Does Indoor Air Quality Matter? Here Is What You Need To Know

Does Indoor Air Quality Matter? Here Is What You Need To Know

While the environmentalists have focused a lot on the environment around your home, it’s also crucial to consider that indoor air quality is of great importance. Most people spend as much as 90% of their time indoors. The quality of indoor air you’re breathing has a significant impact on your health. Unfortunately, air contaminants can’t be seen with the naked eye, so you never realize the source of the problem. Breathing bad air every day and for an extended period of time can lead to serious health complications. Therefore, it’s important to take steps and ensure a healthy indoor environment.

Indoor air contaminants

Most of the elements in the air are odorless, which means there’s hardly anything to alert you. Indoor air quality tends to be worse in the winter when people feel cozy being sealed in tight against the cold. The reduced flow of fresh air from the outside will lead to an increased amount of allergy-inducing particles such as pet dander, dust mites, and mold spores. These air contaminants will keep circulating throughout your house.

People that are more vulnerable to air pollution include children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with lung and heart conditions. Types of air pollutants include:

  • Chemical pollutants (lead, ozone, asbestos, carbon monoxide, etc.)
  • Biological pollutants (bacteria, dust mites, pollen, and spores)
  • Radiological pollutants (radioactive substances)

Related: Indoor air quality risks

How to improve air quality

Adequate natural ventilation and the use of healthier building materials can help you lower the risks of indoor air pollutants. In order to avoid allergy symptoms and asthma flare-ups, you need to improve your indoor air quality. Here are some tips to make breathing easy throughout the year:

Keep it clean

Good indoor hygiene can greatly cut down animal dander and dust. You should make efforts to reduce the accumulation of mold, pet dander, and dust lurking in your home. To improve the situation, vacuum rugs and carpets at least once a week. It’s also helpful to clean bedding, drapes, and other objects that can accumulate allergens.

Air purifiers can help

If you’re unable to trace down the source of the problem, you should consider using an air purifier – you can place purifiers in commonly used areas of your house to capture some of the irritants that may trigger symptoms. It’s hardly possible to completely remove the allergens from the air. However, you can reduce them and mitigate the intensity of the problem. You can also consider using dehumidifiers in damp areas to prevent the growth of mold.

Always use energy-efficient and high-quality HVAC systems that can handle allergens and keep the indoor air clean.

About Nor Can Heating & Air

Nor Can is a team of heating and cooling experts in Edmonton where we provide a diverse range of HVAC services from emergency services to repair and installation. Visit our website or contact us for more information!

How To Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient

How To Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient

There is a direct relationship between the pattern of lifestyle households lead and energy consumption and emission. Modern civilizations are run by energy. Considering the rising demand for energy, it’s important to study the way people build houses to find out ways to identify and reduce the unnecessary use of energy. Unless governments set examples and encourage people to achieve a sustainable lifestyle, it will be difficult to help people materialize sustainable living.

Heating and cooling are the major components when it comes to the overall energy consumption of a house. The efficiency of a house depends largely on its ability to control heat loss, the movement of moisture, and air leakage.

The concept of an energy-efficient home

Households can save money and energy by making their houses more efficient. When building an energy-efficient home, the builder has to take a number of factors into consideration. From tightly sealed thermal envelope and ventilation to the installation of high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, the prime objective of an energy-efficient home is to create a green home with a healthy indoor environment. Let’s take a look at some of the properties of an energy-efficient home:

1. Air and moisture barriers

Preventing air and moisture from penetrating into the interior of a home is a basic design requirement. When it comes to eliminating thermal bridges, airtightness of a home plays a key role. Growth of mildew and mold rarely takes place in the presence of strong moisture resistance home. Continuous insulation and moisture barriers are inseparable parts of energy-efficient home design.

2. Heating and cooling systems

As mentioned earlier, heating and cooling systems account for almost half of a home’s energy use. Therefore, it’s important to pay due attention when purchasing heating and cooling systems. For instance, an efficient HVAC system must be more than 90% efficient, which means there is a minimum amount of energy loss. Building new houses in accordance with the Energy Star recommendations can help you build an energy-efficient home that will help you reduce your utility bills in the future.

Related: What Value Can An Efficient Furnace Add To Your Home

3. Appliances and electronics

Appliances and electronic products also play a vital role in reducing a home’s energy use. Don’t use an outdated, inefficient microwave, dehumidifier, freezer, washer or dryer if you want to design an energy-efficient home.

