On the night of November 26th, a group of volunteers from Ashton Service Group participated in the 3rd annual Windows of Hope at the Richmond Auto Mall. Our busy elves spent the evening painting festive themes on the windows of Cowell Volkswagen in the Richmond Auto Mall to raise money for the Richmond Christmas Fund.
Many families in Richmond live with only the bare necessities. As such, this program aims to distribute grocery vouchers and gifts for less fortunate families and children across Richmond. The Window’s of Hope program encourages dealerships to donate money to the Christmas Fund instead of paying for window decorations. In exchange, a team of Ashton Service Group volunteers will paint and decorate the dealership’s windows free of charge, benefiting both the dealership and the Richmond Charismas Fund. This year’s Windows of Hope was a great success thanks to our volunteers and the generosity of Cowell Volkswagen.
Visit the following link for a gallary of images:
When it starts getting cold, you don’t want to turn on the furnace only to discover that it’s not working. Your best bet is to hire a professional to have them inspect, clean and check for unhealthy gases to ensure everything is in order. However, there are a few simple steps you can take right now to get ready for winter.
Check all the vents around your home and open them if they are closed. Ensure that any household items are not sitting on top or in front of your air vents. This can dramatically reduce the efficiency of your furnace by impeding airflow. Remove any items near the furnace to avoid any potential fire hazards. Check your furnace filters regularly and consider changing them if they are in dirty or in poor condition. You can also upgrade to a HEPA filter which will increase the energy efficiency of your furnace. Changing your furnace filters regularly will ensure a high standard of air quality in your home.
It is also important to have carbon monoxide and radon detectors installed and inspected for everyone’s safety.
Call Ashton Service Group to schedule a quote for your furnace inspection at 778-802-1607.
Question: Will my new furnace work like the old one I had?
A new furnace will not operate the same way as an older one. As with electronics and cell phones changing, furnace systems have also changed in recent years. These changes will affect how your system operates and what you notice about them.
Furnaces have become more efficient with high efficient systems and you can see a number of them the marketplace. Consumers, government agencies and manufacturers all see higher efficiency as a way to conserve our natural resources while reducing consumer energy costs. Furnaces are now designed with high efficiency in mind and it is tough to find and purchase furnaces that were produced more than 15 years ago due to more government regulations.
To achieve higher efficiencies, new gas furnaces must move more air over the heat exchanger than older furnaces so that as much heat as possible can be sent throughout the house. The air that comes out of your furnace registers may not seem as warm as the air from your old furnace, but it will heat your house just as well. Better airflow can improve the heat in your home by reducing air temperature differences from the ceiling to the floor.
Ashton Service Group in Vancouver has a dedicated furnace repair and replacement team who can provide you with expert advice and information about the best furnace options for your home. Feel free to contact us and we can schedule an appointment at your convenience.
Question: What is a 2-stage furnace and are they better than a single-stage furnace?
Two-stage furnaces have two levels of output: they can run on a low setting (first stage) to heat your home during mild/cool evenings and on high (second stage) when the days are colder. The low setting normally meets the heating demand of a home 80% of the time and as the furnace runs for a longer period, the heat is evenly distributed throughout the home. Two stage furnaces can adjust their output from the low setting to high when the temperature drops so you do not have to keep adjusting the thermostat.
There are a number of benefits with having a 2-stage furnace such as the noise of the furnace is quieter as there is no “kick” or blast of air when the furnace turns on to full capacity as it is switching from the low setting to high. The low setting allows the filter to capture more contaminants because air is constantly passing through it. The two-stage furnace burns less fuel as it normally operates on the lower setting before switching to high to meet demand unlike the standard one that runs only at full capacity and then shuts off when the desired temperature is reached.
Call Ashton Service Group, your Richmond furnace replacement company to schedule a quote for a new furnace before the weather gets any colder at 778-802-1607.
Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving when there is a lot of activity and people at home. Here are a few reminders that will help make the holiday a little less stressful.
- Stay home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over toys, pocketbooks, jackets or bags.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, or mixer are not dangling off the counter that can be easily pulled or caught accidently.
- Never leave candles unattended.
- Don’t place glass casseroles or lids on the stove or burner – they can heat up or even explode.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
- Buy a food thermometer if you don’t already have one. A cooked whole turkey is safe at a minimum internal temperature of 74°C throughout the bird and stuffing. If you’re thawing the turkey in the refrigerator, we also recommend using a refrigerator thermometer to make sure the temperature is no higher than 5°C.
Most importantly is to remember to take time to enjoy the holiday with your friends and family.
Happy Thanksgiving from Ashton Service Group!
For many companies it’s simply a place, a location, a point on a map. For some, though, it’s more than that. It’s a way of thinking, deeply ingrained in their workplace culture and shared by all employees. “Community-minded” is an accurate term, yet doesn’t quite go far enough. Because these companies don’t merely think about giving back. They plan how they can make the greatest impact in their community, and then they act, repeating the process again and again.
As a result, their reputation grows. So does employee morale. More and more qualiﬁed candidates start sending in resumes, hoping to work for a company that puts community ﬁrst. Meanwhile, business picks up. Clients and customers choose these companies because of what they represent. They offer quality products and services, but they also offer peace of mind: it feels good to support a business that’s socially engaged.
