Archive for May, 2010

Heatwave – How to stay cool.

May 31, 2010

We have received many service calls from people who are hot because their Air Conditioners are not working. Many of these problems are due to dirty filters. Please make sure to clean or change your filters right away to make sure that your air conditioner works at peak performance. Better even is to have us come out and do a maintenance on your system.

Beware of Air Conditioner Installers!!

May 30, 2010

There are many people running around installing air conditioners that are simply not qualified to do so. Before an air conditioner can be installed, an engineering study must be conducted to determine the correct size air conditioner, the furnace airflow and the duct design. Without this information it is a shot in the dark for your comfort. If you want your system to work right, without wasting energy, make sure that your installer does a heat gain study, furnace blower CFM determination and duct system analysis. Without this, you might not be comfortable.

Please see this informative article on the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation website.

Porter Airlines-Service At Its Finest

May 29, 2010

I flew to Sudbury on Porter Airlines for a conference on Wednesday. I must tell you how blown away I was by their service. Check in was easy and I was greeted with a friendly smile everywhere I turned. The lounge is fully equipped with a variety of beverages, security is quick and easy, the planes are beautiful with plush leather seats and there is minimal noise in the cabin. The cabin crew were fantastic and attention is paid to every detail to make my trip a pleasure. Porter Airlines have got it right. See Porters Philosophy Statement.

Corporate Positioning

May 28, 2010

Today at the Climatecare conference, we had a great presentation from Lyn Longwell of Brickworks Communications about corporate positioning. She introduced us to the concept of disruption. This process involves identifying the norm or the conventional and blasting it apart with a radical innovative idea that becomes your corporate vision. Take Apple Inc for example. When they started, computers were beige boxes with numbers. They disrupted the norm with a new vision. Creative Tools for Creative Minds. This lead to the development of the stylish graphic based iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Business Development – Harnessing Group Power

May 27, 2010

This week, we are implementing a new system to encourage employees to feel part of the team and harness the imagination of our entire team. We are creating a white board with 3 columns. The first column will have a list of all employee suggestions of how to improve the performance of the company. The second column will have the suggestions that are currently in the process of being implemented. The third column will list the suggestions that we have successfully implemented. This tracking system has many advantages. Firstly, it motivates our entire team to move on the suggestions to make sure that they all get implemented. Secondly, it creates an atmosphere of progress and motivation. Thirdly, it generates a feeling of pride and satisfaction throughout the whole team as we see our accomplishments. And most important, it allows us to harness the brainpower of every member of our team. Why not try this in your business?

Heat Wave in Southern Ontario

May 27, 2010

Today, Teri Pecoskie reported in The Toronto Star, that we are breaking heat records in Southern Ontario. What is unique about this heat is that it is dry heat rather than the smoggy humid heat that we usually get. I am now at a conference in Sudbury and the weather is well over 30 deg.

This is an excerpt of the article.

The heat wave arrived without the heft and humidity that are usually generated when the city warms up, says Environment Canada climatologist David Phillips, because the hot air that’s flowing north this time comes from dry, southern states like Arizona.

Typically, Phillips said, it would be rolling up from the depths of the Ohio Valley, bringing with it the dampness that we tend to associate with the dog days of summer — and that traps smog over the city.

According to Environment Canada, the mercury had risen to 31 C by 2 p.m. today, breaking the current record of 30.6 C set on this day in 1944 and later matched in 1965.

“It’s kind of fair in a way because the last two summers have been bummers,” Phillips said. “This one is going to be a hummer.”

What’s even more unusual than the city’s smog-free heat wave is that areas to the north are all experiencing higher temperatures than we are.

On Tuesday, the temperature in Timmins was a balmy 35 C.

We have waited years for a great hot and sunny summer like this. Let’s enjoy this beautiful weather. I hope you all have a great and enjoyable summer!

