HVAC Maintenance

Written by: Becky Turgeon

HVAC is an acronym for Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning. It’s a term that is used to describe the complete system that is used to heat or cool your home or business while also ensuring the air you breathe is of high quality. 

A typical home in Regina will have several components to the HVAC system.  These will most likely include:

  1. Heating Unit: This is typically a furnace but may be a boiler.
  2. Cooling Unit: This is typically an air conditioner but may be a heat pump.
  3. Ventilation Elements:
    • Ductwork: Channels that distribute air.
    • Air Handler: Houses the blower that drives the air through the ducts.
    • Registers and Vents: This is where air flow happens in each room.

4. Thermostat:

The brains of the HVAC system. This is where the temperature is set.  Thermostats range from very simple devices to complex smart units that can even learn from your habits or presence.

5. Air Filters:

Filters help keep our indoor air perfect by capturing dust and pollens or other particles like pet hair. 

6. Humidifier:

These units act to control our indoor humidity levels. During our dry winters humidity is added. Adjusting humidity in a home can greatly increase the comfort level.

7. HRV Unit:

Heat and Energy Recovery Ventilator These devices, more common in newer homes, make your home healthier and cleaner by continuously replacing stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air.  

8. Radiators:

Some homes that use a boiler system for heating will have radiators located along walls in every room.  When the radiators heat up they radiate warmth outward to heat the room.



As you can see that’s a pretty big list of equipment keeping your home comfortable and your indoor air perfect. As with any mechanical equipment, your HVAC system does require
Regular Maintenance
to keep it operating smoothly.  


  1. Enhanced Efficiency: Cleaning, replacing filters, lubricating moving parts and ensuring proper airflow all add up to a more efficient machine which helps you save money on your energy bills
  2. Extended Lifespan: Your HVAC system is a big investment. Improve the lifespan of that equipment with regular maintenance.
  3. Better Air: Air quality is best when your HVAC system is running properly.
  4. Reduced Repairs: Preventative maintenance goes a long way in catching repairs early and preventing escalating costs.
  5. Improved Comfort: A well maintained system will provide you with the most comfort.
  6. Safety: Checking on electrical connections and gas lines regularly can reduce the risk of hazards like gas leaks, electrical fires, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
  7. Warranty: HVAC maintenance is typically a requirement for warranty.  Failure to maintain a system properly can void warranty.
  8. Reducing your environmental impact. A well tuned HVAC system uses less energy. 

  • Check operation of thermostat, including calibration
  • Test for refrigerant shortage
  • Wash outdoor condensing unit
  • Balance air flow for air conditioning
  • Perform temperature drop at indoor coil
  • Clean condensate lines and test operation
  • Inspect compressor contacts
  • Clean or replace standard filters
  • Lubricate all moving parts
  • Monitor start capacitor and potential relay operation
  • Close down humidifier operation
  • Measure and record amperage draw on compressor
  • Check operation of thermostat including calibration
  • Perform carbon monoxide test and record readings
  • Inspect venting for rust and leakage
  • Test all safety controls
  • Check combustion and ventilation air
  • Clean burners and pilot, Adjust for proper combustion
  • Clean flame sensor and record flame signal
  • Check all gas fittings on valve train for leaks
  • Clean and flush condensate lines, including pump
  • Clean heat exchangers
  • Remove and clean blower
  • Perform temperature rise on heat exchanger
  • Clean or replace standard air filters
  • Lubricate motors as required
  • Check operation of thermostat including calibration
  • Test all safety controls
  • Inspect venting for rust and leakage
  • Clear burners and pilot, adjust for proper combustion
  • Clean flame sensors and record reading
  • Perform carbon monoxide testing on ambient air in the boiler room
  • Inspect fire bricks and insulation
  • Check all gas fittings on valve train for leaks
  • Examine heat exchanger and combustion chamber
  • Lubricate pump and motors
  • Check condition and operation of expansion tank

Aging in Place

Making your Home Safe and Comfortable as you Age

Author: Becky Turgeon

As we age we think about where we are going to live and what that space will look like. We think about whether we will be able to continue to live in our home. Will moving to a condo be a better fit? So, what can you do to make your current home or a new condo home more comfortable as you age? What can you add to make your daily life activities more manageable? What safety features can you introduce? What can you do to make life just a little bit easier and more comfortable and what does your local plumbing, heating and electrical shop have to do with that? 


