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When thinking about heating and cooling needs for your home, the question of heat pumps vs ACs is commonly asked. Specifically, you are interested in the differences between each system and how to know which is best for your home.

Both these systems have benefits. Your budget and your home’s individual heating and cooling needs will determine which system will work best for you.

Heat Pumps vs ACs: How They Work

The difference between a heat pump and air conditioner is rather straightforward. Both systems are a type of ‘heat pump’ as they transfer heat from the inside of your home to the outside, cooling the inside temperatures. Both systems also use a refrigerant system.

The only real difference between heat pumps and air conditioners is that a heat pump can reverse itself to transfer heat from outside, raising indoor temperatures and thus, providing heating when needed. The heat pump does this by utilizing a reversing valve built into the compressor.

Air conditioners, on the other hand, can only pump heat in one direction – outside of your home, keeping the inside cool.

The Benefits of a Heat Pump Heat pumps:
  • Have a higher upfront cost but are more energy efficient than other systems and can help you save on your energy costs over time
  • Are safer than combustion-based heating systems
  • Usually offer up to fifteen years of reliable service
  • Can reverse the process of transferring heat to cool or heat your home, depending on the season
  • Require less regular maintenance than other systems
  • Are available in compact systems and can be a good choice if you have an issue with space
  • Improve indoor air quality by reducing dust and other allergens present in the environment
  • Are often considered a form of renewable energy. There are sometimes government funds available to help with the installation of renewable heat systems. Ask the team at Haven Home ClimateCare about eligible programs in your area.

The Benefits of Air Conditioners Air Conditioners:
  • Give you a cool, comfortable home in the summer
  • Cost less upfront
  • Are a good choice if you already have a good working furnace and only need a cooling option (rather than a system that will heat and cool your home)
  • Are compact and can be a good choice if you have an issue with space
  • Can last on average between fifteen to twenty years
  • Improve indoor air quality by reducing dust and other allergens present in the environment.
Which Option is Right for You?

When it comes to choosing between a heat pump or air conditioner there are a lot of factors to consider. Your best bet is to get an expert opinion and find the right system for you. Contact Haven Home ClimateCare for all your heating and cooling needs.

The post Heat Pumps vs ACs: Which System is Right for You? appeared first on Haven Home ClimateCare.

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As a first-time homeowner, it can be overwhelming to keep track of all the components of your home that require regular attention, including your air conditioner. Knowing what the ideal temperature is for your air conditioner, what an energy-saving temperature looks like and what your AC should be set at during the summer are just some common considerations.

Our fact sheet for first time homeowners will help you get up to speed on everything you need to know about your air conditioner. As a homeowner, you will need to continuously maintain your air conditioner over the years and you may want to choose a more efficient air conditioner to keep your repair and utility costs low.

You also might be curious about how to save energy with your air conditioner or how to choose the most energy-efficient air conditioner. We’ll go over all of this here.

What Do SEER and Sound Ratings Mean?

When looking at air conditioners, you’ll run across the terms SEER and Sound Ratings. What are they?

SEER is the seasonal efficiency ratio. It indicates how efficiently your air conditioner will run. The higher the SEER number the more efficient the air conditioner. Keep this mind especially if you are searching for a new air conditioner and want to save energy and money.

Sound ratings are pretty straightforward. This figure describes how loud the air conditioner will be while it’s running. Sound is measured in decibels, or dB. Larger air conditioners will be louder, of course, but generally a Sound Rating in the mid or low 70s is excellent so keep those numbers in mind as well when looking at your air conditioner.

What’s an Energy Saving Temperature for ACs?

Your AC temperature setting in the summer can have a big impact on your home’s energy usage. You want to be comfortable, but also save on energy costs. What’s a good number to achieve both goals?

Most homeowners in Ontario want their air conditioner set to 22° C in the summer. A change by one or two degrees will make a big impact on your energy bills. In fact, setting your AC for 24° C can save you up to ten percent on your air conditioning costs.

