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Got Rusted Out Vents?
Here’s something that we frequently see when cleaning air ducts in older buildings.
This heating vent is located in a store on the Danforth, near the front door. It was totally rusted out to the point where almost no air was coming out of the vent. There was a gaping hole in the pipe underneath that was serving it.
If you have vents like this that are in need of repair, call us at City Duct Cleaning for a free estimate.
Another common thing we see while visiting older homes has to do with the return air vent right near the front door… the metal inside is often rotted out because over the years shoes and wet boots have been placed on the grill, causing the metal to rust out over time.
We can fix this for you, and this will help to make your HVAC system much more energy efficient. Repairing rusted out duct connector pipes and the metal boots will also make your home much more comfortable. And when you happen to look in, the metal will be shiny and new again!
After you have replaced any rusted ductwork in your home, you may want to consider sealing the system as needed. Sealing your home’s ductwork saves money, energy and your health. Find out why and how in this short video.
Clean Air at Work and at Home
In Toronto where the weather is unusually hot this year, your air conditioner is very important. City Duct Cleaning Inc. offers a variety in Air Conditioning solutions in the GTA area. All of our work is fully guaranteed.
The HVAC equipment and tools that we use are the highest standard in our industry, to be able to manage any task small to large. All of our technicians are trained and certified in the duct cleaning field.
We provide a high quality professional air duct cleaning service for homes and businesses in the Toronto area.
Follow the links on our site as we have several photo albums available which include photos that were taken while providing these services.
Please contact us if you have any questions or for a free estimate… 416-293-1800.
What about the exterior condenser?
Your outdoor air conditioning condenser unit is an integral part of your HVAC system. It contains the compressor, a fan and a coil.
The smooth and dependable operation of your air conditioning system overall, depends in large part on how clean your condensing unit is.
When your air conditioning is on, the compressor runs, as well as the condensor fan. This moves the required amount of air across that coil.
Grass, weeds and shrubs can severely impede the air flow across the coil, to the point where your system can freeze up. And as with anything, if you want it to work efficiently, it must be clean.
Your outside air conditioning condenser needs attention just like the interior air duct system does. The maintenance required to keep this part of the system clean is very minimal considering the amount of work that it is required to do during Toronto’s long, hot summers.
The compressor and fan will very rarely require any maintenance from a homeowner. Those parts of the system are best left to a trained professional.
The outside coil, however, will need to be cleaned from time to time though, and this is the part that anyone can do themselves if they want to take the time to do it.
It is best to check the cleanliness of the coil at the start of the cooling season, or whenever you first turn on your air conditioning. The coil should also be visually inspected at a minimum of once per month during the cooling season as well, and especially so if you notice that your outside unit is starting to sound louder than it normally does when it is running.
If you have determined that your unit needs to be cleaned, this can be easily accomplished with your garden hose and a stiff brush.
First, make sure the power to the unit is off. Then use a strong spray from your garden hose and thoroughly wash the coil with water only. You can use the brush if needed, but be sure to brush any part of the coil in the same direction as the fins. You do not, under any circumstances, want to bend the fins at all, as this will restrict the air flow going across the coil.
If you forgot to turn the power off first and the unit comes on while you are cleaning it, you will get wet for sure!
Once you have the coil looking clean, that is it. It is not recommended that the homeowner remove the top part (condensing fan) in any case. If your unit requires further service at this point it is best to call in a professional.
Keeping your condensing coil clean will save you money because the system will not have to work nearly as hard to do its job.
Some quick tips for starting up your air conditioning at the beginning of the season include:
- If you have a cover on your exterior unit, remove it first.
- Visually inspect the condition of the outside coil and clean as necessary.
- Check or replace your furnace air filter.
- Check the drain tube that comes from the inside coil (normally above your furnace) for proper drainage.
- Close the damper in the bypass tube of your furnace humidifier.
Once the system has been on for about half an hour, go back and check that water is draining out of the drain tube properly.
For best operation of the system in every home, you will need to adjust the air vents at the start of each heating and cooling season.
To set up your air vents for cooling, close the basement vents completely or block them off with vent magnets. On the main floor you want the vents, including dampers, to be half-way open. This setup will help to push more cool air upstairs, where you will need it most.
On the top floor, all vents should be fully open, unless you have an excess amount of air going to very small rooms such as washrooms or closets. And always make sure that return air vents are free and clear of obstacles or obstructions.
Making these small adjustments to your system as needed can have a huge impact on the proper efficiency of your HVAC system, and will do alot to add to your family’s overall comfort level inside your home.
Also remember, on hot days you should always block out direct sunlight, as this will add alot more load to your air conditioner.
