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Why Change Your Furnace Filter?

Most of us know that we’re supposed to take care of certain things around the house like raking leaves, cutting the lawn, vacuuming, dusting, etc. All of these little jobs ensure our home looks good and functions properly. One thing that many people fail to do or are intimidated to do is changing their furnace filter. While it might not seem like a big deal, changing your furnace filter is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your furnace is functioning properly and the air in your home is as clean as possible.

Indoor Air Pollution & Your Furnace Filter

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that indoor air pollution is typically worse than the air outside of your home. Replacing your furnace filter is the best way to reduce indoor air pollution and improve the efficiency of your furnace. As the efficiency of your furnace increases the costs are reduced, so by simply changing your furnace filter you’ll be saving money on your energy bills and in the long-term with reduce wear and tear.

Regular Checking

Ideally, your furnace filter should be checked on a monthly basis. Most furnace manufacturers recommend changing furnace filters every 3-6 months, but the duration is heavily dependent on a number of factors. These can include the quality of the filter, what time of year it is, if you have pets in the house, how sensitive you are to allergens, the usage of your HVAC system, and anything else that can affect the quality of the air in your home. As there are so many different things that can affect the life of your furnace filter taking a look from time to time is the best way to know when it’s time to change it.

Types of Furnace Filters

There are lots of different types of furnace filters, all at different price points and levels of quality. There are pre-cut media air filter pads, pleated furnace filters, electrostatic air filters, HVAC filters, and activated carbon air filters. Typically, fibreglass panel filters are the cheapest types of furnace filters and can be found at most hardware stores. The most expensive filters are reusable electrostatic filters, which are designed to trap smoke and smaller airborne particles. They can be rinsed in a large sink or with a hose when they get clogged up and dirty, and if properly maintained they will last for many years.

If you’re unsure about which furnace filter is right for your needs and lifestyle contact a professional HVAC technician at Novel Care today at 905-737-5016

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Working With Toronto Furnace Repair Experts

Depending on the age of your furnace one of the best ways to keep it running efficiently and smoothly is to ensure it receives regular maintenance. This means more than just changing the filter once a year. Proper maintenance means having a professional Toronto furnace repair expert from a reputable company like Novel Care come in and perform professional furnace maintenance.

It’s important to remember that furnaces are mechanical pieces of equipment that need regular professional maintenance to ensure all components are working properly, and it’s running at optimal efficiency. Whether you live in Toronto, York Region, or somewhere else in the GTA it’s important to have a professional inspect and maintain your furnace.

Proper Toronto Furnace Repair & Maintenance

Once you’ve made the decision to hire a Toronto furnace repair expert from a company like Novel Care, it’s important to understand what’s going to be done to your furnace. While some companies may simply change your filter and make a few adjustments, other companies like Novel Care perform an extensive inspection, thorough maintenance, and only essential repairs that cover all aspects of your furnace and venting systems. They include but aren’t limited to:

  • A Thorough Inspection: A professional Toronto furnace repair and maintenance expert should perform a full visual and point examination of all mechanical and essential parts of your furnace and duct system. This is the best way for a technician to uncover any issues, or reveal any signs of wear that may become issues in the near future.
  • Lubricating: Like other mechanical equipment, your furnace needs lubrication in order to reduce friction between all moving parts. Any full-service furnace repair and maintenance package should include proper furnace lubrication.
  • Gas Pressure & Pilot Adjustment: Over time the gas pressure coming into your furnace may slightly change. A Toronto furnace repair technician from an established and reputable company like Novel Care will evaluate and adjust the gas pressure as needed, and do the same for the pilot light in order to reestablish them to original specifications.
  • Filter Replacement: While this is something you can do on your own, Toronto furnace repair experts like those working at Novel Care have a large supply of air filters and can often provide great deals on new replacement filters for your furnace. Any annual service call with an experienced furnace maintenance technician will include a filter replacement, and if it doesn’t then it’s definitely time to find another HVAC company to take care of your annual furnace maintenance.
  • Free Estimate: Planning your annual household budget is an important part of your household finances, and all of us know how all the little costs can add up. Many Toronto furnace repair and HVAC companies will charge you for an estimate prior to any work being done. At Novel Care we provide free estimates for all work, so you can easily decide what you can afford and what can wait until later. We treat all of our clients like good neighbours, which is why we’ve enjoyed working in Toronto, York Region, and the GTA for over 30 years.

