Advantage Airtech Blog

Don’t Let the R-22 Ban Scare You

August 18th, 2014

Have you been seeing ads lately that are leading you to believe you need to replace your air conditioner due to a ban on R-22 refrigerant? These are mere tactics to get you to buy a new system. The reality is, while things are changing and we have to comply to new stringent environmental regulations, there is no ban – just a phase out. There are also many alternatives to system replacement. Don’t let other companies scare you into doing something you do not have to do! 

Call Advantage Airtech and let us help you determine the best option for you and your home. As always, keep your heating and cooling systems properly maintained through annual maintenance checks. We’re happy to answer your questions and provide you with a list of options and alternatives to suit your needs. Contact us today!

Reasons Why Duct Cleaning Is Necessary

August 11th, 2014

Since you don’t see your ducts most of the time (they are hidden behind drywall, floorboards, and rarely frequented rooms) it’s often hard to understand why they may need regular cleaning. However, the ducts in a home circulate air through them regularly that comes through the return vents; the air that enters the return vents contains dirt, dust, hair dander, and other contamination. Over the space of a year, this debris will begin to build up along the inside of the ductwork, and after three years this contamination level is often enough to begin to create problems for your home, the quality of your air, and the HVAC system.

To combat the problems of dirty ductwork, you should schedule regular duct cleaning. Every 3–5 years is recommended, although some homes may need it more often. The job requires professionals with power vacuums and agitation equipment; it isn’t something you can handle yourself using a commercial long-hose vacuum and a broom. Call up Advantage Airtech today to arrange a thorough professional duct cleaning in Prince Albert, ON.

Why you need duct cleaning

  • To protect your indoor air quality: Indoor air quality has been on the decline since home design created more effective heat sealing. This heat sealing helps a house save energy, but it also prohibits fresh air circulation that can remove stale air from the indoors. Low indoor air quality can lead to an array of health issues, most of them respiratory, and it is particularly harmful for people who suffer from asthma and allergies. Duct cleaning removes a major reservoir for air contaminants from inside a home, helping to keep it a healthier and more comfortable place.
  • To lower your heating and cooling bills: Even the thin layer of dust that can start to accumulate in ducts after only a year is enough to create friction against the airflow from an air conditioner or forced-air heater. The harder an AC or heater has to work to overcome friction, the more power it will drain, and you will see this reflected on your bills. Heavy congestion in the ventilation ducts can mean a comfort system that costs a 33% more to run. Keeping the “lungs” of your HVAC system clean will keep away unnecessary utility bills spikes.
  • To keep your home clean: Here’s a startling fact: a six-room home on average circulates 40 lbs. of dust through its ventilation system every year. Try to imagine that much dust spread over your furnishings! If your home is filled with dust no matter how much effort you put in to keep it clean, a clogged ductwork system is probably contributing to the problem. Cleaner ducts mean a cleaner home.

At Advantage Airtech, we offer full service for ductwork. We not only provide duct cleaning in Prince Albert, ON, but also duct repairs to keep them seamless and efficient.

Call the ductwork experts at Advantage Airtech today to arrange for your duct cleaning appointment in the greater Toronto, ON area.

Some of Your Choices for Air Conditioning Replacement

August 4th, 2014

Air conditioning replacement in the middle of summer isn’t ideal as far as timing goes, but sometimes it may be necessary. There are a number of choices available for homeowners needing air conditioning replacement in Toronto, and one of the first steps in choosing a replacement air conditioner is to understand what the different types of ACs there are and what they can offer you. A trained professional, like the ones at Advantage Airtech, can help you with sizing and installation.

Types of ACs to Consider

Traditional split-system – a traditional split-system AC is one of the most common types of air conditioners, particularly for residential use. These air conditioners have two units, an indoor one that houses the evaporator and blower, and an outdoor one that houses the compressor, condenser and condenser fan. The cool air is delivered via ductwork. Today’s split-system ACs are energy efficient and far greener than ones from just a decade ago.

Ductless mini-split system – a ductless mini-split system has an outdoor unit very similar to a traditional split-system, but instead of a single indoor unit, blowers are used to deliver and disperse the cool air. The blowers are connected to the outdoor unit via a conduit through an exterior wall and up to 4 blowers can be supported by one outdoor unit. A ductless system is very energy efficient and automatically provides zone control cooling because of the blowers.

Packaged system – a packaged air conditioner is one in which the entire system is housed in a single cabinet. These systems come in a variety of sizes, but are typically used for larger homes. Packaged units work like traditional split-systems and need ductwork to deliver the cool air. Today’s packaged systems are very energy efficient and can be placed on the ground or on your roof.

Which Type Is Best for Me?

Choosing an air conditioner takes into account multiple factors, including whether or not you have ductwork, the size of your home and the amount of heat your home gains throughout the day. One of the best ways to ensure you install an AC that best fits your home is to work with an expert.

Since 1987, Advantage Airtech has helped Toronto customers with air conditioning replacements. If it’s time for you to replace your air conditioner, call us today.

Why Scraping Ice from Your Air Conditioning Won’t Work

July 29th, 2014

When your air conditioning system will not cool your home, you usually hope that it’s a simple fix that doesn’t require professional air conditioning repair. Upon discovering you don’t have air conditioning, you may check your air conditioner for any visible problems. If you see ice anywhere on your system or along the refrigerant line, you may be tempted to scrape it off and assume the problem is solved. However, this usually isn’t the case, and the problem may simply reappear the following day. An air conditioner should never freeze up, so when this is the case, you should call a technician immediately for air conditioning repair.

When you see ice on your air conditioner, scraping it off immediately will not solve the problem, and can actually worsen the state of your system. Ice usually indicates a problem with the indoor evaporator coil, so if you scrape off the ice and continue to run the AC, you may cause your unit to overwork and break down. Furthermore, attempting to scrape anything from coils can cause permanent damage, so this should never be your first response.

Ice often indicates that there is not enough airflow to the indoor coil. This may simply mean your air filter is too dirty, restricting the proper amount of airflow across the indoor coil. You should clean or replace air filters about once a month to prevent such issues.

However, if airflow is not the problem, you may have a dirty or blocked coil or low refrigerant. The evaporator coil removes heat and moisture from your home. Low refrigerant causes the temperature to drop, so the water that forms outside of the evaporator coil freezes, and ice begins to build up on your system. This is most likely due a refrigerant leak, which may cause further damage to your system, so you should contact a specialist for repairs immediately.

When you notice ice on your system and you need air conditioning repair in Toronto, turn off your system and call the experts at Advantage Airtech.

Our years of experience have prepared us to identify the problem and get your air conditioner running as soon as possible. Give us a call today!

 

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.