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6 Tips to Improve the Efficiency of Your Furnace

Though you wouldn’t think it, a furnace is needed every day, throughout the year. During the summer, it circulates cool air inside the house and during the winter, it keeps your home warm and cozy. It works continuously to provide a comfortable indoor environment.

Continuous furnace use affects its efficiency and causes wear and tear. Proper maintenance is necessary to keep the unit up and running for a longer period.  In the absence of appropriate care, the unit becomes faulty and starts elevating your energy bills.

If you want to improve the efficiency of your furnace, then here are 6 tips to follow.

1) Clean the Filters

A dirty air filter is the biggest threat to your furnace’s health. The filter prevents dirt and dust from blocking the furnace and allows free flow of clean air through the system. But, if the filter becomes dirty, it restricts the air flow putting stress on your furnace. The air filter should be cleaned monthly to ensure smooth functioning of the unit.

2) Run Exhaust Fans

Run exhaust fans in rooms with high moisture levels such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. It expels moisture in the air and keeps the atmosphere dry. As a result, your furnace won’t be struggling to keep a balanced temperature inside your home. Remember to turn off your exhaust fans after 20 minutes or else it can make your home too dry.

3) Use a Programmable Thermostat

Keeping your furnace on when you’re not at home is the primary reason for decreased performance of the unit. Use a programmable thermostat to automatically control the temperature when you’re away and maintain a favourable temperature when you arrive at home. This practice will save energy and prevent unnecessary load on your furnace.

4) Keep All Registers Open

Unrestricted air circulation is essential for a furnace to work efficiently. To ensure this, keep all the registers (a grille with moving parts for controlling air flow) open and free from blockage. Check the cover for accumulated dust and clean it if you find it dirty.

5) Schedule Regular Furnace Tune Ups

Annual inspection and tune up of your furnace is important to diagnose all the parts and keep it functioning properly. In the absence of regular tune ups, damaged parts can put stress on the unit and cause sudden breakdowns or increase your heating and cooling bills. Contact a reliable HVAC contractor and get your furnace inspected every year.

Follow these tips to ensure that your unit functions properly without putting too much pressure your pocket. For other heating and cooling system related service, contact us today!

4 Common Air Conditioner Problems Explained

A faulty air conditioner is a huge nightmare during the hot summer months. There could be many reasons why your air conditioner is not working properly. Recognizing those reasons is important to clarify whether it needs to be fixed by a certified HVAC contractor or if it’s a minor issue.

Here’s a list of 4 common air conditioner problems and their solutions to make your life easier during summer.

1) The Air Isn’t Cold

If the air conditioner is working but the air it produces isn’t cold, then it could be a dirty or obstructed air filter, clogged condensate drain or low refrigerant level. To resolve this issue, add more refrigerant to the air conditioner, clean your air filter and check for a dirty outdoor compressor. Another reason could be your thermostat is not on the correct setting.

2) The Compressor Is Not Running

Another cause of a malfunctioned compressor is defective wiring or faulty start capacitor. If this is the case, then it needs to be checked immediately because it is a fire hazard. To fix this problem, check your capacitor, clean the condenser coil and get new AC wiring done. If the problem persists, then replace your old compressor with a new one.

3) Water Is Dripping from the AC

Water leaks in the air conditioner can create a messy situation and damage your ceiling and walls. Possible reasons for this leakage are clogged or damaged drain line and condensate pump problems. If there’s a blockage in your drain line, then the condensation (moisture) formed on the evaporator coil doesn’t go out and backs up into your home. Clean the blockage and unclog the drain line to fix the problem. If the reason is a damaged drain pain or a condensate pump problem, then get it replaced.

4) The AC is Making Buzzing Noises

If your air conditioning unit is making a buzzing noise, then it’s obvious that something is wrong. Some of the common reasons for this problem are a malfunctioning compressor, damaged isolation feet, loose parts and frozen AC unit. For frozen isolation feet (small rubber feet on which the compressor is placed), get them replaced as it can get damaged over time due to continued usage. For loose parts, get them fixed and for a frozen unit, avoid overusing the unit during the hottest times of the year or get an annual tune up for better performance. If the compressor is not functioning properly, then get it checked by an HVAC contractor.

An air conditioner is an electronic device which can cause problems due to wear and tear. Some problems are temporary and can be avoided with proper maintenance while others are serious and need to be fixed by a professional. If you’re experiencing any of these problems with your air conditioner, then contact us for a thorough tune-up.

Common HVAC Questions Asked by Homeowners

Heating and air conditioning systemHeating and air conditioning systems play an important role in maintaining a comfortable environment inside every home. But, not every homeowner is aware of all the aspects of their HVAC system. As a result, they can sometimes face difficulty with its operation and maintenance.

To help homeowners, here are answers to some common HVAC questions.

1) How can I increase the efficiency of my HVAC system??

Ans. Like any other equipment, proper maintenance is needed to increase the efficiency of any HVAC system. This includes scheduling an annual professional tune-up, checking for leaks or defects, getting them fixed, replacing air filters at least once a month, cleaning the ducts in the system and reducing the workload on your HVAC system.

