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Good News! Summer is finally here – May 28th Update

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As I write this the temperature outside is finally above 20° C. It has been a long time coming. The other bit of good news is that the Province of Ontario is starting to open things up a bit allowing limited recreation options as well as the opening of certain store front retailers. It is very welcome after 8 weeks of self-quarantine.

This, however, should not be construed as a return to “normal”. We are a very long ways away from whatever our new normal will be. Workers will not all be flocking back to work anytime soon for a couple of good reasons.

  • Physical distancing in elevators will severely limit the number of people going to work in high rise office buildings. One person calculated that it would take 36 hours to get all of the workers in the TD Centre up to their offices and just as much time to leave. I’m sure this is already a big issue in high rise condominiums as well.
  • The lack of childcare will be a stumbling block for many workers with young children and women will bear the brunt of most of this. A number of our employees have restricted availability because they have no childcare and/or share it with a partner.

The result is that many people for the foreseeable future will continue to spend the majority of their time at home. This is your safe haven.

One preventive measure that must not be overlooked is the cleanliness of the lowly furnace filter. Please check it at least once per month. All of this additional activity in the home keeps dust circulating and it all ends up in the furnace filter. If yours is dirty, we can get you a replacement and better yet order an extra when setting up your maintenance visit and our technician can leave it with you. Not keeping filters clean can cause serious problems for an air conditioner.

We are all used to waiting in line to get into the grocery store these days. The same will be true when the hotter weather arrives, and you find yourself needing service. There will be a lineup. Since so many HVAC contractors chose to defer maintenance for their clients or the clients chose to not have maintenance done this spring, there will be a backlog of demand. We have hired extra people in anticipation of this demand and will do our best to see that our customers are not disadvantaged.

With summer comes thunderstorms than can bring power surges and power outages. One product that is proving very popular is a surge protector for your air conditioner and furnace. This device can prevent an untimely breakdown of your AC system when you need it most. Ask your service technician about it when they come to do your maintenance service. Thank you and stay healthy everyone!

Roger Grochmal, P.Eng.

Life Member ASHRAE


Air Ducts

Keep the Respiratory System of Your Home, Healthy!

Too hot or too cold? Most homeowners simply have to adjust the temperature on their smart thermostat to force warm or cool air throughout their home. It’s become such an easy convenience that we barely think about our HVAC systems until they stop working as they should. It’s said in the industry that the HVAC system is the lungs of your home, but have you ever wondered how that cozy warm air or refreshing cool breeze circulates through every room, creating a comfortable place to relax and enjoy? Air ducts act as the home’s respiratory system, so when your air ducts become infected with dust, dirt, and grime, the air you breathe becomes infected as well.

Why Clean Your Air Ducts?

Over the past few months, we’ve all been spending most of our time at home. We’ve missed date nights at the restaurant down the road, have been unable to spend time outside with neighbours and friends, and have instead been using the home as a place to keep our family healthy and safe. With so much added activity in your home, you may be noticing the gradual impact that poor air quality can have, especially as we enter allergy season. There are a number of variables that could have a negative impact on the air that is circulated through your home’s systems multiple times a day and should be considered.

Take a moment and answer these questions for us;

  • Do individuals smoke within your home?
  • Do your loveable pets shed hair and dander?
  • Does a member of your family have allergies or asthma?
  • Have you recently renovated or remodelled your home?
  • Are you currently making the exciting transition of moving into a new home?
  • Has it been 3-5 years since your air ducts have been properly cleaned?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, the air quality in your home could be compromised. The solution is to give the air ducts in your home a thorough cleaning, and you may want to investigate other indoor air quality (IAQ) solutions as well.

Our Perfected Process

Have you been taking time this year to spring clean your home? Isn’t it a wonderful feeling when the house is clean and everything is in its place? While you have worked hard to deep clean your home, we work hard to clean what is hidden behind your walls; your air ducts. Our process is tried and tested, as we aim to provide peace of mind while working within your home.

From the moment you schedule an appointment, you experience the AtlasCare difference. When our technician is on their way, we send you a quick text message with an image of our chosen technician paired with a short biography. We believe it’s essential that you know who you are opening your home to, now more than ever. You will be able to tell when our technician has arrived, as they will pull up in one of our customized duct cleaning trucks! Featuring a 150-foot, heavy-duty vacuum hose, our vehicles are capable of cleaning up to 50,000 square feet.

Before we begin, we provide our red carpet service. Cleanliness is what we aim for. In no time, our team will lay down red carpets in the areas they will be working in, and adorn themselves with bootie covers to further prevent dust and dirt from entering your home.

