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Is Your Geothermal Heating System Overdue for Routine Maintenance?

Bi-Temp in Belleville, Ontario, provides homeowners with the routine maintenance needs of a geothermal heating system.

Is Your Geothermal Heating System Overdue for Routine Maintenance?

Geothermal heating systems are becoming more and more popular throughout North America. This type of HVAC system offers a genuinely sustainable source of heating in an era when very little else feels friendly to the environment.

Another reason for the geothermal buzz is that this type of heating is often touted as maintenance-free.

This is somewhat less accurate. All systems need some level of routine maintenance and inspection from time to time to deliver peak efficiency and maximum energy savings.

If you want to get the most from your commercial or residential geothermal system this winter, this is the post you need to read.


10 Geothermal Water Furnace Routine Maintenance Requirements

Some maintenance requirements can vary based on the exact type of geothermal system you are using.

But for general knowledge purposes, these are the 10 basic steps that must always be done when conducting routine preventative maintenance for a geothermal HVAC system.

1. Change the air filter.

The main challenge here is to be sure you are using the correct air filter that is rated for the type of geothermal system you have installed.

The air filter should be changed once per month. Your Bi-Temp HVAC technician will take care of this task for you in the month you schedule your routine geothermal maintenance service.

2. Clean the system.

Like all major appliances, your geothermal system needs a thorough cleaning at least once per year. This cleaning is dual purpose as it also gives you a chance to inspect the integrity of the whole system from end to end.

3. Check, drain and clean the condensation pans.

Your geothermal system's condensation pans offer a handy early warning system to alert you of any internal malfunctions. If the pans get clogged, the debris can plug up the drain and shut down your whole system.

But the condensate pans also need routine cleaning for another potential danger - mould and mildew growth! It is a good idea to check the condensation pans monthly to make sure opportunistic mould never gets the chance to take hold and spread.

4. Check, clean and repair air registers, vents and ducts.

It is so easy to forget all about the air registers, vents and ducts that partner with your geothermal system to deliver temperature-controlled air to the farthest reaches of your space.

Routine preventative geothermal maintenance simply ensures none of these valuable conduits are leaking, damaged or missing.

5. Pressure test loop pipe system for leaks.

For open loop geothermal systems, you will want to clean and flush your system annually to remove mineral and debris build-up.

Your closed loop geothermal system may need periodic pressure checks and pressurizing to keep the whole system working as it should.

6. Check refrigerant or antifreeze mixture levels.

Even though geothermal heating systems are designed to be environmentally friendly and safe, they still make use of a very specialized type of refrigerant or antifreeze mixture to create the right environment for heat transfer to occur.

It is important not to try to adjust these levels yourself. This is something your Bi-Temp HVAC technician can take care of during your annual preventative maintenance service.

7. Test and calibrate the thermostat and zone controls.

Different geothermal systems use different thermostat configurations. And there are pros and cons to battery-operated versus wired thermostats. Some newer systems offer the option to integrate with a programmable thermostat for maximum energy savings.

Testing the thermostat and zone controls for accuracy can indicate whether a recalibration may be in order.

8. Clean, repair and lubricate heat exchanger, coils and all mechanical components.

The heat exchanger is like the heart of your geothermal heating system. Over time, accumulated debris or mineral buildup can impact operation of the internal mechanics of your whole system.

Taking time to clean, repair and/or lubricate the heat exchanger, coils and all moving parts that make your system work is a smart choice.

9. Check, clean and test any auxiliary components.

If your geothermal heating system works in tandem with a desuperheater, hot water assist or other auxiliary components, it is important to check, clean and test these as well. A water pressure test and flow rate test should also be done at the same time.

10. Check and test the electrical power connections.

No geothermal system safety inspection is ever complete without testing the electrical power connections. Loose or frayed wires can quickly devolve into a fire hazard. It is well worth your time and peace of mind to check all electrical and fuel connections at least once per year.


Thinking of Switching to Geothermal Heating and Cooling Services?

By recycling ground-source or water-source solar energy that would otherwise be wasted, choosing a geothermal system immediately nets you four benefits with long-term appeal.

  • Silent cycling and operation.
  • Safe heating even around kids and pets.
  • Cost-effective over time - and sometimes even a money maker!
  • Friendly to the environment and the planet.

Some geothermal systems also handle your hot water needs through the addition of a desuperheater or hot water assist.

You can choose from air source, water source, vertical or horizontal ground source geothermal systems depending on your available space and overall heating, cooling and hot water needs.

It is easy to get the process started - just reach out to us using the contact information below and ask about a FREE QUOTE estimate for a new geothermal heating system.


Bi-Temp in Quinte West Is Your Geothermal Heating Expert

Bi-Temp Heating and Cooling is one of the first in the area to offer geothermal heating systems to our customers in the Belleville, Quinte, Ontario and surrounding areas.

When was the last time your geothermal heating system had its routine maintenance and safety inspection?

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Boiler Repair Vs Replacement: Is Your HVAC System Ready for Winter?

BiTemp Heating and Cooling discusses the warning signs homeowners should be aware of when contemplating boiler repair or replacement.

Boiler Repair Vs Replacement: Is Your HVAC System Ready for Winter?

In just a few weeks now, the first wave of true winter weather will be arriving. Is your heating boiler ready?

Maybe you answered with an enthusiastic "Yes!"

Perhaps you thought to yourself, "No, I need to schedule boiler service."

Or it could be you suddenly realized, "I really don't know what state my heating boiler is in right now."

Take it from us, now is the time to find out. You do not want to discover your heating boiler is on its last legs or facing a major repair need after winter has begun in earnest. You want to know now, when you still have time to consider all your options.

Does your heating boiler simply need its annual preventative maintenance and safety inspection? Is it time to schedule that major boiler repair you've known is coming? Or is this the year to upgrade with a boiler replacement? 

At Bi-Temp heating and cooling, we provide boiler replacement, repair and preventative maintenance! Read on to make your choice.


When Should You Consider A Boiler Replacement?

If your heating plans this winter include use of a boiler that is 15 years old or older, this is definitely the time to start considering a replacement, according to Energy Star.

Of course, this isn't a decision you will want to make lightly. There are other factors to consider that can guide you to the most economical option from every angle.

The most pressing consideration is whether your heating boiler may be heading towards a major repair. The next section will tell you what to watch for.

Is Your Heating Boiler About to Drain Your Wallet?

As a general rule of thumb, if the cost of furnace repair or furnace maintenance exceeds half of what a new HVAC system would cost, it’s time to think about a full replacement - the same is true for boiler repair and maintenance!

What warning signs should you watch (and listen) for when a major boiler repair is in your near future?

  • Strange sounds like rumbling, rattling, hissing, whining, banging and knocking.
  • Uneven heating or delays in heating after the boiler cycles on.
  • Your hot water output is more like lukewarm or room temperature water.
  • Signs of condensation or leaking on or around your heating boiler.
  • Unusual odours, including burning and rotten eggs smells.
  • Constant high water pressure reading on the pressure gauge.
  • Pilot light is orange or yellow instead of blue (if applicable).
  • You see a fault code on the boiler display.


A Major Boiler Repair Could Trigger a Boiler Replacement

1. Rust and Corrosion

The heating boiler tank is one of the important and expensive components.

When your heating boiler begins to develop rust or corrosion on the tank itself, this is definitely an indication your boiler may be heading towards replacement.

Rust and corrosion can occur due to undiagnosed air leaks or water leaks, chemicals in your water supply or the presence of minerals or sediment that builds up inside the tank.

When combined with high water pressure, a rusted or corroded tank could turn into a tank explosion - a truly damaging and dangerous situation. In addition to a boiler tank replacement, you could be looking at extensive water damage with attendant mould remediation and restoration repairs.

