3 Ways to Be Kind to Your Home

January is a time to reflect and make some changes for the New Year. Sometimes, those changes can be small, like reading more or cutting down on alcohol; other times those changes can be monumental for one’s success and well-being. This year, make your health and home a priority. Set your standards high by being kind to yourself and your home. Below, we have outlined 3 simple ways to do just that.

Keep Boilers and Water Heaters Maintained

Boilers essentially work by pumping water through copper tubing, rapidly heating the water in the process. Unlike water heaters, boilers are used for larger scale heating initiatives such as heating pools, hot tubs, and whole complexes. On the other hand, water heaters heat and store water in tanks, and are generally used for smaller-scale heating projects. When you add heat to the mix, it is important to stay on top of maintenance, in case of any potential hazards from wear and tear. Regular maintenance inspections can mitigate the risk of fires caused by burners, pilot lights, gas pressure, and heat exchangers. They can also prevent water backflow and reduce safety concerns with venting, piping, and carbon monoxide gas.

Replace Furnace Filters Regularly

Furnace filters are used to collect dust, dirt and pollutants so that they do not circulate throughout your furnace and HVAC system. When these filters are clogged, it takes more time and energy to run a furnace properly, leading to more frequent repairs or replacements. As you can imagine, this can drastically increase your utility bills and the overall costs associated with continuous technical support. The simple and inexpensive act of changing your filter regularly can enhance your HVAC system’s efficiency and save on costs in the long run!

Don’t forget about the wonders clean furnace filters can have on your health! By changing your filters regularly, you can prevent the built-up debris from floating back into the air, polluting it, and introducing it back into the air you breathe.

Purchase A Humidifier

Humidifiers work by restoring moisture back into your home’s air. Air can become very dry and stale, particularly during the winter months. This can result in dry skin, congestion, allergies, and the spread of airborne viruses. Investing in a humidifier can help prevent all of those pesky ailments we associate with winter. We recommend consulting with an HVAC specialist before choosing a humidifier, simply because there are many different sizes and model options that work best in different environments.
Being kind to your home is a vital component of taking care of yourself. If you’re concerned about the air quality in your home, or are worried about how your HVAC systems are performing, contact us for support!

Afterglow’s Unexpected Top YouTube Videos

With over a billion users, almost one-third of all people on the Internet, it’s safe to say that YouTube is a digital media powerhouse. That’s why it’s not surprising that most businesses have video content included into their marketing strategies — like us!

Did you know that Afterglow has a YouTube channel? For over three years we have been sharing fun workplace and HVAC tip videos on afterglowkw. Recently, the Afterglow staff had fun re-watching these videos and seeing which ones our audience watched the most.  

Rather than have you search our channel, we’ve decided to share our top videos here. These were all determined by your views — enjoy!

CO2 Pipe Freezing 

Viessmann Cast Iron Boiler Fail


Afterglow – Eastview Apartment Heating System

We also have a soft spot for the first video we ever published. On February 21, 2013, our General Manager, Stephen McDonald, explained what a 15 point furnace inspection looks like. Watch it and learn how your furnace works, plus how you can keep it safe while saving money!

Forgot to get a 15 point furnace inspection? Schedule an appointment by giving us a call (519-747-7732) or sending us an email our Office Administrator, Brigitte Toutant. With winter’s recent return, it’s far better to be safe than sorry.

Afterglow. Water, warmth, well-being.

Is it Time to Replace Your Furnace? Here are the Warning Signs

Yes, it’s that time of year, for some it is the dreaded heating season. The leaves have fallen, the days are shorter and the cold weather is setting in.

As winter fast approaches, now is the time to ensure that your furnace will get you through the season, keeping you nice and toasty! That is why we have put together a list to help determine if it is time for some tune-ups or a new furnace.

Time for a new Furnace

Your Furnace is 16-20 Years Old

Fun fact: The average life expectancy of a central furnace is 16-20 years. If your furnace is close to this age or older, you should start shopping. Even if it is working, it is likely not operating at maximum efficiency and your electricity bills are probably at all time! That’s no good.

Your Maintenance Bills are Increasing

Furnaces are like any piece of technology, as they age they will need more maintenance. If your furnace is older and you have a repair costing more than 15% of a new furnace, you should go ahead and replace it. Why? Because it is more likely to break down again.

It is also important to note whether you had to wait to get replacement parts. As a furnace ages, it gets harder and harder to get replacement parts.

