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Central Air Conditioner Maintenance

For best efficiency and delivery of cool air to your entire home it is essential to always have a clean furnace filter. During air conditioning season the filter should be inspected and cleaned/replaced every month.

 

Newer high efficiency air conditioners are sealed systems with self-lubricating components so no maintenance or service is required for functional systems.

Older standard efficiency systems (15 years +) are very inefficient systems that leak o-zone depleting refrigerant into the atmosphere. These systems should be replaced instead of “bandaged” to ensure cost efficient, safe and environmentally sound operation.

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  • 25/01/2022 0 Comments
    Air Conditioning and Covid-19: Slowing the Spread

    A generation of research and experience has proven that when properly maintained
    and operated, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems (HVAC) can reduce
    the spread of viruses. These critical building systems not only provide thermal
    comfort but, according to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), may also improve resistance to infection.

    The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has recently addressed the issue of COVID-19 transmission in the “built environment” (BE), defined as the buildings, automobiles and other indoor settings in which most humans spend more than 90 percent of their daily lives.

    There are several major transmission vectors that promote infection in these built
    environments, the report says, including occupant density, the amount of social activity and interaction, and human
    contact with abiotic surfaces. The cruise ship industry, nursing homes and prisons have taught us about the risk of
    transmission from settings where these vectors intersect. However, we also have learned that proper hand-washing
    and social distancing work to reduce transmission.

    Alongside these primary mitigants, HVAC systems work in a built environment to supply comfortable, clean,
    recaptured air, mix in healthy levels of fresh air, and contain or exhaust contaminants. Air delivery systems can reduce the transmission of viruses through inline filtration, something HVAC professionals are capable of assessing.
    Air-conditioning systems are also critical in maintaining healthy humidity levels. “Maintaining a RH (relative
    humidity) between 40% and 60% indoors may help to limit the spread and survival of SARS-CoV-2 within the BE,”
    the ASM suggests, “while minimizing the risk of mold growth and maintaining hydrated and intact mucosal barriers
    of human occupants.”

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) echoes these findings, saying that employers can decrease the spread of
    COVID-19 by maintaining a healthy work environment. “Consider improving and engineering controls using the building ventilation system,” the CDC suggests, including increased ventilation rates and increased percentage of outdoor air circulating through the system.

    Well before COVID-19, the Healthy Building Movement had begun to measure and improve air quality in the built
    environment to improve productivity and health. Of the nine foundations for a healthy building, five relate to HVAC,
    including air quality, ventilation, thermal health, moisture, dust and pests. “There’s just no reason anymore to
    economize on airflow and filtration,” Harvard Business School’s John Macomber says. “It’s a cheap way to help people be healthier.”

    A Restaurant Story
    Modern, professionally maintained air conditioning can play a positive role in the
    control of COVID-19 by ensuring a healthy built environment during and after
    the pandemic. But news reports about an incident in a restaurant in China have
    attributed the spread of the virus to the restaurant’s air-conditioning system.
    Technically, none of this reporting was incorrect, but a careful look at the
    underlying details reveals a very different story.
    By February 10, 2020, 10 people from three families who had eaten at the same air-conditioned restaurant in
    Guangzhou were infected with COVID-19. Researchers at the Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention
    believe that the virus was transmitted from an asymptomatic 63-year-old woman in one family to at least one
    member of each of two nearby families seated at neighboring tables about 1 meter apart. Because immunologists
    are confident that COVID-19 can be transmitted via large infected droplets caused by talking, sneezing or coughing,
    the researchers believe that this diner’s infected droplets — normally heavy enough to fall to the floor before
    reaching a table 1 meter away — were boosted by airflow from the restaurant’s air conditioning.

    Seventy-three other restaurant customers were identified as having close contact with members of those three
    families, but none developed COVID-19 symptoms. Neither did the eight restaurant workers serving those guests.
    Six smear samples from the air conditioner’s air outlet and air inlet also tested negative for the virus.
    In other words, the restaurant’s air-conditioning system was virus-free and operating as intended. “The key
    factor was the direction of the airflow,” researchers surmised.

