What causes Air Conditioner fires and how to them?

They say, 'Prevention is better than cure''. And they say it right. Adopting preventive measures to avoid Air Conditioner fires can save you from massive property damages and life losses. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) of the United States provided with astonishing figures of annual damages and losses caused by Air Conditioner fires. Here is a summary of the 2016 report covering the data for the year 2014;

- Around 78,000 home structure fires were reported to have been caused by AC fan or other Air Conditioner equipment. 
- A life loss of 50 people was recorded in 2014 in the US alone while over 200 were sent for medical treatment as a result of mild or severe injuries.
- A property loss of 213 million dollars also resulted from these fires.  
- From 2006-2010, up to 2,500 fires were caused by Air Conditioners annually. The fires caused by Heat Pumps were 500 (This does not imply that heat pump does not cause a fire. The difference in the number is due to the fact that more people use Air Conditioners).



What causes Air Conditioner Fires? 

Since Air Conditioner is an electrical-mechanical appliance, the fires usually have the very reason behind; electrical or mechanical. For example; up to 33% of fires in previous years were caused by failing insulation of the wire or cable, short-circuiting, over-heating of the appliance or poor wiring material used. 

Ways to prevent Air Conditioner fires 

- Strictly avoid over-usage

As mentioned above, over-usage was among the top reasons for fires as it over-heats at the appliance. It is common among Canadian homeowners to constantly run the Air Conditioner during hot summers. But whether it's a Split Air Conditioner or a Central Air Conditioner, non-stop usage is one BIG MISTAKE. And since a lot of people haven't yet shifted to Programmable or Smart Thermostats, the AC keeps on running on unusually high temperatures resulting in high bills and burdening the system.
So the solution is; avoid over-usage of the appliance and follow the right practices; turn off or lower the system when not in use. Choose hours of the day to give rest to the system. Use additional appliances; fan, portable Air Conditioner or fans as alternatives to give rest to the system and to use them when there are only a few people at home. 

- Maintenance ensures safety 

While a lot of homeowners think that the rant of HVAC technicians about Air Conditioner maintenance is just their way of ensuring more customers to make more money, the truth is that maintenance is a genuine need of the appliance. And, avoiding or postponing it becomes the cause of big loss and massive damage. Almost all the reasons for fires caused by Air Conditioner can be traced back to this one reason of no or bad maintenance. For instance; dirty filters cause fires, damaged wires that do not get in time repair cause fires, improperly functioning of fan motor cause fires, dried operational parts which produce sparks cause fires and the list of reasons goes on. All these reasons are those which can be identified and fixed if the appliance is given in time maintenance. 

To cut the long story short, the simplest and easiest ways to avoid Air Conditioner fires is to;
- Avoid over-usage
- Provide the system with regular maintenance 

p1

Troubleshoot noise and odour issues of your Split Air Conditioner

Usually, the noise and odour problem in the typical Central/Duct Air Conditioners are attributed to the duct system itself which harbours dust and debris, mould and spores. These elements in the duct later become the source of loathsome odours and irritating noises as the components get clogged and the airflow is hindered. But since the ductless system does not have a duct, why do these units too produce the same issues? In this blog, we shall explain why the Ductless Air Conditioners develop noises and odours. Simple DIY solutions shall also be discussed.

Ductless Air Conditioner noises and odours - Toronto

Odourous Split Air Conditioner - Fix it!

Causes:

The cause of a split unit giving odours, as it is turned on is the dirt developed inside of it. As you might already know that a ductless operates on the principle of pulling the warm indoor air outside, treating it with the condenser (which result in condensing the air and turning the warm air into liquid) and sending the cool air back into the indoor. Since the air is not generated by the AC, it is the indoor air which is full of dust and debris that keeps going in and out. Although there are filters installed in the system, these filters do not trap all dirt. As a result, this dirt goes and sticks back into the compressor unit components. Also, the liquid of condensation sometimes does not get drained because of clogged condensate line. As a result, mould is developed. So every time, a cycle of air is treated to be circulated back in the indoor, all these odours also go along with that air. And it is for this reason that every time the AC is turned on, a very detestable odour is circulated in the indoor.

Solutions:

You might already have discovered the solution.
i. Clean/replace the AC filters
ii. Also, use a hose (of not a very high pressure) and clean the condenser unit as well so as to clear all the dirt
iii. Check the condensate line and clear it if found clogged 

Noisy Split Air Conditioner - Fix it! 

