Posted by & filed under Energy Saving, Heating.

As we head into the cold winter months, not only do we have to worry about staying out of the cold, we also have to worry about the extra cost that comes in heating our homes. While there is not much that we can do about the cold weather, there are things that we can do about the amount of money that we spend on heating our homes.

A blond haired woman wrapped in a blanket to keep herself warm

The most obvious way on learning how to save on heating costs is to just reduce the amount of heating that you use. Here are a few tips on how to cut your heating bills:

Get Insulated

Up to 25% the heat in your home is lost through the roof, and more through un-insulated walls. If you have wall cavities you can insulate them to save about 15% on your heating bills, and by insulating your loft, you can also substantially cut the heat lost through the roof, and reduce the amount of energy needed to keep your house warm.

Extra Clothes

By wearing extra clothes and using extra-thick blankets, you can turn your thermostat down a touch. You don’t need to be walking around at home in shorts and t-shirt, so put on a pair of thick socks and a jumper and enjoy feeling cosy.

Leave the oven open

Once you have finished cooking, leave the oven door open to let the heat pass into your kitchen and help to heat the room.

Turn down the temperature

By turning your thermostat down by just 1°C, you probably won’t notice much difference in temperature, but you will notice, however, it in your heating bills as it can cut them down by up to 10%.

Timings

Another great way to save money on heating costs in to make sure that we only heat our homes while we are there. There is no point having a nice toasty home if you’re not there, so if, for example, you go out to work every day, and there is no-one at home, why not turn the heating off? You can also use timers or control through an app to turn the heating on shortly before you will be arriving.

Locations

There are some rooms in the home where you move a lot, and others where you move less. You can set the thermostat or radiators to be at the right temperature for you. For example, in a living room you are likely to be moving less than in the kitchen that can be kept a little cooler.

Effective Heating Systems

Another reason for higher heating bills is that you might not have a highly effective and working heating system. By having your existing system repaired or by investing in a new, good and efficient heating system – despite the initial investment – you are likely to reap the rewards after a short amount of time.

Reducing the amount that our heating bills increase by as we head into the winter months may need a small investment at times, but result in longer term savings. Energy bills can get very high during the winter, so it is worth taking as many measures as possible to keep them down. For more information about saving on heating bills and home heating systems, get in touch with Hamilton Home Comfort today.

Posted by & filed under Fireplaces.

There’s nothing more relaxing than cozying up to a warm fireplace on a dreary, winter night. To create the ultimate, relaxing retreat in your bedroom, you will need to make sure that your fireplace is safe to use. Depending on the style of fireplace you choose, you will need to accommodate for venting and heat output to make sure your fireplace is as safe as it is nice to look at. Regular visual inspections, as well as thorough seasonal inspections, are key in making sure your fireplace is safe to use, regardless of what room it calls home.

a fireplace with burning wood

Choosing a Fireplace

There are three main types of fireplaces: wall mounted, freestanding, and portable. Each type of fireplace offers different benefits and operating features. Here is a brief overview of their features.

Wall Mounted Fireplaces

Wall mounted fireplaces are the most common. They are not mounted on the wall like a TV would be, but instead are mounted into the wall. They are often found in living rooms, family rooms, and indeed bedrooms as well. They are connected to the chimney and efficiently funnel the smoke up and out of the house. Wall mounted fireplaces leave it up to you to decide if you would like to add a mantle. Wall mounted fireplaces are available in wood burning, gas, and electric.

Freestanding Fireplaces

Freestanding fireplaces are ideal for remodeling projects. Instead of having to incorporate a freestanding fireplace into the wall, these convenient units can be attached to the wall, the ceiling, or simply incorporated into the design from the floor. They are available in wood burning, gas, or electric. If they are gas or wood burning, you will need to make sure there is a vent pipe attached to the ceiling that functions as a chimney. A freestanding fireplace is not safe in the bedroom without a venting system!

Portable Fireplace

Lastly, a portable fireplace offers versatile, modular design. Feel free to move these fireplaces from room to room, or even apartment to apartment to suit your life! Portable fireplaces are ideal for those who live in small spaces, or move often, but aren’t willing to compromise on warmth and comfort! A freestanding fireplace is often electric, which means they do not require any venting or special installation. Simply plug them in, sit back, and relax! A portable fireplace is also safe for use in the bedroom as it does not emit a huge amount of heat. These fireplaces are more for creating ambiance, and a relaxing setting. Even small bedrooms can easily and safely accommodate a portable, electric fireplace.

