What You Should Know About Your Home Ventilation

How much do you really know about your home’s ventilation system? 

Home ventilation is something we all tend to forget about. It goes on while we go about our days unaware…until something goes wrong. 

Ventilation may not be noticeable, but it is certainly crucial. It directly affects both the quality of your air and your life at home! There is often significant room for improvement when it comes to ventilation in homes new and old 

Here’s what you need to know about your whole-house ventilation system. 

What is Whole-House Ventilation?

Whole-house ventilation is a method of indoor ventilation using a mechanical system. One or more fans and duct systems are used to remove stale air and supply fresh air from the outside into the house.  

There are a few different types of whole-house ventilation systems, each with their own benefits and costs: 

  1. Exhaust ventilation 
  2. Supply ventilation 
  3. Balanced ventilation 
  4. Energy recovery ventilation 

1. Exhaust Ventilation

Exhaust ventilation works by depressurizing your home by exhausting air from the house. While this occurs, fresh air that has been brought to the same temperature as the house (make-up air) is released inside. 

In typical models, a single fan is connected to a centrally located exhaust point. Other models can connect multiple fans that have been placed in several rooms, such as the bedroom or bathrooms. 

One potential drawback to this model is that pollutants could be drawn into the house along with fresh air: mould from crawlspaces, dust from attics or fumes and gases from fireplaces and connected garages. 

2. Supply Ventilation

As opposed to the exhaust systems, supply ventilation systems pressurize your home. This means that a fan is used to push outside air inside of the building while air leaks from intentional vents and ducts. Like exhaust systems, supply ventilation models usually consist of one fan and duct system. 

Supply systems minimize the number of pollutants entering living spaces because there is control over the air that enters the house. Pollen and dust are filtered from the outdoor air before entering. 

It is not recommended that this type of ventilation be used for extreme warm or cold climates, as the moisture could lead to mould or mildew. Supply ventilation is ideal for mild climates. 

3. Balanced Ventilation

Balanced ventilation systems are a combination of both exhaust and supply systems, but it neither pressurizes nor depressurizes your home. Fresh outside air and stale inside air are introduced and exhausted in equal quantities.  

The two fans and two duct systems are strategically placed throughout the house in order to expel air wherever moisture and pollutants tend to build up. Filters are also used to remove dust and pollen from the outside air before entering inside.  

Like exhaust and supply systems, balanced ventilation systems may need to mix the outdoor air with indoor air before entering the house. The downside of this is potentially higher heating and cooling costs.

4. Energy Recovery

Energy recovery ventilation systems provide a way to minimize the amount of energy lost while controlling the ventilation within the home. There are two types of energy recovery systems: HRVs and ERVs. 

  1. In the winter, heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) reheat incoming cold air from outdoors by mixing it with the indoor heated air. This reduces the amount of energy used by your furnace. The HRV will do the opposite in the summer, cooling down the incoming warm air.  
  2. Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) follow the same principle as HRVs, but with one key difference: they also transfer a certain amount of water vapour along with energy. This vapour is used to regulate the humidity inside the home.  

 Both ERV and HRV systems recover 60%-80% of energy exiting the system.  

Air Exchangers

HRVs and ERVs require small ventilation tools called air exchangers. An air exchanger mixes air drawn from inside and outside the house to heat the cold air or cool the warm. 

What Can Happen If Your Ventilation Isn’t Working

When your ventilation system is failing, it’s often difficult to notice the effects early on. However, a malfunctioning ventilator can lead to serious problems, including: 

  • Increasing CO2 levels inside the home
  • Moisture from cooking and running water building up inside the ducts  
  • Volatile organic compounds accumulating from furniture and building materials 

Why is this important? 

Well, when these kinds of things build up, it can damage both you home and your health. Poor indoor air quality can contribute to headaches, fatigue, allergies, dizziness, coughing, nausea or sinus congestion.  

It is important to try and spot these problems early on. 

