Air Con Maintenance for a Comfortable, Cool Summer

The sweltering summer heat has settled into Waterloo Region after a seemingly endless, chilly Spring.  Covers are coming off air conditioners and they’re being fired up for the first time this year.

Can you depend on your air conditioner this summer? With high temperatures and humidity levels, a breakdown could be disastrous. And, no, it’s not your imagination that it always happens when you need it most. Times of heavy use result in air conditioner failures. You can reduce your need for the AC by keeping windows shut and certain doors closed within your house, and closing the drapes on windows. This reduces the strain of heavy use on the AC.  

Air conditioners can fail for many reasons. Old age will certainly contribute to AC failure. Sometimes, faulty installation is to blame. It’s essential that an air conditioner be installed on firm, dry, level ground. Old contactors or small refrigerant leaks could eventually spell the end. How about rodents?!?  It happens! They tend to burrow into units, attracted by insulation and ideal nesting spots. Those gnawing teeth can wreak havoc on the electronic components in your air conditioner. We’ve also seen raccoons, rats, squirrels, snakes, bugs and spiders.

Afterglow - dead rat pic

Of all these causes, the number one reason your air conditioner will fail is inadequate maintenance. As dirty filters and condenser coils deteriorate, the end result is inevitable: your cool air will stop flowing.

Here are 10 diagnostic checks every air conditioner needs.

With a simple maintenance schedule, you can guarantee the longest possible lifespan of your air conditioner and prevent breakdown before it happens. When the Afterglow team checks an AC we look at several component: from the indoor thermostat to outdoor compressor. We check temperatures in several different areas.

  1. Clean the outside air conditioning unit: fins and electrical cabinet
  2. Check furnace filter to make sure the airflow is good
  3. Check and clean (if possible) the indoor coil
  4. Check condensate
  5. Check thermostat
  6. Check electrical connections
  7. Test electrical components
  8. Check fan blower speed setting
  9. Check and seal wall connections, don’t want any critters or bugs getting into the house.
  10. Test refrigerant levels

If any of these checks indicate a concern, further action will optimize the condition of your unit.

There’s no question – a little maintenance is worth guaranteeing your comfortable indoor escape from the sweltering humidity that fouls moods and robs us of sleep. Contact Afterglow and arrange to have your air conditioner checked today!

Fastest Emergency Service in Waterloo Region

Emergency ServiceEmergency? No heat? No hot water? Call us now! If your furnace or boiler quits, Afterglow is here to help. Just give us call and our technicians will be at your home FAST.

How fast? From the time you make the call, there will be an Afterglow expert at your door within four-hours! That’s the quickest emergency service in Waterloo Region.

Whether you’re in the City of Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge, the Township of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, or Woolwich, our on-call technicians will be there to help. Meet Kitchener resident Shelley Payne.

Shelley had been having issues with her furnace all winter, until it stopped working completely. “It had been turning off and on for the past couple of months, until last week when it stopped working completely,” she explained. “I called Afterglow for it’s emergency service and they came right away.” When asked about the technicians who serviced her furnace she said they were “totally friendly,” and fixed her furnace’s problem quickly. She was especially happy to hear that her furnace will survive the rest of the winter.

No matter what type of furnace you have, you can rely on our factory-trained team for quality service. We fix every make and model, including: Olsen, Frigidaire, Maytag, Trane, Armstrong, Amana, Comfortmaker, Goodman, Ruud, Rheem, Heil, Payne, Bryant, Luxaire, York, Gibson, Lennox, Tempstar, Carrier, Burnham, Ducane, Keeprite, Weatherking, Coleman, Arcoaire, Janitorial and American Standard.

Afterglow is available for all your heating needs throughout the winter: 519-747-7732.

Afterglow. Water, warmth, well-being.

Afterglow’s #KWColdHeroes

Afterglow loves the Region of Waterloo! Not only because it’s been our home since 1991, but because of how charitable it is. Over the years, we’ve noticed many organizations that do their part to give back and support our community. Today, we want to recognize those organizations, specifically the ones that work overtime in the winter months! We are calling them our #KWColdHereos.


1. Out of the Cold

Since 1999, churches in the Region of Waterloo have opened their doors to provide overnight shelter and nourishment to the area’s poor and homeless. The program that oversees this is called Out of the Cold, and it strives to provide shelter and food in the winter.

