Tag Archive for: furnace maintenance

Purchasing a brand new furnace is a serious decision these days because there are so many options, including different brands, models, and variations, technical capabilities, furnace types, and efficiency ratings. However, one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a new furnace is the size that is best suitable for your home in Newmarket.

A Building Permit from Newmarket Town Government is usually not required for furnace replacement if no building alterations are taking place.

Installing a properly sized furnace requires more than simply calculating your home’s square footage. There are various aspects to consider while sizing a new gas furnace. Now we’ll go over what those factors are, why properly sizing a furnace is so important, and how to find a furnace that’s the right size for your location, environment, and comfort needs.

The goal of this article is to guide you in choosing the required size of furnace for your heating needs. It is calculated by taking the required heating BTU per square foot for most homes and your climate zone. Our heating BTU calculator takes these critical things into consideration, allowing you to give an answer for common questions as “how many BTUs to heat a home?” or “What size furnace do I need?”

The BTU per square foot heating rule of thumb varies greatly depending on your climate and the area of your house or room you wish to heat up. Newmarket is located in Zone 2.

Why choosing the best Furnace Size Is So Important?

While it may be appealing to choose a smaller furnace to save money on the purchase or a larger furnace to increase space-heating, we should follow the Golden Mean rule with furnaces, just as we should with many aspects in our lives: you need one that is just right for your home.

A furnace which is far too powerful will cycle irregularly. This is problematic because it will generate hot and cold zones around the house, decrease efficiency, require additional maintenance, and shorten the life of the furnace.

An undersized furnace will operate non-stop and won’t keep the temperature in your home at comfortable levels. The additional workload will also increase your energy bills, inrease the probability of maintenance issues, and also shorten the lifespan of your heating unit.

Another drawback of having a furnace that is the incorrectly sized is that it will reduce the overall efficiency of your heating system.
The AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) is the thermal efficiency measurement of a furnace based on normal operation. The AFUE tries to represent the equipment’s actual, season-long average efficiency, taking into account all operating factors.

You won’t be able to get the efficiency rating you paid for if your furnace runs continuously or irregularly because it is the wrong size. That means more energy use and higher heating expenses.

Your furnace must be correctly sized for your home in order to perform at the efficiency level it is rated for.

How many BTU do I need for my house in Newmarket?

That is a crucial question that must be answered correctly. On the coldest winter days, a furnace that is way too undersized will not heat your home properly. Areas further away from the furnace may become uncomfortably cold in your home.

An oversized furnace will waste large amounts of energy, and create hot patches around vents close to the furnace before the heating cycle stops.

When you talk about furnace size, you are not talking about the actual physical dimensions of the unit. Rather, the size of a furnace is determined by its heating output and the amount of heat it can provide.

The output of a furnace is often measured in British thermal units (BTU) per hour. A BTU is a unit of measurement for energy, particularly the amount of energy necessary to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Heat is now understood to be the same as energy. The joule (J) is the current SI unit for heat and energy; one BTU equals about 1055 J.

Furnace BTU

You need to remember, that “BTU/h” is sometimes abbreviated to just “BTU”. The modern unit of power for heating and cooling systems is the watt. 1000 BTU/h is approximately 293.1 W.

Some manufacturers have started to calculate furnace size in MBHs rather than BTUs. One MBH is 1000 BTU per hour, then you’re still using the same unit: 60 MBH is equal to 60000 BTU.

The general BTU per square foot heating rule of thumb varies from 30 BTU per square foot to 60 BTU per square foot based on your climate zone. That is a significant variation, with one furnace being twice as powerful as the other, so the size factors are explained here to help you in how to size a new furnace for a house.

A bigger furnace, such as one with an output of 120000 BTU per hour, will provide enough heat for a larger space. A smaller furnace will have a smaller BTU capacity, such as 40000 BTU per hour, and would be suitable for only a smaller pace.

Calculating BTU requirements for a house

Let’s start with this useful map. The climate becomes progressively colder from zone 1 to 3.