A poorly maintained heating boiler with a missing or caked-over anode rod is one of the biggest causes of corrosion or rust that leads to premature replacement.

So be sure to schedule your boiler annual preventative maintenance and safety inspection to avoid this.

2. Pump Problems

If your heating boiler's pump goes out, it is kind of like your boiler's heart just failed.

Reason being, the pump is what moves the heated water or steam throughout your space - similar to how a duct system moves hot air generated by a forced air furnace or heat pump system.

When your heating boiler simply stops producing heat output, often it is the circulator pump that is to blame.

3. Smaller Boiler Repair Needs

Other common heating boiler repair needs that are generally manageable on their own become less so as they pile up.

Igniter replacements, whole system flushing, leak repair and sealant and zone valve failures can easily put a dent in your wallet each on their own. Together, you can easily cross that 50 percent threshold we spoke of earlier.


Start With Heating Boiler Preventative Maintenance

What will your Bi-Temp HVAC system technician do during your boiler annual preventative maintenance and safety inspection service?

  • Check and test all safety valves and pipes.
  • Inspect for condensation or leaks in and around the boiler.
  • Inspect and clean pilot/ignition system, including flame sensors and burner.
  • Analyze combustion performance (vital to guard against carbon monoxide emissions).
  • Test and recalibrate operation controls and thermostat and clear any error codes.
  • Inspect and clean vents, flues and fuel train system.
  • Inspect all connections, pipes and wiring.
  • Test and adjust water pH.
  • Check for rust/corrosion or sediment/mineral buildup.
  • Do a thorough test run of the whole boiler system and make adjustments as needed.
  • Address any performance issues or questions you may have.

When you consider how much you rely on your heating boiler during the long, cold winter season, taking the time for a once-annual preventative maintenance service and safety inspection starts to seem like the smartest choice.


Quinte West Bi-Temp Handles All of Your Heating Boiler Repair, Maintenance And Replacement Needs

Bi-Temp Heating and Cooling has a long record of superior customer service in Belleville, Ontario, and surrounding areas. Our HVAC system technicians are adept at maintaining, repairing and installing all makes and models of heating boilers and HVAC equipment.

We are also proud to offer hot water tank rentals as an economical alternative to buying. Need a heating boiler replacement quote? Ours is fast and free!
Give us a call at 1-613-967-1066 or visit us online to schedule your heating boiler repair, maintenance or installation.

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Why Now Is the Time to Do Your Pre-Winter Furnace Maintenance Checkup

BiTemp Heating, Ventilating and AC offers fall furnace maintenance in Quinte, Ontario.

Why Now Is the Time to Do Your Pre-Winter Furnace Maintenance Checkup

With the onset of climate change, every season brings its surprises. But one thing we can still count on here in the far north is an extended period of cold weather each and every year.

If you are new to Canadian winters, you may be tempted to take this with a grain of salt. We advise you not to. Winter can be very hard on people as well as on their heating appliances.

Which is why now is definitely the time to put your heating plans in place. What is on your heating to do list? Do you need to upgrade your furnace? Schedule preventative furnace maintenance? Ponder a minor or major furnace repair or upgrade? Let's talk about it!


Understanding Ontario Winter Weather

You might be reading this because you are new to Ontario, Canada, and have heard some pretty drastic stories, but aren't really sure what to expect this winter.

The first thing we want to say is - give yourself five stars for being so proactive!

The second thing we want you to know is - most of those stories are probably true.

Canada's winters are both the reason for the annual influx of snow sports enthusiasts and the annual migration south of those who love warmth.

So if you are new here, consider this question: how warm do you like to be in winter?

Then consider this question: how well is your current house set up to keep you warm? And here we are not just talking about warm at zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit)

We are talking about potentially anywhere from -4C to -50C (24.8F to -58F). Can your current furnace, heat pump or heating boiler handle temps like these?

It may only get down to these low temperatures for a day or few here and there, but we guarantee if you are not ready those will be the coldest days of your life to date. So be sure you are ready!


Preventative Furnace Maintenance Is Key

Another key consideration when preparing for a Canadian winter is to take a look at how well your furnace, heat pump or boiler does under pressure....literally.

You can expect to be using whatever heating system you have every single day starting around mid-October and potentially continuing through March or even April.

Can your furnace handle the heat? If you answered "yes," how would you know for sure?

When was the last time you had your heating equipment serviced? Preventative furnace maintenance isn't only important to give your whole heating system a thorough cleaning, which avoids dangerous dust burn-off that can lead to awful odors and home fires.

It is also vital to identify small furnace repair or maintenance needs that can suddenly implode and plunge your family into the bitter cold right in the middle of winter.

If you own a newer heating appliance, preventative furnace maintenance can also be critical to keep your warranty active. Check your warranty to be sure you are meeting minimum maintenance criteria to avoid denied claims if something goes wrong.

Perhaps the most important reason to schedule preventative furnace maintenance is to check your carbon monoxide levels inside the house. Carbon monoxide has earned its reputation as the "silent killer." You can't see it or smell it coming and once it affects you, you won't have time to react. Carbon monoxide poisoning is quickly fatal.

If you don't currently have a carbon monoxide detector installed, your Bi-Temp service technician can help you with that essential addition during your preventative furnace maintenance call.

Indoor Air Quality and Humidity Balance This Winter

A newer concern in the wake of the pandemic is indoor air quality and adequate indoor humidity. Winter is typically a very dry season here in Canada. Indoor humidity levels can easily decline to 10 percent or lower.

This is well below the 40 to 60 percent humidity range now being recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to help reduce the risk of contracting COVID and seasonal flu.

And, of course, even higher indoor humidity can only do so much to protect you when your indoor air quality itself is low. Poor indoor air quality makes your immune system work harder and lowers your resistance to all kinds of health challenges.

So here's another question to consider - when was the last time you changed out your furnace air filter? This is one of the checkpoints in every preventative furnace maintenance service call. If your air filter is dirty, your air is also dirty.

Winter is the season when we spend the most time indoors. This means it is also the season when your indoor air humidity balance and purity matters most. This is especially important to remember for anyone in your family who may be very young, elderly or immunocompromised.


Want to Lower Your Energy Bills?

Did you know there is a direct relationship between preventative furnace maintenance and winter heating bills?

The longer your heating equipment goes without a tune-up, the higher your energy bills are likely to become.

This is because preventative furnace maintenance identifies the exact kinds of internal issues that can cause heating bills to skyrocket.

Air leaks. Incomplete combustion. Dirty air filters. Thermostat recalibration.

Here in Canada, most homeowners report spending up to 61 percent of their annual home energy budget on heating.

What if you could bring that down to even 50 percent? Would it be worth spending a hundred bucks or so if you end up saving more than double that?

Give us a call!


Contact Bi-Temp Heating and Cooling in Belleville, Ontario

Bi-Temp Heating and Cooling in Belleville, Ontario, is celebrating 50 years of serving all your HVAC needs!

And here at Bi-Temp, the way we serve you is everything. Our service technicians are professional in every way and experienced at installing, maintaining and repairing all makes and models of HVAC system equipment.

Give us a call at 1-613-967-1066 or visit us online to schedule your furnace maintenance appointment.

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Is Your Heat Pump Costing You More Than It Should? What To Do Now

BiTemp heating and cooling in Belleville, Ontario, offers installation, service and repair for all HVAC system equipment, including heat pump technology.

Is Your Heat Pump Costing You More Than It Should? What To Do Now

Heat pump technology is not new. But as climate change continues to produce summer heat waves, more people are choosing heat pumps for their air conditioner needs.

