Understanding The Significance Of HVAC Services

Understanding The Significance Of HVAC Services

An acronym for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, HVAC services are widely used to provide cooling and heating for residential and industrial settings. From a small house to skyscrapers and mega industrial plants, HVAC systems play a critical role in improving climate control and creating a comfortable indoor environment.

For most households, heating and cooling accounts for more than half of the energy they use. Taking into account the importance of energy efficiency, it’s important for you to choose the right HVAC setup that can meet your heating and cooling needs without increasing the cost of your utility bill.

Heating systems

It’s hard to imagine a comfortable lifestyle without heating systems in cities like Edmonton where cold weather can make life seriously difficult. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Edmonton was −49.4 °C (−56.9 °F), on January 19 and 21, 1986. There are different forms of heating systems; for example, furnaces that burn natural gas or propane to produce heated air through ductwork. It’s recommended to use energy-efficient furnaces that use ECM motor technology. Boilers are another form of heating systems that heat water for steam radiators. They use oil or gas to heat the water.

Radiant floor or hydronic heating systems is another way to keep the indoor environment warm and cozy. These systems use underfloor piping made of flexible tubes filled with glycol solution or water. Whether your floors are made of concrete or wood, these systems can heat most floors.

Related: Choosing The Best Furnace For Your Home in Edmonton

Cooling Systems

Just like heating systems, there are many types of air conditioning systems ranging from massive units designed to cool down large spaces, to small window-mounted systems to cool small rooms.

High relative humidity, bright sunshine, and elevated air temperature can combine to create an uncomfortable indoor environment. Cooling systems are one of the most effective ways to deal with heat in the summer. However, air conditioning comes with a sharp rise in electricity bills. To make life easier, consider removing your old, inefficient air conditioner and replace it with a more energy-efficient one. Make sure cooling systems installed in your house are sufficient to control the temperature. As a household owner, you should carefully evaluate your heating and cooling needs so that you use the HVAC systems ideal for your home.

Ventilation systems

According to a recently conducted report, Canadians spend approximately 80% of their time indoors. The use of efficient ventilation systems can help you improve indoor air quality. They reduce moisture levels and pollutant that lead to harmful health effects.

Your house may be designed in a way that is naturally ventilated. However, ventilation solely by window opening can increase energy costs, especially when it takes heavy cooling or heating to keep the environment at a comfortable temperature level. Managing relative humidity also becomes challenging in the summer and winter.

If you’re not sure what HVAC system is right for your space or you need dependable HVAC repair and installation services in Edmonton, feel free to contact Nor Can Heating & Air!

Choosing The Best Furnace For Your Home in Edmonton

Choosing The Best Furnace For Your Home in Edmonton

It’s important for Canadians to prepare for the winter and have their heating systems properly installed and maintained. If your house or office isn’t ready for extreme wind, ice, and sub-zero temperatures, it’s time to equip your space with an efficient furnace. Having the right heating system installed in your house plays a key role in maintaining a comfortable indoor environment during the cold months.

Whether you need to upgrade your existing heating system or need to repair your old furnace, or maybe you’re planning to get rid of your old, inefficient furnace and install an energy-efficient unit, it’s helpful to consult an HVAC expert. This blog post will help you choose the right furnace for your house.

Before making a purchase, don’t forget to check the equipment’s Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE); the higher the rating, the more efficient the furnace will be.

Types of furnaces

Maintenance, operating cost, size and your heating needs can help you determine what type of furnace you should install in your home. Some of the popular types of furnaces in Canada include:

Gas furnaces

Gas furnaces are the most commonly used heating appliances in Canada. Many residents prefer to use gas furnace due to their features: safety, reliability, and efficiency. HVAC technology has changed dramatically over the past few years. For example, gas furnaces have become more efficient in terms of performance, functionality, and energy consumption.

Electric furnaces

The function of electric furnaces is to heat up the air that moves through the ductwork by a fan. Controlled by circuit breakers, electric heater elements in the electric furnace produce heat. The cost to run an electric furnace is relatively high. However, electric furnaces are easy to install and environment-friendly contributing almost nothing to carbon emissions.

Propane furnaces

Installing a propane furnace is a good choice if you live in a rural area where other fuels are expensive or scarce. You need to install a propane tank outside of your home and connect it to your propane furnace. Local service companies should be refilling your tank.

Buy a furnace with Electronically Commutated Motors (ECM)

Electronically commutated motor (ECM) is a motor technology used in heating applications to reduce the consumption of energy. Surprisingly, a furnace with ECM can help you reduce energy consumption by up to 60%. Apart from having a reduced electricity bill and optimum level heating, you can claim a rebate if you purchase any eligible furnace with a high-efficiency motor (ECM). These motors help adjust speed to provide adequate airflow resulting in less noise and electrical consumption.

About Nor-Can Heating & Air

Nor-Can is a team of HVAC experts in Edmonton where we help our customers choose, install, repair and maintain all kinds of heating systems including furnaces and air conditioning units. If you live in Edmonton, just give us a quick call and we will take care of your heating and cooling needs. Contact us for more information!

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!

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!

Should You Turn Off the Hot Water Heater While Your Gone?

Should You Turn Off the Hot Water Heater While Your Gone?

In a previous article, we discussed the merits of programming your thermostat while you are away. In this month’s edition, we will go over what you should do with your water heater while you are on vacation.

Why You Shouldn’t Turn It Off

The heat of the hot water heater is what prevents bacterial and fungal growth—all of that water and darkness is a breeding ground for those nasty critters. To save energy and ensure that you don’t have unwanted growth in your water heater, many heaters have a “vacation” mode. While it will still be using energy, this is a gentler alternative to keeping your heater cranked the whole time you are gone.

When You Come Home

When you get back home after your vacation, make sure to check and see that nothing has leaked in your absence. Cold snaps and other sudden changes in weather can have an effect on the appliances in your home. It’s always good to periodically look at your devices and ensure that they are still in working order. Be aware that it may take slightly longer for your water to turn hot, as it will need to reheat back to the normal temperature.

The Alternative: A Tankless Water Heater

If wasting all that energy doesn’t appeal to you, it may be time to upgrade to a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters are one of the most cost-effective and energy efficient ways to heat water for your home. Another attractive feature of this system is that, without a tank, it also saves space. Not only that, but rebates of up to $1000 are available for those who invest in a tankless water heater.

If you have questions about your existing hot water heater, or are curious about upgrading, give us a call today!

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!