    Proper airflow management is essential. Without knowing all the details in this case, it is likely that improper air
    distribution, combined with a lack of social distancing, may have contributed to the transmission in this restaurant.
    It is important to manage airflow and airflow velocity in an occupied space. Research and ASHRAE guidelines
    point to an upper limit of air velocity in an occupied space of 40 fpm. To achieve this condition, the air needs to be
    properly blown by the HVAC system into the room, and properly distributed in the occupied space. It is unclear if the
    restaurant in this case met these criteria, but, based on the researchers’ conclusions, it appears unlikely.
    “To prevent spread of COVID-19 in restaurants,” the report concludes, “we recommend strengthening temperature monitoring surveillance, increasing the distance between tables, and improving ventilation.”
    Nowhere in the report is there any suggestion of turning off the air conditioning as a mitigating action.

    HVAC Best Practices
    As previously mentioned, HVAC systems and the built environment can play an
    important role in preventing the spread of viruses. To ensure the proper indoor air
    purity, a good HVAC system should include some or all of the following:
    1. (Demand Controlled) Ventilation: When outside air is not provided via separate devices, the HVAC system should
    provide outside air based on the size/use of the space. Where possible, the HVAC system should include a sensor for
    carbon dioxide or other pollutants to calculate and correct in real time the amount of ventilation needed. It is important to be aware that the increase of the ventilation rate may cause an increase of load, and the HVAC unit, if not properly sized, may not be able to provide sufficient cooling capacity. In such situations, it may be appropriate to consider Direct Outdoor Air Supply (DOAS) units, which are specifically designed for large amounts of outside air.

    2. Filtration: Filters are rated on their ability to capture and retain particles of different sizes. The industry standard
    is a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. Filters with MERV>13 have a significant ability to capture
    particulate matter (PM) and smaller particles. HEPA filters are even more efficient and are able to capture bacteria and viruses. Note that there are important tradeoffs to consider: the higher the filtration requirements, the greater the air pressure drop and the size of the filter. For this reason, the air management system of the HVAC needs to be carefully sized based on the filtration requirements.

    3. Other Indoor Air Quality Devices: Numerous technologies are available to reduce the presence of contaminants.
    Ultraviolet lights, ultraviolet photocatalytic oxidation, ionization, plasma, electrostatic active, active carbon and other components can be installed to specifically target volatile organic compounds (VOC), bacteria and viruses. Some of these options can be available as integral parts of the HVAC system.

    Air Distribution:
    1. The airflow rate, air velocity and direction of the air discharged by the air-conditioning unit need to be carefully
    controlled. The goal is to have uniform distribution of temperature in the room and to avoid air velocities above 40
    fpm in the occupied space, thus avoiding draft and risk of carrying particles from one part of the room to the other.

    2. The total amount of airflow needs to be properly calibrated to the cooling capacity of the unit (a best practice
    in North America of 200-400 cfm/ton is often quoted). In addition, the cooling capacity of the unit should not be
    oversized or undersized compared with the cooling load of the space.

    3. The location of the air outlet, the orientation of the air and the intensity of the air velocity at the discharge tend to
    determine the airflow in the room and need to be optimized. The more the air is blown directly to an occupied area,
    the more we will have a “spot cooling” effect and the worse the air distribution will be. On the other hand, an ideal
    distribution is achieved by: (1) locating the air outlet in a position that ensures good airflow, but does not directly
    blow air into the occupied space; (2) ensuring that air has the possibility to travel and expand before reaching the
    occupied space.

