Central Air Conditioning Buyers Guide

Now that summer is in full swing in Vancouver, it may be time to start thinking about upgrading the air conditioning system in your home to a central air unit. A properly installed and adequately sized central A/C unit can keep your entire home a cool and comfortable temperature throughout the entire summer. To get the most out of your central A/C unit in terms of overall efficiency, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you buy and install a brand unit.

Size Matters

The first and most important thing to keep in mind when looking to buy a central A/C unit is finding the right sized unit for your living space. In many cases, people tend to install central air conditioning units that are actually inadequate for the size of home they live in. This can quickly lead to a number of costly problems, the first of which is a significant increase in the cost of hydro. A central A/C unit that is too small for your house will be constantly working to replace the warm air in your house with cool air which will also likely lead to expensive maintenance costs that would otherwise not occur with an appropriately sized A/C unit. On the other hand, it is also inadvisable to install a central air unit that is designed for a space bigger that your house’s square footage. A bigger A/C unit can often lead to uncomfortably cool temperatures throughout your home, making it just as impractical as a unit that is too small.

Existing Ducts

Most houses are outfitted with a furnace that features heat ducts installed throughout the house. If your home is already equipped with air ducts, this will likely save you a lot of money on the installation of a new central A/C unit, since the air conditioner will use the same ventilation system as your furnace does during the winter. It should be noted however, that this is not always the case, as some heating duct systems are incompatible with central A/C units. Before choosing an A/C unit to install, it is a good idea to check with your HVAC expert to determine whether or not you need additional air ducts, and what that will cost to install.

Energy Efficient Models

Not too long ago, a central A/C unit was seen by many as a costly appliance due to its high consumption of energy. While this was true about most central A/C units years ago, it is simply not the case any longer, as new, highly efficient models are becoming widely available for houses of different sizes. When searching for a high efficiency unit, you can consult what is known as a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) listed on the energy guide tag attached to the unit. The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit will run, which will save you a lot of money on your hydro bill in the future.
To find out more about the benefits of central air conditioning, and how to find the right unit for your home, feel free to contact us, or check out our website for more info. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates from JJ’s Plumbing.

Summer Plumbing & Heating Tips For Homeowners

The summer is a great time to perform any outstanding maintenance on the plumbing and heating in your home. With the furnace largely inactive, it is a great time to repair any problem spots that can cause cold areas in your house during the winter time. It is also a good idea to fix any pipes that have been causing issues either inside or outside of your house. Here are a few tips to help you get a start on keeping your home’s plumbing and heating running smoothly all year round.

Get an Inspection

A good place to start with your home repairs is to get a professional to perform a complete inspection of your house’s plumbing and heating systems. By doing so, you will be able to pinpoint the particular points in your house that are in need of heating or plumbing repairs. This can also help you save money in the long run, as a thorough inspection will reveal any points in your house that are venting warm air in the winter, causing you to pay more on your heating bill.

Repair or Replace Now

Should you find any specific area of your home that requires attention, it is a good idea to take care of the issue immediately. Plumbing and heating repairs are especially important to the overall well-being of your home, mainly due to the fact that these systems can potentially be drastically affected by the cold winter weather. For example, a crack in your foundation or a pipe leading to or under your house is something to be tended to right away, particularly in a place like Vancouver that has a wet climate. It is also a good idea to replace any faulty equipment, such as a boiler or water heater that is acting up. These pieces of equipment tend to work harder during the winter, which is why it’s important to replace them well before they break down.

Get Winter-Ready

The cold weather has a funny way of sneaking up on you, and can be potentially devastating to your house’s plumbing. It is vital that you ensure all the pipes in your home that will be exposed to the cold, such as the pipes in the attic, are well insulated. You will also want to make sure your heating ducts or the heater itself is in proper working order. There is nothing worse than waking up to a cold house on that first frigid day of the year. By double checking to make sure everything is in working order, you will have nothing to worry about come winter time.