These types of companies can be found all over the world, but, thanks to an innovative program launched in 2011, Richmond is quickly becoming a hotspot. The Richmond Caring Companies program is a joint initiative of Volunteer Richmond Information Services, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, Coast Capital Savings, and Ashton Service Group. Through a series of workshops and consultations, participating businesses receive the tools and resources needed to create their own corporate volunteering policies, in addition to learning how to identify partnership opportunities with local non-proﬁt organizations.
The ﬁrst group of Caring Companies to complete the program included Ashton Service Group, Back in Motion, Beavis Wong & Associates, Misty Mountain Specialties, Richmond Funeral Home, and Scotiabank. They did more than take part in the workshops and consultations, however; their employees also volunteered at the ﬁrst ever Richmond Day of Caring, held at the Sharing Farm. The event received local media coverage (even the Mayor paid a visit), helping to highlight the incredible work of the companies involved.
Wondering how you can get involved?
To reserve your space, call 604-279-7020 or visit www.volunteerrichmond.ca and complete an online application form. Don’t miss this opportunity to grow your business while growing the community.
Summer seems like it was a while ago with the back to school and returning to work mode. Fall is here even if it isn’t official yet and it is best to begin carrying out some home maintenance to prepare for the cooler days ahead.
1. The number one thing that affects a person’s bill is the heat they use in their house. Heating accounts for approximately 70% of a person’s energy bill.
The simple act of turning down your thermostat at night or while you are gone during the day will go a long way to reducing your energy bills. If you have trouble remembering to turn the temperature down, consider installing a programmable thermostat.
2. Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and lowering your heating bill.
3. Consider installing a carbon monoxide alarm near the fireplace and furnace. Also remember to test your smoke alarms and change the batteries too.
4. Clean your dryer vent once every 6 months. Move your dryer away from the wall, unplug it, and vacuum behind it. (If it’s a gas dryer, turn off the gas supply to the dryer at the appliance shutoff valve.)
Unhook the tube that leads to the vent and clear as much lint from the tube as you can. Grab a shop vacuum, go outside, and tackle the outside dryer vent as well.
5. Replace the filter in your furnace. Consider having an Ashton heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal performance and discover minor problems before they turn into costly repairs. Clean your ducts to better your heating system’s efficiency as well as to reduce household dust and to provide relief to those with respiratory problems.
Ashton is helping people get their furnace checked before the weather gets cooler. Book your Ashton furnace tune up before Sept. 30th and save 40%; book before Oct. 14th and save 30% off the service.
Call 604-283-2383 to schedule an appointment today!
Question: Are there any rebates available for my furnace?
Yes there is.
I know you probably haven’t put any thought into your furnace for some time. Believe it or not, but now is the perfect time to start thinking about your furnace! In order for your furnace to operate at maximum capacity, annual service is strongly recommended.
There are 3 reasons to have your furnace tuned up before winter.
#1 reason is to prevent break downs. The last thing anyone wants is for their heat to fail on one of the coldest nights of the year. Service will also prolong the life of your furnace.
#2 reason is efficiency. Leaving a furnace un-serviced, runs the risk of increased energy costs.
#3 reason is safety. Your furnace creates harmful gases that are meant to be directed outside. For a number of reasons, those dangerous gases can make their way into your home and in a worst case scenario can result in death.
To motivate people to get their furnaces serviced, Fortis BC is offering a $25 grant that expires on August 30th.
If you are interested in having your furnace serviced- call Ashton at 604-283-2383 and one of our licenced technicians will be happy to get your furnace running at 100% for the upcoming winter.
A Service Plan agreement is a great way of protecting your home in the event of equipment breaking down. A service plan is insurance for your furnace, boiler, air conditioner etc. You hope not to have to use it but it is there in case you do.
If your heating and cooling equipment break down when you need them to be working- it can cause a lot of stress and has lots of costs associated with replacing them.
If you choose to purchase our Ashton Value Plan (Silver or Gold), you will receive priority service for plumbing, heating and air conditioning calls (routine or emergency), we will place emergency valve tags on all your safety valves so you will know which ones to turn off in the event of an emergency.
You will also pay no emergency service fees if something occurs after normal business hours and you will receive a 15% discount on all repairs.
What’s more if you purchase our Gold Ashton Value Plan, you will receive an annual performance tune up of your heating or cooling system to keep your systems running efficiently. We will call you to schedule your tune-up or you have the option of calling us when you would like to have the tune up done.
To learn more about our Ashton Value Plans.
Question: Are there ways I can increase the efficiency of my home’s heating and cooling systems?
Yes, there are different things you can do to increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system:
1. Clean and replace your filters regularly.
2. Your system will heat and cool more evenly when the blower is in the “on” position. The blower provides constant air movement throughout the home, and allows for better filtration.
3. Install shades, drapes, shutters, or screens on windows that are exposed to extreme sunlight to keep room temperatures at moderate levels.
If you notice that it is taking longer for your heating/cooling system to heat up or cool down or if your heating bills have been increasing and you don’t know why—they may be signs that your heating/cooling system has a problem.
Phone Ashton Service Group and we can have one of our technicians help you diagnose the problem and provide recommendations on the best course of action at 604-283-2383.