Archive for October, 2010

Steve at the Zoomer Show Oct 30th

October 31, 2010

Hi All!

What a great day yesterday at the Zoomer show.  Coleman invited me to man their booth yesterday afternoon.   I met a lot of old friends and former work associates(from my Consumer’s Gas days)  as well as made a bunch on new friends.  I especially enjoyed meeting Chris who was working across from the Coleman booth at the “Seniors 4 Seniors”  booth.  He had a great smile that was very contagious!

The show is on again today down at the D.E centre on the exhibition grounds.

 

Help! I need a new furnace! Who should I call?

October 28, 2010

In March, I started discussing how to choose the best furnace installer. Unfortunately, I got sidetracked with so many other interesting topics that I was unable to expand on the this topic. Now I will tackle this issue. Since there are so many things to discuss regarding the replacement of your furnace or air conditioner, I created a new category in my blog called Buying a Furnace. Please visit this category to see all my comments on this topic.

Boilers Part 3 – Restrictions on Atmospheric Boilers

October 28, 2010

Due to the dangerous nature of Atmospheric boilers, the TSSA put several restrictions on the installation of such boilers. These restrictions are intended to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from these boilers.

1. These boilers may only be located in a room that is completely sealed from the rest of the home.

2. These boiler rooms must have gasketed doors with automatic door closers to prevent any fumes from the boiler from getting into the living space.

3. These boilers may not be installed in a room that has a door directly into a bedroom or bathroom.

4. A dedicated and properly sized fresh air duct must be installed directly from the outdoors to the boiler room.

5. There must be CO detectors installed in or adjacent to every sleeping area in the home.

I don’t know about you, but these restrictions give me the creeps so I would never install a dangerous boiler like that in my home.

Please see a copy of the TSSA public safety order below.

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Carbon Monoxide – (CO)- The Silent Killer

October 27, 2010

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless and toxic gas and is often referred to as the “silent killer”. When inhaled it inhibits the blood’s capacity to transport oxygen throughout the body. It can poison the body quickly in high concentrations, or slowly over long periods of time.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, burning eyes, confusion, drowsiness or loss of consciousness. In severe cases, CO poisoning can cause brain damage and death. The elderly, children and people with heart or respiratory conditions may be particularly sensitive to CO.

How is carbon monoxide generated in the home?

Carbon monoxide is a by-product of incomplete combustion of fuels such as natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal, gasoline or wood. This incomplete combustion can occur in any device that depends on burning for energy or heat, such as furnaces, room heaters, fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves or grills and any gas-powered vehicle or engine. Automobiles left running in attached garages, gas barbecues operated inside the house, grills or kerosene heaters that are not properly vented, or chimneys or vents that are dirty or plugged may create unsafe levels of CO.

When properly installed, maintained and vented, any CO produced by these devices will not stay inside the home.

What are some danger signs?


You or other members of your family have symptoms of CO exposure (see above).
You notice a sharp, penetrating odour or smell of gas when your furnace or other fuel-burning equipment turns on.
The air is stale or stuffy.
The pilot light of your furnace or other fuel-burning equipment goes out.
Chalky white powder forms on the chimney/exhaust vent pipe or soot build-up occurs around the exhaust vent.

How can unsafe levels of carbon monoxide be detected?

Carbon monoxide alarms monitor airborne concentration levels (parts per million) of carbon monoxide and sound an audible alarm when harmful CO levels are present.

Be sure that your alarm has been certified to the Canadian Standards Association CAN/CGA 6.19 standard or the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 2034 standard.

If you suspect carbon monoxide in your home…

If you or anyone in your home is experiencing the symptoms of CO poisoning, ensure that everyone leaves the home immediately, leaving the door open. Call your local fire department or 911 from a neighbour’s telephone. If your CO alarm sounds, do NOT assume it to be a false alarm. Open all doors and windows to ventilate the home. If you cannot find the problem and the alarm continues, contact the fire department. If there is a strong smell of natural gas in your home, evacuate immediately, leaving the door open, and contact your local gas utility.

If no symptoms are experienced, reset the alarm and check to see if it activates. If the alarm sounds a second time, call the local fire department for their assistance.

If the alarm does not sound a second time, check for common conditions that may have caused a CO build-up (see the accompanying illustration) or contact a qualified heating contractor to check your fuel-burning equipment.

Where should a CO alarm be located in the home?

Proper placement of a CO alarm is important. In general, the human body is most vulnerable to the effects of CO during sleeping hours, so an alarm should be located in or as near as possible to the sleeping area of the home.

If only one alarm is being installed, it should be located near the sleeping area, where it can wake you if you are asleep.

Where sleeping areas are located in separate parts of the home, an alarm should be provided for each area.

Additional CO alarms should be placed on each level of a residence and in other rooms where combustion devices are located (such as in a room that contains a solid fuel-fired appliance, gas clothes dryer or natural gas furnace), or adjacent to potential sources of CO (such as in a teenager’s room or granny suite located adjacent to an attached garage).