2) What is the ideal temperature that I should set my thermostat?

Ans. There is no ideal temperature for a thermostat. It’s up to you what temperature you want and how much energy consumption you’re okay with in your house. That said, it also varies according to the climatic condition, weather and season.

3) Is it better to repair my HVAC system or get it replaced?

Ans. There are many factors to be considered before deciding on whether to repair or replace the system. If your system is more than 7 years old and needs frequent repairs, then replacing the old unit is recommended. Consider which option is more economical for you.

4) What is the life span of heating and cooling systems?

Ans. The life expectancy of heating and cooling systems depends on how you maintain it. It will continue performing well if you schedule a bi-annual inspection and get leakages fixed as soon as possible. On average, a system can last from 10 to 15 years if maintained properly.

5) Why does the temperature vary from room to room in my house? What should I do?

Ans. The simple reason behind uneven temperature in your house is ductwork. The hot and cool air is transferred to all the room through the vents. At the end of each supply line, a damper is installed that controls the airflow in the vents. The temperature variation occurs due to imbalanced dampers. To solve this problem, you should balance the dampers to allow the right amount of airflow inside the rooms. For example, reduce the airflow for rooms that require less conditioned air and increase the airflow for rooms that need a cooler temperature.

Hopefully, these answered help you get an understanding of your HVAC system. For more queries regarding heating and cooling solutions, contact Greenway Heating and Cooling.

7 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bill

heating and coolingEnergy conservation is becoming a priority for many nowadays.  More people are more concerned with reducing their energy consumption by adopting eco-friendly ways. These include making small changes at home to lower the energy bill and being more conscious about their carbon footprint.

Here are 7 easy ways to go green and lower your energy bill.

1) Seal the Leaks

Leaks in windows, doors, heating and cooling ducts are huge energy-wasters. Seal the cracks and leaks to improve the energy efficiency of your home and save up to 20% in energy costs. Wrap the sealed ducts in insulation to prevent them from getting cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

2) Use a Ceiling Fan

A ceiling fan uses much less energy than an air conditioner. It helps in keeping the air circulation intact in your home and reduces the energy bill as well. When possible, use a ceiling fan instead of an air-conditioner.

3) Install a Programmable Thermostat

With the help of a programmable thermostat, your heating and cooling system works less when you’re away or when it’s not needed. The automatic setting of a programmable thermostat maintains a comfortable temperature at home by sensing and adapting to what’s required, thus reducing energy wastage.

4) Cover the Windows

During the summer, cover your windows with curtains and blinds so that the outside heat is not transferred into your home. This will help maintain a cooler temperature without using your air conditioner. If you want to enjoy the outside view without allowing the warm sun rays to enter, then install tinted film on your window glass.

5) Install LED Lights

LED lights consume 25%-80% less energy compared to traditional lights and can last 3-25 times longer. Switch to LED lights and replace the incandescent bulbs in your home. They’ll not only reduce energy costs, but also spare you from changing the bulbs time and again.

6) Load the Machine Efficiently

Appliances like dishwashers and washing machines consume a lot of energy. The best way to reduce their power consumption is by using them sparingly. Don’t operate them when they’re only half-full. Fully load the machines and use them efficiently.

7) Get Your HVAC System Inspected

Annual clean-up and maintenance of your HVAC system is necessary to improve its efficiency. Schedule a meeting with your HVAC service provider and get your heating and cooling system inspected at least once a year.

Reduce your energy consumption by adopting these easy ways and lower your heating and cooling bills. Small efforts can make a big impact if done in the right direction. Be smart and go green!

5 Signs That You Need a New Furnace

Like with most things, electrical appliances age. They show warning signs when it’s time to replace them with a new unit. Same goes with your furnace. If your furnace has been residing in your home for a while, then a quick scan is necessary to decide whether it needs to be replaced or not. It’s better to get a new furnace rather than struggle with the aging unit and face the trouble of a sudden breakdown.

If your furnace is showing the following warnings signs, then it’s time to get a new one installed.

1) Furnace Is More Than 15 Years Old

The average life expectancy of a furnace is about 15 years. If your furnace has crossed this mark, then it’s working on borrowed time. Start searching for a new furnace before your old unit fails. Better replace it now rather than having it quit on you in the middle of the winter season when it’s needed the most.

2) Energy Bill Is Increasing

The rise in energy cost despite the same usage is directly related to the inefficiency of your old unit. It is using more energy to provide the same amount of heat. Another reason is that old furnaces are not as energy efficient as new ones. Getting a new furnace will solve your increased energy bill problem.

3) Strange Noises from the Furnace

When furnaces are about to take their last breath, they make strange noises. If your furnace often makes such noises, then get it repaired. But, if the noise is new and sounds like squeaking or banging, then get it replaced with a new one as soon as you can.

