Haven Home ClimateCare is a family owned and operated business with Bob McMullen at the helm. He’s been in the heating and cooling business since 1972 when he took his apprenticeship in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning at George Brown College in Toronto. They are qualified to provide and answer a wide range of technical information.
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 PumpHeat 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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.