Signs that your Boiler is failing

Although a majority of Toronto homeowners use Residential Furnace for the purpose of indoor heating, there are many that still love the Boiler for the benefits that it serves. Different homes have different needs and different people have different budgets. Homeowners can decide best with the help of an HVAC professional what would be most suitable while at the same time economical for them. But there's no denying the fact that Boilers are an effective system for the purpose of indoor heating keeping in view their particular feature with which they help kill two birds with one arrow; provide indoor heating and also provide water heating facility. There's one more, guess what? Since Boilers make use of steam to warm the indoor air, the steam also suffices for the scarcity of humidity in the Winters. So they serve three purposes which is cool! (Hot at the same time ;))


If you're a Boiler user, you must by now, be pleased for making this wise choice. You are indeed a wise homeowner but did you know who are the wisest homeowners? Those who not only make the right choices when it comes to HVAC appliances but also keep them maintained and keep themselves aware of the warning signs they give when it is time for them to have a repair or replacement. In order to make you one such wisest homeowner, here is our piece of service. Learn these warning signs that indicate your Boiler is about to say goodbye to you;

- Before you could look for any other signs, the biggest sign is the age itself. The average lifetime of a Boiler is 15 years approximately. If your unit has reached or surpassed this age, it's the time it is beginning to degenerate so before it says goodbye to you, it would be wise of you to take the lead and plan a wise replacement

- One of the indications of an appliance's inefficiency is that it raises the graph of your energy bills. So if your Boiler has started to suck more energy than it used to for the same usage, it is a clear sign the unit is failing

- When a unit begins to fail, it is the controls that fail at first. Another clear indication of a Boiler unit failing is that it fails to warm the air equally consequently causing discomfort. There are hot and cold zones in the home which show the control unit of the Boiler is facing issues

- Leaks do not always indicate a unit failing but they do indicate so when the unit is old enough or a regular maintenance had not been kept. If your unit is leaking and is old as well, know that it is failing. In case you think it is too early for the unit to say goodbye, consider consulting an HVAC professional

-  Just like an outdated and unmaintained Furnace becomes a threat of carbon monoxide leakage, an outdated Boiler could become equally dangerous. The signs include discolouration of the flame; yellow flames on the gas burner or black soot on oil boilers.  

These are simple and easy to check signs that help homeowners discover about their Boiler unit's falling down the hill. All that is needed is a careful observation and maintenance, without which you'd never know of the problems your Boiler is going through.

Did you ever diagnose your Boiler yourself? What were the signs that you had checked for?

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Be a Smart Homeowner this Winter - Use Smart Technology!

So how much do you like to save and how many ways of saving do you use? Must be more than many. Money is earned with efforts and no sane man ever wants to waste his hard earned money on things where savings can be made easily. Take for instance the example of Thermostats. Technology is advancing and it is providing us with improved appliances that are not only time saving but are also money saving. By sticking to the old methods of heating and cooling, you could be choosing to waste hundreds of dollars that you are otherwise capable of saving. The Mercury Thermostat were once the only option but as said; technology is offering us with more than many choices. The Touch Screen Programmable Thermostats and then the latest of all, WIFI/Smart Thermostats have revolutionised the concept of control. Did you know that shifting to the /WIFI Smart Thermostats can reduce your energy bills this Winter 15%-20%?
Let's us talk in detail how can Smart Thermostats be a gigantic magnet to attract savings and why you should shift to this technology this Winter.

Wifi Thermostats

Wifi Thermostat - How it works

Before you explore the benefits of the WIFI Thermostats, get to know how they operate. A WIFI Thermostat, unlike the manual thermostats, does not require manual settings. WIFI Thermostats are capable of sensing your temperature behaviours and automatically adjust themselves according to that. Since they incorporate high-quality sensors, they turn the Thermostat up/down depending on the outside temperature that helps save amazingly. In addition to that, what makes the WIFI Thermostats a favourite of homeowners is the WIFI mechanism that allows control from anywhere in the world. Literally anywhere.

Here's why you should go for Smart Thermostats

  • Saving right away

It is true that in order to shift to a better technology, you'll have to make investment generously but with special reference to the Smart Thermostats, it is also true that your investment will begin to benefit you right away. The difference can be seen on monthly bills every month and in no more than a year, all of what you've spent will be returned. Moreover, since Smart Thermostats with the genius technology that they incorporate, reduce the extravagant use of appliances, they contribute to increasing appliance lifetimes and reducing their courses of repairs.