Find your location on the map. If you’re on or close the border between two zones, choose the higher number, the cooler zone.

Canada climate zones

Take the square footage of your home. If you don’t know it, you can look up the blueprint of the house, or measure rectangles within your home. Multiply the width by length for each rectangle and add them together.

It is not quite accurate, but nevertheless very useful for our purposes. While you shouldn’t use this calculation to make a final decision about furnace size, you can use it to get an idea of the size range to look at when you buy a new furnace. You can get a basic estimate using the square footage of your house.

The general rule of thumb is that you need between 30 and 60 BTU per square foot. Depending on your climate zone, you can determine how many BTU per square foot you need.

Furnace BTU sizing chart

Square footage Furnace BTU for
Zone 1
Furnace BTU for
Zone 2
Furnace BTU for
Zone 3
1000 30000 BTU 45000 BTU 60000 BTU
1250 37500 BTU 56250 BTU 75000 BTU
1500 45000 BTU 67500 BTU 90000 BTU
2000 60000 BTU 90000 BTU 120000 BTU
2500 75000 BTU 112500 BTU 150000 BTU
3000 90000 BTU 135000 BTU 180000 BTU

As you live in Newmarket, Ontario (Zone 2), in a home which is 2000 square feet. The chart would tell that you probably need a 90000 BTU furnace.

This value is only a rough approximation to demonstrate how these previously mentioned factors can affect the furnace size you need to buy, how many BTUs needed to heat a house. There are several additional factors that can affect the final furnace sizing calculation.

Professional furnace sizing

The best way to ensure your furnace is the right size for your home is to get an evaluation from a professional HVAC expert at Air Tech Toronto.

Air Tech Toronto has been proudly providing professional Furnace Installation services to accurately calculate the square footage of your home, factor in all the other elements that can impact furnace size, and give you a precise BTU capacity for your furnace.

We need to inform people living in Stouffville on how to prepare for and avoid house fires. Heating systems are one of the leading causes of house fires, second only to kitchen equipment, according to data, therefore it is essential to be aware of furnace safety. Fortunately, there are some simple precautions you can take to minimize the possibility of a fire and keep your house and family safe and prepared in case of emergencies.

Furnace Fire Causes

Furnaces may get very hot, especially if they are used constantly during the wintertime. Because of the heat, you should keep the area surrounding your furnace free of clutter. The majority of Stouffville fire deaths are the consequence of flammable objects being left close to a heat source, generally the gas furnace. To reduce the risk of fire, you should leave at least three feet of space around your furnace free.

You need to look for discoloration or heat on the walls surrounding the furnace. If you discover any of these indications, contact Air Tech Toronto to have a professional heating specialist inspect your gas furnace.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness in Stouffville

As a byproduct of burning fuel for heating, your gas furnace may emit potentially hazardous gases. Some of these gases, such as carbon monoxide, are odourless, making them extremely dangerous. When typical fuel-burning appliances and equipment which burns natural gas, oil, wood, propane, and kerosene do not get enough oxygen to burn, this odourless gas is generated as a byproduct of insufficient combustion. Furnaces, though, are intended to safely exhaust harmful gases outdoors. To minimize carbon monoxide buildup in the home, make sure that your vents are clean of any clogs or dirt.

Carbon Monoxide, known by its chemical fourmula of CO, is a toxic gas that cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. CO is also known as the “silent killer.”

Carbon monoxide may accumulate in the house, particularly in enclosed areas, and this can have devastating consequences on humans and all living creatures.

CO has warning signs by how it affects humans. CO poisoning causes flu-like symptoms, such as:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • burning eyes
  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • drowsiness

CO poisoning affects your body’s ability to absorb oxygen. It can cause brain damage and death in extreme situations. The elderly, children, and those suffering from heart or respiratory problems may experience the affects sooner than the others. Even low quantities of CO gas might be extremely dangerous.

The best solution to protect yourself and your family in Stouffville against carbon monoxide poisoning is to eradicate it at the source. When it comes to CO safety, here is a checklist to take into account.