Ventless vs. Vented Fireplaces

As mentioned above, proper ventilation is key in ensuring your fireplace is safe no matter what room it sits in. With a vented fireplace, all of the smoke, odour, and moisture are directed outside your home via vents. These fireplaces require more involved installation that can add to the cost of the project. Ventless fireplaces are designed to burn incredibly clean. However, they will not be perfect. Vent-free fireplaces are also more effective at providing heat. You can learn more about the features of both vented and ventless fireplaces here.

The safety of a fireplace in the bedroom depends completely upon choosing the right model for the space, installing it perfectly, and maintaining it regularly. To learn more about safely installing a fireplace in your bedroom, Contact Hamilton Home Comfort today!

Posted by & filed under Energy Saving, Furnace Repair.

An efficient and properly fit furnace can make all the difference in your home – both in terms of having it heated properly and efficiently and in terms of the quality of air in your house. For those of us who battle cold winters, a good furnace is not just preferred, it is essential.

Although furnaces require very little maintenance and up-keep, it is important that you don’t neglect it totally. After all, if you have a furnace that is working well, you will not only have a warm house and good control over the temperature, you will also be able to heat your home efficiently with less wastage.

furnace filter

follow Furnace Filters

Furnaces use a filter system to take out particles which travel through your duct and prevent them from circulating around your house. There are different levels of filtration to choose from, and this can be decided on according to your specific needs as well as the type of furnace that you have.

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=dosaggio-levitra Changing a Furnace Filter

Filters, by their very nature, need to be changed every now and then. There are three reasons for this:

  1. The filter will become less effective as the particles build up on the inside of the filter, and allowing less air to pass through.
  2. The excess of particles on the inside of the filter can cause clogging and affect the furnace itself.
  3. Your furnace will give out more heat and generally be more efficient if there are no blockages.
  4. Because your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard, the length of life is increased by the changing of air filters.

 

For those with respiratory problems or allergy issues, the regular changing of your furnace filter is even more important than for those without as it an affect air quality. The frequency of how often you should change your filter depends on the furnace which you have and your unique home environment. Other things to consider are the amount of air pollution in your immediate environment, whether you have smokers in the house, and whether you have pets which shed fur.

It is also important to check with the manufacturer’s details what they recommend in terms of how often you should be changing your furnace filter. Typically, but not in all cases, the higher the cost of the filter, the longer it should last.  So a one month filter might cost $5-$10, whereas a three month filter will be $12 – $20. There are filters that hover around the $100 mark and these filters are often washable and reusable.

To help yourself remember when to change your filters, you can buy multiple filters at once.  Then you can write the dates on them in advanced in marker as to when they should be changed.

Furthermore, keep in mind, changing your filter isn’t important for the winter months, but they should be changed if you are running central air conditioning too.

Finally, before changing your filter, turn off the system at the thermostat, (it shouldn’t be necessary to turn the furnace off at the electrical switch) and wait for the sound of the furnace to stop.

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=prezzo-viagra-generico-25-mg-pagamento-online-a-Roma Choosing a Replacement Furnace Filter

When you are deciding which replacement furnace filter to buy, the most important thing to look for is its compatibility with your particular make and model of furnace. Different options include the filter level – the size of the particles that you want to filter out, and the length of time that the filter is likely to last for. Often more expensive filters will last for longer, so it’s worth doing your research before buying your replacement.

The value of having a good and efficient furnace heater is unquestionable, but it is important that you invest a little time and money into ensuring that it is working to its highest level. By making sure that you have the best filter for the job and for your personal needs, you will ensure that you get the best value for money both in terms of your furnace’s functionality and eliminating energy wastage in your home.

If you live in the Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Grimsby or Binbrook area, and are unsure of how to change your filter, call us at Hamilton Home Comfort to step you through the process.

Posted by & filed under Fireplaces.