  • More options more comfort

With the conventional Thermostats, you are not granted with enough choices. Either it is about switching between certain temperature options or switch between any two temperatures. Weather of Canada remains highly unpredictable and changes that occur are hard to tackle with limited temperature options. WIFI Thermostats give you an open wide way to go. You can switch between as many temperatures, can change them anytime from anywhere and even can get notifications regarding any emergency Thermostat switching off situations.

  • Data Collection and behaviour learning

So how does a Thermostat know at what time you want a particular temperature and automatically change temperature as you leave for office when you never programmed it to do so? It is because WIFI/Smart Thermostats keep track. They collect data and keep it saved. This data helps them in automation but this data also helps you to keep a track of your energy consumptions so as to make more energy saving possible for you.

When it comes to heating and cooling appliances, our major concern is; comfort and savings. WIFI/Smart Thermostats offer both. Keeping in view the above-mentioned benefits, it seems that you should better go for one of the latest models of Smart Thermostats but hold on! Here's a thing we want you to know; Smart Thermostats are not compatible with all sorts of HVAC systems. Before you make a purchase, make sure to consult an HVAC professional on whether or not this technology is supported by your system.  

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5 HVAC things to be grateful this Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving eve for Canadians is around the clock. While most people pass this day just as other days considering it of no prime importance, there are others that start reflecting on the importance of the day and the reasons they should be grateful for well before the Thanksgiving day. Whatever the history of Thanksgiving is, what needs to be understood is that it is now celebrated as a day to reflect upon the blessings and be grateful for them. Research says that grateful people are the happiest people, not because they have everything but because they realise the importance of whatever they have. And this Thanksgiving, we want to divert your attention towards the HVAC blessings that you have but have never really felt thankful for them. Let's begin.


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- Have an Air Conditioner? Be grateful!
Surveys say that more than 90% of Americans have Air Conditioned homes. But how many do you think would actually have been grateful for the marvel of air conditioning that they enjoy when it is scorching hot outside and they are there in their cosy homes? It is your time to add the blessing of Air Conditioning among the things you'll exclusively be grateful for this Thanksgiving.


- Breathing Clean Air? Be grateful!
While the industrial revolution has provided us with numerous time-saving and life-saving devices, the wrongs that it has done are also numerous, environmental pollution being one. It is becoming harder and harder to be able to breathe fresh and healthy air, particularly when living in the metropolis. Although making the outdoor air clean is difficult, the indoor air can be cleaned using the Air Cleaners. There are a large number of Canadian homeowners that are suffering from different airborne diseases primarily because they couldn't get clean enough air or couldn't afford to have a system for cleaning the air they'd breathed. If you've an Air Cleaner installed at home, reflect on the blessing and be as grateful as you can for being able to breathe fresh and healthy air anytime you want.
Added to the list? Let's move on.


- Have an insulated home? Be grateful!
While we are talking about all things HVAC, let us not forget home insulation. Ever pondered that the Insulation you are able to afford keeps you warm in Winters and cool in the Summers and when so many people out there have to bear the severity of weathers, all seasons for you are alike due to the comfort the home insulation provides. Take this blessing to the blessing counter and don't forget to be grateful this Thanksgiving for having a home that is also well insulated.  


- Own a high-efficiency Furnace? Be grateful!
Fall will be followed by Winter and before you start using your Residential Furnace for warming you up, let us have some moments to contemplate how would spending Winters of Canada be without any heating element? Unbearable indeed! And some people do have to face the intensity of the Winter by either burning wood or covering themselves with old clothes. If you've a high-efficiency Furnace that never lets your home go out of the zone of comfort, you're among those that are enjoying a wonderful blessing. This Thanksgiving, don't forget to be grateful for your Furnace.


- Enjoy hot water in Winters? Be grateful!
Thanksgiving is celebrated in October in Canada. That is the time when cold breezes begin to blow and the feels of the upcoming Winter get intense. Since we are discussing the home comfort heating and cooling things you should count on this Thanksgiving, we are focusing on the ones that you'll be reminded of in the season following the Fall. While you probably never have pondered over how big the blessing of hot water in Winters is, imagine yourself opening your faucet one coldest morning of Winter and finding blood freezing cold water coming out of it. Extend this unease further imagining you don’t get hot water anyway for several days. Thinking of the unavailability of these things gives a strong shiver down the spine but unfortunately, we are the ones that are not grateful for the blessing even when they are there.

So not only on the Thanksgiving eve, every time your faucet opens up with warm water, let your heart thank for the blessing.
Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving day. May you celebrate and learn to be grateful always.