If you’re in Edmonton, contact Nor-Can Heating & Air to learn more about energy-efficient homes, heating, and cooling solutions. Apart from our HVAC repair and consultation services, we also help households install energy-efficient appliances and get instant rebates on buying some energy-efficient products such as tankless water heaters. Contact us for more information!

Benefits Of Using Humidifiers In The Winter

Benefits Of Using Humidifiers In The Winter

The function of a humidifier is to release water vapor and improve moisture levels in the air. During the winter months, cold and dry air can cause many ailments. Studies reveal that increasing humidity to a certain level can help prevent many airborne viruses that cause flu infections. Which means the right use of humidifiers can help you avoid getting sick due to dry air in the winter.

Dry skin and use of humidifiers

Dry skin or chapped lips are signs that there is a need for a humidifier in your space. The level of humidity in furnace-heated air can be significantly low. Humidifiers add the much-needed moisture to skin and to the air. You can use several humidifiers in the house and near bedrooms.

Improving the quality of air by adding moisture not only treats dry skin but also soothes skin itchiness and dryness ensuring a more comfortable indoor environment in the winter. It’s not just the winter that leads to dry air, there are other factors such as cosmetic products and topical medications for acne that sometimes result in skin dryness.

Reducing flu and allergy symptoms

Moisture and steam can help you ease down itchiness in the nose, irritation, sinuses, nasal passages, and itchy eyes. Humidifiers, therefore, benefit people with flu or allergies. The growth of bacteria that flourish in the dry air can be prevented by improving indoor air quality. However, you must be careful when utilizing humidifiers as a tool to improve moisture in the air. Overusing this device can also facilitate the growth of allergens and pathogens.

Easing asthma

People suffering from asthma can find humidifiers beneficial as it improves breathing especially when a patient is experiencing respiratory infection. However, if you or someone in your family is suffering from asthma, use humidifiers after consulting your doctor.

Related: Ease Your Allergies With A Humidifier

Snoring remedy

People who breathe through their mouth find it difficult to prevent dryness, especially when they are sleeping. The use of a humidifier can improve the situation in such cases helping people soothe the tissues at the back of their throat. It will help them snore less and sleep more comfortably.

Humidified air feels warmer than dry air. Sweat evaporates more slowly with more water in the air making people feel warmer. Maintaining good air quality in your house can help you and your family live much healthier lifestyle.

The use of humidifiers also helps you maintain some of the essential components of your home such as furniture, wallpaper, and paint. Consult a heating and cooling expert to know more about how increasing the humidity level in the air can help you prevent certain health-related issues in the winter.

About Nor Can Heating & Air

Nor Can Heating & Air is a team of highly competent HVAC experts in Edmonton where we help people enhance their indoor environment in terms of cooling, heating, and air quality. From emergency HVAC services to the new installation or replacement of old HVAC units, we deliver a broad range of services. Contact us for more information!

What Value Can An Efficient Furnace Add To Your Home

What Value Can An Efficient Furnace Add To Your Home

Replacing old, outdated furnaces with an efficient heating system is a simple thing you can do to make your home more green and energy-efficient. Apart from the initial installation costs, modern furnaces are made to provide comfort while having an insignificant impact on the environment.

Your house is more than just walls and a roof, it’s a complex system comprised of various components that determine the level of safety, health, and comfort. With the passage of time and technological advancements, HVAC manufacturers now better understand the heat, air, and moisture movement in a building, enabling us to manage or control the indoor environment in a very systematic way.

An obsolete furnace can be very expensive

If your furnace was installed in the 90s, you shouldn’t wonder why your monthly heating expenses are so high. Obsolete home appliances aren’t helpful when it comes to curbing pollution and energy waste. The early furnace models were required to convert at least 78% of fuel into heat. Now, the efficiency level has climbed as high as 98.5%, which means that up to 98.5 of fuel should be considered as convertible energy and heat. Therefore, if your furnace was installed 20 years ago or more, it’s time to replace it and save energy and reduce that utility bill.

Efficiency does matter

Most heating systems use gas which is a common heating fuel. How efficiently your furnace turns gas into heating energy is measured as a percentage. In addition to reduced power consumption, efficient furnaces produce fewer emissions. Also, the environment must be taken into account before making a purchasing decision.