Heat pumps provide an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional forced air heating and air conditioning. 

The heat pump can also deliver up to 100 percent energy efficiency when properly installed.

But not every heat pump is able to do its job as well as it could. In this post, we explain what reduces heat pump efficiency and how to fix it.


What Is A Heat Pump?

Heat pumps are an HVAC system that works by moving heat around

There are two terms you need to know if you want to maximize heat pump efficiency and save money on your energy bills.

These two terms are heat source and heat sink.

The heat source is the place where the heat energy comes from. The most common source is air, but heat pumps can also extract heat energy from the water or the earth (geothermal).

The heat sink is the destination for that heat energy. A heat sink is always a higher temperature than the heat source.

The transfer of heat energy from source to sink is accomplished with the use of a pump - hence the name of the technology, "heat pump."


How a Heat Pump Heats and Cools Your Space

Now that you understand where the heat energy comes from and where it is headed, let's tackle the question of how a heat pump does its job year-round.

How does a heat pump heat your home in winter and cool your home in summer?

It accomplishes this by changing the location of the heat sink, the higher temperature destination.

In the winter, the home is the sink. So the heat pump pumps the heat energy into your home, providing heating all winter long.

In the summer, the home is the source. Here, the heat pump pumps the heat energy out of your home, lowering the indoor temperature and keeping you cool.


How Do You Lose Efficiency With a Heat Pump?

With these basics in mind, we can turn to the question of the two most common places where heat pumps loose efficiency and cost more to operate.

1. Source to sink temperature difference.

The first place a heat pump can lose efficiency is the least well known, but also the most common.

It is important to choose the right size heat pump for the size of your space and to choose the heat source and heat sink locations with care.

This is especially critical with air-to-air heat pumps, which are the most common heat pumps here in Canada.

When there is a large temperature difference between the heat source and the heat sink, this is when your heat pump will have to work harder to transfer the heat and lose efficiency.

This also means it will cost you more money to operate your heat pump.

2. Using the electric backup heat source.

The second and more obvious (at least on your monthly power bills) cause of efficiency loss is choosing to use the built-in electric supplemental furnace included with many heat pumps.

Heat pumps are not designed to function effectively when temperatures dip below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.7 Celsius). This is why some heat pumps come with an inbuilt supplemental electric furnace that is extremely expensive to operate.

To save your wallet, you will want to consider adding a dual fuel (natural gas or propane) emergency backup heat source for those few days when temperatures really plunge.

Alternatively, some newer heat pumps feature a hybrid system that can work with a heating boiler or dual fuel furnace.

Tips for Correcting Heat Pump Efficiency Losses

There are a number of adjustments that can be made to improve heat pump efficiency and maximize energy and cost savings.

Unless you are familiar with heat pump installation and maintenance, you will want to have your Bi-Temp service technician take care of these adjustments for you.

1. Change heat pump fan settings seasonally.

In the winter, using the heat pump's auto or high fan setting will boost heat delivery. In the summer, a low heat pump fan setting will support increased cooling and better humidity control.

2. Change the direction of heat pump airflow seasonally.

Changing the direction of airflow from vents can increase comfort. Summer airflow should be directed at the room occupants. Winter airflow should be directed down into the room.

3. Adjust your heat pump defrost settings.

Make use of the demand setting (if applicable) to reduce the number of defrost cycles. Turning off the inside fan can also help reduce energy use during defrost cycles.

4. Ensure appropriate temperature set point for supplemental heat.

The ideal set point for the supplemental heat source to turn on is within 2 to 3 degrees of your heat pump set point.

5. Install a programmable smart thermostat for your heat pump.

Not only will the use of a programmable smart thermostat keep you from heating or air conditioning  an empty home, but it can also help you anticipate severe weather and extreme short-term temperature shifts that cost you money.

6. Do not neglect routine heat pump preventative maintenance and tune-up service.

A well-maintained heat pump is an efficient heat pump. You want to be sure to change air filters regularly and clean major components like the compressor and coils.


Contact Bi-Temp Heating and Cooling in Belleville, Ontario

Bi-Temp Heating and Cooling in Belleville, Ontario, has spent nearly a half-century serving the HVAC needs of the greater Quinte West and surrounding areas.

Discover the Bi-Temp difference! Our highly trained, prompt, polite and skilled service technicians are trained to install, service and repair all makes and models of HVAC system equipment, including all types of heat pumps.

Give us a call at 1-613-967-1066 or visit us online for all your heating, ventilation and air conditioner needs.

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Ductless Air Conditioner Pros and Cons and How to Decide

BiTemp Heating and Cooling in Belleville, Ontario helps homeowners decide between a ductless air conditioner and a central air conditioner.

Ductless Air Conditioner Pros and Cons and How to Decide

Every year, more and more people here in Ontario decide that they NEED an air conditioner installed. 

As climate change creates hotter, more humid summer conditions across our province, there are safety as well as comfort considerations to keep in mind.

But not everyone realizes there are more AC options than just the old fashioned window unit AC versus central ducted air conditioning.

In this blog post, we introduce you to the ductless air conditioner and ductless mini-split heating and cooling options available. Find out if ductless AC is right for you!


What Is a Ductless Air Conditioner?

A ductless air conditioner provides cooling without any need for the traditional ductwork that almost every HVAC system requires.

But how does the cool air get to each room in your home if there aren't any ducts to carry it there?

Instead of ducts, the ductless AC system uses a pump. This is why a ductless air conditioner is sometimes called a ductless heat pump.

A ductless air conditioner has an indoor unit and an outdoor unit just like traditional central AC systems.

But unlike a central air conditioner, ductless systems distribute cool air by using a system of zones.

Most residential ductless AC systems can accommodate up to eight different indoor zones, or air handlers, running off of one outdoor air compressor/condenser.

If you need more than eight indoor zones, you can add a second outdoor air compressor that can run additional indoor air handlers.


Can a Ductless AC Also Provide Heat?

A ductless mini-split system is able to provide both cooling and heating for any space.

Like a ductless AC system, the ductless mini-split heat pump offers zoned heating as well as cooling with customized thermostat control through indoor air handlers.

Just as with ductless AC, a ductless mini-split can accommodate up to eight indoor air handlers for each outdoor air compressor you install.


Ductless AC Pros and Cons

Learning about the potential pros and cons for a ductless air conditioner and ductless mini-split heat pumps can help you decide if this is the right choice for you.

1. What you save on cooling you may spend on heating.

Ductless AC can be very energy efficient. This is because ductless heat pumps move heat energy around to preheat or pre-cool the air.

But not all heat pumps are created equally when it comes to tackling the very cold temperatures of the typical Canadian winter season.

In addition, because a ductless HVAC system runs solely on electricity, heating your home with a heat pump can become costly on the coldest days of the year.

One option is to install a backup heating source that you can use on the coldest winter days. Some ductless mini-split systems even come with such a backup system already installed.

In this case, you can easily control winter energy costs by switching to a gas or propane backup heating system when the need arises.

2. No ducts is a simpler option, but not always easier or cheaper to install.

There is an undeniable appeal to getting air conditioning and heating without having to install ducts.

Ductwork can be complicated to install and even more difficult to clean, repair, insulate and maintain.

But choosing ductless AC and heating presents a different set of installation challenges and costs.

The good news is that both the inside air handlers and the outside air compressor and condenser are compact, low profile units. The even better news is that the inside air handlers are designed for wall or ceiling mounting, saving you floor space.

The less good news is that setting up a ductless AC system can actually be as complex or even more complex than installing ductwork, depending on how many indoor air handlers you need.

You will need to choose a location for the outdoor component, preferably a safe and secure elevated location that is protected from weather and wildlife.

