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Advance Heating and Cooling Blog

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.

HVAC System Rebates and Incentives

Woman in living room looking at laptop.

 

When building a new home, or even upgrading an existing one, choosing the right HVAC system is a crucial step. 

 

For many homeowners, this choice includes a couple major elements: energy efficiency and affordability. Combined, these help make up what HVAC system is most appropriate for a home. 

 

In an effort to make the most energy efficient HVAC systems more affordable for the average homeowner, there has been a rise in HVAC system rebates and incentives. These government programs help encourage environmentally friendly home heating and cooling choices. 

 

This blog will discuss the benefits of rebates and incentives for HVAC systems and provide information about the most common programs available in Canada. We will also detail how you can prepare your home for the programs. 

 

Do not hesitate to reach out for any of your HVAC needs, including information on choosing the right HVAC system for your home. Our experienced team of HVAC technicians is one phone call or email away, so don’t be afraid to reach out

 

 

Benefits of Rebates and Incentives for HVAC Systems 

Rebates and incentive programs for HVAC systems are specifically designed to encourage more people to invest in high quality HVAC systems. Specifically, they often encourage the use of energy efficient HVAC systems.  

 

Here are details on the top 5 benefits homeowners can expect from rebates and incentives for HVAC systems

 

Receive Money Back 

The immediate benefit of capitalizing on rebates and incentives for HVAC systems is, of course, that you receive money back on your purchase of qualifying HVAC equipment. The cost savings can help make more energy efficient HVAC systems more affordable for the average household. The result opens up a multitude of other benefits down the line. 

 

Maximize Savings over Time 

Another incredible benefit homeowners can realize through HVAC rebates and incentives are cost savings over time. Specifically, homeowners can enjoy lower utility bills thanks to the quality of equipment they are able to purchase due to the rebates and incentives. Cost savings on upgrades may also be available through some incentive programs. 

 

Increase Energy Efficiency 

One of the major goals for government HVAC rebate and incentive programs is to make energy efficiency more accessible. Thus, the eligible HVAC equipment is more energy efficient than others. The increased energy efficiency is often a trigger for another benefit in the home: cost savings from lower energy bills

 

Boost Home Comfort and Safety 

HVAC rebates and incentive programs, as they allow homeowners to purchase quality HVAC systems, can also help boost the comfort and safety of the home. Thus, homeowners can experience consistent temperatures in their home throughout the year, whether it be cool in the summer or warm in the winter. 

 

Lower Carbon Footprint 

The HVAC systems that are eligible for rebates and incentives typically do a wonderful job at helping lower the average individual’s carbon footprint. While this particular benefit is not as immediate or visible, it still has a significant impact on the environment as a whole. This is especially the case as more and more people purchase qualifying HVAC equipment and engage with the rebates and incentive programs. 

 

 

The Most Common HVAC System Rebates and Incentives in Canada 

Of course, once you know the benefits of rebates and incentives for HVAC systems, it is only a matter of time before you begin searching for a program that you might qualify for.

 

To that end, here is some information on the most common HVAC system rebates and incentives available within Canada: 

 

Canada Greener Homes Initiative 

The Canada Greener Homes Initiative offers grants and loans for eligible home retrofits and EnerGuide evaluations.

 

Eligible retrofits for this program include: 

 

  • heat pumps
  • windows and doors, 
  • home insulation, 
  • solar panels, and 
  • renewable energy systems. 

 

Grants in this program range from $125 to $5,000, and participants can also receive up to $600 towards the cost of their pre- and post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation. The evaluation is mandatory to be eligible for the grant. Eligible major home retrofits can also receive up to $40,000 in interest-free loans with a 10-year repayment term. 

 

Person with hand on smart thermostat. "Enbridge Canada Greener Homes Grant"

 

Home Efficiency Rebate Plus 

Enbridge Gas has partnered with Canada’s Greener Home Grant to provide a selection of rebates for eligible home retrofits. This is known as the Home Efficiency Rebate Plus Program and is designed to help Ontario residents save energy in their homes, including those who currently use natural gas. Enhanced rebates of up to $10,000 and an additional $600 for the EnerGuide home evaluation are available through this program. 