  • Have fuel-burning appliances installed by a professional Air Tech Toronto technician with over 35 years of experience.
  • Have all your fuel-burning appliances and vents are inspected annually.
  • Keep chimneys clear of small animals, leaves, and other debris to ensure proper ventilation.
  • Ensure your furnace is inspected for adequate ventilation.
  • Install a working carbon monoxide alarm near all sleeping areas in your home.
  • Remember to test your CO alarms once a month by pushing the test button on the unit.

Small Animals Can Cause a Furnace Fire

As leaves and tiny animals might sneak into your vents, it’s a good idea to make it a routine practice to check them frequently. If you have a cat, you may have seen it resting on the heating vent that delivers air to your ducted furnace. It may not be cold enough in the home or outside yet, but cats enjoy resting on furnace vents. Cats, like any other animal, are always looking for ways to feel relaxed. You may believe that your cat is intelligent enough to avoid every risk in your home on their own, but it may or may not recognize real danger. There are a number of HVAC hazards in your basement, including your gas furnace. Sitting near or on the furnace should not be encouraged.

Fill out our Air Tech Toronto online booking form to book your next appointment in Stouffville.

We need to remind Richmond Hill residents how we can prepare for and prevent home fires. Since statistics show that heating systems are one of the main causes of home fires, second only to cooking equipment, it is important to be aware of furnace safety. Fortunately, there are some basic tips that can help to reduce the risk of fire and keep your home and family safe and prepared for emergencies.

Furnace Fire Causes

Furnaces can become hot, especially when they are in constant use during winter. This heat means that you should keep the area around your furnace clear. Most of fire deaths in Richond Hill are the result of combustible materials being left near a heat source, usually a furnace. Ideally, there should be at least a three foot area of space around your furnace to reduce the risk of fire.

You should also check the walls near the furnace to check for discoloration or heat. If you notice any of these signs in the vicinity, call a professional heating expert from Air Tech Toronto to check for gas furnace dangers.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness in Richmond Hill

As a side effect of burning fuel for heat, your furnace will produce potentially dangerous fumes. Some of these fumes, including carbon monoxide can be odorless, which makes them especially dangerous. This odourless gas is produced as a byproduct of combustion when common fuel-burning appliances and equipment that use natural gas, oil, wood, propane and kerosene, don’t get enough air to burn up completely. Fortunately, furnaces are designed to safely vent these fumes outside. Therefore, to avoid carbon monoxide build up in house, it is important to ensure that your vents are clear of any obstructions or debris.

Carbon Monoxide, also known as CO, is a poisonous gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. CO is often referred to as the “silent killer”.

Carbon monoxide at home can build up, especially in a confined room or space – and this can lead to toxic effects on humans and pets.

CO has warning signs by how it affects humans. CO poisoning causes flu-like symptoms, including:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • burning eyes
  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • drowsiness

CO poisoning makes it difficult for your body to absorb oxygen. In severe cases it can cause brain damage and death. The elderly, children and people with heart or respiratory issues may feel the effects sooner than others. Even small amounts of CO gas can be dangerous.

The best way to ensure that you and your family in Richmond Hill are not exposed to carbon monoxide is to eliminate this poisonous gas at the source. Here is a list to follow when it comes to CO safety.

  • Have fuel-burning appliances installed by a professional Air Tech Toronto technician with over 35 years of experience.
  • Have all your fuel-burning appliances and vents are inspected annually.
  • Keep chimneys clear of small animals, leaves, and other debris to ensure proper ventilation.
  • Ensure your furnace is inspected for adequate ventilation.
  • Install a working carbon monoxide alarm near all sleeping areas in your home.
  • Remember to test your CO alarms once a month by pushing the test button on the unit.

