Posted by & filed under Heating, Uncategorized.

Woman sitting in cold house with winter coat on

click The winter is about to descend on South Western Ontario, and like so many previous years, we could be hit with a season of frigid temperatures including an abundance of ice, sleet and snow. During the cold winter months, it’s important that your furnace is running at peak operation so that you are safe and comfortable in your home.

generic propecia 1mg vs 5mg Unfortunately, many homeowners may discover all too late that this essential equipment is not performing optimally and in some case making weird noises. Before you find out deep into January that your furnace is faltering or failed, assess your heating system beforehand by knowing some of the warning signs that your furnace is old and needs replacing. These eight warning tips are based on a report on research undertaken by the Federal Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and regional electric and gas utilities. It also draws upon the expertise of heating and cooling manufacturers, trade associations and field service personnel.

1. How old is your furnace?

go to site A good place to start is to compare your furnaces age to the national average. The average life expectancy of furnaces in homes today is between 16 and 20 years. If your furnace is close to this age or older, you should begin shopping. Most people prefer to replace their furnace as a planned home improvement rather than a panic replacement when the furnace has failed.

2. Gas & Electric Bills Going Up?

source site Furnaces often lose their efficiency as they age, especially if they have not been properly maintained. As a result, your furnace may run longer to provide the same amount of heat. This will cause your gas & electric bills to go up.

3. Furnace Repairs in the past two years?

Furnaces incur the most breakdowns in the last two years of their lives. As they age, you can replace one part only to have to replace another part next year, and it doesn’t take long to spend $500 just to keep the old furnace running.

4. Does your thermostat keep you comfortable?

Do you feel that some rooms are too cold while others are too hot or always trying to adjust your thermostat to make your home more comfortable? This is a sign that your furnace lacks the ability to properly distribute the air to keep you comfortable in your home.

5. Is your burner flame yellow instead of blue?

A yellow or flickering flame may be a sign that poisonous carbon monoxide could be created by your furnace. Other possible signs of carbon monoxide are:

  • Streaks of soot around the furnace
  • Absence of an upward draft in your chimney
  • Excess moisture found on windows, walls, or other cold surfaces
  • Excessive rusting on flue pipes, other pipe connections,
  • Small amount of water leaking from the base of the chimney, vent, or flue pipe
  • Rust on the portion of the vent pipe visible from the outside

6. Is your furnace making strange noises?

Old furnaces often start to make some strange noises as they get toward the end of their life, such as banging, popping, rattling or squealing noises. Another noise is when you hear the furnace blower running excessively, your blower turns on & off frequently or blows cold air sometimes.

7. How have you & your family been feeling?

As they age, furnaces run the risk of developing cracks in the heat exchanger inside your furnace and if carbon monoxide is present, could leak into your home undetected. You might experience frequent headaches, a burning feeling in nose or eyes, nausea, disorientation or flu-like symptoms. If so, air out your house, open a window to the furnace room and immediately call 911.

8. Is your house dry or dusty?

Old furnaces often lack the ability to moisturize and clean the air in your home, which makes your home feels stuffy or stale. You can worsen allergies to airborne dust, mold, pollen, viruses or dander. Other signs may be frequent dust accumulation, static shocks, drooping plants, furniture cracking and musical instruments that do not stay in tune.

If you fear that your furnace is on its “last legs” or it just simply needs a service we can help, contact us today!

Posted by & filed under Furnace Maintenance, Furnace Repair, Heating.

With winter on its way, the time is now to get your furnace ready for the upcoming cold season. Hamilton Home Comfort offers the following ten tips to make sure your furnace is operational, safe, and as energy-efficient as you can make it and we suggest you complete them before the cold snap hits!

Furnace - Before and After - Goodman Gas Furnace

1. Check and replace your furnace filter if needed.

Having a clogged filter makes your furnace work harder, costing you more money on your energy bill. Be proactive and clean the filter every 30 days.

2. Switch your thermostat from cooling to heating and ensure it’s working properly.

This will prevent waking up freezing in the morning on the night a cold snap happens!

3. Consider getting a programmable thermostat.

If you don’t have one already, a programmable thermostat will save you a lot of money on your energy bill. For example, program the thermostat to increase the temperature during bedtime and automatically lower it when you’re at work during the day.

