The Blackberry Lazarus

How much abuse can a smartphone take? None, right? Gone are the days of ‘Takes a Licking, Keeps on Ticking’. We are in the age of planned obsolescence. If they make a gadget that will last for decades, you won’t buy another one for decades. So every year you’re replacing one of your major appliances, or your car, computer and of course, cell phone.
Then again, maybe one manufacturer is building something of substantial quality. Take Blackberry, our local titan.
Afterglow’s general manager Stephen was out for a January walk in Monarch woods with his kids, throwing pebbles in the stream. Unfortunately, his Blackberry Torch fell out of his pocket and bounced into the creek. Sadly, the water was too deep and murky to find it. He left the woods without his phone, determined to go back and retrieve it.
Two days later, Stephen took another shot at looking for his Blackberry in the light of day, but this time, the water level was lower. Sure enough, there it was – submerged in the creek. He reached into the icy water and picked it up. Following the wisdom of his father, he put the drowned Torch in a bag of dry rice to absorb the water.
Stephen took the dried Torch to a specialist, only hoping to retrieve his files, but lo and behold, the phone was returned – working!  Stephen’s Blackberry Torch came back to life, and as of three weeks later, it is still going.
We believe that this is a testament to a level of workmanship that is all too rare in this age of planned obsolescence. Afterglow is a proud believer in Blackberry’s secure network and robust construction.
Share your story about a phone coming back from the dead! Comment on this blog and let us know how your phone was resurrected.

FREE FURNACE GIVE-AWAY ANNOUNCED!

The Richardsonʼs receive the gift of

warmth this Christmas!

Heather Richardson started to cry when she opened the door to the Afterglow team in Santa hats. The Richardsonʼs are the winners of the Afterglow Free Furnace Give-Away!

“We were really struck by the Richardsonʼs nomination, they have opened their home and adopted several children. Yet their current furnace wasnʼt heating the upstairs bedrooms. We were determined to fix that.” Said Stephen McDonald, GM of Afterglow.

The entire Afterglow team donated its time and labour. Several industry partners including; Tempstar Heating and Cooling, McKeough Supply and BMC Mechanical donated supplies. A special thank you to Bruce Sweet, Minister at Emmanuel Church for joining the judging committee. The Free Furnace Give-Away is estimated at over $5000.

“Thank you so much,” said Heather Richardson, “and Merry Christmas to all of you”

The old furnace was over 25 years old and was not heating the upstairs bedrooms. It was removed and the new high efficiency furnace was installed. New duct work will help bring heat to the second floor. The Richardsonʼs will now have the gift of warmth this Christmas

It was an emotional day for everyone as the spirit of Christmas was overwhelming. Afterglow employee Chad Pare said, “it IS better to give than to receive! Merry Christmas.”

Have a Merry Christmas!

Blown Softener

Your experience of turning on the faucet and being rewarded with hot water is a daily luxury you probably take for granted.  When the taps yield no heat, it’s easy to assume that there is a problem with the water heater.  In this case study, the innocent tankless water heater is the victim of another appliance’s downfall.

Everybody knows the water in this town is very hard, so water softeners are very common. For tankless water heaters, a softener is pretty much mandatory to prevent lime from clogging them up. Unfortunately, the water softener can fail, and when it does, the problem can disguise itself. The softener’s resin tank let go, and the zeolite – tiny little rubbery plastic beads – was released into the home’s plumbing, which clogged up the water heater.

If you think about how a tankless water heater works, you can imagine how little tiny obstructions make a big problem.  While a conventional tank has a heat exchanger in the middle of a large volume of water, the tankless water heater works on a different principle.  Otherwise known as an on-demand water heater, the tankless water heater warms up cold water as it flows through multiple tiny conduits in the heat exchanger.  If those conduits are blocked by a failed softener’s zeolite, you won’t get any hot water.

While some technicians will rush into a no-hot water situation trying to find the problem with the water heater, Afterglow’s  technicians take a broad view and approach problems systematically.  The homeowner in this situation was lucky to have someone patient, experienced, and smart to diagnose and solve the problem. Call Afterglow when you have a problem and you want to get lucky.

Furnace Giveaway – Thanks for the Submissions!

We closed the nominations for the first annual Afterglow Furnace Giveaway last night at midnight. Thank you to everyone that sent in nominations.  We promise to read every nomination and pick the most suitable candidate.

Over the next week our team will make home checks on the top three and the following weekend we will install a brand new high efficiency furnace in the winner’s home.

This furnace will help the winner in a number of ways. First, an old furnace can be very costly, and a  new furnace will likely knock off up to 30% off the winners gas bill, and provide hydro savings.  A new furnace will heat the house cleaner and greener.  Most importantly, the winner will have a warm Christmas!

