Welcome to our blog at Advance Heating and Cooling! We are excited to share our expertise in the world of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) with you.
As a trusted provider of HVAC services, we understand the importance of maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures throughout the year. Our team of skilled professionals provides top-quality installation, repair, and maintenance services to ensure that your HVAC system operates at its best.
In our blogs, we will cover a wide range of topics related to HVAC systems, including tips for improving energy efficiency, common HVAC issues and how to address them, the latest trends in HVAC technology, and more. We are committed to providing you with helpful information that will assist you in making informed decisions about owning or purchasing an HVAC system.
Our technicians live in the world of HVAC. We’ve sold and serviced hundreds of furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps and we’ve learned a lot of useful information along the way. This blog is our way to pass that knowledge on to you at no charge. If you have an idea for a topic you would like to see us talk about, send us an email.
Our main goal is to help you maintain a comfortable indoor environment and save money on your energy bills. We highly believe that an informed customer is a satisfied customer, and we work hard to give you the knowledge you need to make smart decisions about your HVAC systems.
Thank you for joining us on this journey, and we look forward to sharing our knowledge with you.
The excitement of summer is only curbed by that first electricity bill after the air conditioner (AC) gets turned on. It’s the irony of many countries like Canada that endure long and cold winters. We huddle indoors to be warm waiting for our chance to shine in the sun, only to turnaround and seek the indoors to be cool during the summer.
The average Canadian can expect to spend anywhere from $300 to $1000 per year on air conditioning costs. The wide range speaks to the wide array of climates in Canada, the size of homes and the varied comfort levels of families.
With global temperatures rising and the cost of electricity following right along with it, many of us are looking to reduce our spend on air conditioning. And if your environmentally conscious, you may also be motived to reduce your energy use in general.
Trees have been hailed as nature’s air conditioning system in an era where the climate is heating up. Cities across the world have been adding trees to their canopy to reduce urban heat islands created by all those close buildings and pavement in urban centres. Toronto is aiming to have its canopy cover reach 40% by the year 2050; the level that research demonstrates can have impact on a city’s temperature. Well, if trees can shade and cool cities, they can certainly do the same for your home.
Adding leafy trees to your property and in particular taller trees on the south and broader trees on the west, can create shade, help block the sun and keep your home cooler. The Arbour Day Foundation claims, well placed trees can help reduce your AC costs by up to 35%!
Most of the time we welcome the sunlight shining through our windows and doors. But when it’s adding heat to your house on a really sweltering day sunshine can become an uninvited friend. Fortunately, there are ways we can manage this.
Awnings – can play a similar role as trees and shade your home from sunlight.
Screen, film, shade - according to the Department of Energy (US), roughly 76% of sunlight on windows enters your house as heat. Solar screens can help absorb this, especially on windows facing east and west. Placing the screens on the outside of your windows blocks the heat before it gets a chance to enter. Window films are another option, but these prevent you from opening your windows (an advantage we talk about a little later.) You can also try solar shades. This product is coated with a material blocking most UV rays from entering your home – the main source of heat from the sun.
Drapes and blinds – If you got them, close them! Keeping the drapes and blinds closed on windows facing south or west will also help prevent the sun’s heat from getting into your home.
All these strategies will help limit sunlight, reduce heat entering your home so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard. And that means you save money!
A smart blogger once wrote – smart thermostats can help control energy and reduce heating costs. Well, the same applies to your cooling costs. A smart thermostat will let you program your ideal settings, control your AC from a mobile device and best of all, it will learn your family’s behaviours and adjust your programing accordingly.
Even a programmable thermostat allows you to take control of your settings, changing the temperature based on time or day. Play around and see what your comfort range is; just a couple of degrees can impact your monthly energy bill. Set the thermostat higher when you are not at home and lower it 30 minutes before everyone starts piling through the door. When you are home, keep your air conditioning running moderately during the day to maintain something comfortable, then at night lower the temperature so everyone can get a good night’s sleep. If you want some suggestions on night time settings here’s a good guide. Many regions have lower electricity rates during off hours and when it gets cooler outside at night, your AC doesn’t have to work as hard to lower the temperature inside.
Fans can keep air circulating and fight humidity. Having ceiling fans in your upstairs bedrooms are key. During the summer months run your fans counterclockwise, this will push the air down and create a cool breeze inside your house. You’d be amazed how much this helps. The Department of Energy (US) reports that using ceiling fans in the summer will allow you to raise your thermostat by as much as 2 degrees Celsius.
To keep your air conditioning going strong each summer and to improve the longevity of the appliance, it should be serviced every year by a HVAC professional. Preventative maintenance is the best maintenance, and often avoids bigger bills by catching problems before they happen. When your AC is running inefficiently it will work harder and use more energy. A technician will clean and remove any excess dirt, check for defects and worn parts, do an overall service of the unit, replacing air filters if needed.
Most units recommend replacing the air filter or cleaning the air filter every month or every other month during the summer. Dirt and dust in the filter won’t allow the air to pass through efficiently. Make sure your unit is also clear of any debris or greenery outside.
If you find your AC is not keeping up, it’s time to replace it. Newer models come with Energy Star standards, can include government rebates to offset upfront costs and will save you money in the long run. Be sure to inquire about energy saving modes on newer models like eco or run-on auto. These modes will save you energy and help you maintain a steady temperature.
There’s also a ton of options to consider outside of a central air conditioning system too. Window air conditioners for a bedroom, ductless units or you may want to even consider a heat pump and replace both your AC and furnace. It all depends on your climate, budget, and family’s needs.
This helps save energy all year long. A house full of drafty leaks is not energy efficient. It’s time to inspect for cracks and openings where air travels freely in and out of your house. Spaces around windows and doors and outside where varied materials meet like the foundation, bricks, and siding.
If you are investing in a new system, hiring a professional to do an energy audit will qualify you for government rebates and identify any spots where air is escaping. They will also suggest ways to address leaks like caulking around windows and doors and adding insulation.
Warm air rises and cool air falls. This manifests in your house with bedrooms on the top floor being hotter than the basement. A simple trick to guide cool air is to close your vents in the basement and force the cool air from your AC to the floors that need it the most. You could also consider spending more leisure time in the cooler areas of your home. Family movie night can move to the basement during the summer months!
It just makes sense to avoid using major appliances that put off heat in the summer, like your oven. If must use it, reserve it for dinner time and be sure to turn on the range fan to allow excess heat to travel out of the house immediately. Otherwise consider using the microwave or your long-lost summer friend, the BBQ.
Look to a clothesline for your laundry and rely on the sun to dry your clothes instead of using the dryer. Finally, don’t forget to turn on those bathroom fans and remove shower steam. This will help keep heat and humidity out of your home.
We’ve closed all the windows, strategically closed vents, sealed the cracks and exhausted all the extra heat. Seems weird to suggest you open your windows, but that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Many newer homes are so energy efficient they trap heat and moisture in your home. Ever noticed condensation building up on the bottom of your windows? This is exactly what you can address by opening your windows on cool nights and letting the fresh air in. Just another trick to help you save energy and costs on those AC bills.