How to Cut Down on AC Usage and Costs

5 Ways To Lower Your Air Conditioning Costs This Summer

It’s getting warm out day by day (and even at night), so you know what that means: it’s time to put your air conditioner to use. Now, this can either mean a great thing or a bad thing, depending on one crucial aspect: money. It’s a fact that using AC does indeed cost you a lot whenever you run it. That’s because of several factors, such as the energy usage and the electricity used to run the system, both of which impact your utility bills.

Some of you may be wondering “I know this and I want to save money, but I also want to stay comfortable. What can I do?” If this sounds like your train of thought, we’re here to guide you. Here are some tips on how to cut down on your AC usage and costs.

Don’t Leave the AC on Full Blast All the Time

You may be surprised, but it’s actually fine to leave on air conditioning nearly all of the time if you leave it at a low enough temperature. What will actually spike your expenses is when you set the unit to provide cooling at full blast and leave that on all the time. Electricity is what an air conditioner uses the most of and it’s what will cost you the most money more than anything. By being forced to go at full blast, whether all day long or in intervals, you’re putting pressure on your unit that will shorten both its efficiency at cooling your home down and its life span from the strain of being turned off and then on again.

The effectiveness of your unit’s ability to cool air down and the unit itself can also determine whether one should leave the A/C on all day or turn it off at intervals. For example, if you own a central A/C system and it hasn’t been updated since you moved in 20 years ago, it’s definitely inefficient when it comes to energy and costs compared to a brand new air conditioning system made last year. You also definitely should not turn your A/C off during a heat wave, because it’ll make the indoor air’s heat rise faster and then your unit will spend a lot of time and energy while getting the air back down to an ideal temperature. In this case, it makes more sense to leave your air conditioner on all day (again though, not at full blast).

Use a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat can be set to the desired temperature whether at night or when you’re away from your home. Some can be installed directly into your home, while others actually come with their own app on your phone or other mobile device. It’s a good way to ensure you can adjust the temperature if needed, even when you’re not present to change the thermostat yourself.

Keep the Unit Clean

We know it sounds redundant, but that’s because it’s true. Keeping any HVAC unit clean, whether for cooling down or warming up a space, can make a real difference in both costs and your energy usage. We recommend you perform these regular tasks before, during, and after the summer season for best results:

  • Clean or replace the air filter, usually every 3 months or once a month if you have pets or kids
  • Tidy up the exterior and wipe away any accumulating dust or dirt
  • Before and after the summer is over, take some time to clean the fans and vents connecting to the air circulation

For more tips on taking care of your air conditioner prior to any heat waves, you can check out our previous blog post “How to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for the Warmer Seasons“. These tips can apply to during and after summer is over as well.

Invest in Ceiling Fans

If you can afford a ceiling fan or have the right home for it, this will improve things slightly and ensure you can use the cool air you have without relying on the air conditioner so much. Your ceiling fan should be set to rotate counter clockwise in the summer so that the air gets pushed down and you get that desired cool breeze. Remember to switch the fans around come wintertime in order to ensure the heat stays at the bottom of the room where you need it, since heat always rises.

Update Your Windows Slightly

If you keep feeling hot when standing next to a window, chances are there’s a tiny hole forming and you may need to get the caulk fixed. Caulking will seal any holes where cool air in the summer or hot air in the winter can leak out. In terms of staying cooler, you can always use film to tint your windows. This will make a room darker so that the sunlight doesn’t make the heat rise in your home so much. Most film for windows can be sized up and then applied yourself.

Need a More Up-to-Date Air Conditioner?

A new AC system or unit will seem expensive at first glance, but when you add together the cost of maintenance and repairs for a system that’s older and failing constantly, it makes more sense to upgrade. Our technicians can install new HVAC for you if your current system is no longer running as efficiently as it should and you want to stay cool this summer while keeping costs low. Let us know when you contact us if you’d like even more tips on how to save your money. At Rep-Air Heating And Cooling we provide our customers with many options that will best suit your needs from heating and cooling to refrigeration. Contact us today for your complimentary quote: 1-833-487-2653 or contact@repairheatingandcooling.com and don’t forget to take a look at our website: https://repairheatingandcooling.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for free giveaways!

What You Need to Know Before Having an Air Conditioner Installed

The idea of owning an air conditioner while the months are hot and the days are long is a pleasant one. AC units can help people live more comfortably and in most cases they come built in with an air filter to keep the air both cool and fresh.

Keep in mind that just because you want your home to stay cool during the summer doesn’t mean you should simply go out and buy one if you don’t have one. All HVAC systems should be seriously considered an investment before you buy and install one, not a mere impulse purchase. Here’s what you need to know before you purchase and have your new air conditioner installed.

  1. Think about more than simply cooling

Air conditioners are not simply machines–they are expensive and require a lot of your forethought before you buy. It not only cools down a room, but also determines how comfortable you are in your space.

Most air conditioners nowadays do more than cool down a room, too. Some of the modern air conditioners on the market can throw hot air into the room to make it more comfortable in winter, such as reversible A/C units and ductless heat pumps. If humidity is a problem in your home, most cooling units can remove the unwanted heat that comes with it. And of course, don’t forget about some of the other handy features such as a timer, remote control, and ventilation to help you use the cooling system only when you need, rather than let it run always.

  1. Do you have the time?

If you live a busy lifestyle, you’re going to have to make some adjustments to that schedule because an air conditioner requires a lot more out of your attention than you might realize. All HVAC units require maintenance for at least every third month of the year in order to ensure it stays clean and its lifespan isn’t shortened from neglect.

