Advantage Airtech Blog

You’ve Decided on New Air Conditioning Installation: Now What?

July 22nd, 2014

If you’ve decided on new air conditioning installation in Hampton, you’re one step closer to a home that is cooler and less humid in the warm summer months. The steps you take from now on will help you to make sure your new system is installed properly, cools your home efficiently, and lasts for years to come. Choosing air conditioning installation is only the first step, so what’s next?

Decide What Type of System is Right for Your Home

The first step is to decide which system is right for you. Central air conditioners have an indoor and outdoor unit that work together to pull heat from the air in your home and release the heat outdoors. Cool air is supplied through the ducts of your home. If you are replacing a split-system central AC, the best option is often to purchase a similar system.

Another option is a ductless mini split. Ductless mini splits work like central air conditioners but they don’t require any ducts. Instead, a technician installs indoor air handlers throughout your home, each of which is usually controlled with its own thermostat. These systems are perfect for cooling small spaces such as new room additions or homes without any ductwork.

Find a Reliable HVAC Contractor

You don’t have to make this decision on your own. An air conditioning technician is the best person to help you choose which system is right for your home. Furthermore, an air conditioning expert can tell you which systems will save you money every month on your bills.

Determining the size of your air conditioner is another important step best left to a technician. Even if you are replacing an older system, the size may not have been entirely correct in the first place. Sizing is based not just on the size of your home and number of rooms, but also the number of people, locations of windows, type of insulation and many other factors.

For a professional air conditioning technician you can trust, call Advantage Airtech to discuss air conditioning installation in Hampton today!

 

How Do Gravity Vents Work?

July 14th, 2014

One of the basic scientific principles of heat is that it rises. You experience this inside your home during the winter when your heater comes on; the hot air that comes from the vents into rooms will first gather around the ceiling and then filter down to the rest of the space. If you stand up on a chair, you will notice a much higher temperature in the upper levels of the room.

The rising of heat can work as a low-cost and energy-saving way to cool a home during the summer. Gravity vents, also known as gravity relief ventilators, are devices that can help you keep your home cool without needing to resort as much to your air conditioner.

At Advantage Airtech, we handle performing installation work on gravity vents in Toronto, ON. Call us to find out how we can put them to work inexpensively cooling down your home.

The basics of gravity vents

Gravity relief ventilators are, at their core, very simple devices. They are usually installed in the attics of homes, where the most heat gathers during the summer from the combination of heat rising in the rest of the home and from the radiant energy of the sun. Extreme temperatures in the attic will leak down into the rest of the house and make it hotter.

A gravity ventilator consists of a fan built into a hole through a roof in a house. The fan helps draw the rising hot air up and out of the living spaces. This also results in the cooler air getting pushed down toward ground level, creating a circulation that you won’t get from a normal ceiling fan, which doesn’t actually remove any heat from a space. Because a gravity vent operates mostly through the natural buoyancy of hot air, it requires little power to operate—much less than running an air conditioner.

There’s another advantage of gravity vents aside from pulling hot air out of a house. A gravity vent allows fresh air into your home without impeding the air conditioning. This will help you increase your home’s indoor air quality and remove stale air. During the winter, you can close off the vents to prevent vital heat loss.

A gravity vent will only do a proper job if it is installed correctly: poor placement and workmanship will make it inefficient. Make sure that you only count on professionals with experience working with gravity vents in Toronto, ON to install them for your home. Call Advantage Airtech today to schedule an appointment to see how we can best place gravity relief ventilators in your home to make your summer easier and your air healthier.

3 Benefits of Air Purifiers

July 9th, 2014

Summer brings the warm weather, outdoor activities and a much-needed break from our Markham winters, but along with all that goodness can come some challenges: namely, allergies and air pollution. Your air conditioning system can help reduce some of these microbes when they enter your home, but without some extra help, they will circulate through your indoor air. One of the best tools our Advantage Airtech professionals have to help our customers improve their indoor air quality is the whole-home air purifier. Wondering what an air purifier can do for your Markham home? Let’s take a look at the some of the benefits.

