AFUE: Cold in the winter? Make your furnace more efficient!

AFUE – In the cold winters of Canada, we all want to keep the bone chilling cold at bay. However, the cost of running a furnace can be high through the winter, which at times can go past a number of days requiring you to be well equipped to sustain it all through, so what then can we do to keep costs down?

Well I would like to guide you through AFUE to help you save money. But make no mistake; furnace cleaning and maintenance is still one the best approaches you can do to keep your furnace working properly, making it more efficient and require less energy to keep itself going to keep up with the warming demand.

Anyway, let’s get back to understanding what AFUE is and its significance to Canadian home owners.

What is AFUE?

AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency which is a method of keeping track of how efficiently your furnace or wood burning stove is running. This allows you to make some money saving alterations to your life!

How does it work?

AFUE is vital when buying a new furnace, how it is measured is as a percentage of how much fuel your furnace can convert into usable energy. As simple rule of thumb when looking at a furnace is that a AFUE rating of less than 30 % is substandard and shouldn’t be purchased whereas a rating of up to 100% means it is an effective machine that will keep you warm for less! Saving energy and preserving the ecosystem in equal measure.


HVAC Air Duct Cleaning: Signs that proper cleaning has been done

It is obviously beneficial to clean your HVAC system’s air ducts. These air ducts with time will accumulate a lot of dirt, dust and debris that will finally become a major health hazard to you and your loved ones. It is important to at regular intervals hire the services of HVAC installation, repair and maintenance company to do a thorough cleaning on the air ducts. Normally the duct system in any residential premises is laid out throughout a home. Even though air duct coverings are located in some few areas along the system that you can open and see if the air ducts have been cleaned properly, there are some other signs that you can look out for to ascertain whether the HVAC cleaning company did a good.

1. Energy saving.

25 to 45 percent of all the energy used in a home to heat or cool is wasted. Dirt, debris and dust become contaminants in the HVAC system and force the system to work harder while at the same time reducing its service life – a concern most, if not all, duct cleaning providers in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and in other cities are aware of. Cleaning the air ducts on your HVAC system will unclog all of these contaminants and allow your system to perform at optimum. A clear sign that the cleaning company did a perfect job is a lower energy bill immediately after the cleaning.


How the health of Canadian citizens and the rise in asthma attacks can be attributed to HVAC systems and pest control problems?

Canadians right across the country have a history of suffering with asthma attacks. Asthma is extremely distressing with youngsters and the elderly and is one of the health concerns which have increased ten fold in the past 30 years in Canada, mainly due to poor air quality.

According to the Canadian government they were over 2.5 million cases of asthma attacks in Canada in 2014 alone. These were not specific to a particular region as the figures show that in British Columbia where you have Vancouver as the major city there were 285,000 cases. In Ontario where Toronto is the capital they were over 910,000 cases and even in the center of the country in Manitoba where Winnipeg is a major city there were over 90,000 cases. A high number of these can be attributed to poor air quality inside our homes.

We will now look at two areas, HVAC systems and pest control, that are directly connected to each other can affect the homes and lives of every citizen in Canada and discuss how these could have a serious affect on our health or more specifically cause asthma attacks.

HVAC Systems
When you clean the ducts on your HVAC system it has been proven to prevent health issues such as asthma. The reason for this is a lot of the soil that collates in the air ducts is blown out and enters the air that you and your family breathe. It’s essential to remember that dirt in the air duct of your HVAC system is just one of several potential pollutants that is found in houses.


If you find any of the following then you need to have the ducts of your HVAC system in your house cleaned:

  • Mold or fungus growth, especially if it can be seen by the naked eye, in any part of your HVAC system including the duct work or furnace.
  • You need to bear in mind that even if it looks like mold you need to ascertain that this is definitely the case. The only way to do this is by having it analyzed at a laboratory.
  • If your HVAC system has air ducts that are insulated then there is a chance that they will get damp and harvest mold or fungus therefore you should consider replacing them.
  • If the reason that the fungus or mold has grown initially is not eradicated then you can expect it to return in the not too distant future.
  • If the duct work of your HVAC system is full of dust, debris or pest excrement you should expect these particles to be blown into your house from the vents once your HVAC system is fired up.

Before you clean or repair either your ducts or furnace you need to eliminate the problem otherwise the issue will probably recur.

Air ducts will collate dirt over a period of time therefore it is always essential that consider having the ducts and furnace cleaned and repaired on a regular basis. Cleaning of the ducts and repairing the furnace is not harmful and there is no evidence to prove this theory otherwise.