Tending to your air conditioner outside of regular technician appointments is also going to be the only way to prevent further repair problems going forward. If you can’t find the time to do even that, then renting an air conditioner as opposed to buying one outright may be the better choice for you.

  1. Online buyers, beware

There’s a valid reason why us technicians wholeheartedly recommend buying all-inclusive, i.e. where the contractor provides both the A/C unit and installation. It’s because when you buy a certain unit online, there comes with it an entire slew of problems and extras you’ll have to go through:

  • DIY installation requires permits that you may not be able to get unless you’re a licensed contractor;
  • You could purchase the wrong sized unit by accident;
  • The unit could show up damaged in the delivery process;
  • You could end up lacking in the proper paperwork needed to run your system;
  • It’ll be 10 times more expensive since if your purchased the wrong size, you’ll have to buy another one right after

It may cost more to do initially, but choosing a licensed HVAC technician can ensure you pick the correct size for your space and get a unit that’s exact for your needs. It’ll also save you a ton of money and time in the long run compared to buying online.

  1. Always check on the SEER rating

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, is the quintessential system that rates an air conditioner’s energy efficiency. You want this ratio to be high in its number because it’s a ratio of both the unit’s cooling output and the energy used by your system. So, the higher the SEER’s value is, the more efficient your system is.

Keep in mind that having your air conditioner properly installed by a professional technician will also have a hand in how efficiently your system uses energy and overall performs.

  1. Location matters big time

The area where your new air conditioner should be installed matters a ton, because if it’s improperly placed then the unit won’t function the way you hoped, plus it may interfere with other objects such as electronics if you’re not careful. In order to figure out the best location, we recommend these general guidelines for heat pumps:

  • Your air conditioner’s outdoor unit should at least have 12-24 inches (1-2 feet) of space all around, with no objects in that space
  • The air conditioner should not be placed in either hot areas or areas where frequent foot traffic occurs
  • The place should be level, ideally on a pad that’s elevated so that the air conditioner’s condenser avoids contact with heavy rain and snow in the winter months

In addition, if your air conditioner is less of a heat pump and more of a wall-mounted indoor unit, here’s what we recommend you do:

  • The indoor unit should be at least 7 feet above your floor, with at least 6 inches (1/2 foot) of space both above the unit and on every side
  • Keep the unit away from other heat sources, such as the oven or direct sunlight
  • Electronics, cables, Wi-Fi modems, and even mobile devices should not be placed near indoor A/C units; keep these about 3 feet away to avoid electrical noise and interference, which is commonly associated with these devices
  • Furniture should be kept away so that it doesn’t obstruct the unit’s airflow
  • The indoor wall should be strong enough to support the unit for years, so ask for your technician to double-check the integrity of the wall and fasten the unit where needed.

Ready to cool off?

We want our customers to have the best cooling solutions that suit their homes or commercial buildings the most. Our technicians are certified and experienced with installing HVAC systems, so if you reside in the Lower Mainland and need an installation, don’t hesitate to call. At Rep-Air Heating And Cooling we provide our customers with many options that will best suit your needs from heating and cooling to refrigeration. Contact us today for your complimentary quote: 1-833-487-2653 or contact@repairheatingandcooling.com and don’t forget to take a look at our website: https://repairheatingandcooling.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for free giveaways!

What You Need to Know About Refrigerant for A/Cs in Canada

It’s a fact, we’d all be a lot warmer and uncomfortable without air conditioning! There’s a certain part of A/C units we’d like to talk about today, and that’s a little thing called refrigerant. This substance is what gives air conditioners the ability to produce cool air and expel it out of the system into the indoor air, making homes and commercial buildings alike a lot more tolerable in the warm spring and the hot summer months. When combined with the other valuable components such as a compressor and an evaporator, refrigerant can create that needed refrigeration and air cooling we’ve come to expect from our machines. It’s frequently seen in a gaseous or liquid state.

There are actually a few more facts about refrigerant that are worth addressing, particularly since they involve Canada altogether. So here’s what you need to know about refrigerant for A/Cs.

The Refrigeration Process

Without refrigerant, we wouldn’t have air conditioning or refrigeration technology in the first place. Here’s how it works: the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air indoors while it’s inside of the copper coils you will typically find in your air conditioner. The refrigerant then shifts from being a low-pressure gas to a high-pressure liquid.

The components inside of your air conditioner will then send the refrigerant outside, where the fan will blow hot air over the coils and exhausts it to the exterior. The refrigerant will then cool down and turn back into a low-pressure gas. Meanwhile, another fan will blow air over the cool coils and send the resulting cold air throughout the building.

This is the cycle that typically takes place for refrigerant.

The Big One: Certain Refrigerants are ILLEGAL to Sell in Canada

Yes, you read that right! In 2020 Canada decided to ban the shipment and sales of certain refrigerants in order to phase out their use. These are:

  • Freon, aka R-22
  • R-134a, aka Tetrafluoroethane
  • R-404a
  • R507A
  • R410A

Canada has banned shipments on all of these types of refrigerant in an attempt to phase it out of use due to refrigerant’s harsh environmental impact. A branch of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, called the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, was originally signed in 1987 and is the driving force behind this phase-out. It is an international treaty with the goal of preserving and protecting our planet’s ozone layer by phasing out substances that are contributing to its destruction.

These refrigerants contain within themselves compounds which when they reach the earth’s stratosphere after being expelled do not dissolve. This in turn is what’s thinning out our ozone layer and creating the global warming effect we’re all desperately trying to avoid making worse. Thankfully, by phasing these out, improvement is already being seen in our environment and the Montreal Protocol has so far been a success (source).

