Advantage Airtech Blog

What Type of Maintenance Does a Geothermal System Need?

March 27th, 2015

A geothermal heating and cooling system utilizes a heat pump in conjunction with a buried ground loop system in order to use heat from beneath the ground in order to warm your home. During the summer, heat is withdrawn from the air in your home and is then sunk into the ground via the geothermal loop. As is the case with any other residential heating or cooling system, routine maintenance is necessary if you hope to keep your geothermal heating and cooling system in the finest working condition possible. To schedule geothermal system maintenance in Ajax, ON with a professional you can trust, just call Advantage Airtech today. We offer the exceptional maintenance services that your geothermal system needs to succeed.

While geothermal loops require very little in the way of maintenance, as they are really just a series of tubes through which an antifreeze solution flows, the heat pump itself does require routine maintenance services in order to stay in fine working condition. The level of the antifreeze in your geothermal system will have to be checked in order to ensure that it is able to absorb and dissipate thermal energy effectively. If there is a leak resulting in the loss of antifreeze, it will have to be resolved if you hope to use your geothermal system as effectively as possible. A maintenance technician will check these levels, and will measure the pressure and temperature within the geothermal loop.

It is also necessary that your geothermal heat pump is thoroughly and deeply cleaned if you want it to continue to function properly. When dirt and other debris allowed to build up within your geothermal heat pump, this buildup can seriously inhibit the system in a few different ways. Sensitive components may not be able to move freely, and dirty electrical contacts may not allow for proper operation. Only a trained professional can safely and meticulously clean your system free of debris.

Finally, keep in mind that there is more to your geothermal heating and cooling system than just the components outside. The ductwork that delivers heated and cooled air throughout your home, for instance, must be thoroughly inspected to guarantee that it is in fine working condition and is not compromised. Only when every component of your geothermal system is successfully maintained can you hope for it to function at peak performance levels.

Call Advantage Airtech today if you are ready to schedule geothermal system maintenance in Ajax, ON.

Should I Schedule Annual HVAC Maintenance Now?

March 20th, 2015

With another winter behind us, the time has come to start thinking about how you are going to keep your cool this summer season. Even if you have a great air conditioner that has served you well in the past, it is important that you give Advantage Airtech a call to ensure that your system is ready for action when temperatures start to creep upwards once more. Annual HVAC maintenance in Whitby, ON is the only way to get your AC ready for the hottest time of the year to come.

Scheduling HVAC maintenance now, as spring sets in, is a great way in which to ensure that you are able to cool your home efficiently and reliably when things really start to heat up. In order to prepare yourself fully for the heat of summer, it is best to schedule routine maintenance before the heat arrives in full. One reason for this, of course, is that your system will be in the best working condition possible following its annual maintenance service. Should you wait to schedule service, running your air conditioner for a while before having it tuned up, you may wind up paying more money than you should have to in order to cool your home. Even worse, you may be paying too much for that subpar performance.

Another reason as to why you should schedule your HVAC maintenance now is that this is a great way in which to discover any operational problems with your system before you really need it. You don’t want to thrust your AC into usage again, only to find it struggling and on the verge of a breakdown just when you require its service the most. Not only will scheduling your HVAC maintenance with a member of our staff now allow for the discovery of any problems with your system, but it will give us the time necessary to resolve them entirely without disrupting your comfort.

Don’t allow the heat to sneak up on you this summer, let alone issues with your home cooling system. Prepare yourself for the weather to come by scheduling annual HVAC maintenance in Whitby, ON with Advantage Airtech today.

We will make sure that your system is in fine working order before the summer – and our busiest time of year – gets under way.

How Can One Benefit from the Use of an HRV?

March 13th, 2015

There are a lot of factors that homeowners must keep in mind, many which extend beyond simply maintaining their HVAC systems, if they hope to live comfortably in their homes. Doing so is further complicated, of course, when one attempts to live comfortably while also doing so efficiently. If these are goals that you would like to achieve, then one piece of equipment well worth your consideration is the heat recovery ventilator. Such systems, called HRVs for short, can benefit homeowners in many different ways. As is the case with any HVAC or IAQ systems and devices, though, it is vital that your HRV is installed and serviced by a trained professional. Call Advantage Airtech to ensure that your heat recovery ventilator services in Pickering, ON are of the highest quality. 