With temperatures reaching under – 20C this year, organizations like Out of the Cold are essential for the Region of Waterloo. For more information, visit their homepage and myths and facts sheet.

KW Out of the Cold
2. Reception House Waterloo Region

Reception House Waterloo Region is a temporary home for government-assisted refugees. Each year, approximately 245 newly arrived refugees and about 75 secondary migrants are served.

Reception House provides orientation and settlement guidance through discussion and hands-on experience. That means for refugees who have never experienced winter before are given the tools they need to survive, including: gloves, hats, jackets, boots and more.

Learn more about Reception House and how you can support them by visiting their website.


3. The Food Bank of Waterloo Region

The Food Bank of Waterloo RegionThe Food Bank of Waterloo Region was founded as a non-profit, registered charitable organization in 1984 and has grown immensely over the years. For example, in 2013 it distributed 91,796 emergency hampers, 34,735 different individuals were served, and 522,327 meals were served.

The 2013 snapshot of Waterloo Region is no different than the rest of the country. Thousands of neighbours continue to struggle with hunger.

It’s important to recognize that the need for food donations is greater in the winter. Why? Many have to decide between heating and eating, and with this year’s frigid temperatures people are putting their money towards heat.

If you’d like to give a donation to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region visit their website.

These organizations work year round to support the Region of Waterloo. At Afterglow, we are thankful for all the hard work they do, especially in the winter! It’s not easy to run a charitable organization, and it’s even harder when the demands are high.

Do you know a charity who deserves to be a #KWColdHereo? Let us know on Twitter!

The Region of Waterloo trusts Afterglow for all its heating needs. Remember we’re available for all your heating needs throughout the winter: 519-747-7732.

Afterglow. Water, warmth, well-being.

Wow! What a storm!

It’s been one week since the hurricane-like winds swept through Kitchener Waterloo leaving a swath of destruction. Thousands of  residents were left in the dark due to extreme weather and damaged hydro lines. Luckily, no major injuries occurred but many trees were damaged.

Like many families, Stephen McDonald, the General Manager of Afterglow has been busy cleaning up after the storm. “We had over a dozen trees in our neighbourhood go down” Stephen told us, “the damages are unfortunate, but it’s incredible to see everyone in our community come together to help”.

The McDonald boys, Sacha and Rowan had some fun after the storm with this photo shoot!

Several neighbourhoods went through extensive clean up after the storm subsided. The old saying… many hands make light work could not be more true. “We had five neighbourhood home owners banded together to help out, including helping the recently widowed lady down the street”. Stephen said.

The vice-president of operations at Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro, Wilf Meston, estimated the total repair bill for Kitchener around $300,000.

“Many areas experienced the same damages as Kitchener and Waterloo” said Stephen, “but in KW We are fortunate to have a community that works together”.

afterglow’s keep cool tips

We scoured the Internet to find you the best tips to deal with rising temperatures and heat waves. Whether you have an air-conditioning unit or not, we have some informative and fun keep cool tips to help beat the heat this summer.

1. Stay hydrated – In the summer it is more important than ever to stay hydrated. A hydrated body will stay cooler and keep you healthy and prepared for your day. Not sure how much water you should be drinking? Try this calculator that accounts for exercise, alcohol, and temperatures.

2. Protect your skin – You’re told this all the time, we know. And though sun exposure can be extremely dangerous for your skin, it can also hold in the heat. Your damaged skin will receive increased blood flow that will make you feel even warmer.

3. Don’t let the light in – Blocking sunlight is a great way to keep the heat out of your home. Over the summer months make sure all of your windows are covered with blinds or shades to avoid the direct light (and heat) from creeping in. The same is true for your body: covering your skin from direct sunlight, in natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, and linen can actually keep you cooler than exposing your skin.

4. Heat free dinnersTry it yourself! On a hot day, rather than starting up your oven, try some heat free meals that are just as delicious. There are many No-cook recipes available on line.

You can also keep cool with healthy treats by freezing fruit such as watermelon, pineapple or lemons.

Did You Know?

  • Spicy food can keep you cooler? Spicy foods will increase your perspiration, which cools your body as it evaporates!
  • Running cold water on both wrists for 10 seconds can reduce your temperature for up to an hour
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