Signs of Problems with Your Ventilation System

Ever noticed a strange draft that appeared out of nowhere, especially during the winter? This could be a sign of excess air infiltration 

Do you that you can smell your cooking in the kitchen but nowhere else? This could mean that air isn’t circulating effectively throughout the house.  

What about odours that just won’t seem to leave? Persistent smells and lack of circulation suggests that you have inadequate air exchange or very little ventilation.   

You can also have too much air ventilation, causing a room to become excessively humid or uncomfortably dry, depending on the season. It could be a sign that your air conditioner or furnace can’t keep up with the ventilator. 

As soon as you notice these signs, it is important to check your air ventilator for any issues or call a Home Comfort Specialist to take a look 


How to Protect Your Home from Flooding this Spring

Significant snow melt combined with heavy rainfalls spelled the recipe for disaster in many Northern Ontario communities this spring. Many roads in the Bracebridge area, Ontario’s main cottage country, were washed out by floodwaters, as water levels from nearby lakes rose dangerously high.  This prompted the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to activate a disaster recovery assistance program to the Ontario communities of Renfrew County, Pembroke, Bracebridge and Huntsville. 

Are spring floods the “new normal”? 

If floods across the province are the result of climate change, homeowners will have to consider how to adapt and take any prevention measures they can.  

Dealing with the aftermath of a flood can be a real headache. Basement flooding can cause millions of dollars in damage to personal property. Anyone who has ever experienced a flooded basement, realizes the misery of loss of personal value items that simply cannot be replaced. It is in the homeowner’s best interest to never experience a basement flood at all. 

If you have experienced flooding in your home  

If your home has been damaged by flooding, keep safe by not entering a flood-damaged basement until the utility company, fire department or licensed electrician has removed the home’s electrical meter from its socket. A licensed HVAC professional can advise you whether your heating and cooling system can be salvaged. Contact your insurance company for an assessment of the damage and for any recovery steps they can take as soon as possible. 

For same day or emergency service call 1-905-829-1296

What steps can you take to protect your home from basement flooding? 

Be Aware of Any Flood Risk in Your Area

Talk to your municipality about potential for flooding in your area. Find out what type of services you have to your home and if the municipality has a plan to address any flooding in your community. If you have experienced any flooding, it’s important to let your municipality know. The more reports that are filed from a given area the more resources are likely to be committed to understanding the problem. 

If your home is situated on a known flood plain, you may even consider relocating. When this is not possible, you will need to prepare for the worst-case scenario. 

Inspect the Plumbing in Your Home

Understanding how your home’s drainage and plumbing systems will help to reduce the risk of basement floods. To understand vital elements of your home’s plumbing system, such as your foundation’s drainage, sump pumps, sanitary and storm sewer laterals, and backflow valves, you may wish to engage a licensed plumber. 

Sump pumps, when maintained and working properly can safely pump excess water above and away from the foundation. If the pump cannot keep up or fails to operate (in the case of a power outage), the water eventually spills on to the basement floor. 

Be sure to have your sump pump maintained regularly to avoid preventable issues such as clogs, motor breakdown, and remote starter shorts during a flood.  

Installing a flood switch can save you time and money by stopping any highwater overflow before it becomes a problem. This simple inexpensive device can prevent an over-filled tank or pond from flooding and causing damage. 

Contact us today to book your repair, service or installation. 

Understand Your Insurance Coverage

It’s advisable to understand what your home insurance policy covers regarding plumbing before you are in a crisis situation. Does it offer coverage for sewer backups from the storm or sanitary sewer system? What about overland flooding due to heavy rainfall, or sump pump failure due to power outage. If you were to make a claim, how would it affect your rates, and your future insurability? 

Consider Waterproofing Your Basement

Waterproofing will protect your foundation, keeping moisture out and save you thousands in potential damage. If you are experiencing musky smells, mold, or water seeping through floors and walls in your basement, these are signs you may have an issue with your foundation’s waterproofing. 

Let one of our basement experts come and give you a free waterproofing estimate. 