Buying a furnace

There are a number of manufacturers selling furnaces in Canada. How can you make the right furnace buying decision? There are so many factors to consider: models, features, sizes, warranties, efficiency, costs, etc. Nowadays, everything boils down to energy efficiency, comfort, and warranty.

You can get rebates in Alberta

The Government encourages households to buy home appliances that produce maximum results while consuming minimum energy. For example, purchasing a furnace with a high-efficiency motor, which is also called ECM or electronically commutated motor, can help you qualify for a rebate. In order to get a rebate, you have to follow a few simple steps.

Most of the latest furnaces offer 90% efficiency. However, when you buy a new furnace, make sure it has an ECM so that you can save more and receive a rebate. If you’re not sure which model you should select for your space, contact Nor-Can Heating & Air where we not only provide HVAC repair & installation but also help with building energy-efficient houses and offices.

From HVAC emergency services to new installations and repair, we add value to your home by making it more efficient. Contact us for more information!

How Tankless Water Heaters Are More Energy Efficient

How Tankless Water Heaters Are More Energy Efficient

Tankless water heater systems use less energy, take up less space and provide hot water faster than most of the traditional water heating systems. Considering the benefits, it’s not wise to equip your home with inefficient, old-fashioned water heaters. Take advantage of technological developments and replace old appliances with energy-efficient appliances. You have the freedom to reduce your utility bill whether you are heating your home or cooling your home.

Tankless water heating systems or demand-type water heaters provide hot water only when needed. This means you don’t have to suffer standby energy losses associated with traditional, storage-type water heaters. While tankless models are more energy-efficient, it’s important to determine whether or not they are feasible for your home or office. For that, you need to know how demand-type water heaters work:

How tankless water heaters work

If you haven’t yet explored much about tankless water heaters, you might be wondering how they work. Simply put, as the name suggests, demand-type water heaters don’t use a storage tank. When you turn on a hot water tap, cold water runs through a pipe into the unit. An electric or gas element heats the water delivering an uninterrupted supply of hot water, unlike storage-based models that keep you waiting for hot water while the tank is filling up.

It’s also important to mention that tankless water heaters can limit the flow rate due to their instant mechanism of heating up water; they provide hot water at a rate ranging from 7 to 15 liters per minute or 2 to 5 gallons per minute. Gas-fired units offer better flow rates as compared to that of electric. In large households, a single tankless heater might not be enough to supply enough hot water to facilitate multiple and simultaneous uses. It’s a good idea to have more than one unit, connected in parallel, to meet your growing demand for hot water in your building.

Residents of Alberta can get a rebate for installing a tankless water heater

The use of energy-efficient appliances is always desirable on both the national and international levels. The good news is that you can get an energy efficiency rebate of up to $1000 for installing specific tankless water heaters. You can call Nor-Can Heating & Air to learn more about how much you can get back in rebates when installing a tankless water heater.

About Nor-Can

Nor-Can, an HVAC company in Edmonton specializes in providing energy efficiency services to households and businesses which results in adding value to their heating and cooling systems. Whether you need to install a tankless water heater or need to repair a furnace, we provide a comprehensive range of heating and air conditioning services in Edmonton, Alberta. Contact us for more information!

Selecting The Right Water Heater For Your Home

Selecting The Right Water Heater For Your Home

If your current water heater is about to reach its full life expectancy and you’re thinking about getting a new one, or you want to select a water heater for your new home, you’ll be happy to know that you can choose from a number of energy-efficient models and brands. However, you might feel overwhelmed with the types and sizes available in the market.

It is crucial to select the right design, type, and size in order to get an uninterrupted supply of hot water in a cost-effective manner. Choose a water heater that is not only energy efficient but also powerful enough to meet the demand for hot water. It’s never a good idea to just choose a manufacturer and randomly buy a model without considering your needs. Let’s discuss some of the popular types of water heaters to make the selection process easy for you:

Types of water heaters

Having considerable knowledge of different types of water heaters will make it easy for you to make the right choice. Here are some of them:

  • Traditional, storage-tank: this is the most commonly used type which offers 20 to 80 gallons of a ready reservoir of hot water. Storage heaters use energy to heat up the water and maintain its temperature. If you prefer to have a considerable amount of water ready at all times, select models with stronger insulation.
  • Tankless: as the name suggests, this type of water heater heats water without using a storage tank. You can say it’s an on-demand type of water heaters which provides a limited flow of water per minute as compared to that of storage-type. Tankless systems are energy-efficient, ideal for homes that prefer to use natural gas to power the heating systems.
  • Solar: these domestic water heating systems are great when it comes to the environment and economy as they use solar energy to operate. They work best during the summer months. However, the high initial installation cost can be a disadvantage.

