Spring in Toronto and the GTA is finally here and it looks like the weather will finally stay to reflect it, at least in the short-term. With spring comes the feeling of renewal, sunlight that last later into the evening, and also the urge to thoroughly clean your home. You’ve been stuck inside all winter long, so now it’s finally time to open the windows and think about your indoor air quality.

Indoor Air Quality: Toronto & Canada

It’s shocking to hear that Canadians spend almost 90% of their time inside, either at home, work or other environments. As a result we’re not overly exposed to the fresh outdoor air that our governments have fought so hard to achieve over the years. Even in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, smog days have all but disappeared and air quality is at an all-time high. Regardless of the improving air quality around us we still spend the majority of out time inside, which is why it’s important to consider what our indoor air quality is like, especially at home where we sleep.

There are a number of different things that can affect the indoor air quality of your home. They can typically be broken down into:

  • Biological Pollutants: These are living organisms that have the ability to pollute the air in your home. They include thing like mould, bacteria and dust mites.
  • Chemical Pollutants: These are gasses and other airborne particles that come from appliances throughout your home that rely on combustion, tobacco products, personal care products, building materials, and other household cleaners.

These pollutants are evident in every home, but the concentration of them is what really matters. Homes that are air tight and don’t have great ventilation are at the highest risk of poor indoor air quality.

Luckily there are numerous ways to combat poor indoor air quality and ensure the air you and your family are breathing is healthy. So while you’re taking care of all the spring cleaning you typically do, like ridding your closet of old clothes, trashing old shoes, and cleaning in places you don’t normally clean, it’s important that you don’t overlook cleaning the air in your home too.

Cleaning The Air In Your Home

Cleaning the air doesn’t mean that you need to spray odour-killing chemicals or Febreeze all over your house, this will actually make it worse! Here are a few tried a true ways to clean the air in your home without ruining your summer vacation budget.

  • Change Your Furnace Filter: To some people this is something they do regularly to ensure the efficiency of their furnace and air conditioner, but to some they might not even know that their furnace had a filter. This filter is an important part of your home’s HVAC system and essentially filters all the air in circulation throughout your home. Allowing it to get too dirty can result in poor air quality as it fails to filter any particles, but also reduces the efficiency of your furnace and air conditioner as they now have to work harder to warm and cool your home.
  • Vacuuming & Dusting: Few people enjoy this type of cleaning and it often get’s put off until later, whenever that is. Properly vacuuming and dusting your home right after changing your furnace filter is a great way to blitz the particles that are floating in the air. If you don’t feel like cleaning there are affordable cleaning services in Toronto that can save you lots of cleaning time.
  • No Smoking: One of the worst pollutants to invade your home is tobacco smoke. Simply stepping outside for your next smoke can eliminate a whole litany of chemicals from the air in your home.
  • Fuel-Burning Appliances: Depending on the types of appliances you have your furnace, water heater, and stove might all burn natural gas to work properly. Having these appliances inspected on an annual basis and properly maintained is essential to ensure they aren’t negatively impacting the air quality in your home. Regular maintenance appointments are very affordable and also ensure the efficiency of your appliances, so you’ll save money on your energy bills too.
  • Proper Ventilation: Make sure that places like basements and bathrooms that have higher amounts of moisture are properly ventilated. This helps reduce the risk of mould growth, which can easily become airborne and cause respiratory problems.
  • Garage Etiquette: If you have a garage that’s attached to your home don’t idle your car or other gas-powered equipment inside, even with the door open. Carbon monoxide and other gasses can build up and remain in the air in your garage, which easily transfers to your home when the connecting door is opened.
  • Painting: Even though many newer types of paint don’t produce fumes it’s still a good idea to paint with the windows open. Also, once you’re finished painting it’s important not to store paints, varnishes, and other solvents inside your home.

Many ways to improve the air quality in your home might seem like common sense, but it isn’t something that people think about all the time. Slight changes to your daily routine or cleaning and home maintenance habits can ensure that you and you family have clean and refreshing air to breath when you’re not outside enjoying the warm summer sun.

For more information about indoor air quality or to book a maintenance appointment for your furnace, air conditioner or another HVAC appliance contact Novel Care today: 647-547-4049

This summer, the summer of 2016, is projected to be one of the hottest summers in recent memory with more days above 25 than the average person can remember. Now that you know how hot the weather is going to be it’s time to make decisions surrounding your air conditioning system, or lack thereof, and a ductless mini split air conditioner is the perfect choice.

If you live in a home in Toronto, York Region or anywhere else in the GTA you understand that throughout the summer when temperatures soar it can be tough to stay cool without A/C. The fastest and sometimes cheapest solution in the short-term is to buy a window air conditioning unit for your bedroom window, which can at least help you sleep at night. Many homes don’t have existing ductwork and as a result people think that window units are their only choice, but that’s not the case. A ductless mini split air conditioner is probably the best choice for a home without existing ductwork.