If you ever have any questions about your furnace, air conditioner or duct system, no matter how small, feel free to call us and ask. We would be very glad to help!
What a Summer
HOT!!! Yeah no kidding. Here in Toronto it has been exceptionally hot this summer…but are we complaining? No Way!!
But is your air conditioner complaining? Maybe. Whenever you operate the air duct system for heating or cooling, the bottom of the Air Conditioning coil has a greater chance of clogging with dirt.
This can often cause your coil to freeze up and will definitely reduce your air flow down to almost nothing. Give us a call and we might be able to help you over the phone, and if not, then one of our friendly technicians will be happy to stop by and help with your cooling needs.
Here is a useful video that explains some ways of how to stay cool during our extremely hot summers.
Published on Jun 19, 2012
Toronto EMS Public Service Announcement, the dangers of hot weather and quick tips to stay safe.
What is so GREAT about an electrostatic air filter?
- Permanent – This filter is designed to last a lifetime. You should never have to replace it.
- High Efficiency – Designed to “eat” 95% of the dust and debris in your system.
- Washable – Easy to maintain. Wash or vacuum. Feel free to put this filter in your dishwasher to clean it. It can be cleaned 100’s of times without damaging any of the media inside.
- Resistance – Your HVAC system is able to draw air through this filter much easier than a disposable filter.
- Cost –This filter will easily pay for itself over and over. It will save you time and money. Never buy another filter.
- Sizes – They come in all standard sizes and can be custom made as well.
There are all types of air filters, and they have a huge range in both price and efficiency.
If you want the absolute best air filtration system you can have, then that would be an electronic air cleaner combined with a whole house HEPA system. And if you also add in an Ultra Violet light to the system too, then that’s killing it! There’s the best combination you can get right there!
I personally have that system minus the UV light but the wife is quite happy with that, and that’s all that matters, I guess. I’m not allergic or sensitive to dust anyway… I am an air duct cleaner so I am immune.
The best air filtration systems still need to be kept clean in order to do their jobs at peak efficiency.
The HEPA filter runs all the time, and that thing really pulls out alot of invisible dust from the air. You can see it on the prefilter when you open the case of the air cleaner.
The electronic air cleaner does a really nice job of keeping the furnace, the furnace blower and the air conditioning coil clean. But it also needs to be cleaned every once in a while too. The HEPA has obviously been helping to keep the prefilters of the electronic air cleaner clean, so that means I have to actually clean my cells less often. This is a good thing. I certainly don’t mind taking care of this for other people but it sure seems like such a chore when I have to do it at my own house.
This is why many people abandon their electronic air cleaner. I go into so many houses and see the electronic air cleaner cells sitting beside the furnace. What they’ve done is replaced the cells with either a 4″ disposable filter or with an electrostatic air cleaner. It is way easier and faster to clean one of those than it is to take care of the bulky cells.
An electro static air cleaner costs about $100 and is a permanent filter. It fits into a standard 1″ filter rack and comes in all standard sizes. It can also be sized to your furnace. If you ever move you can take it with you, if you remember.
Some Electrostatic air cleaners claim to remove up to 95% of the dust in the air but with my experience in the field I would say that is not true. 35% – 40% would be a much more accurate number. There are ways to manipulate the numbers, and here’s an example… let’s say an air filter is so full of dirt that almost no air can pass through it any more. All of a sudden, that means the filter is way more efficient at cleaning the air. You would definitely not put it back in your furnace in this condition but that just goes to show one way to play with the numbers.
The electro static filter is still much more efficient than a regular disposable one. To clean it you can either vacuum it or take it outside and hose it off using your garden hose and a strong spray. Just watch the air flow arrow on it though… if the air is meant to flow one way, start spraying it from the other side. That way you will not be pushing the dirt deeper into the filter.
If you would like to try out an electro static air filter, call our office for more details. We also have a service plan available where we will come to your home or office once every three months and replace your filter with a new one. This also gives us the opportunity to do a quick check on your furnace and advise you of any potential problems. Our customers who use this service find it quite valuable.
Why Is It Important That the Air Stream Side of the Furnace is Cleaned
|At City Duct Cleaning we always clean the air stream side of the furnace with each and every duct cleaning. We will clean out the filters, fan, fan compartments, heat exchangers, the air side of the plenums and the coils. This service is included in our base cost, as we find it one of the most important jobs to complete in a home.Anyone can just clean the duct system in your home. Great, the inside of the ducts may be cleaned, but once your system becomes active again, your ducts are just as dirty when you started. The key is to clean the above components as part of the job.During the procedure, we block off all the vents in your home, and our powerful truck-mounted vacuum puts your duct system under negative air pressure. We then supply 250 psi of air pressure to the actual vents as well as inside the main ducts. There is no where for the dust to escape.|
If the air stream components are not cleaned as well, then they could possibly re-infect your heating and cooling system as soon as you start using your heating or cooling again. There should never be an extra charge to have this section completed.