A heat recovery ventilator is a device which essentially works as a heat exchanger in order to take some strain off of  your HVAC system, potentially reducing energy costs, all while helping to better ventilate your home. Basically, it works to bring incoming air closer to the temperature of the outgoing air. This means, for instance, that in the summer the hot, but fresh, incoming air will be precooled by the cooler, but stale, indoor air on its way out. This is achieved by passing the two air streams very near each other without mixing them, and using the heat exchanger in the HRV to facilitate the transfer of heat. During the winter months, the operation is reversed; cold, fresh air is brought in, and is warmed up the warm air being vented out.

Heat recovery ventilators can really help homeowners to live more comfortably, as sufficient ventilation really is an important part of the comfort equation. As we strive to heat and cool our homes as efficiently as possible, though, many homeowners seek to seal up their homes tightly. This may help to minimize the risk of energy loss, but it can lead to very low indoor air quality, especially when running an HVAC system regularly. Of course you are not just going to throw your windows open when running your heater or AC, but by preconditioning incoming air with a heat recovery ventilator, you can allow for adequate ventilation with minimal energy loss.

This can also help you to take some of the strain off of your HVAC system itself. In doing so, you can cut down on energy costs, as well as prevent some wear and tear on your system. Advantage Airtech will make sure that your system functions at peak performance levels.

Why wouldn’t you take advantage of a device that allows for all of that? Schedule your heat recovery ventilator services in Pickering, ON with us today.

3 Tips for Heating Your Home More Effectively

March 6th, 2015

The winter season here in Ontario can be truly brutal. A great heating system is something much more than a luxury in this region: it is an absolute necessity. Even if you have a quality heating system, though, you may find yourself less than impressed with its performance at different points. The good news is that there are a number of ways in which you can boost the effectiveness with which you heat your home. Some are quite simple, while others will require the help of trained professionals. Here are 3 tips to help you heat your home in Scarborough, ON more effectively. If you have any further questions, contact the heating professionals you can count on by calling Advantage Airtech today.

One of the simplest ways in which to heat your home more effectively, of course, is to keep the heat in your home where it belongs: therein. Properly insulating your home is the most important step to take in order to heat your house. Of course, there are also minor steps you can take which can bolster the effectiveness with which you heat your home. By opening your drapes during the daytime, for instance, you can supplement your heater’s performance by exploiting the radiant heat of the sun. Pull your drapes shut when the sun goes down to help trap this heat within. It sounds simple, and it may pale in comparison to the ways in which your insulation allows you to effectively heat your home, but following this tip can really help you to live more comfortably in your home.

If you hope to truly heat your home effectively, of course, then you must have the means by which to successfully regulate the operation of your home heating system. This may require that you replace an your existing thermostat, if it is not of the right style or design for your usage habits and goals. Manual thermostats, for instance, are best replaced with digital models, which are easier to set precisely while still keeping their operation quite simple. Other options, such as smart thermostats, give you far greater control and can help you to use your heater more effectively than ever before. Contact us to discuss your options.

Finally, consider the installation of a zone control system in your home if you are serious about heating your house more effectively. A zone control system gives you the option of maintaining different temperatures in different parts your household. This means that you can maintain higher temperatures in occupied areas than you do in unoccupied regions, allowing you to cut down on energy usage while still heating those areas of your home that you do us in a more effective manner.

For expert zone control system installation and more heating tips in Scarborough, ON, contact Advantage Airtech today.

Can Commercial HVAC Repair Services Wait?

February 27th, 2015

Owning commercial property, regardless of the size of your operation or precisely what type of business you may conduct within that property, comes with a long list of responsibilities. Even for the most dedicated property owner, keeping on top of everything can be a challenge. Keep on top of everything you must, though, especially when it comes to the services that your HVAC system needs to succeed.

If you want to ensure that your clients, tenants, employees, and other guests in your commercial property are as comfortable as possible throughout the year, then you must schedule your commercial HVAC services with a trained professional. Doing so is as simple as dialing our number and working with a pro on the Advantage Airtech team. One sage piece of wisdom we’d like to share is that you cannot afford to delay when it comes to the completion of any commercial HVAC repairs that you may need in Ajax.