For more information on the refrigerant phase-out, you can refer to these articles from:

What if my A/C uses one of these refrigerants?

There isn’t any problem if your air conditioner uses these refrigerants nor is it illegal to use them. What this all means is that it will soon become extra expensive to repair your air conditioner if a leak forms in the unit. Central air conditioners and heat pumps are closed off systems and should never have refrigerant “topped off” or be changed. If a leak does form (and they do happen), it’ll be best to replace the entire system outright since replacing the lost refrigerant will only get more difficult and expensive thanks to the phase-out of its usage. It makes more sense to replace the system outright than trying to resurrect an aging system that’s leaking and spending all your money in the process.

Can’t I Just Replace One Refrigerant With the Other?

It’s really not as simple as that. The parts you may need if a leak happens refrigerant are incompatible with older systems. The evaporator coils needed to support your refrigerant are also costly to replace on their own. Leaking components also need to be disposed of in a proper, safe, professional manner. So, no, it’s best to not replace one refrigerant with another. In the event a leak in your A/C unit does happen, it should be dealt with immediately by your technician.

For more information on leaks themselves, you can refer to our blog post “What You Need to Know About Air Conditioner Refrigerant Leaks.”

The Best Course of Action: Replacing the System

From a financial standpoint, it’s best to replace your current system outright and install a new system using refrigerant or other coolants that are much more safe for our environment. If your A/C is getting on the old side, repairs are starting to become frequent, and you want to save money in the long run, financing options are available at our company and you can always give us a call for help with replacement options or if you have any more questions about refrigerant. At Rep-Air Heating And Cooling we provide our customers with many options that will best suit your needs from heating and cooling to refrigeration. Contact us today for your complimentary quote: 1-833-487-2653 or contact@repairheatingandcooling.com and don’t forget to take a look at our website: https://repairheatingandcooling.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for free giveaways!

How to Prepare Your Air Conditioning for the Warmer Seasons

Spring is starting to heat up the air at last, and for some areas in the Lower Mainland, maybe a little too much so! This season is a low one for us technicians, which is why it’s a good time to really think ahead and get some things ready while you’re spring cleaning meanwhile. If your area’s already getting a little too warm to handle, you may be considering putting the A/C on, and this is where we can help. Here are some tips on how to prepare your air conditioning system for the warmer months that lie ahead of us.

Why Now and Not Later?

Some of you may be experiencing more rain than heat and are probably wondering why we’ve decided to talk about this now, as opposed to later when it’s actually more like summer. There are actually a few good reasons for this:

  • It’s been a while since you looked at your A/C. Now that your furnace is becoming less relied on with the snow melting and the air warming up outside, it’s easy to realize that it’s been several months since you looked at your air conditioning. That system is going to need more than a simple on and off switch in order to function the way you want it to.
  • It’ll cost you less money down the road. As the years go on we’ve been having more summers in the Lower Mainland where we keep saying “I can’t believe it’s THIS hot out!” Having the A/C on all of the time means a lot of money being spent, so the less efficiently your air conditioner is running, the more likely it is you’re going to waste valuable dollars. You can save more money by prepping your A/C unit now as opposed to waiting until later.
  • It’s smart to look before you switch it on. With all that time spent off, you may find there’s some dust accumulation (which is a very bad thing!) among other things. Preparing now as opposed to later will mean that the process of switching things on will go a lot more smoothly.
  • You’re avoiding future problems. By examining your air conditioning now, you’re going to be able to spot problems that may occur down the road. If you do spot something you’re not sure about, you can definitely mention this to your HVAC technician next time you ask for an inspection. And now while it’s spring is a great time to ask us, because like we said, spring is a low season and a less busy one, so we have more time to look at your system and ensure everything is working the way it should be.

As you can see, there are a lot of great reasons to look at preparing ahead of time. Let’s go ahead and see what we can do to get ready for the warmer seasons.

Step 1: Check the Age of Your System

How long have you owned your air conditioner now? It’s worth looking at the owner’s manual or the details outlined on the machine itself. Some models come with that information on them, depending on their manufacturer. If the date is under 5 years, that’s great—you don’t have to worry about things like warranty for a while. However, if you’re looking at a machine that’s getting past its 10-15 years of usage, it’s probably time to consider getting that system replaced. Your HVAC technicians can take care of the rest.

Move on to step 2 if the age of your system is good to go.

Step 2: Make Sure the Power is Off

This may seem basic, but it matters because it involves your safety. Turn off the air conditioner at its service panel. Some air conditioners also possess a disconnection box, which typically consists of levers, fuses, or a circuit breaker. Be sure that the power is switched off here too.

Performing this task will enable you to look at the condenser in your air conditioner without being electrocuted by accident (one of the main parts you will need to examine while prepping your A/C). Because there’s typically a capacitor inside of the condenser, you should allow 30 minutes to pass in order for the electrical charge inside of the capacitor to dissipate. It’s a good idea to switch off the power to your other HVAC systems as well, such as the furnace, to truly ensure your safety.

Step 3: Clean Out the Air Filters

This step is the easiest to do since it doesn’t require much work other than grabbing the vacuum cleaner or finding replacement filters. Depending on the type of unit you own, you can either take this part out and clean it thoroughly before putting it back inside, or you can take the old one out if it’s grungy and replace it with a clean one.

It’s recommended to replace or clean this at least twice a year or more based on how much dust tends to accumulate. Doing this step will ensure that the dust and dirt buildup won’t circulate throughout the rest of your home.

