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My name is Alex and I recently just bought a condo in the east end of the city. The building itself is a bit older and everyone is responsible for his or her own air conditioning/furnace. Since my building is at least 15 years old, I knew there was a chance I’d have some trouble with my HVAC. And that’s exactly what happened. I made the mistake of calling someone my property manager recommended without checking up on them first. Now I’m still dealing with these guys for my central heating repair and winter is almost over!

Should’ve Gone With Air Tech Toronto For Central Heating Repair

After countless calls and emails with this HVAC company, it’s slowly starting to become clear that maybe they aren’t as professional as I’d originally hoped. Sure they came recommended by my property manager, but that’s only because they’ve had some experience with my building. It had nothing to do with how good they were. It was just a matter of convenience!

Naturally I did some digging into other HVAC companies who might be able to help with my central heating repair needs, and Air Tech Toronto was the first one to get back to me. They were nice enough to answer my questions and listen to my situation. Thanks to them I was able to actually get a qualified professional to take a look at my furnace within a few hours of my call.

They recommended I let the other company finish up since they were the official installers and it wouldn’t cost me anything, but I just wanted this to be done. I should’ve just called Air Tech Toronto from the start.

Central Heating Repair Is One Of The Many Things We Have To Offer

At Air Tech Toronto, we’ve spent the past 30 years taking care of HVAC problems around Toronto and the GTA. Rest assured there’s nothing we’ve haven’t seen, installed, or repaired when it comes to central heating and ductless options for heating and cooling. In our experience, getting the right person to handle your central heating repair is the best way to save time, money, and aggravation. That’s why our dedicated team works hard to get the job done right the first time. We know the value in making our customers’ lives easier, so give us a call at 905-737-5016. Whether it’s central heating repair, installations, or any other HVAC problem, we’d be more than happy to help!

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

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

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

furnace

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 Air Tech Toronto today: 905-737-5016