If that’s too warm for you, you can try making higher temperatures more comfortable by lowering the humidity in your home with a dehumidifier.

What are Signs an Air Conditioner Needs Maintenance?

If you haven’t owned an air conditioner before, you may not know what is normal air conditioner operation and what might indicate it needs maintenance or repair.

Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Dripping or leaking: Air conditioners should never leak or drip, that’s a sign they aren’t working efficiently.
  • New noise: On a hot day, you might think the air conditioner is louder because it’s working harder. Actually, any change in noise is a sign your air conditioner needs to be fixed.
  • Less air flow: If the cold air doesn’t seem to be reaching as far as it once did, your air conditioner’s fan may be broken.

All of these are things to watch out for and call a certified technician to take a look at. Also keep in mind that it’s recommended to have your air conditioner serviced at least once a year even if you don’t think there are any problems with it. This helps to ensure that it continues to run smoothly for years to come.

What is the Air Conditioner’s Warranty?

All new air conditioners come with a manufacturer warranty which usually ranges from five to ten years. Make sure to check out the warranty on your unit for the coverage term and which components are covered. If you don’t know whether there’s an existing warranty on your AC, look for the label on its exterior for the manufacturer date. A technician can also help you verify the warranty status.

We encourage you to print off this first-time homeowner’s fact sheet as a reminder of what to look for when you’re choosing or maintaining your air conditioner. Contact us at Haven Home if you need a new energy-efficient air conditioner, or need help with repairs or maintenance for the air conditioner in your new home.

The post What to Consider About Air Conditioners for First Time Homeowners appeared first on Haven Home ClimateCare.

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So, you bought a new house with an old fireplace. You are probably wondering what to do with it. Should you replace it? Remove it? Fix it?

This can be a difficult decision and if you haven’t dealt with fireplaces before, it may be tough to decide where to start. Here are some factors to consider so that you are aware of all your options and have the information you need to make the right decision.

The Pros and Cons of a Fireplace

One of the difficult aspects of wood burning fireplaces is that they offer both pros and cons. They create a beautiful ambience with crackling logs and warm flames, and work when the power is out, but they also create a fire hazard and require frequent maintenance that’s often messy and inconvenient (such as chimney sweeping).

One of the first things you should ask yourself is if the advantages of a fireplace outweigh the disadvantages. If the answer to this question is “yes,” repairing it is the right decision. If the answer is “no,” you may want to consider removing it altogether or replacing it with an alternative option.

 What are Your Alternative Options?

If you enjoy the idea of a fireplace but do not like the idea of open flames, there are several alternative options that you can replace your wood burning fireplace with. These include electric and gas options. Some of the advantages of electric and gas fireplaces include increased safety, enjoyable ambience, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability.

If you have decided that you do not want a fireplace in your home at all, removing it entirely is an option. You can remove the fireplace from your home and fill the space in with drywall as if it never existed!

What is the Difference in Cost?

A lot of factors contribute to the cost of the removing, replacing or fixing a fireplace. A qualified HVAC technician from Haven Home ClimateCare will be able to help you explore the cost differences. Give us a call for advice on your unique situation.

Typically speaking, the cost of removing or replacing will be higher than repairing. Having said that, the maintenance costs and cost of wood can add up over the years too, so it is important to consider all these factors when making a final decision.

The post Are You a New Home Owner? Here’s What You Need to Know Before Replacing a Fireplace appeared first on Haven Home ClimateCare.

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There’s a lot of misinformation out there about how a high efficiency furnace works. Before you purchase one or change the filter, find out how your furnace really works.

Bigger Isn’t Better

It’s critical to choose just the right furnace size.  An undersized furnace, of course, can’t pump out enough heat to keep your home at your desired temperature in the winter.