Let’s simplify the process: selection criteria

Here are some of the factors that you must consider before making a purchase decision:

  • Fuel type: energy source or fuel type can have an impact on your water heaters operation costs and output. Natural gas, electricity, fuel oil, and solar are some of the leading energy sources. Select the one that is ideal for you both in terms of monthly costs and output.
  • Size: determine the demand for hot water in your house so that you can select the right size. Amount of water per minute is a good indicator to find out whether or not a particular model is appropriate for your building. Select a properly sized unit that can efficiently fulfill your requirements.
  • Cost: How much energy is used is often a concern for many households. It’s advisable to buy energy-efficient models.

About us

Nor Can Heating & Air adds value to your heating and air conditioning systems. If you’re looking to install, repair, or replace a water heater in Edmonton, Alberta, we have what it takes to provide you with excellent service. Contact us for more information!

Why Now is the Perfect Time to Inspect Your Furnace

Why Now is the Perfect Time to Inspect Your Furnace

As the days get a little shorter and the sun goes down a little earlier, you may be adjusting the thermostat more often. While it isn’t parka season quite yet, winter is coming. Here are three important reasons you should book a furnace inspection before the snow flies:

You Can’t Remember Your Last Inspection

Experts suggest that furnaces be inspected at least once a year. This can help technicians predict any impending issues and generally give the unit a good once over. Think of it like your annual check-up at the doctor. You may not have any glaring issues at the time, but it is still important to get checked out just in case. If you don’t remember the last time you had an inspection, you should have someone come in as soon as possible!

Get It in Before the Holidays

September is the lull before the madness of the holidays begin. It is during this month that we ship our kids back to school and take the extra time to relax. Once October rolls in you will be sliding into holiday mode. That means shopping for gifts, preparing get-togethers, and everything else the season entails. Not only will you be short on time, but you’ll likely be short on cash. Furnace inspections aren’t expensive, but every little bit counts. Make sure you have the resources to handle furnace maintenance before you start purchasing gifts for every one of your first cousins.

Don’t Be Left Out in the Cold

Sure, your furnace hasn’t been acting up over the last few months, but then again it’s been a balmy summer. How do you know that your heating unit is in good working condition? Winter is when we pump our homes full of heat in an attempt to combat the freezing cold outside. That burst of usage will be very quick to reveal any issues that set in over the summer. All too often, we see homeowners who put off an inspection and find themselves without heat during the coldest months of the year. Preventative maintenance is key to mitigating this problem.

Don’t be caught unawares this winter. Have your furnace inspected before it gets cold so that you’ll be nice and warm when it counts! Contact the experts at Nor-Can Heating and Air today to book your next inspection.

Summer Insomnia? Get Some Sleep this August

Summer Insomnia? Get Some Sleep this August

Edmonton may be known for its freezing winters, but our summers can be just as extreme. In fact, many people suffer from insomnia during the hot summer months. Here’s everything you need to know about summer insomnia, and what you can do about it:

Why You Can’t Sleep

Our circadian rhythm is responsible for keeping us awake during the day and putting us to sleep at night. In the process, it regulates functions like heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. It is triggered by many factors, two of these being outside temperature and light. Being diurnal creatures, our circadian rhythm feels that heat plus light equals daytime, thus we should be awake. July and August in Edmonton bring nearly 18 hours of sunlight each day. Combine the ubiquitous sunlight with the scorching heat and your circadian rhythm starts to bottom out. This causes restlessness, along with difficulty falling and staying asleep.

The Ideal Temperature

Because of these conditions, it is obvious that your body needs a cool and dark space in order to experience optimal sleep. The general consensus is that the ideal room temperature for sleep is between 18-22 degrees. Not only does this make for the best environment to fall asleep, it actually helps to increase the quality of REM sleep. So you’ll feel like you actually got a good night’s rest.