Causes:

Split Air Conditioners usually have very unfelt operational noise. Many latest models have almost no operation noise at all. But even the split units can become extremely noisy and when they do, they can keep you as well as your neighbours awake. The most common reasons for the noisy unit are;

- Loose cabinet: Since the compressor unit vibrates as it operates, the nuts keeping the cabinet together are loosened. As a result, they vibrate and bang with their closes part causing a noise. 

- Bent or clogged blade: A clogged fan blade could be another reason for the noise. But in case you have serviced the unit only recently, there are chances that the fan blade has been bent. 

- Use a torchlight to see if the components inside are clogged. Sometimes, especially when the outdoor unit is not covered during intense weathers, the components develop hard clogs. They still work with those clogs but not without causing big bang sounds. Consider giving a clean up to the unit. 

Solutions:

- Tighten the screws of the cabinet if found loose
- Check the blade for clogs and using a medium pressure water pipe, clean it
- Thoroughly clean the entire unit, so that all clogs go away

How often do you experience noise and odour problems in your Ductless Air Conditioner? How do you fix them? And how often do you have to spend a massive sum on these petty issues.

p1

Role of heating and air conditioning in home comfort

For the overall health and happiness, the importance of your home comfort heating and cooling system cannot be neglected. There are certain factors which contribute to creating a perfect indoor environment including air quality, humidity, and air temperature. Read on to know how these elements collectively optimize the comfort of your home.

Optimal Temperature

Ensuring optimum temperatures at night will allow you to get a better night's sleep and save energy cost simultaneously. Temperatures should fall in the range of 21 to 23 degrees Celsius during the heating season when the members of the household are in the home and awake. When occupants are asleep or away, it is recommended between 15 and 18 degrees Celsius.

Air Humidity

The air humidity level can affect your home comfort as well as your heating or air conditioning unit's proper functioning. If humidity somehow becomes the major hurdle of your home comfort; then consider a humidifier or dehumidifier as per your home’s requirements.

Air Quality

To protect the health of household members, indoor air quality is extremely important. Mold, fungi, bacteria, pollen, and spores are the major pollutants. This is how you can protect yourself from the unhealthy air: - Avoid exercising or spending time outside when the pollution level is high. - Refrain everyone to smoke indoor and use precautionary measures to keep your nearby area tobacco-free. - Go for the electric lawn care equipment and avoid using gasoline-powered machinery. - Don’t exercise near high traffic areas and try to use less electrical energy since more energy consumption will lead to bad air quality.

Proper Air circulation

Using your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is one of the easiest ways for air circulation. You can do this by setting the "fan only" option to your system. This system allows passing indoor air through the filter system. You can also use ceiling fans in your place which effectively move air around the room.

Professional Duct Cleaning

Professional cleaning of your home air ducts also protects your health and energy costs. Many nasty things such as dust, cobwebs, fungus, and even mold can collect in your ductwork. Your furnace will need to work harder to filter and push clean air in your entire home with this waste piled up.

Smoke Detectors and Carbon-monoxide detectors:

It is recommended to have installed one carbon monoxide and smoke detector on each level of the home, especially near bedroom or sleeping areas to maintain an ideal comfort for your home and avoid unhappy accidents.

Wrapping up the article:

People spend so much money on household energy, particularly for heating and cooling homes. How much you spend is contingent upon the area you live and the length of the season. As per the recent Stats Canada survey, natural gas is being utilized by half of the households in Canada while timber usage is considered a secondary source to create an ideal ambience. But to keep your place cool or warm, make sure to choose wise steps which can save your cost and maintain the home comfort effectively.

p1

What Is the Best Time to Get your Furnace Inspected

The ideal time to get your Furnace inspected is before the cold weather hits or after a full season of use –since most of the maintenance is based upon the issues that homeowners witness while using.
People think Furnace inspection is confined to flipping the Thermostat and cleaning or replacing the filters, but it involves a thorough and detailed inspection where a technician dives deep into inspecting all potential issues and resolves it before the neglected furnace costs thousands of dollars for repairs. The article covers important Q&A’s for furnace tune-up.



Why is it essential to have regular furnace tune-ups?

Very much like a car, if you don’t put serious consideration, the functionality of the car gets disturbed and many things tend to break down. Whenever you oil change a car, it prolongs the life of the vehicle and enhances the functionality. Furnace tuning also works on the same principle.
Furnace tune-up takes about 60 to 70 minutes to complete. No matter, if your furnace works perfectly, taking time out for the inspection, helps to save money and time in the long run. People often have a perception that if they put a new furnace at the home, then getting it inspected or maintained does not remain necessary. The truth is, regular maintenance preserves the longevity and maintains an extended manufacturer’s warranty.  Poor maintenance is the ultimate cause of the early replacement of the furnace. Furnace life expectancy can be between 10 to 15 years while the regular inspection tends to lengthen the duration.
Burning fuel in the furnace produces heat, and homeowners should ensure the system works efficiently. A minor problem can potentiate the gas leakage which can be life-threatening. Carbon monoxide leakage is dangerous. Having regular tune-ups can detect these safety and health risks.

