Planning a DIY Installation? Avoid these mistakes

As a homeowner, one of the most important decisions that you'd make for your HVAC system is whether or not to perform a self-installation. As professionals, we recommend professional installation keeping in view the consequences of DIY installation that are reported by homeowners on a regular basis. But also realising the fact that professional installation does not always come under one's affordability and that there are people with different budgets, we do support the idea of DIY installation subject to the condition that prerequisites are not overlooked in this regard.
If you're planning to purchase or have purchased a new unit and are convinced to perform the installation yourself, here are some tips that we want you to consider in order to perform an installation that you won’t have to regret over later.

DIY AC Installation

Tip1 - ''One size fits all?'' Nope!

When it comes to Air Conditioners, the commonly heard advertisement slogan ''one size fits all'' is never true for them. Air Conditioners are of different qualities and sizes, designed by keeping in mind different sizes and requirements of homes. The most commonly made mistake is that homeowners fail to choose the right size realising not that it is not only a small AC size that can keep their home uncomfortable, a larger than required size creates, even more discomfort by making loud noises, bringing fatty energy bills and others. Therefore, it is highly recommended to either consult an HVAC professional before purchasing a new unit or make a detailed search over internet to confirm what AC size would best suit your home.

Tip2 - Make the airflow smooth and hindrance free

Alright so here's a question for you; What would happen if your plumbing and drain system has leaks? The leaks will not only affect the pressure of supplied water for everyday use, it will also cause the water to seep into the floor or walls giving way to mould and spores. Keeping it short, your system will damage your home and create more discomfort than comfort. The same is true for duct leaks. The airflow needs to be kept smooth and hindrance free for the system to work. So, while performing a DIY installation, make sure the units both indoor and outdoor are placed the right locations and the duct system is hindrance free to allow an obstacle free flow.

Tip3 - Seal it, Insulate it!

Installing the unit is not the only thing that you're supposed to do. Most homeowners forget that the home needs to be tightly packed for the Air Conditioning to take effect. Once the unit is installed whether it's a Central Air Conditioner or a Ductless Air Conditioner, make sure all the windows and doors are properly sealed. Also, if you've your home insulated and the insulation needs to be renewed, consider refilling your attic/basement whatever in order to enjoy the optimal efficiency of the newly installed unit.

Tip4 - Don't forget Ventilation

We did talk about properly sealing or insulating the home but that does not negate the importance of ventilation. Your Air Conditioner does not operate 24/7. Keep hours in which the home is allowed to breathe in some fresh air right from the outside. Keep some doors and windows that are opened during the time the Air Conditioner is off. A properly ventilated home maintains a good and healthy level of indoor air quality. So don't forget while installation that ventilation is important.

Tip -5 Cut Cost but carefully

We all love to save, do we? Yes! And when homeowners perform DIY installation, they fail to realise the fact that cutting cost by skipping some installation steps can turn out to be extremely costly. For example, some people prefer to install a new system over the old wiring which is although okay but can be damaging if the wiring was faulty and needed renewal. As HVAC professionals, our highly recommended suggestion, in this case, is to consult an HVAC tech before trying the cutting cost strategy in the process of DIY installation.

Need to have a Professional Installation?
It is possible that some of you might realise the importance of professional Installation that is both perfect and risk-free. At Furnace and AC Direct, we're offering affordable Installation services for the homeowners of Toronto and over 15 other GTA areas. Request a Free quote now for installation;
905-822-5550


         

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Save on Cooling Cost without compromising on Cooling Comfort

Hello, Toronto!
Enjoying Summer?
The heat waves have begun throughout Toronto and the full swing Summer is on the go. While some people are totally comfortable with this temperature in the indoors, there are yet others that are worried. And why worried? The primary reason that put homeowners into a worrisome situation in Summer is indoor discomfort and higher energy bills. Due to intense heat, the system seems to work non-efficiently while the energy bills keep on rising with every passing month.
So the question is: are there any ways to enjoy an optimal AC performance with reduced energy bills without making any compromise on comfort or investing on installing new devices?
Ummm yes! Not only is it possible, it is in fact very easily possible. Here we are mentioning some ways to help you save on cooling cost without compromising on comfort.

