March 14, 2013
We all know that furnaces and boilers are used for heating our houses. However, many people do not know the difference between these two types of heating devices. Even homeowners can confuse them.
Generally, to heat homes a furnace uses warm air, boiler uses hot water. To heat air a furnace uses the electricity or natural gas. Then warm air is distributed throughout the house.
Boilers heat water or make steam. Water or steam travels through pipes to radiators that are used for heating purposes. Optionally, steam can be used to heat a fan coil unit which then heats circulating air.
Major parts of boiler are tank and water heater. Heater uses electricity or natural gas (also it can be heating oil) to heat the water. Cold water enters to the tank and pushes the already heated water out through another pipe. In a steam system, the boiler turns the water into steam.
Normally, the purpose of a water boiler is to heat a house. Additionally, houses have a water heater to heat water for washing and bathing although there are combination or combi boilers that combine the central heating with hot water in one box. Any boiler, furnace, or heater is a complicated system which consists of many parts, including controls and safety devices.
All heating system products should be repaired and installed by licensed and certified technicians. If you need a help with heating, furnace, or boiler (or have questions), call 604-437-7272. More info about heating…
November 10, 2012
If you have a big house to heat, it means you have a big heating bill. If you live in condo or apartment, the heating cost might be relatively insignificant. Even so, there is always a room to lower your heating bill.
Houses may lose heat due to a weak roof insulation. The easiest way to check is to wait for a first snow. Some roofs will hold the snow and some will melt it. If the roof of your house holds the snow, it is an indication of a well-insulated roof. Otherwise, consider improving – add or upgrade roof insulation. Also, as research shows, heat loss from windows can account up to 25% of your heating winter bill, if you do not have efficient energy saving windows.
It is a good idea to close the doors and vents in unused rooms. However, it is recommended to heat the basement for energy saving. Closing the curtains and blinds on windows, especially, during nights helps to save heat in. Due to a simple law of physics a warmer air escapes up. So that if you have a ceiling fan, it can help to push the hot air down.
If you still do not have a programmable thermostat, buy and install it. It allows you to optimize heating during 24 hours and 7 days a week. No need to heat rooms if nobody stays at home during the day. Besides, it is much healthier to sleep at low temperature. You can set it to follow your regular schedule – to turn off when you are out and turn back on around one hour in advance before you return home.
And the last but not the least of importance. It is a health of your heating system. Get your furnace or boiler and a whole heating system regularly serviced. A well-running, clean heating system is a save and efficient one. If your system is old and inefficient, think about replacing it with a new, energy-efficient model.
August 23, 2012
Most heating systems look simple. Normally, they have only three major components: heat source, distribution system, and thermostat. Nevertheless, the malfunction of any of components can cause the lost of energy efficiency and may eventually lead to a costly repair. The good news is that annual servicing can prolong the life of heating system. As well as, regular maintenance keeps it functioning efficiently and saves the cost in case of replacing the system.
However, cost saving is not only the reason to have the regular servicing. If a furnace or boiler is not well-maintained, it can stop working anytime during a cold weather. It can interrupt a normal pulse of everyday life, cause a discomfort and frustration. And again, it is naturally that in emergency and when most contractors are busy, it could be more expensive to fix.
That is why heating systems should be serviced once a year by a professional heating contractor. The professional contractor has the tools, instruments and training necessary. The contractor is able to professionally inspect the system, complete necessary maintenance, and adjust the system for optimal performance.
The best time to order heating system maintenance is during the warmer months because most technicians have open service schedules during these times that makes it easier to get an appointment. It is important to have the system ready when the cold comes. Heating system maintenance should be part of a home owner’s priorities during the warmer months. Call a heating contractor early before the start of the heating season.
July 30, 2012
Although BC summers of the recent years do not surprise us with a hot weather, residential and commercial air conditioning systems (A/C systems) are often used during our summer hot days. There are many types of air conditioning systems that are installed in homes. Normally, an air conditioning system consists of outdoor and indoor parts.