A faulty furnace can cause a lot of harm to the health of your family and therefore you should consider regular servicing of the furnace to ensure there is no danger of poisoning from carbon dioxide fumes that are emitted into the air. It is essential that you have your furnace serviced and repaired before you put it to use in the winter season.

Should you choose to make the decision that your furnace and air ducts must be cleaned and repaired then make sure you take precautions in evaluating the competence and dependability of the service company cleaning or repairing your HVAC system.

The use of sealants to fill the gaps or holes in the duct work of your HVAC system to eradicate dust and pollutants from being blown through the vents into your home is something that your HVAC technician may propose therefore you will need to have the required knowledge to understand what are the implications to you and your family of allowing them use a sealant or other chemical on your HVAC system.

The use of sealants and chemical biocides could possibly be safe under particular conditions research hasn’t demonstrated their safety as far as how they are used in the repairing of ducts in a HVAC system.

In order avoid polluted air from getting into your house you need to ensure that the ducts are clean therefore stopping any build up of soil and moisture from entering your breathing space.

Duct Cleaning, What is It?
duct-cleaning-before-afterMany businesses are promoting services and products meant to enhance the caliber of the air inside your home. You’ve in all likelihood seen an ad in the local press, received a flyer in the post or been canvassed either door to door or by telephone by a local HVAC business offering to service your complete HVAC system which includes the cleaning and repairing of your furnace and the cleaning of the ducts in your system with the promise that it will enhance the quality of the air that you and your family breathes in your home.

These services usually range in price and it can depend on the following how much their service charge is:

  • How big is your house?
  • How big is the HVAC system?
  • How polluted is the HVAC System?

Should you opt to get your furnace and ducts cleaned, it vital that you ensure the HVAC technician has the correct qualifications and is able to clean every part of your HVAC system.

The components of your HVAC system will become polluted with debris, pollen and dust if you do not properly maintain them and ensure they are installed correctly and are cleaned on a regular basis. In the event that moisture gets into the system then there is an increased chance that mold or fungus will grow and this will be blown through the vents into the air that you and your family breathe.

In the event that your HVAC system does get contaminated it is essential that the whole system, especially the ducts, are cleaned effectively, as per the industry standards to avoid any repeat of the contamination problem.

HVAC companies sometimes opt to use chemical biocides, which are manufactured to eliminate microbiological contaminants, on parts of the HVAC system including the interior of the duct work.

The practice of using chemical biocides has not been thoroughly researched and therefore you should ask for all the facts before you allow them to use these products on your ducts. The only time that the company should be permitted to use them is if all the debris and dust has been cleaned from the ductwork as far as the naked eye can see.

Usage of sealants is not the same practice as sealing the air flow ducts. Sealing air ducts can help conserve money spent on your bills to run your HVAC system.

How do you determine when to clean the ducts and repair the furnace of your HVAC system?

Understanding of the potential advantages and possible issues of duct and furnace cleaning and repair work is minimal. The situation in every house in Canada is unique therefore it is therefore not possible to give a general answer about cleaning ducts because conditions in every home are different however it is common for the vents to get clogged up with dust and dirt because the air is sucked from the ducts and blown through the vents.
On the flip side, if you or any member of your family have experienced illness that is both unexplained or has unusual symptoms which you believe might be have something to do with your house surroundings, you ought to discuss the specific problem with the local physician.

As the ducts in your HVAC system gets dirty the longer you leave them logic says that you should you should clean them on a regular basis. The discussion regarding the worth of regular cleaning of the ducts in your HVAC system rages on there has never been any evidence to suggest that cleaning of ducts is in anyway harmful to you and your family, as long as they are cleaned following the correct procedures.

On the flip side, if your HVAC technician doesn’t adhere to the correct procedures for cleaning the ducts then they can be responsible for the quality of the air inside your home to have issues. To put this into context if they were to use a faulty vacuum then this in turn could pollute the air with large amounts of toxins such as soil and dirt that would not have been their prior to having the air ducts cleaned.


You need to consider engaging a technician to clean the ducts inside your house when you find evidence of any of the following:

  • Mold or fungus appears on the duct surface or is clearly visible on parts of your HVAC system.
  • Many segments of your cooling and heating system might not be reachable for you to see therefore ask the technician to provide a sample of any mold or fungus they find.
  • You need to bear in mind that although it make seem that the alien substance may be mold this can only be ascertained by a specialist who will analyze it in a laboratory to get conclusive proof.
  • Ducts that are insulated can easily get damp which results in a build up of mold and fungus. This means they cannot be cleaned correctly so therefore careful consideration should be given to replace the affected section.
  • In the event the conditions inducing the mold growing initially aren’t rectified then the fungus and mold will return.
  • When the duct is full of debris and dust there is a real danger that these toxic particles ca be blown into the house from your vents.