You will then need to choose an indoor location for each air handler. Each air handler must then be coupled to the outdoor compressor/condenser via a small conduit. This only requires a small hole drilled in the wall or ceiling where the air handler is mounted.

But as you can see, it will take some amount of pre-planning and coordination to get all the indoor components placed and connected at a reasonable distance from the outdoor component.

And since drilling and running the conduits can present safety challenges with existing wiring, this is best done by an experienced ductless HVAC service technician.

3. Better overall air quality, energy efficiency and ease of maintenance.

There is really no downside to the overall gains you will experience in terms of indoor air quality, energy efficiency and ease of ongoing preventative maintenance.

As long as you don't mind the presence of the mounted indoor air handlers, ductless AC and ductless mini-split heating and cooling systems can be a fabulous alternative to a traditional central ducted HVAC system.

These systems are typically compatible with all of the same types of "smart" home control and home security systems that a ducted HVAC system can accommodate.

Plus, you don't have the chronic air loss and leakage of an aging duct system that will then require professional duct cleaning, insulation and monitoring, all at an additional maintenance cost.


Is Ductless HVAC Right For You?

Give our friendly, experienced, professional service technicians a call to discuss the many ductless AC and mini-split options that can meet your year-round cooling and heating needs.


Bi-Temp Heating and Cooling in Belleville,Ontario, Handles All Of Your Ductless AC Needs

Bi-Temp Heating and Cooling in Belleville, Ontario, is one of the most established and trusted HVAC companies in Quinte West.

Our service technicians are courteous, prompt, highly trained and experienced with installing, servicing, repairing and maintaining both ducted and ductless AC units and also ductless mini-splits for heating and cooling.

Give us a call at 1-613-967-1066 or visit us online for all your heating, ventilation and air conditioner needs.

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Essential Commercial HVAC Systems Inspection Steps Before Reopening Your Business

BiTemp Heating and Cooling in Belleville, Ontario, provides the essential HVAC steps for reopening businesses in 2021.

Essential Commercial HVAC Systems Inspection Steps Before Reopening Your Business

Here at Bi-Temp we have been receiving lots of calls from our commercial clients regarding steps to take before reopening after COVID-19.

This is a great question! And we know that for every call we receive, there are probably nine more calls we should be receiving.

While everyone is aware of what extended inactivity can do to a business's bottom line, not everyone is so informed about what it can do to their commercial HVAC systems.

This is especially true given the epic heat waves and winter storms we've had over the last year here in Ontario.

In this post, learn the essential steps businesses need to take to make sure their commercial HVAC systems are operating efficiently and safely as they reopen after COVID-19.


Have Your Commercial HVAC Systems Haven’t Been Running - What Could Go Wrong?

This is one of the most common misunderstandings that our commercial clients have about inactive HVAC units.

Under normal circumstances, you would be at your business location at least several days per week. Your HVAC units would then be operating normally.

This would discourage insects, birds and small animals from seeing your furnace or air conditioner as a comfy new home.

You would also be on site and on hand to notice any changes to your HVAC system, such as odd noises, strange smells, increased humidity, uneven airflow or increasing energy costs.

But you haven't been there. Your workforce has been remote. You really have no way of knowing what will happen when you power on your commercial HVAC system for those first critical few moments.

This is why we strongly recommend scheduling your preventative HVAC system safety inspection and maintenance service before inviting your workers to return to the office and reopening your doors to the public.


Essential Commercial HVAC Systems Inspection Steps to Take Before Reopening

So let's turn our attention now to the essential HVAC safety steps you need to take before you reopen your business.

If this list feels overwhelming as you work through the other must-dos on your business reopening checklist, we can help! Delegate these tasks to our HVAC service team in Belleville by scheduling your commercial Bi-Temp preventative maintenance and safety inspection.

1. Clean each HVAC system component thoroughly - both inside and out.

While it might feel easy enough to shove this task aside, the cleaning process serves two purposes.

First, it removes any insect or animal waste, storm debris, mildew or cobwebs, dust and debris that have settled on or inside your units.

Second, it is the best way to do a thorough preliminary safety inspection. What do you see? What do you smell? Is there any evidence of mould? Do you see damaged areas, missing insulation, a bird nest in your exhaust vent?

2. Change the HVAC system filter.

Your HVAC filter is designed to keep dust and dirt from getting into the interior of your HVAC unit and clogging or overheating the blower motor, damaging the coils or coating the fan belts.

Not all HVAC units are designed to take the higher grade of air filters that can quarantine airborne viral COVID-19 droplets. But all HVAC units need a clean filter to operate at peak efficiency and safety.

3. Inspect your ductwork system and make necessary repairs.

If you are having issues with humidity or uneven air flow in your building, the air ducts are a common culprit. But because they are hidden away, it is easy to forget they are there and even easier to allow them to fall into disrepair.

Ducts make handy nests for insects and rodents and moist incubators for mildew and mould colonies.

A sealed and insulated duct system is going to lower your energy bills, even out indoor humidity and deliver consistent air flow and temperature levels from room to room.

Are you looking for air conditioning repair services near you? Contact our heating and air conditioning experts in Belleville, Ontario!

4. Check for water or refrigerant leaks.

Refrigerant leaks are a known safety hazard. Water leaks can foster mould and do incredible damage to your building structure.

5. Inspect all electrical connections and fuel intakes.

Every year, poorly operating or unserviced HVAC units are responsible for building fires - many of which are started because of faulty fuel or power connections.

6. Inspect and clean or replace all air registers and exhaust vents.

The right type of exhaust vents will keep insects, birds and rodents out of your ductwork, HVAC components and building interior.

Clean air registers will ensure the air inside your building is free from large particulates that could carry airborne viral droplets much farther distances inside your space.

7. Calibrate indoor humidity and temperature levels throughout your building.

There are a number of reasons why you might have workers complaining about uneven heating and air conditioning or too much/little humidity inside their workspaces.

One of the most frequently overlooked reasons is a simple thermostat malfunction!

Often a quick thermostat test and recalibration can fix this issue and ensure your air conditioner and furnace are getting the right instructions to do their jobs properly.

8. Increase ventilation and air circulation throughout your building.

A key component to maintain worker and customer safety after COVID-19 is to increase fresh air circulation and ventilation throughout your building.

There are a number of methods you can choose to accomplish this goal and some of them are quite budget-friendly!

9. Repair or replace any insulation that has become damaged or degraded.

Finally, insulation is your key to protecting your HVAC and ductwork investment, managing overhead and energy costs and keeping your workers and customers healthy and comfortable.


Let Bi-Temp in Quinte West Handle Your Commercial HVAC Systems Needs This Summer

Bi-Temp Heating and Cooling in Belleville, Ontario, has a full half-century of expertise serving our commercial and residential clients in and around the Quinte West area. We install, service and repair all makes and models of HVAC system equipment!

Give us a call at 1-613-967-1066 or visit us online to schedule your commercial HVAC systems service, maintenance or new unit estimates and installation.

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Are You Ready for the 2021 Summer Heat Wave? Air Conditioner Tips You Need Now

BiTemp Heating and Cooling in Belleville, Ontario provides the air conditioner tips needed to keep your family cool and comfortable this summer.

Are You Ready for the 2021 Summer Heat Wave? Air Conditioner Tips You Need Now

It takes a lot for Canada's warm season weather to make international news headlines.

But last year - in the middle of the pandemic no less - we made the headlines for a record-breaking heat wave that sent parts of Canada into the triple digits.

Many meteorologists are predicting that we will see a repeat of that heat wave in just a month or two, calling for a summer that is "sweltering" and "stormy."