4. Clean out your furnace room.

Over the warmer months, clutter may have accumulated around the furnace. Take the time to move things that have been placed against the furnace and thoroughly clean the whole area. Also, vacuum the outside surface of your furnace to remove any dirt or cobwebs. Ensure that no flammable objects are left around the furnace!

5. Make sure the burners are free of dirt.

When cleaning the burners, also look for rust and misalignment.

6. Clean ducts and vents.

Also, ensure that all of the air ducts and return vents throughout your home are clear of any clutter or furniture. This allows the air to circulate freely and makes your furnace work more efficiently. A blocked vent could result in an overheated furnace.

7. Check the blower belt and oil the blower motor.

To ensure your heating system functions well, the furnace blower should be oiled once a year (sealed motors do not require this) and should not make any strange noises when started. A loose belt can make the furnace work harder, and frayed or cracked belts should be replaced.

8. Replace blower doors properly.

Keeping the blower doors tightly closed will keep the heating byproducts such as carbon monoxide from being circulated throughout the home.

9. Clear the exhaust flue to the outside of any obstructions and in good condition.

Check that all connections are securely fastened.

10. Schedule an appointment with an HVAC technician.

Having a technician complete a regular maintenance inspection will involve cleaning the furnace, changing the filter, checking for leaks and ensuring everything is in operational order. The technician may also clean the furnace ducts if needed.

Preparing your furnace for winter is one of the most important tasks to do this fall. The experts at Hamilton Home Comfort are here to help ensure that your furnace is in good working order. Call us today to schedule your inspection before the frigid temperatures set in!

Posted by & filed under Fireplaces.

In the spirit of keeping you outdoors longer, the outdoor fireplace is fast becoming a popular addition to the patio.

Unlike a fire pit, an outdoor patio fireplace will generally sit against one wall or at one end of your outdoor space. An outdoor fireplace will anchor your space and provide a cozy comfortable seating area well into the autumn months. Any outdoor heating will extend your season but a fireplace does it with style.


outdoor gas fireplace


Like any fireplace, the heat that comes from the unit will be radiant heat and depending on its size and the size of your patio, will warm all those who come near it. The average outdoor fireplace will heat within 10 feet of the unit. Choosing the design of your outdoor patio fireplace should take into account the amount of space available and any unit decided on should fit your space. Choosing your heat source is as important as the design. Outdoor fireplaces can utilize natural gas, propane, electricity, or good old fashioned wood to produce heat.

Safety Measures for an Outdoor Patio Fireplace

Like any addition to your patio space, safety is key. A fireplace can become a hazard if not treated with the kind of respect that any open flame demands. Children should never be left unattended around the fireplace and proper screening needs to be kept in place when the fireplace is in use. Ensure there is sufficient room around the fireplace. A minimum of 48 inches on all sides is recommended. If safety is on your mind, consider an electric fireplace. These provide an extra level of security from burns.

Where to Place your Outdoor Fireplace

Fireplaces are most often placed against a wall. Outdoor fireplaces are no exceptions. It’s important to ensure that any surface your outdoor patio fireplace is placed against is safe for the kind of heat your fireplace will generate. If a free standing fireplace is what you want, it will provide 360 viewing pleasure as well as heat all around its placement. Free-standing fireplaces are more costly, however, a budget is important when choosing the right fireplace for your outdoor space.

Bylaws in your Area

Making the decision to add an outdoor fireplace to your patio should be made with your local bylaws in mind. Depending on your location, the fire bylaws differ. Breaking the law for the sake of ambiance should never be a consideration.

An outdoor fireplace isn’t just an accessory for your patio. It can be the focal point but also a heat source that allows you and your loved ones to live outside, longer. Ready to enjoy your outdoor space during the cooler seasons, contact us today and our team of experts at Hamilton Home Comfort will help. We offer a vast variety of outdoor fireplaces, and we will make sure to find you one that meets you and your outdoor space’s needs.

Posted by & filed under Energy Saving, Fireplaces, Heating.

With the kids back in school and cooler weather on the horizon, perhaps your thoughts have already turned toward winter. If you’ve been thinking of getting a fireplace that you and your sweetie can snuggle up in front of this winter, then you’ve got a number of decisions to make including not just the style, but also whether you will you decide to go with a Gas Fireplace or Electric Fireplace for your home?

