How to Stay Cool During the Heatwave

With summer upon us, the heat seems like it is here to stay! Of course, a heatwave may drive the temperatures up to the point of discomfort — making us all a little irritable and tired. Thankfully, we have some tips on how to manage the high temps for some relief. 

  1) Stay hydrated

This should go without saying, but everyone needs a little reminder now and then. Drink water — especially in the summer! If you’re spending the day outdoors, whether it be at work or on the beach, the number one priority is to avoid heat stroke. Drinking lots of water throughout the day will help keep your body temperature low. Tip: If you’re going to be outside all day, put your water bottle in the freezer and let it melt throughout the day for an ice cold beverage.

2) Keep your window dressings closed during the day

Here’s an easy to save on your energy bill… keeping your windows and blinds closed! During the day, the sun can increase the temperatures inside your home. Keeping blinds and curtains drawn to block out the sun is simple and effective way to keep the heat out of your home. If you want to maintain some light throughout your home, then only cover up the the south facing parts of your home where the sun is hitting the hardest. This helps your air conditioning unit work more efficiently too.   

3) Don’t turn on the oven

It may seem difficult because we know baking, roasting or broiling is simple, but turning your oven on in the dead of summer is one of the quickest ways to heat up your home. Plus, that heat hangs around in the air and can make it difficult to drop the temperature even after the meal is made. Try preparing meals on the stovetop or the barbecue instead, or focus on cold meals that require little in the way of cooking. 

4) Regularly replace your filters

Keep an eye on the filters in your air conditioner. Maintaining your filters can keep energy costs low, and prevent dust and mold from circulating around your home. Most importantly, your filters are what keep your air conditioner or central air system running efficiently. In the summer, if the filters on your air conditioner are dirty or haven’t been checked in a while, the chances are your A/C unit is not doing its job. In general, you should check your filters once and month and replace them every two to three months. 

5) Get maintenance done on your HVAC systems yearly

Simply put, the best way to ensure your air conditioner is going to work efficiently this summer is by getting regular maintenance check-ups. As noted before, you should replace your filters every few months. You should also be sure to call your HVAC technician for the things you can’t do yourself! Regular maintenance will help prevent allergens, bacteria and molds from spreading throughout your home. These check-ups will also prevent any potential breakdowns of your A/C unit, because no one wants to go through this heatwave without any A/C at all! 

Contact Afterglow to ensure your home isn’t overheating this summer. You can count on us for honest, professional service to keep your home comfortable and a low-pressure sales team to answer all your questions. For service emergencies, call 519-747-7732 for a guaranteed response time of four hours or less.

DIY Do Nots – Why You Need Your HVAC Technician

There’s a YouTube tutorial for virtually anything these days. But watching a “How-To” video on HVAC repairs doesn’t make you an expert. Although it would be nice to keep your costs down by doing the work yourself, no matter how many videos you watch — you still won’t be as good as a trained professional! 

Here are three reasons why you should never conduct HVAC installations and repairs by yourself:

1) Special equipment is a must 

You can’t fix everything with a hammer and nails — or a bit of duct tape! There are specific tools required to accurately identify and fix HVAC repair problems. One wrong tool can completely destroy your unit — HVAC technicians are trained extensively to use these tools and technologies.

2) No license? That’s a problem 

As previously stated, HVAC technicians are highly trained. HVAC repairs are complex, and often require precise calculations to reflect the size of your home’s HVAC unit. If these calculations do not add up, there could be significant damage caused to both your unit and potentially your home. 

3) You can potentially endanger yourself and your family

As grim as it sounds, an amateur job poses the risk of severe injury or death. It should go without saying that working with flammables, refrigerants, high electrical voltage and toxic fumes is not for your average Joe or Jane. A standard WHMIS training session won’t cut it. An insufficient fix can still cause a fire or release of carbon monoxide into your home. 

So, what can you do by yourself?

While you should leave the big jobs up to the professionals, you can still do some regular check ups yourself. For example, you should be checking and cleaning your filters regularly to ensure the air quality in your home is high. Failure to clean your filters will result in your unit overworking itself, which will lead to larger repair problems. 

Secondly, you should be checking the batteries for your carbon monoxide detector frequently to make sure your home is safe from poisonous gas.

Stay safe and hire a professional for your home’s HVAC maintenance. Contact Afterglow for honest, professional service to keep your home comfortable. For service emergencies, call 519-747-7732 for a guaranteed response time of four hours or less.

5 Things to Do to Get Fresh Air in KW This Summer

After being cooped up in the house from all the rain this spring, it’s time to transition from cool days spent indoors to the promise of better weather and sunny skies with great outdoor activities. Afterglow has you covered with five things to do in KW to get fresh air this season:

Image courtesy of: http://www.thehydrocut.ca

1) Hydrocut Trails

The Hydrocut Trails with over 30km of combined 26 trails, KW’s Hydrocut Trails is one of the top mountain bike riding locations in Ontario. The trails are free to use and have a variation of novice, intermediate, and expert trails — fun for everyone, even the kids! Owned and operated by the Waterloo Cycling Club, there are different rides each week ranging from ladies rides, to novice rides, to skills rides. The trails are a great way to take in the summer air while trying your hand at something new.

Image courtesy of: Twitter @ParkMoviesKW

2) Movies in the Park at Waterloo Park

Every Summer, Princess Cinemas teams up with The Beat Goes on to present free movies in the park in July and August. Attendees are encouraged to bring a donation for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region. What better way to get fresh air than by watching a movie in the great outdoors and contributing to a good cause? Stay tuned to the @ParkMoviesKW Twitter account for screening dates.