If this doesn't sound like good news to you (it certainly doesn't to us), you will want to read this blog post in detail to learn how to prepare. 


An Air Conditioner Is No Longer Optional in Ontario

Last summer we heard from many of our longtime HVAC service clients in Quinte West, and surrounding areas, who had never before considered installing an air conditioner to their home.

But it was simply too hot to stay cooped up and sheltered in place with that kind of unrelenting heat and humidity.

Not everyone felt comfortable heading to public cooling stations to find relief, even when these were available. And some people were simply unable to leave home due to health, safety or mobility issues.

And even as we take those tentative first steps towards reopening here in Ontario, it may take until the fall before life feels "back to normal" in any significant way.

Right now, the smartest approach is to make sure your home is livable and safe, no matter what the weather forecast may bring.


Need An Air Conditioner? Know Your Options

Many of our customers who installed an air conditioner for the first time last summer didn't realize how many different options exist in today's market.

Air conditioning has come a long way since blocks of ice were delivered door to door!

Today, in addition to the traditional window unit air conditioner and central ducted air conditioning, you have ductless single unit and zoned air conditioning, ductless split systems, heat pumps and more.

Our HVAC service technicians at BiTemp will go over each of these options so that you can decide what might work best for your space.

Central Air Conditioner

If your home or workspace has existing ductwork that is in good condition, a central air conditioner makes for a slam-dunk addition to any size space.

Ductless Air Conditioner

For non-ducted spaces or smaller additions, many people are opting for a ductless air conditioner.

Ductless AC systems have a minimal footprint, excellent energy efficiency ratings and operate quietly and unobtrusively.

For multi-room and multi-level spaces, customers appreciate the option to link several ductless AC units together in a zoned system. This helps control energy costs and eases tensions when two family members disagree about cooling preferences.

Ductless AC/Heat Split System

Ductless split or mini-split HVAC systems can do both - cooling and heating - with the same quiet operation and minimal footprint as a ductless air conditioner.

These systems can also be linked together to create a zoned system of cooling and heating.

Heat Pump

Over the last few years, heat pumps have become increasingly popular here in the north as the technology has consistently improved.

Today's heat pumps do a fine job of cooling your home in summer and heating it in winter with the added perk of a built-in dehumidifier.


Should You Maintain, Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner?

We recently devoted a whole blog post to this important question.

This post will help you identify the key warning signs that may signal your air conditioner needs preventative maintenance, major repairs or even a replacement.


Is Having Air Conditioning In Your Home Really That Important for Safety?

Unlike COVID-19, heat is considered a "silent killer." When combined with high humidity, that threat increases.

COVID-19 and heat/humidity also share one key similarity. Both conditions are much more likely to seriously impact a victim who already has another pre-existing health issue, such as a heart or respiratory condition.

The government of Canada has issued a warning that the annual number of hot days is projected to double in many areas.

This is important to know because, unfortunately, once you, a family member or a pet have symptoms of heat stroke, it is already a life-threatening medical emergency.

There is still a lot you can do to protect yourself, your loved ones and your animals even if air conditioning is not in the budget at the moment.

You can add floor fans or ceiling fans, use light-blocking covers for windows that receive direct sun, save cooking and laundry for early mornings or evenings when it is cooler, take cool showers, drink lots of cool water and wear breathable garments.

But do not assume too quickly that installing air conditioning is truly out of reach for you. Read on to learn about new options that have allowed many of our customers to add air conditioning in their homes and workspaces this past year.


We Offer HVAC Financing and Rent to Own Options

We understand that many of our customers have been hard-hit by this past pandemic year. Don't let financial worries get in the way of creating a safe and comfortable home for your family.

We now offer flexible five to nine year financing programs and rent to own options for HVAC equipment.

For our commercial customers, we are proud to offer commercial HVAC leasing options.

There are lots of ways we can work with you to make sure you have the air conditioning you need at a price you can afford.


Get in Touch with Bi-Temp in Quinte West for Your HVAC Needs

Bi-Temp Heating and Cooling is one of the most established and trusted HVAC companies in Belleville, Ontario. Our service technicians are courteous, prompt, highly trained and experienced with installing, repairing and maintaining all makes and models of heating and cooling equipment.

Give us a call at 1-613-967-1066 or visit us online to schedule your air conditioning service, maintenance or new unit installation.

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Replace, Repair or Maintain? What Your Air Conditioner Wants You to Know

BiTemp LTD. provides air conditioning repair, replacement or preventative maintenance in Belleville, Ontario.

Replace, Repair or Maintain? What Your Air Conditioner Wants You to Know

Here in Belleville Ontario, we are quite accustomed to cold weather. Another snowfall? No problem. Sleet and ice in the forecast yet again? We've got this.

But an epic heat wave? More of the kind of sweltering weather we saw last summer? That is another matter entirely.

This type of weather is quite simply hard to handle. This is especially true if you do not have an air conditioner at your permanent residence or seasonal cottage.

Are you worried about another round of skyrocketing summer temperatures? Now is the time to implement a plan to stay cool this summer season.

Looking for professional heating and cooling  in Belleville, Ontario, to get you through the summer with great HVAC service? Contact our team at Bi-Temp LTD.


Should You Replace, Repair or Maintain Your Air Conditioner?

Here are the key milestones you can watch out for to indicate whether you are looking at an air conditioning repair, replacement or simply a need for routine preventative maintenance.

Happy 10th Birthday, Air Conditioner!

Has your current air conditioner system celebrated its tenth birthday?

EnergyStar states that this is always the right time to start thinking about an air conditioner replacement.

You may think this is just because your air conditioner is old. Major parts and systems are wearing out. Air conditioning repairs can become expensive.

But there is an additional component many people overlook.

Newer air conditioner units can deliver efficiency gains of up to 20 percent!

This is due to technology advances - even a perfectly maintained older air conditioner cannot hope to compete with the efficiency of a brand new unit.

But what if you inherited your AC unit with your current property and you don't know how old it is?

There are a few things that can help here.

1. Locate the make, model and unit serial or product number and give the manufacturer a call. They may be able to hook you up with a manufacturing date.

2. Take a look on the nameplate of the unit and look for a little note that starts with MFG. This is the manufacturing date!

3. Give your Bi-Temp HVAC service technician a call. We can do the research on your behalf and try to lock in a firm date for you.


Is Your Air Conditioner Jumping Into Your Wallet?

Escalating air conditioning repair bills and/or monthly energy bills can be a very reliable indicator that your air conditioner is pondering retirement.

Of course, you want to first verify that the power costs in your local area have not increased. If all else remains equal, it is likely due to an aging AC drawing more power to do the same job.

Sometimes simple preventative maintenance can ease this type of issue - at least to get it through one more summer season.

But once your air conditioner starts to dip into your wallet and eat away at your home maintenance budget on a regular basis, you can expect more of the same in the months to come.

Since our warm season is relatively brief here in the far north, this can also mean enduring a system blowout right in the middle of the hottest part of our year.


Do You Have an Aspiring Rock Musician Inside Your AC Unit?

Yet another very reliable warning sign that your air conditioner is heading for a major repair or an outright breakdown is operational volume.

This may mean hearing a simple increase in the normal on/off cycling sounds. Or sometimes it can mean the introduction of new knocks, bangs, clangs, whistles, whirs, sighs, rumbles, rattles and screeches reminiscent of your grunge rock days.

When your AC unit starts to sound like you have a garage band practicing in your attic or basement, this is a clear sign it is time to call your Bi-Temp service technician for an evaluation.


When Was the Date of Your Last Air Conditioning Maintenance Service?

Many of our clients inherited their current HVAC system when they purchased their home or commercial space.

