We have all the resources you desire to help make your HVAC equipment replacement process simple. Whether you’re looking for answers to commonly asked questions or would appreciate taking advantage of a great deal we have available at Francis Home Environment Heating and Air Conditioning in Ottawa, you can find it all here. As your local heating and air conditioning experts, we want to make buying an air conditioner or furnace a stress-free experience. Discover more below.
If you are experiencing an inconsistent temperature in your home, you may have hot and cold spots. Read more >
With the hot summer temperatures upon us you may be considering turning on your air conditioner to make your home more comfortable. You may want to consider a few things before you turn on your AC to ensure it is working properly and efficiently. Find out how you can best keep your house cool and comfortable this summer. Read more >
HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. HVAC is most often used to depict an entire heating and cooling system including of the duct work, air filters, humidification controls, and registers.
Look at the label on the outer surface of the equipment for a manufacture date. Equipment less than five years old may have a warranty, but also may not depending on the manufacturer. Warranty terms and conditions differ by manufacturer and the installing company. Francis Home Environment can figure out the warranty status of your heating and cooling system via System Inspection. We also offer Protection Plans for residential heating and air conditioning systems, regardless of the equipment age or manufacturer warranty status.
With energy costs soaring, there are a few steps you can take to help reduce the expenses of heating and cooling your home. HVAC equipment usually uses more energy than any other appliance in the home. This inevitably shows up every month on utility costs each month, but it's important to remember that energy costs can be controlled in several ways.
Maintenance: One step to control energy costs is to schedule annual maintenance to make sure your furnace and air conditioner is running properly and efficiently. Operating dirty heating or cooling equipment can result in unnecessary loss of efficiency and may even damage the system.
High Efficiency: If you are in the market for a new home comfort system, consider buying a high-efficiency system. They are designed to help reduce your energy costs as well as help conserve natural resources. When selecting a new home comfort system, pay close attention to the SEER rating of the air conditioner and the AFUE of the furnace. The higher the SEER or AFUE, the higher the efficiency and savings.
Zoning: Zoning can drastically lower your heating costs. Zoning divides your home into separate comfort areas, which are heated or cooled based on the occupancy of the rooms. That means a zoning system allows each room in your home to potentially have its own temperature setting. With a zoning system, you no longer pay to heat or cool rooms of your home that are rarely used, and you can achieve the exact temperature you want in highly occupied rooms.
Programmable Thermostats: Programmable thermostats can make a huge difference in energy consumption. Since you can proactively set a schedule for the days and times that the home is occupied, these thermostats are able to deliver exact comfort, efficiency and energy savings. For example, if you're going to be away, you can set the whole house at an energy-saving temperature to avoid heating or cooling an empty house and conserving energy in the process.
Yes. Loud heating and cooling equipment increase sound pollution. Although no cost savings are tied to lower sound levels, the sound rating of a cooling system can have a considerable effect on comfort and enjoyment of your Ottawa home. The sound level of an air conditioner or heat pump depends on many issues, such as how old and who manufactured the unit, and whether the compressor is insulated or not can add to the amount of noise it makes.
Although the majority of heating and cooling systems built today are quieter now more than ever, it's a sound thought to compare sound ratings when assessing a new air conditioner or heat pump, particularly if the equipment location is near bedrooms or living rooms.
A Service Call fee is a fee for the expense associated with the time and travel to diagnose, inspect and provide expert recommendations for a home's heating or air conditioning system by a certified professional technician.
A popping sound is a typically sign of an under-sized duct design. It may have to do with greater air flow than the duct work is built for. Have a qualified company analyze your home's ventilation system for proper design and recommend adjustments. Improper duct work layout can cause several ventilation and air quality problems, including:
In addition, if your ductwork is incorrectly sized you may have other issues, such as leaky ducts and poor layout that impacts airflow. In humid environments this can encourage mold growth within your ductwork.
Prevention is the most important step. Taking proper safety measures will reduce your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Because automobiles are a major cause of carbon monoxide poisoning, always take your car out of the garage to let it warm up. Never leave it running in the confined space of a garage. The same holds true for lawn mowers or snowmobiles.
Never use ovens or grills as a heater. These appliances are designed to be safe and efficient and not produce substantial amounts of carbon monoxide. However, it is important to check all combustion appliances to be sure they are operating correctly and to be sure that all chimneys and vents are connected properly and not blocked. Schedule annual maintenance by a qualified technician to check the condition of these appliances.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odorless, tasteless gas that is produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as wood, natural gas, gasoline, diesel, kerosene, coal and charcoal. It is caused by lack of oxygen or a disruption in the burning process. Household heating mechanisms such as a furnace, water heater, stove, space heaters, charcoal grill and gas dryer can be sources of carbon monoxide, especially if they are not in proper working condition or have been installed improperly. Vehicle exhaust fumes from attached garages, as well as poorly operating fireplaces may also be a source of carbon monoxide. CO is poisonous to the body and is fatal at high levels or with long exposure.
Indoor Air Quality is a term used to define the level or amount of air pollution that exists inside a house or building, particularly occupied areas or rooms. Exposure to air pollutants can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors, and the American Lung Association estimates that most people spend 90% of their time indoors. So the IAQ level and IAQ products that can increase air quality and eliminate indoor air pollution have become an important concern for many families, especially those suffering from allergies and respiratory issues.
Dry air in your home can make your throat feel dry or aggravate respiratory ailments. During cooler or cold weather, your home rapidly loses its humidity to the outdoors. Humidity levels could drop to as low as 10 percent. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends that homeowners maintain a humidity level between 30 and 60 percent.
Dry air may also begin to cause more than health problems. Static electricity is a direct result of very dry air and houseplants may suffer from "winter drought" caused by low humidity levels. A whole-home humidifier adds moisture to your indoor air and can help relieve ailments related to dry respiratory membranes and would be our recommended solution to this issue.
