Fall is finally here! As our nights start to cool down and your furnace begins to kick in, we’ve put together a list of our top five tips that can help you and your family stay warm and save money on your heating bill.
Set your ceiling fan clockwise.
If you have a ceiling fan, in the cooler months it should be set on a low setting running in a clockwise direction. Since warm air rises, this gentle draft will push the warm air resting near the ceiling back down towards the floor. This can help the room feel warmer, allowing you to lower your thermostat temperature and help keep your heating bill a bit lower.
Let the sun heat your home.
On a sunny day, if your home has large windows that directly face the sun, keep the curtains open to let the sun heat your home! Just be sure to close the curtains at night so that warm air doesn’t escape.
Replace thin curtains.
Speaking of curtains, something that many of us don’t consider is that thinner curtains can let the heat escape much easier out of your windows. By replacing them with thicker, heavier curtains in the winter months and keeping curtains and blinds closed atnight, it can prevent the amount of heat lost through windows.
Seal windows and cracks.
When the heat “escapes”, it can go out small cracks or gaps that you might not even realize are there! By thoroughly checking all windows and doors and adding caulking and/or weatherstripping, it can help conserve the warm air inside.
Keep your ducts clean.
Schedule ductwork maintenance before turning on your furnace to ensure proper circulation and efficient air flow. If the ducts are clogged with debris and dust, your unit will work harder to try and heat your home which can potentially result in a higher energy bill.
Additionally, dirt and dust restrict the airflow and circulation – letting allergens and dust accumulate, pushing them back into your home.
Summer came with a vengeance this year and as a result, we’re getting a lot of emergency calls for broken air conditioning units. No one likes an emergency, so here are some tips and tricks as to why your AC might break down this summer and what you can do to prevent it.
Regular maintenance to your air conditioner is a must. Similar to going to the doctor, an AC check up can catch things early before they become a problem. Having an Afterglow technician visit your home can prevent time and money from being wasted from something small escalating. Think it’s just your AC that needs maintenance? Your furnace may need to be looked at too.
Your air conditioner’s air filter does more than just clean the air; it keeps your AC running efficiently and effectively. A dirty filter can clog the airflow of your HVAC system, causing significant strain on the internal components. In addition, this strain will use more energy, increasing your costs by a noticeable amount. The good news is, you can change your filter by yourself! Check out how.
Sometimes your AC problems are as simple as a broken thermostat. The thermostat senses the temperature of the home and adjusts your HVAC system accordingly. If this feature is broken or even hindered, your air conditioner won’t regulate the temperature of the home, causing one to think their HVAC unit is the problem. Try out EcoBee3 as an alternative to the traditional thermostat.
Old Dirty Coil
Allergy season is here! But if you’re sneezing INSIDE your home, there may be another problem. Your air conditioner consists of an outside unit and an inside coil. The inside coil tends to be wet because it pulls the humidity from your home, and then dust and dirt sticks to it. This dust and dirt and get circulated throughout your home. This is not only detrimental to your health but also takes a toll on your wallet as the HVAC system requires more energy to produce the cool temperatures your home is set to. Allergens may circulate other ways as well: check out how to remove the three most common allergens in your home.
The summer heat came on quick, but that doesn’t mean that air conditioning is the only way to cool your home. Installing ceiling fans and using them during Spring or overnight on cool summer nights will save you money short term (on your hydro bills) and long term (on HVAC repair costs). Check out other times ceiling fans save money.
Call AfterGlow for all your maintenance and repair needs. We’re #1 at quick emergency responses! 519-747-7732
The heat is on! We have some cool tips for you as the temperature rises, and for the “techies” out there, a great way to start saving money and make your home a smart home! Our feature product of the month is the EcoBee3 Smart Wifi Thermostat. The EcoBee promises “all over home comfort”. Ordinary thermostats read the temperature in one room (usually the hallway) which can make your favourite rooms uncomfortable. That’s why EcoBee3 was created. It works with remote sensors to deliver the right temperature in the rooms that matter most.
With a one-year warranty, Afterglow can install EcoBee in your home for $395 +HST and walk you through your new Smart Thermostat.
“We have installed many EcoBee3’s across Waterloo Region and Guelph. Our customers love the way it keeps their homes at a livable temperature and saves them money on their heating bills.” Stephen McDonald Afterglow GM.
EcoBee is compatible with 95% of residential heating and cooling systems in North America and virtually all commercial heating and cooling equipment.
EcoBee is a one-time investment that gives you remote access, online reports and mobile app capability. Security is a top priority for EcoBee using similar security technology as banks, government agencies and e-commerce sites.
Don’t wait! Get access and start saving money. Call us to install EcoBee3 today!
Why not Nest
Nest is another smart wifi thermostat and arguably EcoBee3’s largest competitor. Nest has apps, allows you to change the temperature via the apps, set schedules and choose temperature preferences. What Nest doesn’t have is remote sensors to let your thermostat know you’re “home”. Using Echo, the voice activation technology associated with EcoBee, you can set your home to a specific temperature, turn the temperature up or down or simply as EcoBee to make your home cooler or warmer.
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.
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.
- Clean the outside air conditioning unit: fins and electrical cabinet
- Check furnace filter to make sure the airflow is good
- Check and clean (if possible) the indoor coil
- Check condensate
- Check thermostat
- Check electrical connections
- Test electrical components
- Check fan blower speed setting
- Check and seal wall connections, don’t want any critters or bugs getting into the house.
- 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!
Emergency? 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 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.
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 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.