    Air Conditioning Facts
    Air conditioning is defined as the process of controlling temperature, humidity,
    purity and motion of air in an enclosed space. The main goal is to provide
    comfort to the occupants or needed precision temperature and humidity
    control.
    In addition to comfort, good air conditioning improves health by reducing discomfort and thermal stress
    and associated susceptibility to viruses.8
    It is also proven that proper air conditioning in buildings increases productivity in schools and offices.9
    In general, the primary parameters of indoor comfort/health are:
    Temperature: It is the primary element of comfort. The ideal temperature (typically set using a thermostat)
    varies depending on numerous conditions (season, location, clothes, etc.). ASHRAE and CDC recommend10 a
    range of 68.5-75 F in the winter, 75-80.5 F in the summer.
    Humidity: Excessively high or low humidity leads to discomfort. A target range of 40%-60% relative humidity is
    normally used for comfort. ASHRAE recommends relative humidity below 60%.
    Air Purity: In general, the presence of particulate, gases (carbon dioxide (CO2), radon, volatile organic
    compounds), as well as viruses and bacteria cause poor air quality, with negative consequences for the
    occupants. Air conditioning helps improve air quality with various techniques, of which the most widely used are
    outdoor ventilation and filtration. ASHRAE prescribes specific ventilation rates depending on the application.11 For
    instance, a conference room should see an outdoor ventilation rate of 15 cfm/person.

    Air Velocity/Air Distribution: It is important that no sensation of draft (unwanted local cooling of the body
    caused by air movement) is caused by the air conditioning or other elements of air movement in the occupied
    space. Research and ASHRAE guidelines point to an upper limit of air velocity in the occupied space of 40 fpm.12
    To achieve this condition, the air needs to be properly blown by the HVAC system into the room, and properly
    distributed in the occupied space.

    References
    1 “Pandemic COVID-19 and Airborne Transmission,” ASHRAE Environmental Health Committee, approved April 17, 2020, Web April 23, 2020, https://
    www.ashrae.org/file%20library/technical%20resources/covid-19/eiband-airbornetransmission.pdf.
    2 Leslie Dietz et al., “2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Built Environment Considerations To Reduce Transmission,” mSystems, Volume
    5, Issue 2, March/April 2020, April 23, 2020, https://msystems.asm.org/content/5/2/e00245-20.
    3 Leslie Dietz et al., “2019 Novel Coronavirus.”
    4 “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” Centers for Disease Control and
    Prevention, March 21, 2020, Web April 23, 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html.
    5 Kristen Senz, “Why COVID-19 Raises the Stakes for Healthy Buildings,” Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, April 20, 2020, Web April 23,
    2020, https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/why-covid-19-raises-the-stakes-for-building-health.
    6 Jianyun Lu et al., “COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with Air Conditioning in Restaurant, Guangzhou, China, 2020,” April 2, 2020, Web April 23, 2020,
    https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/7/20-0764_article.
    7 Jianyun Lu et al., “COVID-19.”
    8 ASHRAE Statement April 20, 2020: https://www.ashrae.org/about/news/2020/ashrae-issues-statements-on-relationship-between-covid-19-andhvac-in-buildings.
    9 Joseph G. Allen and John D. Macomber, “Healthy Buildings – New Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity,” 2020.
    10 ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2013: Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy.
    11 ASHRAE Standard 62.1.
    12 ANSI/ASHRAE Addendum b to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2013.

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  • 25/01/2022 0 Comments
    Three Things You Should Avoid Doing to Your Air Conditioner

    Generally, you might come across things that homeowners should do for their air conditioners, such as replacing air filters or clearing and cleaning air vents. Although, there are several things you must avoid doing as it can cause your air conditioning system to malfunction. 

    There is a lot at stake, from system warranties to delicate components. Don’t hinder the health of your air conditioner by attempting a do-it-yourself repair. Make sure you hire a professional. A good rule of thumb to learn when it comes to air conditioners is letting the professionals look after the issues related to the air conditioner. 

    If you don’t believe you should be opening a particular AC component to perform a task, it’s best to avoid it. Anything other than replacing an air filter is going to be interference into a technical area. Here are 3-things that you should avoid doing to your air conditioner:

     

    Keep Adjusting The Thermostat:


     If you have to keep regulating the thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature, you are raising the workload on the A/C and increasing the chances of costly repairs or untimely equipment failure. To increase comfort and save energy, add more insulation and seal air leaks in your home.