 

The benefits of regular Furnace Inspection:

Furnace tune-up is often not a top of mind for many homeowners. But with regular inspection and tune-up, you can enjoy a plethora of benefits.
·         The energy bill gets reduced up to 30%.
·         Your family stays safe and warm.
·         Your furnace can last longer since it prevents major breakdowns.

What to expect from a Furnace Inspection?

Qualified furnace technicians will conduct a diagnostic and safety checklist covering all aspects from CO emissions to Thermostats, fan operation,  gas leaks, and lubrication of all moving parts. A complete inspection is carried out to check that all of your furnace and duct systems are working properly. Any concerns at this stage will be addressed to the homeowners so they can take the necessary steps to resolve the problem.

Other ways to prolong the life of a Furnace:

Along with regular maintenance, you should ensure the following factors:
·         Replacing the filter right after three months.
·         Making sure the vents are not closed.
·         Checking thermostat and replacing the old battery with the new at regular intervals.

Interested in scheduling furnace maintenance? Contact us for a free quote. You will see how affordable professional furnace repairing and maintenance services can be.

p1

7 Common Furnace mistakes that could cost you money

There are several common furnace mistakes that most of the homeowners make. A wise homeowner like you can become aware of these mistakes to sidestep any cost. The efficient working of the Furnace doesn’t assure you will always get the same out of your heating system.  You can be fooled if you fail to think, that a furnace is tricky equipment and has many technicalities. This article deep dived into the seven common furnace mistakes that could cost money to homeowners. 


Cloggy Air filters can spike up the bills

You can encounter many difficulties if the air filters are not timely cleaned. The airflow issues will disturb the heating pattern. Moreover, the accumulation of various microbes, dirt and airborne particles clog the proper intake of heat. The system will start requiring more energy. Thus, keep using cloggy air filters will spike up your heating cost.

Keeping Furnace for too long

Keeping the furnace for long can cause sudden problems, which can be an indication of moderate to high danger. You should start looking for a new furnace once a furnace ages 20 or past the expiry date. Make sure to switch up to the new one, which is energy efficient and a better system for your place.

Closing supply registers:

Closing supply registers will eventually cost you. The home Heating systems are designed to effectively warm the entire home. Once you restrict the flow of air, it impedes the proper air flow, which ultimately increases the pressure on a system that can cause the furnace to wear out before time.

Increasing temperature of a Thermostat:

Never set the Thermostat above the desired temperature. Sadly, a furnace does not work on this principle. It will simply excel the energy consumption. The best way is to set a moderate temperature and wait out. Meanwhile, you can look for other ways to keep yourself cosy.

Not Buying the right size:

The size of the home and furnace should match to offer homeowners the best experience. You can get assistance from the heating and cooling company about the appropriate size of the furnace to warm up the entire home. The wrong size won’t offer the desired outcomes and you might have to replace it with a new furnace for a nicer upshot.

Running Furnace All day:

No doubt! The winter has every day a freezing-cold day, and you always find ways to keep yourself warm and cosy. But it is not mandatory to run the furnace, all day long. You can reduce the cost to a significant extent, once you ensure to turn it off when you are out for work and kids are not at home.

Prioritizing price only:

Choosing a furnace based on the price is not worth considering. There are other paramount aspects you must consider i.e. energy efficiency, appropriate sizing, and durability. Don’t turn a blind eye to the rest of the important factors else you'll have to spend on repairs what you are now saving on the purchase. 

p1

Furnace Filters | Types, Selection and Cleaning

Filters help a great deal not only in combating the dust and dander in the home but also in saving you from several kinds of allergies. This way, while on one hand, your Furnace feels pleasant and operate efficiently, on the other hand, you and your family can get rid of stale indoor air.
All homeowners use one or the other kind of Furnace filters, however, not all of them experience the same results. This has to do with three things;

- Furnace Filter type: There are a number of different Furnace Filters available. If your neighbours are using an electrostatic filter which is several times efficient than a simple paper filter which you use, you should simply not expect the same results

- Maintenance and Replacement: Other than the efficiency of the filter, maintenance and replacement matters. If the filter is not cleaned (in case of mechanical filter type) or not replaced (in case of paper filter type), the dirt and debris hinder the mechanism of the filter by partially or completely blocking the passage of air.

