Spend Less: Energy & Money

As the hot weather begins, you’ve probably started to think about how to keep cool this summer. At Afterglow, we can help you increase efficiency and get the most from your AC unit throughout the summer months. Follow these easy tips to stay cool:

Avoid Using Heat-Generating Appliances

Appliances such as ovens and dryers create additional heat, so try to limit their use, especially during those hot summer days. Why not relax outside as you cook dinner on the BBQ or use the warm air to your advantage by hanging your clothes out to dry? Avoiding large household appliances goes a long way in maximizing the effectiveness of your AC.

Weather-Proof Your Home

Is your home still hot, even with the AC on full blast? That could mean that you have air leaks by your windows or doors. It may also mean further insulation is required. We’re always surprised by just how many older (and even newer houses) haven’t been properly weather-proofed.

Use Blinds to Block Heat

Leaving your blinds covered over the windows isn’t just a good way to save yourself from the sun, it’s also an easy way to keep your house cool when you’re not home. By leaving your blinds down, you’re helping to save on precious energy.

Keep It Cool

Baking in the sun is a great beach activity, but not for an AC unit. Place it in the shade so it has an easier time intaking the warm air from your home – and exporting it back as cool air. Keeping your unit cool means keeping you cool too. It’s also a great excuse to get out and get some gardening done; trees and shrubs can provide much needed cover from the blistering sunlight.

Place Your Thermostat Properly

If your thermostat happens to be placed in direct sunlight, near windows/doors or even in the kitchen you may be getting incorrect readings. Your thermostat should be placed in the direct centre of your house (or as close as it can be) to avoid other elements from influencing the temperature that it’s reading.

Invest in Energy Efficient Units

Investing in a new AC unit can not only save you cooling costs over time, it can also maximize the performance upgrade that it offers. If your AC isn’t aging gracefully, it could be time to retire it for a newer model. Check out our previous blog on Energy Star rated HVAC products for more info, or call an Afterglow technician.

Whether it needs to be cleaned, inspected, upgraded or tuned, we’re available 24/7 and have an emergency response time of four hours in Kitchener Waterloo. Afterglow has been serving the region for over 20 years and we are experts in: air conditioners, air ventilation, boilers, water heaters, radiators and furnaces. Contact us now to get a quote!

Beat The Heat: Go Ductless This Summer

It’s (almost) that time of year again, so make sure you’re ready to beat the heat by choosing an air conditioning system that works for your home. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution and we’re here to help you make the right decision for your lifestyle.

No ducts in your home? No problem! Ductless air conditioners are suitable for homes with boilers, additions or attic spaces that can’t be properly cooled by a central system. Rather than going through the hassle of expanding or installing new ductwork, a ductless system can help you save on money, space and energy.

Go Ductless Now – Top FOUR Reasons Why:

  • Ductless air conditioners are more energy-efficient than other cooling options. While central air conditioning can lose up to 30% of the cooled air in the ductwork, ductless air ensures you get everything you’re paying for.

  • Ductless systems have a reverse pump that also creates heat so it can be used to both heat and cool your home. A win-win situation for everyone, all year round.

  • You can install the indoor part of the ductless system anywhere you want. They’re compact and easy to store, both inside and out. You’re the boss of your cooling system and you decide where it goes!

  • You are the master of your domain and can set a different temperature in different rooms. No more arguing with your cold-blooded family members… or your mother-in-law, who’s always running slightly warmer than average.


The installation process is simple and requires only a small hole to link the inside and outside units together. Contact Afterglow to meet with one of our experienced HVAC technicians, and be guaranteed an efficiently installed ductless system. We also provide maintenance services for ductless and central AC systems so you can stay cool this summer.

What to Expect During Your AC Appointment

What to Expect During Your AC Appointment

As if a broken air conditioner isn’t enough, how do you make sure you don’t get sub-par service as well? Don’t leave your air conditioning repairs to chance. Check out these crucial steps an expert tech will take to ensure your AC is up and running again before you can break a sweat.

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Check Thermostat

Before beginning any work on your air conditioner, the tech should check to make sure it is not simply a thermostat error. Your problem could be as simple as a faulty thermostat or a loose wire.