Closeup of electric artificial fireplace with orange fire flame interior


For residents in and around Hamilton, we always recommend gas for the following reasons:

Gas Uses a Real Flame

While it is true that they don’t offer the crackling sounds and aromas of a wood fireplace, the flames are much more realistic than the obviously fake flames of electric fireplaces.

They Will Work During Power Outages

Being situated as it is near Lake Ontario, Hamilton winters can often bring ice storms and blackouts. And when the electricity is off – so is your electric fireplace. A gas fireplace on the other hand, will continue to work, and can provide a nice romantic ambience when the weather outside is miserable.

They Are More Efficient

With the flick of a button on your thermostat or remote control, you can effectively use gas fireplaces to heat your home. If you have more than one gas fireplace, you can turn off your central heating and only use fireplaces in the rooms where you and your family are spending time (often referred to as zone heating). Electric fireplaces on the other hand are not an efficient method of heating – think of them supped up space heaters!

They Can Provide A Greater Amount Of Heat

Gas fireplaces are typically available with higher BTU capacities than are electric. If you are heating a very small room, an electric fireplace might do the trick but for larger areas, a gas fireplace is often more appropriate.

They Are Available In A Greater Variety Of Styles, Shapes and Sizes

While electric fireplaces have come a long way over the years, they are still behind gas fireplaces when it comes to sheer choice of styles and appearances. Since their appearance is one of the reasons why many people choose to have them installed in their homes, it is important to find a unit that suits your tastes and décor. Today’s gas fireplaces are works or art! With a gas fireplace, you’ll have much better chance of finding something that you like.

They Can Pay For Themselves

One of the biggest reasons why some people choose electric over gas, is that electric fireplaces tend to be quite a bit less expensive (especially when you include the cost of installation). But according to the Marshall & Swifts appraisers’ handbook, about 91% of the cost of a good quality gas fireplace can be recouped when selling your home.

Adding a gas fireplace to your home is an excellent way to add warmth and ambiance to your home this winter. For more information or assistance in choosing the size and style that is right for your space, Contact the team at Hamilton Home Comfort today!

Posted by & filed under Heating.

As our hot summer comes to an end, you may be considering an outdoor patio heater to extend your season. There are several things to consider when choosing just the right patio heater for your outdoor space. The right choice will bring new found heat to those early fall evenings.

Power source

Outdoor Patio Heater

It’s easily discovered that outdoor patio heaters come in many different varieties. Gas, propane, and electric are the three main varieties when it comes to a heat source. What may not be so clear is which one is best for you.

A natural gas patio heater can be convenient as it’s always ready to go. You may find yourself restricted however by location. If you choose a natural gas patio heater, you may already have a gas line running from your barbecue. While this will reduce your cost of hooking up a natural gas patio heater, you will be restricted by the location of that heater. If you decide on a natural gas patio heater and don’t already have a gas line running to your outdoor space, one will have to be installed, adding to the cost of your outdoor patio heater.

Propane offers the versatility of placement but propane tanks run out and if you have a propane barbecue, you know it only runs out in the middle of a large gathering. Propane will cost you slightly more to operate.

Electric patio heaters are often more affordable to purchase but cost more to operate. With hydro prices on the rise, this may not be the ideal option for you if you plan to use your outdoor patio heater a considerable amount of time.


Outdoor patio heaters all do the same thing, but they don’t all do it in the same way. Some heaters have choices.

Dual Heat:

Dual heat settings allow you to control the heat output depending on your need.

Radiant Heat:

Some outdoor patio heaters provide radiant heat, which provides more efficiency.

Size and Shape:

Assessing your needs and preference, there are numerous styles to choose from.


Depending on your need for heat there are several different outdoor patio heaters offering different amounts of heat output.


Safety is the most important aspect to consider whenever a heat source is involved. Are there children or pets in the house? It will be imperative that any outdoor patio heater you choose is anchored. A toppling heater is a hazard in more than one way. While a little warmth is great, a burn is sure to ruin any party. Choose a place away from high traffic areas of your patio, ensuring it doesn’t become a tripping hazard.