Prompt HVAC repairs are in your best interest for a number of reasons. First and foremost is that a compromised commercial heating or air conditioning system is just not going to function as effectively as it should if every component in that system is not kept in fine working order. Any one piece of your commercial HVAC system can throw off its performance as a whole if a problem should develop. Plus, a commercial HVAC system that is in need of repairs will not function at peak efficiency levels, either. This can lead to wasted energy, meaning that you may wind up paying more money than usual to run your commercial HVAC system, even as the quality of its overall performance plummets.

Another reason why it is so vital that you schedule commercial HVAC repairs in Ajax at the very first sign of trouble is the fact that any problems with your system are likely only going to worsen over time. They will not simply work themselves out the way that a strained muscle might. The longer you wait to have your system fixed, and the longer you run that compromised equipment, the more likely it becomes that you will face serious operational problems, expensive repairs, or even a complete breakdown.

Make the right decision, and call Advantage Airtech if you believe that your commercial HVAC system is in trouble.

Tips to Help Increase Energy Efficiency During Winter

February 20th, 2015

We are in the heart of winter here in Whitby, and by now you’ve probably paid a few heating bills. If you’ve been wondering how you can lower your bills without making a big purchase or major adjustments, our Advantage Airtech professionals have some tips for better, more efficient heating in Whitby this winter:

  • Keep fireplace dampers closed when not in use – an open damper is akin to an open window through which your heat can escape right out through the chimney and also let in cold air.
  • Upgrade your thermostat – if you are still using a dial or slide thermostat for your home, you could be missing out on substantial savings. Why? Dial and slide thermostats are not as precise as digital thermostats; additionally, you can’t set a heating program with a dial or slide thermostat.
  • Cover drafty windows – whether you use air sealing plastic from a kit or hang some winter drapes, it’s important to cover drafty windows so they don’t negatively impact your heating.
  • Install ceiling fans – hot air rises, leaving the cooler air to settle down close to your floors. Installing ceiling fans forces the air in your home to circulate, making the air feel warmer.
  • Insulate your hot water heater – standby heat loss with a storage tank hot water heater can be as high as 30%; wrapping your water heater with an insulating blanket can greatly reduce this loss. NOTE: if you have a gas water heater, hire a professional to wrap your water heater to ensure safety.
  • Schedule maintenance – one of the best ways to ensure that your heating system runs optimally is to schedule a heating maintenance appointment every 12 months. Has it been longer than 12 months since your last maintenance appointment? If so, considering scheduling a maintenance appointment as soon as possible.
  • Have your insulation levels checked – insulation slows the transfer of heat, which is why it is so important. If your insulation is lacking, you could be paying for it in the form of higher heating bills.

Have questions? Call the experts at Advantage Airtech today and schedule an appointment.

Maintaining your budget throughout winter can be challenging, so we hope these tips can help you save some energy and money this winter.

Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at Advantage Airtech hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

Ways Duct Repair Helps Heating

February 5th, 2015

When was the last time you thought about your ducts? Probably not recently. You can’t really be blamed for that. After all, ducts don’t really do much to demand attention. When your heating system breaks down, you know it because you can’t heat your home. Duct damage, however, is often unannounced. You may be suffering the effects of some serious duct issues right now and not even know that it’s happening. Let’s take a look at some of the duct issues that require professional repairs, and how those repairs help with heating your home.

Duct Leaks

Ducts are actually not the sturdiest of heating parts. In fact, they are often quite vulnerable to developing leaks. This can be due to the expansion and contraction experienced when transporting warm air, or even from simply being installed incorrectly. Regardless of how they happens, duct leaks are a common and very problematic condition that affect millions of homes.

The two major issues caused by duct leaks are heat loss and moisture accumulation. It is estimated that the average home loses about 30% of its heat output to leaks in its ductwork. That’s a staggering amount of heat going to waste that you are still paying for. Duct leaks contribute to a large increase in the average homeowner’s heating bill, and most homeowners don’t even know that they’re a problem.

Moisture accumulation occurs when a duct leak opens in a damp area, like a basement. If enough moisture can get into the ducts, it will create an ideal environment for mold growth. The mold in the ducts can then release spores that travel around the house and infect people.

