2021 Is All About Dogs

For many, many years, dogs have been our loyal companions. Many, many families have decided to adopt a new 4 legged friend since we have more time at home, and perhaps we are filling a social void. We see it in our neighbourhood; there are 4 or 5 new puppies on our block. And the local dog parks are full of new puppy owners. For those of us yearning for more social interactions, dogs provide an ice-breaker for conversation and a great way to meet neighbours. 

Big or small, dogs can bring many positives to a household: Giving kids something to do! Giving parents something to do! Motivating the family to get outside and get more exercise. Teaching empathy.

On the other hand, from a Heating and Cooling perspective, dogs and pets can put a bit more stress on equipment. Shedding fur and the added dust particles can clog up filters prematurely

Are Pets A Source Of Pollution?

Technically, yes. Importantly, fur, dander and pet odours can contribute to health issues and really should be treated as we treat any source of pollution. We use a four-prong strategy to deal with indoor air issues

1.) Remove/eliminate the source of pollution -> that is not happening with a new puppy!

2.) Isolate or seal the pollutant -> no, we are not locking up the dog in a room

3.) Ventilate -> we can add ventilation to a house to help

4.) Filter -> yes, consider replacing your filter more often or upgrading to a HEPA unit

HVAC Tips When You Have Pets

If you have pets or planning to adopt a new puppy or dog, here are some tips to keeping your home’s HVAC system running smoothly: 

  1. Ensure that filters are checked. 
    We recommend checking your filter every 30 days, depending on the dog that you have. Pet owners should be changing their filters at roughly 30 to 60 days. Be sure to vacuum regularly to keep up with the fur and dander and consider upgrading to a HEPA filter for the smallest particles of hair or dander.

2. Inspect air ducts 
Dogs can release dander at home, ensure that the house and ducts are clean. A professional duct cleaning is recommended every 3-5 years to keep dander from being recirculated through the home when the HVAC system is turned on.

3. Keep a groomed dog 
Make sure to brush and trim all fur as it promotes a healthy coat for dogs. A well-groomed dog means that less fur will end up in the filter and the ducts. Keeping a groomed dog also keeps its fur from matting or creating painful knots. 

4. Keep from the outdoor unit. 
Creating an enclosure will keep dogs from clawing or damaging the unit. Puppies and dogs are curious by nature. If they got into the wires and started chewing wire, it could result in a severe injury to your pup. And don’t let them pee on it!

5. Call Afterglow
Participating in a tune-up twice a year will help keep bills low and allergies afar. Give us a call, and one of our technicians will happily come out and perform a comprehensive cleaning and tune-up.


Understanding the importance of your dog’s shedding and dander will help to ensure your HVAC unit’s filter is in good shape. Making small changes in your home will help your family breathe easier and keep your HVAC system running longer and smoother. This means more energy to play with the new four-legged friend. 

Planning for Air Conditioning, Ventilation and Comfort

Life in COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to re-think our living spaces and make them cozier, healthier and more comfortable. Let us guide you into the TOP 4 THINGS you should consider when upgrading your home. Enhance not only your comfort zone but your health with affordable options.

1. Air Conditioning

Summer is just around the corner, don’t forget about the air conditioner in your home!

With sooo many people working from home these days, it’s important to get your air conditioning right. Number One piece of advice: get it serviced so you know it is working right. Neglected and un-maintained ACs will break down when you least expect, likely on the hottest day! 

If a new Air Conditioner is what you need, look into newer models as they are more efficient, use variable technology and are environmentally safer. Right-size the AC, because oversized units don’t remove the humidity and leave your house feeling like a cave. Undersized units can leave you wanting more cool… 


2.  Ventilation

Breathe, breathe in the air… Clean air! Where is the best place to breathe in air? Out in a forest where the oxygen and the carbon dioxide are in the right proportions. In your house? Not unless you’re cleaning and ventilating the air. Test your home, you will be surprised by the number of particles and high level of carbon dioxide you will find. You can’t bring the wilderness into your house, but we can bring in fresh air. 

Ventilation systems for your home will do the job of bringing fresh air in, and pushing stale air out. 

We install two types of ventilation systems: HRV, heat recovery; or ERV, energy recovery. Both do a great job of ventilating and controlling carbon dioxide, moisture, smoke, cooking odours and indoor pollutants. Bad indoor air quality is not good for you.

Protect your home and loved ones by taking the extra precaution to ensure there is proper ventilation and air cleaning.

3.     Ductless Air Conditioning Technology 

There are many benefits of having a ductless air conditioning system in your home. They are very versatile cooling and heating units that can be put almost anywhere. Yes, ductless air conditioners can heat as well as cool because they are heat pumps. Big bonus is that they are among the most efficient appliances out there, as much as 2X the efficiency of a standard central system. What else? They heat, cool, dehumidify, filter and otherwise fan the air around them. Check out Afterglow’s lineup of Mitsubishi ultra-quiet ductless air conditioners.