Step 4: Clean Up the Condenser and Coils

Another fairly manageable task is to clear up any debris or dirt accumulating near these parts of your air conditioner. For central A/C units, this is located outside in the form of a large metal box with grilles covering fan blades. The coils are typically seen as radiator style fins, and this is where air must pass through the cooling process. Dirt can also accumulate on these coils, so you need to clean these up too before turning your air conditioning on. Otherwise, you won’t get as efficient a cooling job of the air that you need, plus it puts a strain on your system while increasing the money spent on energy.

To clean these parts, first unscrew the side panels and pull them away from the unit, then lift the top (be careful—this part may be heavy because of the weight of the fan). Do not pull any wires that are connected to the fan. Use the soft brush of your vacuum cleaner to gently clean the coils. Do not bend or damage these coils as they are very delicate; if you do end up bending one, use a fin comb which was made for this very purpose. Vacuum the coils both outside and inside.

To clean the condenser, scoop out any debris before anything else. Then, use the same soft brush of your vacuum cleaner and a rag to wipe down the fan blades. If your condenser has a drain, make sure this is clear and no debris is present there too.

Step 5: Check Up on the Thermostat

This step is very simple. Check the switches on the thermostat to ensure they are set to ‘on’ and ‘cool’. If you don’t see a digital display of the temperature, then the batteries need to be replaced. Depending on the type of thermostat your A/C uses, you will need the exact kind of batteries in order for it to function properly.

You can ask your technician to change the batteries and run a more thorough examination if you’d prefer.

Step 6: Run a Test

Once everything has been put back together and you’re finishing cleaning and checking things over, it’s time to test the air conditioner out. This will help you be certain that your unit will run as smoothly and efficiently as you need it to when the hot weather strikes. Again, make sure your thermostat is set to ‘cool’ otherwise the test may not work!

If you still find that you’re not getting the cool air that’s typical of your system, the problem may lie deeper and will require a technician to examine and diagnose it.

Important Tips

While you’re preparing your air conditioner, it’s a good idea to keep these tips in mind:

  • If at any point you detect something wrong as you’re prepping the A/C, turn the system off right away. Make note of what just happened, and then contact your technician about it.
  • Don’t handle any electrical parts or problems yourself. Leave those tasks to a professional.
  • Check on the air filters even when it’s not summer and replace them if needed. This is a no exception type of rule since it concerns your health!
  • Be sure to keep an eye on your furnace while performing these tasks as well. Sometimes airflow problems are connected to this system as well.

Need an inspection? Let us know

We’re licensed contractors who have spent years inspecting and ensuring that air conditioners are good to go before the summer heat really sinks in. If you’ve run into a hitch while preparing your A/C and following these steps, or you need a professional pair of eyes to find trouble before it starts, give us a call. At Rep-Air Heating And Cooling we provide our customers with many options that will best suit your needs from heating and cooling to refrigeration. Contact us today for your complimentary quote: 1-833-487-2653 or contact@repairheatingandcooling.com and don’t forget to take a look at our website: https://repairheatingandcooling.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for free giveaways!

How Upgrading to a High Efficiency Furnace Can Save You Money

It’s that time of the year again…time to start using your furnace less and let the spring sunshine in to naturally heat your home. Rather than leave your furnace alone for another few seasons, why not take a look at it to make sure it’s running the way it should? If it’s getting old though or you’re spending more on heat than per usual, it may be time to consider replacing it. It’s best that you don’t replace your furnace with just any old model, however; it’s worth looking into high efficiency furnaces because in the long-term, they’ll save you more money. Here’s how that works.

How Efficiency is Decided

There’s a particular form of measurement that is applied to every new HVAC system on the market, and that measurement is called annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE. This is a measure of how efficiently your furnace uses the fuel it’s given. (Source) Basically, the more efficient your furnace is, the more heat you’ll receive per fuel unit.

You need to know what the AFUE is because it makes all of the difference between how much or how little fuel you’re going to get out of your furnace. Ideally, you want to use a system that generates the most heat with the least amount of fuel needed, because that fuel also can cost you money. So, by upgrading to a more efficient furnace, you’re getting a lot more value out of both heating sources.

How Older Systems Differ in Terms of Efficiency

It’s easy to say that the older your furnace is, the less efficient it’s going to be, but what if we told you there’s actual research behind this? According to FortisBC, furnaces that were built in the 1990s only have about 60% AFUE. (Source) It means even though your furnace was properly installed and well-maintained since installation, it’s only going to return 60 units of heat for every unit of energy spent. It also means 40 cents worth of every dollar you’ve spent on heating your home is being thrown out via the exhaust.

It matters to know this sort of thing because your furnace could potentially be wasting your money as opposed to using every single dollar to create heat in your home. The latest furnaces are built with energy efficiency in mind, and if your home is older, then you know it’ll be worth the investment.

How to Afford a High-Efficiency Furnace

If you’re wondering whether to upgrade or not, you can do a few steps to begin with.

  1. Check the model number and manufacturing year of your furnace; you’re likely to find this in the owner’s manual. If the year is in between the 1990s and 2010, you’ve got either a standard or mid-efficiency furnace and should seriously consider a replacement.
  2. Calculate how much money you could be saving versus what you’re spending right now; you should always use a calculator from a trusted source. FortisBC offers a home energy calculator, which you can access by clicking here.
  3. Investigate whether or not you’re eligible for rebates. There are several guidelines to consider, such as whether or not you’re already a FortisBC customer, your heating system’s primary fuel type, and a consistent billing history of up to 12 months. All of these are an example of the sorts of eligibility you will need to look into; other guidelines may be present as well.
  4. Apply for rebates. An application form is available on FortisBC’s website with instructions. Click here to access it.