Outdoor one has a pump driven by electric motor which compresses low pressure refrigerant gas into a high pressure gas. During this process gas reaches high temperature. The outdoor part has a condenser unit to convert gas into its liquid form. The change of state of the refrigerant, from a hot high pressure gas to a liquid also releases heat. The condenser consists of a coil of finned tubing and a electric fan to blow air across the coil to cool the refrigerant gas to a liquid state.
Indoor part has a cooling coil to evaporate from liquid to gas state inside the coil. When the refrigerant change its state, from liquid form back to gas, it becomes cold and, therefore, absorbs heat. The indoor part has a blower unit with a fan to blow building air across the evaporator coil. A duct system distributes conditioned air from the air handler into the occupied space and which also takes air from the occupied space to return it to the cooling system air handler. Additionally, air conditioner has many other smaller but important parts, such as, controls, thermostat, electrical switches, circuit breakers (fuses) and air filters.
Papa Plumbing experts are always ready to answer whatever questions you may have about your current air conditioning system and explain the options if repair or replacement is needed. Give us a call if you have any air conditioning needs, whether you are in Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Surrey, Delta, White Rock (or other cities from Hope to Horseshoe Bay).
February 13, 2010
Dale had a project on his hands a few weeks ago.. here are the pictures of how he fixed up this fish tank.. a behind the scenes look !
A Behind the Scene's Look
February 6, 2010
We are getting a lot of questions about what qualifies under the Home Renovation Tax Credit. Here is what I found out from the Government Website:
Examples of eligible expenses
- Renovating a kitchen, bathroom, or basement
- Windows and doors
- New flooring – carpet, linoleum, hardwood, floating laminate, etc.
- New furnace, woodstove, boiler, fireplace, water softener, water heater, or oil tank
- Permanent home ventilation systems
- Central air conditioner
- Permanent reverse osmosis systems
- Septic systems
- Electrical wiring in the home (e.g., changing from 100 amp to 200 amp service)
- Home security system (monthly fees do not qualify)
- Solar panels and solar panel trackers
- Painting the interior or exterior of a house
- Building an addition, garage, deck, garden/storage shed, or fence
- Re-shingling a roof
- A new driveway or resurfacing a driveway
- Exterior shutters and awnings
- Permanent swimming pools (in ground and above ground)
- Permanent hot tub and installation costs
- Pool liners
- Solar heaters and heat pumps for pools (does not include solar blankets)
- Landscaping: new sod, perennial shrubs and flowers, trees, large rocks, permanent garden lighting, permanent water fountain, permanent ponds, large permanent garden ornaments
- Retaining wall
- Associated costs such as installation, building plans, permits, professional services, equipment rentals, and incidental expenses
- Fixtures – blinds, shades, shutters, lights, ceiling fans, etc.
Window coverings, such as blinds, shutters and shades, that are directly attached to the window frame and whose removal would alter the nature of the dwelling are generally considered to be fixtures (i.e. have become part of the home) and therefore would qualify for the HRTC. In some circumstances, draperies and curtains may qualify for the HRTC, if they would not keep their value or usefulness if installed in another dwelling. If these qualifying criteria are not met, it is likely that draperies and curtains would not qualify for the HRTC.
Examples of ineligible expenses
- Furniture, household appliances, and electronic home-entertainment devices
- Purchasing of tools
- Carpet cleaning
- House cleaning
- Maintenance contracts (e.g., furnace cleaning, snow removal, lawn care, and pool cleaning)
- Financing costs
- Amount paid as part of the purchase of your new house, including “upgrades”
- Expenses to acquire goods that have been previously used or leased by you or an eligible family member (e.g., hot water tank)
- Expenses incurred to the rental and/or business part of an eligible dwelling
Do it yourself
If you do the work yourself, the eligible expenses include expenses for building materials, fixtures, equipment rentals, building plans and permits. However, eligible expenses would not include the value of your labour or tools.
Work performed by electricians, plumbers, carpenters, architects
Generally, work performed by electricians, plumbers, carpenters, architects, etc. in respect of an eligible expense qualifies for the HRTC.
Family member hired for renovations
Expenses are not eligible if the goods or services are provided by a person related to you, unless that person is registered for the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) under the Excise Tax Act. If your family member is registered for the GST/HST and if all other conditions are met, the expenses are eligible for the HRTC.