Significant Factors to Consider
Duct cleaning hasn’t been revealed to really prevent health conditions. It is because a lot of the filth which will build up in the duct work as it sticks to the surface of the ducts and are not always blown into your house through the vents.

It’s vital that you consider that the dirt in our duct work is among numerous potential resources of particles which exist in houses. Contaminates can enter your house through many daily occurrences like cooking or cleaning, casually moving around the house and smoking.

There isn’t any evidence suggesting small amounts of dust or contaminants within the duct work will create a serious health problem for you and your family.

The efficiency of your HVAC system can be enhanced by not only cleaning but also repairing cooling coils, heat exchangers, furnaces and the fan. Yet, there is minimal information available through studies and research that indicates that only having the air ducts cleaned will make sure HVAC system run more effectively and be more efficient.

Communicate with an expert in the event that you believe duct or furnace cleaning may be required in your house, but you’re not certain. The business that maintains your HVAC system could be an excellent way to obtain guidance.

Ask them how they can assist you and you may even wish to contact professional duct and furnace cleaning and repair service providers as well.

Things to anticipate when you get a local HVAC contractor to clean your ducts and service and repair your furnace
In the event that you decide to own your ducts and furnace cleaned and repaired, the service provider should:

  • In order to fully inspect and ensure the complete HVAC system thoroughly clean they will have to open all the access points in the system.
  • Do a thorough inspection of the entire system prior to commencing the clean procedure to ensure there is no asbestos in the HVAC system.
  • Specialist asbestos contractors should be the only people that remove any asbestos from your HVAC system as they have had specialized training and will have all the correct equipment.
  • They must only use a vacuum that can exhaust dust and debris outside of your house and use highly efficient vacuuming equipment in the event the vacuum has to exhausts in your house.
  • Shield carpeting and home furnishings.
  • The duct surface must be cleaned using a controlled brush and a contact vacuum to ensure all the debris and dust is dislodged.
  • Fiber glass or sheet metal ductwork should only be cleaned by using a soft bristled brush.

The best way to know when the technician has done a comprehensive job cleaning the air ducts and furnace
Carefully inspecting is the most effective solution to ensure the HVAC system has been cleaned thoroughly. All parts of the HVAC system need to be visibly clean and you should be unable to find any dust or dirt.

Make a checklist and give it to the HVAC technician prior to him starting work. Request the technician shows you every part of your HVAC system to confirm they have cleaned it correctly.

In case you reply No to some of the items on your checklist this might signal an issue with the cleaning the technician has performed therefore request your technician corrects any deficiencies before so that you are completely satisfied with the work they have done.

Post duct and furnace cleaning checklist

  • Did the technician show you that the duct work and the furnace so you can see it has been cleaned?
  • Has the heat exchanger been cleaned?
  • When you shine a torch on the cooling coil can you see the light shining on the opposite side?
  • Are all the fins on the coil spaced evenly apart and straight?
  • The blades on the blower should be free of dirt and oil?
  • The return air plenum should be free from dust or debris?
  • Are the filters of the correct efficacy as stated by the manufacturer and do they fit properly?
  • The fiberglass used in the ducts should be in excellent condition with no holes in it?
  • Have all vents and diffusers been attached back correctly?
  • Did they clean the vents, diffusers and grilles?
  • After cleaning is the HVAC system functioning correctly in both heating and cooling status?

The best ways to stop your air ducts from becoming contaminated
In order to prevent your air ducts from becoming contaminated you would be advised to consider doing some preventative maintenance in addition to cleaning the ducts. Some of the things you should consider doing to stop the dust and dirt particles from entering the duct work are:

  • Making sure that the air filter you use in the HVAC system is endorsed by the manufacturer and is extremely efficient.
  • Always change your filters when they are full of dirt.
  • Make sure all the filters are in place and are correctly fitted so that air can’t get through any gaps.
  • In times when they will be a lot of dust in the air of your house, such as when you are renovating, make sure that all the vents are sealed and do not use the furnace or cooling system until you have thoroughly cleaned up all the dust.

By maintaining the cleanliness of your ducts will ensure that the dust contamination is kept at a minimal level therefore ensuring that the air that you and your breathes is of the highest quality.

