Archive for the ‘Air Conditioning’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Question: The weather is getting colder and colder, how can I prepare my furnace for winter?

 

Answer:

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.

PostHeaderIcon Why Have A Service Plan Agreement?

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.

 

PostHeaderIcon Ask The Expert

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.

 

PostHeaderIcon Take Immediate Steps To Protect Yourself From A Gas Leak

If you smell gas in your home it is absolutely vital you deal with the cause without delay. This is because if it ignites it is extremely dangerous and potentially lethal. It can destroy property and even worse, kill.
Natural gas does not actually have an odor; that is added artificially before it hits the mains. The idea of giving gas a smell is to provide a warning should it leak. Of course not all gas emergencies are caused by leaks, they can be caused because a gas stove has been inadvertently left on and not lit, a pilot light extinguishing; or a malfunctioning gas furnace. Whatever the reason, it is important you take immediate steps to protect yourself, your family and your home.

When noticing a gas leak you should:

• Clear the affected room of as much gas as possible

You should not:

• Light a match or candle as you attempt to find the cause of the gas leak
• Switch on electrical equipment or flick the light switch

These are simple precautions that can be taken. On entering a room or area of the home where there is a smell of gas, open the windows and doors to ensure the gas escapes. This is a very necessary and sensible move and will help reduce the possibility of an explosion.
Matches and candles should not be lit, even if it is dark, because the flame will ignite the gas and cause an explosion. The same could happen if any electrical equipment is switched on or a light switch flicked.

Identifying The Source Of The Smell Of Gas

Only when it is safe should an attempt be made to identify what is causing the gas to escape.
One of the most common causes is that the gas stove has been left on or not lit, or the pilot light for the HVAC system has gone out. The stove is the easiest to deal with as it is just a case of switching it off. It may also be possible to re-ignite a pilot light. It is always wise to read the manual to learn what to do should any of these emergencies arise. If it cannot be lit or if there are concerns about a leak of gas from an HVAC or furnace it should be shut down and an HVAC contractor called in.
If the smell of gas in the home is severe and the problem cannot be dealt with or is continuing then the gas should be cut off at the mains. It is essential that the utility company is contacted immediately. The supplier will have an emergency number to ring for these occasions.

Other Sensible Steps To Take

One of the best and simplest precautions to ensure there are no gas emergencies in the home is to ensure that all gas utilities are serviced regularly, at least once a year. At the time these items are installed it is wise to check whether there is a service plan available.

Ashton Value Plan

The Ashton Value plan is a service agreement in which customers receive priority service, reduced dispatch fees, and no overtime charges for emergencies. All Ashton Value Plans come with a safety inspection of your home. During the safety inspection, the main gas shut off is tagged. You will be shown where you can shut off your gas in the event of an emergency.

If you have any questions about our Ashton Value Plan or inquiries about new equipment please contact our office 24 hours a day 604-283-2383

PostHeaderIcon 10 Ways to Keep Your Home and Family Cool This Summer

The hot weather has finally arrived but your home now is too hot for your liking. To help, I have put together a list of 10 items that you can put to use to help keep you cool this summer.

1. Keep the house closed during the day (meaning have your windows and exterior doors shut) to not let in unwanted heat and humidity. Open your windows during the evening when the sun has set and the temperature has cooled. Using a fan helps circulate the air in the room too.

2. Turn off heat generating appliances like computers, lamps and TVs when they are not being used and run the dishwasher in the evening when it is cooler outside.

3. Hang tightly woven screens or bamboo shades outside your windows to stop 60 to 80% of the sun’s heat from getting to your windows and heating your home.

4. Keep your thermostat set at 25-26°C or higher if you are using ceiling fans. Don’t air-condition unused rooms to help save on your energy bills.

5. Plant trees if you can. Leafy trees can shade your home and keep it cool. Deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves in the fall) will let sunlight through in the winter and create shade in summer.