Image courtesy of: The Cord

3) Picnic in Victoria Park

If you’re looking for a free and fun way to spend some quality time with your friends and family, then fill your cooler up with snacks and beverages, grab a big blanket, and head on over to Victoria Park for a delicious afternoon in Kitchener’s oldest and most beautiful park. Once you’re done eating, you can head on over to the man-made lake and watch the geese swim or enjoy the live music playing at the historic Boathouse.

Image courtesy of: Explore Waterloo Region

4) St. Jacob’s Farmer’s Market

Every Thursday and Saturday, take a stroll around the St. Jacob’s Farmer’s Market where you can purchase local produce, delectable meats and cheeses, baked goods and more. Even if you don’t want to cash out, you can always enjoy the atmosphere. The vendors and the aromas of all the delicious foods alone will make you want to stay all day.

Image courtesy of Herrle’s

5) Strawberry Picking at Herrle’s

10 acres of fresh strawberries ready for picking, all in the open air! Come to Herrle’s in mid-June when strawberry picking season is at its peak. The best times for berry picking are early morning or evening when temperatures are cooler. Visit Herrle’s website for more information on the best practices for strawberry picking and for updates on season opening dates.

Contact Afterglow to ensure the air quality in your home is as fresh as it is outside! You can count on us for honest, professional service to keep your home comfortable and a low-pressure sales team to answer all your questions. For service emergencies, call 519-747-7732 for a guaranteed response time of four hours or less.

Common mistakes when transitioning from Winter to Spring

It’s easy to get excited about the warmer weather but forgetting to properly transition your home from winter to spring can quickly disrupt your fun in the sun. Before you completely push the winter months out of your mind, it is important to know the common mistakes made when transitioning from season to season. Luckily, Afterglow knows the top three most common mistakes you should avoid to ensure you and your home are completely ready for a beautiful spring season.

Mistake #1 – Assume everything is fine

One of the most common mistakes when transitioning from season to season is assuming everything is in good shape simply because you checked it at the end of the last season. In reality, the opposite is true, especially between winter and spring. To get your house ready for the wet spring weather, you’ll first need to assess the extent of the damage caused by the ice and snow. A quick, basic inspection includes checking the gutters and roof for any damage, verifying that all the pipes made it through the cold without breaking, and ensuring that windows and doors are still properly sealed to prevent your heating/cooling bills from increasing.

Mistake #2 – Assume that snow is the only thing collecting in the gutters

If you cleaned your gutters before winter began there shouldn’t be a lot to clean out now, but it’s still important to check on them. At the base of the gutters clean up any twigs, leaves or other debris that may have gathered over the winter so it will be able to flow correctly. If there’s any remaining ice you can add some ice melt tablets or de-icing salt to get it running and make sure that they are flowing properly to prevent flooding. If gutters are clogged, water will overflow onto or into the house and also will be trapped in the gutter after rain. This moisture will cause rot in wood fascia and soffit boards (the wood near where gutters are attached).

Mistake #3 – Forgetting to check vents and filters

Your new motto is: if it has a screen, it should be cleaned!

All winter, any exterior ventilation has been closed off by snow, ice or your run-of-the-mill yard debris. Cleaning these areas will help them start the drying out process by allowing the spring airflow to come through. Vents can usually be found under the eaves and around the base of the home. Mend or replace broken screens and remove any debris that may block it. Another important vent to check is the dryer vent which should be cleaned or replaced every six months or it could overheat and start a fire. Finally, clean (or replace) the filters for your A/C unit so you don’t run into any hiccups in the middle of a heat wave this year!

Contact Afterglow for your Spring-prep needs! You can count on us for honest, professional service to keep your home comfortable and a low-pressure sales team to answer all your questions. For  service emergencies, call 519-747-7732 for a guaranteed response time of four hours or less.

Preparing Your Home For Spring

Spring has sprung, Waterloo Region! The sun is shining, the snow is melting and it’s time to not only transition your wardrobe, but your home as well! With warmer weather on the horizon, it is important to follow Afterglow’s steps for a quick check-up to make sure you can enjoy the sun without any looming potential-headaches.

Go for a walk (around your house)

During the winter months, the exterior of your home will be exposed to more potential damage than the inside so this is where your check-up should start! Walk around your home and examine caulking around the outside of windows and doors. You should also open those windows and doors and examine the weather stripping. Replace old or cracking caulk and worn weather stripping where necessary to prevent drafts and increased HVAC bills.

Clear the gutters

While you’re walking around your home, you should also take a second lap to check your gutters! Loose or leaky gutters can lead to improper drainage, which can result in water seeping into your basement or crawl space. Finally, make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris.

Double check the AC unit

Nothing is worse than when the first heat wave hits and you realize your AC unit has been damaged during the winter. Before the heat is here to stay, contact your local qualified heating and cooling contractor to clean and service your outside unit of the air conditioning system. When the AC unit has clean coils it will operate more efficiently.

Out with the old, in with the new!

With so much more sunlight filling your home, it’s easier to see just how much dust has settled throughout the winter. One thing that may not visibly need cleaning and is easily overlooked is the indoor air quality. Springtime means the return of airborne allergens such as pollen and mold spores, which can cause a lot of unpleasant allergy-related symptoms. Open up your windows to let the stale air out and the fresh air in! Afterglow can also provide maintenance on your air ventilation systems to ensure you and your family is breathing in only the freshest air.

Contact Afterglow for your Spring-prep needs! You can count on us for honest, professional service to keep your home comfortable and a low-pressure sales team to answer all your questions. For service emergencies, call 519-747-7732 for a guaranteed response time of four hours or less.

1 of 38123...Last »