However, few people realize a furnace that is too large is a problem as well. Over-sized furnaces will be inefficient, using more energy than needed. A furnace that’s too large will also switch on and off more frequently than a properly sized furnace. As a result, there is more wear and tear on the parts of the furnace involved in ignition, resulting in a shorter service life.

Talk to your HVAC professionals to ensure you’re choosing a furnace that is the right size for your home and climate. In the end, a properly sized furnace will be the most cost-effective choice.

The Banging Noise Isn’t Normal

Your furnace may have made a banging noise every time it’s turned on ever since it was installed, but that noise isn’t safe. It’s either from ducts nearby that are too small for your furnace size, or it’s an ignition roll-out, where the gas builds up before the furnace turns on. This problem is dangerous and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.

There are other noises your furnace may make that you shouldn’t ignore:

  • Rumbling noise
  • Rattling noise
  • Booming noise
  • Grinding noise
  • High-pitched whistle noise.

Don’t Close the Vents!

Some people have heard that closing the vents to their unused rooms will block the hot air from entering the room and therefore push more hot air into the other rooms of the house. However, most furnaces can detect the pressure imbalance that closed vents cause.

As a result, it will work harder to push more air through the closed vents. This causes wear and tear on the furnace and the duct system. In the end, closing the vents will use up more energy, raising your utility bills.

Turning Up the Thermostat Won’t Heat Your Home Faster

Your furnace always heats your home to your desired temperature as quickly as it can, even high efficiency furnaces. Turning up your desired temperature won’t result in faster warmth. If you need your home to be warmer faster, you can get a smart thermostat to heat your home up for you. The Ecobee thermostat, for example, will heat up your home while you’re on your way home (even if you’re coming home early).

If you have more questions about how your furnace works, or why it doesn’t, you can reach out to us at Haven Home ClimateCare.

The post How Does a High Efficiency Furnace Work? appeared first on Haven Home ClimateCare.

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Haven Home ClimateCare by Haven Home Climatecare - 8M ago

You wouldn’t expose yourself to cigarette smoke, so don’t allow radon to collect in your home.

What’s the connection? Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer, right after cigarette smoke.

Unlike the latter, radon doesn’t have a smell, doesn’t have a taste and can’t be seen, but it’s still a health risk.

The Dangers of Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring gas produced by uranium deposits in the ground or water.

Just like uranium, radon is radioactive and increases your risk of cancer. In fact, if you breathe radon in regularly it will damage your lungs and may cause cancer.

Normally, radon is released outdoors where it will dissipate and do no harm.

However, radon may get trapped in homes built on top of uranium deposits, or in homes that are built on top of ground water that carries radon.

In either scenario, the gas can enter your home in a few different ways:

  • Cracks in the foundation or floor slabs
  • Service pipes
  • Construction joints
  • Support posts
  • Window casements
  • Sump pumps
  • Floor drains.

Radon Testing

The only way to know for sure if your home has high levels of radon is to have a certified radon testing professional conduct a test.

Haven Home ClimateCare is part of the largest network of these professional radon testers.  All our experts are trained and certified by the National Radon Proficiency Program, which is run by the National Environment and Health Association.

What’s involved in radon testing?
  • Radon is a long-term threat, so a radon testing professional needs to get a long-term sample of the levels in your home.
  • It will take three months to collect the sample. From that, the radon testing professional will calculate your yearly average radon exposure.
  • If it’s dangerously high, they will suggest ways you can reduce your radon exposure.
How to Reduce Radon

The best strategy to reduce your radon exposure will depend on how it is entering your home. If you have cracks in the foundation or floor slab, fixing these issues can reduce your radon burden.

However, as discussed earlier there are many other ways radon can enter your home. One solution works no matter how the radon gets in, and that’s a ventilation system called Active Soil Depressurization (ASD).

This ventilation system sucks air and radon from where the gas collects in the ground below your home and releases it outside. For this system to be installed, the installation specialist will drill a hole in your basement floor.

But don’t worry – this system doesn’t interact with the air in your home, so it won’t increase your heating or cooling costs. The whole point of this system is to allow the radon to escape outside before it can enter your home.