Cool It Down

There are a few different ways to keep cool in the summertime. Some homeowners will set up a bed in their basements, others will wipe themselves down with a wet cloth before crawling under the sheets. However, there’s another solution that can save your sleep at the mere push of a button; air conditioning. With an air conditioning unit, you can program your thermostat to maintain an ideal temperature throughout the night. No more tossing and turning, just a great sleep.

With the best high efficiency units on the market, we can find the perfect system to fit your needs and your budget. Don’t spend the best months of the year only half-awake, set up you and your family for sleep success! Call the experts at Nor-Can Heating and Air today at (780) 934-4328!

All About High Efficiency A/C

All About High Efficiency A/C

In the sweltering summer heat, air conditioners can be a lifesaver! However, owning a traditional air conditioner can come with its own set of problems. The solution is simple: upgrade to a high-efficiency unit. Though the price may be daunting at first, investing will help you keep your cool better than that old A/C unit ever could.

Traditional Air Conditioners

Older models utilize a single stage motor. This little motor is all or nothing, full speed or full stop. Once the temperature reached the desired setting, the unit would click off. The temperature would then increase again, triggering the air conditioning to turn on again and start the process all over. The constant on and off again functionality makes for an incredibly inefficient process.

Air Conditioners of the Future

High efficiency models combat this pitfall by having two-stage motors. This allows them to operate at both high and low speeds. The high speed is intended to get the temperature down to the programmed setting. The low speed is to maintain the temperature with less cycling. Less cycling means less wasted energy. Less wasted energy means that your utility bills will only reflect the energy you are actually using.

ENERGY STAR® to the Rescue

When looking at air conditioners, it is important to know what you are getting. A unit may claim to be energy efficient, but that doesn’t mean that it is the same calibre as other models. Utilize the EnerGuide label to determine whether or not a potential unit is adhered to national high-efficiency standards. If you see an ENERGY STAR® symbol, this is the unit you are looking for!

Not a One-Trick Pony

High-efficiency air conditioners do more than just keep you cool. They offer a plethora of other benefits for you and your family:

  • Humidity Management: Excessive humidity can cause mould growth, but too little can exacerbate allergy and cold symptoms. Modern air conditioners do better than their predecessors in maintaining humidity.  
  • Big Savings:
  • Longer Lifespan: The reduction in cycling means that your new air conditioner won’t experience the same wear and tear as your old one. That means less breakdowns and fewer repairs needed.

High-efficiency air conditioners are gentle on the environment, your home, and your wallet, without sacrificing comfort. If any of those factors interest you, give us a call today at (780) 934-4328. Let’s update your air conditioner and your life!

Is it Time You Considered Investing in A/C?

Is it Time You Considered Investing in A/C?

Summer has officially come to Edmonton. Now is the season of festivals and floating down the river. But while we are having a great time outdoors, we can’t neglect what is going on indoors. Our homes can be sources of unbearable heat during this usually lovely time of year. If you are considering having air conditioning installed in your home, now is the time to do it! Here are four signs that it’s high time you invested in air conditioning for your home:

You Break a Sweat Just Climbing Up the Stairs

According to Harvard Health, high temperatures can wreak havoc on our bodies. We need to work extra hard to release all of the heat building up inside of us. This means pumping more blood, faster. This can be uncomfortable for healthy people, but those with cardiovascular issues can downright suffer through the hot summer months.

You’re Tired of Sleeping with All the Windows and Doors Open

Depending on where you live in or around Edmonton, not everyone is comfortable leaving their homes open during the night. This way, your security is being compromised while you sleep. Air conditioning can help eradicate the need to open windows and doors to encourage air flow.

Your Appliances Don’t Seem to Last as Long as They Should

Heat isn’t just hard on us, it’s hard on our furniture and appliances. In confined spaces, heat breeds humidity. This moisture can actually shorten the lifespan of objects you’ve worked hard to bring into your home. Warped wood and moist leather aren’t just unsightly, but may effect your ability to use the affected surfaces.

You Find Yourself Tired and Irritable During the Day

Summer insomnia happens, especially in the absence of an air conditioner. Our bodies are designed to sleep in cooler temperatures, so the hot Edmonton heat can mess with our natural rhythm. Not getting enough sleep on a continual basis can lead to some negative health effects. Primary among those are moodiness and inability to focus.

If any of this sounds like you, it’s time to call the experts at Nor-Can Heating and Air at 780-934-4328. Don’t suffer the heat any longer, let’s get you set up with an air conditioner today!