Simple lifestyle changes that help 

  • Avoid pouring fats, oils, and grease down the drain 
  • Reduce household water use during heavy rains 
  • Avoid storage on your basement floor 
  • Avoid making the basement high-value living space 
  • Keep nearest outdoor catch basins clear of debris 
  • Seal the cracks in your foundation walls and floor 
  • Maintain you eavestroughs and downspouts

Be sure to take advantage of our spring specials and promotions on now until May 31, 2019. 

10 Air Conditioning Mistakes That Make Your Hydro Bill Soar

Good news: the temperature is rising.

Bad news: your hydro bill is soaring, too.

You want to stay cool this season, but at what cost?

For most Canadians, central air conditioning only accounts for 3% of their overall energy use. But if your wallet is feeling the heat, it could be because you’re driving up costs without knowing it.

These are among the most common, avoidable mistakes we see on air conditioner repair calls that have a big impact on your cooling efficiency.

1. Having A Clogged Filter

The air filter is an essential component of any air conditioner. It catches dust and debris so it doesn’t blow around your home. A dirty filter can lead to poor air flow or freezing up your unit’s evaporator coil and can add 5 to 15 % to your hydro bill.

Solution: Filters should be changed once every 3 months on a central air system, more often if it is running all the time.

2. Not Installing the Right Size System

Air conditioners are sized according to the amount of space they need to cool. An air conditioner that is too big will create inconsistent temperatures throughout your house and cycle on and off frequently. One that is too small will work too hard trying to cool your space trying to keep up with the thermostat and wear out prematurely.

Solution: Consult an HVAC professional to make sure you get the right size for your home.

3. Not Installing your Unit in The Right Location

Choosing a poor location for your air conditioner can hamper the ability of your unit to perform at its best. In the wrong location, it has to work harder to cool your home, sending your hydro bills up.

Solution: Make sure your air conditioning unit is located in a shady spot out of direct sunlight and not blocked by bushes.

4. Opening Windows

Keeping windows open is a good way to undermine your HVAC system’s ability to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. If your aim is to take advantage of a cool breeze, don’t run your A/C unit at the same time. Otherwise, your unit will have to work harder to keep down the humidity.

Solution: Instead of opening the windows, consider running a ceiling fan.

5. Not Making Use of Window Coverings

Keep blinds and shutters closed, and curtains drawn on hot sunny days to block the sun’s rays from heating up your place.

6. Not Using A Thermostat

A programmable thermostat can save you hundreds on your annual A/C bill by adjusting the temperature when you are not at home and when you return. The newest generation of smart thermostats are user-friendly and easy to program.

Solution: Install a programmable or smart thermostat like the iComfort® S30, which features a beautiful 7” HD colour touchscreen.

7. Incorrect Positioning of Thermostat

Most thermostats measure the temperature of its immediate surroundings. Positioning one right beneath the sun’s rays could throw off temperature readings and cause your unit to run unnecessarily.

Solution: Make sure the thermostat is positioned in a central location away from direct sunlight or heat sources. You could also invest in a smart thermostat that uses multiple sensors like the ecobee4.

 8. Incorrect Use of Thermostat

A common misconception is that you will cool your home quicker by lowering your thermostat.

In reality, your air conditioner works just as hard to lower the temperature 1 degree as it does for 20 degrees. It just takes a longer. You’ll usually end up with a colder home, and later you’ll have to adjust it again to raise the temperature, forcing your unit to work even harder.

Solution: When you consider that you will cut up to 3% off your energy bill for every degree you raise the temperature, you might want to be patient while your body adapts to the current temperature.

9. Not Running Fans

Installing any type of fan, but particularly ceiling fans, can help move cool air around your home and take the burden off of your air conditioner. You can also use a ceiling fan to help distribute warm air in the winter.

Solution: Look for an energy-star rated ceiling fan and be sure it is turning counterclockwise in the summer.

10. Cooling Unused Space

There’s no need to waste energy cooling parts of your home that are not in use. While we don’t recommend closing the registers in unused rooms, you can reduce the load on your A/C by shutting the doors.