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Cleaning thick Evaporator and Condenser Coils

As long as the home comfort appliances are kept with care and regular maintenance, not only do they complete their life expectancy but often times exceed it. Contrary to that, lack of maintenance and following wrong HVAC practices lead an appliance to costly repairs and early replacements. Talking in particular about Air Conditioners, it has been observed that a common reason of Air Conditioner break down or early replacement has a root in systems' evaporator and condenser coils. The coils need to be cleaned properly for the system to function properly but since most people choose to perform DIY cleaning, loopholes are left and the dirt and debris that penetrates even more into the system (due to wrong cleaning) begins to hinder the system's efficiency. Many times when people think their system needs replacement all it needs is a comprehensive cleaning. Today, let's help you explore some myths about compressor and evaporator coil cleaning and teach you the right cleaning methodology.
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Here's how homeowners clean Evaporator and Condenser coils:
Before we explain ''HOW TO DO'', let's explore, ''HOW YOU DO'' the cleaning. A majority of homeowners use a high-pressure water and rinse the coils only briefly. The coils from the outside are rinsed and an all clean appearance make homeowners believe they're done with cleaning. The truth, however, is; the pressure of water does rinse some of the outside dust but pushes the rest of the dirt, sludge and the build ups of moulds etc towards inside. The dirt and debris that is inside the coils never find a chance to get rinsed with pressured water. As a result, the coils might appear clean, they are not. All these sludge then hinder the efficiency of the system. Now you know why your cleaning never improved your system's efficiency?

The right way to clean Evaporator and Condenser Coils:   
So we've just discovered why is using a high water pressure, not a good choice. What then is a good combination for cleaning the delicate and hard to reach parts of Air Conditioner's evaporator and condenser coils? The right formula is;
Low Pressure
and
High Volume
Unlike the high-pressure water, the low-pressure high volume water reaches the coil bed and the consistently pouring water loosen the build ups which then, along with the water flow move easily from the other side. The high-pressure water has low volume and even the high pressure after passing through the upper layers of coils lowers. So there neither remains a high pressure nor a high volume and this is why this commonly followed formula never cleans the coils properly. Also, if some cleaner is used and a high-pressure water fails to clean the cleaners effects, the residue will only contribute to causing rust and dints.     
High Pressure might damage the coils
There are numerous instances when homeowners use an excessively high pressure which results in damaging the coil bed's fins badly that are extremely delicate. There are high chances that in an effort to clean the coils, you could totally damage them and would have to replace the coils or the system altogether. And this is particularly true for thin evaporator coils. The recommended way for both thick and thin evaporator coils is by using the same formulae as mentioned above. If you've a hard time choosing what pressure and volume range should you be using exactly, consider consulting an HVAC professional.
At Cosmopolitan Mechanical Services Inc. we offer maintenance as well as repair services for Air Conditioners and a variety of other home comfort heating and cooling appliances. If you'd like to have your coils professionally cleaned, contact us at 1-855-245-4328               

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Top 5 Air Conditioner Problems and their solutions

Air Conditioners are our dearest friends when it comes to Summers in the indoors but we all know, many times it is our friends that put us in troubled water. And Air Conditioners fall true on this attribute of a friend and friendship. While they help comfort us, they also do not forget to create discomfort by posing issues that result in high energy bills, system inefficiency, system noises and others. HVAC technicians get extremely busy during the peak Summer season and it is difficult to have them at the earliest possible (which is what we do want) when there's an HVAC emergency. It is, therefore, always good to keep oneself ready for such situations forehand so as to be able to cope with them performing the right methods.
Here we're discussing 5 common Air Conditioner problems and their solutions.


AC Problems

1. Air Conditioner Short Cycles

The cycles goes like;
- Air Conditioner begins cooling the home
- It cools the home according to the temperature set on Thermostat
- It trips
- It begins cooling again as the temperature rises again
Short Cycling refers to your system tripping without providing the desired cooling.
Solution
The cause of this problem lies in a malfunctioning Thermostat, poor wiring or a poorly calibrated Thermostat. Resolve the issue by resetting the Thermostat, making sure its batteries and wiring are fine and changing the location if it is installed at an improper location. If thermostat troubleshooting doesn't work, try consulting a professional to have the system diagnosed asap since short cycling results in super fatty bills and may also cause a system break down.

