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Understanding Your Commercial HVAC System

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At their core, commercial HVAC systems aren’t all that different from the equipment that heats and cools your house. These critical systems control the indoor temperature to ensure our comfort all year round. But they also but bring in air from the outside, and expel indoor air. On top of it all, commercial HVAC systems are expected to use energy efficiently while they keep us comfortable!

To understand what’s involved in caring for a commercial HVAC system, it’s important to comprehend the requirements of the system.

Consider Heating and Cooling Needs During Construction

Virtually all of the most common complaints of the occupants of commercial buildings relate to the temperature and indoor air quality of their high-rise home or workplace.

People on low floors are wearing sweaters in the summer while people on the high levels are wearing as little as decency allows in the winter. Occupants just above a restaurant are complaining of cooking smells at every time of year. To prevent all of these protests, the best time to thoroughly consider the heating, cooling and ventilation needs of a commercial structure is during construction.

The comfort and safety of building occupants should be given at least as much consideration as any other element of building construction. Having said that, it’s never too late to consider changes and upgrades to a building’s heating and cooling systems.

Commercial HVAC Maintenance

The required maintenance of a commercial HVAC system will depend on the type of system that is in use. Property managers are well-served by understanding the terminology of commercial heating and cooling systems, such as:

  • Heat Pumps
  • Roof Top or Packaged Units
  • Water Source Heat Pumps or One-Pipe Systems
  • Direct Expansion (DX) Systems
  • Chillers
  • Heaters (gas, oil, coal, wood, radiant heat)
  • Fans and Ventilation

Each system and element of the overall system has its own expected lifespan and recommended maintenance cycle. For example, a heat pump is relatively inexpensive, but it can generally only be expected to last 6 to 8 years with proper care; whereas a rooftop unit is more expensive, but lasts longer. Your budget and total square footage will both be important factors in making informed decisions about climate control.

Far too many people think that the commercial HVAC system is the responsibility of “someone else.” If “someone else” means you, as a Kelowna property owner or manager, we can help. Call us today to arrange an inspection of your commercial HVAC system.

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Renovating? Make Sure Your Furnace is Ready!

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In the ongoing real estate boom in B.C., the average home price in Kelowna increased by 10% last year, and it appears the sky just may be the limit to housing prices. This is great news for your investment, but if you’re hoping to upsize your current home, it can pose a bit of a challenge.

That’s why more and more people are turning to renovations to get more out of their current home. If you are planning an addition or a significant renovation, don’t forget about your furnace. It may be worthwhile to consider an upgrade of your HVAC system at the same time.

More Space = More Heating Demands

If your furnace was installed by a qualified heating contractor, then there is no doubt they took the overall square footage of your home into account when recommending the size of the heating and cooling systems for the space. If you are renovating an area in your home that was previously not in much use, like the basement or the attic, your old furnace and air conditioner may not be properly balanced for the new, larger space.

The investment in a new home comfort system may not be one you planned for when you decided to renovate your home, but it’s one you will quickly come to appreciate.

The Perfect Time for a New Heating Source

If you have an older heating system, or you’re still using electric baseboard heaters, upgrading to a forced-air gas system is a huge undertaking. Unless… The house is already stripped virtually bare as it undergoes a significant renovation project. In fact, a major renovation is a perfect time to consider another type of heating system. Once again, it’s not an inexpensive proposition, but it will certainly have a positive influence on your home’s resale value.

As an added bonus, if you make the switch now, you can enjoy the whole-home comfort that comes with central air conditioning this summer. You may never leave the house again!

 

Our HVAC specialists want to make sure your Kelowna home is a cozy place to be at any time of year. Contact us for an evaluation of your heating and cooling equipment, especially when you are planning a major home renovation project. We can help you come up with a heating and cooling plan that works well in your new space.

energy_savings

BC Energy Savings Programs

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The Weather Network is calling for a mild winter for most of Canada this year. That’s a bummer for the skiers and snowboarders among us, but it’s fantastic news for cash-strapped homeowners!

Before we get too excited and start spending all the money, this mild winter is going to save, know that it’s expected to change in the latter part of the season. To help you stretch those savings a little further, know that there are energy rebate programs that can help.

Check out Savings and Rebate Programs

Sometimes people wonder why government rebate programs to improve energy efficiency exist. The simple answer is that in addition to costing extra money for homeowners, unnecessary energy demands are not great for the environment.