One of the trickiest things to do when you are designing internal features for your home is making those decisions without really knowing how the finished article will look. We often have an idea in our heads of what the feature will look like, but it is rare that it will actually turn out exactly how you imagined.

This is why Napoleon Fireplace Design Studio is an ingenious idea and is proving to be so useful. Through their website, designers or home owners with an interest of fitting a fireplace – or stove or insert — can design their feature right down to the finer details, the door knob design, or the ash tray. You can then print off your chosen design.

Napoleon Fireplace Design Studio screenshot

watch Napoleon Fireplace Design Studio

There are many benefits to using the Napoleon Fireplace Design Studio for people who are planning on buying a fireplace.

  • acquistare levitra online consegna rapida It shows you all of the options – By using the design process online, you can see all of the options that are available at each stage. You may not have thought about the different leg options in your standing stove, for example. This process gives you the chance to design your fireplace, stove or insert down to the finest detail.
  • http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=accutane-lawyer-columbus You can visualize your ideas – An online design process allows you to visualize your ideas right here, right now. So you can design the fireplace, stove or insert to be exactly how you dreamt it, and then see if it actually will turn out how you imagined. It gives you the chance to see your fireplace before it is made and for you to be able to visualize it better as a finished product.
  • http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=comprare-viagra-generico-200-mg-a-Milano You can change your ideas – If there is a part which you don’t like, you can see your options to change it. It may be a small detail such as a colour, or the material of the door handle, or you may want to change the complete design. This feature allows you to try out different ideas to your hearts content, until you find the perfect fireplace, stove or surround for your home.
  • dosing of lasix continuous infusion You can print off your design and get an estimate – Once you have finally designed your perfect fireplace, you can then print off your design from a pdf and send the details to get an estimate for it.

Gas Fireplace Designs

The fireplace design studio offers design options for wood, gas and pellet fuelled fireplaces, stoves and inserts. Options include different door types, handles, backdrop options and different log sets, as well as different front and surround styles, meaning that you really do have a blank canvas to design your fire feature on.

This innovative design method is a great option for those who want to be able to visualize what can be an important feature in their home before racing out and buying and fitting it. This means not only peace of mind, but hands the control of the design over to the people that really count – the home owners.

For further information on Napoleon’s Fireplace Design Studio, play the video below.

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

Hockey season is almost here, which means fall and the long, cold winter months are coming up very fast. This is the best time of year to make sure your home’s furnace is working to its fullest potential. Having a professional HVAC technician perform the testing is crucial to uncovering any safety or performance issues so you can get them corrected and have your furnace working at peak efficiency. Uncovering potential issues like leaks, dust and soot buildup, molds & allergens is crucial to having a furnace that operates as designed, as well as having a home with comfortable, clean and healthy air.

House covered in Snow

A trained technician possesses the precise knowledge of manufacturer recommended settings and operation levels, and he has the correct tools to do the physical work on today’s modern furnace systems, should some disassembly and repair on your furnace systems be required.

If your home uses the most common type of furnace; a natural gas furnace, you have an exhaust system called a flue made of sheet-metal or cylinder tubes which remove the dangerous byproducts of combustion like silent and deadly carbon dioxide from the air inside your home or business. The technician will examine and collect performance readings on this system to make sure all dangerous gasses are being vented outside.

He will also inspect the burners for rust and soot buildup and if needed, do the required cleaning. These buildups can disrupt the flow of air and gas. Obstructed burners can cause excessive carbon dioxide to be released upon the first startup and for up to 60 seconds of run time. The igniter and flame sensor (if installed) also need to be checked to ensure they’re operating within manufacturer-recommended ranges.

The gas pressure also needs to be checked for maximum safety and efficiency as well as scanning for gas leaks. A technician will also do a combustion analysis to check the CO and oxygen (O2) levels at varying points of the furnace operation.

The technician will also be checking on the temperature readings in the air supply and return plenums. He will be checking the operation of the blower & inducer motors as well as their amperage draw. All wiring connections will be tested and repaired if needed. The blower wheel and evaporator coil will both be checked as well as the motor housing and belts. The motor housing and furnace cabinet should be checked and cleaned of dust buildup.

