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- use less energy, which helps conserve non-renewable resources and contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
- accumulates savings over its lifetime from lower energy use
- has other advantages: they can cost less to operate, have more efficient motors and fans than standard efficiency systems
- sometimes has a longer and more comprehensive warranty
- Log inserts – A log insert is an artificial gas-burning log that is installed into a pre-existing wood-burning fireplace. The log insert does not provide any useable heat. This is a good option when you have a wood-burning fireplace that you no longer want to actually use but don’t want to get rid of because you like the look of it in the room.
- Fireplace inserts – A fireplace insert consists of a fully enclosed gas fireplace that is installed into a pre-existing wood-burning fireplace. This type of fireplace provides enough heat to warm an average-sized living area (25 000 to 40 000 BTU output).
- Built-in fireplaces – The built-in gas fireplace is a self-contained fireplace that does not require a pre-existing fireplace structure. It can be installed virtually anywhere in the home. Built-in gas fireplaces are an efficient way to heat even a large living area. Although the actual fireplace itself is a complete unit, it must be framed within a box, called the surround. The surround is then finished in a way that complements the room.
- Stand-alone fireplaces – These look more like stoves than fireplaces. In fact, some are styled much like the old-fashioned cast-iron or enamel wood-burning stoves with attractive metal moldings. Unlike wood-burning stoves, stand-alone fireplaces are efficient as well as charming.
- No ashes or bits of wood to clean up
- Turns on with the flick of a switch
- Flames are safely enclosed
- Heat can be easily regulated
- Effectively heats large rooms
- Available in a wide variety of styles and sizes
- Installs virtually anywhere in the home.
- Generates ashes and wood bits
- Chimney provides insects with a direct path into your house
- Average time to a roaring fire under perfect conditions is about 15 to 20 minutes
- Creosote can build up in the chimney, creating a serious fire hazard
- Heat given off by a wood-burning fireplace is difficult to regulate
- Wood-burning fireplaces often have negative efficiencies (heated air from the room goes up the flue).
- An EPA study of energy efficiency concluded geothermal energy is the most environmentally friendly heating/cooling system
- It has been proven that geothermal energy is more efficient and cost-effective when compared with conventional residential systems
- Geothermal energy can be found underground virtually anywhere
- Geothermal cost savings can be increased by geothermal energy incentives, available from federal, provincial, local, and utility sources
- Energy and cost savings of geothermal heat pumps will vary by region and type of conventional system they’re compared with. Ultimately, the energy cost of geothermal versus conventional HVAC systems will almost always be lower — and the geothermal system will be greener
Geothermal Loop Systems save you money!At the heart of a geothermal system is the earth loop. This earth loop is the vehicle that transfers heat to or from the ground, distinguishing geothermal from conventional equipment. Earth loops come in two basic types: closed and open. Closed loops, made of durable plastic pipe, are buried in the earth or submerged in a lake or pond, and transfer heat by circulating a solution through the system. Open loops use ground water pumped from heat source such as a well. The decision on which loop configuration to use depends on the land terrain, the cost of trenching or drilling, the availability of quality ground water and the availability of land. This technique allows the loop to be placed underneath homes, basements, wooded lots or even swimming pools without disrupting grass or landscaping. Because water transfers heat better than soil, closed loops can be coiled and placed on the bottom of a pond or lake where it transfers heat to or from the water. A 1/2 acre, 8-foot-deep pond is usually sufficient. Pond or lake loops often require less excavation than vertical and horizontal loops; therefore, they are often less expensive to install. Horizontal Loops are used where adequate land is available. One or more trenches are dug using a backhoe or chain trencher. Pipes are inserted and the trenches are back filled.
Vertical Loops are installed where space is limited. Holes are bored using a drilling rig, the pipe is inserted, and the holes are filled. The pipes are connected horizontally a few feet below the surface.
Horizontal Loops are often used when adequate land surface is available. Depending on geothermal system needs and space available, pipes are placed in trenches that range in length from 100 to 400 feet.
Pond Loops can be installed if an adequately sized body of water is located close to the home. A series of coils are sunk to the bottom, connected by a header with supply and return pipes leading to the home.