How to prevent ducts from becoming damp:
Dampness must not show up in the air ducts. In order to avoid mold and fungus is to control the dampness. If you have leaks in the ducts because they were not installed correctly then moisture will become present. Humidity and condensation is the main reason for mold and fungus to grow inside ducts.

Moisture control in ducts is never easy however there are some preventative steps that can assist you such as the following:

  • Pay special focus on cooling coils that were created to get rid of water in the atmosphere and could be a leading way to for the HVAC system to become contaminated with moisture which can lead to the growth of mold and fungus inside the ducts.
  • Always ensure that the condensate pans are thoroughly drained.
  • If you have a build up of debris or standing water then this would suggest you have a problem that needs prompt attention.
  • It is vital that you make sure the system works as intended and can help stop moisture as a result of condensation from getting into the system.
  • To eradicate moisture and condensation you should insulate the HVAC system.
  • In case you are installing a new furnace always ensure that all ducts are sealed in the joints and the unit is the appropriate size you need for your house. A unit which is too large will cycle off and on often resulting in areas of your house suffering with high levels of moisture and humidity, particularly in inferior moisture removal.
  • Likewise, be certain that the HVAC system was created to handle condensation efficiently.

Does having your ducts cleaned eradicate health concerns?
Ducts which have become contaminated have many different substances that could present threats to your own well being and that of your family members. The air ducts function as an easy method to disperse these pollutants throughout your house.

In such instances, having your ducts cleaned may seem sensible. Having your ducts cleaned is not regarded as an essential element of annual upkeep of your HVAC system. Ongoing studies attempt to measure the possible advantages of having your ducts cleaned and how it can affect the health of the Canadian citizen.

Professionals are adamant that moisture shouldn’t show up in your air ducts because if soil and moisture are present the possibility exists for mold and fungus to grow and be spread throughout the entire house.

Pest Control
Air duct cleaning is essential after a pest infestation.
Canada’s rodent issue continues to be getting worse and recent surveys suggest that it is on the list of worst rodent infested countries in the world. There are quite a few areas around your home that they are able to hide and you need to make sure that these disgusting creatures don’t enter your house.

Ants, cockroaches, and rodents are also common Canadian pests that leave all sorts of debris and germs.

BY having your air ducts cleaned following a pest infestation, it is possible to avoid health problems for you and your family.

  • Having a comprehensive air duct cleaning, homeowners may make certain that their ducts are clear of any rotting or decaying stuff.
  • The feces, urine, hair, and debris of insects and rodents produce a sanctuary for allergens and disorders. These disorders can be airborne and go through the air ducts and to the living spaces wherever your family becomes changed if permitted to take a seat in the air ducts.

As well as this, a lot of people are allergic to mold spores, and pollen, dust. These contaminants may also get caught in the air ducts and so are cycled through the home, causing respiratory dilemmas, asthma and diseases, headaches, sinus troubles, as well as several other symptoms.

You are able to prevent experiencing these health problems with air ducts completely cleaned after an infestation.

  • Pest-infested air ducts really make it more difficult on your property to be energy efficient. The collected debris in the airways puts unnecessary stress on the device while it runs. Following an exhaustive air duct cleaning, the HVAC system can run at an optimum amount as it preserves the desirable temperatures in your home.
  • An intensive cleaning of dirty air ducts can boost the efficiency of the heat and cooling systems in Seattle houses as we discussed previously. Since your HVAC systems need less energy to work after being cleaned economically, you’ll be able to enjoy incredible savings on their electricity bills because of this.
  • Within just a couple of years, air ducts within a residence can collect upto forty pounds of debris, just because of this of actions and each living. Imagine just how much more debris is made from having your air ducts are invaded by pests.

Many Canadian homeowners are totally oblivious of what their ducts could include since their air ducts aren’t readily observable.

These sorts of pest associated contaminants can aggravate asthma, allergies, sinus ailments and headaches in sensitive individuals. People who have lung disease, breathing difficulties and allergies are particularly sensitive to disease-causing biological agents. Dirty central air systems will spread these contaminants throughout a property and may become breeding grounds for biological contaminant.

When folks consider indoor allergy triggers, they frequently think of pet dander, dust and plant pollens, but rodents and cockroaches also can trigger asthma and allergy attacks that may continue all day. There’s been a growth in asthma attacks among kids since they play inside more.

Depending on your geographical area in Canada, some pests might be more of an issue than many others. Cockroach infestation is common in urban areas as well as in cold places rodents tend to be prone to slip indoors searching for heat.

