Air Conditioning

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City Duct Cleaning

How To Build Your Own Air Conditioner Using Just Plastic Bottles

Air conditioning that uses zero electricity? Sounds like it might be an interesting concept, but isn’t there always a catch? Here’s an innovative idea, especially when you consider that you would never need air duct cleaning, and you’d never need to worry about changing air filters or doing any maintenance either.

But would you really want something like this stuck in your window? It certainly wouldn’t do much for your curb appeal, and security would definitely be another factor that you’d need to consider.

Otherwise, its an amazing concept if it really works, and I’d be quite interested to see if the inventor has come up with anything else related to the HVAC field or anything that can save in energy costs.

Plastic bottles are usually destined for the recycle bin. But there are some very interesting upcycling things you can do with plastic bottles. Such as creating a zero electricity air conditioning unit!

Bangledeshi inventor Ashis Paul came up with the plastic bottle air conditioner, and it is already being used in over 25,000 homes in his country! Ad agency Grey Dhaka and Grameen Intel Social Business have contributed to these incredible efforts.

Really all you need to make your own Eco-Cooler is a board and a few plastic bottles.

First you cut the bottles in half. Then mount them into a grid through holes which are also bottleneck size. Now place the grid right over the window. The narrower top end should be facing inwards to the house.

Wind will blow through the bottles, and the result is cool air being funneled in.

It can reduce temps to up to 41F (or 5C). Not bad at all considering it doesnt cost anything to actually make!

The hope is that this project reaches as many people as possible. Hence the project will be put online for free.

Check out the informative video and the incredible initiative happening with this project:

Read more:

Clean Air Inspection

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.


85mmx dirty condensing units

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!

Dirty air filters

Not So Cool?

Considering the extremely hot summer we are having, you are most likely operating your air conditioning system more than not. But why is it not cool in the house?

If you are experiencing a lack of cooling, chances are that your air filter is very dirty, or possibly plugged, therefore inhibiting proper air flow.

Your furnace and air conditioning systems both require clean air filters to run properly. Dirty air filters is the number one cause for “no heat” and “no cooling” service calls.

Before you call for service, check the condition of your air filter and clean or replace it as needed.

Also be sure to check the position of any volume dampers in your air duct system, and check to make sure that the damper in your humidifier bypass tube is closed for the summer.

If your air conditioner still does not seem to be cooling, check the outside condenser unit. When the air conditioning turns on, the compressor and the fan outside should come on immediately, as should your furnace fan.

You can hear the compressor, and you should see the outside fan when it is running. If either of these two items do not appear to be working when your air conditioning is on, then you should first confirm that the breaker or switch is “on”. Note too, that both your furnace switch and the air conditioning breaker or disconnect box should both be switched to “on” . If these steps fail to rectify the situation then you should call for service.

It is our hope that these quick central air conditioning tips will help prevent at least some people from prematurely calling for service unless it is 100% required.

Enjoy your summer and please stay cool!

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.


Expert in biological weapons

Duct Cleaning Safety At Work: Part 1

Just for fun, let’s take a look at these photos about Safety At Work…

This series of photos have absolutely nothing to do with us or the way we do our work. In fact, we have an excellent work safety record which is due to several factors such as staff training and a company Health and Safety Policy. Safety to everyone concerned always comes first.

Its still fun to laugh about how some other trades people do their work. You may notice that there is no “duct cleaning technician” photo in here.


air conditioner installer

aircraft mechanic

auto mechanic

baggage handler

city maintenance crew

construction site worker


expert in biological weapons

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.

Air Duct System Repairs

Air Duct System Repairs

Here are some examples of why it makes good sense to keep your air duct systems in good repair. The photos below show some of the recent dryer exhaust ducts that we have cleaned, but the principle applies to any air duct system whether it is for an exhaust system or for heating or cooling in a home or a business.

The first set of photos shows a broken 90 degree elbow that was found by our inspection camera or duct cam. The duct being photographed in this case is in a retirement home. We measured it out and broke a hole in the ceiling, and the dryer lint that fell out of the hole onto the floor was enough to fill five green garbage bags. You wouldn’t believe how much lint there was above that ceiling.