Let’s look at some of the activities of daily life:

  • Showering
  • Bathing
  • Using the toilet
  • Enjoying Indoor time
  • Enjoying outdoor time

So what can we do to make these areas of your daily life a little bit more comfortable. Let’s tackle the bathroom first.


Showering / Bathing

Have you considered converting your current tub shower to a walk in shower. Walk in showers can feature no step access, non slip flooring, and moulded, folding, or portable seats, as well as multiple spray options. We’ve got some great options from Hytec . The addition of safety grab bars can create an added sense of security. The grab bars are mounted to withstand a proper amount of force and provide much more support than simply bracing yourself against a wall or using one of those suction mounted grab bars.

This walk in shower install replaced a previous tub/shower combination. This particular install used a shower curtain. Glass door options are also available.


And what about faucet handles? There are lots of great options for handles in your shower or on your sink that will make turning them on/off easier. Check out some options from Riobel Pro and Moen

Lever style faucets make turning them on and off a little easier. No more twisting on a tap.


Toileting

Let’s face it, sitting down onto the toilet and getting up from the toilet absolutely gets more difficult as we age. Did you know there are toilets that are specifically designed to make them easier to use. The technical terminology is an ADA Toilet. ADA stands for Americans with Disability Act. ( I know, we’re in Canada but that’s the standard manufacturers typically use. The Accessible Canada Act or ACA, or Bill C-81 is the Canadian equivalent. As a Canadian contractor we follow B651-18 National Standard of Canada Accessible Design for the Buillt Environment.) Regardless of terminology the type of toilet we are talking about here has a minimum seat height of 17 inches (~43 cm) and a maximum of 19 inches (~48 cm). Standard height toilets are typically 14-15 inches in height. Elongated seats vs rounded seats can also be found to be more comfortable. Check out this link to an ADA toilet option from Contrac

Something that is also becoming more common in homes is a toilet with a bidet seat. We offer a number of choices. This link is for our Kohler options.


Enjoying Indoor Time

As we age we may find that we spend a little more time indoors, especially during winter. In order to make your indoor space more comfortable and safer consider some of the following options that we can assist you with.


Lighting

We’re an electrical shop. We can absolutely help you with lighting your home to not only increase comfort but also increase safety. Things to consider for safety might be night lighting, stairway lighting, or outdoor lighting. Things to consider for comfort might be the type of lighting you use. For example you might want to upgrade to LED pot lights, you might want to wire in better bedside lighting for reading, or maybe your garage needs better lighting because you have converted it to a hobby workshop.


Home Automation

Home automation can definitely add a lot of ease to your home as you age. Really we could have a whole blog on all the different types of comforts that home automation can bring to your home. Some options include:


Heating / Cooling

As we age we spend more time in our homes. Let’s make your home air more comfortable. That might include looking at zoning your home. Want your bedroom cooler than or warmer than a secondary bedroom? Tired of cooling your whole home when really what you want is just a cooler kitchen for cooking in the summer and cooler bedrooms for sleeping in? You may want to consider a ductless cooling system. ( Daikin Multi Zone Ductless) Or maybe you want your energy bills to be lower. Ask us about high efficiency furnace and air conditioner options. Want better humidity, cleaner air, and an overall better heating and cooling system? We’re experts at that!

Our lineup of products to perfect your air includes:


Enjoying Outdoor Time

Lighting

Adding walkway lighting and accent lighting to your home can not only make it safer, it can make it more enjoyable. Need some new wiring for your backyard lighting or some new lighting options for walkways, entryways or alley garages, we’ve got a team of professional electricians who can get that done. Town & Country is also an authorized dealer for Gemstone Lights . This permanent, professionally installed lighting system will light up your home in ways you never thought possible. Lights are completely customizable using an app on your phone. You can change the colour and patterns in so many ways that you will always have your home lit up just right no matter the holiday or occasion. Christmas themes, sports themes, or simply elegant architectural themes, your home will be the prettiest on the block and you can change the lighting colour and theme from any where you have cell phone service or a connection to wifi.