2. Air Conditioner Thermostat (Touch Screen) not working

There are several benefits that the Touch Screen Thermostats have over the conventional Thermostats but nonetheless, everything comes with its own pros and cons. Some people have a real hard time with touch screens. The most commonly reported problem is that the touch screen stops working partially or completely.
Solution
Before jumping on to the solution, know the reason. The screen stops working either due to a damaged or dirty screen, battery problems or because of a software problem. While the software problem requires a professional help, try out other solutions as it is not necessary that your Thermostat has a software problem. Change batteries and clean the screen using a soft fibre cloth. Touch now! Did that work? Congratulation if yes. If no, call a professional to fix the software issue.
We install, maintain, repair, replace and relocate all types of Thermostats in GTA, Ontario. Call us anytime 1-855-245-4328   
 

3. Compressor Noises

Here's another most commonly reported problem; a noisy compressor that often times raises safety concerns among homeowners. A compressor can begin to make a rattling, banging, hissing, humming, rumbling or other sounds depending on different reasons. A hissing sound is mainly due to a refrigerant leak, a banging sound due to something stuck in the compressor, a rattling sounds due to loose parts and other similar or different noises due to high or low air pressure and faulty Thermostat.
Solution
There's no harm in quickly checking your system for all the above-mentioned possibilities but do not try anything the consequences of which you're not aware of. For example, homeowners sometimes try to remove a stuck object from the compressor and end up damaging the fan blades. We recommend calling a professional for things related to the compressor that are beyond your fixing ability.

4. AC fails to cool

Short-cycling is one thing and cooling failure another. Sometimes, the system despite being turned on for hours fail to cool the home.
Solution
The causes of cooling failure are; dirty filter (huf! you already knew that), duct leaks, non-sealed home or faulty home insulation. Begin the DIY by closing all doors and windows properly, cleaning the filters and checking the ductwork for any leaks. If the problem persists, choose to rely on a professional.
Note:
Please note that sometimes, Air Conditioners fail to cool properly because of the unusually hot temperature. If it is a hot day and your system otherwise works fine, there's nothing to worry about. The system will resume efficiency as the outdoor temperature drops a little.

5. AC needs continuous repairs

Homeowners are often found complaining about their Air Conditioning systems that are sick throughout the Summer. Here they have a repair and there another repair need arises.    
Solution
It is sad to discuss but the truth remains the truth whatsoever. Among other reasons, the commonly known real reason of why your system is needing continuous repairs is your own service technician. Service companies often use the strategy of leaving loopholes in systems so that they're called again and this is how they break your bank. Consider changing your HVAC technician if you're doubtful about the service.
However, this is not the only possible reason. Other reasons include;
- Old system
- Lack of maintenance
- Improper unit size
Fix the problem by replacing your unit if it is already older than 15 years. Else, become regular about HVAC maintenance.

24/7 HVAC customer care

Did that article help? Are you struggling with Air Conditioner problems and need help?
Connect with us, anytime; 1-855-245-4328

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Is your Air Conditioner making whistling sounds?

It's a hot Summer afternoon and you're sleeping in your comfy bedroom with an Air Conditioner providing soothing cooling. Suddenly, it starts acting odd and here what it does;
A whistling sound begins to come from the vents. Oh nooo!!!
Since you and no one likes his dreams to be disrupted by whistling sounds, whatever you ought to do has to be done urgently. But before you set up the venture of fixing the problem, explore the causes of such sounds:

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Reasons behind AC making whistling sounds:
The major reason behind your whistling Air Conditioner is insufficient air flow through the return vents. And what causes the reduction in the return air flow? It could be due to:
  • Closed dampers
  • Blocked Return Vents
  • Several Closed Doors
and most importantly;
  • Dirty Air Filters

All these issues can be fixed right away with little effort and without calling a professional. But before we move on to the solutions, let us learn how does a low airflow cause whistling sound.

Here's how your vents whistle
Remember the whistling you learned in childhood? For that, you had to make a very small opening with your lips and blow air outwardly with high velocity. And the sound came out was of?  A WHISTLE! The same happens with your Air Conditioner. Your blower is operating all the time circulating air throughout the home. When there's insufficient air provided, the blower blows it with the same velocity and pressure. As this high pressurised air reaches the supply vents openings, it makes the whistling sound.

Fix your whistling Air Conditioner, do this
Close Dampers - Fix it
Dampers are valves that are located in your ductwork and are used to prevent air flow from reaching certain parts of the home. Locate your damper near the supply vents and make sure it is aligned sufficiently to allow proper air flow.

Blocked Return Vents - Fix it
What most homeowners do in order to not compromise on their interior is that they hide the return vents using furniture, carpets or other such blockages. This is such a grave mistake that it can affect the whole HVAC system. Insufficient air reaches the system and consequently, the system gets disturbed. If your system is making whistling sounds and you know you've done this mistake too, fix it by removing the blockages on the return air ducts.