Radon Testing from Haven Home ClimateCare

At Haven Home ClimateCare, we can determine if you are at risk from radon exposure in your home. Reach out to us to schedule a radon test today to keep your family safe and healthy.

The post November is Radon Awareness Month appeared first on Haven Home ClimateCare.

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Haven Home ClimateCare by Haven Home Climatecare - 11M ago

A big part of back-to-school prep is getting your family and home for the cold days coming with things like:

  • Buying new winter jackets.
  • Bringing in the lawn furniture.
  • Cleaning out your gutters.

Equally important is having Haven Home ClimateCare perform seasonal care on your furnace.

It’s crucial to give your furnace a precision tune-up before the winter weather hits and ensure it’s running at peak performance, reliably keeping your house warm and reducing energy bills.

And regular WeCare furnace maintenance will also prolong the life of your unit and put more money back in your pocket.

Precision tune-up checklist

The tune-up performed on your furnace by your Haven Home ClimateCare furnace expert includes things like:

  • Clearing out or replacing the air filter.
  • Cleaning and repairing the combustion chamber.
  • Assessing and tightening electrical and gas connections.
  • Cleaning and repairing the blower compartment.
  • Washing or lubricating all moving parts, including motor and blower-shaft bearings.
  • Checking that safety switches and thermostat are operating properly.
  • Cleaning condensate from the drain line.

This ensures your furnace is ready for whatever Old Man Winter can throw at it.

Don’t have a WeCare Maintenance Plan for your furnace? Here’s why you should get one

If you’re mechanically inclined, you might be able to do some of these tasks yourself.

But some tasks – such as anything to do with electrical components – are best left to the trained professionals at Haven Home ClimateCare.

With the right maintenance plan for your needs, you’ll extend the lifespan of your furnace, save on energy costs, and enjoy total piece of mind knowing your plan will:

  • Reduce the likelihood of emergency calls or repairs.
  • Ensure that you get prompt service, 24/7.
  • Get you the professional service the original manufacturer recommends.
  • Provide a comprehensive service record maintained on all equipment.
  • Give you planned rebates and specials you can take advantage of.
  • Provide added value such as paying no extra premium for emergency overtime.
Need a new furnace before winter arrives? Replace your old furnace with a high-efficiency one

If your furnace is ancient and racking up repair energy bills, it may be time to replace it, through One Payment. Zero Worries. from Haven Home ClimateCare.

Starting at $58.95/month, you can bring an ENERGY STAR® rated ClimateCare furnace into your home and be worry-free knowing that:

  • You get a 12 year parts and labour warranty.
  • Regularly scheduled maintenance is included.
  • Your monthly payments will never go up.
  • You enjoy total ownership of your furnace.

Once properly installed, your new high-efficiency furnace can pay for itself in savings in approximately the first four years of use.

Additionally, our technicians follow a regular training schedule, keeping Haven Home ClimateCare at the leading edge of technology.

If you buy a new high-efficiency furnace, our technicians are already familiar with the manufacturer’s specified method of installation and the best practices, which other contractors won’t know.

Schedule your fall furnace precision tune-up today

This is an incredibly busy time of year. The kids are starting another school year and your family is transitioning into a back-to-school routine.

And before you know it, Thanksgiving and the holiday season will soon be here.

You’ll enjoy incredible peace of mind knowing it’s done and your furnace is ready for whatever Old Man Winter has in store.

And if you want even more peace of mind, keep your furnace in tip-top shape all year long with a WeCare Maintenance Plan tailored for you.

The post Back to School: Furnace Care 101 appeared first on Haven Home ClimateCare.

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It’s summer at Haven Home ClimateCare.

The kids are out of school and you’ve got a well-deserved vacation coming up.

Like many families in Kingston and surrounding areas, you might opt to remain local and enjoy a staycation.

