect your eyes and surrounding skin from skin burn. Wear sunscreen all the times. Especially
during the heatwave. A heatwave can cause quick tanning. Wearing sunscreen will help you to
maintain a shield against the harmful rays of the sun. If you are working out during hot weather,
make sure to drink 20 ounces of water before working out. And seven to ten ounces after working
out. Exercises can lose water content from the body. So it is very important to maintain the natural
water content of the body.

- The foods that we eat can help us maintain our energy levels while keeping us hydrated. Melon is
considered to be a water-based fruit. Eating chilled watermelon or making healthy smoothies from
watermelon can be a great source of healthy hydration for the body. Cucumbers are also known for
their health benefits and the water content they have. Salads and making drinks from cucumbers
will not only keep you hydrated, but it will also help you get rid of any toxic elements in your body.

- Heatwaves not only affect humans, but it also has effects on animals. If you have pets, try to keep them indoors and make sure they drink enough fresh water during the day. Do not take them for walks as heat can travel through their paws and can be a cause of heatstroke.

Symptoms of Heatstroke

- It is important to take precautions but at the same time, it is equally important to know the
symptoms of heatstroke. High blood pressure, redness of the skin, vomiting, seizures and heartbeat
fluctuations are all signs of heatstroke. Although, anyone can be at the risk of heatstroke,
elderly people and children can be affected more than others.
Prevention is better than cure. Stay safe!


How Much Commercial HVAC maintenance Can Cost?

When you are running a business, there is so much to manage from overseeing and leading the work to plan, maintain, and set policies for the work system. When you are that busy, the chances are high; you put aside the tasks related to regular HVAC maintenance. For the comfort and well-being of every individual on the premises, the importance of timely maintenance of the commercial HVAC system is mandatory. How worse it could be when the AC breaks down during the scorching heat of summer? It can adversely affect the productivity of the employees and tenants of the home if you are a landlord. Therefore, to maintain a high level of business occupancy or success of the brand, make sure to repair or replace the HVAC system timely.

How does a commercial HVAC maintenance cost you?

Wondering how much a commercial HVAC maintenance can cost you? Believe us; it is not an easy question to answer. The average cost can vary from one city to another! It also depends upon the time it takes to complete the work and the age, condition, quantity, and type of HVAC model requiring repairs.

In general, a flat fee for one-time Air Conditioner maintenance can be $80-$110, but businesses are more inclined to go for the annual support – an economical option to go with.

Comparing the service contract prices:

There are various types of contracts up for grabs for the companies and landlords alike.
Some businesses may go for the contract that sounds too good to be true; It happens when we don’t think about the skullduggery. We recommend avoiding any unpleasant situation and do the comparing of every contract prices. For that, when you get the contract price, divide it by the contractor’s hourly rate to know how many hours of services you will need for the commercial HVAC system. Divide the obtained value with the number of visits and total HVAC equipment - the final costs help you to get the best plan.

Benefits of Commercial HVAC maintenance:

How bad the situation could be when you had to replace the HVAC system that could have been conveniently prevented with regular maintenance? The extra cost could be utilized more productively!

Those who skip it can have serious financial issues; some are outlined below:

- The poorly maintained HVAC system does not remain energy efficient and drive the energy bills up.
- Routine maintenance helps to identify all the failing problems early on and save you from the more significant issues.
- Any negligence can result in the extended downtime and more repairing cost.
- The longevity or lifespan of an HVAC system is expanded with the regular maintenance

Wrapping up the article:

A planned maintenance program gears up the HVAC systems for future challenges. There are also tons of operational perks of commercial HVAC maintenance, and it is essential for the start-ups or organizations to have fully established equipment. A reliable HVAC system proves to be more cost-effective and keep you ahead of your competitors.