Several Closed Doors - Fix it
Why that privacy? You can keep the doors open man! When the airflow comes from the supply vents of the main hallway or stairway and wants to spread in the entire home, it has to sneak from the small gaps under the doors in order to enter the rooms where the doors are closed. And what happens next? Insufficient air reaches there. As a consequence, insufficient air goes back from the return vents that then causes the whistling sound. To solve this, keep the doors open unless it's a super secret plan you're making inside. (Or at least keep them half opened)

Dirty Filters - Fix it
Although the most common reason behind the whistling sounds is dirty filters, we've mentioned it on the very last. And it is no additional information since you already know how important it is to clean the filters regularly. Clean them right away if the last time you cleaned them is the time you don't even remember.

Bottom Line
With home comfort heating and cooling appliances, you'll have to face issues every now and then. Although not all of them can be solved as DIY’s, there are many that can be. The above mentioned four solutions are what you can try yourself the next time your AC makes freakish noises.

Did that help? If yes, do let us know.

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The right way of using Programmable Thermostats

You can expect your energy bills to be more than expected if you do not use a Thermostat with your heating and cooling home comfort appliances. Did you know that Thermostats help save up to 15% on energy bills by turning the appliances off and on or tuning them to high or low temperature as per the outside temperature suggest? The past one decade has been quite interesting. HVAC technologies have seen a massive change and advancement as the zoning system, carbon monoxide detectors and Smart Thermostats have been introduced. Life has become much more easier than before. With special reference to the Programmable Thermostats, homeowners that use this technology in the right way are able to save up to 15% or more on the energy bills. Although the users of such Thermostats across Canada are in thousands, it is unfortunate that not even half of them know the proper use of Programmable/Smart Thermostats and thus despite installing the device, continue to have fatty energy bills. Here we mention ways to program the Thermostat accurately in order to enjoy its full benefits.

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Thermostat - Which one to choose?
Depending upon your individual needs, the type of thermostat you should buy would be different. Different type of Programmable Thermostats offers different programming options. Check out the options below.:

7-day Programming Thermostat
Families with abrupt routines can find this Thermostat to be the best since it allows different programming for every single day of the week. Usually, the price range of such Thermostats is between $55-$125. If you're looking for different scheduling for every single day, go for 7-day programming Thermostat.

5-1-1 Programming Thermostat
As the name indicates, 5 is for 5 days (working days) of the week while 1-1 is for Saturday and Sunday. Such type of Thermostats allow one programming for the working days while two different programming options for Saturdays and Sundays. If your routine remains the same throughout the week but changes on the weekends, it is suitable for you to choose this one. Average price range for this Thermostats is $35-$78

5-2 Programming Thermostat
This type of Thermostat allows one programming schedule for the entire week while a different programming for Saturdays and Sundays

1 Week Programming
1-week Programming Thermostats offer one schedule for the entire week option. Although they are less likely to save the same amount of energy but nonetheless help save. Also, how efficient does a Thermostat perform depends on how it is being used. Remember installing a Thermostat is not enough. You should know the proper use as well.

Here's how to program a Programmable Thermostat the right way
The Thermostats are usually set on an auto setting keeping in consideration the routine of a typical family but you never know what kind of typical family. So it is important to adjust it according to your own schedules and needs. A Programmable Thermostat usually has the following options:

  • Wake Time
  • Sleep Time
  • Leave Time
  • Return Time

Department of energy suggests the following settings in order to make the most savings:
Save Energy in Winters like this:  
For the Winter month,
  • Program the Thermostat at 68 degrees F for the time when you're home and are awake.
  • Lower this temperature of 68 degrees by 10-15 degrees when you're asleep or away from house.

Save Energy In Summers like this
The suggestions for Summers in order to save energy go as:
  • When you're at home, program the Thermostat at 78 degrees F
  • Program the Air Conditioner to completely shut off when you're out of the house
  • Program your Thermostat to turn off the AC 20-30 minutes before you leave home
  • Go reverse, set the Thermostat to turn the Air Conditioning on 20-30 minutes before you return home
  • Set the Thermostat to reduce the cooling almost an hour before you go to sleep
  • Set the Thermostat to increase cooling half an hour before you wake up

It is a good practice to play around with your Thermostat, changing setting for a whole week and figure out which one works best for you. But never forget to program your Thermostat after installing it.

Happy venture with Programmable Thermostats

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