     

    Forgetting to Change the Air Filter: 


    A clogged air filter can reduce essential airflow over the evaporator, resulting in coil icing and decreased cooling output. These operating conditions also put additional strain on the A/C compressor, causing it to fail abruptly. 

    Examine the filter monthly and clean or replace it when it becomes dirty to avoid these issues and reduce your cooling energy consumption by up to 15%.

     

    Neglecting Annual Maintenance: 


    Allow an HVAC professional to perform AC maintenance before each cooling season to keep the air conditioner running optimally and efficiently. Without a yearly tune-up, an A/C can lose up to 5% of its cooling capacity each season. 

    Routine servicing also allows professionals to detect and correct minor issues before escalating into inconvenient breakdowns and costly repairs.

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Testimonials

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Very Helpful

“Brian was very helpful. Brendan, the installer and his helper were very neat and careful with all the work.. Answered all our questions pleasantly. Lori and Katie in the office were more than helpful also.”

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- Elaine B.

10/05/2021

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Excellent Service

“Excellent service. Price great. Moved to a second new house further North and still used them. Go beyond expectations. Extremely knowledgeable, courteous and friendly. Highly recommend this company.”

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- Rachel H.

07/24/2021

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Like the Text Notification

“Very friendly and quick service given. Like the text notification knowing tech was on the way. Thank you.”

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Vic S.

03/16/2021

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Prompt, Professional, Very Knowledgeable

“Prompt, professional, very knowledgeable. Took the time to explain what needed replacing and why. Having the Heating Protection Plan has paid for itself. Thanks again Sam 👍🏻”

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Feeling the Warmth from the Furnace Now!

“Thank you for the quick response to no heat from the furnace all night and 60F degrees inside and -22c outside. I can always count on you to save us with superior customer service. Feeling the warmth from the furnace now! As always, highly recommended. Thank you to Don and Sam”

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Sherri T.

01/23/2021

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Went Above and Beyond

“Excellent work. Went above and beyond to explain everything including other systems that weren’t being serviced. Will definitely call them back to clean out our fireplaces and to look after any furnace or air conditioning needs down the road”

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Jackie T. left a 5 star review on facebook.com

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Incredible Service

“From urgent call to furnace backup and heating out home – Chris was in and out in under an hour and 15 minutes. Incredible service and met any/all COVID protocols. Cannot thank you enough.”

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Dave P. left a 5 star review on google.com

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Very Happy with the Whole Process!!

“Don came over to look at my 20 year old furnace and we both decided that it was a good time to have it replaced as winter was approaching. We went with a Carrier which we previously had and has served us well over the years. Don was able to get me a very generous discount from Carrier as the part that the old furnace needed was heavily backordered. A few days later Ashley came with his partner and had it installed in about 4 hours and they were very professional and very nice people. Very happy with the whole process!!”

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Jerry J.

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We Are Doing Our Best to Support Local Businesses

“We purchased a barbeque and they delivered it assembled and in pristine condition right to our door as promised. They provided competitive pricing and we have heard from others in the area their service is highly recommended should we ever need it. We are doing our best to support local businesses and they make it easy to choose them as our preferred store and dealer!”

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Markyintoronto L.

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Chris Did an Excellent Job

“Chris did an excellent job; arrived on time; performed the work and sent paperwork when done. Really like Don's Heating & Cooling and have had Chris tune up our furnace for winter more than once over the years! Always an excellent experience with COVID protocols in place this year. Thank you Chris; nice seeing you again.”

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MacRae, Noreen

 09/08/2020

Contact Us

Don's Heating & Cooling

308 Broadway Unit 4,

Orangeville, ON L9W 1L3

 

Phone: 519-942-1568

Fax: 519-942-4175

124 Young Street Unit 1,

Alliston, ON L9R 0E9

 

Phone: 705-435-5005

Fax: 705-435-6471
Email: info@donsheatingandcooling.com

Hours

Services and Installations: 

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Saturday: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM


Showroom Orangeville: 

Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Saturday: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM


Showroom Alliston:

Monday - Tuesday/Thursday - Friday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Wednesday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Saturday: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

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