Thankfully, there are rebates available for a few different products and projects that can help Kelowna homeowners save on electricity bills, such as:

  • Eligible ENERGY STAR® appliances purchased within the last 60 days;
  • A selection of programmable timers for outdoor lights;
  • Rebates for home renovations, like insulation upgrades, that improve energy efficiency.

Even in a warmer than average winter, home heating costs can really take a toll on the household budget. Energy rebate programs can provide a little relief for us all.

Service or Replace the Furnace

Whether or not it’s covered by a rebate program, you need to take good care of your furnace to keep it running safely and efficiently. A service call for the furnace is something every homeowner should work into their annual home maintenance schedule. Well-maintained HVAC systems work better and, therefore, cost less to run than those that have fallen into disrepair. They’re also less likely to breakdown on the coldest day of the year.

Sometimes, an annual service call just won’t cut it for your furnace. There are times when you have to give total replacement some serious consideration. While replacing the HVAC system is an expensive proposition, know that modern heating and cooling units are more energy efficient than ever before. You may be pleasantly surprised by the comfortable temperatures in your home – and your lower utility bills!

Our HVAC specialists in Kelowna want to work with you to keep your home’s temperature comfortable at every time of year. Give us a call to discuss the best option to make your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

furnace and heating costs

Cut Heating Costs

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4 Ways to Cut Heating Costs

Nobody can control the weather, so you have to do what you can to make your home comfortable when it’s blustery outside. But with the changing of the season comes a whole new worry for homeowners in the Okanagan: rising heating costs.

Try these tips to help keep things warm and toasty inside, without breaking the bank.

Dress for the Weather

We know, it’s hard to make the switch from shorts and t-shirts to sweaters and pants, but it has to be done sometime, and it might as well be now.

Consider this: If you can keep the temperature in the house just one degree lower for eight hours, it can reduce your heating costs by one percent. A programmable thermostat that lowers the temperature by 10 degrees when everybody is out at work or school all day can decrease your heating costs by 10%. And you won’t even notice the difference!

Keep Cold Air Out, Warm Air In

Blocking drafts at doorways with a rolled-up towel, and take the time to shrink film over windows this year. These simple tips allow a room to keep an extra 50% of its heat. We’d all like it to stay warmer outside all year, but heat loss from your house is just not the way to make it happen!

Close Vents in Unheated Spaces

Is anyone but the family cat sleeping in the guest room tonight? No? Then you should consider closing the vents. The cat probably won’t mind. You also should do the same for any spaces in the home that are infrequently used, like the laundry room or the dining room if it doesn’t open to the living room. You can always open the vent if you’re going to be using the room for any length of time.

Schedule an Appointment to Service the Furnace

It’s a fact: A well-maintained furnace is an efficient furnace. Something as simple as a good cleaning and replacement filters can help keep your heating costs lower. A furnace that’s not functioning properly can cost you a lot of money, especially when it’s working overtime to keep you warm.

Working with our team of specialists in Kelowna, BC, is one way to make sure you stay warm this winter. Be sure to give us a call for any of your home heating and air conditioning needs.

 

Rooftop AC Units

Summer Air Conditioning

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HVAC Air Conditioner Efficiency Helps You Keep Your Cool!

Ahhhh, summer. The short-lived patio season that we look forward to whenever there’s not enough snow for skiing. There are a lot of things to do to make sure you’re ready to get the most out of the season. Tasks like refilling the propane tank and stocking up on sunscreen are on everyone’s list.

But do you know what’s missing on a lot of “to-do” lists as we head into the hottest months of the year? Making sure the air conditioner is ready to handle the workload!

Air Conditioner Maintenance

Murphy’s Law dictates that if your air conditioner is going to conk out, it will happen during a heatwave, and usually right before you go to bed on the Friday night of a long weekend, just to add insult to injury.

The thing with HVAC systems is that people don’t give them a lot of thought until they’re broken. They’re tucked away in the basement, tirelessly working away to keep the house comfortable all year round. It is a fact that a simple inspection to replace a belt before it snaps, or a hose before it cracks can often be all that’s needed to keep this vital piece of home equipment happy!

Before we’re in the hottest part of the summer season, give some serious consideration to booking a routine maintenance appointment for your air conditioner.

Emergency Air Conditioner Repair

Too late for preventative maintenance? It happens to the best of us, and usually at the worst possible time. In our 20+ years in this business, there isn’t an air conditioner problem we haven’t seen. We have the tools, skills and experience to help cool you off when it gets hot. If you’re in need of an emergency air conditioner repair in and around Kelowna, BC, give us a call and we’ll be on our way.

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