4) Uneven Temperature Inside Your Home

If you feel that your indoor temperature is not as comfortable as before, then it could be a sign your furnace is failing to perform. You may find that some rooms are too cold, while others are too hot. There could be other reasons for uneven temperature such as the windows are not sealed properly, ventilation ducts are not clean, etc. However, if they are not the culprit, then it means your unit can no longer maintain a balanced temperature inside your home. Time to get a new one!

5) Yellow Burner Flame

A properly functioning furnace will have a flame that’s blue with a small yellow coloured tip. But if the burner flame is yellow, then the furnace is highly dangerous. The yellow flame is an indication that your furnace is producing carbon monoxide. It is a serious threat to you and your family. Call a furnace repair professional immediately and get your furnace replaced with a new one.

It’s not always necessary to replace the heating system. Sometimes a tune-up will do. But if your furnace requires frequent repairs, then buying a new furnace can be the better option.

For more information on furnace installation and repair, contact Greenway Heating & Cooling.

How to Deal with Excess Humidity in Your House

Toronto is known for its humid weather. Sometimes, the relative humidity level crosses the recommended 50-55% in the summer. It becomes so humid, that it’s as if you’re walking through a tropical jungle. The air feels stale and the environment seems to be sticky due to the excess moisture.

High levels of humidity create problems for both your health and your home. More moisture in the air means that your sweat can’t evaporate easily; thereby breaking down your body’s natural cooling mechanism. It also affects the proper functioning of your air conditioning and heating systems, accelerates mold growth, invites allergens and causes damp spots on walls and ceilings.

Dealing with the excess moisture in the house and managing an ideal indoor humidity level is important for your well-being. Let’s discuss how to do it.

Install Ventilation Fans

Use ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathroom to control moisture. The fans will keep the moist air from escaping to other parts of the house and decrease the humidity level. Make sure that your venting ducts are not damaged or clogged and clean them once a year.

Open Doors and Windows

Proper air circulation is important for reducing indoor humidity. Open windows and doors to equalize the indoor and outdoor moisture levels. It will help letting the fresh air in and removing the lingering odours in the house due to excess humidity.

Check for Leakage

Leaking pipes are big contributors to indoor moisture. Condensation from hot or cold water pipes makes the air stickier and moister. Fix leakages as soon as possible to restrict the entry of moist air into your home.

Reduce the Number of Indoor Plants

If you’ve too many plants in your home, then keep them outside during the humid days. Plants release moisture into the air, thus increasing the humidity. Putting the plants outside your home on a rotational basis will help in decreasing the indoor moisture while providing you some fresh air.

Use a Dehumidifier

The best solution to tackle high levels of humidity is to use a dehumidifier. It is a good way to reduce moisture, manage the air quality and decrease the number of allergy causing substances in the air. They help regulate the humidity to provide a comfortable environment indoors. Choose a reliable HVAC service provider and install a dehumidifier.

Maintaining a stable environment inside your home during humid days is important for a healthy and comfortable life. When the humidity strikes use a ventilation fan in kitchen and bathroom, open doors and windows, keep indoor plants outside and consult a professional to install a dehumidifier. Follow these ways to manage the moisture level and keep the air cool and dry.

4 Advantages of a Programmable Thermostat

A thermostat is an integral part of many households, especially in countries with diverse seasons. It helps you in maintaining the temperature of the house, keeping the indoor environment comfortable.

Thermostats are broadly divided into two categories, programmable (mechanical) and non-programmable. For a non-programmable, you can select the desired temperature with an up-down button and another button lets you switch from heating to cooling. On the other hand, a programmable thermostat adjusts the temperature automatically.

Nowadays, people prefer programmable thermostats over the mechanical ones. Let’s find out why.

1) Energy-Efficient

Energy-efficiency is the top concern for most homeowners when the seasons change. With a programmable thermostat, your air conditioning or heating system works less when you’re not at home or when it’s not required. With a significant decrease in the use of cooling and heating solutions, less energy is consumed thus reducing the wastage.

2) Cost Saving

One of the most important advantages offered by a programmable thermostat is money savings. It saves on your energy bills by adjusting the temperature automatically, reducing the energy usage when you’re away at work or when you’re sleeping.

3) Convenient

The hassle-free operation of a programmable thermostat allows you to ‘set and forget’. These modern thermostats are designed to adjust the temperature to what you and your family are most comfortable with. That said, the pre-programmable settings allow you to set the temperature according to your family’s schedule. Unlike the mechanical version, you don’t need to tinker with a dial on the wall for temperature adjustments at home. Imagine coming to your home after a hot summer day and entering into a cool house. Lovely, isn’t it?

4) Customization

With the help of a programmable thermostat, you can create different climate zones in different rooms. For example, if someone wants his/her room to be warmer than others, then you can adjust the temperature accordingly. The customization feature of advanced thermostats allows for variable temperature and maintains room-to-room comfort.

Programmable thermostats have become very popular among homeowners due to their energy efficiency, convenience, customization, and improved comfort. They are beneficial for your pocket and as well as the environment. They save on your energy bills and reduce energy wastage. If you’re looking for a thermostat, then go for a programmable one and enjoy its benefits.