Solution: Close doors to rooms that are not in use.

Has Your Air Conditioner Had a Tune-Up Lately?

Your air conditioner needs regular maintenance to run at its peak energy efficiency and prolong its life. Plus, you can minimize energy consumption up to 30% by having proper adjustments and regular cleaning each year.

Indoor air quality is another concern. If you have a poorly-maintained system, it can become contaminated with bacteria which can lead to health problems as well.

Investing in a Protection Plan when you purchase a new air conditioner will ensure your system gets the attention it needs to run efficiently and safely for its lifetime.


6 Signs your Air Conditioner Might Not Make It Through the Summer

It may be mild today, but you know that summer is just around the corner. And based on the past few summers we’ve had in the Greater Toronto Area, this one could be another scorcher.

Are you confident your air conditioning unit will keep up during a heat wave?

If your air conditioner is a recent addition, you probably have nothing to worry about – just follow a few A/C safety precautions and you’ll be fine. But if you’re relying on an older unit, you’ll want to watch out for the common signs of an ailing air conditioner.

Keep an eye out for red flags such as:

  1. Your home not cooling
  2. A/C making strange noises
  3. Water leaking from the A/C
  4. A/C running all the time
  5. Poor air flow
  6. Sharply increasing hydro bill

Read on to learn why it could mean your air conditioner might not make it.

Your Home is Not Cooling

When the outdoor temperature is rising, the air conditioner is on and your home is not cooling, it is an obvious sign that something’s wrong.

One way to gauge if your A/C unit is running correctly is when your home’s temperature drops at least one degree per hour.

If your temperature is not dropping at this rate, here is a checklist of things you can run through while your central air conditioner is turned off:

  1. Clear away any dirt and debris such as leaves, grass and pollen from around your unit.
  2. Ensure that any shrubs or trees near your unit are trimmed back so there is at least two to three feet of space between the compressor and any plants or shrubs, and five feet of clearance with any trees above the unit.
  3. Remove any covers and coil blankets you may have had on your unit over the winter.
  4. Repair or replace damaged pipe insulation. Pipe insulation that leads to your home can become damaged over winter by moisture and ice.
  5. Inspect the condensate line inside your home. Clear any moisture or build-up from clogging your condensate hose and drain.
  6. Inspect your air filter. Install a high-efficiency pleated air filter that effectively filters outside air so that your system pumps out cleaner air.
  7. Schedule an inspection. Minimize energy consumption by up to 30% by having proper adjustments and regular cleanings each year.

Your A/C Unit is Making Strange Noises

Any noise other than a quiet steady hum is a reason for concern. Loud squealing or grinding noises could indicate that something is loose and needs tightening.

The sooner your failing air conditioner is serviced the better. If problems are caught early, they can save you money in the long run.

Water is Leaking from Your A/C Unit

A puddle of water around your unit is a sign that it has sprung a leak. The two main causes for a leak are the refrigerant line or the condensate line. Fortunately, both are easy repairs. A leaking condensate line will limit your system’s efficiency and can cause water damage in your home. It can be easily spotted by moisture near your condensate drain pan, or near your exterior unit.

A more serious leak would be from the refrigerant line since it contains Freon and becomes a health risk. Freon is an odourless gas that can cut off oxygen to your lungs. Scheduling an annual inspection can detect any potential refrigerant line leaks.

Your Air Conditioning Unit is Running All the Time

If your A/C unit is more than 10 years old, it may be losing its efficiency. As air conditioners age, they become more susceptible to rust and corrosion from excess water. Your air conditioner may also be undersized for your home.

It might be time to upgrade your air conditioner.

Air Flow Issues

Just like your refrigerator, if it smells bad, it’s not a good thing. Musty smells could indicate mold or mildew in your air ducts. Luckily this is an easy fix with a service call to have your ductwork inspected and cleaned.