And in many cases, the prior owner provided little to no history regarding the existing HVAC units and their past repair and maintenance history.

Because of this, it can be difficult to know what to expect as summer rolls in again.

When was the last time the system was thoroughly cleaned, balanced, calibrated and lubricated? What about topping off refrigerant levels, clearing the drain pipe or cleaning the condenser coils?

Are the electrical wires, fuses, contractors and breakers intact and secure? And how about that all-important air filter - is it clean and clear or clogged and crusty?

How does your indoor air smell? Are you constantly running around the house spritzing air "freshener" or burning candles to combat mystery odours? Does your indoor air feel strangely humid or unevenly cool?

Not only are all these the classic signs and symptoms of a poorly maintained air conditioner, but they are also all too frequently the precursors to bigger issues like mould and mildew and home fires.


Contact Us for a FREE Air Conditioner Quote

Summer is a busy season here at Bi-Temp heating and cooling in Belleville Ontario. With major surprise repairs and AC outages, our HVAC service technicians stay busy making service calls to our residential clients and commercial HVAC systems.

This is why spring is a great time to schedule your air conditioner preventative maintenance and safety inspection service appointment!

Spring is also the ideal time to request a free quote for a new air conditioner!

Today's HVAC service technology is more sophisticated and efficient than at any other time in history.

We have options to fit all budgets, from simple low profile ductless air conditioner units for non-ducted spaces to central air conditioners, commercial rooftop units, heat pumps and even geothermal systems.


Bi-Temp LTD. In Belleville Handles All Your HVAC Needs

Dreading a return of last summer's triple digit temperatures? Bi-Temp in Belleville can help! Our expert HVAC service technicians install, repair and maintain all makes and models of air conditioner equipment.

We can keep you and your family cool and comfortable all summer long!

Contact us at 1-613-967-1066 or visit us online.

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We Know the Secret to Maximum Furnace Energy Savings

Lower your furnace energy bills with BiTemp LTD. in Belleville, Ontario.

We Know the Secret to Maximum Furnace Energy Savings

It is no secret that winter is not just the longest, but is also the most expensive season here in Canada - at least when it comes to energy bills.

While we still have our fair share of residents who go without air conditioning during the brief summer season, the same is not true for heating.

Heating is simply not optional with the type of severe winter weather we get here in Ontario, Canada.

But budgeting for winter heating bills can be anxiety producing, especially as the cold temperatures linger on and on.

The good news is, our furnace experts at Bi-Temp know the secret to getting the most heat from your furnace for cheaper! Read on to learn the key to trimming your heating bills.


Thermostat Differential - What It Is & Why It Matters

If the term "thermostat differential" is not exactly ringing a bell, you are definitely not alone.

This is actually one of the least-known features of the modern furnace. It is also your first key to maximizing furnace efficiency and minimizing energy bills.

Thermostat differential is a term that refers to a built-in factory pre-set that triggers your furnace to cycle on or off.

Here, "thermostat" refers to the temperature you select on your furnace thermostat. And "differential" refers to how many degrees above or below that temperature your furnace needs to reach before cycling on or off.


How to Adjust the Furnace Thermostat Differential

Having a wider thermostat differential can be helpful in the summer to ensure maximum compressor lifespan (which is a complicated topic better suited to a different blog post).

But in the winter, when compressor run-time issues are less of a concern, a narrower thermostat differential is possible - and greatly beneficial to trim those exorbitant heating bills.

Most new HVAC units that feature an in-built programmable thermostat will also come with a pre-set thermostat differential that is adjustable.

But an older HVAC unit with a manual thermostat may not have this feature. For an older furnace that has a static thermostat differential pre-set, read on to learn about an easy, affordable solution.

(Our friendly, qualified Bi-Temp HVAC service technicians in Belleville can take a look at your furnace’s make and model to determine if adjusting the thermostat differential is possible.)


The Best Thermostat Differential for Reducing Heating Costs

For our customers who have the option to adjust thermostat differential, this is what we generally recommend:

Air conditioning: between 0.8 and 2 degrees.

Heating: between 0.5 and 1 degrees.

This differential strikes an optimal balance between too-frequent cycling, which can prematurely age your compressor, and excessive energy draw between cycles.


Programming Your HVAC Thermostat = Instant Savings

There are two ways to program your furnace thermostat.

The first and easiest way is to use a programmable thermostat. The second way is to manually adjust your thermostat.

Many of our customers who have older model furnace units do not realize it is often still possible to use a third-party (after market) programmable thermostat with these systems.

And for our customers who have newer model furnaces, using a programmable thermostat is typically as simple as programming the one that came with your unit.

Yet, it can feel oddly daunting to decide how to program your thermostat!

In order to start trimming your heating bills, you first have to spend some time getting to know your own daily schedule and heating patterns.

Once you have done this research, it is much easier to program your thermostat in a way that will start showing an immediate energy savings payoff.

Just like with setting your furnace thermostat differential, the goal when programming your furnace thermostat is to strike just the right balance between too-frequent cycling and excessive energy draw between cycles.

The Department of Energy states that you can trim up to 10 percent off your heating bills for every one degree you lower your thermostat setting. The easiest way to start realizing these savings is to think in terms of zones.

For example, when everyone is gone during the day on weekdays, you can lower the setting on your programmable thermostat by 10 degrees. And in the evenings when everyone is bundled up in bed, you can lower the setting by five degrees.

If you don't have a programmable thermostat (or the option to retrofit your furnace with a third-party unit), you can manually adjust these settings before leaving each morning or retiring each night.


How Much Can You Save By Understanding Thermostat Differential?

The average Ontario, Canada homeowner spends about $2,358 per year on energy. 62 percent of that goes to heating the home, which is about $1,462.

If you made just one adjustment to your furnace thermostat to save 10 percent, you have already put $142 back in your pocket!


Contact Bi-Temp LTD. In Belleville for All Your Furnace Needs

Click here to schedule your preventative annual furnace maintenance and tune-up with Bi-Temp. Our friendly technicians are happy to evaluate your thermostat differential during your tune-up!

Looking for affordable hot water heater rentals, HVAC repairs or commercial HVAC services? We are just a phone call away! Contact us at 1-613-967-1066 or come visit us online.

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Is Your Furnace Leaking Carbon Monoxide? Warning Signs To Watch For!

Keep Your Family Safe This Winter With Furnace Repair and Furnace Maintenance Checkups!

Is Your Furnace Leaking Carbon Monoxide? Warning Signs To Watch For!

Keep your family safe this winter season!

This has been a historic weather month here in North America, but the really historic and shocking thing is that the historic weather hasn't taken place here.

It has been happening far to the south of us in Texas and much of the southern United States.

This week's news has highlighted just how devastating it can be to go into a major winter storm warning unprepared. Loss of power, heat, water, shelter - these events can quickly turn deadly.

One of the worst perils is also the least likely to introduce itself. It is silent, odourless, colourless and quite capable of claiming lives in minutes. This killer is called carbon monoxide.

This week, NPR called carbon monoxide poisoning a "disaster within a disaster," with more than 450 reported incidents in the last week. In this post, find out how to tell if your furnace is leaking carbon monoxide and stop it before it is too late.

If you are worried about a carbon monoxide leak in your home right now, contact Bi-temp Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning in Belleville immediately! Our team of technicians will ensure that this is fixed as soon as possible for you. 

With families coming together to stay indoors this winter, due to both the extreme weather and the pandemic, keep your family safe this winter is a huge priority! We can help!


Questions to Ask About Furnace Carbon Monoxide Leaks

During the warm season, we all tend to forget our furnace even exists. But when our longest season of the year arrives, suddenly our furnace is the star.