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Circuit Breaker Box
If there is nothing wrong with the thermostat, the tech will then move onto your circuit breaker box. If the breaker is switched to off or malfunctioning, your air conditioner issues could be a wiring issue.

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Up-Close with the Air Conditioner
The next step is the air conditioning unit itself. The tech will begin a trial and error process, testing wires, circuits, connections, etc. in order to identify where the specific problem lies. During the AC system diagnosis, they will most likely check the air filter to make sure it’s not blocked or needs to be replaced. They may check the AC refrigerant levels, make sure the air condenser fan is spinning properly, confirm that the size of your AC system is appropriate for the size of your home, and examine the wiring, electronics and safety controls.

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Identify Issue
This process could take 5 minutes or an hour depending on how long it takes the tech to identify the problem.

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Present Options
Once the issue is identified, the tech will provide you with your options. They will present the issue, the possible options for repair and then costs associated with the option you choose.

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Future Prevention
In an effort to help the customer, the tech should then advise the client on how to prevent this issue in the future, saving you time and money

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Explain How To Fix
Once you’ve made your choice, the tech will then come back to your home (assuming they do not have the part you need in their truck) and explain to you in detail what they will be changing and how this will fix your problem

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If you want expert service, make sure you call an expert. Afterglow specializes in repair and maintenance, call us today! 519-747-7732

Vacation-Proofing Your Home While You Are Away

Vacation-Proofing Your Home While You Are Away

The warm weather hits and one of the first things we start planning is our summer vacation. Before you pack your last bag and drive to the airport, be sure the thermostat is prepared to take care of your home while you are away. Here are some tips for making sure your energy bill isn’t as high as your sand castle.

Adventure

Change your thermostat temperature. We don’t recommend turning your thermostat off completely, because you could potentially damage structural components in your home should it be too hot and humid.  However, if you don’t have any pets in the house, we recommend leaving your thermostat at 90 degrees. This could result in a 32% savings on your electric bill. If you do have pets, contact your vet about safe temperatures for your animals.

Unplug everything. Lights and appliances from small to big, can be know as “energy vampires.” Simply turning something off does not save it from using electricity. Unplugging all of your appliances, except of course fridges and freezers, will not only save you on your energy bill, but save you potentially lost property by eliminating the chance of a fire hazard in your home while you are away.

Appliances

Close your curtains. Keep the hot summer sun out and you can conserve a resting temperature in your home more easily. The sun pouring in your windows can heat up the air in your house and raise your home temperature a lot during the day. Give your AC an easy job this vacation and remember to close your blinds.

Use tech to your advantage. We mentioned the EcoBee3 in a previous blog, and it has one vital feature we find extremely useful for homeowners temporarily going away – it can sense when you are in your home and when you are away and temperature control with respect to that. If you don’t have the time to fiddle for the ideal temperature, invest in an EcoBee3 today and Afterglow technicians will be more than happy to help you install it.

EcoBee

Turn off your water main. A small water leak can cause lots of trouble. Consider turning off the main water valve to stop the water pressure from pushing on fixtures and toilets.

Don’t forget the water heater. It’s easy to get concerned with just the air temperature in your house. Don’t forget – no one will be having hot showers in your home while you’re away. Switch the circuit breaker on your water heater off, or turn your gas water heater on vacation or unplug it. When you come back, remember to turn your water to hot and let it run before switching these heaters back on to avoid damage to the units.

Regular Inspections. Most insurance companies require someone to come and look inside your house if you are away for a period of time. And document the visit!

The last thing you should be thinking about on vacation is what’s going on at home. Follow these simple steps so that you can easily leave your worries behind and enjoy your well-deserved break.

Cheers

Contact Afterglow today to have your AC checked before you go away!

Top 5 Reasons Why Your AC Broke Down

Top 5 Reasons Why Your AC Broke Down

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.
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Maintenance

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.

Dirty Filter

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.

Broken Thermostat

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.
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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.

Over Usage

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.
Phone Call

Call AfterGlow for all your maintenance and repair needs. We’re #1 at quick emergency responses! 519-747-7732

EcoBee3 to help you stay cool this summer

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.

dream-house-149899_960_720EcoBee 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.

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