If any of this LONG list of items sounds foreign to you, there is definitely no shame in consulting with a professional HVAC technician to have your system tested. Most of us obviously don’t possess the specialized knowledge or tools to work on these systems. Since a poorly-operating furnace can be very DANGEROUS to the rest of your home as well as the safety of you and your loved ones, it is crucial to have it inspected.

If your utility bills are higher than normal, and as a result, you suspect your furnace is not operating as well as it should, or perhaps you just looked at a new home and are considering a purchase, or you’re selling your current home and have an upcoming Home-Inspection, that is all the reason you need to call in an expert. A furnace testing procedure is a relatively inexpensive and quick route to having a good-as-new furnace. Contact us and our team of professionals will be ready to help you with all your furnace needs.

Posted by & filed under Fireplaces.

There’s nothing better than settling down in front of a roaring fire on a cold evening. There’s something mesmerizing about gazing into dancing flames, feeling the warmth of the fire and letting the crackling fire take you off to another world.

Traditionally houses were built with fireplaces as a heating source, but luckily these days we have better methods of heating our houses!  Fireplaces are now a welcome feature, but not a necessity as they used to be. It does mean, however, that not all houses are now built with fireplaces. If your property doesn’t have a fireplace, all is not lost. You can fit one!

Reversible gas log set

Fire Types

You have a choice of two different fireplace types – gas or wood burning. Each has their merits, and it is a case of deciding which type best suits you, your needs and your home.

Wood Fires

A natural, rustic wood burning fire is the traditional typical fireplace. It gives that primitive feeling of heat, the crackling and smell of wood, and you can even cook on it. A wood fire is fuelled by, well, wood. Depending on where you live, this may be easy to come across, or may be difficult – it is definitely something that you should bear in mind when you are deciding what kind of fire is best for you.

A wood fire needs to be cleared out once the fire is out and cooled. Likewise, at regular intervals (maybe once or twice a year) you should clean your chimney as it can get clogged up with soot, effecting the burning of the fire and possibly inhibiting ventilation into the room.

Obviously a wood fire would need a chimney and so you are limited in the place where you can put your fire.

Gas Fires

A gas fire uses gas as its fuel and has a number of obvious advantages over a wood fire in terms of mess and maintenance. There is no need to find places to store wood and no cleaning of the fireplace is required, but obviously it doesn’t have the same savage, primitive feel as a wood burning fire.

The gas fire doesn’t require the ‘building’ of a fire, you just press a button, and it’s alight. It can also be installed anywhere in your house – it doesn’t need a chimney, unlike the wood fire, as ventilation is through a pipe which can be passed through the wall.

A gas fire can also be made to ensure that the heat circulates evenly throughout the whole room with a controlled temperature.

Whether you choose a wood burning fireplace or gas burning fire really comes down to a choice between convenience and ease, or the desire for a natural feeling, rustic charm. Obviously there might be restrictions such as the type of building you have – if you live in a flat, for example, you might not have a chimney, or the space to store wood. Likewise, you may also have a chimney which isn’t being used, which would be perfect for a wood fire. Whichever you choose, make sure that you get it done before the winter sets in so that you can relax in front of your roaring fire on those freezing nights.

Posted by & filed under Fireplaces.

A fireplace can be a lovely touch to any home. The idea of sitting in front of a toasty, roaring fire on a cold night is one of those romantic images that we all dream of. These days though, not all homes come with fireplaces fitted, so it’s something that home owners are having to organize themselves.

Unqualified Fireplace Builder

 

It can be tempting to try to save money on the fitting of a fireplace by either doing it yourself or contracting a general handyman to fit your fireplace, but there are some things which should be left to professionals. And this is one of them.

Potential Dangers

When it comes to fireplaces, the penalty that you pay for a badly fitted one, can be your life. Here are some of the issues that can arise from a fireplace which is not fitted properly:

Carbon Monoxide

The biggest danger which can arise from a badly fitted fireplace is the potential carbon monoxide risk. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a big deal and a large percentage of those admitted to hospital with it each year, die. Carbon monoxide is undetectable to humans and the main cause for a rise in the amount of carbon monoxide in the air inside a home is poor ventilation. Appliances such as fireplaces produce carbon monoxide, and without the right ventilation this can be life threatening.