Your Furnace is Noisy

Loud furnace noises come for all kinds of reasons. Furnaces tend to make some noise when they turn on and off, but if those noises start to get louder, it may be time to replace your unit. These sounds may come in the form of whistling, rattling, popping, banging, humming or screeching. This could be a telltale sign your furnace is nearing the end of its life or that some of its may need to be replaced.

If you think it’s time to replace your furnace, contact Afterglow. Our technicians are trained and have experience with every residential furnace make and model in the Waterloo Region. Our expertise will help you make an informed decision and keep you warm throughout a harsh Canadian winter.

Also, if you know someone who needs a new furnace nominate them for our Furnace Giveaway. We want to give the gift of warmth to a deserving family this holiday season.

Afterglow. Water, warmth, well-being.

3 Scares You Don’t Want This Halloween

HalloweenThe season of Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and Frankenstein is here again; that’s right, Halloween is this weekend.

There’s nothing quite like a cover your eyes and ears, jump out of your seat horror film. With the cool temperatures and long nights, it feels like fall was made for them.

As fun as it is to watch scary movies, Afterglow doesn’t want you to be scared in real-life. Here’s how to avoid three scares within your home.

Scare #1 – Furnace Filters

Air filters are crucial to any HVAC system. They help keep furnaces, air conditioners and air ducts clean by preventing particle buildup from things like dust and dirt.

An HVAC unit that has a dirty filter can cause your system to work harder, putting stress on the unit, ultimately causing system failure. Also, dirt and dust that is exposed to condensation can become damp, which causes mold to grow. This leads to serious and scary health consequences along with a compromised unit that will require servicing or replacing.

For filters, we recommend the disposables that are changed monthly. Cleaning filters has the added risk that the dirt and dust will become airborne again and you are right back where you started.

Here are some tips on how to change your furnace filter.

Scare #2 – Carbon Monoxide

Did you know that carbon monoxide (CO) is known as the “silent killer”? That’s because it’s a tasteless, odourless, invisible toxic gas. Exposure can cause flu-like symptoms, like dizziness, nausea, burning eyes, drowsiness and prolonged exposure can cause death. That’s a BIG scare that you definitely don’t want!

Did you also know that by April 15, 2015 all single-family homes in Ontario must have been installed with a working CO detector?

If you missed the deadline, Afterglow sells CO detectors for about $35-$60 at our office. If you’re having trouble installing yours, please give us a call: 519-747-7732.

Scare #3 – No Maintenance

It’s easy to fall behind on tune-ups and repairs for your HVAC system. However, proper maintenance and tune-ups can prevent small problems from snowballing into big ones with big, scary price tags.

Save the scares for the movies this Halloween and keep your HVAC system in prime condition.

Have a spooktacular Halloween!

Afterglow. Water, warmth, well-being.

Improve Indoor Air Quality With These 5 Indoor Plants

Indoor plants help brighten up your home, and they can also clean the air!

As the winter approaches, we will opt to stay inside our warm climate-controlled homes rather than face the frost. That’s why Afterglow knows it’s important for KW residents to prime their home’s air quality.

On average, indoor air is five times more polluted than the air outside.

Fortunately, there are solutions available to improve the air in your home. Beside replacing your furnace filter on a monthly basis, we recommend purchasing some indoor plants. That’s right, plants.

Here are five houseplants that seriously clean your home’s air.

Aloe VeraAloe Vera: This plant’s oil is commonly used for sunburns, but it can also improve your indoor air quality. How? Studies have found that it helps keep your home free from benzene, which is commonly found in paint and chemical cleaners. The best part of the aloe plant is that when harmful chemicals become excessive, it will start to show brown spots. Warning you and your family! What a swell pal.

Plant2

English Ivy: Have a pet? You need an English Ivy plant.

It can reduce the amount of airborne fecal matter. It also absorbs formaldehyde, a chemical commonly found in some household products, furniture, or carpeting treatments.

Plant3

Spider Plant: Fun fact, within just two days of having a spider plant in your home, it can remove up to 90% of airborne toxins. How? The spider plant’s leaves grow fast and absorb harmful substances like mold and other allergens.

Cool, right?

Plant4

Peace Lily: This plant reduces levels of mold spores that grow in the home by absorbing them through its leaves.

Put your peace lily in the bathroom, as it will keep shower tiles and curtains free from mildew.

Plant5

Boston Fern: Not only are Boston ferns beautiful, they have an abundance of health benefits as well. Its biggest being  its ability to act as a humidifier and help restore moisture in the air, which is perfect in the cooler months when air tends to become stale and dry.

If you want functional decorations this winter, look no further than these great houseplants.

Afterglow. Water, warmth, well-being.