Duct cleaning removes approximately five pounds of dust, dirt and debris from your ducts. Before we begin the process of sealing each vent and utilizing our equipment, we place a camera in the ductwork to show you what has been lurking inside. After we have completed our work, we provide a full camera inspection once again to show you just how clean the air ducts are. Some customers choose to have our team finish their duct cleaning service with the Benefect Botanical Disinfectants and Cleaners. Professionals use this formula for a variety of purposes as it is capable of killing 99.9% of remaining bacteria, mould and fungal spores. The only thing that Benefect Botanical Disinfectants and Cleaners leave behind is the soft scent of lemon and thyme.

When our team has completed the cleaning process, we remove the vent covers, vacuum the areas where we worked, roll up the red carpet, and allow you to enjoy your home. We leave you with the peace of mind that the air you and your family are breathing is now cleaner and healthier.

If you would like more information about our process, please watch the short video below, which was filmed prior to COVID-19.

Breathe Easy Every Step of the Way

As a member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, we understand how important it is to feel safe and secure within your home. We not only focus on providing exceptional service so that you can breathe easier, but we work to ensure that your family feels taken care of. Our team is continuing to provide air duct cleaning solutions, and are taking the necessary measures to keep both you and our team safe as COVID-19 continues to impact our lives.

The goal of every person at AtlasCare is to help you enjoy your home to the fullest. We do this by working with the best products, offering safe and effective solutions, preventing HVAC or plumbing emergencies from happening, and ensuring your safety. Let us assist you and create a home in which you feel comfortable spending your time. Contact our team today and see how we can help.

basement, flood, backup sump pump

The Backup Plan Your Basement Needs!

Amidst the news updates of COVID-19 across Ontario, there has been an increasing number of reports of flooding along the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Ontario. Homeowners have watched as rising water levels and rainstorms have damaged their properties both inside and out. We all know that floods can happen at any time of the year. The spring months can be particularly challenging, however, as rainstorms increase, adding to the already high water table caused by our typical Canadian winters. Since floods are the most expensive natural hazard in Ontario as they can significantly damage your home, it’s crucial that when the rains come and the power goes out, your home stays protected. 

What Causes Basements to Flood?

Basement flooding is one of the most common types of floods that can take place in your home. As floods are generally caused by melting snow, ice jams, high water levels and rainstorms, all of this extra water has to go somewhere. The GTA is particularly prone to flooding as there is less natural space for the water to go. As water typically collects at the lowest point, the basement is where it tends to go. 

You may believe that your home has been built to withstand flooding, but there are many ways that water can find it’s way inside. Groundwater can enter into the basement through cracks in the home’s foundation, or through walls, windows and doors that are at ground level. Extensive landscaping, run-off from higher points on your property, or an improper foundation drain or weeping tile system can also contribute to basement flooding. Even underground wastewater or stormwater pipes that have become clogged or overwhelmed can cause this excess water to find its new home in your basement. 

If you live in an older area and your home was built before the mid-1970s, your home may be at a higher risk of flooding as the original connections to weeping tiles, foundation drains, and downspouts may be connected directly to the wastewater system. This can overwhelm the system, causing flooding to occur. In 1975 when the first Ontario Building Code was introduced, stormwater systems were required in newer builds to give water another place to go. If you are living in an older home, ensure your wastewater and stormwater systems are operating as they should be. 

How Can You Protect Your Home?

While there are many ways that you can redirect water away from your home, a sump pump is an excellent way to remove excess water that has collected in the sump pump basin or pit. What happens, however, if your primary pump stops working or if you lose power to your home? 

A battery-operated backup sump pump acts as a secondary sump pump for your home. If the primary pump were to fail, a backup pump activates to remove excess water and prevent it from pooling. A battery-operated sump pump only engages when the primary pump has stopped working, whether its due to a lack of electricity or issues with the pump itself. 

At AtlasCare, we rely on pumps developed by Liberty Pumps to do the job due to their quality and leadership in the industry. Each pump we carry, whether it be the Liberty 441, or the Liberty 442 models which have the option for WiFi integration and real-time audible alerts, draw power from Interstate batteries. These batteries can last up to three days depending on how long the backup pump is working. 

The installation of a sump pump with a backup sump pump system is considered as well. Our team removes the old pump and installs the new pumps with the secondary pump placed higher than the primary one. We also install a new check valve to ensure that the entire system remains operational, rather than relying on existing elements of the system itself. We also inspect the discharge pipe and sump pump pit and ensure that all connections to your home’s piping system are secure. Finally, we ensure no issues are lurking within the pipes and that the entire system is running efficiently and quietly. 

As severe storms increase in frequency, and flooding continues to be a year-round concern, know that your home is always protected. If you are unsure if your home has a properly working stormwater and wastewater system and are looking to install a new sump pump with a battery-operated backup pump, let us help. We will safely inspect and advise you on what you need to keep your home protected all year round. Trust the experts, so that you can continue to have peace of mind in your home. 

Helpful Tip: If you are in an area that is prone to flooding, gain access to Ontario’s Flood Forecast