The Top Reasons to Add UV Filtration to Your Home

By | Air Conditioning, HVAC, UV Filtration
AC Installation UV filter WIFI Thermostat

Modern airtight homes are excellent for efficiently maintaining your home’s temperature. One of the downsides of this, however, is that particles such as mold spores, viruses and odours can be trapped inside. One solution for this issue is adding filtration to your central air. UV sterilization has an extensive history in settings such as hospitals and restaurants. Recently, it has become increasingly popular in the home, particularly for those with a sensitivity to allergens.

Here are some of the top reasons to consider adding UV to your heating and cooling system.

Mold & Bacteria on Air Conditioners
Mold and bacteria can thrive in moist cool conditions like your air conditioner’s evaporator coil. Adding a UV filter will kill contaminants in the home such as mold spores, bacteria and viruses.

UV Filtration Increases Efficiency and Lifespan of HVAC Components
When contaminants build up inside your AC coils, it can force the system to work harder to circulate air. This reduces efficiency, increases your bills, and can also shorten the lifespan of your equipment because it’s working harder.

UV Filtration Requires Less Maintenance
UV filtration uses light rather than cleaning with a physical filter. This leads to less maintenance than alternative home filtration systems. UV filters only require maintenance when a bulb needs replacing.

If you’re interested in adding UV to your home, contact us for a free estimate.

Until April 30, we’re offering free UV filtration systems and WIFI thermostats ($700 value) when you have an air conditioner installed. Air conditioners start from $3,850 for the unit and installation.

 

Looking to remove odours from a shared dwelling or from a home with pets?
Upgraded models of Honeywell UV air filtration systems feature odour absorption. This makes it a popular option in homes with multiple units and a shared central air system. If tenants cook meals with unappealing odours or have pets, this helps to reduce smells in the home. If this is a feature you’re interested in, talk to us about upgrading. We’ll take the price of the base model and installation cost off of your bill during our air conditioner deal. 

How Mini Splits Can Offer Major Savings on Energy Usage

By | Air Conditioning, Heating, HVAC, mini split, Plumbing

Ductless mini split systems have been popular in more moderate climates for decades. In recent years, advances in technology have made them an excellent heating and cooling solution in colder northern climates like the Okanagan. They offer significant savings on costly baseboard heating and function as a dual purpose air conditioner in the summer.

If your home doesn’t have central air ducts, has smaller ones that are inadequate for modern furnaces, or even if you have a more modern ventilated system that produces hot and cold zones, mini splits can be an excellent solution to keeping your home comfortable. Here are a few of the top reasons we recommend considering them.

 

What is a Ductless Mini Split System?

A mini split system functions both as a heat pump in the winter and an air conditioner in the summer. This consists of one or more wall-mounted indoor units and a heat pump located outside your home. The two are connected by small refrigerant lines, making installation locations much more flexible.

mini split heat pump and ac


What Are The Benefits of Mini Splits?

A Solution to Hot and Cold Zones in the Home

Even new homes with brand new duct distribution systems can have issues maintaining a balanced delivery of air throughout the home. When the summer sun bears down, it’s common to have hot spots in top floor, westward facing rooms. In the Okanagan, the hottest parts of the day are between 2-6pm and those rooms with full exposure aren’t going to be as nice as the dark basement or eastern facing rooms. The best solution is to add a mini split heat pump AC unit to help make those spaces more tolerable for living and sleeping. The reality is, those hot spots are also cold spots in the winter, so you’re covered with the heat pump during winter months and stay cozy throughout the year.

Energy Savings Over Baseboard Heating

If you’ve been running baseboard heating through the winter, you know how electrical bills can rack up. The addition of ductwork requires a major renovation, so central air isn’t an option for most homes without it. The flexibility of installation makes a mini split system our recommended solution. A single interior head unit can often displace 4-6 baseboards in a main living area, each at approximately 1000 watts. While the savings will vary depending on the home size and layout, the heating costs are often cut by 20%-50%. In ranchers or single-level homes with open plans, a single indoor head unit can adequately heat and cool the entire space.

Mini Splits Are Dual Purpose with Air Conditioning

One other drawback when your home isn’t equipped with ductwork is air conditioning in the hot Okanagan summer. For years the only option was to hang an AC unit out of your window. Similar to baseboard heating, a mini split is much more efficient than a window unit. These systems will also increase home security because an open window isn’t required.

Improved Air Quality and Quality of Heat

A mini split system provides air circulation that improves indoor comfort in a few ways. First, because of the airflow, the filtration system inside will remove dust and allergens from the air throughout the year. The other advantage of air circulation is that it will provide more consistent temperatures throughout the home as opposed to warm and cool spots created by baseboards.

Create Climate Controlled Zones

In a home with multiple mini split heads, each one can be zone controlled for that particular space. This can offer further energy savings if units are switched off in infrequently used areas.

Energy Efficiency Rebates

While mini splits will require an upfront investment, there are incentives beyond the savings on energy bills. FortisBC offers energy savings rebates of $1,200 on a single head installation and $2000 on an installation that uses two or more units.