We rely on our furnaces to keep us warm and safe. But in order for your furnace to do its job, you need to know how to tell when operating your furnace is becoming dangerous.

Asking these questions can help you identify if your furnace may be leaking carbon monoxide.

1. How are you and your family feeling?

Major carbon monoxide leaks kill quickly. Often affected individuals don't even really have time to link their health symptoms to CO leaks before it is too late.

Smaller leaks, however, are much more likely to produce low-grade chronic health symptoms that don't resolve no matter what you do.

Common carbon monoxide-related health symptoms include:

  •  Flu symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Mental fogginess
  • Chronic headaches
  • Burning eyes or nasal passages
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • General confusion
  • Gastrointestinal upset

From this list, it is easy to see why you might miss the warning signs and think you have allergies, a cold or the flu.

2. How old is your furnace?

According to Energy Star, the average furnace will run for up to 15 years before it is time to start seriously thinking about a replacement.

There are a number of smart reasons to consider replacing an older furnace:

  • Rising energy bills and furnace repair costs
  • Inefficient or noisy operation
  • Uneven airflow
  • Uncertainty about how long the unit will last

These can all be good reasons to replace your furnace!

But the best reason is when you have answers to other questions you will find here that all add up to a furnace that could potentially cause more harm than good.

3. What colour is the furnace pilot light?

Simply having a pilot light is already a warning signal that your furnace is past its expiration date. In most cases, old school pilot light furnaces are upwards of two decades old!

If you do have a pilot light furnace (whether constant or intermittent), the furnace light should always be a blue colour.

If you see any other colour (yellow being the most common) this is a warning sign of incomplete combustion.

Incomplete combustion occurs whenever the conditions are not optimal to allow complete consumption of fuel. When incomplete combustion is occurring, two things happen:

a) The pilot light changes from a blue colour to a different colour.

b) By-products produced include carbon monoxide.

4. What do you hear when your furnace cycles on and off?

All types of furnaces will make noise occasionally. Even the quietest units may rumble or hum a bit when cycling on or off.

But if your furnace sounds like you have a family of raccoons (or elephants) trapped inside, or if you hear clangs, bangs, knocks, rattles, whines and/or similar sounds, these are all indicators something is amiss inside your unit.

5. How much are you paying for heat-related energy bills?

Many different things can trigger an increase in heating bills:

  • Rising energy costs

  • Increased furnace usage

  • Air leaks inside your space

  • An aging furnace

All of these can drain your wallet during the winter season!

But the most concerning reason is when you have incomplete combustion, which requires more and more energy input to produce the same heat output.

And along with that heat output, you will be getting a side order of carbon monoxide.

6. What was your last major furnace repair or furnace maintenance need?

One of the best ways to determine whether your furnace is getting close to replacement age is when you see repairs that escalate in cost and seriousness.

7. When was the last time your furnace had a tune-up and safety inspection?

Every year, many people move into a home with an existing furnace that has a sketchy maintenance history.

Did your home's previous owner provide you with any maintenance and safety inspection records?

If the answer is no, you want to get this done as quickly as you can.


Does Your Furnace Have a Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide detectors are not only your best defence against carbon monoxide off-gassing. They are also your only defence.

Because carbon monoxide is odourless and colourless, there is literally no way you can determine levels inside your home or workplace without a detector.

Carbon monoxide detectors save lives every single year.

When you have your regular furnace tune-up and safety inspection, be sure to have your carbon monoxide detector inspected too.


Bi-Temp Handles All Your Quinte Furnace Repair, Maintenance and Installation Needs

Bi-Temp in Quinte is your one-stop resource for all your HVAC, furnace, boiler, heat pump and heating safety needs.

If you need us, we are on call for you with 24/7 emergency repair services.

Call us at 1-613-967-1066 or visit us online. (When you call, ask us about our COVID-safe contact-less service, payment and invoicing options.)

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The Boiler Blues: 10 Troubleshooting Tips to Get Your Boiler Working Again

Bi-Temp In Belleville Provides Troubleshooting Tips For Your Water Boiler Heating Unit.

The Boiler Blues: 10 Troubleshooting Tips to Get Your Boiler Working Again

Throughout winter, if you rely on your water boiler for more than heating water for your morning shower, you sure will notice if it conks out!

I’m Your family members will also notice. They will also likely be keenly impatient for you to troubleshoot and get the household boiler working again.

Remember, Bi-Temp in Belleville, Ontario, provides 24/7 emergency repair service for both homeowners and commercial business owners. We provide maintenance servicing for Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation Systems. If these troubleshooting tips don't set things to rights again, pick up the phone and give us a call. 


Heating Boiler 101: Mastering the Basics

Every day, somebody somewhere buys a home that has a different type of heating system than what they are used to.

Perhaps in your last home you had a traditional forced-air furnace system. But your new home has a boiler and it's not performing up to your expectations.

Before you can start to troubleshoot, you have to understand what a boiler is and how it works.

A properly functioning boiler system does two main things:

1. A boiler heats water for your tea, shower, dishwasher and clothes washer.

2. A boiler heats water to warm up your home or workplace.

The ways that a boiler does these two jobs can differ depending on the exact system you happen to have and its power source (electric, natural gas, propane, oil, et al).


10 Common Boiler Problems & Troubleshooting Tips

As with all major appliances, boilers typically don't just stop working all at once.

First, you will start to get warning signs.

If you don't pay attention or simply don't understand what these warning signs are trying to tell you, one day you will wake up to a non-functioning boiler.

This is never a good way to start your day.

We hope these tips will help you identify common boiler problems so you can troubleshoot yourself! Or, give Bi-Temp Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning in Belleville a call to troubleshoot for you! 

1. Erratic Heat

While you may think that erratic heat output points to a major repair, sometimes this is actually the easiest issue to troubleshoot and resolve.

Often, the problem actually stems from the thermostat - the small control box that tells the mechanical components of the boiler how hot you want it.

There may be a blown fuse or a dead battery. Sometimes the thermostat just needs recalibration. If that doesn't fix it, however, it is time to move on to other troubleshooting tactics.

2. Strange Noises

Quiet whirrs and low rumbles are considered normal for modern boilers. Sounds that make you imagine that last riveting Netflix episode of "72 Dangerous Animals" are not.

Bangs, pops, screeches, whistles, clangs, gurgles and anything that sounds like elephants on stampede require prompt attention - and likely professional service! 

Have you been hearing strange noises from your boiler system? Now is the time to contact our Bi-Temp Heating Technicians in Quinte, Ontario to schedule a maintenance appointment.

3. A Funny Smell

If strange noises are waking you up at night, funny smells may simply keep you up.

The most concerning odours that require immediate attention include burning, rotten eggs or an acrid sharp smell in your home. These smells could be originating from your boiler system and require immediate attention. Call our Bi-Temp team in Belleville for 24/7 Emergency HVAC repair services!

4. Black Stains

Black stains on or around your heating elements or your pilot light point to incomplete combustion.

Not only does incomplete combustion force you to pay for more energy than your boiler actually uses (which means your heating bills will go up without giving you any more heat to show for it), but it can emit dangerous toxic gases into your indoor air.

5. Strange Health Symptoms

Speaking of carbon monoxide, since this gas is odourless and colourless, the only warning sign you are likely to get will come in the form of health symptoms.

Headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, weakness, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision, confusion, fainting - these are all urgent warning signs that may point to toxic levels of carbon monoxide.

6. Pilot Light Changes Colour (or goes out)

Pilot light problems are always considered urgent problems, whether yours happens to be a pilot light that won't stay lit or a flame that can't decide what colour it wants to be when it grows up.

(By the way, you always want your pilot light to burn blue.)

