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Homeowner FAQ

My heating isn’t working. What can I do to troubleshoot?

  1. Check that your thermostat is set on “Heat.”
  2. Check that your furnace is On.  In most cases the On/Off switch is located on the wall near the ceiling in the furnace room.
  3. Check that your electrical breaker is On and has not been flipped.
  4. Check that your furnace filter is clean. If it is dirty, try replacing it with a clean filter, and restart the furnace to see if that resolves the problem. If your furnace has shut off due to a dirty filter, you likely are due for a furnace maintenance.
  5. Check outdoor venting to make sure no openings are blocked with snow, insect nests, or blown debris.

If your system is under warranty, and you are still having problems please call our office to schedule a service visit.

My air conditioning isn't working. What can I do to troubleshoot?

  1. Check that your thermostat is set on “Cool.”
  2. Check that your furnace is On.  In most cases the On/Off switch is located on the wall near the ceiling in the furnace room.
  3. Check that your electrical breaker is On for both the air conditioner system and the furnace system.
  4. Check that your furnace filter is clean. If it is dirty, try replacing it with a clean filter, and restart the furnace to see if that resolves the problem. Due to the difference in how cool air versus warm air travels, it may be necessary to switch from a thicker filter (5 inch) to a thin one (1 inch) during the cooling season.
  5. If you use a cover on your air conditioner (outdoor condenser), make sure it has been removed.
  6. Ensure there is free air space for at least a foot in all directions around the air conditioner (outdoor condenser).If your system is under warranty, and you are still having problems please call our office to schedule a service visit.

Can I change my thermostat to show Fahrenheit instead of Celsius?

All electronic or digital display thermostats will have this option. With your thermostat, you will have received an installation manual along with an operations manual. There is a step by step explanation in the installation manual to change from one to the other. If you are uncertain of the thermostat model you have and need assistance please contact us.

Why do I have an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) in my house?

Modern homes are constructed to be far more airtight than homes in the past. While this saves on heating and cooling costs, it means that without a supply of fresh air into the home, carbon dioxide, odours, dust, airborne pollutants and excess humidity will be kept indoors. This could potentially cause or aggravate problems to homeowners’ health and comfort, and encouraging mold growth.  This is why an HRV or ERV is so vital to creating a balanced and healthy home ventilation system. An HRV or ERV helps ventilate these problem materials from the air, keeping your family healthy. See what HRVs and ERVs we offer.

What is the difference between a HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) & an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator)?

For quite some time, the rule of thumb was that a HRV was ideal for colder climates where home heating is essential. The HRV keeps the home supplied with a steady flow of fresh outdoor air. As stale, warm air is expelled, the heat recovery core warms the incoming fresh air before it is distributed throughout the home. The result is a constant supply of fresh air and greater home comfort. In addition to heat recovery and improved air quality, the HRV provides necessary ventilation while controlling excess humidity. The ERV is becoming more popular because it provides year-round ventilation. Like a HRV, an ERV recovers the heat in the cold season and recuperates the energy trapped in moisture, which greatly improves the overall recovery efficiency. In the hot summer months, the ERV limits the amount of moisture coming into your home and in the cold winter months it will limit the amount of moisture that is expelled from your home. Having either an ERV or HRV improves air quality and is quickly becoming an industry standard and requirement in new home construction.  See what HRVs and ERVs we offer. 

What types of furnace air filters are available?

There are many different options when it comes to choosing furnace filters, and systems, that will improve the air quality throughout your home. Most air filters carry a MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value). The higher the rating number, the better the air filter. Hy-Mark offers filters with ratings of 11 and 16. Whole house air quality systems such as Hepa air cleaners and PureAir filtration systems are also available. View our air purification product selection.

How often should I have an air conditioner maintenance?

Manufacturers recommend getting a maintenance annually to maintain efficiencies and best operation of your air conditioner. One of the keys to having the system running effectively is making sure the evaporator coil is cleaned regularly. The evaporator coil/”A” coil is located in the section of ductwork that sits directly on top of the furnace. After time, the A-coil can plug up from dust and debris that makes its way through the furnace filtration system. A plugged coil can cause your air conditioning system to freeze up, and it also restricts proper air flow throughout your entire duct system. An evaporator coil can only be cleaned by a qualified service technician. The air conditioner ventilates through the furnace, so it is still extremely important that the furnace filter be cleaned or changed throughout the cooling season. Due to the difference in how cool air versus hot air travels, it may be necessary to switch from a thicker filter to a thin one during the cooling season.

How often should I have a furnace maintenance?

Manufacturers recommend getting a maintenance annually to maintain efficiencies and best operation of your furnace. It is extremely important that the furnace filter be cleaned or changed throughout the cooling season.

