If your toilet doesn’t flush properly, you may be able to troubleshoot the issue on your own and avoid a costly service call. Here are three possible causes and solutions for a slow-flushing commode.

1. The water level in the tank is low
Toilets require a full tank of water to provide a strong flush. Therefore, the first thing you should do is remove the toilet tank lid and check the water level. If the water level is lower than usual, you’ve found the problem: your toilet tank isn’t filling.

Check all the pieces inside the tank for cracks or damage. Also, check the tank for leaks. You may be able to replace the damaged parts yourself with a trip to your local hardware store.

2. There’s a clog in the sewer pipes
To determine if your drain is clogged, pour about four litres of water into the toilet bowl. If the water level in the bowl rises quickly, your drain line is probably blocked.

If a plunger doesn’t unclog the drain, try pouring about 200 millilitres of dish detergent into the bowl. Allow the detergent to settle and lubricate the sides of the drain line for 30 minutes. Then, try flushing the toilet again.

Furthermore, you can try to unclog your toilet by inserting a straightened metal clothes hanger into the drain hole. You may be able to break up the clog or pull out the obstruction.

You can also try pouring about 230 millilitres of baking soda into the bowl, followed by a litre of hot water and 500 millilitres of vinegar. Let the solution sit for a couple of hours to dissolve the clog.

If all else fails, purchase a toilet snake to break up the debris.

3. There are calcium and mineral deposits
Calgary has hard water. Therefore, calcium and mineral deposits can wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing. Deposits can form inside the jet holes that surround the toilet bowl rim. If the holes are clogged, water can’t flow through to flush your toilet. Try using a mineral removing agent and a screwdriver with a flat head to scrape off the deposits and clear the holes.

If none of the above methods don’t work, it may be time to call a plumber for an emergency repair.

Plumbing and toilet repairs in Calgary

At Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer a wide variety of plumbing services to homes and businesses in Calgary, including toilet, sink and shower installation, repair and maintenance. Contact us today for a free no-obligation quote.

You must periodically clean out the lint and debris from your dryer vent to prevent it from catching fire. Moreover, a clean vent helps your dryer operate more efficiently, thereby lowering your energy bills, preventing costly repairs, and prolonging the lifespan of your appliance. The good news is you don’t have to be an appliance repair professional to clean your dryer vent. Here’s when and how to do it.

When you should clean your dryer vent

You should clean your dryer at least once a year. Some telltale signs your dryer vent needs immediate cleaning include:

  • A burning smell when you operate the dryer
  • The unit is hot to the touch after a cycle
  • Your clothes take more time to dry than usual
  • Your clothes are hot and damp after a cycle
  • The air in your laundry room is humid after a cycle

If you notice any of these signs, clean out your dryer vent immediately.

How to clean your dryer vent

You can simply use a vacuum to clean out your dryer vent. However, if you haven’t cleaned yours in a while, you may need to purchase a dryer vent cleaning kit. These kits come with long brushes that attach to a standard power drill. You insert the rotating brushes into the ductwork to clean inside the tubing.
Follow these steps to clean your dryer vent:

  • Disconnect the electricity and shut off the natural gas supply valve (if applicable).
  • Pull the dryer away from the wall about 30 centimetres.
  • Locate the dryer vent behind your dryer and look for the aluminum foil tube that connects your dryer to a hole in the wall.
  • Disconnect the duct from the dryer and the wall. You may need a screwdriver to loosen the clamp.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with an extension wand to clean the lint in and around the vent hole and dryer duct.
  • Vacuum away the debris as it comes out of the tube.
  • Do the same thing with the ductwork inside your wall.
  • Go outside and locate the dryer exhaust on the exterior wall of your home. Repeat the above steps to clean the duct. Ensure your exhaust opening is clear of snow, garden equipment or plants.
  • After you’ve finished cleaning, reconnect the duct, open the gas valve and push the dryer back into place.

You can prevent lint buildup by cleaning out your dryer’s lint trap before each load.