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1. Thermostat is your friend
The thermostat can help save on energy bills to a great extent if used properly. US Department of Energy says that it is possible to save up to 15% on energy bills just by raising the temperature on Thermostat when you're away from home. It is suggested to raise the temperature 7-10 degrees when leaving home. Keeping the Air Conditioner running at this temperature not only helps protect the home from the production of mould and spores (due to increased humidity in the case of AC completely turned off) but also keep the home comfortably cool. In order to cool the home according to your needs differently at different hours, Programmable Thermostats or Smart Thermostats can also be used. While Programmable Thermostats can be used to preset a Temperature at which you want your home to be cooled before you return home, a Smart Thermostat can be used to control your HVAC system from anywhere, literally anywhere using WIFI technology.
So the most important tip is to make a careful use of Thermostat in Summers if you're seeking to save on cooling cost.


2. Fans are your best friend
Remember the time there were no Air Conditioners? What did we have then? The Fans! They're our long old fellows. While some people think fans can't help in intense hot Summer, the truth is; they can, though in combination with the AC system. Fans help give a wind chill effect and you can actually raise your Thermostat up to 4 degrees without even noticing any difference in the cooling. Here's more:
A Central Air Conditioner System costs 36 cents for 3 kilowatts per hour. Contrary to that, our best friends cost only 1 cent for 30 watts per hour. This means, there's almost a 99% difference in cost. So when you use a ceiling fan in combination with the Air Conditioner and raise the Thermostat temperature, much less energy is consumed that keep you cool equally cool but reduce the energy bills.  


3. Open/Close Windows, Doors & Vents
Hey, hold on! Who told you that closing vents in unused rooms help save energy? Na man! It overloads the system and pressurises it. Do not close vents in the unused rooms. Instead, open the doors of the rooms so that cool air circulates throughout the home. The room doors need to be kept open as much as possible so that not only the air can circulate easily but also the suction of air through return vents can be made possible without burdening the system.
Done with doors and vents, now let's talk about the windows. It is simple! Keep your windows and blinds closed in the day when there's the sun outside but open them at night and in the early morning so that fresh air can circulate through the home. This cools the home too and you can raise the temperature on your thermostat in these hours. Saving you see.


4. Did you know of "OFF peak hours"?
If not, you must have wasted hundreds of dollars on utility bills that could have been saved. There are hours of the day when electricity is being used massively. On those hours, the electricity rates are higher than the off-peak hours when the applied rates are less. While it is not possible to turn off the Air Conditioner at the peak hours to save energy, it is yet possible to use other appliances that use massive energy i.e iron, dishwasher, washing machine etc in the off-peak hours. This way, not only the energy is saved but also no compromise is made on cooling comfort.


5. No Maintenance - Higher Bills
Did you know that one of the major reasons of why people have to face fatty energy bills is the lack of appliance maintenance? Appliances that are not given proper maintenance are prone to corrosion and repair. Moreover, they fail to provide the expected efficiency. It is, therefore, better to spend on in-time maintenance than to spend on sudden repair and heavy energy bills.
Before the season begins, let your system inspected by a professional.


Bottom Line: There are several ways to save without making any compromise on comfort. All it takes is some careful practices and responsible attitude towards the home comfort heating and cooling appliances. If you've been tired of high energy bills and want to reduce them, use the above-mentioned ways and reduce energy bills up to 15%.

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3 Things to consider when upgrading a Thermostat

Have you been using a Manual Thermostat and now planning to convert to Programmable? Or bewildered whether or not to convert? Upgrading a Thermostat could be very confusing. Most of the times, homeowners are unaware of their own HVAC needs and thus fail to decide which Thermostat to choose. We can help you get through this confusion but before that we want you to understand that your Thermostat is basically the control centre for your whole HVAC system. It controls how comfortably the system will heat/cool your home. Any problem with this control system can disturb the efficiency and performance of the whole system. So for you, the most important advice we'd begin with is; choose carefully!

There are usually two types of Thermostats i.e Programmable and Non-Programmable. If you're planning to upgrade your Thermostat and wonder which one to choose here are 3  things to consider. Let’s do 3,2,1

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3. Manual/Non-Programmable vs Programmable Thermostat?

While the market is teamed with Programmable Thermostats and this is what the latest trend as well is, we don't insist for Programmable Thermostats if a homeowner is comfortable with the version he was already using. If you've been using Manual Thermostats, were comfortable with them and think that getting along with Programmable Thermostat wouldn't be easy for you (since they are much costlier than manual) purchase the latest model of the same type of Thermostat that you were using. However, in case you want better efficiency, more saving on energy bills and are able to make a little heavier investment, put your hand on a Programmable Thermostat preferably a Smart Thermostat.