Overall, annual furnace repair and maintenance is a small short term cost that can save you big money in the long run. It’s also important to work with experienced, reputable, and knowledgeable Toronto furnace repair and HVAC companies like Novel Care. This ensures that you not only get great services and experienced technicians, but free estimates and guarantees on any work performed. For more information about how Novel Care can help you call: (905) 737-5016.

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Gas Furnace Maintenance: Getting Ready For Winter

As the leaves start to change and temperatures drop, our thoughts turn to the winter season that’s on its way. In Toronto, that means you need to make sure that your furnace is ready to go to work for a hard 6 or 7 month run. This means performing gas furnace maintenance yourself, as well as scheduling an experienced professional from a reputable company like Novel Care to perform proper maintenance.

Whether you live in Toronto, York Region, or somewhere else in the GTA, here are the things every homeowner should be doing to make sure their furnace won’t break down on the coldest night of the year. If you want to avoid emergency repair costs, possible frozen pipes and a lot of discomfort, just follow these easy steps.

  1. Make sure your furnace area is clear of stored belongings: Most of the things we store in our basements are a fire safety hazard. By storing items too close to your furnace, you’re risking a fire. Part of proper gas furnace maintenance is ensuring that the area around your furnace stays clear all year round.
  2. Replace your furnace filter: Part of proper gas furnace maintenance is replacing your furnace filter. It’s designed to protect your furnace from getting clogged with hair, dust, and other debris, but once it gets clogged your furnace has to work harder to pull air in. For the 1-inch pleated filters, most filter manufacturers recommend checking the filter monthly while the furnace is in use, and replacing it every 3 months at the most. If you have a more intensive filtration system or air cleaner, rely on the guidance of a professional furnace technician from a reputable company like Novel Care.
  3. Check the exhaust vent and fresh air intake: Vents like these outside your home need to be kept free of yard litter, plant overgrowth or animal nests. The vents should be able to open freely to suck in fresh air and expel contaminated air.
  4. Open all of your indoor air vents: Make sure that none are blocked by furniture or carpets, and that the vent covers are free of dust. This not only helps your gas furnace move air throughout your home, but it will improve the overall air quality in your house.
  5. Remove all vent covers and inspect your vents: If they appear dusty, consider booking professional duct cleaning appointment with a knowledgeable and experienced company like Novel Care. If they show any signs of mold, you should definitely consult with a gas furnace maintenance expert. Mold can be extremely hazardous to your health and lead to a plethora of respiratory issues.
  6. Do a test run: Turn your furnace on before the first really cold day of the year. If it won’t fire up or it’s making lots of noise then it’s the perfect time to schedule a gas furnace maintenance appointment.
  7. Check your thermostat settings for maximum efficiency: Set the temperature to go down when you’re away from home and overnight while you’re asleep. Remember, lower temperatures will save you money. For every degree you reduce your overall temperature, you can reduce your heating costs by 3% to 5%.
  8. Check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors: If your CO (carbon monoxide) detector is more than 5 years old, replace it to ensure the safety of you and your family. Carbon Monoxide detectors are very inexpensive and are available at most hardware stores. While odorless and colourless, CO is highly toxic and a buildup in your home could be fatal.

Most importantly, book a professional heating technician to check and clean your furnace. This will help make sure there are no problems, and will help your furnace run at peak efficiency. That means you’ll be reducing the cost to heat your home all winter long. You can learn more about what’s included in an Novel Care furnace servicing appointment here.

Gas Furnace Maintenance Essentials

•    Dirty filters make your furnace work harder.
•    Small problems with furnace parts can make other parts work harder, increasing the wear and tear on your system. This reduces the working life of your furnace and makes a breakdown more likely. Regular gas furnace maintenance is one of the best things you can do for your home’s HVAC system.