Pests can very quickly make their way into other areas and deposit feces in enclosed spaces, including rotting bodies of creatures eaten. Rodents and Cockroaches can intrude on your duct work through unsealed return systems, flawed seals where two bits of duct match, and air returns. After roaches and rodents are restrained, rodent hair, urine and feces of mice and cockroaches may remain in your home, triggering allergic reactions.

In the event you find signs of cockroaches or mice, have an exterminator clear your house of the trouble. After you have handled the situation of live infestation, you need to have your air ducts cleaned and inspected, as it is possible to frequently uncover signals of rodent and cockroach infestation made inside the ducts. Many private homes have cockroaches while not absolutely all houses possess a rodent problem.

But particularly with all the winter weather on its way, there exists an incredibly real possibility these areas could become nesting places for even little creatures and rodents.

As opposed to letting them set home there certainly are several things you can do in order to keep them from bringing smell filth and disorder throughout your HVAC system in your house.

  • If you already think they’re indoors and if rodents are the particular issue then set snares.
  • Learn where by trying to find droppings around ports, and area traps in those regions, they can be entering and leaving. You may also sprinkle talcum powder round the places so that you can track where they are and where they can be going, which will allow you to understand where else to place snares.
  • Aromatic foods including cheese and peanut butter will be the top sources in regards to laugh at, and with all the air flow, the smell should go well. You don’t need these creatures to say forever, as they are able to become hazardous risks to your loved ones as well as you.

But should you be among the lucky ones who doesn’t yet are having issues with mice or animals living in your ducts, there are several simple things it is possible to do to ensure they don’t become an issue. Including patching any holes in the ductwork up and repairing any gaps in your house’s base or outside to keep them. For complete coverage, program a preventative care session with a local HVAC technician will find and repair any holes or damage that could cause .

You have to understand that you do not want mice or other small pests crawling around part of your ducts which is why we encourage you to test your system before they begin heading in for the autumn. By scheduling a complete duct cleaning or preventative maintenance you will be sure that your ducts and HVAC system is free of any pests before cold weather settles in. You will also be able to make sure any small holes are filled in before the cold weather arrives

Birds host 60 kinds of infectious diseases that may be spread by the dry bird droppings to you personally, your loved ones, workers and pets and can harbor over 40 kinds of parasites.

Pigeon feces can develop in an incredibly brief time yet when it comes to damage and disorder, both pests are not very dissimilar. To be able to better comprehend how birds (or rats with wings for that matter) distribute disorder we must know the basic principles of disorder and transmission.

Just what are disorders?
When regular bodily functions are interrupted due to an internal problem or foreign invaders, this is known as a disruption or disorder. Definitions and the classification of disorders are much less significant than how we can shield ourselves and how these diseases spread. A disease needs a carrier otherwise they are not able to spread
Humans don’t as a rule interact with birds that often therefore the health risk from most birds is minimal. Yet several types of birds have adjusted to our town and city surrounding and have discovered to flourish by eating the food we eat and surviving in our buildings.

These birds present a serious health hazard plus birds are becoming an important pain to our major towns and cities.

How do birds carry and spread disease?
From comprehending how disorders we are able to present the five ways birds pass diseases onto people.

  • Bird feces contaminates water & food.
  • The bird that is diseased directly defecates right into water source or a human food. Besides direct pollution, air-borne pollutants from feces in vents and air ducts can land on open food thereby transporting diseases.
  • Inhalation of dust that is fecal
  • Please do not feed the birds as it only takes one pigeon and disorders will turn into many in a brief time.
  • Common outward indications of this sort of disease are coughing influenza like in nature, raised temperature, limited respiration and general body exhaustion, and last about two to four days.

The invaders will be contained by the vast bulk of the time, the bodies shields before mild symptoms appear but in a modest percent of instances, serious disease causing long term disability as well as death happens. It’s worth noting that there’s no known medical treatment for fungal infections that are internal.

Disease happens when residents or workers gets droppings or fecal dust in an open cut or wound which then becomes infected.

Anti-biotics in many cases are needed seriously to treat the disease. In certain rare instances, the blood is diseased, Septis, or you can get an internal disease which can cause serious sickness or death. Attention and appropriate dress should be utilized when cleaning up after a bird or when you install any type of bird management product.

Related parasites
Birds harbor mites, fleas, ticks along with other ectoparasites The parasite sucks including the germ when it bites on an animal that is infected. The germ is passed across as soon as the bug bites another victim. This happens when feeding, because parasites leave behind their saliva on the host.

These disorders include meningitis, encephalitis, pox and plague. When bird management products are installed, this risk may be aggravated. Thus, an effective bird management job will consistently contain parasite extermination.