Climate Fears Turn to Doubts Among Britons

May 26, 2010

A recent article in the New York Times by Elisabeth Rosenthal claims that people all over the world are starting to doubt that climate change or global warming is real and if it is caused by human action. 

She reports,

“A survey in February by the BBC found that only 26 percent of Britons believed that “climate change is happening and is now established as largely manmade,” down from 41 percent in November 2009. A poll conducted for the German magazine Der Spiegel found that 42 percent of Germans feared global warming, down from 62 percent four years earlier.”

We’ve all heard about the accusations of fudged data and politically and financially motivated “experts” who claim that the dangers are real. This is starting to develop into a global shift of opinion. People are also starting to realize how life can become unaffordable if energy costs go up due to the policies of governments to fight climate change. And the fact is, it doesn’t matter what science says, government policies are influenced by politics and public opinion, not science. I wonder if the governments will start to ease up on the global warming agenda as they see support for it from the general public is evaporating. Being a global warming believer might be losing its progressive and chic image.

Ontario Electricity Market – Very Scary Future

May 26, 2010

Abbas Chagani, Cynthia Wang and Yvan Masse wrote a great article on their Blog about the future of our energy costs in Ontario. They explain in a clear and detailed manner why energy costs are on the rise and how our Provincial Government made this happen even while electricity in general is going down. Please see their article as it is a real eye opener. For most homeowners who are struggling to get by, these increases will be quite painful. The only way to save ourselves from this is to upgrade our appliances to high-efficiency. The greatest consumers of energy in our homes are our heating and air conditioning systems. Right now, the province is still offering rebates to help consumers upgrade their heating and air conditioning equipment. If homeowners don’t act soon, they might find themselves choosing between heating their homes and feeding their families in the not to distant future. This energy poverty problem is already rampant in London and Germany.

Tyler Hamilton’s Article on Natural Gas in The Toronto Star

May 25, 2010

Tyler Hamilton wrote an interesting article in The Toronto Star yesterday about the future of natural gas. He claims that the future of natural gas as a main staple of energy is on the decline. I wonder if this is true. Please see his article by clicking here. Natural gas is relatively clean, efficient and affordable. Although geothermal is the least expensive option for home heating in the long run, upfront costs will continue to make geothermal unattainable for the vast majority of citizens who are struggling to survive financially. With our provincial government piling upon us tax after tax (HST) and drastically raising the cost of electricity, the financial viability is further being compromised. Remember, geothermal relies totally on electricity. When our electricity rates reach 25 cents/kwh (and they will very soon due to the FIT Tariff imposed by the province), it will be very difficult to justify geothermal heat because it will not offer much savings. Natural gas will always be a fuel of choice for the average homeowner. Please see Tyler’s article at The Toronto Star website or on this site by clicking on his article in the pages section to the right of this blog.

Geothermal – Forced Air – Does your contractor know his stuff?

May 24, 2010

Another major problem I often run into, especially in the retrofit market is ductwork that is not compatible with the newly installed geothermal system. Geothermal systems requires ductwork that is much larger than the duct that was previously serving the furnace and air conditioner that has been replaced. Most geothermal contractors have little or no understanding of how to design a duct system. If a duct system is inadequate to support the new geothermal heat pump, you will get excessive noise and popping sounds in your duct system. Even worse, your system will lose much of its efficiency. Does your geothermal contractor know how to read the complex performance charts in the engineering guide of the geothermal unit? Does he/she know that the performance of your system is greatly affected by the airflow capacity of your duct system? Does your contractor know how to size and design your duct system to ensure the proper CFM? (CFM = cubic feet of air per minute) Does your contractor know that the code requires 10′ of acoustically lined duct on either side of the unit and flexible duct connectors to reduce the noise and vibration transmitted through your duct system all over your home?

If your contractor cannot explain all these details to you confidently, you are probably headed for disaster? If you have any questions about any of my posts, please contact me any time. All my contact information is available on my Homestars page so please check it out.

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