2. Check Thermostat Compatibility

Did you hear us saying that not all Duct Filters are suitable for all HVAC systems? If not, we just repeated it. Well, the same goes for Thermostats as well. Although manufacturers try to make Thermostats compatible with all different types of HVAC systems, this doesn't actually happen always. The latest technology Thermostat can certainly not work perfectly with an old style HVAC system. Before making the purchase, consult your seller or the local HVAC service provider to make sure you're purchasing the right products.


1. What features are you looking for?

An important question! So what features are you looking for? The same that your old Thermostat had or the ones that your neighbour has in his Thermostat? (which is a Wifi Thermostat by the way)
We always recommend homeowners to make a careful research before making the purchase of any HVAC appliance. If is good to explore in detail what features does a particular product offers that you're planning to purchase. And more importantly, making sure whether or not you'll be able to use those features. For instance, many people purchase 7day Programmable Thermostats (that are no doubt exceptionally cool and offer lots of features) but never actually use those features. This way, not only a lot of money is wasted in purchasing an expensive product but also no exceptional savings are made on energy bills. A loss! So make sure what features do you exactly want and what feature would you be able to bear easily with.

Bottom Line

Here go the three most important things to consider when upgrading a Thermostat. It is now your turn to put them in practice and purchase the rightest Thermostat for your home. Happy home comfort!

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5 benefits of Ductless Air Conditioners

People throughout Canada use different ways for home cooling. While a majority has been using Duct Air Conditioners, the last decade has seen a massive change in the trend; The shifting from Duct Air Conditioners to Ductless Air Conditioners. And there are convincing reasons to convert to Ductless, one of which is that Ductless system helps save up to 30% on energy bills compared with Duct Air Conditioners provided that Thermostats are used.

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5 benefits of Ductless Air Conditioners


1. Easy to install
Purchase a unit, make connections and mount it. That's all when it comes to Ductless/Split Air Conditioners. They are super easy to install, to replace and to relocate and thus ideal for people who keep on changing their interior settings or have to shift homes every now and then. Unlike Duct Air Conditioners, no ductwork is required for Split Air Conditioners.

2. Easy to operate
In addition to being easy to install, Ductless Air Conditioners are also easy to operate. Supported with wireless controls/remote control systems you can alter settings with a simple press of a button. It is an additional comforting feature since the same cannot be done with Duct Air Conditioners until and unless you've a Smart Wifi Thermostat to assist you for that.

3. Easy to accommodate
If you're living in small apartments, there's no way you can manage to install a Duct Air Conditioner since it necessarily requires a ductwork system and in addition a wide space for the unit accommodation provided that other conditions of unit placement are fulfilled as well. Contrary to that, no matter how small a home you have, a Split/Ductless Air Conditioner is always supported with that since all it requires is a small space somewhere on your wall. The outdoor unit as well is small enough to easily make its accommodation outside.    

4. Easy to afford
Not only in terms of initial installation but also in terms of maintenance, repair and utility bills, the Ductless/Split Air Conditioners are a far better choice compared with the Duct Air Conditioners. With large homes, where keeping the whole house conditioned using Duct system costs in extra fat energy bills, the ductless system can work best to cool only those areas where you wish to enjoy cooling i.e bedroom, drying room etc.

5. Easy to bear
Who wants comfort with a lot of noise? While the Duct Air Conditioners are a loud mouth, the Ductless are quiet and peaceful. The outdoor unit is outside and thus its noise is not disturbing. The indoor unit is quiet enough to produce only an unfelt sound. So if you've been struggling to maintain a quieter surroundings, go for Ductless the next time.

Bottom Line
We say it over and over and over again that everything has its own pros and cons and so do Duct and Ductless Air Conditioning Systems. Every home is different and so are it's heating/cooling needs. It is you who have to decide which one would work best for you keeping the needs of your home. Happy Summer!

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Things that void HVAC warranty

One of the factors that need to be taken into consideration while purchasing an HVAC appliance (or any other appliance) is Warranty. Warranties give you the benefit of returning or replacing a product if it turns out to be faulty or collapse before the warranty time. People these days prefer purchasing appliances that offer unlimited time warranty or at least a long warranty, however, it is known by few that even warranties are conditional and not following the warranty terms nullifies the warranty. Do you know any factor that voids warranty and warranty of HVAC appliances in particular? If not, this article is for you.