3 Benefits of Installing a Whole-Home Air Purifier

A whole-home air purifier means more than just having cleaner air. Here are some of the benefits our customers have seen from their air purifiers:

  • Destroys biological material (UV germicidal lights) – UV germicidal lights destroy over 99% of contaminants they come into contact with, including bacteria, viruses and mold and mildew spores.
  • Removes allergens – air purifiers are produced to strain particles that are very small – as small as 0.3 microns – so particles like pollen, dust and dirt are effectively captured
  • Helps with respiratory issues – if someone in your home suffers from a chronic respiratory issue such as asthma or COPD, an air purifier can help remove the irritants that contribute to attacks

Types of Air Purifiers

There are several types of air purifiers available on the market:

  • Air filters – a mechanical air filter is woven very tightly, creating a sieve through which particles can’t pass. This helps to strain out pollen, dirt, dust and other airborne irritants.
  • Electronic purifiers – electronic air purifiers charge particles, then attract those particles to collection plates that are oppositely charged, creating a high capture rate.
  • UV germicidal lights – as mentioned above, UV germicidal lights use UV-C light to destroy biological particulates. UV lights achieve this by using the UV-C light to permanently alter the DNA of biological particles, which disables them from reproducing and damages the life-sustaining proteins in the cells.

Breathe Better with an Air Purifier

Better breathing means better sleeping, better comfort, and most importantly, better health. You can achieve this with a whole-home air purifier from Advantage Airtech.

Call Advantage Airtech today and schedule an appointment to speak to one of our experts about installing an air purifier in your Markham property.

The Advantages of Installing a Tankless Water Heater in Pickering

July 4th, 2014

You don’t have to stay with the standard water heater the next time you need to replace an older system. Although water heaters that use a tank of water with a ready heated supply are effective at supplying the needs of a home, they aren’t the only option you have today when it comes hot water. You can also have a tankless water heater installed. In fact, you should give the idea serious consideration, because tankless systems come with numerous advantages over standard storage heaters.

Here are a few of the advantages of choosing to go with a tankless water heater in Pickering, ON. Before you make a decision, however, contact professional installers and make sure that tankless is right for your home. Not every household will enjoy the full benefits, and the higher cost of installing a tankless system means you need to be certain that changing to the newer technology will pay off as an investment. Call our water heater specialists at Advantage Airtech today to learn more about tankless water heaters and your home.

Benefits of going tankless

  • Energy-saving: The reason that paying more upfront for tankless installation is sometimes a good option is that tankless systems will quickly pay back their costs with their energy-efficient performance. Storage hot water heaters must supply continuous energy to the tank in order to keep the water hot and ready for use. But a tankless system only uses heat when a tap turns on to demand hot water. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can expect to use 24–34% less energy when you convert to tankless.
  • No running out of hot water: The biggest advantage that tankless systems offer a family is that they do not run out of hot water. Because a tankless system only heats up water when it is needed, there is no standing supply that can run out, leaving you with lukewarm-to-cold water until the system can heat up another full tank. If you live in a home where the hot water runs out frequently during morning showers, you should look into installing a tankless water heater.
  • Longevity: The stress of holding a large tank of water and using a continuous energy supply takes its toll on storage systems, and most will not last more than 15 years. But according to studies by the Department of Energy, most tankless systems will last more than 20 years. They also have easily replaceable parts to extend their lifespan and make them simpler to repair.

Is tankless right for you?

Whether a tankless water heater in a Pickering, ON home is the right path for you will depend on how hot water you use on average and your budget plans. In some cases, tankless is not a practical option. In others, it is the best of all possible options.

To find out your situation, schedule an appointment with the experts at Advantage Airtech today. We will find the right water heater for you and install it fast and right.

3 Benefits To A Zone Control System

June 27th, 2014

Today’s air conditioners are very energy efficient – but what if we told you there was a tool available to make your AC even more energy efficient than it already is? This tool is known as a zone control system, and not only can you achieve greater energy efficiency with it, you can improve your overall comfort while also saving money. At Advantage Airtech, we have seen just how beneficial zone control systems have been for our Whitby customers, so we are going to share 3 of the top benefits a zone control system can give you and your property.