Need Help Installing a New Furnace?

As a trade ally to Fortis BC, we understand that when it comes to heating needs, our customers always come first. When you look at all of the research put together, it’s clear that upgrading to a more efficient furnace is a good choice to make. If your home consists of a standard to mid-efficient furnace, stop throwing your money out via the exhaust and start saving now with a replacement. Give us a call when you’re ready to start the installation process. We’re licensed contractors who can get the job done and done well. At Rep-Air Heating And Cooling we provide our customers with many options that will best suit your needs from heating and cooling to refrigeration. Contact us today for your complimentary quote: 1-833-487-2653 or contact@repairheatingandcooling.com and don’t forget to take a look at our website: https://repairheatingandcooling.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for free giveaways!

About Indoor Air Quality on Commercial & Residential HVAC

With everyone staying inside more and more frequently, indoor air quality and keeping it clean, fresh, and breathable is now less of an afterthought and more crucial than ever to our daily lives. More specifically, it’s a big factor as to why we’re either feeling our best or our health needs improvement.

Not only is indoor air quality a significant factor to residential HVAC systems, but also to commercial as well. So let’s take a look at some things you really need to know about this subject.

Why Indoor Air Quality Matters

Before we dive further into the subject, it’s worth understanding why exactly indoor air quality is so significant and what it is exactly.

What it is: When we say indoor air quality we are talking about the air quality within and outside of any building or structure, in particular relating to the health and comfort of people occupying the building.

Why it matters: Knowing what the air quality is in your home or commercial building can determine the state of health your family, employees, and virtually everyone who breathes the air inside the building are experiencing.

Root causes: research has basically narrowed the root causes of indoor air pollution to these nine in total:

1) Building construction and design

2) Building not commissioned – i.e. checked to see if it works for people inside it

3) Indoor contaminant sources

4) Damp and dirty ventilation systems

5) Indoor activities and equipment that contribute to contaminants

6) Moisture enclosed in the building

7) Poor air cleaning and filtration

8) Poor ventilation rates

9) Poor outdoor air quality

What this all boils down to is, the older your building and the less maintenance performed, the more likely your indoor air will be polluted and the higher the risk becomes of getting ill as a result. You need to keep this quality under control for many reasons.

  1. Controlling the Air Quality Benefits Everyone

Not only are you keeping the air quality of your building fresh for health’s sake, but also according to research, air quality impacts productivity as well as profits. There is also research that confirms that 50% of all respiratory diseases are caused by indoor air pollution. So, by ensuring some sense of control, which you can now find on recently produced HVAC systems as well as air purifiers, you’re not only keeping yourself safe but also many of the people impacted in the home or commercial building.

  1. Opening a Window is Not Enough to Improve the Air

It’s easy to assume that the only way to increase ventilation and improve indoor air quality is to open a window. However, this alone is not enough. One study in particular shows that all of the outdoor air pollutants we may breathe in are in fact found more commonly indoors than out. So, in addition to breathing in the really gross indoor stuff such as mould, we’re breathing in outdoor things inside as well.

Some food for thought before you go ahead and crack the window open next time. Plus, the temperature of the air outside can also negatively affect your indoor air if you’re not careful, such as during a heat wave.

So, what can you do, other than open a window, next time the air smells stale? Try these solutions:

  • Ban smoking inside of the building; take it outside and away from the building.
  • Eliminate odours rather than use chemical air fresheners.
  • Dust often, and well, to prevent things like pet dander from accumulating too much.
  • Clean floors regularly. Carpets can be a source of dust too, so vacuum and use a carpet cleaner if needed.
  • Keep floor mats around. These can actually prevent larger pollutants such as dirt and dander from spreading into the building.
  • Use natural cleaners as opposed to toxic kinds.
  1. Causes of Poor Quality Can be Lessened by HVAC

Many of the downsides of poor air can all be deterred, provided you apply proper HVAC maintenance to your system, commercial and residential. The downsides we mean include all of the following:

  • Poor air quality
  • Pests and bugs
  • Dust
  • Fur dander, such as from pets
  • Mould and moisture
  • Lack of ventilation where needed
  • Thermal discomforts

With proper HVAC maintenance, you can improve indoor air quality easily. Cleaning the filters when recommended (every 3 months, or every month if you own pets) and ensuring the exterior is clean and nothing is blocking the outdoor units are both good tasks you can do yourself, whether you own them at home or you manage them at the office.

  1. Ventilation is a Must

Whether you need to apply a new coat of paint in the office or you’re renovating a new part of the building, the fumes and dust accumulating from these examples can contribute to negative effects in air quality. Most buildings are kept air-tight to prevent heat gain and loss both, but this in and of itself can make indoor air quality worse because it’s not allowing air pollutants to escape. This situation can make indoor air quality worse, as opposed to better, which is not what most people think will happen until it’s too late—those with asthma and allergies end up being the most affected.

Ventilation and air exchange in HVAC helps solve this problem and prevent air quality from getting worse. Air exchange is a big part of how HVAC works to serve you and your building better, whether residential or commercial. The exchange takes the stale, polluted indoor air and replaces it with fresh outdoor air. Not only will a properly maintained system keep the air indoors fresh, but also it will decrease humidity and its own slew of problems associated with it.