4.     Heated Floors

Did someone ask about comfort? How about the absolute best way to heat homes in our Canadian winters: heated floors! The cool thing (pardon the pun) is that this technology is available without spending a fortune. We can get small spaces heating off your water heater.

The benefits of having heated floors in your home keeps the heat consistent throughout your living space, no blowing air, no radiators taking up space. 

For your next home improvement or renovation, consider upgrading to heated floors.


Inquire about installing these systems in your home at Afterglow by calling us down below.


Summer in the Cities

Summer in the Cities

There is so much to do if you are sticking around the KW area for the summer. Nearly every weekend there is a great festival or event to attend. My family and I love bumping into people from our community, listening to great music or chomping down on some fantastic food.

We have lots planned this summer, and I wanted to share a couple of my favourite events.

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Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival!

Uptown Jazz Festival

The Sun Life Financial UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival is an annual three day FREE music festival held in Waterloo, showcasing all genres of jazz. This is the 24th season, and is always jam packed with great entertainment and people.  Last year more than 35,000 enthusiastic festival goers come out to the event at the corner of Regina and William. Check out the artist 2016 lineup!
Start Date: Friday, 15 July 2016
End Date: Sunday, 17 July 2016
Time: 11:30 AM – 10:30 PM

Kitchener Blues Festival 2016

Blues Festival

The Kitchener Blues Festival always follows the weekend of the “Civic Holiday” in Canada, starting on Thursday with a Kick Off Concert, then all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This premeir blues festival attracts tourists from all over the world and delights our local community. It’s FREE admission from Friday to Sunday! However, some concert events are ticketed, for more details please click here!

Start Date: Thursday, 04 August 2016
End Date: Sunday, 07 August 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

Berlin Tower ARTSPACE

Showcasing community arts and culture, the Berlin Tower ARTSPACE is home to a variety of exhibits annually, including work in progress by the artist-in-residence.  It is located on the ground floor of Kitchener City Hall and is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekends and holidays.

Start Date: Sunday, 3 July 2016
End Date: Sunday, 31 July 2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Sunday Night Concerts

Every Sunday, right through to September 4 check out Sunday Night Concerts at Gore Park – 68 Arthur St. S., Woolwich ON. Bring a lawn chair and a picnic and enjoy some tunes outdoors FOR FREE! Check out concert dates here!

Start Date: Sunday, 3 July 2016
End Date: Sunday, 4 September 2016
Time: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM


Don’t see your event here? There’s more!

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”.






The hottest weekend events!

This is turning out to be the “do not miss Weekend of the Summer”!

Of all the weekends to live in Kitchener or Waterloo, this one may be the most exciting. From Jazz music, to beer tasting, to open streets and a rib fest midway, there’s something for everyone. We have the details you need to plan your weekend. Don’t miss out on these great events:

1. Sunlife Financial UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival is an annual 3 day FREE music festival held in Uptown Waterloo.  Look forward to a diverse line up of Jazz music all weekend long as well as Jazz for kids and delicious food vendors.

Fri 6-10:30pm, Sat 12-10:30pm, Sun 12-4pm

Click here for the festival schedule

2. Open Streets Uptown Waterloo is pairing with the Jazz Festival Saturday night. This will be the first ever Openstreets at night! Walk King St with friends and family.

Live Jazz artists, Uptown food vendors and an Artist Alley  from the Button Factory are just some of the highlights.

Sat 6-10pm

3. Kitchener Rib and Beer Fest has free admission with a food bank donation all weekend long. The 10th anniversary event will feature craft beer tasting, BBQ chicken and ribs and a MIDWAY.

Fri 5-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12- 6pm

It’s a busy weekend that you won’t want to miss. See you at the events!

Afterglow Community Report – June 21st

The countdown to summer is over. June 21st marks the first day of summer, the longest day of the year and we are marking the occasion with lots of great events in Waterloo.

Uptown Waterloo has been bustling this spring, with cool car days like Cruzin’ in the Square classic car show, and memorable live musical performances and Open Streets. I’m amazed at the transformation this area undergone. Born and raised in Waterloo I’ve seen this city flourish and grow into what it is today. It wasn’t long ago the Public Square was a parking lot, surrounded by discount stores.

 My family and I are looking forward to spending the weekend at the public square.

 Grab some delicious edibles and crafts drinks at Solstice Sampling  this Friday June 21st 7-11pm in the Uptown Square.

Steel Rails 2013 departs at 7pm this Friday as well. Local artists and members of the community come together for party on a Waterloo train. (Unfortunately the event has been sold out for many weeks.)

Opening weekend has finally come for my friends at Taco Farm. This will be its first weekend with open doors and I know its unique menu and margarita list is sure to please!

All in all a busy weekend in Waterloo and there’s only more to come for my favourite community and home.

See you in Waterloo!

Stephen, Afterglow GM