Heating

Outdoor heating? Yeah it sounds sort of ridiculous but maybe you have a 3 season sunroom or a screened room or even a sheltered patio or deck that you would like to be able to enjoy for a little longer through the year. As we age we often have more time for things like sitting on our patios enjoying a good book or visiting with family or friends. We have natural gas as well as electrical options for heating these spaces. Check out Schwank . And of course we also have options for your garage, because getting into a cold car just isn’t that much fun in the winter no matter what your age is. We commonly use Reznor or Lennox units for garage heat. Heating your garage can also make it a lot more useful as an all season workshop or hobby area for whatever retirement project you have in mind.

Daikin Inverter Technology

Daikin offers their heating and cooling systems with Inverter Technology? What does that mean? Inverter (variable speed) HVAC systems are an energy saving technology that helps to reduce wasted operation in HVAC systems. Temperature is adjusted by changing the motor speed rather than turning the motor on then turning it off. Your comfort is maintained and your system operates at an energy conserving level. A simple analogy is comparing how your car performs in stop and go traffic versus cruising at highway speed making small adjustments to road conditions. Inverter technology allows your furnace to cruise along efficiently. Temperature is adjusted by changing motor speed and maintaining your comfort while operating at an energy conserving level. Inverter technology not only saves you money on your energy bills but helps prevent temperature swings in your home. You will feel the difference. Daikin inverter systems are also engineered to achieve lower operating sound levels. Finally the increased efficiency of the inverter technology system will reduce wear and tear on your HVAC system and therefore contributes to longevity and durability.

Check out Daikin here!

 Contact Us Today!

 

 

 

Air Conditioner Maintenance

  1. After turning the power off to the unit, rinse outdoor coil annually with a garden hose to remove dust, grass cuttings, etc.
  2. Check unit operation annually. Do not wait until you need cool air! Annual maintenance is recommended.

Notes:

  1. It is recommended that the thermostat be set no lower than 21ºC (70ºF) for cooling. Below this temperature, ice could form on the indoor coil, possibly resulting in damage to the equipment.
  2. If ice forms on the connectors going into the indoor coil or outdoor unit, turn the equipment off and call for service immediately!
  3. In cooling mode, do not lower temperature setting on the thermostat unless the outdoor unit has been off for five minutes. The breaker will probably trip or a fuse may blow if you turn it on too soon.

Does the Air Conditioner Sit on a Pad or a Bracket?

It really depends on the location of the condenser unit.

It is preferable to mount the unit on brackets attached to the foundation. This will eliminate any strain on the line sets due to movement of the ground around the foundation.  Call us to discuss if this option is right for your installation.

Noise Levels of Our Air Conditioner Units

The outside noise that comes from the condenser is 64 to 74 decibels (dB).

A hair dryer at three meters is 80 dB. The interior noise of the average car at 100km is 70 dB.

Our equipment suppliers offer the quietest air conditioner units available. Call us to discuss different units that are available.

I Have Two Furnaces, Do I Need Two Air Conditioner Units?

Tell us where the comfort issue is and at what time. Is it during dinner? At bedtime? If it is at bedtime and all the bedrooms are upstairs – it really might be possible to provide cooling only to that floor.

Troubleshooting Your Furnace or Air Conditioner

Please check the following before calling us for service. These are problems that homeowners tend to overlook and are not covered by warranty.

Step 1: Is your thermostat set to the correct function?

Step 2: Has the power to the furnace been shut off?

  • Electrical panel breaker
  • Power switch located close to furnace of high in the basement stairwell
  • Ensure the furnace fan door is on properly

Step 3: Is the filter clean? A dirty filter will eventually cause service problems and drastically decrease efficiency of both the furnace and air conditioner.

Step 4: High-efficiency furnaces have a System 636 PVC vent pipe which terminates on the side of home or through the roof. Ensure this is not blocked by debris, snow or ice.

If you cannot locate the problem by following these steps and require service, take note of the furnace model and serial number and call us.

Equipment Maintenance and Care Guide

Annual Maintenance will improve the efficiency and prolong the life of your equipment. Your equipment should only be serviced by a qualified service technician.

Annual Maintenance is required to maintain your manufacturer’s warranty.

Caution: Do not perform any maintenance without turning OFF the power to the equipment.

Please see our blog posts relating to your specific maintenance needs.