Small Animals Can Cause a Furnace Fire

Leaves and small animals can get into your vents, so it is a good idea to establish a routine of checking your vents are clear. If you’re a cat owner you may noticed your cat sitting on the heating vent that distributes air for your forced air furnace. It might not even be that cold in the house or outside yet, but cats love sitting on furnace registers. Cats like any other animal are constantly searching for comfort. You might think that your cat is smart enough to avoid all danger in your home on their own, but it may or may not understand where danger lies. In your basement there are a number of HVAC dangers including your furnace. Sitting near or on the furnace shouldn’t be something you encourage. There is always chance they get too close to the pilot light or brush up against a hot tube or duct. Cat and small animals pose a furnace fire hazard.

Fill out our Air Tech Toronto online booking form to book your next appointment in Richmond Hill.

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 Air Tech Toronto today at 905-737-5016

As the weather gets colder and the leaves change colour it’s clear that fall is upon us. While nature is busy making changes it’s important for us to also make some annual changes, particularly with some winter furnace maintenance. Our home heating systems work hard all winter to keep our homes and families warm, but it can’t be taken for granted that they will simply work without any attention. Your furnace is a machine and just like any other machine it requires a certain amount of maintenance to operate properly and efficiently.

Winter Furnace Maintenance Is Important

Your furnace is a big part of your home. It not only keeps your house warm in the winter, but it also circulates the air throughout the house, filters the air, and eliminates moisture in the air. As a result your furnace not only warms your home, but helps to keep it a healthy environment. This is one of the main reasons fall and winter furnace maintenance are so important.

Furnace Repair or Furnace Replacement?

As your furnace ages it slowly loses efficiency and at a certain point in time it will need replacing, but how do you know when that time has come? The best way to understand how much longer your furnace will last is to consult with a professional Air Tech Toronto Winter Furnace Maintenance Technician. They’re experts in furnace repairs and replacements and following an inspection can provide you with advice about furnace maintenance, what needs fixing on your furnace, and whether your furnace needs replacing or not. A Air Tech Toronto Furnace Technician will provide you with a free estimate for the necessary work. Prior to meeting with a furnace technician it’s important to understand your furnace and any signs of wear and tear. This information will help you understand the conversation you have with a professional furnace repair technician, and allows you to identify any warning signs in advance. Take a look at the infographic below for more information about inspecting your furnace as part of your winter furnace maintenance preparation.

Winter-Furnace-Maintenance

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 Air Tech Toronto 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 Air Tech Toronto, 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 Air Tech Toronto 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 Air Tech Toronto 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 Air Tech Toronto 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 Air Tech Toronto 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 Air Tech Toronto. 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 Air Tech Toronto can help you call: 905-737-5016.

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 Air Tech Toronto 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 Air Tech Toronto.
  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 Air Tech Toronto. 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 Air Tech Toronto 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 Air Tech Toronto

Julie Brousseau-Rooley is a Air Tech Toronto furnace repair technician. She’s one of the best, and is a rare woman in the trade. Her expertise lies in repairs to both commercial and residential heating and cooling equipment of all kinds. Julie kindly agreed to take a few moments out of her busy schedule to share her perspective and advice with us.

1. How long have you been working in the HVAC industry as a furnace repair technician?

Julie: About 3 years, since 2011.

2. What inspired you to become an HVAC & furnace repair technician?

Julie: My entire family are trades. I’ve always loved working with my hands. As an HVAC technician, I get to do a little of everything – mechanical, electrical, gas, plumbing. There’s never a boring day!

3. Do you find that customers are surprised to see a female HVAC & furnace repair technician arrive at their door?

Julie: Constantly! Some people think it’s a scam and won’t let me in. Women are always happy to see me though – they think it’s great that there are women who can do this kind of work.

4. Do you meet a lot of other female HVAC technicians?

Julie: Not really, but I know of one from my hometown of Sudbury. She went to the same college I did.

5.  What is your favourite thing about being an HVAC technician?

Julie: I love that it’s a challenge. Every situation is different, with something new to learn. As a repair technician, I love the troubleshooting aspect.

6.  Is there anything you find really challenging?

Julie: Not a lot. Some older people think a woman can’t do the job, so I love winning them over. I have some customers who only want me to work on their HVAC  equipment, and will wait for me to be available!