What is a Zone Control System?

First, we’d like to explain exactly what a zone control system is. Your air conditioner delivers cool air via air ducts; with a zone control system, motorized dampers are installed into these ducts, and each one is connected to a thermostat that controls the damper. By controlling each damper, “zones” are created, allowing for individualized heating and cooling per zone.

Benefits of a Zone Control System

Here are a few reasons to consider adding a zone control system to your Whitby air conditioner:

  • Reduction in energy use – being able to control what does and does not get cooled can help reduce your energy consumption considerably, particularly if you have a large home or have rooms of your home that remain largely unoccupied.
  • Greater comfort – a single-set thermostat can present challenges when trying to reach a temperature that works for everyone in your home. By creating separate zones throughout your house, you have the ability to cool as wanted/needed. A zone control system also helps eliminate the occurrence of hot and cold spots that can develop when using a single-set thermostat.
  • Less strain on your system – when you are using only the exact cooling you need, and not cooling an entire home based on a single-set thermostat, your air conditioner works less. Less work means less wear-and-tear on your system, which helps prevent premature aging.

Professional Zone Control Help

Installing a zone control system is not a DIY kind of job: it involves your ductwork, motorized dampers, your thermostat and electrical systems.

If you are interested in having a zone control system installed for your air conditioning needs in Whitby, call the experts you can trust: Advantage Airtech.

What Does Geothermal Maintenance Entail?

June 20th, 2014

People who have a geothermal heat pump or are interested in having one installed are often curious about these systems’ requirements for maintenance. On the one hand, it seems as if geothermal heat pumps would need a great deal of maintenance because of the extent of their layout, which consists of a set of underground coils to carry out heat exchange. On the other hand, geothermal heat pumps are known for their durability and longevity, and the buried coils would seem to be removed from where they could sustain damage.

The truth is neither good nor bad: geothermal heat pumps require the same amount of maintenance as air-source heat pumps. They have longer lifespans, but the type of work that goes into maintenance and the frequency with which it should be done (annually) is similar. Maintenance for both is mandatory; you can’t expect energy efficiency or a long service life without regular inspections and tune-ups

Advantage Airtech specialises in installation, repair, and geothermal system maintenance in Toronto, ON. Call us today to start regular maintenance visits for your heat pump.

Some of the needs geothermal systems have for maintenance

For the most part, a geothermal heat pump has the same set of maintenance steps as a standard air-source heat pump. The maintenance techs will check on the air filter and change it. They will look over the thermostat to make sure that it is calibrated. They look over the reversing valve to see that it can correctly switch the heat pump from one mode to the other. They will take care to investigate the condensate pans and drains to check that water is draining properly from the system. Motors parts are inspected and cleaned where necessary. The indoor coil also receives cleaning if needed.

Of course, geothermal systems have a few specific concerns that the technicians will keep in mind. If the technicians suspect that there is water leaking from the ground loops, they’ll insert a colored dye into the system and then check above ground to see if the dye has seeped up from any holes in the loops. If the geothermal heat pump uses an open loop system, its coax heat exchanger will need to be cleaned to eliminate deposits from hard water; a chemical flush will keep away build-up.

If you schedule regular geothermal system maintenance in Toronto, ON, you should expect at least 25 years of life from the internal heat pump components and more than 50 from the ground loops. That’s a fantastic service lifespan for a system, especially one that is as energy-efficient as a geothermal heat pump.

Call Advantage Airtech today to set up your annual maintenance session for your geothermal heat pump. If you are thinking of having a geothermal system set up for your home, we will be glad to take care of that as well.

Qualities of Modern Thermostats

June 13th, 2014

A thermostat performs a basic function: it turns an air conditioning system or a heater on and off. Essentially, a thermostat is a switch. It turns on an HVAC system until it detects a set temperature, and then it shuts the HVAC system off again.