There are, however, some exceptions to this rule such as when a coil is extremely plugged. This means the coil has collected so much dirt that it will no longer allow air to pass through it. Plugged coils require a lot of time to clean properly and if this is the case then there will always be an extra charge. Otherwise, a normal cleaning as part of our service always completes the job.
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution: Outdoor Air
Indoor air contaminants can come from many sources.
Air from the outside becomes indoor air, bringing in dust and exhausts from traffic. Another important factor to consider is that there are also industrially produced contaminants that are local to the area. These can include emissions from wood burning stoves or oil or gas furnaces and urban/agricultural pesticides.
At certain times, pollens and molds can be brought in as well. Without intervention inside the house such as the best filtration you can have or afford, the indoor air can only be as good as the outdoor air.
The good news is that there are always solutions to these types of problems. There are many different types of air filtration systems available. Some have advantages over others, some use electricity and some do not.
If you are interested in upgrading the air filtration system for your home or office, and if you are in the Toronto area, then please call us at City Duct Cleaning Inc. We are always very up to date on all the current models of filtration products and we can certainly help you to decide which would be best for your situation or specific needs.
Gas Furnace Cleaning and Inspections
There are plenty of do it yourself articles available on the internet about how to clean your own gas furnace but I do not believe that any of these articles are really providing anyone with very useful or prudent information. Anyone who cleans or inspects a gas furnace in Ontario has to be a licensed gas technician, and for good reason. Most duct cleaners are not licensed gas technicians, nor are most homeowners.If you’ve gotten some half-information about how to clean your own gas furnace, then how do you know if you didn’t miss something unsafe about your furnace that a licensed technician would have noticed straight away?
Some people could be lulled into a false sense of security thinking that they have cleaned their furnace and now they’re good for another year. But this is really not the case, especially when you don’t really know what you’re looking for.
We’ve posted some information on our site before about keeping your furnace area clear of combustibles and making sure that your furnace is able to get the required amount of air, as well as some other things to watch out for, and that’s about as much information that I think there should be available to the average homeowner anyway.
Those are all easy, common-sense safety items. I would never try to tell someone how to clean their own gas furnace, even if it was going to save them a little bit of money today.
Take this example… If you wanted to save yourself some money, would you search on the internet for some information and then change the brakes on your car? Some people could do it, but it would not be recommended. Some things are best left to a qualified professional.
A gas furnace cleaning and inspection is available with any duct cleaning job that we do at City Duct Cleaning, but we will always send a licensed gas technician to do at least that part of the job.
Rooftop HVAC Equipment
What parts of an air system should be cleaned?
There are three major parts to every air system. The supply and return grills, the interior surfaces of the supply and return air ductwork, and the furnace or air conditioner air handler. All three components must be cleaned when doing an air duct cleaning. If only one or two of the components are cleaned and any part of the system is not done, then contaminants from the third component will rapidly contaminate those that were cleaned.
Alot of duct cleaning companies in the Toronto area quote prices to clean the ductwork and air vents only, and then either skip the very important step of cleaning the HVAC equipment or air handlers, or they ask for exhorbitant additional charges to clean these components if you wanted to have those parts of the system done also.
I have learned this from discussions with a number of air duct cleaners over the years. The price that got them in there was what they consider to be an “introductory” price. Now that they’re in there, they’re going to nail you with extra charges if they can, and if you don’t want to pay extra then you’ll get what you pay for.
At City Duct, every job that we do, whether it is a home in the Toronto area or a business, it always includes the cleaning of the HVAC equipment.
When cleaning the air duct system(s) in a home, we clean the furnace fan, the inside air conditioning coil, the furnace plenums and the air filter. On a commercial job we would always clean the air handler or rooftop equipment, and that always includes the fans, coils (both evaporator and condensor coils), the plenums, air filters… and everything in the air stream.
The cleaning of all air handling components is crucial to any air duct cleaning job. We can also replace worn insulation inside your HVAC units as needed, and often provide scheduled filter changes and maintenance.
We have some very detailed specification sheets that we have been using since we started back in 1987, and they are very similar to the NADCA spec sheets that are in existance today.
The photos above show a rooftop HVAC system that serves an air duct system that we recently cleaned in Markham, Ont. There are two shots of a rooftop exhaust fan that serves a dryer duct system that we recently cleaned in Mississauga. The second of those shots shows what a difference we have made afer having only blown off the lint with our high-pressure compressed air. That fan looked pretty amazing after we washed it too.