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!

Tips to Keep Things Steamy this Spring

Tips to Keep Things Steamy this Spring

Spring has officially sprung and things are finally starting to heat up. Peel off your parka and let the sun in. But while the outside may be getting warmer, don’t forget about the indoor temperatures. Do you remember the last time you looked in on your hot water heater? If the answer is no, it’s about time for a check-up.

Get to Know Your Water Heater

What do you really know about your water heater? You don’t need to be an expert—that’s what Nor-Can Heating and Air is for—but you do need to know some basics.

  • Where your water heater is located: Most water heaters live in attics or basements, out of sight and out of mind. Take time to get acquainted with the space. Ensure that the area is clean and free of clutter.
  • What type of water heater it is: Now that you’ve found it, it’s time to do some research. Is it powered by natural gas, electricity, or propane? Is it tankless? Take a moment to write down the model and serial numbers. For warranty and repair purposes, this will be invaluable information to a repair person.
  • How to turn off your water heater: Sometimes emergencies happen and you’ll need to turn off the water heater for safety reasons. For example, smelling gas is a good sign that the heater should be turned off as soon as possible. In this type of situation, waiting for a plumber can be dangerous. Know your machine and know how to disconnect it if the need ever arises.

Regular Maintenance

Like any appliance, your hot water heater will need to regular maintenance in order to keep it in tip top shape and extend its lifespan. There are two main actions you can take to do this:

  1. Drain/flush your water heater: Once a year, drain a few gallons of water out of your water heater. If quite a bit of debris seems to be coming out, opt for a full flush. A full flush is when you turn down the temperature and completely drain the tank. Once the tank is empty, turn the water back on and let it flow in order to remove lingering sediment at the bottom of the tank.
  2. Have an annual inspection: Remember the experts we mentioned earlier? This is where they come in. A professional technician will be able to spot leaks, corrosion, or any other signs that your hot water heater needs some loving.

Even in the warmer months, lukewarm showers don’t quite offer the same joy as hot ones. Follow these simple tips to keep your hot water heater doing what it does best, so that you can go out and enjoy spring the way you do best. Time for an inspection? Give the experts at Nor-Can Heating and Air a call today!

Can a Carrier Smart Thermostat Help You Save Money?

Can a Carrier Smart Thermostat Help You Save Money?

Nowadays, everything is designed to be “smart.” Included in the plethora of intelligent technology, we have smart TVs, smartphones, even smart toilets! But did you know about smart thermostats?

What is a “smart” thermostat?

  1. Allows you to control the climate of your home remotely using your smartphone, computer, and sometimes even your voice!
  2. Allows you to view your usage history to better keep track of when your system is working. If you’re a data junkie, then this is the perfect product for you!
  3. Adjusts to your heating and cooling habits. That’s right, a smart thermostat can learn from your tendencies and shift accordingly.

That sounds cool, but how can it save money?

The idea behind smart thermostats is to be more efficient than ever before. They take the hassle out of programmable thermostats and allow you to program and set controls easily. Because of this automation, you won’t be running your HVAC when you don’t need it. Bottom line: if your system is running less often, it’s costing you less money. Especially in our Albertan climate where the summers are scorching and the winters are bone-chilling, smart thermostats can take a substantial chunk out of those dreaded energy bills. Imagine coming into your home and actually being comfortable regardless of what the weather looks like outside.

What’s so special about Carrier?

Carrier offers a wide range of options for every lifestyle. Your heating, cooling, and humidity can all be managed from virtually anywhere. Knowledge is power, so all of their technology is streamlined to keep you up to date with all of your data whenever you need it. Not so great with technology? Carrier has something for you, too! They offer products with easy-to-read screens and even easier-to-use interfaces.

Here at Nor-Can, we know how important it is to keep your HVAC efficient and your energy bills low. If you feel the same way, a smart thermostat may be the right choice for you. Switching may be the best decision you ever make for your home!

Everything You Need To Know About HVAC Efficiency Ratings!

Everything You Need To Know About HVAC Efficiency Ratings!