However, this simplicity is deceptive, because modern thermostats can be packed with features that permit you a level of precision control over your home comfort that was a dream only two decades ago, when most homes still used manual thermostats. Here are some of the superior qualities of modern thermostats that help homeowners save energy and enjoy fantastic comfort year round.

To learn more about your options for thermostats in North York, ON, call Advantage Airtech today. We carry a full line of thermostats to fit your home’s HVAC system.

Some qualities of modern thermostats

  • The heat anticipator: This is a helpful component in a thermostat that assists the appliance with reaching precision temperatures. The anticipator shuts off a heater before the temperature inside the thermostat reaches the set level; the reason it does this is because the other parts of the house will warm up faster than the interior of the thermostat, and shutting off a bit early keeps the heat from rising above the desired level.
  • Programmable: The most important development in thermostats when they reached the digital age was the creation of programmable models. Simple programmable thermostats have two setting groups: an “on” and “off” for the day, and an “on” and “off” for the night. This permits control over the temperatures when no one is in the house or when everyone is asleep. Newer models contain even more programming options and even “smart” systems that learn from homeowners’ heating and cooling patterns to anticipate the best way to condition a home.
  • Wireless: The breakthroughs in wireless technology that have overtaken the world also spread to thermostats. Wireless thermostats are a new advance that have become popular in a brief time. Since the units no longer need to be connected to the HVAC system physically, they have greater freedom of placement throughout a home. The addition of remote controls allows homeowners to set the temperature from anywhere in a room without needing to wander over to squint at a small control read-out. Wireless systems are unmatched (so far) in their precision control over temperature settings.

You need thermostat professionals

Are you ready for an upgrade to your home’s temperature controls? Then call Advantage Airtech today. Our technicians have experience with many models, and we offer a wide range of thermostats to suit every need and budget. Talk to us when you want to investigate new thermostats in North York, ON.

Why You Should Consider Installing a Heat Recovery Ventilator

June 6th, 2014

If you live in a house built during the last 30 years, or one that has seen remodeling in recent decades, then it likely has a strong heat seal. This prevents heat from escaping the home during cold weather, and heat from entering during hot weather. Strong heat seals make a home energy-efficient: you will need to run your air conditioner and heater far less each season with the sealing from insulation stopping the loss or gain of heat.

However, there is a downside to this airtight seal: stale, low quality indoor air. Unless you can open up your doors and windows for few hours every day (and let’s be honest, you can’t) it is hard to ventilate your home with fresh air. Opening up your windows and doors means a loss of heating or cooling power.

There is an option that will help you freshen and increase your indoor air quality in Markham, ON: heat recovery ventilators. Call Advantage Airtech today to ask our indoor air quality specialists about how they can install these excellent additions to your ventilation system.

What heat recovery ventilators will do for you

Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) bring fresh air into your home while also helping you save energy. A professional installer can fit an HRV into your current ventilation system, and hook it up to an external power supply. From its location inside the ductwork of your HVAC system, the HRV harnesses the energy from the air that comes one direction and uses it to heat the air going the opposite direction, a process known as “counter-flow heat exchange.”

The ventilation system brings in fresh outdoor air. Normally, this would have a negative effect on your interior temperature. However, the HRV runs a counter-flow of stale indoor air past it, and heat exchange occurs. If warm summer air is coming into the ventilation shaft, it will lose its heat to the outgoing stale air. For incoming cold winter air, it will gain the heat from the outgoing indoor air. This conditioned air enters the home with the help of a fan. So you lose the stale air, but keep its energy.

The “recovery” part of the name comes from the way that the HRV recovers the heat energy and recycles it. An HRV can recover 85% of the energy from the indoor air and send it back, and this means you’ll save energy along with having fresher air.

This all sounds a bit too good to be true: but HRVs are easy to have installed into your ventilation system.

Advantage Airtech offers installation of HRVs that will match up with your heater/air conditioner and provide you with increased energy savings and an end to the stale air that reduces your indoor air quality in Markham, ON.

Is Geothermal Cooling Worth the Investment?