For more tips on how you can take advantage of the warm weather and get your home’s plumbing and heating systems running perfectly, feel free to check out our website or contact us to schedule an inspection. You can also find us on Facebook or Twitter if you would like to receive current updates about the work we’ve done in the Vancouver area.

Springtime Plumbing Services You Should Consider

 

With the warm weather approaching the Maple Ridge and Coquitlam areas, now is a good time to catch up on some maintenance on your home’s plumbing systems. Here are a few tips to help you get ahead of any major problems that might arise. For some of these tips, getting a plumbing contractor to provide expert service now can help you avoid high repair costs in the future.

 

Check Your Drains

Floor drains and any other drains that get used infrequently may require some attention. To avoid any unpleasant odours from occurring in the drain, pour a gallon (4L) of water down the drain to fill the trap. This will also help prevent any sewer gases from getting into your home.

 

Inspect Your Water Heater

The first and most obvious thing to check is the bottom of the tank for any leaks. Even a slow leak can lead to an increase in your water bill. Next, you may want to check the serial number on your water heater to see how old it is. The first four numbers represent the month and year it was manufactured. If it’s over 15 years, consider replacing it. Finally, to increase the lifespan and efficiency of your water heater, flush some water out of the tank to get rid of any sediment that can build up and cause corrosion.

 

Fix Any Running Toilets

Just like a leaking water heater, even a slow running toilet can lead to an increase in your water bill. While in most cases a running toilet can be repaired with replacement parts you find at your local hardware store, if you are unsure of what is causing the leak you may want to contact your local plumber for assistance.

 

Exterior Plumbing Maintenance

You can visually inspect any outdoor pipes or faucets for leaks or erosion that may have been caused by changing temperatures and ice buildup over the winter. With the rain and storms on their way it is also important to make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear and intact. While you’re up checking the gutters, it is also a good idea to make sure your roof vents are clear of debris.

 

Test Your Sump Pump

To make sure your sump pump is draining properly, pour a few buckets of water into it. If your sump pump does not begin to drain the water right away, you should contact a plumbing contractor to inspect and replace a damaged unit.

 

Have Your Pipes Inspected

Most of the tips listed here are things you can do on your own. For peace of mind and to avoid bigger costs down the road however, it is a good idea to have the pipes and plumbing systems in your home checked by a professional plumber once a year.

Following these tips will keep the water in and outside of your home flowing properly, and will prevent any plumbing systems in your home from causing inconvenience in the future. Call JJ’s Plumbing experts before you run into any problems!

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Heat Pumps or Air Conditioning?

Summer is here, and with little to no rain in the forecast we’re all looking at ways to cool down in the heat. While installing a pool or constructing a fortress of fans isn’t really much of an option for the majority of us, finding a reliable and safe air conditioning system for your home is. But which option is best for your house? We’ve broken down the pros and cons of both Heat Pumps and AC Units to make choosing the right one a breeze.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a heating and cooling system that can be ideal for our Vancouver, BC climate. They work by removing heat from inside the home during stifling summer months, and absorbing heat from outside during colder seasons.

Although the initial costs can be higher than an AC unit, heat pumps are reliable and efficient in locations that get mild winters and warm summers. A properly installed heat pump can save you up to 40% on your home’s heating and cooling costs. Rebates for heat pumps are available through Fortis BC, and we recommend contacting them to see if you qualify. We also offer deals as well, check out our Deals page for more info.

For More Information Be Sure to read our Heat Pump Savings Infographic.

AC Units

Unlike heat pumps, AC units can only cool down a home. Air conditioning units were first unit invented in 1902, but they’ve come a long way since then. Today you can find a range of units available, from split systems to window, wall, or portable systems, and many units are energy efficient. An AC unit will cool your room, home, or office with less upfront costs compared to a heat pump. They are also more compact, fitting comfortably into smaller spaces or apartments.

If you aren’t sure which system is best for your home, we’d be happy to help! Call JJ’s Custom Plumbing today, your Coquitlam Plumbing and Heating Experts.