Request a Free Quote for Gas Furnace Maintenance from Novel Care

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7 Things to Consider When Buying a Furnace and Air Conditioner

A new furnace or air conditioner is a major purchase, and choosing the right system for your home and your budget is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

There are many different options for efficiency, plus all the new technologies and add-ons to choose from. It’s understandable that some people get confused. But knowing what you want in a home comfort system is essential for making sure you’re getting the right models. After all, you’re going to be living with your new system for the foreseeable future, and you want to be absolutely certain that your equipment has the features that will save you the most money and get you the highest level of comfort.

Here are seven major factors you should consider when shopping around for a new home comfort system.

1. Reliability

The last thing you need is a new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system that turns out to be unreliable. A “lemon” like this could end up costing a fortune in energy bills, expensive repairs and early replacement. Always choose a brand of system that has a proven track record for reliability and that’s made by a reputable manufacturer.

2. Humidity Control

The optimum humidity level for most homes is between 30 and 50 percent.

Lower humidity can dry out your skin, make you more susceptible to illness and damage the wood and electronic devices in your home. Higher humidity levels promote mold and mildew growth, as well as provide a welcome environment for pests like dust mites.

Properly sizing your new system is essential for good humidity control. If you live in a particularly humid or dry climate, consider a built-in whole-house humidifier or dehumidifier, which gives you precise control over the humidity level through a humidistat.

3. Noise Level

Standard furnaces and air conditioners, particularly older ones, can operate at a decibel level that’s comparable to that of a garbage disposal. If you’re looking for a system that hums quietly in the background, choose one with an electronically commutated motor, or ECM. This is the same type of motor used by refrigerators, and it’s considerably quieter than a standard motor. As an added bonus, ECMs use less energy and have a longer operating life than traditional motors.

4. Air Cleaning Capabilities

The Environmental Protection Agency has identified the air in the typical home as one of the top five environmental hazards. Regular air filter changes are essential for good indoor air quality, but if your or anyone in your home suffers from a respiratory condition like allergies, COPD or asthma, a built-in air cleaner will trap more allergens like pollen and mold, and will help eliminate more bacteria and viruses than the air filter alone can.

5. AC & Furnace Efficiency

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Look for the Energy Star logo on high-efficiency equipment.

With the rising cost of energy and the continued degradation of the environment due to carbon dioxide emissions, choosing a high-efficiency home comfort system is the best way to save money on heating and cooling your home, as well as reducing your carbon footprint.

Energy Star, a voluntary program run by the Environmental Protection Agency, awards its label to only the most efficient systems, which are tested by a third-party in an EPA-approved laboratory. Energy Star systems are guaranteed to be more efficient than their non-labeled counterparts, and can save you up to 20 percent on your annual utility bill. Some high-efficiency systems are eligible for federal or provincial rebates or rebates through your local utility company.

6. Temperature Control and Air Circulation

Standard furnace and air conditioner blowers operate at just two speeds: on and off. Once the air temperature reaches the thermostat setting, the unit shuts off, and then it cycles back on when the temperature changes. This frequent cycling can cause several problems:

  • It wears the system controls out more quickly.
  • It can result in a temperature difference of up to 7 degrees between the thermostat setting and the actual air temperature.
  • It can cause stagnation of the air in your rooms on days when the temperature inside stays fairly consistent due to non-extreme outdoor temperatures. If the system is rarely cycling on, it can’t refresh your air.

To eliminate these problems, choose a model with a variable speed motor, which adjusts the speed of the blower based on the real-time heating and cooling needs in your home. These models cycle less frequently and circulate air throughout the home more consistently, giving you better control over the temperature in your rooms and increasing your overall comfort level.

7. Size

When it comes to a furnace or air conditioner bigger is better, right? Not always. An oversized furnace or HVAC system is likely to break down more often and even fail earlier than a properly sized system. It can also can seriously compromise your comfort.

A unit that is too large will heat or cool the home more quickly, but it will also cycle more frequently, and for a shorter time than it should. This will end up costing you more money in energy costs and repair bills, and the system won’t filter contaminants from your air as effectively as a properly sized system will. Additionally, a system that’s too big can’t adequately remove humidity from the air, but rather will re-circulate it back into the home, promoting mold and mildew growth.

Before you purchase a new system, have a qualified HVAC professional calculate the right size furnace or air conditioner using the industry standard protocol.

For more information about furnace or air conditioner installation contact Novel Care today: 905-737-5016