Once again, a big thanks to everyone that spread the word!  We were retweeted through the twitter-verse over 40 times.  Thanks to everyone that “liked” us on Facebook and to 570 News for naming me the Good Samaritan of the week! What an honour! And a special thanks to our industry partners for their support, Tempstar Heating and Cooling, McKeough Supply, and BMC Mechanical.

The winner will be announced on December 22nd!

Thanks again.

Stephen McDonald

The Future We Were Promised

Every once in awhile a technological breakthrough happens that changes our lives for the better.  The benchmark of new gadgets was set in 1928 with the invention of the bread-slicing machine. Since then, science and technology have been been promising that a bright, wonderful future and today, Afterglow is proud to offer the greatest thing since sliced bread – the Ecobee thermostat.

The Ecobee Smart thermostat can be controlled remotely with your smartphone or computer. Yes, a thermostat that allows you to monitor what is going on in your home and adjust it while you are away. Sudden change in plans? Save energy by setting back your system from wherever you are. Cold in the bed? Blast the furnace from the safety of your duvet before making the jump to the floor. Live with it for a week and you’ll wonder how you lived without it.

We have become addicted to remote controls. Remember the absurdity of peeling yourself off the couch and slouching up to the television to change the channel every commercial break? Entertainment systems, fireplaces, fans, even my car stereo came with a remote control! Some controls are extraneous, this one is legitimately helpful.

For a demonstration of how the Ecobee Smart thermostat works, and to learn whether your home heating system would be compatible, call Afterglow today!

Helping a Family in Need!

T’is the season!

I’m Stephen McDonald and I’m the General Manger of Afterglow.  We are a local company that offers heating and cooling products and services.  When I started working for the family business years ago, I always tried to find ways that the company could give back to the community.

Today we are launching the Afterglow Furnace Give-away, and I’m really excited to tell you about it.  We will be taking nominations from the community for a family that needs the gift of warmth this winter.  We are donating a high-efficiency furnace and all the installation costs towards this give-away.

Do you know someone that would needs a new furnace?  Please nominate them.  We will consider all the nominations and will announce the winner the weekend before Christmas Day and will install the new furnace on the weekend.  I’m really looking forward to walking up to that home on December 22nd and offering them the gift of warmth this winter.

We are a small local company and would appreciate you spreading the word.  Please help us make sure that one more family in our community will be warm this winter.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Infraction Notice

As licensed gas fitters, sometimes we have responsibilities that make us unpopular.  When we’re on the job and we see something that contravenes the gas code, we’re not allowed to look the other way.  Safety is the only reason why these rules exist.  Funny, we often hear about business wanting to ‘cut red tape’ but this tape is keeping our safety net intact. Where would we be without rules and regulations for gas technicians? I shudder at the mere thought of it.

Recently I found a gas stove on kijiji for a great price.  When I asked about why he was selling it, the fellow told me that his wife didn’t like it, and that a gas technician who was in the house moving the gas line for their dryer noticed an issue with the gas line to the stove.  Unfortunately, that technician had no choice but to abide by the gas code and tell the homeowners that the stove is infracted.  Well that was it: gas stove was coming out!  They went electric, and I’ve gone to gas.

Big news around the industry: a couple models of Majestic brand fireplaces have been condemned.  It seems there is a flaw in the design: there have been a number of reported incidents of gas building up around the ceramic logs and exploding, shattering the glass into the room, and injuring people.  Here is the relevant quote from the TSSA’s release:

A Director’s Order was issued on September 14 prohibiting the sale, lease, rental, installation or use in Ontario of the following gas fireplaces manufactured by CFM Inc. (Majestic Fireplace):

All Insta-Flame and Northern Flame natural gas or propane-fired direct vent freestanding fireplaces with ‘FSDV22’ or ‘FSDV30’ or ‘FSDV32’ in the model name or number.

Any Insta-Flame and Northern Flame natural gas or propane-fired direct vent freestanding fireplace with the prefix ‘R’ in the model name or number is not included in the Director’s Order.

If you have a gas fireplace at home, take a minute to confirm the make and model of the unit. Call us if you have trouble identifying it. Should you own one of these Majectic models, shut it down, and for safety’s sake – get it replaced.

Call Afterglow for your water warmth and well-being needs!

Movember is upon us!

Thursday morning marks the first day of November and also the first day of our next charity project. All the Afterglow guys are participating in Movember, which means we’re growing moustaches to help raise money and awareness for prostate cancer and men’s mental health issues.

One of the challenges of prostate cancer is the stigma.  It is an awkward and difficult subject to talk about.  Movember breaks the ice and brings prostate cancer to the forefront.  The reality is that men need to go to the doctor to get checked out.  Timely detection is literally the difference between life and death.