 

Steps of the Home Efficiency Rebate Plus program include: 

 

  • completing a home energy assessment with a Registered Energy Advisor, 
  • receiving a custom report with recommended energy efficiency upgrades, 
  • implementing a minimum of 1 home upgrade, 
  • conducting a follow-up home energy assessment, and 
  • receiving the rebate cheque. 

 

Clean Home Heating Initiative 

The Clean Home Heating Initiative is brought to Enbridge Gas customers through a partnership between Enbridge Gas and the Government of Ontario. The Clean Home Heating Initiative offers up to $4,500 for the installation of an air-source heat pump unit that has smart controls. The heat pump is paired alongside a condensing natural gas furnace to create a hybrid heating system. This system switches between energy sources for efficiency. 

 

This initiative is available in specific locations. These locations are: 

 

  • Ajax,  
  • Barrie, 
  • London, 
  • Peterborough, 
  • Pickering, 
  • Sault Ste. Marie, and 
  • St. Catharines. 

 

Besides being an Enbridge Gas customer residing in one of the specified locations, other eligibility requirements include: 

 

  • being on time-of-use electricity rates, 
  • heating your home with a condensing natural gas furnace,  
  • having a central air conditioner or be looking to replace or add a new one (AC not necessary to participate), and 
  • having WiFi in the home for the smart controls. 

 

 

How to Prepare for HVAC Rebates and Incentive Programs 

Maximizing your chances of successfully receiving a rebate or other financial incentive from your chosen program requires some preparation.

 

Here are the 4 key tips you need to know to help: 

 

Call an HVAC Technician 

Calling a licensed HVAC technician should be one of the first things you should do when you are trying to receive a rebate or incentive for your HVAC system. In fact, they should be the first call you make as soon as you decide to go down this route.

 

HVAC technicians can do several things for you to help, including: 

 

  • inspect your current HVAC system, 
  • identify the HVAC systems that would qualify for different rebates and incentives, 
  • install a new HVAC system, and 
  • conduct the necessary repairs and upgrades to your current system. 

 

Prepare HVAC System for Inspection 

Once you have called an HVAC technician, you should prepare your HVAC system for inspection.

 

Some of the things you will want to do for this include: 

 

  • clearing any debris around an outdoor unit, 
  • keeping the areas around indoor components clear and accessible, and 
  • changing the air filter. 

 

You should also make note of unusual noises and smells and write down details of broken or damaged components. 

 

If you have any specific rebates or incentives in mind before the appointment, you may also wish to write notes on those so you remember to ask your HVAC technician questions when the time comes. 

 

Make Necessary Upgrades 

Once you and your HVAC technician determine what HVAC system will allow you to take advantage of a rebate or incentive, including whether you are purchasing a new system or simply making energy efficient upgrades to your existing one, it is time to put the plan into action. Specifically, you now need to make the necessary upgrades or purchases to meet the requirements outline in your chosen HVAC rebate or incentive program. 

 

Get an Energy Audit 

In some cases, you may need to have an energy audit or home energy assessment done as part of your path to obtaining an HVAC system rebate or incentive. This may happen before installing the new system or making upgrades – as it can help identify the most effective upgrades and system for your needs – or after the changes have been made.  

 

When an energy audit is conducted after upgrades or the purchase of a new system, it is done to ensure the HVAC system is operating at the level the rebate program requires. 

 

 

How To Successfully Obtain Rebates or Incentives for HVAC Systems 

Ultimately, successfully obtaining a rebate or incentive for an HVAC system in your home starts with evaluating your needs. Calling a licensed HVAC technician can help provide the details you need on what HVAC systems would be appropriate for your home. They can also give their recommendation on what rebate or incentive program would work for you and the HVAC system you are upgrading or installing. 

 

Man on the phone smiling, sitting on couch.