One of the best ways to care for your family, protect the environment, and save your wallet all at the same time is to invest in high efficiency HVAC. Ultimately, the greater the efficiency, the greater the energy savings. That being said, it can be hard to know what brands and units that will be the most effective in your home. That’s why the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute of North America has created labelling systems so that you know exactly how efficient your HVAC system will be. When it comes to efficiency ratings, there are two acronyms you need to know:

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is a measure of air conditioner efficiency. The number is determined by taking the cooling output during a typical cooling-season and dividing it by the total electric energy input during the same period. Math aside, all you really need to know is that the higher the SEER number, the greater the efficiency. Today, Canadian regulatory bodies require all new products to have a 13.0 SEER rating or better.

AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilisation Efficiency) is the measure of furnace efficiency. This value reflects how much heat the furnace will provide compared to the amount of energy needed to produce the heat. For example, an AFUE rating of 70% means that 30% of energy used is lost and 70% becomes heat for your home.

When perusing the labels, keep in mind:

  • Your budget for a new unit
  • Your budget for monthly bills
  • If you or anyone else in your home have respiratory issues
  • The size of your home

All of these factors will need to be considered when choosing the perfect HVAC system for your home. The key to high efficiency is keeping an eye on those labels and having expert HVAC professionals to come in to offer unique advice for your unique home. If you’re ready to take the leap into high efficiency HVAC, give our team a call today for an in-home consultation!

Why Choosing the Right Installation Team Will Save You From An Emergency

Choosing the Right Installation Team

A tight economy leads to even tighter budgets. We are all trying to find ways to save a few pennies, but it’s important to know where it’s safe to cut corners and where it can be dangerous. Furnace installation can seem like a daunting expense, but spending now will mean saving in the future. Here are three reasons to choose a quality installation team for your furnace:

Gas Leaks

Poor connections can lead to a carbon monoxide leak. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colourless, meaning that it is virtually invisible to our senses. This leak can lead to CO poisoning and a myriad of health issues. It is also combustible and can lead to explosions or fires.

Electrical Issues

Having an electric furnace will save you the stress of a possible carbon monoxide leak, but faulty wiring can be just as hazardous. Incorrect wiring can cause fires or increase your energy bill unnecessarily.

Poor Output

Energy will be lost with faulty ductwork connections and poor sealing between the furnace and the ventilation shafts. If you furnace is noisy or spreads a lot of dust, you know something is wrong. Even if you have a top-of-the-line furnace, a poor installation can cause havoc in your home. Furthermore, if the contractor you chose for your installation was not licensed, you could invalidate your home insurance.

It’s for these reasons that you should never be afraid to ask questions when looking for a team to do work in your home. Make sure to find a team that is committed to your safety and is properly certified in HVAC.

Take Control of Your Allergies

Take Control of Your Allergies

If you suffer from environmental allergies, this one’s for you. Constant vacuuming, dusting, and medication are some of the ways that you can try to escape your dreaded allergies, but who really has time for all of that work, and what do you do when those chores don’t help?  Air quality isn’t something that can be swept away, so here are three ways to effectively improve it:

HVAC Inspection

When it comes to your HVAC system, there are many factors that could be affecting your health. Dirty ducts or mold could be the simple cause with simple solutions, but you may never even be able to see, let alone fix the problem. Having regular inspections with trusted HVAC professionals will ensure that anything harmful will be found and dealt with promptly.

Air Filtration

Every furnace has a filter, but furnace filters are made to improve the HVAC efficiency, not improve air quality. Proper air filtration for your home comes from a more involved system: HEPA. A HEPA filter, or high efficiency particulate air filter, removes 99.9% of particles from the air as small as 0.3 micrometres. That means pollen, dust mites, mold spores, bacteria, and even some viruses are pulled from your air, and ultimately your lungs. Make sure to regularly change the filters depending on your unique needs, and your body will thank you!

Humidity Control

Being landlocked, Edmonton is not known for its balmy weather. Even the North Saskatchewan River doesn’t negate the dry spells that make our winters bitter. Because of this, our lungs, skin, and hair tend to suffer. While we can’t humidify our city streets, we can humidify our homes. Invest in a furnace humidifier. Keeping your home’s humidity between 35%-45% will ensure maximum comfort without encouraging mold to grow.

Don’t suffer from allergy and asthmatic symptoms any longer. Give your body a break and turn your home into a haven. Allow us to come in and help you discover custom fitted solutions for you and your family. When you need to breathe easier, give our team a call!