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Things that void HVAC warranty

Improperly installed unit
If you happen to read the appliance manual, you'll get to know that almost all HVAC appliance manufacturers require the buyer to install the appliance by a professional only. The DIY installation often voids the warranty. Read the terms and conditions at the warranty card carefully. If the warranty requires professional installation, do not try to act like a technician and end up voiding warranty.

Non-brand replacement parts
Here's an important one. Remember that every manufacturer loves its business and do not want to play at loss. While a buyer purchasing replacement parts from another manufacturer is not in the favour of the product's manufacturer, it is also not in the favour of the appliance itself. Since every product is different, using a non-brand replacement part has potential to affect the appliance's performance. It is for this reason that by the use of non-brand replacement parts, the warranty automatically loses effect which means the actual manufacturer is no longer responsible for any damage to the product anymore.

Not registering warranty
What was the last time you register a warranty? If you never did, it's probably that you are not familiar with this requirement. Not always but sometimes, HVAC manufacturers require buyers to properly register a product in order for the warranty to take effect. Make sure of all the warranty requirements when purchasing.

Annual Maintenance - A must do!
Product manufacturers cannot take responsibility of irresponsible people. Oh yes, we're referring to those type of people who purchase HVAC appliances, keep the warranty cards saved carefully but don’t take care of the appliances and then run to the manufacturers or suppliers once any problem arises. This is absurd! Having a warranty does not mean it cannot void no matter what you do. All manufacturers strictly suggest a proper maintenance of appliance for it to remain liable to warranty. At least an annual maintenance is a must particularly in the case of HVAC appliances. So here's what you need to avoid; postponing maintenance.

Bottom Line
Warranties are manufacturer's promise that if any damage occurs to the appliance in a predefined time, he will be responsible to either replace the appliance, repair it or in some cases return the money but it needs to be kept in mind that warranties are conditional, sometimes highly conditional. As said above, using non-brand replacement parts, not registering the warranty, not doing annual maintenance and not doing a professional installation, all these factors void the warranty of HVAC appliances unless a manufacturer has his own lenient terms. However, these are not the only factors that void warranty. It is, therefore, suggested to carefully read manuals and warranty cards to make sure of the terms and conditions it stands on.

Happy purchasing but be careful the next time about the warranty :)  

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HVAC System - What is normal, what is not?

With an HVAC system installed at home, there are several issues that you'll have to face throughout with either the system on the whole or with a particular component of the HVAC system. Interestingly, more than half of the population in Canada has least to no knowledge about their HVAC system and about combating the common HVAC problems. It is, therefore important to shed light on the normal and abnormal HVAC behaviours for awareness and benefit of the individuals. That's what we are about to do:
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Common HVAC Problems

Water Leaks

Normal

Here's what homeowners face the most and get panic right away. Water leaks can be very disturbing and exhausting particularly if you've installed the system recently. However, it needs to be understood that not all leaks are serious leaks. The sweating type effect that the condenser coil gives is a result of usual condensation process and that’s why droplets of water are found near the coil. Nothing to worry about!

Not Normal

The type of leaks that are not normal are basically the heavy leaks. Hopefully, every homeowner can differentiate between a sweating effect leaks and the leaks that produce water in excessive amount. Heavy water leaks are a symbol of some serious problem. It means some part of the system is draining improperly, is dripping or has damaged. Call professionals to check the appliance.

Odours

Normal

Other than water leaks issue, this is another issue that bothers the homeowners. Usually, Air Conditioners, Furnaces, Heat Pumps and all major heating and cooling appliances produce little to no odour. Some odours might be sensed at the beginning of the season when the appliance is restarted after a long time, however, on everyday running, there should be no odour.

Not Normal

On a routine basis, any type of odour coming from the HVAC system is a symbol indicating an issue. If burning odour is felt, there are possibilities that either some component are getting overheated or there's a wiring problem. To troubleshoot the overheating problem, shut the system off and change the filters as dirty filters are often the reason behind overheated systems. If that does not work out and the smell continues to come, call a professional to fix the issue.
Sometimes, a ‘’dirty sock’’ like smell comes from the HVAC system. It is usually an indication of mould growth in the system that might be present in drain lines, on condenser coil or system liner. Once again only a professional can help rid this situation.