A yellow, green or other colour pilot light is an indication that there is an imbalance in the fuel-to-oxygen ratio required to make maximum use of fuel input.

Like black stains near the heat exchanger or pilot light, changing pilot light colours can point to dangerous carbon monoxide emissions inside your home.

7. Constant Small Repairs

A high maintenance boiler is often trying to tell you that its days are numbered.

Your Bi-Temp service technician will be able to advise you on whether it makes better financial sense to invest in a new energy-efficient boiler or not. 

8. Increasing Heating Bills

Steadily increasing heating bills without a corresponding increase in heating output is one warning sign you will only catch if you are watching your bottom line carefully.

Often, the fix is as simple as scheduling your annual preventative maintenance, tune-up and safety inspection.

9. Fuel or Water Leaks

Finding small puddles of water, hydronic fluid or fuel can seem minor at first glance.

They aren't.

Anytime your boiler springs a leak, no matter how small, it is always time to power down and call in the pros.

10. Your boiler just had its 10th birthday.

A high quality, well-maintained boiler can easily last 10 to 15 years.

However, if your boiler is giving you trouble and has just had its 10th (or 15th) birthday, it may be more economical to simply replace it! That’s where your trusted heating services at Bi-Temp in Belleville come in! Our experienced technicians are on-call and ready to replace your boiler system this winter!


Bi-Temp Handles All Your Quinte Heating Boiler Unit Needs

Our friendly, knowledgeable service technicians at Bi-Temp in Quinte are here to serve your boiler, water heater, HVAC and indoor air quality needs.

And don't forget about our popular 24/7 emergency repair services - nights, weekends, major holidays, we are still here for you!

Ask us about our safe, contact-less service, payment and invoicing options. Call us at 1-613-967-1066 or come visit us online.

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Vital Indoor Air Tools to Help Protect Against COVID, Cold and Flu Season

Bi-Temp provides important indoor air tools to help protect against COVID-19, Cold and Flu seaosn.

Vital Indoor Air Tools to Help Protect Against COVID, Cold and Flu Season

It is definitely furnace season here in the Quinte area. We are staying indoors this year for safety reasons as well as for warmth!

Winter can be a particularly dry time of year here in Canada, which is not always good news for our health. After all, there is a reason winter has earned the nickname "cold and flu season."

Only this year, we are facing "cold and flu and coronavirus season." This means the stakes are even higher if we let ourselves get sick!

Many people don't realize that how you use your furnace in winter can actually have a direct impact on your health during the cold season.

In this timely blog post, our team at Bi-Temp in Belleville shares top safe furnace tips to help protect you and your family from COVID, cold and flu. How? By making your indoor air toxin-free!


The Connection Between Winter, COVID-19, Cold and Flu

COVID-19, cold and flu share some similarities.

All three are primarily spread through airborne transmission. All three are viral illnesses. And all three seem to get worse in winter.

Is there a connection?

Many health officials believe people get sicker in winter for two key reasons:

  1. Winter is a time when we tend to stay indoors breathing stale air.
  2. Winter is a time when humidity is low and the air we breathe is dry.


The Danger of Dry Winter Air In Your Home

Humidity has gotten a bad rap because too much of it can lead to mould and mildew growth. However, too little humidity can also cause problems, ranging from increased risk of fire, to reduced resistance, to respiratory illness.

There are two main reasons dry winter air is especially concerning this year:

1. Dry winter air keeps viral aerosol droplets lighter so that they can stay airborne for longer and travel farther distances to infect more people. This holds true whether the viral aerosol droplet is carrying cold, flu or coronavirus.

2. Dry winter air also makes it harder for our respiratory tissues to mobilize beneficial mucus to trap viral matter as we breathe it in. With no mucus to fight back, the viral droplets travel quickly and easily down into our lungs.


How Humid Should Your Indoor Air Be?

So how humid should your indoor air be to keep you safer from viral illness?

According to a widely-cited Yale University study published earlier this year, the recommended indoor air humidity range is 40 to 60 percent.

The closer you can get to the 50 to 60 percent range, the safer you are likely to be, all other factors remaining equal.


How Can You Add Back Humidity to Your Indoor Air in Winter?

There are a number of ways you can add humidity back into your home or office space. Our team of cooling technicians at Bi-Temp in Belleville have the cost effective solutions to keeping your home’s humidity at a healthy level this winter. 

The easiest way is simply to install a portable or whole-home (central) humidifier. Humidifiers allow you to change the relative humidity in the air quickly and easily. That way, regardless of the effects your heating and air conditioning has on your air, you are able to maintain a proper humidity level.

If you are a concerned about the cost to install central air humidifiers, here are some other easy ways to boost the ambient humidity that don't require the purchase of a humidifier.

  • Houseplants will naturally increase the humidity (as long as you remember to water them!).
  • You can place bowls of water near your heating elements for natural evaporation.
  • Allowing a pot of water to boil on the stove. Removing the lid will disperse humidity into your kitchen.
  • Similarly, keeping the door open after a warm bath or shower or leaving the washer door open after a clothing cycle will allow humidity to naturally dissipate into your indoor air.

Our heating and cooling specialists in Belleville, Ontario have years of experience handling indoor air quality. Having been in business since 1968, we have the knowledge and equipment you need to help protect your home and family this winter season. 


How Can You Keep Your Indoor Air From Getting Stale?

Stale indoor air is air that contains a higher concentration of potentially harmful toxins. These toxins may range from dust and pollen to bacteria and viral aerosol droplets.

There is only one way to keep your indoor air fresh and that is ventilation.

Ventilation basically means "adding fresh air." You can add more fresh air to your indoor space naturally or artificially. Keep reading for Bi-temp’s air ventilation tips!

  • Examples of natural ventilation include opening a window or door to the outside and adding more houseplants that "inhale" carbon dioxide and "exhale" oxygen.
  • Examples of artificial ventilation include running your furnace fan continuously or installing a heat recovery ventilator. 

Contact our team at Bi-Temp in Belleville for more information about our ventilation services!


Are There Other Ways to Detoxify Your Indoor Air?

In addition to adding back humidity and fresh air, it is also important to do everything you can to keep toxins out of your indoor air in the first place.

Switching to natural cleaning supplies and personal care products will help to keep toxic chemicals out of your indoor air. As will taking smoking or vaping outdoors!

At a higher level, the two main defences you have against toxic indoor air are air filtration and air purification. Both have gotten a lot of news coverage this year in the wake of the global pandemic.

It is important to understand how both of these factors work alongside your HVAC system. Without proper air ventilation and air purification, your HVAC system could be causing more harm than good!

Air Purification

Air purification primarily acts on gaseous and liquid toxins, such as aerosol viral droplets. Ultraviolet light purification is the most powerful air purifier.

Air Filtration

Air filtration primarily acts on solid toxins such as dust, pet dander, pollen, mould and mildew spores and bacteria.

The best way to improve indoor air filtration is to make sure to change your furnace filter each month and to schedule preventative HVAC maintenance twice a year to clean dust and toxins out of the inner components of your air conditioner and furnace system.

Does your heating system need servicing this winter? Contact our qualified team of HVAC experts for a furnace repair or furnace maintenance appointment. 

You can also add a portable or central HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filtration system to filter out even microscopic solids from your indoor air.


Bi-Temp Belleville Handles All Your HVAC System Needs

Bi-Temp Heating, Ventilating and AC in Belleville is an essential service. We remain open to serve you this winter for all your heating and hot water needs. Read our important COVID-19 update here!

Contact us to schedule your preventative furnace safety inspection, cleaning and maintenance service.

Be sure to ask about our safe, contact-less service, payment and invoicing options too! Call us at 1-613-967-1066 or come visit us online!

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