6. Hang up your bedding in the coolest part of the house during the day. When you get up, take your bedding to the coolest room in the house (where ever there is the most shade) and hang up the blankets and sheets so that each side is exposed to the air. Take them down and put them back on your bed just before you go to sleep and you will find it more comfortable to sleep.

7. Use a programmable thermostat with your air conditioner to adjust the setting at night so you don’t wake up in the middle of the night freezing or when no one is home to save on your energy bills and have your rooms ready and cooled when you walk in the door.

8. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents; they produce the same amount of light but use a fifth of the energy and heat.

9. If you have an air conditioner, get it serviced to maximize efficiency-the best time is just before it gets hot (Spring) and the air conditioning contractors are not swamped with calls. Clean your A/C’s air filter every month during cooling season. Normal dust build-up can reduce the air flow by 1% per week.

10. If you have an older central air conditioner, consider replacing the outdoor compressor with a modern, high-efficiency unit. Make sure that it is properly matched to the indoor unit. If you are buying a new air conditioner, make sure that it is accurately sized. Get assistance from an air conditioning contractor who can discuss various options for your home.

If you would like more information on putting in an air conditioner in your home, please feel free to give us a call at 604-283-2383.

PostHeaderIcon You Don’t Have to Suffer In The Heat

Many people in Vancouver usually just tough it out through the hot summer months because in reality there is only really 2 months of serious heat. Most people don’t even entertain the idea of Air Conditioning because they assume it will be expensive or they simply just don’t know enough about it. I will explain a few of the options and benefits of investing in an AC system for your home.

There are 3 main types of AC you can have in you home.

1. If you have a furnace we can install a heat pump which will actually heat and cool your home. The unit works by supplying cold air to your furnace, which in turn distributes the cold are throughout your house. In the winter you can use the heat pump to heat your home as well. This method is very efficient and has the lowest amount of carbon footprint. This means you are saving money and helping the environment.

2. Another option is a central AC system. This works independently from you heating system and has its on duct work. This is ideal of if you can install it when you build your house.

3. The third and most popular right now is the ductless split method. This method is very common for people in BC as it is designed for people who have boilers or base board heaters. Because boilers have no existing venting that can be used to transfer the air, we have to install a ductless system. The beauty about a ductless is that you can choose to have it in as little or as many rooms as you like. It simply hangs on the wall and provided cooling to the room. Its that simple! Some models even have sensors that push the air to the warmer parts of the room. It does this with an infrared camera that reads the heat in the room.
Another benefit to the ductless system is its high efficiency and dual capabilities. The ductless systems are mini-heat pumps so you can also heat your home in the winter. The cost of heating with the ductless is cheaper than with a standard boiler because it is more efficient.

The next big heatwave just remember, you have options! Any home in Vancouver can have AC, its just a matter of finding the right system for your home.

If you would like to have a free estimate or a tune up on your current system feel to give us a call! 604-283-2383

PostHeaderIcon Saving Energy With Your Air Conditioning Unit

Every body is always looking for ways to make their home more energy efficient because lets face it, utility prices are a pain! This time of the year is especially critical for home owners to start thinking about their air conditioning and start thinking am I doing all I can to save my self money this cooling season? Here a few easy steps you can take to make sure your AC system is running efficiently and effectively this summer.

Preventative Maintenance Inspection- Having a technician come out to your home and inspect your AC system is the best way to make sure everything is running smoothly, prevent costly breakdowns during a heat wave, insure efficient energy consumption, and prolong the life of your air conditioner.

Change Filters - This is a very simple step that many people over look. It is very inexpensive to do, but can be very expensive if you choose to ignore this step. Would you go 3 years without changing the oil in your car? A technician can do this for you during one of you semi-annual inspections

Keep the Cooling Coils Clean-During your semi-annual inspection the technician will insure that all contaminants are cleared.

Seal Air Leaks Seal the cold air into your home, that way it is less likely to escape. The same principle can be applied to heating your home. Make sure all windows and exterior doors are sealed with weather stripping.