Check out our team’s page and make a donation here: http://ca.movember.com/team/534673

We’ll be posting pictures of our progress so check back throughout the month!

Afterglow goes PINK!

Afterglow’s Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign

For the month of October, Afterglow is going pink in support of Breast Cancer awareness month.

Over nine thousand Ontario women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and two thousand women will die from it.

Afterglow is a Waterloo Region company that offers a broad selection of heating, cooling, air quality products and services.  For the month of October the skilled and well trained Afterglow technicians will be wearing pink hardhats and ribbons, and the company will make a donation to the Breast Cancer Awareness fund at the Canadian Cancer Society, Waterloo Region branch.

“Cancer has impacted my family and many of the Afterglow employees in very personal ways.” Says Stephen McDonald, Afterglow’s General Manager.  “We wanted to raise money but do it in a visual way to support all the women and their families that are going through this.”

If you call Afterglow for a fall furnace tune-up, or any service during the month of October, Afterglow will happily donate $5 to the Breast Cancer Program at the Canadian Cancer Society, Waterloo Region Branch

“Money raised locally will go towards educating women, spreading awareness, prevention presentations of breast cancer and breast cancer research.” Says Angie Melchin from the Canadian Cancer Society. “Our Cancer Information Services program has taken more than 2,500 calls from women helping them with their breast cancer diagnoses.”

Afterglow is looking forward to raising thousands of dollars this month for Breast Cancer Research.  For more about Afterglow www.afterglow.ca

Afterglow: Home Expert News (August 2012). Within the Rental Property Market: How to Gain from the Outcome of Heating and Cooling Efficiencies.

Within the Rental Property Market: How to Gain from the Outcome of Heating and Cooling Efficiencies

Rick Eleveld is a commercial property owner in Guelph, Ontario. A crown piece among his business endeavors is a 12-apartment complex overlooking Riverside Park, named The Myconian. Eleveld purchased the complex with a long term plan for renovation in mind. One challenge of buying and rebuilding an older commercial property is deciding how to handle an antiquated heating and cooling system.

Enter Afterglow the premier heating and cooling company for the region. Eleveld soon understood that he was in good hands. With a broad selection of heating, cooling and air quality products and services, Afterglow prides itself on creating customized comfort plans tailored to every home and commercial property.

Problem:
Updating The Myconian’s outdated heating and cooling system was part of a modernization plan and was highlighted as a key investment in infrastructure for the building. Eleveld began searching through his trusted network of suppliers for a trustworthy heating and cooling contractor. Afterglow was highly recommended as a reputable company that would work to produce the best results.

Previous Options:
The inherited heating and cooling system predated the existing ownership. It was an old Boiler 400K BTUH and old Water Heater 80K BTUH system. The machines’ exhaust vented through the chimney, opposed to the more economical and efficient ventilation of Afterglow’s solution.

 *** Article Continued ***

Afterglow Solution:

BENEFIT 1: SALES PROCESS

Afterglow’s General Manager, Stephen McDonald, developed a personal interest in the project. He got directly involved with Rick’s team to work hands-on. McDonald focused on research and calculations resulting in the perfect solution and it was apparent that he worked diligently was laboring to find the right product for the property to help meet his client’s needs. When it came time to install the product, McDonald was determined to put in a little elbow grease with the rest of the team.

“He’s the right mix of owner entrepreneur, and that is rare,” says Eleveld of McDonald. In a world that’s centered around money, McDonald realizes that it’s about the relationships you build and earned trust.

BENEFIT 2: SOLUTION

The successful solution from Afterglow was a Hybrid Boiler System, commonly called the MCI-255. It sports a High Efficiency Boiler, a supporting Mid-Efficiency Boiler, plus an durable Indirect Water Heater, all tied together with simple controls. The system was downsized by almost HALF, and the two boilers provide a back-up for both heating and hot water, something the building didn’t have before.

No More Open Windows in Winter! Using an outdoor temperature sensor and a mixing valve, pinpoint accurate boiler water temperature can be delivered to the building. That means Eleveld controls the maximum temperature to the units ensuring no energy is wasted heating the outside.

BENEFIT 3: “PAYBACK” OR RETURN ON INVESTMENT

Eleveld, with a background in accounting, realizes the true benefits of the Afterglow solution. Rick invested more than $19,800.00 in heating equipment for his commercial property. After doing the math, Eleveld understood that Afterglows solution would save him an estimated 30-40% over the course of one year.

BENEFIT 4: POST SERVICE CONTACT

Four smooth months after the initial installation, McDonald returned to Myconian Apartments to review the system and ensure that it was still performing at peak efficiency. Afterglow continues to service the property and does regular maintenance checks. Eleveld still feels confident that “we don’t have to worry about a thing anymore”.

  P.S. Please share the newsletter with a friend.

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