If you’re planning to stay close to home this summer – but still want to escape – here are some of terrific day trips you can enjoy in and around the Kingston area.

Fort Henry

Take a short drive to Fort Henry to discover what life was like in the 1800s, long before things like televisions and air conditioners.

Unlike other historical attractions, Fort Henry gets the whole family involved with activities like:

  • Rifle firing: The weapon of choice at Fort Henry was the Snider Enfield Rifle. Train with a soldier before putting one in your hands, taking aim, and pulling the trigger.
  • Victorian school: What was school like in 1867? Take a seat inside an authentic classroom from the era and get ready to learn from the schoolmaster or schoolmistress.
  • Garrison parade: Thundering drums announce the start of garrison parade, where artillery weapons and infantry troops perform duties and maneuvers.

Before heading home for the night, make certain to catch the Sunset ceremony. Drummers, drill soldiers, and musicians demonstrate how the end of each military day was celebrated.

Just remember to bring good shoes, since there’s so much to see, do, and explore.

1000 Islands Helicopter Tour

If you’re looking for something more breathtaking, drive east towards Gananoque and see the 1000 Islands like never before.

As you take to the skies, your pilot will explain what you’re looking at and the history behind it.

There are multiple tours for you to choose from:

  • 1000 Islands: According to Wikipedia, there are 1,864 islands in the area. And you’ll get a birds-eye view of them all.
  • Boldt Castle: Located on Heart Island, Boldt Castle was the personal residence of George Boldt. It was originally intended as a gift to his wife, who died before it was completed.
  • Seaway Tour: In addition to Boldt Castle, you’ll also fly above Singer Castle, the shipwrecks of the Pentland and F.A. Georger, the Sisters Lighthouse, and the 1000 Islands Parkway.
  • Kingston Tour: Fly over the city of Kingston and all its notable landmarks. Who knows: You might even get to see your own house.

Can’t decide on a single helicopter tour? Get the ultimate tour and see it all.

Just remember to bring your camera.

Frontenac Provincial Park

Frontenac Provincial Park gives you the best of both worlds: A natural getaway that’s close by.

It’s the perfect place to pack a picnic, spend a day, and enjoy fresh air quality surrounded by majestic trees, lakes, and waterways.

If hiking if your thing, Frontenac Provincial Park is full of trails to challenge hikers of all levels:

  • Arab Lake Gorge Trail (1.5km).
  • Doe Lake Trail (3km).
  • Slide Lake Loop (21 km).

As well, part of the 387km Rideau Trail runs through the southern area of the park.

Now, if you’re looking to check out some wildlife, Frontenac Provincial Park is home to animals such as:

  • Grey wolves.
  • Black bears.
  • Red foxes.
  • Minks.
  • Otters.
  • White-tailed deer.

Just remember to bring your binoculars and not get too close.

Watertown, NY

If you don’t mind crossing the border, Watertown is a quaint little city (population 27,000) that’s just over an hour away.

Once you’re there, there’s plenty to check out:

  • New York State Zoo at Thompson Park: This large zoo is the home of many animals native to New York State, such as bison, elk, lynx, bobcats, and more.
  • Salmon Run Mall: Love to shop? Salmon Run Mall features many stores that are exclusive to the US, such as Dressbarn, JC Penney, and Justice.
  • Fort Drum: Home to the 10th Mountain Division, you can check out historical monuments, military vehicles, and enjoy great dining too.

From nature to history, shopping to dining, there’s plenty to see and do in Fort Drum.

Just remember to bring your passport.

When you get home, stay cool and comfortable

The weather this summer is expected to be perfect for day tripping all over Kingston.

But when it’s time to come home, you want to set foot inside a reliable and efficient home cooling system.

Haven Home ClimateCare can help with:

Contact us with any comments or questions you have. You can also schedule a service visit to ensure your AC is ready for summer.

The post Great Day Trips In and Around Kingston appeared first on Haven Home ClimateCare.

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