A fireplace which does not have the ventilation fitted properly, as well as cracked and damaged chimneys, can cause a build-up of carbon monoxide. Another danger is the fact that chimneys can be easily blocked with building debris – a risk which just isn’t worth taking.

A badly fitted fireplace can also cause a build-up of soot which can also cause problems with carbon monoxide.

Collapse

Fireplace masonry isn’t a light affair. If it isn’t fitted properly, using the proper tools, there is a risk that the fireplace can collapse. Not something that you would want to happen at the best of times, let alone at the time when you are laying or cleaning the fire.

Leaking Chimney Stacks

Old or recently damaged chimney stacks can cause leaking; meaning that smoke can enter into your or a neighbor’s house. It can also mean that water could get in causing damp and potential structural problems. Fitters need to ensure that firstly the chimney stack isn’t already damaged, and secondly that they don’t damage it whilst fitting the fireplace.

When it comes to fitting a fireplace in your home, there is just no reason why you should try to save money and not get a professional to do it. The consequences to a badly fitted fireplace, or one in which fitters have unwittingly caused damage are far more serious than just a fireplace that doesn’t look good. Putting your own and your family’s lives at risk is surely enough reason to pay a little bit extra and ensure a safe and proper fitting of your new fireplace. Hamilton Home Comfort prides itself on our skilled staff and their expertise at installing fireplaces and various other electronics. If you’re considering having a fireplace installed please Contact Us to speak to one of our professionals.

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning.

As the heat of summer begins to increase, our thoughts turn to how we can cope with this rise in the temperatures. When we talk about how we can manage the effects of hot weather, often you can hear the expression, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” This refers to how, for the most part, we can remain fairly comfortable during hot dry days, yet during high humidity days we become very uncomfortable.

Women looking out through curtains

 

We are quite fortunate that modern technology can now provide us with a readily available way to greatly reduce humidity in our homes – the air conditioner. If you live in an area that often experiences high temperatures and sticky, muggy weather, you know that relief is at hand when you have a properly operating air conditioning system to help ease the problem. This ability to reduce humidity in our homes contributes to greater comfort for our families.

These days most air conditioning systems are capable of controlling humidity. Your air conditioning system contains an evaporator coil. The evaporator coil’s job is to condense water vapour from the air. You might have seen this process when condensation appears on the outside of a glass which contains a cold beverage.

This entire process happens when moist, hot air in the home comes in contact with the cold evaporator coil. Then the liquid is condensed out of the air, and this process makes your home less humid. The moisture that is collected by the evaporator coil then goes to a drain and it is sent outside, away from the home.

Your air conditioner needs to be the right size for it to be effective at controlling and removing humidity. For example, a window AC unit that is made specifically for a small room like a home office will not function properly in a larger room such as the master bedroom or living room.

Your central air conditioning system requires enough power to move the cooled air throughout your living space. Choose a licensed professional to calculate the appropriate size you will need for your HVAC system. This will be based on the size of your home and the climate zone that you live in.

The reason why you feel so uncomfortable when humidity levels increase is because our bodies cool down by perspiring. When you are in a humid area, the air has more moisture in it, and this makes it more difficult for your sweat to evaporate.

With lower temperatures, the air becomes less humid and our perspiration evaporates more easily. The result of this is that you feel much more comfortable.

If your air conditioner doesn’t appear to be functioning as well as it used to, or if you are getting ready to purchase a new AC unit, contact the professionals at Hamilton Home Comfort. We have the experience and expertise to help you maintain your existing air conditioning system or decide upon purchasing and installing a new system.

Posted by & filed under Air Conditioning, Energy Saving.

Whether you plan to spend a weekend away at the beach or a longer trip to a warm country there are things you should do to prepare your home while you are away. One of these things is to adjust your air conditioner to maximize energy efficiency and make your home comfortable when you return. These vacation AC tips will be easier on your system without costing you comfort.

Hot temperature

The main purpose of your air conditioner is to keep you and your home feeling cool. However, if you aren’t home, it generally doesn’t need to maintain a comfortable 22 to 25 degrees Celsius. Each degree you lower your systems temperature below 25 degrees can cost you as much as 5 percent of your total cooling costs. Setting your thermostat at a higher temperature can save you money, and when you’re away enjoying your vacation, you don’t need your home at maximum cool. It is recommended that you set the thermostat at 29 degrees when you’re away from home, including during vacations.