The Mini Split Air Conditioner

There are nearly endless sizes, capacities, and options when buying a ductless mini split air conditioner. Their typical configuration is with a single outdoor compressor or condenser that works in a similar way to a central air conditioning unit, and an air handler that hangs on the wall inside your home. The two units are connected by refrigerant, power and control cables and lines. Aside from those components there’s nothing else needed to operate a ductless mini split air conditioner.

As mentioned there are a number of different options and varying SEER ratings available, which is a measure of their efficiency. These systems are best suited to cool a single room or area, whereas if multiple areas need cooling a mini split air conditioner should be upgraded to a dual-zone, which provides the ability to independently control the temperature in each area.

What Size Mini Split Air Conditioner?

If you only need to cool a small space any sized model will work, but in terms of efficiency it’s important to choose one with a BTU level that suits the square footage being cooled. The best way to completely understand which unit is right for your needs, where the unit should be positioned, and how to properly set the temperature is to work with an HVAC professional from a reputable company like Novel Care.

Effectiveness & Energy Use

Depending on the size of your space and the amount you require cooling a mini split air conditioner can save you up to 30% of the energy you would use on a central air conditioning system. This is primarily due to the fact that they’re smaller units and they provide you with the ability to focus your cooling efforts where they’re needed rather than the entire house at once. This energy savings translates into saving money on your energy bills, which also means it’s good for the environment.

Mini Split Air Conditioner Heating Options

Many of these unit also provide heat when the temperature drops in the fall and spring. While they’re not always ideal choices as a primary heat source they are efficient choices to avoid having to turn on your furnace or boiler just to warm up a single room.

Overall, a mini split air conditioner is a great choice for many situations where cooling is needed, especially when there isn’t any existing ductwork. For more information about ductless mini split air conditioners contact Novel Care today: 647-547-4049

When it comes to saving money around the house there are a few things that can be done in every season to optimize your energy usage. In the spring and summer it’s time to fire up the air conditioning, but there are a number of things to consider in order to ensure you’re saving as much money as possible while running it. Aside from regular servicing by a trusted Novel Care professional that includes preventative maintenance, there are numerous things that can be done prior to the busy summer HVAC season. Here are 15 easy ways to save on air conditioning costs this summer.

A number of these items should be done by a professional Novel Care HVAC or air conditioning technician such as any work on the condenser and other sensitive internal air conditioner components.

Save On Air Conditioning Costs With This Intuitive List

  1. Simply put ceiling fans can save you money as long as they’re blowing air down. They take up much less energy than running an air conditioner and have a cooling effect on your skin.
  2. Close off the lower levels of your home. If you have a basement door keep it closed. This will ensure that cool air from your air conditioner doesn’t pool in the basement of your home.
  3. Seal up your home. When windows and doors are allowing air to move in and out and leak they’re not just letting warm air in they’re letting cool air out, which means your air conditioner is working harder than it needs to.
  4. Have your condenser professionally cleaned every year. This isn’t something that should be done by the homeowner but it’s a fairly simple part of any HVAC technician’s annual maintenance checklist.
  5. Ensure that no bushes, trees, or other shrubbery or debris is blocking your air conditioner from venting properly.
  6. Seasonal service appointment from a professional are essential to ensuring that small issues don’t become large expensive costs.
  7. Turn off your air conditioner and open your doors and windows when evenings and morning are cool and refreshing.
  8. Turn your thermostat up during the night-time or when you’re away on vacation.
  9. If your air conditioner is an older model or on its last legs and you’re holding on for dear life because you don’t want the expense of replacing it you’re probably costing yourself money. Newer air conditioners are much more efficient and will save you money on your energy bills every month. A newer air conditioner can save you up to 60% on an annual basis.
  10. Keep doors and windows covered during the day or when you’re not home. The sun can heat up your home in the summer, which means your air conditioner has to work harder to keep it cool.
  11. Keep your vents and duct system clean and clear of all furniture and appliances. This ensures airflow throughout your home is optimized.
  12. Check the filters in your HVAC system and replace them as often as necessary to keep air moving easily through your vents and ductwork.
  13. Shading your condenser from the sun can help it run more efficiently, but it’s important to ensure that whatever is shading it isn’t impeding airflow.
  14. Don’t place lamps or other heat sources near your thermostat. This can cause your thermostat to operate under the impression that it’s warmer in your home than it actually is. As a result your air conditioner will run when it shouldn’t be.
  15. Is your attic properly ventilated? Allowing hot summer air out of your attic can significantly reduce the amount of heat in your home. This can also reduce the wear and tear on your roof and shingles.

Implementing these simple tips to optimize your home’s air conditioning can save you and your family hundreds of dollars in energy costs. For more information about saving money on your energy bills for professional air conditioning services contact Novel Care today: 647-547-4049