What causes condensation on my windows, and what can I do to prevent it?

A newly constructed home contains a lot of moisture within its building materials such as: concrete, lumber, drywall, flooring, and more. A new home can take 12 to 18 months to “dry out” inside completely.  Homes are also built much more tightly these days, causing them to hold in moisture. A Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) or Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) system will remove humidity and moisture from a home, preventing mold and air quality problems.

Another common cause for indoor humidity is that the outside temperature changed a large amount in a short amount of time. This requires a realignment of humidity within the house to outside conditions.

During the cold winter months, make sure your HRV/ERV is set to run intermittently (it should not be running constantly). Do not run your HRV/ERV in the summer, as it will ventilate out your air conditioned, low humidity air and make your air conditioner work harder.

You will also want to adjust your humidistat (if you have one) to around 15-25% humidity in winter. In summer you can raise it to around 40%.

How often should I replace the air filter in my furnace?

An inexpensive 1 inch disposable filter should be changed every 2-4 months throughout the year for the average household.

In a home with many occupants and pets, or where there is a lot of construction in the area, it is recommended that the filter is changed close to every 2 months.  In homes where these things are not present, it may be changed every 4 months. If you would like to change your air filter less frequently and desire better air filtration, Hy-Mark sells filters that can last up to 1 year. 

How do I change my furnace filter?

First: For safety reasons turn OFF your furnace before opening the filter cabinet. Ninety-nine percent of the time the air filter cabinet is on the left or right side of the furnace in a vertical position. To gain access, remove front panel from the cabinet, which will be between 1 inch and 5 inches wide.  This small front panel will not be screwed in; it will likely have some tabs to grip to pull it out.

To see if your filter is dirty, hold it up to the light and see if how much shines through. It is a good idea to always have a replacement filter on hand so you can compare the two.  If the filter looks dirty and is at or near the prescribed length of time it is supposed to last, it is time to change it (see How often should I change the air filter in my furnace?)

Why are some rooms colder than others?

Room temperature is largely dependent upon air flow. In the heating season, rooms that have restricted air flow are often cooler than other rooms. In order to achieve a consistent temperature throughout your home, air flow must be restricted to all the warmest rooms at the register, thereby increasing air to the coolest rooms. Of course this would work in reverse for the cooling season. This is referred to as “balancing a ventilation system”.

Our licensed HVAC technicians have specialized meters to measure air flow and temperature from different places in ventilation systems.  If your system is covered under warranty and you are still having problems, contact us to schedule an air balance of your home’s ventilation system.

I’m renovating my basement. Do I need to do anything with my duct work system?

Modifications to the heating system need to be done to ensure that you have adequate heat supply runs, and return air in the finished area before you drywall. Contact us to get a free quote on alterations to your duct work.

What is the best temperature to keep my thermostat at?

In the fall, winter, and early spring heating season, it really is a personal preference as to how warm you like your home. The most common range is between 19 and 22 Celsius. The summer cooling season is a lot different than the winter. The big difference is humidity. While your home requires extra moisture in the dry winter months, in the summer the goal is to cool by removing the excess humidity in the air. In moderate warm summer temperatures, thermostat settings between 21 and 24 are common. In extreme hot, humid conditions, 25 – 27 are more common. At 33 degrees Celsius outside, your air conditioner will work very hard just to maintain whatever setting you may have it at. Using the programming, temperature set-back features of your thermostat have proven to save on energy bills over the course of both heating and cooling seasons.

How do I find the model/serial numbers and start-up dates for my furnace and air conditioner?

The model/serial information on a furnace is located on the inside of the front panel. If there are two panels, it will be behind the lower one. You may require a screw driver to remove the panel.

The model/serial information on an air conditioner condenser (outdoor unit) is found on the back side of the unit. There is no panel that needs to be removed. The secondary part of the air conditioning system is the coil, but this will likely be sealed into your ductwork and inaccessible.

To find out the start-up date of your heating/cooling equipment, check the gas tag on your gas line near the furnace.  If no closing date is known, we will use this date to determine the beginning of your warranty period.

My air conditioner seems to run for a long time and won’t shut off, is there a problem with it?

Air conditioning systems are designed for our Canadian climate. You can imagine how different it may be if you lived in a tropical area. The system is sized to both cool your home and remove humidity at the same time in moderate warm summer conditions. When we have consistent 30 degree Celsius or higher days in a row, our air conditioners work very hard to keep up. Here are some air conditioning tips for your home:

  1. Keep blinds, window coverings closed during the day.
  2. Basements are always cool, so close the registers downstairs in the summer season.
  3. Make sure your furnace filter is clean.
  4. Have the furnace fan set to on for constant air circulation throughout your home.
  5. Avoid having exterior doors open and close often.
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