7.  What is your favourite thing about working with Air Tech Toronto?

Julie: There’s a couple of things. I love the variety of equipment I get to fix: one moment I’m working on a commercial rooftop unit, the next it’s a boiler or a residential furnace. I also love the camaraderie at Air Tech Toronto. Everyone understands each other really well and works together.

8.  What kind of schooling and licences do you have to get to become an HVAC & furnace repair technician in Ontario?

Julie: I have a 2-year HVAC Technician diploma from Cambrian College. You have to pass the provincial exams with 75% or better for every kind of licence you get. I have my oil, natural gas and propane licences.

9.  What are the most important personal qualities that an HVAC technician should have?

Julie: You need two things. You have to be friendly, because you’re going into people’s homes all day. You also have to be smart so you can figure out what’s going on with the equipment.

10.  Is the industry changing a lot as time passes, and if so what do you do to keep current?

Julie: The trade changes every year. There are new code regulations to learn, and also new products coming out all the time. I attend a lot of workshops to help keep up to date.

11.  Do you have any favourite furnaces or air conditioners right now?

Julie: I love Lennox, because they really stand behind their products.

12.  Do you have any tips for homeowners that will help them get the most out of their home heating equipment?

Julie: Change your filters. That’s what will really extend the lifespan of your furnace, because they keep the dirt and hair from getting in.

13. Do you have any advice for young people who are thinking of becoming HVAC technicians?

Julie: Come on in! There are tons of jobs, especially with so many technicians retiring in the next few years.

 

Our Friendly Furnace Repair Technician

Julie is a very friendly and talented furnace repair technician on the Air Tech Toronto team, and exemplifies our values of expertise and great customer service. If you are having trouble with your home’s HVAC heating and cooling equipment, give us a call at (905) 737-5016.

Request a Free Quote Online

Cold winters mean drier air, which can cause annoying static electricity, make you feel colder and even increase your risk of getting sick with colds, flu and other viruses. A humidifier is an excellent start to solving some of these problems.

Maintaining the optimum 30% to 50% humidity range in your home during the winter is essential for comfort and health, and a whole-house humidifier is the best tool for ensuring optimum humidity levels.

How a Whole-House Humidifier Works

Installed directly into your Toronto HVAC system and connected to a water source, a whole-house humidifier sends water down a hole-filled panel between your blower and duct. As air passes through the panel, it becomes humidified before entering your duct system to be delivered to your rooms. A humidistat attached to the system lets you control the amount of humidity in your home. Essentially, it connects directly to your furnace and works in tandem with your duct system to ensure the humidity in your home is optimal.

A whole-house humidifier will benefit you in five key ways:

1. Save Money on Heating

Have you ever noticed on hot summer days that “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”? The same principle applies once winter hits: humidity in the air makes it feel warmer. A whole-house humidifier provides enough humidity to allow you to turn down the thermostat by a few degrees, saving you money on energy costs.

2. Help Prevent Illness

Recent research shows that flu, cold and other viruses are more stable in dry air. Droplets of moisture containing these viruses evaporate quickly in dry air, enabling them to stay airborne longer and increasing your chances of breathing them in.

Additionally, low humidity dries out the nasal passages, causing tiny cracks that are an open invitation to viruses looking to make you sick. A whole-house humidifier will prevent the droplets from evaporating before they settle out of the air, and will prevent your mucous membranes from drying out.

3. Preserve Wood and Paint In Your Home

When humidity levels drop, any wood in your home like flooring and millwork becomes prone to splitting and cracking. Wood flooring manufacturers sometimes even include humidity level maintenance as a warranty condition.  Similarly, paint on your home’s walls can chip once the humidity level drops too much.

4. Prevent Static Electricity

Dry air promotes static electricity that makes your hair stand on end, zaps you at every turn and may damage your electronic devices. Increasing the humidity level in your home will put an end to annoying static electricity.

5. Increase Your Comfort

Let’s face it, no one likes dry air in the winter. It makes skin, hair, eyes, nose and throat dry out and feel scratchy. We Canadians spend up to 90% of our time indoors, so we might as well make the experience a good one!