Open LoopsOpen Loops are used where there is an abundant supply of quality well water. The well must have enough capacity to provide adequate flow for both domestic use and the geothermal system.
- A ground source heat pump gets its heat from a circuit of pipes buried in the ground. A refrigerant solution circulates through the pipes picking up the natural heat of the earth which is extracted by the heat pump
- A water source heat pump can be used if you have a well, pond, stream or lake. In this case the water is drawn up directly to the pump’s heat exchanger where its heat is extracted and the water is returned to the source
- Compared to electric resistance heating, a ground source heat pump may save you up to 65% on your electrical heating bill, and up to 25% on air conditioning
- Some models also provide water heating
- Check air filters monthly and clean or replace if necessary
- Have a ClimateCare heat pump contractor inspect your unit annually
- Elimination of continuous pilot lights. Most boilers on the market today use some form of intermittent ignition device, usually electronic ignition.
- Improved insulation levels. Because boilers store more heat internally than warm air furnaces do, they are subject to greater heat losses, both out through their casing (sides) and up the chimney when they are not being fired. To reduce heat lost from casings, new boilers have much better insulation to keep the boiler water hot.
- Better draft control methods to reduce flue losses. Many boilers use draft hoods. The draft hood is located downstream of the boiler proper. It draws household air into the gas vent along with the flue gases. This stabilizes the airflow through the appliance, isolating the burner from outside pressure fluctuations. But it also continuously draws heat from the boiler and warm household air up the chimney. A vent damper is now usually installed downstream of the draft hood to close off the exhaust when the burner is not operating. When the gas burner turns off, the damper is closed automatically after a short period; before the burner lights again, the damper opens.
- Provide exterior weather and moisture protection. Use building paper, siding, flashing, gutters and other construction techniques to shed water and repel wind-driven rain. Pay attention as well to below-grade measures. Proper drainage, grade slope and damp-proofing can protect the foundation from ground-water leaks or from moisture movement by capillary action.
- Reduce moisture at the source. This means producing less moisture in the first place and exhausting moist air and bringing in drier air.
- Prevent moist indoor air from getting into the envelope. A vapour barrier will reduce moisture movement by diffusion, and an air barrier can prevent moisture movement by air leakage. Although less moisture can be moved into the envelope by vapour diffusion than by air leakage, it is still important to provide a vapour barrier. An effective vapour barrier must be the following:
- resistant to vapour diffusion
- installed on the warm side of the insulation
- Let the envelope “breathe” to the outside. This will allow the house to deal with seasonal fluctuations in humidity and to release any moisture that does penetrate the envelope from the interior or exterior. The materials of the envelope are layered, with those most resistant to vapour diffusion located on the warm side of the envelope and the least resistant (such as building paper) located on the outside. In this way, any vapour that penetrates the envelope can escape to the outside. Some wall systems work well with a relatively impermeable insulated sheathing because the interior wall-cavity temperatures are kept high. As a precaution, when retrofitting a wall, always ensure that the interior surfaces are vapour-resistant. Some siding applications have an air space immediately behind the exterior finish to promote drying out of materials that have been soaked by rain or dampness. This air space also provides an escape route for any moisture that has penetrated the wall cavity from the indoors. This type of installation should not be used with insulated siding, as convection in the air space will negate the effect of the insulated backer board on the siding.
- Occupants and their activities: An average family of four will generate about 63 litres (20 gallons) of water a week through normal household activities.
- Wind-blown rain in walls: Where basement damp-proofing is inadequate, ground water in the soil can migrate through the foundation by capillary action and evaporate on the surface of the wall or floor.
- Damp basements
- Moisture stored in building materials and furnishings: Building materials and furnishings absorb moisture from the air during damp, humid weather and then expel it during the heating season.
- using construction techniques that keep moisture away from the structure
- producing less moisture
- exhausting excess moisture
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Whether you’re waiting to hear back from one of our professionals or simply looking for some more information, these videos can help you troubleshoot a few of the questions you might have about your HVAC system. If you have any more questions or need something explained in more depth, feel free to get in touch with us directly anytime. We’d love to hear from you!