 

Do not hesitate to reach out for any of your HVAC needs, including information on choosing the right HVAC system for your home. Our experienced team of HVAC technicians is one phone call or email away, so don’t be afraid to reach out

 

 

 

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HVAC Safety: Carbon Monoxide Awareness 

Person pressing button on carbon monoxide detector.

 

Most people have heard of carbon monoxide and know that it is dangerous – but for many, their knowledge stops there. 

 

So what is carbon monoxide exactly? 

 

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless and colorless gas that presents significant health issues to people exposed to it. 

 

In this blog, we’re talking about carbon monoxide awareness, from how it is produced and its common sources to why it is so dangerous and the signs of a carbon monoxide leak. Of course, we also detail what you should do if carbon monoxide detectors go off in your home – and how to prevent a leak from happening in the first place! 

 

Do not hesitate to reach out for any of your HVAC needs, including carbon monoxide detector installation as well as furnace inspection and repairs. Our experienced team of HVAC technicians is one phone call or email away, so don’t be afraid to reach out

 

 

How is Carbon Monoxide Produced? 

Carbon monoxide is produced by burning fuels like natural gas, wood, gasoline, charcoal, kerosene, and oil.

 

Thus, common sources of carbon monoxide in the average home include: 

  • wood fireplaces, 
  • vehicle fumes, 
  • charcoal grills, 
  • space heaters, and 
  • gas appliances (including ovens, water heaters, and dryers). 

 

Furnaces, including those run by gas, oil, and coal, can also generate carbon monoxide in the home. 

 

 

Why Carbon Monoxide Is Dangerous 

Carbon monoxide is dangerous because of the health problems it can cause when you breathe it in. The first major effect is that CO reduces the ability of your blood to carry oxygen throughout your body.

 

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include: 

  • headache, 
  • nausea, 
  • confusion, 
  • dizziness, 
  • disorientation, 
  • vomiting, 
  • poor coordination, and 
  • vision issues. 

 

Many of these symptoms can mimic the common cold or flu, which is a major reason why carbon monoxide poisoning is so dangerous: it can go undetected to the point of causing lasting health issues, which include a loss of consciousness as well as death. 

 

 

Signs of a Carbon Monoxide Leak 

Everyone should have a carbon monoxide detector on every floor in their home. While carbon monoxide detectors can be life-saving, it is also crucial for everyone to be aware of the signs there may be a carbon monoxide leak in their home.  

 

Woman laying on couch, in pain, touching head.

 

Being aware of these signs can help catch a leak early and allow for intervention – which is also life-saving. 

 

Here are 5 signs of a carbon monoxide leak you should be aware of: 

 

Smelly Air 

The air will often smell weird if there is a carbon monoxide leak in your home. This smell does not stem from the carbon monoxide itself, but rather the other exhaust gases that may be accompanying it. Inside your home, it may smell as if something is burning – a common sign the leak is coming from a gas appliance. The smell of traffic or car exhaust can also indicate a carbon monoxide leak.   

 

Stains Around Appliances 

If a gas line in your home is leaking, you may notice yellow or brown coloured stains around your gas appliances. The gas lines can leak if they are faulty, were poorly installed, are not receiving regular maintenance, and simply due to regular wear and tear.  

 

When it comes to gas furnaces, this is one of the major reasons to engage in regular furnace maintenance to head off any potential issues before they can result in a harmful carbon monoxide leak in your home. 

 

Pilot Light Issues 

If one of your gas appliances, including your furnace, uses a pilot light, pay close attention to it. A pilot light that frequently goes out without a clear explanation may indicate there is a carbon monoxide leak present. This is because the light burns off the small amount of carbon monoxide in the air, but if it is frequently out when you turn on your furnace, the gas can build up to dangerous levels. 

 

Increased Soot 

Gas appliances in the home, including furnaces, must have adequate ventilation. For quite a few homes, this ventilation comes in the form of a chimney. When it comes to identifying a potential carbon monoxide leak, look for increased soot in your chimney around the vents. Increased soot can indicate the ventilation is poor, which can cause carbon monoxide to build up in your home. 