A Humidifier Can Change Significantly Your Home

Talk to your friendly Air Tech Toronto representative about whether whole-house humidifiers are right for your home. They could help you endure cold and flu season much better, and get more enjoyment out of the coming winter.

Request a Free Humidifier Quote – No Obligation!

You can’t see it. You can’t smell it. You can’t taste it. You could be breathing it right now, being poisoned to death without even knowing it. It’s carbon monoxide (CO), and it’s deadly. It’s known as “the silent killer” because we can’t sense it, and it can kill slowly or in minutes.

The problem is very real. In 2002, over 12,000 calls related to CO in Ontario were received by the Canada Safety Council.* In the winter of 2013, several families in the Toronto area were killed in their sleep by carbon monoxide**. In Canada, 380 deaths were caused by accidental CO poisoning from 2000–2009, according to Stats Canada.***

According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 Americans are killed every year from carbon monoxide poisoning, which makes it responsible for more poison-related deaths than any other form of poisoning.

Common Sources

Carbon monoxide is naturally produced as a combustion by-product. So anything that consumes fuel will produce carbon monoxide. That’s why leaving a car idling in an enclosed space like a garage is so dangerous.

But many common household items are also potentially lethal sources of CO. Gas or oil powered water heaters and furnaces are common sources of accidental CO poisoning. Kerosene and propane space heaters claim lives every winter as a result of CO poisoning. And fireplaces that don’t draw properly also pose a risk. Any device or appliance that burns fuel and is not ventilated properly represents a potential risk.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning does produce recognizable symptoms, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion or irritability

But quite often the symptoms of CO poisoning are mistaken for those of other illnesses, such as the flu. And since CO poisoning can strike quickly, it’s not uncommon for victims to fall asleep perfectly healthy, and never awaken if exposed to carbon monoxide as they sleep.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

You can ensure you stay safe with a simple CO alarm. They’re not expensive – most are less than $50 – and they’re available at most hardware stores. Just make sure you get one that’s certified by the CSA (Canadian Standards Association).

Install one or more alarms near the furnace and living/sleeping areas. Test the alarm regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you hear the alarm sound, leave your home immediately. Dial 911, and do not go back inside your home until the problem has been professionally fixed.

Also, it’s important to make sure your furnace and any other fuel-burning appliances are installed correctly and serviced regularly by a professional.

CO Detectors are Now Mandatory By Law

As of October 15, 2014, homeowners in Ontario must install a carbon monoxide detector or face a fine. Just like the laws for smoke detectors and seat belts in cars, the law will no doubt save many lives. You can learn more about the law here.

Everyone is at Risk

Who’s at risk of becoming a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning? Everyone. But certain groups are more susceptible to the dangers of carbon monoxide, such as the very young and the elderly. People with underlying health concerns such as respiratory illnesses and heart disease are also more likely to succumb to CO poisoning.

But everyone is a potential victim. That’s because the effects of carbon monoxide are cumulative. When you breathe CO, it accumulates in your blood. As blood levels of CO increase, your body’s ability to distribute oxygen throughout the body degrades. If CO poisoning is allowed to progress unchecked, brain damage and death can eventually result from a lack of oxygen at the cellular level. In essence, your body suffocates to death.

Avoid Becoming a Statistic

The insidious nature of carbon monoxide poisoning makes it seem somewhat of an innocuous threat. As the old saying warns, a threat that’s out of sight also tends to be out of mind.

But the tragic annual death toll racked up by carbon monoxide poisoning each year disproves another old saying: “What you can’t see won’t hurt you.”

Carbon monoxide poisoning kills many poor souls every year that neither see nor smell the danger. They just slip away without ever knowing they were in danger. That’s why it’s so important to stay very alert to the potential perils of carbon monoxide poisoning, and to protect yourself with an alarm.

If you’re unsure about anything to do with carbon monoxide in your home contact Air Tech Toronto today: 905-737-5016

References and Additional Reading