Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Mild Weather and Melting Snow

It's been an unusual winter in London, Ontario. December and January were unusually mild. The Valentine's Day weekend we just went through gave us a reminder that winter is not through with us yet.

We saw the temperature drop below -20°C. We also had a lot of snow, which is unusual when it’s really cold. That combination of events had our phones ringing off the hook. We were able to help many Londoner's with very serious problems.

Many of the problems we find ourselves dealing with are preventable. We had a plumbing call from a homeowner that had water coming into the basement. We found out it was coming from the neighbour’s house. They had gone away and did not turn off the water to their outside taps. The pipe to their outside tap burst and was running for a long enough period of time that water was running into two basements.

It was a good thing we were there. The neighbour just arrived back home and did not know how to shut off the water. They had 2 inches of water in their basement, because their floor drain was plugged. You can click here to read our blog about floor drains.

We've written a web page of what you need to know in an emergency. You can read it by clicking here. One of the most important things is that you need to make sure that everybody in the home knows how to turn off the water to the house.

We responded to two calls for no heat, which were also easily preventable. One was caused by snow blocking the furnace intake pipe. Click here to read about solving this common problem.

The second no heat call was simply caused by a dirty furnace filter. Click here to read about changing your furnace filter.

The cold snap is over and now we are in for a mild spell. That's going to create some problems as well. All the snow we have will be melting quickly. Here are a few tips of what to watch for:

  • Make sure the discharge line from your sump pump is clear (not frozen) and the water is running away from the house.
  • Make sure that water is not sitting next to your foundation, blocked from draining away by piles of ice and snow.
  • Make sure your sump pump is operating. A battery backup sump pump is a great idea to protect your basement. If you have one, this is a good time to let it run and allow the battery to run down and recharge. If you don't have one, click here to read why they are a good idea.

If you don’t know what we are talking about, not sure whether or not you have a sump pump, or just not handy, call us to come out and show you what you need to check. The cost of a service call is good insurance. It’s far cheaper than dealing with a flooded basement.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Government Rebates on New Furnaces and Air Conditioners in Ontario

The Ontario Government is currently running a program called ‘saveONenergy’. The program is run by a department called IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator). This provincial department ensures that there is enough power to meet the province's energy needs both today and in the future.

The saveONenergy Heating & Cooling Incentive offers rebates to Ontario residents looking to replace their old central air conditioning or heating systems with ENERGY STAR® qualified models. With 60% of your yearly electricity bill going toward heating and cooling your home, it makes good sense to look for ways to reduce your usage and your bills.

The program offers consumers very attractive rebates. If you purchase a qualifying furnace, there is a rebate of $250.00. For a qualifying air conditioner there is a rebate of $400.00.

When you are buying a complete system that adds up to $650, which is a pretty attractive incentive to purchase new equipment. You also see the benefit of lower utility bills and improved home comfort. New equipment carries worry free warranties of up to 12 years, providing peace of mind for our customers.

Why is the Government Doing This?

To meet the increased demands for electricity the provincial government has two choices. Build more power plants and infrastructure or encourage consumers to use less energy.

It is cheaper for the government to offer these rebates and encourage consumers to move into more energy efficient equipment that it is to build new power plants.

Is it Complicated to get the Money?

We will make sure that you are choosing equipment from Ruud or Daikin that qualifies for the rebates.

We strive to make the process simple, we do this all the time. We’ll help you with all the paperwork and ensure that you get your rebate after your new equipment is installed.

Bill Salmon talks about Government Programs:

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Improving Home Comfort with a New Furnace

Many of our customers that buy a new furnace do it to take advantage of energy savings and government rebates.

People are often surprised to discover that their home is more comfortable in both summer and winter.

Some high efficiency furnaces from Daikin and Ruud are multi-stage furnaces with variable speed fans. The fans on new furnaces can move much more air than older furnaces.

Daikin Furnace
Ruud Furnace
Daikin
Ruud

During the winter months, the furnace fires at different levels, automatically adjusting to outdoor conditions. On extremely cold nights like we see here in London Ontario, the furnace will fire at a higher level and your fan will run at a higher speed to keep your house warm on frigid nights.

Most of the time in London, during the winter months, the temperature is running between -5C and +5C. During these milder periods, the furnace and the fan will run at a lower setting to maintain your home’s temperature at a constant and comfortable level.

Modern furnaces keep the temperature very close to the thermostat setting, normally not varying more than half of a degree, plus or minus.

During the summer months your furnace fan will allow your air conditioner to do a better job, especially in multi-level homes. Warm air rises and on a hot summer day our homes can become uncomfortably warm on the second floor.

The new high efficiency furnaces will move much more air than older furnaces. That means that your system can deliver more cool air to your upper level in the summer months.

We’ve had customers tell us that "had they known how much better their air conditioner would work, they would have not waited so long to replace their furnace".

Upgrading your furnace is probably a lot less trouble than you think. Just give us a call and we can take a look at your current equipment and give you a pretty good idea what energy savings you could start enjoying immediately. This is all a free service that we offer, with no obligation or pressure tactics.

Many customers are pleased to discover that a new furnace can actually pay for itself. The increased comfort and peace of mind with warranties extending up to twelve years are icing on the cake.

Salmon Plumbing & Heating will assist you with the paperwork for government rebates. We can also help you with financing your new equipment.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Scheduling a Service Call

Salmon Plumbing & Heating has built its' reputation on providing timely and quality service to our customers. A large part of our business is repairs. We don't have this work at the start of the day. Customers call in and we try our best to get them serviced on the same day.

We all have an experience where we've sat at home for an entire day waiting for a serviceman to arrive. We don't run our business this way. Scheduling in our business can be a bit of a juggling act, because we don't know for certain how long our men will be at each call.

The only service appointment we can make with certainty is the first one in the morning. After that, we give people a time range to expect our arrival. We do the best we can to meet our schedule. If we are running late, we'll call you with a new E.T.A.

We understand that customers have to work during the day. If you plan on coming home to meet our serviceman, we'll call you at your work and let you know he's on his way.

Everyday Londoners have a choice who they will call for their plumbing and heating needs. We want to make sure we do quality work and meet time commitments so customers will choose us again the next time the need arises.

We offer 24-hour emergency service outside of our regular office hours. We have our own staff answering the phones after hours. Emergency service is more expensive, so if possible we'll try to give you a short term solution on the phone so we can come when we are charging our standard rates. If it's an emergency, we have licensed servicemen ready to go out at any time.