- Compatibility: The third Furnace Filter related reason why people having the same Furnace systems do not enjoy the same efficiency is the compatibility issue. Most often, people choose the wrong filter type. Either too ordinary to suit their extremely efficient Furnace system or too highly efficient to not remain compatible with the system. In this case, an efficiency or IAQ drop is usually experienced.

To make all equations right, here are come compact suggestions from our side.

 

Furnace Filter | Types and Selection

As said, there are multiple types of filters. You should choose one according to your system's efficiency. The Mechanical Type filters are usually made up of fibre and can't be washed. They are instead replaced after every 3-6 months. If you don't have allergies and live in a relatively cleaner vicinity, the paper filter can suffice for you. But be sure to change it regularly.

There's another type called the Electrostatic type. The polyester strands in these filters get electrically charged as air passes through them. These charged strands then attract dust and debris. While this type of filter is very efficient, it needs regular cleaning; usually after 3 months in peak season and after 6 months in case of relatively less use.

And even higher degree filter is the Electronic Type Furnace Filters. In this type, the electrically charged wires attract dust and debris towards them. But due to its very high MERV rating, these types of filters get dirty very easily. Having such a kind of filter installed, expect a weekly cleaning. Or maybe even more frequently.

Let's talk about the most efficient type of filter with up to 99% efficiency. Super efficient and very expensive, these filters are suitable for high-sanitary places like hospitals, labs etc. Although usually not recommended for homes, they can be used at homes in special cases where there are people with terminal illnesses or severe allergies.

Furnace Filters | Cleaning

The ordinary paper filters cannot be cleaned. They are cheap, available at $2-$3 and need replacement after 3-6 months. The electronic and electrostatic filters, however, need cleaning as early as they get dirty.
How to Clean:
Take lukewarm tap water in a tub and soak them in it. Use a soft brush to remove clogged dust and debris. In case you attempt to use any detergents, make sure it's safe to use on filters.

An important precaution: Do not use the filters after washing until they become completely dry.

p1

Common Furnace problems and their solutions

With the arrival of winters when days and nights start getting colder, people usually prefer to
carry out the function of their furnaces; particularly Canadians whose most favourite home heating element is nothing but furnace. The problem; however, arises when homeowners feel their Furnace is not working properly and look out for HVAC help to resolve the issue or consider minimizing the issue by applying various DIY techniques.

This blog is dedicated to the solutions to common Furnace problems. But before going into finding the solutions to the problems, we must also throw some light on the most common problems residential furnaces face. Below are some of the most common issues which the furnaces usually face. Their solutions will also be discussed.



Heating problem - Check circuit breaker 

If the furnace is not performing the basic function of producing heat, you might consider checking the Thermostat. If the thermostat is already set to heating then the probable reason for non-functioning is that some fuse is broken. Check if the circuit breaker controlling the Furnace is in the ON position. If this does not help, the problem is in the wiring of the circuit.

Compromised Air Flow - Try cleaning the filters

In case the furnace is working but not producing enough heat and there’s a compromised air flow, ensure that the air filter is clean. This is one of the most essential components of the HVAC system and requires regular maintenance and cleaning. Dirty filters compromise the air flow and burden the system. So if a compromised air flow is felt, make sure you check the air filters and if found dirty, immediately clean/replace them.

Ignition problem - Replace damaged ignitor 

The ignition problem results in decreasing the capacity of the furnace to produce heat. This
problem is common in gas furnaces operating with a thermocouple. For instant resolution of the
issue, inspect the ignitor. In case it is damaged, change it. If this DIY doesn't help, consider calling a professional for help since this portion of the Furnace requires some professionalism and technical knowledge and excessive DIY can result in creating further issues.

Continuous cycling problem - Check filter and Thermostat

A frequently turning ON and OFF Furnace is a sign of trouble. It can be caused by a dirty and old air filter that needs replacement or an improperly programmed Thermostat. Check both.

Noisy blower - Oil it! 

A slight operational noise is normal for a Furnace and how does a normal noise sounds like, you know very well. When an unusual noise from the blower unit is felt, it is most possibly because of the friction in the components. Oil the blower fan for a quick resolve.

Dampness around the unit 

The Furnace unit may develop moisture and eventually dampness around it. Water leaks from the Humidifier connected to the ductwork may as well result in dampness and consequently short-circuiting. To resolve this, dry the unit and its surroundings properly by first switching the system off. If the problem persists, call a professional.

What are the Furnace problems that you frequently face and what are the DIY's you use to resolve them? 

p1