  1. Cleaning Goes a Long Way, Always

A clean system, whether it’s an HVAC one, a dehumidifier, or an air purifier, will not function the way it’s supposed to or keep your air clean unless you keep the system itself clean too. That’s why we always recommend cleaning the air filters in addition to other maintenance tasks. Having your machinery checked up by a professional technician every so often can also help with upkeep. An HVAC professional will be able to tell you if your HVAC is failing, if it’s the wrong size, or replace older systems with more up-to-date ones.

So long as you follow these guidelines, you can keep the indoor air quality in your home or commercial building clean, fresh, and healthier.

Keeping the indoor air clean isn’t an impossible task, but it does require work on everyone’s part. If you need us to do our part and help maintain your HVAC for the sake of indoor air quality, we’re always ready so give us a call. At Rep-Air Heating And Cooling we provide our customers with many options that will best suit your needs from heating and cooling to refrigeration. Contact us today for your complimentary quote: 1-833-487-2653 or contact@repairheatingandcooling.com and don’t forget to take a look at our website: https://repairheatingandcooling.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for free giveaways!

Why the Cheapest HVAC System Isn’t Always the Best

With spring on the way, you may be thinking it’s high time to look into replacing your air conditioner, but there’s one problem: you can’t really afford the latest models on the market. It’s easy to look at the prices and assume you can find a cheaper alternative, but hold that thought before you go any further with it! It’s one thing to find a cheap price on something useful such as at a thrift store, but HVAC is a completely different kind of ballpark altogether. You do not want to skimp on the costs for new systems, because there are so many ways that can backfire. Here’s a look at what can happen when you invest in a cheap HVAC system.

  1. More Frequent Breakdowns and Repairs

You know that scenario when you’re tossing and turning in bed because it’s way too hot to handle, or you step onto an icy floor in the morning when the furnace should have been on all night? These scenarios are going to happen much more often if you rely on a cheaply purchased HVAC system. If you don’t know its age or how long it was used before you bought it, the chances of a breakdown or need for repairs are going to escalate.

  1. Less Efficient Heating and Cooling

As with most products, a cheaply bought HVAC system will not heat up or cool down a home as efficiently, reliably, or evenly as much as a recent model. Keep in mind that even the cheapest system can cost upwards of over one thousand dollars. Why spend so much on something that’s only going to fail to meet your needs, time and again?

Another factor that applies to this point is the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). At this point, it’s very unlikely you’ll find HVAC without a 16 SEER, or one that won’t have an effect on your energy bill. 

  1. Shorter Lifespans

Not only is a cheap system a danger to your wallet and energy bills, but also it’s unlikely they’ll last as long as newer HVAC does. That 10-20 year mark you’re hoping for with a cheaper system is basically non-existent. Instead, your cheaper HVAC will not last nearly that long. This applies to all cheaper purchased machinery whether it’s a laptop, kitchen utensils, or phones. You don’t have to pay a ton for good quality and a long lifespan, but cheap HVAC will not make that kind of cut.

  1. Lots More Costs

Not only will you have to pay the same amount it costs for an efficient system, but also you will have to pay more for the frequent repairs and the parts your cheap system requires that are discontinued. You’ll also have to pay your technician several times as opposed to only a few when it’s time for an inspection. Again, why would you consider investing in something that’s only going to cost you more down the road? All these extra costs will add up to an even more unaffordable rate, and then you’re stuck with a system you can’t sell off—you can only get rid of it and pay more by needing a replacement.

  1. No Long-term Benefits

Investing in a cheaper system is not as beneficial as you may think. The energy required is double that of the more efficient systems, there’s likely to be more leaks that harm your home and air quality, and you won’t get as efficient a job done of heating or cooling your home anyway. Put all this together and you’re looking at a way more expensive headache you don’t want. Instead of feeling the long-term benefits of newer HVAC such as lowered energy bills and staying comfortable all the while, you’ll be dealing with constant struggle.

Now that you know the dangers of cheap HVAC, it’s time to find a system that suits your needs and budget the best. If you’re looking for a second opinion from an initial price quote, why not talk to our team at Rep-Air? Our HVAC company not only knows how to find the correct sized system for your needs, but also knows how to get the most buck for your bang. We’ve served the Lower Mainland long enough to know how, so you can’t go wrong by giving us a call. At Rep-Air Heating And Cooling we provide our customers with many options that will best suit your needs from heating and cooling to refrigeration. Contact us today for your complimentary quote: 1-833-487-2653 or contact@repairheatingandcooling.com and don’t forget to take a look at our website: https://repairheatingandcooling.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for free giveaways!

HVAC Maintenance Tips for Homeowners with Pets

What do dogs and cats have in common (other than they’re both four-legged and furry)? They are pets! Homeowners can be pet owners too, and it’s these kinds of people we’d like to talk about today. That’s because homeowners who are pet owners not only have to take care of their fur babies, but also their homes – and in this case, the HVAC systems. Here are some of our HVAC maintenance tips for homeowners who are pet owners as well.

  1. Clean Air Filters More Often

The thing about being a pet owner is, you get a lot of dog or cat hair floating around too, not just on your favourite clothes. A lot of that dander and fluff can float into the nearest air vent and accumulate together into one big hairy clog of a mess, meaning your HVAC systems are going to work harder than they should to provide proper heating or cooling. It means your energy bills are going to spike up in cost, too.

Pet owners will have to clean the air filters in their HVAC systems a little more often in order to achieve greater airflow and decrease the likelihood of unpleasant surprises when your energy bill arrives. Typically, homeowners may clean their filters every 3 months, but in the case of pet owners since pet dander does accumulate way more often, we recommend they clean the filter every month. That way you’re extending the lifespan of the HVAC in your home.