Poor air flow is another sign your A/C system needs attention. Built-up debris such as pollen, dust, bacteria, pet dander, and carpet fibres can all build up in your ductwork and restrict air flow. Having your ductwork cleaned regularly is a great preventive measure.

No matter what type of air conditioner you have, a clogged air filter will limit the air flow. Remember to clean the air filter in your window or portable air conditioner periodically to maintain good air flow and indoor air quality.

Your Hydro Bill is Increasing

If you notice that your electricity bill is significantly higher than it was a year ago for the same time period, this could be a warning sign that your air conditioner needs attention. When your A/C unit isn’t running efficiently, it runs at a high level trying to cool your home. This translates to higher energy costs. Your unit needs to be serviced as soon as possible.

Make Sure Your A/C Lasts the Summer

Don’t sweat the predictions that the summer of 2019 could be one of the hottest yet! Be prepared with an effectively-running cooling system.  Whatever air conditioning system you own, give your unit the TLC it needs to deliver peak performance when you need it.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, give us a call. We offer the highest ranked air conditioning services in the GTA.

Could 2019 Be Toronto’s Hottest Summer Ever?

Over the last four years, we have experienced the warmest years in a row on record. 2016 was Toronto’s hottest summer yet, with the next couple of years coming close as well. While it’s possible that 2019’s summer could follow the last couple years, there is reason to believe that 2019 could be our hottest summer ever.

What’s Happening Worldwide

How do we know that this year is likely to continue the heat incline? The short answer is a combination of El Niño and climate change.

Not sure what El Niño is? As explained in this recent article, El Niño is a natural climate pattern where sea water in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean is warmer than average. El Niño is a major contributor to the severe precipitation and weather patterns that have impacted the Southern United States this year.

It must be noted that El Niño is a natural climate pattern that has occurred for thousands of years – lasting anywhere from 4-16 months at a time. With that said, extreme weather is on the horizon as El Niños are expected to grow stronger.

Between increasing impact of El Niño and the streak of increasing temperatures over the last four years, Samantha Stevenson, a climate scientist from the University of California, believes that 2019 could be the hottest year yet.

Impact on Toronto’s 2019 Summer Forecast

We know what to expect on a global scale. But how does this apply to Toronto?

Let’s look back to the summer of 2018 . We experienced heat waves, especially on Canada Day weekend, which was some of the most summer extreme weather that Toronto has seen in years. Temperatures remained in the 30s and felt like mid-40s with the humidity. Environment Canada called this weekend the “most significant heat event” while noting that the last time June temperatures were around the mid-30s, was 50 years ago.

While Toronto didn’t experience heat-related deaths like Montreal, we did experience widespread flooding – something that we may see more of as temperatures increase.

There’s no telling what will happen a few months from now, but global patterns and recent trends indicate it’s best to prepare for the most extreme conditions.


How to Prepare for Extreme Heat

So, what are the next steps to prepare for a hot summer like 2018? Here are a few ways to ensure you are covered when anticipated heat waves hit:

  • Make sure your air conditioner is tuned-up and ready to go before the busy season hits. Don’t wait until it breaks! As the weather warms, requests for service/installation increases – which means longer wait times.
  • Write down the number for emergency air conditioner service just in case.
  • Purchase a fan or two to have a backup to hold you over in case your air conditioner needs repair.
  • Find out where you can go to cool down if your cooling system is unexpectedly out-of-commission (the power goes out or your air conditioner breaks down.)
  • If your air conditioner is nearing the end of its life, look into upgrading to an energy-efficient model like the Lennox XC21 which will save you on cooling costs. That way, you can crank up the A/C and feel comfortable without worrying about the cost.

If you’re unsure if you should tune-up or replace your air conditioner just yet, consider that it’s often better to take action in cooler months. You can never be too prepared, especially when the weather can be unpredictable.

Follow these tips and you should be covered (and be able to actually enjoy the hot Toronto summers!)