Unlike smoke, which rises to the ceiling, CO mixes with air. Recognizing this, a CO alarm should be located at knee-height (which is about the same as prone sleeping height). Due to the possibility of tampering or damage by pets, children, vacuum cleaners and the like, it may be located up to chest height. To work properly, a CO alarm should not be blocked by furniture, draperies or other obstructions to normal air flow.

If a combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarm is used, it should be located on the ceiling, to ensure that it will detect smoke effectively.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for additional information regarding proper installation, use and maintenance.

To keep safe, please remember:

You have a responsibility to know about the dangers of carbon monoxide. Your knowledge and actions may save lives.
CO alarms are a good second line of defence, but do not eliminate the need for regular inspection, maintenance and safe use of fuel-burning equipment.
Take the time to learn about the use of CO alarms in your home to ensure you are using this equipment properly and effectively.

Please review the advisory below from the TSSA.

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Boilers-Part 2 – HELP!! I Need a New Boiler! I am so confused about what to buy!

October 26, 2010

Hi again,
In Part 1, I outlined the different types of boilers available in the marketplace today. To review, there are 3 types.
1. Conventional atmospheric boilers with draft hoods. 60-80% Efficient
2. Power vented boilers 80-85% efficient.
3. Condensing boilers. 90-98% efficient.
Today I want to talk about Conventional atmospheric boilers.
Anyone with a boiler 10 years or older probably has this type of boiler. It looks like the boiler in the picture below.

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This boiler has been the workhorse of the industry for many years. They are reliable, simple and relatively trouble-free. However, there are several problems with this style boiler.
1. They have been found to produce carbon monoxide, the silent killer, when they are not meticulously maintained.
2. For this reason, the TSSA mandated several conditions for the use of any existing boiler.
3. These boilers must be thoroughly tested and checked for CO each heating season. Please see the TSSA advisory below mandating the yearly testing.

In my next blog entry, I will tell you about the dangers of carbon monoxide.

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My Latest Ad Thornhill Liberal – October 21, 2010

October 25, 2010

At ClimateCare, we are your personal climate experts on all things air. This includes heating, air conditioning, indoor air quality and even Radon Testing.
What do think of this ad?

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Direct Energy Enbridge Says I Need a New Liner for my water tank?

October 25, 2010

I always get asked if the chimney liner needs to be replaced when the furnace is changed to a high-efficiency. Direct Energy tells their rental water heater customers that since the liner was intended to service a furnace and water heater, once the furnace is changed to high-efficiency, and does not vent through the chimney liner anymore, the liner is too big and must be replaced with a smaller one.

This is simply NOT TRUE. In fact it is a LIE!!

I will address this question from a safety perspective and a code requirement perspective.

Safety – This slightly oversized liner is perfectly safe. As a matter of fact, every summer, when your furnace had not been operating, have you ever experienced a problem? Surely not! Your liner is clearly venting your water heater very safely and nicely.

Code – The vent sizing charts in the gas code only specify the maximum capacity of a liner. There is no minimum capacity. The code does recommend using the smallest possible liner as a best practice. However, if an existing liner that is 6″ diameter or less has a furnace or heating boiler removed from it, the liner can be used exclusively for the water heater once the technician verifies that the water heater is venting properly. The TSSA, which is the governing body of fuel safety in Ontario, put out a specific advisory approving the reusing of an existing liner under these conditions. Please see the advisory below. Don’t let Direct Energy con you into buying a new liner. You are wasting your money.

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Warning!! Power Failure

October 24, 2010

On October 8, 2010, Terence Corcoran wrote a compelling article in the Financial Post about where our electricity rates are headed.

He reports “The government’s regulator, the Ontario Energy Board, has prepared secret forecasts of how much Ontario consumers are going to have to pay for electricity over the next five years. The government won’t allow the report to be released. The next best estimate comes from Aegency Energy Advisors Inc., in a study it did for the Canadian Manufactures and Exporters group. Residential rates are expected to jump by 60% between 2010 and 2015. Industrial customers will be looking at a 55% increase.”

These huge increases, he says, are directly due to the Feed In Tariff that George Smitherman so proudly developed and announced in October of 2009 when he was energy minister of the Provincial rates.

See the announcement of the Feed In Tariff in the video below.

Are you happy with the direction of our rates? Will you be able to afford your current lifestyle if your energy rates are 2-3 times what you are paying now?

Energy Poverty is a term coined in the UK. Middle class people are unable to afford to heat and light their homes due to the skyrocketing costs? We in Ontario seem to be headed down that road.

Please see the entire article by clicking here.

Watch this video to get an understanding of the Green Energy Act and Tariff program.

My Latest Ad in The Thornhill Liberal – October 14

October 24, 2010

Please tell me what you think of it. We are your friendly neighbourhood contractors who care about you as our friends and neighbours?

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SUB ZERO – YAFIT – Protect Your Investment

October 3, 2010

Do you own a Sub Zero refrigerator and/or freezer? I’m sure you know that they are the best on the market and are very expensive. With proper maintenance, these will last 20 years. All you have to do is keep the condenser coil clean. This must be cleaned at least twice a year.

Here is a video on how to clean your coil safely. Enjoy!