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Vapor from humidifier in the morning light in a living room

Should I Use My Whole-Home Humidifier Year-Round?

Calgary winters aren’t just cold: it’s a “dry” cold. Dry winter weather can impact your health and comfort and can also affect wood flooring and furniture in your home. It’s a big reason why so many Calgary households are equipped with a whole-home humidifier on the furnace. Unlike portable humidifiers that are designed for, say, a child’s bedroom, whole-home humidifiers add moisture to the air – which is then circulated throughout the entire living area.

30% to 50% relative humidity is optimal for today`s homes. The humidity level can be adjusted at your humidistat located either at your humidifier or near your thermostat. Your humidistat will then automatically add moisture you’re the air circulating in your house as needed to maintain your set humidity level.

The ambient air during summer in Calgary usually ranges from 30-50% so during summer most homes do not need to have the humidifier on.

Humidifiers will make you feel healthier and more comfortable

If you live in a low-humidity environment, you may experience issues such as dry, itchy, or flakey skin. You may notice a chronically scratchy throat. Your sinus passages may seem raw. In extreme cases, you may get nose bleeds and notice breathing difficulties. Your hair can feel damaged and frizzy.

In the winter, the hot air from your furnace further reduces moisture levels. Having a whole-home furnace humidifier installed, you can turn your home from dry to delightful. Homes with proper humidity levels feel far more comfortable than the same house but with low humidity. Having proper humidity control in your home contributes to a far more comfortable home throughout the winter months.

With a properly functioning whole-home humidifier, you’ll notice smoother, healthier skin and hair, and fewer wrinkles. A well-lubricated respiratory system can even help reduce snoring! It is also shown to reduce allergy and asthma symptoms.

Wood needs moisture too

Like the human body, wood tends to dry out when the humidity levels are too low. The National Wood Flooring Association estimates that 90% of wood flooring failures are related to relative humidity and moisture problems in the home. If your home is too dry (lower than 35% relative humidity), it can cause the wood to contract in the winter. This can result in squeaky flooring and gaps between floorboards. Boards may even curl at the ends. In laminate flooring, dry weather can cause the layers to separate. It’s a big reason why many flooring manufactures will require a whole-home humidifier in order for their warranty to be valid.

Expensive wood furniture or treasured antiques will also look better and last longer when you take care to maintain proper humidity levels.

Other advantages

Dry homes can increase the presence of static electricity. Besides causing your hair to stand up wildly and providing little shocks when you kiss a loved one on the cheek, static electricity can damage home electronics. With a whole-home humidifier: problem solved!

Also, using a whole-home humidifier can actually help reduce heating bills. It’s true. The drier the air, the cooler it feels. Those with humidified air can lower their thermostat by a degree or two without noticing the difference.

Choosing the right humidifier

Whole-home humidifiers are installed on the furnace plenum. There are several types of humidifiers to choose from. You will need to choose a model appropriate for the size of your home. Most will require a hookup to a hot water supply, and use moisturized filters. Some are built with their own independent fan unit to improve moist air circulation, while others rely on the furnace blower to do this.

It is always recommended that whole-home humidifiers be installed by a professional technician. It is recommended that a proper steel braided supply line and ball shut off valve are installed with your new humidifier. Many humidifiers come with saddle valves and plastic supply lines which have been known to fail over time leading to flooding in the basement. As humidifiers are hooked up to your main water supply, the last thing you want is your basement flooded due to a faulty hookup by an inexperienced installer.

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A/C Tune Up

Regular preventative maintenance improves efficiency and extends the lifespan of your air conditioning system, with the following benefits:

 

  • Reduced electricity bills and operating costs. When the unit operates as designed, electricity usage is reduced.
  • Maximized cooling capacity. Home comfort on the hottest of days with minimum run time.
  • Minimized repair bills. Detect and fix small problems before they get worse.

HRV Cleaning

Most homes built in the last few years have a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV), which efficiently replaces stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air, all year round.

 

As with any other air-handling equipment in your home, your HRV should be cleaned regularly to ensure the best possible indoor air quality.

 

If you aren’t sure if you have an HRV, call our team to find out how you can tell.

Duct Work Sanitizing

If you or your loved ones suffer from respiratory issues or allergies, or you’re concerned about the quality of the air that you are breathing, then our sanitizing treatment will give you the reassurance that your ductwork is sterile and free of debris that could negatively impact your respiratory and overall health.

 

Microban is our hospital-grade sanitizing solution, which kills 99.99% of germs, viruses, funguses, molds, and other pathogens.

 

We also offer Benefect, an all-natural sanitizer made from plant extracts, which also kills 99.99% of germs, viruses, funguses, and molds. ​

Exhaust Flu Stack Cleaning

Mid-efficiency furnaces produce a sand-like, mildly-corrosive byproduct. This substance condenses in the exhaust flu stack and collects over time near the inducer/venter motor, restricting exhaust gas flow. Eventually, it enters the inducer motor and causes premature wear on the furnace.

 

Exhaust flu stack cleaning removes the build-up to reduce the chance of motor failure and maximize the life span of your furnace. Preventative maintenance ensures your furnace runs efficiently all Winter long — without costly no-heat emergencies. 

A/C + High-efficiency Bypass

The secondary heat exchanger in a high-efficiency furnace or A/C coil has delicate, closely spaced fins that must be protected during your furnace and duct cleaning.

 

For furnaces that require a bypass, we temporarily install a filter above the heat exchanger or A/C coil, and position our duct vacuum above the filter.

 

This bypass procedure prevents damage by ensuring all dust and debris in your supply duct work is collected before reaching the heat exchanger or A/C coil.

 

Standard furnaces without A/C don’t have secondary heat exchangers or A/C coils and don’t require the bypass procedure.

Furnace Tune Up

Regular furnace tune ups are essential to maximizing the lifespan and efficiency of your furnace, so you can rely on it to keep you warm all Winter long.​

 

During our 30+ point inspection, we check all furnace systems to identify components that are worn out and need replacement. Replacing parts before they break — preventative maintenance — maximizes heating efficiency, avoids no-heat emergencies, and saves on costly service calls. 

 

Home furnaces can last for 20 years or more if well-maintained. A professional furnace tune up every two years helps to preserve your investment for decades.

Reverse Octopus Whip Tool

The reverse octopus whip has eight 16” flexible tentacles, which whip around blasting high-pressure air in all directions as it moves through your duct work.

 

The tool agitates and dislodges the most hard-to-reach dust, debris, and contaminants, moving them toward our duct vacuum for collection and disposal.

Brush Cleaning Method

Our high-speed rotary brushing equipment sweeps the entire interior surface of your duct work, ensuring that all dust, debris, and pet hair are vacuumed away.

 

Physically cleaning the entire length of your duct work ensures that no contaminants are left behind, increasing your indoor air quality and peace of mind.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

Dryer fires are a top-five cause of house fires. Cleaning your dryer vent regularly greatly reduces the chance of a dryer fire, plus the following benefits:

 

  • Reduces clothes drying times
  • Lowers utility bills through greater efficiency
  • Extends the life span of your dryer
  • Lessens the amount of allergens in your house

Back Skipper Tool

The back skipper is a 1” diameter rounded ball connected to a long, flexible high-pressure airline.

 

The 1” ball has jets that discharge high-pressure air, pulling the tool and airline through the length of your duct work.

 

The high-pressure air moves the dust and debris toward our duct vacuum, where it is collected for disposal.​