Other things to consider before making that patio heater purchase are the size of the space you will be heating. Is there seating on your patio and its location? Is there a pool in the vicinity?

We spend a lot of time, money, and energy on our outdoor space. A great patio heater will ensure you get the most from this space. A patio heater will turn those chilly nights into cozy, star filled evenings that can be enjoyed by friends and family. If you aren’t ready to give up those patio nights, consider an outdoor patio heater. If you don’t want the party to end, a patio heater will certainly keep the good times rolling.

Before it gets too cold to enjoy your outdoor space, look into patio heaters. Contact us today and our team of experts at Hamilton Home Comfort can help you find the ideal patio heater that will satisfy you and your outdoor space’s needs.

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning.

Getting ready for a summer vacation entails a lot of preparation before you lock the door and head out. You may have to pack up the car, take out the trash, ask someone to collect your mail and water your plants so they’re still alive when you return from your excursion. Among the many things on your mind in preparing to embark on a vacation, you may have overlooked one of the most import items, setting your thermostat while you’re away.

two cottage chairs


Many homeowners think they can just shut down their air conditioner during their trip, but is that the best solution? In reality, adding a few degrees to your thermostat while you’re out of town is actually better than a full shutdown. Not only will it give your HVAC system a break too, but turning your thermostat up a few degrees during the hot summer season will surely save you some dollars, but what is the ideal temperature to set?

Summer Vacation Settings:

A good rule of thumb for indoor temperature settings while away during the summertime is to set the thermostat at 29 Celsius. This higher setting (in comparison to the recommended 24 Celsius when at home) will continue to bring a positive effect in your environment because it will help to avoid excessive humidity in the house.

Excessive heat and humidity in your home can lead to mildew and damage wall compounds in Sheet-rock, which is the last thing you want to see upon your return from vacation. The excessive heat can cause wood floors in your home to expand, crack or buckle and damage your fine furniture.

Too much humidity can also cause refrigerators to sweat when the house is too hot and humid, so you do want to keep your air conditioner running at a reasonable pace. Here is another note to remember. Anything over the four-degree differential is detrimental because if you set the thermostat too high, you might find your own temperature rising when you see your next electricity bill. You will have to run it too long to get back to a more comfortable level.

Another way to help keep your home a comfortable environment awaiting your return is (in addition to your thermostat) to keep your curtains and blinds closed while you’re away, too. By darkening your home, you will prevent the sunlight from coming through your windows and increasing the temperature in your home.


If you want to save even more money on your electricity bill during the time your away, you can upgrade to the convenience of a programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you can simply set the temperature for the week while you’re away, and schedule it to turn down to 24 Celsius the day before you get home.

Newer thermostat systems give you the power to change your home’s temperature remotely with smartphone apps, allowing you to adjust the temperature setting based on changing outside temperature. At the least, you can enter a new setting as you head back from vacation, so you don’t walk into an uncomfortably muggy home. Instead, your air conditioner will be busily operating to reach the new temperature while you travel back.

Stay Comfortable:

Going on vacation is something everyone enjoys, but few of us want to return to a hot, humid or potentially damaged environment, so follow these guidelines for an environmentally comfortable return home. To have a programmable thermostat installed, or for air conditioning repair in Hamilton, Burlington, Milton and Grimsby contact Hamilton Home Comfort today.

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning.

Every year there are a few blessed weeks or months in the spring and fall when your home doesn’t seem to need any heating or AC. But what about the other months – when you’ve got to deal with the sweltering heat of July and August or the frigid cold of February? You’ve got to make use of your HVAC system, but you might be wondering about all those settings on your thermostat. Is there one right setting that will help your air conditioner or furnace run more efficiently while keeping your home at a comfortable temperature?


Woman Changing Thermostat


Most thermostats today give you the option of either setting the fan to “ON” or to “AUTO”, and many so-called experts will advocate for one or the other of these settings. The truth is though that both have their advantages – and both have their disadvantages.

In this article, we will review the pros and cons of the ON and AUTO settings on your thermostat.

The ON setting for Thermostats

If you are simply melting from the heat this summer, there is a good chance that you might set your thermostat fan to on – meaning that the fan will run continuously, circulating cool air through your home until you manually turn it off. This same principle applies to your furnace during the winter months.

