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Tips for selecting your HVAC contractor.

We recently shared our tips for selecting your HVAC contractor in the August edition of Neighbours Around the Park, a local magazine here sent to acreages in Sherwood Park. We wanted we’d share an excerpt here to help you out!


Tips for selecting your HVAC contractor 

Choosing your HVAC contractor can be a difficult decision to make, as not all contractors are the same. Doing your research may mean the difference between getting a solid, professionally installed air conditioner or furnace or just getting ripped off. We’re always taught that not all mechanics are the same, and that goes for your HVAC contractor as well. 

1. Written Quotes
Be wary of any HVAC contractor that tries to give you quote over the phone. There are far too many factors to consider that a technician cannot see over the phone such as ducting, return air and position of furnace room in your home. None of this can assessed over the phone, so if someone gives you a quote over the phone, they are either inexperienced, or are trying to gain your business without taking into consideration the full scope of the project. When a contractor is there to assess the project, also be wary of anyone who gives you a quote without properly surveying your house.  A real contractor will check your crawl spaces, walk around the entire house and may even take pictures of the project.  If they don’t do this, then they aren’t properly inspecting your house for installation of your equipment. Your quote should be unique to you, as all homes have different requirements based on the comfort level you require and design of the house. A timely quote is also something to consider as it can demonstrate the way in which a job will be completed. 
For example, at Ignite Heating and Air Conditioning, I provide free written quotes after a job site visit is completed to ensure I have accurate measurements and that product selection has been made. This ensures all parties involved are aware of the scope of work and the price to complete the work. When myself or someone from my team comes out to the job site to take measurements, we also block off the time for you to answer any questions about Ignite, the products we use and our installation process – I want you to feel confident in the investment you are making, whatever the job is.  

2. Experience and Insurance
When it comes to how experienced your HVAC contractor is, take it with a grain of salt as experience isn’t everything!  Be wary of someone who is telling you they have been “doing things this way for twenty years” because the heating and cooling industry, like all technology, is always changing.  There are new and exciting technologies that decrease your utility costs and are more efficient at cooling.  Be sure your contractor is well versed in cutting edge technologies, including the most up-to-date HVAC control units such as a smart thermostat that runs your home’s AC system for you, programmable with schedules and preferences.  
Experience is important, but it isn’t everything. Your HVAC contractor should have a sheet metal or refrigeration journeyman certificate. Other training courses like, a Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) Certificate. Other licenses to look for include ensuring they have a business licenses for your area, so that they can pull the appropriate permits you may need. It is also important to choose a HVAC contractor that is insured so you can financially protect your home from damages.  

3. Quote Assessment
In some cases, a lower price doesn’t always mean it should be your first choice as it could mean you end up paying more in the long run. Paying a little bit more will often result in better equipment and service from an HVAC company. If there are huge discrepancies in price from one company to another, ask them why their prices are set that way. For example, higher prices can indicate better quality of equipment, training of technicians, and above average warranty agreements. A higher price can also indicate they’ve accurately captured the scope of the project, where as a company with a lower price may have missed including something in your price that will be an extra charge in the future. 
An example of this is that unlike other HVAC companies, Ignite installs Napoleon products that come with a lifetime warranty on the heat exchanger, as well as a 10 year warranty on parts and labour on all furnaces. The difference in the quotes is often in the details of the warranty provided, so always check to make sure you are comparing apples to apples!  

4. Customer Reviews
Ask your friends, family, or neighbours for HVAC contractor referrals. If you can’t get direct referrals, search local business directories with customer reviews. It is important to aware that some companies choose to pay or provide incentives for reviews on facebook and google, remember one tell-tale sign is if there is a sudden influx of positive reviews, these individuals may have been paid or provided an incentive to do so, and these may not be honest reviews.  

5. Product Selection
Replacing your HVAC equipment is a big investment, which is why it’s important to thoroughly research all your options. Choosing the right HVAC contractor also means considering which brand of equipment they install. When investing in an HVAC system, you’ll want to choose a reputable manufacturer with a good track record of quality. Most manufacturers offer products tiered in a good to best fashion with differences based on comfort features, energy efficiency ratings, and noise levels to name a few. As your HVAC equipment can last up to 30 years, this is a long-term investment, so you want to make an informed decision. 
Ignite highly recommend Napoleon’s line of products as they are built in Canada, which ensures they can handle our climate extremes. In fact, Napoleon is the only Canadian manufacturer of HVAC equipment. Napoleon has a 100-percent focus on new products, which is a strong reason why Napoleon products continuously surpass industry standards to provide you with confidence in the HVAC system being installed. Napoleon is one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies and is not a publicly traded company, which results in superior products to customers, instead of concern over the bottom line for shareholders.  

At Ignite Heating and Air Conditioning, your comfort is our concern. I believe every job is to be completed in a professional manner with quality workmanship and respect for the homeowner. If you are unhappy with your current HVAC contractor or don’t have one, give Ignite a call at 780.919.4916 today. 

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day from all of us at IGNITE! We hope you are enjoying the day with friends and family celebrating our great Country!

Renovation Superheroes!

With so much superhero hype going around we want to highlight Sherwood Park’s own superhero team that is here to save you from your renovation woes!

If you find yourself faced with any commercial or residential challenge, give one of our heroes a call! Services include: Plumbing and Gas Fitting, Flooring, Electrical, Heating and Air Conditioning, and General Contracting Services.