 

Physical Symptoms 

Unfortunately, many individuals do not notice there is a carbon monoxide leak in their home until they are experiencing the physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.  

 

Remember, these symptoms can vary widely but are often classified as flu-like symptoms. If you begin experiencing them without another clear explanation, especially if any of the other signs of a carbon monoxide leak are present in your home, call in a specialist. 

 

 

What to Do If Carbon Monoxide Detectors Go Off 

If your carbon monoxide detectors happen to start going off, it is crucial to act quickly. In fact, you should have a clear plan in place on what you will do if such a situation arises.  

 

Here are details on the steps you should take if your carbon monoxide detectors go off: 

 

  1. Evacuate: The very first thing you need to do is get out of your home as quickly as possible – be sure to alert others in your home to do the same. 
  2. Call Fire Department: When you are outside, call your local fire department and let them know your carbon monoxide detectors have gone off and you are outside your home. 
  3. Call An HVAC Professional: When the fire department has averted the immediate danger to you, you should also consider placing a call to an HVAC professional. This is especially important if the leak definitely came from your furnace, but even if that was not the case, now is also a good time to have your system inspected. 

 

While those are the steps you absolutely must take, there are also a couple things you may want to consider if you have time: 

 

  • Open Windows/Doors: On your way out of your home, open any doors or windows that are on your pathway out. Do not run around opening everything if it is going to significantly delay you in getting outside. 
  • Turn Off Appliances: Similar to opening doors and windows, if you are passing appliances, such as your furnace or gas stove, on your way out of your home, quickly turn them off. 

 

 

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Leaks for HVAC Safety 

While knowing the signs of a carbon monoxide leak is important, as is what to do if you detectors go off, there is something else to keep in mind: how to prevent carbon monoxide leaks in the first place. 

 

Here are details on 4 of the most important tips to prevent these leaks from occurring:   

 

Install and Inspect Carbon Monoxide Detectors 

Every level of your home should have a carbon monoxide detector if it does not already. In addition to having these professionally installed, you should also ensure your detectors are inspected regularly – many subscribe to annual inspections as a good standard of practice. 

 

Inspect Furnace Every Year 

As your furnace can be a potential source of carbon monoxide, you should be sure to schedule an annual furnace inspection from a licensed technician. These appointments help identify necessary maintenance activities, keep the furnace clean, and provide an indicator on when a furnace replacement may be needed. 

 

Prevent Backdrafts 

Backdrafts, often the result of negative pressure (such as by two appliances being close together and a fan running at the same time) can be a source of carbon monoxide leaks. Thus, preventing a leak because of a backdraft means stopping the backdraft from occurring in the first place.  

 

The solution, however, varies – and often merits calling a professional for an evaluation. However, options include creating a room with both high and low ventilation as well as replacing an old furnace with a new one, specifically a sealed combustion model. 

 

Inspect Vents Regularly 

Inspect your vents, including the vent pipes, regularly to detect potential damage or inefficiency issues. This is also a good time to clean your vents to ensure everything is working properly. If you are unsure about what to look for, or are otherwise not confident about inspecting or cleaning your vents, call an HVAC professional and book an appointment. 

 

 

When to Call an HVAC Professional 

When it comes to carbon monoxide awareness and safety, one of the best tools available is an HVAC professional. Licensed HVAC technicians can conduct furnace inspections and repairs, monitor ventilation systems, and similar activities to help reduce the risk of a dangerous carbon monoxide leak occurring. Make sure you have at least an annual inspection and maintenance appointment to keep your systems in top condition. 

 

Woman sitting at desk, on a phone call.

 

Do not hesitate to reach out for any of your HVAC needs, including carbon monoxide detector installation as well as furnace inspection and repairs. Our experienced team of HVAC technicians is one phone call or email away, so don’t be afraid to reach out

 

 

 

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Author

Vincent Afrouzi
Name: Vincent Afrouzi
Posts: 46
Last Post: February 22, 2024