3 Smart Reasons to Replace Your Air Conditioner in the Winter

Replacing an air conditioner during the summer months is common. Sometimes, unforeseen problems arise and there’s no way around it. However, if you anticipate that your air conditioning system is in need of replacement, winter is the best time to do it!

We’ll discuss why below.

1. It’s the Low Season

HVAC companies are usually swamped in the summertime. Replacing your air conditioner in the winter means that your HVAC professional’s schedule is more flexible.

You should be able to pick and choose a time that works for you more easily, and there should be no delay in ordering the appliance promptly.

Plus, who wants to replace an air conditioner in the heat of summer? Replacing it in the dead of winter means that you’ll avoid any unwanted discomfort when temperatures – and demand – soar.

2. You Can Take Your Time

Replacing your air conditioning unit in the winter means that you’ll have more time to consider your options. You won’t have an immediate need to cool your home and you can tackle the process at a more gradual pace.

Take advantage of this time to do some research about the different types of air conditioning systems and which is best for your home and comfort needs, carefully consider contractors, and request estimates.

3. You’ll Save Money and Energy

Air conditioners aren’t in-demand over the course of the winter compared the peak of summer. This can result in significant savings for many reasons, including:

  • When HVAC companies make room for next season’s models, many will start offering great deals beginning in the fall all through the winter – the perfect opportunity to upgrade to an energy efficient air conditioner or to improve the comfort in your home.
  • Spending time doing the research means you’ll choose the unit that’s right for you and won’t have to worry about replacing it anytime soon.
  • You’ll be ready for the heat long before you even have to worry about it.

An air conditioning system is an expensive investment. Ask about our financing options for air conditioner installation when you contact us with your inquiry.

Schedule Your Air Conditioner Installation

Of course, keep in mind that there may be circumstances in which it’s best to schedule an air conditioning repair or replacement during the peak season.

The average lifespan of an air conditioner ranges anywhere from 10 to 15 years. There are many reasons your air conditioner might not be working as well as it used to and many factors that play into replacing the appliance. Age, frequent breakdowns, soaring electricity bills, excess noise, lack of comfort or huge temperature swings as well as leaking refrigerant are all common problems that typically require replacement.

Whether it’s summer, winter, spring or fall, we’re here to help with your air conditioning needs. Contact us to speak to our experienced team of HVAC professionals.

Ontario Energy Rebates: Furnace & Air Conditioner Rebates You Can Get in 2019

Update: the provincial government has announced that the Save on Energy Heating and Cooling program is cancelled effective April 1st, 2019. We will leave the information in this post for reference and update this post as new rebates become available.

Ontario homeowners upgrading their heating systems or air conditioners in 2019 may be eligible for rebates under Ontario’s Save on Energy Heating and Cooling program. Improve your home’s energy-saving potential and save up to $850 by upgrading to a new high-efficiency furnace and ENERGY-STAR® certified central air conditioner.

With the Save on Energy program, homeowners can apply to:

  • Save up to $250 on a new furnace
  • Save up to $600 on an air conditioner
  • Save up to $4,000 on an air-source heat pump
  • Get a rebate of $50 on a smart thermostat
  • Get a rebate of $30 on a circulator pump


How it Works

Update: the provincial government has announced that the Save on Energy Heating and Cooling program is cancelled effective April 1st, 2019. We will leave the information in this post for reference and update this post as new rebates become available.

To be eligible for the heating & cooling program rebates, Ontario residents need to use a participating contractor to purchase and install the eligible equipment. If you live outside of our service area, you can find a local contractor by using the Save on Energy’s contractor locator.

After installation, your contractor will then submit your rebate application for you. Once you have confirmed your details and submitted your proof of purchase, receive your rebate cheque within 8 to 12 weeks.

High-Efficiency Furnace Rebates

With our cold and often long Ontario winters, you need a reliable heating system that keeps you warm and comfortable yet doesn’t drain your bank account.

With changes to your heating system can save up to 25% in heating costs in one year—plus get the comfort you can count on with a new high-efficiency ENERGY STAR® qualified natural gas furnace.