Benefits of Duct Repair

By having your ducts checked and repaired every couple of years, you can save money and increase the quality of your air. A qualified HVAC technician can find and seal any leaks in the ducts, as well as remove any contaminants that might be growing inside. This ensures that your ducts don’t waste any heat, and don’t expose you to harmful mold spores.

If you haven’t had your ducts checked a while, call Advantage Airtech. We provide duct repair services throughout Pickering.

Common Problems with In-Floor Radiant Heating

January 29th, 2015

Radiant floor heating has become very popular with homeowners for some obvious reasons. Not only is it a gentle heat, it’s also very nice to have warm, toasty floors in your home. There can be some concerns when it comes to radiant floor heating repairs due to the outlets, which can either be electric cable or matting under your floors, or PEX tubing for hydronic (water) systems. Most radiant heating repairs in Scarborough shouldn’t be cause for worry as they can be pretty straightforward repairs for a trained expert, like the ones at Advantage Airtech.

Electric Radiant Heating Repairs

Radiant heating has two heating options: electric or hydronic, which is hot water or steam. As such, the repairs for each type of system are different. Some of the more common electric radiant heating problems you may see are:

  • Tripping circuit breakers – while electric radiant flooring doesn’t require a lot of excess electricity, it is still necessary to have enough power from your electrical box to support the system. The average amperage of today’s home electrical panels is 200 amps; if your electrical box doesn’t carry this amount of power, you may want to upgrade prior to installation.
  • Damage to cable or electric mat – just because the electric cable or electrically-conducive mat is under the floor doesn’t mean it can’t be damaged. While these materials are durable, they aren’t indestructible and they can be damaged by cracked tiles or heavy objects.

Hydronic Radiant Heating Repairs

A hydronic system requires a boiler in order to work. Some problems that can develop with a hydronic radiant system are:

  • Issues with zone valves or circulator pumps – if you have a hot water hydronic radiant system, your system needs zone valves or circulator pumps to push the hot water from the boiler’s vessel into your piping. These small pumps can break for a number of reasons, and this will affect the quality of your heating.
  • Air lock – any boiler system is pressurized, and sometimes air bubbles can develop inside pipes. When this happens, the air bubble can act as a block and stop the flow of the hot water; this is known as air lock.

The experts at Advantage Airtech have been helping customers with heating repair in Scarborough since 1987. If you have having issues with your radiant heating, call us today!

Troubleshooting the Circulator Pump of a Gas Boiler

January 22nd, 2015

Boilers are some of the most effective heating systems out there because they fill the room with warmth. Forced-air heating systems heat up air to blow into a room, and it often results in spotty heating and uneven temperatures throughout the home.  Hot water boilers simply use circulator pumps to move hot water from the tank into the various rooms in the house including via an endpoint like a radiator, convector unit, or a series of pipes under the floorboards. It may be surprising when the boiler suddenly stops working as it should. But if the problem is only with a smaller part like the circulator, you may be able to have a professional simply replace the part.

Potential Problems with the Circulator Pumps

A circulator pump may run into any of the following problems over time, all of which require a professional to repair or replace the part.

  • Leaking at the Pump: The circulator pump both a pump and a connecting piece, which is why water may sometimes leak from an older pump, one that has worn down, or a pump that was not properly installed. It may wear down because of the high water pressure it handles every day. It may cause reduced heating due to the hot water deficiency.
  • Pump Not Running: If the pump is not working at all, it may only need replacement. It could also be a sign of an electrical problem like a broken relay.
  • Pump Only Works Intermittently: A pump that only works sporadically or only starts up sometimes could also be suffering from electrical trouble. It could also be a sign of a damaged valve in the pump.
  • Hot Water Only Pumps to Some Areas of the House: When hot eater only reaches some areas of the home, it could indicate an electrical malfunction. On the other hand, it could be an issue with the setup of the zone control system in a larger house.
  • Noisy Pump: A circulator pump should be fairly quiet. A noisy pump may have air inside of it that a professional can purge using a bleeding valve. It can also be a mechanical issue like a loose bearing.

At Advantage Airtech, we have experience diagnosing and repairing all kinds of problems with gas boilers in Whitby. Give us a call!