Advantages of ON

Since air is continuously being pulled through your filtration system, the air in your home is constantly being cleaned. Also, using the ON setting can extend the lifespan of the fan since there will be fewer stops and starts.

Disadvantages of ON

The cost of energy in Ontario is not exactly what most people would consider cheap – and running the fan on your AC or furnace 24/7 will put a dent in the household budget. Additionally, since you are constantly cleaning the air, you will need to change your filters much more often to keep your HVAC system running at optimal levels.

The AUTO setting

When using the auto setting, your fan will kick in either when a timer or limit circuit tells it to.

Advantages of AUTO on your Thermostat

The big advantage of using the AUTO setting is that you are conserving energy – and for the environmentally conscious person, emitting less greenhouse gases is always a good thing. Using less energy also means that it will cost you considerably less on your energy bills.

Disadvantages of AUTO

Multiple stops and starts of your fan will inevitably wear it out more quickly than if it was running continually.

Furthermore, when you set your thermostat to AUTO, the heating or cooling will not be distributed as evenly through your home as it would be with the ON setting.

Choosing the setting that is right for you

Ultimately, when choosing the thermostat setting that is right for you, you’ll need to consider what is most important to you – temperature and air quality vs. cost and environmental concerns. If you are living with or entertaining an elderly person or someone with respiratory issues, for example, you may choose to set the thermostat to ON in order to help keep them more comfortable. On the other hand, if all those in your home are in relatively good health and you don’t mind some fluctuations in your home’s temperature, setting the thermostat to AUTO will save you quite a bit of money on your utility bills.

And remember – it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can always change between ON or AUTO depending on your circumstance.

For Furnace or Air Conditioning installations, repairs and servicing, contact Hamilton Home Comfort today. Located in Stoney Creek, we service the surrounding areas such as Guelph, Hamilton, Milton and Binbrook.

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning.

People who are thinking about getting an air conditioning unit fitted at home or in their business can often find themselves shocked at the price that they have to pay, once the cost of the apparatus, labour, and other amendments to the building are taken into account. So like many things in life, when people are looking for less expensive options, they are turning to the internet.


Air Conditioner Unit


There are some things that this strategy works for, and some that it doesn’t, and buying and fitting air conditioning doesn’t. In fact, in the long run, you are likely to pay back a lot more than you would have spent to have the work done by professionals.

Choosing the right unit

The first potential problem can come in the actual unit which you are buying. Different units are appropriate for different buildings, so it is important that you enlist the help of a professional who can guide you into buying the right unit for you. You also have the potential problems which are associated with buying an air conditioner unit from an unauthorized source.

Guarantees and Warranties

If you are buying your unit from unauthorized sources, auction sites, or private listings, you might find that your unit isn’t covered by a guarantee or warranty. Therefore, if the system malfunctions or breaks, you will not be covered and will have to pay for any repairs or replacements from your own pocket – and these can be expensive.

In addition, if you are fitting the air conditioning system yourself and are not a professional, there is a heightened likelihood that it won’t be fitted perfectly. This also makes the system more open to malfunction, damage or breakage, and of course a shorter life.

Handy-man Fittings

Worse than fitting an air conditioner yourself, is to pay a handy-man to fit your system. A handy-man who doesn’t really know what they are doing might not necessarily have the same patience and desire as you to make sure that everything is fitted safely and properly. And you can be sure that when the time comes to get it repaired you won’t be able to find them!

Badly fitted air conditioner systems can be dangerous, break easily, and also be less efficient – if they do work at all.


A professional fitter will ensure that you have the right size unit. The size depends on a number of factors such as the room size, ductwork, and energy efficiency. If the unit cools your home too quickly it can cause hot and cold spots, whereas if it cools too slowly you could find yourself with enormous energy bills.

If you are planning on fitting an air conditioning system, it is highly recommended that you do so through a professional. This will allow you to efficiently cool your home while staying safe, and reducing the risk of problems.

For more information about fitting air conditioning systems, get in touch with us today and our team of experts at Hamilton Home Comfort will be ready to help.

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning, Energy Saving.