That’s piece-of-mind and more money in your pocket!

ENERGY-STAR® Certified Central Air Conditioner Rebates

Stay cool and comfortable during the hottest of summers with a new central air conditioner (CAC), while you save up to $600 with Ontario’s Save on Energy rebate. Get dependable performance and reduce your energy consumption with a new central air conditioner.

Check out our Spring BOGO: Buy a Lennox® Furnace, Get a Lennox® Air Conditioner FREE—available for a limited time!

Air-Source Heat Pump Rebates

Get a rebate of up to $4,000 for an air-source heat pump (ASHP) for homes where electricity is the main heating source. Unlike like many furnaces, heat pumps run instead on electricity. Heat pumps can provide air conditioning in the summer and work well in conjunction with your existing heating system in the winter.

Smart Thermostat Rebates

If you haven’t already jumped on the smart thermostat bandwagon, now is a good time to make that move and get your $50 rebate! Designer and user-friendly smart thermostats like the iComfort® S30 and the ecobee4 are designed to save you money by programing your ideal home heating and cooling temperatures.

Plus, whenever we install a thermostat, we take the extra time to help you understand and learn how to use it.

ECM Circulator Pumps

Using a circulator pump with electronically commutated motor (ECM) technology to circulate water in heating, air conditioning and hot water systems is highly efficient and can save you even more money. An energy-efficient pump seriously improves the energy profile of any home.


Note: the Save on Energy Heating and Cooling program is cancelled effective April 1st, 2019. We will leave the information in this post for reference and update this post as new rebates become available.


Image: KMR Photography

AtlasCare Crowned Top Choice Award Winner for Top Air Conditioning and Heating Company in 2019

Oakville, OntarioFebruary 14, 2019 — Top Choice Awards has announced the 2019 Top Choice Award Winners, your city’s most trusted businesses. We at AtlasCare are proud to announce that we have been crowned the winner for Top Choice Air Conditioning and Heating Company of 2019 in the Greater Toronto Area. AtlasCare has set new standards for quality, service, image, value and professionalism. This could not have been done without the dedication of our co-workers and customers, and for that we are very grateful to you all.

We truly appreciate this recognition and the association with the exclusive Top Choice Award circle of winners in North America and Europe. Winning the Top Choice Award is one of the most coveted endorsements a business can receive, and this victory is a testament of our dedication to the consistent pursuit of total customer satisfaction.

We at AtlasCare would like to thank all of the voters for voting us your Top Choice of 2019 and we trust to always have your support. Cheers to a great year ahead!

Sincerely, the AtlasCare team

On behalf of our team we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to all of the winners and nominees of the 2019 Top Choice Award Survey.

About AtlasCare

For more than 85 years, AtlasCare has proudly provided exceptional HVAC products, installations, and after-sales customer support for all your home’s heating and cooling needs. AtlasCare also provides NADCA-certified residential duct-cleaning services and professional plumbing services, and leads the industry as Canada’s first ISO-certified residential heating and air conditioning contractor.

Our award-winning HVAC services have received recognition from Ontario consumer and industry groups alike, including the Top Choice Air Conditioning and Heating Company of 2019, 2019 Consumer Choice for Air Conditioning and Heating Contractors, 2018 Mississauga People’s Choice Award and 2018 Lennox Partner of the Year Award (Toronto District).

You can find us on our website or on social media at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AtlasCareGTA/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AtlasCareGTA

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/atlascare1932/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/atlascare/

About the Top Choice Award

Top Choice Awards is an International market research firm, focusing on the experience of the customers. Since 2005, winners are released annually to recognize and showcase the most trusted and appealing service organizations and businesses in over 30 markets surveyed. Top Choice Awards collects and reviews the opinions of thousands of customers annually. The results of those studies are used by companies to improve customer satisfaction and business development while their winner lists provide customers the power to enjoy Top quality experiences through making educated purchasing decisions.

5 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy HVAC Parts and Equipment Online

When it comes to big purchases, how often do you check to see if you can find the item cheaper online?