Interested in discussing a mini split system in your home? Contact us for a free estimate.

Why You Should Consider Changing Your Furnace & AC at the Same Time

By | Air Conditioning, Furnace, HVAC

If your home heating and cooling system is aging or a major component has quit altogether, it can be tempting to only change a furnace or an air conditioner. There is a larger upfront cost to replacing both at the same time, but there are a few good reasons to consider it.

Furnace and Air Conditioner Installation

Installation Cost Savings

There is work efficiency for an HVAC technician to replace both a furnace and air conditioner at the same time. This can be a significant reduction in your installation costs, particularly if your home requires a complex installation. If you replace one of your major units and the other breaks down shortly after, it could end up costing significantly more combined.

Parts Work More Efficiently in Unison

The furnace and air conditioner work together and utilize each other’s components. When you try to pair a new, efficient unit to an older unit that isn’t very efficient by modern standards, one can drag down the efficiency of the other. This can lead to much higher operating expenses than if both are replaced. The only way to guarantee that a component works at its rated efficiency from the manufacturer is to pair it with a matching new unit.

Efficiency of New vs Old Units

If we look at just a furnace or AC on their own, there have been major efficiency advances in the past decades. For example, most furnaces made before 1990 are lower-efficiency models that average between 60 and 70 percent efficiency. New high-efficiency gas furnaces range from 95 to 99 percent efficiency. Imagine the impact a 20-30% increase in efficiency could have on your bills.

Replacing One Unit Could Lead to Premature Breakdowns

Imagine you’re in the best shape of your life and you go for a jog in broken down, old shoes. You end up working harder and could even risk injury. The same is true in your HVAC system. For example, an old air handler may not be capable of keeping up with modern components and cause undue stress on the system.

 

If your home heating & cooling system is nearing the end of its lifespan or not running efficiently, contact us for a free quote. Until May 31, 2021, we’re offering $250 off in addition to FortisBC’s $1000 energy saving rebate when you install a furnace and AC combo. Our offer applies to all quotes until May 31.

Is Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioning Right for My Okanagan Home?

By | Air Conditioning
Ductless Mini Split Installation

Ductless mini split systems are an air conditioning option growing in popularity in recent years due to the flexibility of installation and energy efficiency. Whether you are completely new to these systems or have already been considering one, find out if it’s right for your home.

 

What is a Ductless Mini Split System?

A mini split system functions both as an air conditioner and a heat pump to keep your home comfortable year round. This consists of one or more wall-mounted indoor units and a heat pump located outside your home. The two are connected by a small coolant tube of a half inch or less, making installation much more flexible for homes with no ductwork, heated by baseboards or for older homes where ductwork isn’t adequate for a central air conditioning system.

Mini Split Indoor Wall Unit
Mini Split Heat Pump

How Well Do Mini Splits Work in the Okanagan

In the past decade demand has grown in cold climates for ductless mini split air conditioning heat pump combo units, as such, the technology has greatly improved. Where these systems would have previously struggled in our colder Okanagan climate, they can often be the perfect choice to regulate your home’s temperature. These systems have now gotten efficient enough where BC Hydro offers a rebate of $1200 for a single interior unit up to $2000 for homes with multiple units.

What are the Benefits of a Mini Split vs a Window Mounted Air Conditioner? 

Mini splits are a larger upfront investment over a traditional window mounted air conditioner. With this investment, there are significant benefits in the long term such as:

  • Peace-of-mind for the 10 year warranty
  • Energy efficiency improvements of up to 40%
  • Mini splits look better indoor and outdoor (the heat pump may also be hidden)
  • Quieter operation inside your home
  • Increased home security (windows remain closed)
  • Mini splits are permanent installations, adding value to your home

What Are the Best Applications for a Mini Split Installation?

Areas Not Covered by Your Current Heating & Cooling System

For areas such as new additions, solariums, or garage suites that weren’t originally designed to be serviced by your existing heating & cooling system, a mini split system is an excellent solution. The added benefit of a mini split AC system is that they also contain a heat pump to keep the area warm in the winter.

Older Homes Without Ducting or Without Adequate Ducting

If you own an older home heated by baseboards, installing a ducting system would require a major renovation, but because a mini split air conditioner and heat pump only requires a small cooling line, this opens up the heating and cooling options. If you have an older home where ducting wasn’t designed to be heated and cooled in different zones, a mini split would be the only alternative to an entire overhaul of your ducting system.

Homes With a Desire for Climate Controlled Zones

From a home with infrequently used areas to a difference of opinion on a comfortable room room temperature, adding mini split units to multiple areas of your home is an excellent way to control temperature in zones. This not only keeps everyone in your home happy, but also reduces your bills because of the ability to stop heating or cooling an area at the flick of a switch.

Can I Install My Own Mini Split?

Installing your own as a DIY project is of course always an option. The potential downside, however, is that if the application isn’t correct for the space, you may lose out on the energy efficiency in the long term. We are certified with Canada’s Thermal Environmental Comfort Association, so we can advise you on the best use of heating and cooling energy.

Contact us if you would like to learn more. We offer free quotes and also service existing air conditioners so you can weigh your options.