  1. Groom Your Pets

Grooming your dog or cat is not only a good way to bond, but also it helps them shed less! Going back to the air filters tip, blockages don’t just affect the performance of your HVAC’s abilities alone. The accumulation of pet dander and fur in the vents can decrease the quality of the indoor air you breathe in tremendously, and this is bad especially if you or your family have allergies to be aware of.

Dispose of the fur each time you finish brushing or combing your pet properly, and if your pet is a long-haired breed then it’s wise to vacuum when you’re done also. This will not only improve the HVAC, but also the indoor air quality it’s supposed to help with.

  1. Pets Deserve Comfort Too!

Anytime you need to leave the house and your pets must stay behind, it’s best to program the thermostat so that it’s set to a comfortable level. While pets may not need the same level of heating or cooling as humans too, nonetheless they deserve to be as safe and comfortable as you.

Wondering about ideal temperatures? Here are some suggestions. For the hours you’re away, from home should be between 23 to 25 degrees Celsius (75 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer, and between 20 to 22 degrees Celsius (69 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit) in the winter. You are free to adjust these temperatures slightly depending on your pet’s age, weight, fur coat length, and health, but don’t go any lower than 15 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter or any higher than 26 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer. Leave out water and a room to keep your pets cool when it’s hot, and a warm bed and open curtains for a sunny spot when it’s cold out.  

  1. Invest in an HRV or ERV System

Either one of these systems can help pet owners get fresher, cleaner air in their homes without giving up comfort. The HRV, or Heat Recovery Ventilation, is designed to take warm, stale air to heat up the fresh air; the ERV, or Energy Recovery Ventilation system, uses humidity in a home to achieve that same process.

“Why not an air purifier?” you may be wondering. The answer is simple as we look at the two kinds. An air purifier will detox the air that exists in the room. The HRV/ERV systems are called exchangers, meaning they will exhaust the stale indoor air and replace it with fresh air from outside.

Air purifiers are considered supplementary to ventilation systems. In contrast, a ventilation system itself comes built with an air filter and both removes the particles likely to harm you and your pets and freshens up the indoor air. So, in the long run, a ventilation system may work best for your family and pets in the long-term. Of course, you have your choice in systems depending on your budget, the size of your house, and various other factors, so consider all of these before you make your choice.

For more information on HRV and ERV systems, you can refer to our previous blog post, “The Differences Between HRV and ERV Systems.”

  1. Keep Pets from the Outdoor Units

The last thing you want is for your pooch to use your air conditioner’s outdoor unit as their bathroom! To avoid messy situations like this, or prevent further clogging thanks to your pet’s dander and fur, fence off any outdoor units you own for your heating or cooling systems.

Make sure the fence itself doesn’t interfere with the unit’s functions to draw in the air it needs as well. We suggest a clearance distance of 2 feet all around the unit. For multiple units, a clearance of 4 feet apart is recommended.

Get Some Help from Technicians You Can Trust

We love pets of all kinds and sizes and we want them to be as safe and happy as you want to be! If you’re struggling to keep up with cleaning the air filters, or you need help installing a ventilation system to improve your home’s indoor air quality, go ahead and give us a call. At Rep-Air Heating And Cooling we provide our customers with many options that will best suit your needs from heating and cooling to refrigeration. Contact us today for your complimentary quote: 1-833-487-2653 or contact@repairheatingandcooling.com and don’t forget to take a look at our website: https://repairheatingandcooling.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for free giveaways!

3 Things You Need to Know About HVAC and Weather

It’s been a soggy year for Vancouver and the Lower Mainland already! The rain just keeps on coming down, and some of you may be concerned about your HVAC in this weather. The good news is that most of the outdoor heat pumps on the market are built to endure harsh weather conditions such as rain and snow. However, rain (which we’ll focus on for today) can have its downside as well. For the sake of preserving your valuable heating and cooling resources, here are three things worth knowing about your HVAC systems and the rain.

  1. Built to Last

The design of outdoor heat pumps or air conditioners is what we refer to commonly as a ‘split system’. This means there are two units specifically located inside and outside each. The indoor unit is where the evaporator coil and blower is located, while the outdoor unit features the condenser and compressor. Heat is pumped from inside of your home from the indoor unit and then expelled to the outdoors. These two units can also be used for cooling purposes.

What this all means is that because an outdoor unit is typically required to perform heating and cooling, it’s been built by design to withstand harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow, hail, and sleet. This is done via sealing off all electrical components within the unit by using sturdy and corrosion-proof materials such as aluminum, plastics, and copper.

That being said, just because precautions have been made doesn’t mean your unit is completely invulnerable. Rain is not the only hazard to watch out for, but rather other components. We’re referring to things such as falling tree branches, flooding downpours of rain, salty air (which is also a cause of corrosion), and any wind-driven debris such as dirt. All of these when combined with rain can prevent your outdoor unit from performing its heating and cooling tasks efficiently. This is why we always recommend regular maintenance and cleaning of your units.

  1. A Rule Worth Mentioning

This tip is more for us HVAC technicians than anything, but it’s basically a rule worth mentioning to our customers: we don’t work with HVAC in the rain. (find source) Our team at Rep-Air follows this rule as well for an obvious reason: it’s just not safe. Most HVAC systems that are located outdoors are powered using electricity, and we need to inspect that kind of resource in order to diagnose and create a solution to your current HVAC problems. Rain + electricity = electrical shock that could be fatal. Other accidents that could happen involve slipping and falling due to rain puddles and concrete. In addition, severe weather such as lightning and high winds are simply not safe for anyone to work in at all.

