Categories > Air Conditioning

Is it time to replace your furnace?

We recently completed the above furnace replacement for a homeowner. The main benefit for this homeowner is the increased furnace efficiency, from 50% to 96%.  A 50% furnace uses 50% of the fuel coming in to a home as usable heat to heat it and 50%, goes up the flue pipe—wasted. That means for every $1 of gas spent to heat a home, 50¢ is wasted.  If your furnace is between 10-20 years old, your furnace is probably in the 65-80 percent range. Anything older than that means you are probably in a 45-65 percent range.

Are you ready to improve your efficiency by replacing your furnace? Give Ignite a call at 780.919.4916 today to schedule your free quote and have us answer any questions you may have. At Ignite Heating and Air Conditioning, your comfort is our concern!

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. 

Air Conditioner Myths Busted!

We all want to get the most out of our air conditioner, however, there are some myths floating around that aren’t actually true. Here, we will look at some of the most common Air Conditioner myths we hear and let you know if it’s BUSTED! or TRUE!

MYTH: Using an Air Conditioner can give you a cold.

BUSTED! There are those who are against using an air conditioner because they are convinced that by doing so they’ll end up with the summer sniffles. But no, that’s not the case. Viruses cause colds, not temperature. So stay cool this summer and keep those summer colds away by washing your hands regularly and keeping your home clean.

MYTH: If I turn off my air conditioning unit completely while I’m at work, I’ll save a lot of money.

HALF-TRUE! It may seem like a money-saving option, but turning off your HVAC system when you leave the house may create problems that lead to additional expenses. Your air conditioner plays an important role in humidity management, a key component in minimizing indoor air quality issues. Additionally, if temperatures become extreme during your absence, and the unit is off, your air conditioner will need to work that much harder when you arrive home to achieve your desired temperature. 

IGNITE recommends you use a smart thermostat that can let the house warm up, slightly, while you’re gone, then start cooling things down before you get home. This allows your unit to take a break when it doesn’t need to use energy. At Ignite, we recommend using an EcoBee thermostat with your AC to optimize your unit’s efficiency by decreasing the workload put on it at times you don’t need it to be running. When the morning or afternoon sun starts to heat up your home during the summer months, you can adjust your cooling schedule to meet the demand. The key here is to not totally turn the system off, it’s just making slight changes to the temperature for times when you’re away or when the house is naturally cooling down at night.

MYTH: Setting a thermostat or control system to an extreme cold temperature will cool the house faster.

BUSTED! If the indoor temperature is 25°C, setting your thermostat to 15°C will not cool your house any faster than setting it at 21°C. Most HVAC systems’ airflow cools at a set point.  Once the system starts, it will reach the designated temperature sometime thereafter. Temperature settings on a thermostat do not equate to the speed of cooling. When you come home to a hot house, the air conditioner has to work much harder to cool the place down. Turning the thermostat lower won’t make it cool faster, it simply forces the machine to run longer which could cause the system to freeze up.

MYTH: Closing vents to select rooms in your home will save you money.

BUSTED! Your HVAC system should be sized and balanced according to the specific amount of air to be circulated in your home. When you close too many vents, you may throw off the balance of the system or change the way air is distributed resulting in temperatures that make the rest of the house uncomfortable. IGNITE recommends you do not completely close off more than 20% of the registers as doing so can reduce the airflow from your furnace, putting unnecessary strain on your furnace.  

MYTH: I don’t need to do anything to take care of my air conditioner

BUSTED! The outdoor unit and condenser fan move air through the coils, and it doesn’t take much pollen, dust or dried vegetation to clog the unit. Changing your filters and cleaning your unit are some of the most important steps you can take to ensure your system operates efficiently for the year. You can check out our tips for how to take care of your system here.

At IGNITE, we love to work with homeowners to ensure they stay cool and comfortable during the summer months. If you’ve held off on an AC because of some of these myths, lets chat some more! Give us a call @ 780.919.4916 to book a free quote and have all your questions answered by one of our technicians.

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