Way back in 1902, engineer Willis Carrier invented a machine to treat the air inside the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company building. His machine blew air over cold coils to keep room temperature and humidity in check, which helped the publishing company keep its paper from wrinkling, and its ink properly aligned when printed. Of course, there was the benefit of employees feeling more comfortable as well.


woman using tablet to control thermostat


Air conditioning units have changed considerably over the last century, and manufacturers continue to find advancements to keep factories, offices, and homes cool and comfortable. Here are some of the emerging trends to keep an eye on as air conditioning continues its evolution.

Making air conditioning units smarter

When smart technology is talked about in reference to air conditioners, it’s usually centered on smart thermostats that monitor temperatures and make adjustments automatically or from connected devices. Smart thermostats continually receive information about their environment, and can modify heating and cooling cycles to save energy, and in turn, money.

More and more of these smart thermostats are also capable of connecting to devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers using Wi-Fi and infrared technologies. As a result, users can control their air conditioning units remotely and make adjustments to a room’s temperature.

Ductless mini-split air conditioners

Another recent development in the HVAC industry is the growth of mini-split air conditioning systems, which are more energy-efficient than traditional central air conditioners. What sets a mini-split system apart is that its compressor connects to two to four indoor air management units located in different areas around a building without any ductwork. Each indoor unit comes equipped with its own thermostat.

Multiple air conditioning units that stay connected to one exterior handler let you cool different spaces of your home individually. As a result, you can heat or cool only occupied spaces, cutting down on energy costs while limiting emissions at the same time.

Going beyond cooling air to purifying it

We’re now more aware of the fact that poor indoor air quality can lead to a number of health issues. The last thing you want to do is inhale polluted air within your own home, so more air conditioner makers are looking at ways to not only cool the air, but purify it as well. Integrated air purification systems get rid of the need to buy separate air purification systems or appliances.

Inside air conditioners with integrated air purifiers, a multi-layered filtration system and active technologies rid the air of impurities. Some systems use small water molecules to neutralize bacteria and allergens, while others utilize streamer discharge technology to eliminate unwanted odours, mites, mold, and pollen.

If you’re ready to install a new air conditioning system, or modernize your existing one, contact Hamilton Home Comfort to find out all the options available to you.

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning.

When people think about furnaces, they automatically think about winter and rarely relate to furnace maintenance. Given the heat so far this season in Southern Ontario, most people may have even forgotten that they have a furnace in the house. It’s also why many homeowners are surprised when they are told that they should make it a point to change their furnace filter in the summer months too. They wonder why it’s necessary to change the filter when the furnace isn’t being used at all in the summer.

programmable thermostat

So why should you bother about changing the furnace filter, even in the summer? Well, take a look:

Today, most HVAC systems have extensive ducting; the forced, heated air from the furnace flows through this ducting. It’s also important to keep in mind that your central air-conditioning also flows through this same ducting. In addition, the air exchange systems exchanges the air from within your home, and the outdoor air, via these ducts.

Many people do like to throw open the windows of their homes, in the summertime. While that brings in fresh air, it also brings in a lot of dirt and dust. The filter can become clogged with pet dander, pollen, etc. even in the summer months (just as it does during the winter), and this makes it even more difficult for the air to get through. It won’t allow the airflow required for operation of the HVAC system.

The chain effect of this is that the HVAC system will have to work harder, which then leads to an increase in your energy bills. Most people are very particular about changing the filter in the winter months, but tend to overlook doing the same in the warmer months. You must keep in view the fact that all the air you breathe in the indoor spaces of your home, first flows through that filter; and so regardless of the season, it must be changed at regular intervals, without fail.

Furnace filter change- the benefits

  • The recommendation is that the furnace filter should be replaced at least every 3 months, or even on a monthly basis. Doing so will have a very positive impact on the indoor air quality and will keep dust and allergens at bay.
  • It will also increase the efficiency of the cooling system in your house.
  • Changing your furnace filter with regularity will help increase the longevity of your HVAC system as well as your furnace.

No matter which way you look at it, changing your furnace filter during summer benefits you in a number of ways. Don’t let the clogged furnace filters affect the working of your HVAC system or defile the air quality in your home, no matter what the season. It’s a good idea to call in skilled and licensed HVAC professionals like the ones at Hamilton Home Comfort for regular maintenance of these systems. For any more information about our services, feel free to call us today.