At Ignite we’re here to help you make your superhero compound more comfortable for you to rest up in. We can help you by taming the monster that is your ductwork in the basement, so that you can have more living space. We can also help you supersize your powers this summer by installing air conditioning to ensure your home allows you to power up your energy source, instead of leaving you feeling depleted and sleepless during the stifling heat. Give us a call @ 780.919.4916 for a free quote and let us help you make your home more comfortable. 

Renovation Team, Assemble!

 

 

 

Join the Ignite Maintenance Club!

At Ignite Heating and Air Conditioning, we know that your HVAC system is critical to your family’s comfort and safety. The benefits of annual furnace maintenance include: lower energy bills, fewer repairs, reduced risk of a surprise breakdown, longer equipment life and safer equipment operation. At Ignite, we offer 4 different levels of protection plans so you can find the package that is best for you. Click here for more information!

Want to join the club? Fill out our contact form and someone will be in touch with you shortly!

4 steps to take to improve your indoor air quality

Indoor air quality is the air quality within and around buildings and structures. It is known to affect the health, comfort and well-being of building occupants. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to Sick Building Syndrome, reduced productivity and impaired learning in schools. Many people with allergies stay indoors when outdoor air is full of pollen and spores, however, the air inside your home can be up to FIVE times more polluted than the air outside. Our indoor air quality is important to human health because we spend over 80% of our time indoors. In fact, during the spring, when environmental triggers are at their highest, the effects on everyone’s health can be compounded by poor indoor air quality. People with asthma, allergies or lung disease can be greatly affected by poor indoor air quality and poor indoor air quality can affect the development in children and has been linked to lung disease later in life.

If you are suffering from the health effects of air pollution, your symptoms can include: tiredness, headache or dizziness, coughing and sneezing, wheezing or difficulty breathing, more mucous in the nose or throat, or dry or irritated eyes, nose, throat and skin. You may notice these symptoms after a few minutes or hours and then feel better after leaving the affected area. This may be more noticeable if you have not spent much time in affected areas. For example, you may notice a difference after a vacation.

It’s important to follow-up with your doctor if you’re noticing a pattern or have health concerns, but in the meantime here are four steps you can take as a homeowner to improve the air quality of your home.

1. Clean it Up
The most effective way to reduce your indoor air pollution is to spend some time to remove or reduce the problem at the source.

  • Regularly clean the surfaces of your home
  • Remove mold at the source by yourself (if it’s a small amount) or contacting a contractor if it’s a large amount.
  • Make your home smoke-free
  • Avoid idling your vehicles or gas-powered yard equipment in your garage
  • Avoid the use of heavily scented products in your home
  • Take care when decorating as most products these days contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that release odours and pollutants into the air around them. Choose low-VOCs products whenever possible and ensure there is adequate ventilation during a renovation project.

2. Better Ventilation

Check that your home has adequate air circulation and heat flow. Ensure your bathroom fans, kitchen fans and dryer vents are are all vented to the outside and not the attic or back inside the house.

Tight insulation, too much humidity and other factors can lead to unhealthy air in your home or workplace, causing a number of heath problems. One way to mitigate this is to use a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) to bring in a continuous supply of fresh, filtered air into your home while expelling stale air. An HRV also saves you money by warming or cooling the air coming into your home, depending on the season.

At Ignite we can help you with improving your ventilation by assisting with ductwork modifications and/or installing an HRV to improve the quality of the air inside your home.

3. Filter the Air

Ensure the air circulating through your home is clean by changing your filter on a regular basis. Your filter traps the unwanted dirt and dust particles we unknowingly produce and prevents them from recirculating through your home. Mold spores, pet dander, cooking odors, dust, dust mites and their by-products are all factors that can be captured and reduced with your furnace filter.

Household furnace filters have different ratings based on how dense the filter fabric is. Ratings are called MERV, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The MERV rating is a scale of 1-16, with 1 being the least dense and 16 being the densest. This scale refers to the size of the particles you are trying to trap. A filter rated between MERV 6 and 11 can handle pretty much everything in a typical household and should be just right to maintain your indoor air quality and air circulation. If you have environmental allergies or are immunocompromised you want something with a MERV rating of 11 or higher (barring that your furnace can handle the restricted air flow.)

At Ignite we can supply you with furnace filters that allow for adequate air flow while capturing those unwanted dirt and dust particles circulating in your home. If allergies or other health issues are a concern for you, we can work with you to assess if your furnace can handle a filter with a higher MERV rating and provide any required enhancements to keep your system performing safely and efficiently.

4. Purify the Air

Ensure the air circulating through your home is disinfected from harmful microorganisms by installing a HomeShield Ultraviolet Light Purification system. This is a chemical-free method of purification that is installed into the ductwork of your HVAC system and it sterilizes the air by stopping the spread and growth of harmful viruses, molds, pet dander, bacteria and allergens from passing through your HVAC system into your home. HomeShield can help you breath easy and reduce the effects of season allergies and other heath issues.

At Ignite we can help you to have a home that is free of pollutants, microbes, allergens by installing your HomeShield Ultraviolet Light Purification system.

We love to work with homeowners to ensure their indoor air quality is the the best it can be. If you’ve identified some deficiencies in steps you need to take to improve your indoor air quality, give us a call @ 780.919.4916 to book a free quote and discuss the options available to you.

sources: Health Canada and the Canadian Lung Association

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