Nowadays, it’s practically second nature to look up prices on the Internet before we buy. There are dozens of apps and websites dedicated to helping us do just that.

In many ways, the Internet has been a boon to consumers. It increases transparency on pricing and provides a wealth of information to help us make well-informed choices about how we spend our hard-earned cash.

However, this wealth of information can sometimes lead us down the wrong path.

Since the arrival of sites like eBay and Amazon, we occasionally receive calls from homeowners in the Greater Toronto Area who want us to install equipment or parts they have purchased online. Other times, we’ll be asked if we can source parts and equipment more cheaply from third-party reseller websites.

In both cases, the answer is no: AtlasCare will not install consumer-supplied parts equipment, nor use parts and equipment from a seller we don’t know.

Why not?

Below, we’ll explain why we don’t recommend buying HVAC parts and equipment online, and why AtlasCare declines to work with those parts.

1. Finding the Right Part for the Job Isn’t Easy

Suppose a service technician inspects your air conditioner, finds out what’s wrong, and quotes the necessary repairs at $800.00, including $450.00 for the cost of replacement parts.

Later, you search the parts on eBay and find them available for a fraction of that.

Why not buy the parts now, and have another technician install them later?

It seems simple enough, but shopping for HVAC and finding the right part for the job isn’t as simple as searching for it online. Many components look similar but are not compatible with all system makes and models. Parts are easily miscategorized or mislabelled.

2. The Trouble with Warranties

To most of us, a new furnace or air conditioner is a significant financial investment – one intended to last for years and years.

Warranties are vital in protecting that investment.

However, many manufacturers do not honour warranties on parts and equipment purchased directly by the consumer from a non-certified distributor.

There are valid reasons for these kinds of policies: manufacturers don’t want consumers to take on the risks of installing equipment themselves, and the return rate tends to be higher for products purchased online.

In addition to these consumer-sourced parts not being covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, just installing non-warrantied parts can void the warranty of your existing equipment.

When we install parts and equipment, we want to make sure our consumers are protected in the event of a problem. That’s why our equipment comes with an Unconditional Warranty. However, we cannot provide the same assurance with consumer-supplied parts.

3. No Recourse for Defective Parts

One of the benefits of sourcing our parts and equipment from trusted suppliers is the recourse it gives our customers in the event of a manufacturing defect.

To start, our technicians have enough familiarity with our products to notice many defects before the equipment even leaves our warehouse. We can then have the equipment replaced as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, consumers who purchase parts over the internet may not have the same eye for defects.

Worse, consumers who source parts from resellers have little to no recourse if the equipment turns out to be defective.

Even in a best-case scenario (the seller provides a replacement at no cost), the consumer still pays more than twice the normal service cost: once for initial installation, again for removal of the defective equipment, and a final appointment to install the replacement equipment.

4. Cheaper Equipment Can Have Unexpected Costs

If you found a site selling the latest iPhone for a mere $100 – no strings attached – you’d probably raise an eyebrow.

When an expensive item is suddenly available for cheap, there is probably a reason for it.

In the case of HVAC parts and equipment, there are several possibilities:

  • The equipment could have been opened once already, meaning it could be damaged or missing small parts.
  • The equipment could be counterfeit and lacking the minimum quality and safety standards set by the original manufacturer.
  • The equipment may have been salvaged and refurbished for resale.

If you want to guarantee you’re getting reliable, high-quality parts and equipment, a certified distributor is the only way to go.

5. There Are Better Ways to Save

It’s understandable that someone would consider buying their own equipment only and hiring someone to install it. Energy isn’t cheap, and we’d all like to save wherever we can.

However, buying equipment online isn’t the right way to save.

Instead, use that internet browser to search for rebates on heating and cooling equipment in Ontario – including the Save on Energy rebates offered by the IESO and manufacturer rebates through trusted names like Lennox.

Your installation will always go smoother when it involves warrantied, distributor-certified parts and a qualified installer you trust.