May 30th, 2014

If you’ve investigated into the possibility of installing a geothermal heat pump for your home, you probably have a few reservations. These systems do require a significant amount of labour to install, and the upfront costs are more than those for a standard heat pump or other type of air conditioning. Is it really worth the investment to install geothermal cooling in Scarborough, ON?

The answer is: “It depends.” In many cases, a geothermal heat pump will return your investment not only in money but also in comfort and reliability that brings peace of mind. Here are some of the advantages of a geothermal heat pump that may make it worth that upfront cost. Call Advantage Airtech today to learn more and schedule an appointment to see if you are ready for geothermal cooling.

Reasons a geothermal system may be right for you:

  • Heating and cooling in one: Keep in mind that a geothermal system is a heat pump, so you are receiving both cooling and heating. This is a year-round investment in comfort. The air conditioning mode is as powerful as any AC of the same size. And the heating has some fantastic benefits…
  • Energy efficiency: The huge drawback that standard, ground-source heat pumps face is that they lose their efficiency during extreme cold temperatures, and that’s obviously a problem during the winter in a place like Scarborough. But a geothermal system uses the heat of the earth for its exchange medium, and the earth’s temperature remains steady at around 13°C, no matter the above ground temperature. Geothermal heat pumps won’t struggle to bring you heat in the winter, and this means energy savings: studies have shown a geothermal pump works 3–4 times for efficiently than a standard heat pump.
  • Longevity: Few home comfort systems last as long as a geothermal heat pump. The indoor heat pump element can last over 20 years, while the in-ground loops can often last more than half a century! Think how much more time you have to save money from the heat pump’s efficiency with that many years ahead of it.

Find out if a ground-source heat pump will deliver for you

Geothermal systems will not work for every property, since they require a certain amount of ground space. Call Advantage Airtech today and one of our geothermal specialists will come to your home to survey it to see if it is ready for installation of a geothermal heat pump. There are a number of variant ways of configuring the loops in the earth that gives the systems more flexibility than you might imagine.

For your geothermal cooling in Scarborough, ON (and your heating) call on us—we’ll help you find decades of comfort and energy savings.

Do Higher Bills Mean That I Should Replace My Home’s Air Conditioner?

May 23rd, 2014

Do higher bills mean you should replace your property’s air conditioner? The answer: it depends. Higher utility bills can mean multiple things, one of which is that it may be time to replace your AC. So how do you know when it’s time for replacement? Here are a few important questions to ask yourself when considering an air conditioning replacement in Oshawa:

How Old Is Your Air Conditioner?

Age plays an important role when it comes to the replacement of your air conditioner. Is yours ten years old or older? While average lifespan of a system is anywhere from 10-14 years, today’s models are significantly more energy efficient – some as much as 60% more energy efficient than models from just 10 years ago. This is something to strongly consider if your AC is 10+ years in age because you’ll start to see that savings in the form of smaller utility bills.

Are You Doing Multiple Costly Repairs?

Are you doing a lot of costly repairs on a consistent basis just to keep your air conditioner running? At some point, doing these repairs may very well add up to the cost of a new system. If this is happening, it simply may not be worth it financially to keep your current AC. To figure out the difference in costs between keeping your current unit and replacing it with a new one, consult with an Advantage Airtech expert today.

Is Your Home Air Temperature Comfortable?

There can be multiple reasons the temperature in your home isn’t comfortable, but if you’ve eliminated the mechanical reasons and are still experiencing uneven cooling, or your system is taking a very long time to cool your property, it may be time to look at purchasing a new system. Pushing an older air conditioner to cool more quickly usually doesn’t work, and settling for an uncomfortable temperature in your home defeats the purpose of having an air conditioner at all.

Paying Higher Bills? It May Be Time to Replace

Replacing an air conditioner is a big decision and many factors need to be considered before doing it. The best way to determine if those bigger bills are an indication that it’s time for a new air conditioner is to work with an Advantage Airtech, Inc. expert.

If you have an old AC and are in need of air conditioning replacement in Oshawa schedule an appointment with our AC replacement experts today.