It is generally recommended that a home's humidity level be between 30 and 60 percent. However, during extremely cold weather, a home loses humidity to the outdoors and the level may drop to as low as 10 percent. When humidity levels drop, we suggest you have a whole-home humidifier to help ensure that the proper level of moisture is present throughout the house. Not having enough moisture in the air can cause dryness in the membranes of the nose, throat and bronchial tubes and can be the source of several health-related problems. Relative humidity also has a significant effect on controlling the occurrence of airborne infections.
In addition to the health benefits, humidifiers are an easy way to help your entire home be more comfortable. Whole-house humidifiers work like old-fashioned room humidifiers. They put moisture into the air, making harsh, dry air easier to breathe, however, they work on a larger and more efficient scale. A humidifier uses from 1.5 to 12 gallons of water per day — just enough to raise the humidity in the home to the desired level, but not enough to make a difference on the water bill. And because a humidifier is installed into the ductwork, there is no need to carry one from room to room.
Installing a humidifier is typically an easy job when, at the same time, you change out your furnace. But you can also have a humidifier fitted to your existing heating and cooling system. Periodic cleaning and draining of the reservoir is strongly recommended to maintain the system. Francis Home Environment Heating and Air Conditioning can provide maintenance on the humidifier as needed, or proactively as part of our PLUS Maintenance Agreement. Call 613-723-4700 for more information about humidifier maintenance or for a free estimate on a new humidification system.
Unfortunately, the symptoms caused by carboxyhemoglobin saturation are easily overlooked because they appear to be flu-like. With mild exposure, most people experience headaches, fatigue and nausea. Medium exposure could cause a severe throbbing headache, drowsiness, disorientation, confusion and an accelerated heart rate. Extreme exposure can lead to unconsciousness, convulsions, cardiorespiratory failure, coma and possibly death.
Allergies and asthma are two health problems that could be helped with cleaner indoor air. When airborne irritants are removed, allergy and asthma sufferers often find relief from their symptoms. Even those in good health who may have never suffered from allergies could benefit from clean air. Dust, smoke and other particles float around in the air, causing your drapes and furniture to gather dust. By removing airborne dust particles, you reduce the amount of exposure your respiratory system has to them.
Zoning Systems divide your home’s duct work into different comfort areas, allowing for independent temperature control in distinct areas that require specific temperature conditioning.
For example, a large living room with large bay windows may stay too hot in the summer and feel too cold in the winter. A Zoning System will send more conditioned air to this large, sun-drenched area to help offset the heat gained or lost through the windows. An additional example of areas that might benefit from Zoning might be a nursery, home theater or music studio, where different temperatures may be needed in each room for the comfort and enjoyment of the people occupying these rooms. Today's families have different lifestyles and comfort needs. Perhaps you have a home office that needs extra conditioning during the day and none at night. Or you only use the upstairs or back bedrooms when guests visit. In any case, a zoning system can keep each area of your house at the perfect temperature for you and each family member.
Francis Home Environment provides free estimates and a complimentary consultation on Zoning Systems, call 613-723-4700 today if you think a new Zoning System is what your family needs.
No, HVAC air filters vary in quality and size, and some have specs that others don't. In most cases we recommend installing the filter your HVAC manufacturer recommends pairing up with your installed unit, but you could be tempted to try a different filter type for convenience or to remove additional pollutants from your home.
Filters have something called MERV ratings, which range from 1-20. MERV is an acronym for "minimum efficiency reporting value". A higher MERV rating equates to fewer pollutants pass through, and it blocks finer particulates. This sounds fantastic, and it can be, but a filter that stops finer dust and dirt will also clog up quicker, and pressure on your unit will rise. If your system has not been crafted to work with this kind of filter, it can actually reduce your airflow throughout your residence, affecting your comfort and energy expenses. So what should you know before you buy? Unless you're a hospital, you definitely don't need a MERV rating above 13. Truth be told, most residential HVAC systems are specifically designed to work with a filter with a MERV rating below 13, and frequently you will find that quality systems have been made to work with a MERV rating of 8 or 11. All filters with a MERV rating of five should eliminate most of the common nuisances we know about such as pollen, pet dander, and dust. While some filters claim to be able to catch mold spores, we recommend hiring a pro to clean out any mold from your house you find, instead of trying to cover up the issue with a finer filter.
Usually the packaging shows how often your filter is recommended to be replaced. There are one-month filters and there are 3-month filters. There are also filters that are two dimensional, flat screens, and you have some that are ridged with supporting wire. In our experience, the accordian style filters weather better, and are worth it for the extra durability.
You could also consider washable filters, also sometimes called reusable filters. Some homeowners like the environmentally friendly aspect of it, since they don't pile onto a landfill, and others believe it's more convenient to quickly pull out the filter and hose it off rather than making a run to the local hardware store for a filter of the correct size. These filters are often made to last several years and will save you cash over those years, though they cost more initially. However, washable filters have to be dried out one hundred percent before returning it back to stop mold growth in your ducts. In addition, most washable filters reportedly have a MERV rating between 1 and 4, and they lose their efficiency over a period of time. Some washable filters have been built with new tech, such as electrostatic air filters, that are meant to effectively improve the MERV rating.
Last, filters are made of different materials. Fiberglass filters are what is commonly used, and are the disposable type. Polyester and pleated filters are known to catch more debris, but also lessen the airflow in your home. And there are high efficiency particulate arrestance filters, or HEPA for short. While you may be tempted to buy a HEPA filter, just understand that's like putting a MERV 16 filter in your HVAC system and it's highly unlikely that your equipment was constructed to handle that kind of resistance.