Reduce Appliance Use-Try using your appliances in the early morning or after sunset. Appliances like washers/dryers and even dishwashers emit heat. By simply changing the time you use them, your home will be cooler and your AC unit won’t have to work as hard. Also consider putting in drapes to block out sunlight.

Programmable Thermostats Programmable thermostats are very effective when set up correctly. They work by telling the system when you and your family will be home and turn on during the prime hours when you are home, thus saving energy because the system doesn’t run when you are out.

Weigh the Option Of Upgrading-It may be hard to fathom spending a large amount of money to change something that works, but it maybe smarter to upgrade. There are so many grants and rebates available for high efficiency units. Additionally the more efficient your system, the more money you save annually.

Call today and book your AC inspection. 604-283-2383.
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PostHeaderIcon Surrey Air Conditioning Tip: How to get the most out of your AC unit ???

With the recent hot snap people realize the importance of AC units, but it can also be a big waste and expense when used inefficiently. There are plenty of ways to waste cooled air from your Surrey air conditioner, but fortunately there are also several ways to increase efficiency.

Try these, for starters:

  1. Keep filters and coils clean

Filters and coils need to be kept clean in order for an air conditioner to run optimally. Clean or change your filter once a month, in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. A tech can should inspect the evaporator and condenser coils every summer, and clean them as necessary.

  1. Look at efficiency ratings

All air conditioners bear a rating that reflects their efficiency, called the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER. The SEER rating is a measure of how much cooling capacity a unit has in relation to how much power it draws. For more energy efficiency, opt for a model with a higher SEER rating.

  1. Use the “auto” fan setting

Most thermostats have an “auto” setting that will take control of your AC for you by turning it one when the temperature is high and off again when it is sufficiently low. Make use of this setting for better cooling and energy efficiency.

  1. Program your thermostat

A programmable thermostat saves a lot of wasted cooling by keeping the house a few degrees warmer during times when no one is home.

  1. Zone your home

To get really serious about cooling efficiency, consider zoning your home. This allows for independent cooling of different parts of the house, so that no extraneous rooms are cooled unnecessarily. For example, if your family likes the bedrooms cooler at night, you can defines them as one zone so that they can be cooled more, but without wasting energy cooling the rest of the house.

  1. Get an annual inspection

A machine that is in good working order is a machine that will run efficiently. Air conditioners are no exception. Have a licensed  Surrey air conditioning professional look over your whole system every year to ensure peak operation and maximum efficiency.

Any of these tips on its own will help your air conditioners efficiency, but for best results you should combine them. In particular, the maintenance steps go a long way toward not only improving efficiency, but also maximizing the life of your AC system. Call Ashton Service Group today at 604-283-2383 to schedule an appointment!

PostHeaderIcon When Your Air Conditioner Breaks On The Hottest Day of Summer.

And sure enough, if your AC is going to give up the ghost you can bet it’ll be when the thermometer hits 80 – 90 degrees. To make sure that doesn’t happen, it’s highly recommended that you schedule an annual AC tune-up to ensure that your cooling system is in tip-top shape.

If that’s not motivation to schedule an AC tune-up, here are a few more reasons:

  • Money – A poorly functioning AC unit is an inefficient AC unit, and we all know that inefficiency is just another word for expensive. Eliminate costly utility bills by keeping your AC in working order.
  • Money – Shocker: Your home’s cooling system is kind of complex. So much so that all those little problems can quickly turn into really expensive ones. By tuning up your system, you’ll ensure those problems get taken care of before they get out of hand.
  • Timing – You know when most folks schedule maintenance and repairs? That’s right: the middle of summer. Scheduling your maintenance now will save you the wait and expense of having your system serviced during peak season.

Call Ashton Service Group at 604-283-2383 to arrange for one of our experienced service technicians for preventative maintenance or new AC installation.