A long weekend can be a perfect time to save money on utility bills, but not at the expense of comfort upon your return. The best compromise to achieving energy efficiency and best comfort when you return to your home is probably between the recommended 29 degrees and your home’s usual thermostat setting. If you usually like to turn the thermostat down to the low 20s adjust it back up to 26 when you leave.

When you’re away for a longer time, you might be tempted to save more by turning your AC off completely. However, there can be extreme temperatures that occur in a home without air conditioning and this may damage your belongings. High heat can be deadly to wallpaper, wooden furniture, and delicate electronics. Your home will often be tightly sealed while you’re away on your trip and it can build up a tremendous amount of heat.

If you plan to be out of the house for a week or even longer, mold growth can become a problem in your home. Maintaining the recommended 29-degree temperature in your home is usually enough to inhibit mold growth and keep the air in your home mostly dry. If you use a dehumidifier in your home, you can adjust it also. Having a programmable thermostat that allows you to control humidity as well as temperature is ideal.

Make sure you add your air conditioner to the list of things that you need to do before you go on vacation. By taking care of your air conditioner before you go, you ensure that it runs smoothly while you’re gone so you can come home to a comfortable home instead of a hot home – or worse, a big repair bill.

  • Remember to adjust your thermostat to 26 degrees or higher.
  • Be sure to change your system’s filters. Your system’s efficiency is lowered from dirty filters.
  • Be sure to close all your blinds, curtains and storm shutters. This will help to put layers between the sun and the inside air of your home and will help keep your home cooler.
  • Make sure you clean the system’s condenser coils outside and evaporator coils inside to give you greater efficiency. If you’re not sure how to clean the coils, call a system specialist.

If you feel like your air conditioner has been having problems lately or could use professional help with air conditioner repairs or replacements, then Contact Hamilton Home Comfort today!

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

 

If you have just moved into a home or have been living in the same home for several years, and find that you have a rusting gas meter, it’s bound to raise alarm bells in your head. Most homeowners ensure that the outdoor spaces and the house structure itself are painted and well-maintained. Unfortunately, regardless of how careful you are rust always seems to attack the gas meter that is located outdoors and it mars the look of your home.

It’s common to see rust at the threads and joints; the former are more susceptible to rusting. The one fear that most homeowners have when they notice all that rust is that the meter will develop a leak.

Typical gas meterThe Logical Thing to Do

If the gas meter in your home is rusty, you will want to know whether the problem is significant enough to warrant scraping off all the rust and repainting. The next logical thing to do is to call Union Gas or your gas supplier.

Union Gas always paints the meters and checks for leaks as part of their regular maintenance schedules; if they find that a particular meter has deteriorated beyond a certain level, they will also replace it. But in most instances, when you speak with the customer service at Union Gas they will tell  you that you can safely repaint the gas meter yourself.

Points to Keep in View

The reason they will let you repaint the gas meter yourself is that the rust you notice is inconsequential and if you are worried about the pipes, chances are that those too will, in most probability, outlive the actual gas meter equipment. The primary reason rust develops at the threads is because they aren’t painted well on purpose; the paint prevents a good seal while the gas meter is being put together. So, if you are setting out to do a DIY job painting your meter, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Remove the existing gas meter paint
  • Sand the metal surface well
  • Keep chemical products away from surfaces that aren’t metal
  • Don’t work in over hot conditions or direct sunlight as the chemicals and solvents tend to evaporate even before the products have a chance to work
  • A quality oil enamel should be used for the top coat (make sure it isn’t metallic)
  • Don’t paint over the meter glass cover or even the index
  • Ensure that the regulator vent isn’t blocked

Weather Protection

It’s important to keep your gas meter in a good condition and it’s natural that you don’t want any unsightly rust on it either. Applying a fresh coat of gas meter paint isn’t a bad idea as it will provide some defense from the weather and will ensure that the anti-corrosion protection isn’t impaired by dust.

Hamilton Home Comfort is a leading HVAC company that installs maintains and repairs furnaces and gas fireplaces. For more information, call us at 905-643-0981. You can also connect with us via our online form.