Noises

Normal

Some people take HVAC noises very seriously while others give no importance to any type of HVAC noises at all. Both attitudes are wrong. There are sounds that are not worth worrying for and are system sounds while others do need to be taken seriously. The normal HVAC sounds are the very unheard intensity sounds that the components make or the sound of light air whooshes that is heard throughout the house. Nothing more!

Not Normal

If your system begins to make crackling, banging, rattling, buzzing, or banging sounds, there is something seriously wrong. Consider the problem and look for the exact component from where the noise is coming in order to fix it. Changing of filters, tightening of compressor screws, restarting of the system, resetting of the thermostat and removing any stuck items from the system often fix the abnormal noises, however, if the problem persists, you know already what you're supposed to do; call a professional.

Conclusion
So here it was. A small quick piece of HVAC information to better equip you with HVAC knowledge so that the next time you face an HVAC related problem, you know what it is and how to troubleshoot it. Did the article help you? Are you facing any problem with your heating and cooling appliances? Connect with us anytime and we'd be glad to help. Call:  905 822 5550

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Top 3 HVAC mistakes that homeowners make

Ignorance is not a bliss dudes especially when it is kept regarding the HVAC system. Instead of taking professional consultation, homeowners often make the mistake of randomly searching the answers of HVAC queries on the internet. It needs to be understood that not everything on the internet is a valid information and not everything said on blogs is said by HVAC professionals. There are some wrong HVAC practices that the homeowners are prone to. We're about to explain the top 3 HVAC mistakes that the homeowners make and this causes not only fatty energy bills but also cause serious problems to the very system.

Top HVAC mistakes

Most expensive is not the most suitable
So there's this thing that you can easily find on several home comfort heating and cooling blogs. They say cheap filters don't filter well so go for purchasing filters that are well above $10 since they will trap more particles more efficiently. Hey, hey! Hold on! That advice although is not a misinformation but is surely not the complete information. The complete fact is; expensive filters are no doubt efficient and clean the air better than ordinary $1 filters but there's a price for this cleaning that you'll have to pay. And the price will automatically come every month in your energy bills. Basically, expensive aka efficient filters are thicker than the normal so the air has to pass through them with relatively more force. This force is exerted by the furnace/heat pump and more energy is wasted. So yes, you breathe better but with a light pocket. Also, all systems are not suitable to afford such filters and thus cause wear and tear to the system.
So if you cannot afford hefty bills it is suggested to not go for efficient filters and instead use other natural ways to purify air i.e keeping some plants in the indoor, installing a portable air cleaner etc. Also, don't combine efficient filters with an old HVAC system. Consult professionals if you do that.

Do you shut the air vents? Why on Earth?
Another advice usually given in order to avoid energy loss is that homeowners are suggested to close vents in unused rooms. They say this will help reduce energy bills. The fact could go otherwise too. When some of the vents are closed, a lot of energy still moves up to those vents and then comes back. This disturbs the airflow and the HVAC system on the whole consequently reduces its efficiency. In addition to closing the air vents, another grave mistake that the homeowners make with their personal choice is hiding the return air vents behind sofas, curtains, chairs or any other furniture. Since air vents aren't pretty, nobody likes them. Awww sad! But even though they aren't pretty, they do a pretty good job for you i.e keep you warm in Winters and cool in the Summers. Blocking the air vents by placing furniture over them or hiding them under carpets etc affects the airflow. The enough fresh air doesn't return to the system and this once again decreases the efficiency while also fail to provide quality air.

Fan mode isn't a good idea
This is the third gravest mistake being done by hundreds of Toronto and GTA homeowners i.e keeping their thermostat on fan mode. Fan mode keeps the Air Conditioner fan running continuously. Some think this helps in maintaining a cool temperature throughout the day but the consequences of an all-time fan mode can be costly. When the thermostat is kept on fan mode and there's an enough humidity in the home, it can cause the production of moulds and treating moulds is never easy you know! So we suggest not to put your thermostat on fan mode instead use Auto mode to save energy and give your HVAC system a free will for when it needs to work.

Bottom Line
Like we just said it above, not everything that you find online is a professional's suggestion or a valid information. Trying every new thing can put you and your system in a real trouble. So a better choice is to rely on a trusted HVAC service for consultation. If you don't want to spend on professional services, it is recommended to search briefly and thoroughly so that you clearly sort the right and reliable information from the wrong one.
For HVAC consultation, sales and service information or just anything HVAC related, call us and we are always here!

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