Duct Cam Duct Cam Duct Cam

Duct cleaning is obviously our company’s main business, but I’ve been in the HVAC industry for almost 30 years as well, and have installed hundreds of new furnaces, central air conditioners, electronic air cleaners, HEPA systems, humidifiers and even complete duct systems. So doing minor duct repairs such as this one was not difficult for us to manage at all.

I’ve been finding out from my customers over the years that it was quite hard for them to find a heating company who is even interested in doing duct repairs of any kind, and several people have told me that. Most of the companies that they called before they found us said they basically do new installations only.

The same applies to dryer exhaust ducts as well. If you need your’s to be replaced, re-routed or to have a brand new one installed from scatch, or if you need new outside vents with bird screening installed, give us a call. We are here to serve you. Providing excellent service for reasonable costs and winning loyal customers is what we do best.

The second set of photos shows the state of a dryer exhaust duct that we found. The duct system was previously cleaned by another duct cleaning contractor and this is the way they closed the access hole… with duct tape only!

Duct tape is good for many things, but it is definitely not meant to act as a permanent fix in this situation. The hole had very rough edges, so they obviously didn’t even know how to use their sheet metal snips. All that was required to make this one right was to remove all the tape, trim the metal to make it flat, and then to simply screw a metal plate on it. It took me longer to go downstairs to my truck and come back with a metal plate than it did to fix the ductwork.

Duct Repair Duct Repair Duct Repair

My best advice when looking for a duct cleaner to do any job, whether it is in your home or in a business or commercial establishment is not to assume that all duct cleaning companies are equally knowledgeable or reputable.

It amazes me sometimes how people can get away with doing such shoddy work. In this case, the duct went for 16 feet, had two turns seperated by 12 feet of duct, and then there was a stack 90 where the duct went into a riser. And from there it went up six floors to a fan on the roof… and there was not a single access hole anywhere else to be found. So how did they clean this duct system? There absolutely has to be access into the duct system at the bottom of the riser. Always. Anyway, we fixed everything up and made this one work like new again.

Getting back to duct repairs, from patching holes to adding a new vent to re-routing or moving duct runs or even your main ducts, at City Duct we do it all, residential or commercial. Call us if you need any of these things done. We’d be glad to help.

Air vent damper

Making Adjustments To Your Air Duct System

For optimum performance from your HVAC system, you will need to adjust your air duct system slightly at the beginning of the heating season, and then again at the start of the cooling season.

The reason for this is because warm air naturally rises, which makes it harder for your system to cool your second floor in the summer.

In the summer you should have all of the air vents on the 2nd floor wide open. This also includes any dampers in the pipes that are serving those vents.

On the main floor, the air vents should be about half-way closed, which in turn would force more air to go to the remaining vents which serve the upstairs.

Basement vents including the return air vent(s) should be temporarily closed or sealed. During the cooling season, your basement will be noticeably cooler anyway, so we want to push as much of your cooled air upstairs as possible.

And as always, be sure that there are no obstructions around air vents and especially any cold air return vents or grills.


Also be sure to close the damper in the bypass tube of any duct-mounted humidifier.

For the heating season, it is then necessary to go through the home and make some quick adjustments to the system at the start of this season.

Open the basement vents and be sure that any dampers are open as well. The vents on the main floor should be fully opened, and the vents serving the upstairs should be about half-way closed, with the exception of any specific rooms that seem to be hard to heat.

The reason you would want the basement vents to be open now is because since heat rises, the heat in the basement will warm the floor above it. And the same applies to the air coming out of the main floor vents.

You can fine-tune this procedure even further to help solve problems with cold rooms in the home. If you partially close any one damper in the system, that will cause more air to blow out somewhere else.

If you find that certain rooms are difficult to heat or cool, then those rooms are more than likely on your second floor, or possibly above a garage or some other unheated area. Keeping the door open to that room will help the airflow, especially if there is no return air directly in that room. Sometimes it is not so convenient to always keep the door to a specific room open, but this alone can sometimes solve the problem of reduced airflow.

Keeping your air filter clean is crucial for the operation of your furnace, to help maximize energy savings and for your own personal comfort. A dirty air filter will not allow the proper amount of air to flow through your HVAC system and especially through your ducts.

Making these simple adjustments twice per year takes about five minutes to do each time. Adjusting your air volume dampers and air vents is something that we can easily do for free while we are in your home cleaning your air duct system.