As a general rule, we don’t work in such conditions, however if it’s an emergency then we’ll make an exception. Always check with us first, but you should never be surprised if your technician has to wait for the weather to clear up before they can work on your outdoor unit, especially if it’s located on the rooftop.

  1. Don’t Cover Your Unit

You may be wondering if it’s actually okay to cover the outdoor HVAC unit up so it’s more protected from rain and other weather hazards. The truth is, this is not something we recommend you doing and in general it’s not a good idea either. Your unit was built to withstand moisture and extreme temperatures outside, for one. For another, even if it’s miserable outside, proper airflow is needed so that your unit performs its job correctly. By covering it up, you’re in turn preventing the unit from heating up or cooling down, which can do more harm than good. Moisture when it’s allowed to evaporate is not a problem. It’s when the moisture gets trapped under a cover where problems can arise, such as corrosion and other damage.

NEVER stack anything on top of your unit either, especially when it’s running. Again, the unit needs air to flow in and out of it without hindrance. If you’re absolutely concerned about things falling onto the unit and causing damage, speak to a professional technician beforehand. They may have to relocate the unit for you to an area where it can function properly.

Need Help?

If you’re stuck with a faulty HVAC system or your outdoor unit is on the fritz, no matter what kind of weather you see outside we can help. If you’ve noticed any leaks or signs of water damage to your unit, then that’s when you need to call our technicians. Even if it’s raining out, we’re always a phone call away to guide you or serve you in case of an emergency. At Rep-Air Heating And Cooling we provide our customers with many options that will best suit your needs from heating and cooling to refrigeration. Contact us today for your complimentary quote: 1-833-487-2653 or contact@repairheatingandcooling.com and don’t forget to take a look at our website: https://repairheatingandcooling.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for free giveaways!

How to Make Sure the HVAC Company You Choose Will be Reliable

Trust is a tough thing to come by these days. That can be applied to just about anybody, but for some reason HVAC takes a big hit. Unsavory actions such as installing the wrong size of air conditioner or applying constant repairs to figure out why the heat’s not working are a couple examples…maybe you’ve had poor experience before and need a new HVAC company to help you out with your systems.

Finding the best company is easier than you may think. Before you take our word for why Rep-Air is a good choice, though, let’s build up some trust first. Here are some tips on how to make sure the HVAC company you choose going forward will be reliable.

  1. Read the reviews

One of the easiest first steps you can take is to examine the reviews of the HVAC company you’re considering hiring. Really take your time with this step, because each customer’s experience depends on their special circumstances. For example, a 1-star rating could be made but the details involved the cost and that’s it. However, if all their reviews are 1-2 stars and their customers are unhappy in each review, you may want to look somewhere else.

A more reliable company will have not only stellar ratings but also in-depth and detailed reviews. Some customers who may have received terrible service before may be so happy with the reliable kind they leave a review about it. These are the kinds of feedback you want to find, especially online (where most HVAC companies are hanging out these days).

  1. Investigate their backgrounds

A technician should always be properly licensed, certified, and trained in the ways of installing and repairing HVAC. They should be licensed specifically within your jurisdiction and perhaps even have electrician-based backgrounds. Since many systems are electric and not just natural gas, knowing how to fix both kinds of units is a must you need to look for, and if it’s not listed on their website, ask them.

The technicians you’re looking at should also know how to fix more modern systems that use advanced tech such as smart thermostats. After all, education doesn’t stop post-graduation from school—it comes with the job as well. Ask the company you’re considering if they have any experience with this kind of equipment, otherwise you could be hiring someone who is too inexperienced and new to a job that requires a professional touch.

  1. Check for contact info

This one’s a no-brainer, and yet it’s surprising to see how some companies really don’t take the time to focus on this aspect. If you can’t find an HVAC company online, then it’s as good as non-existent; it can also be revealing to their customers that because there’s no website for them, there’s no interest on the HVAC company’s part with keeping up with tech you need fixing in this present day and age. A more reliable company knows the power of online presence and frequently updates their information, whether it’s posting new protocol in 2020 on their website, updating their phone number for a new office, or posting new tips about HVAC on their Facebook page. You should be able to find the company’s contact information with no problems whatsoever, and not have to flip through a phone book or click through several pages on a website to find what you’re looking for.

  1. Compare Quotes

If everything seems very equal between the final two HVAC companies you’re looking at hiring, you can try using price quotes to make your last decision.

At this point, you should have quotes that the company has actually taken the time to provide you with. That means having come to your premises (while also using the social distancing and other safety protocols set up this year) and giving you an accurate, detailed quote themselves. General quotes over the phone don’t count; that’s because things and situations can change once a technician arrives for the job.

Keeping this in mind, you can then compare the companies’ price quotes and then choose the one with the most affordable options for your HVAC needs.

Rep-Air Ticks Off All the Boxes

You can find us online, by telephone, and on social media for any questions you might have about HVAC or if you need a new team to take care of your systems, no matter how big or small. We tick off all of the boxes when it comes to your service needs, so don’t hesitate to give us a call. At Rep-Air Heating And Cooling we provide our customers with many options that will best suit your needs from heating and cooling to refrigeration. Contact us today for your complimentary quote: 1-833-487-2653 or contact@repairheatingandcooling.com and don’t forget to take a look at our website: https://repairheatingandcooling.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for free giveaways!

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