Home ventilation in Calgary

At Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer a variety of home ventilation services to improve the air quality in your home. We install, repair and maintain dryer vents, hood fans and kitchen and bathroom exhaust systems for residential and commercial customers in Calgary. For a free, no-obligation quote, contact us today.

If you’re planning a construction or renovation project, the ducts you choose will have a big impact on your home or business’s comfort level in the future. Knowing the differences between rigid and flexible ductwork will help you design the best heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system for your home or commercial space.

Flexible HVAC ducts
Flexible ductwork is made from a material that can twist, bend and shape itself into hard-to-reach areas. It can be made from:

  • Silicone
  • PVC
  • Rubber
  • Polyurethane
  • Neoprene-dipped polyester fabric

Pros of flexible ducts
Flexible ducts are made of lightweight materials and quick and easy to install. This means they’re a cheaper alternative to rigid ductwork and there’s less downtime during installation.
The other advantage to flexible ducts is they can be formed to fit in areas where it’s impossible to install rigid ducts.

Cons of flexible ducts
Installation may be easy, but there’s more room for mistakes. Flexible ducts need to be well-supported through their entire length. If not, they’ll sag and interrupt or block airflow.

Flexible ducts are more inefficient. They have rough interiors and sharp turns and sags that reduce airflow. They’re also more prone to broken seals and connections. This leads to higher energy bills and pricey repairs.

In addition, mould and mildew are more common in flexible ducts due to them having multiple corners and uneven surfaces. They’re also more difficult to clean.

Rigid HVAC ducts

Rigid ducts are made from galvanized steel or aluminum. They can be either rectangular or cylindrical in shape.

Pros of rigid ducts

Rigid ducts are more durable than flexible ducts and can withstand extreme temperatures. They don’t require much maintenance and last a long time.

Rigid ducts are more efficient than flexible ducts. Their smooth surfaces and straight design won’t interfere with airflow. This means your HVAC systems won’t need to work as hard. Rigid ducts will save you money in the long run.

Moreover, mould, mildew, dust and other pollutants are less likely to grow or get trapped inside a metal duct because of its smooth surfaces. Rigid ducts are easier to clean.

Cons of rigid ducts

Rigid ducts are more expensive than flexible ducts and are also more difficult to install. They’re heavy and require more manpower to lift, place and install. Also, the metal needs to be precisely measured and cut to fit the building’s dimensions, which adds to the installation time. The metals used for rigid ducts typically costs more than the materials used for flexible ducts.

Ductwork experts in Calgary

When it comes to HVAC systems, Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning delivers quality installation, maintenance and repairs at affordable rates. Whether it’s your heating, ventilation, air conditioning or plumbing that needs attention, our dedicated technicians are available. We service residential and commercial properties in Calgary and the surrounding communities. Contact us today to get a no-obligation, free quote.

Are you looking to design the shower of your dreams? If so, here are four important factors to consider.

1. Available space
Once you have the dimensions of your space, you can decide which type of enclosure will work best in your bathroom. For instance, square and off-set quadrant-style enclosures are perfect if you have limited space, whereas rectangle or shower/bath combos may be preferable if you have a larger room. In addition, the available space in your bathroom will dictate what type of door would work best, such as sliding, swinging, hinged or bi-fold.

2. Showerhead
If you’re looking for an inexpensive showerhead that’s easy to install and replace, a wall-mounted model is the way to go. Conversely, hand-held showerheads are a bit more versatile. For example, they can be used as a fixed showerhead or taken out of their cradle and used to bathe pets or wash children. If these two options don’t appeal to you, you can also opt for a luxury showerhead such as a rain showerhead, body sprays or a dual showerhead. Just keep in mind that certain showerheads require different strengths of water pressure.

3. Shower valve
A properly installed shower valve can make showering more pleasant by reducing temperature fluctuations and surprise changes in water pressure. For example, pressure-balance valves are affordable and have a single handle that controls both the water flow and temperature. The biggest drawback is that it maintains a constant temperature by changing the water pressure, so the water flow tends to fluctuate.

Conversely, a thermostatic valve has two handles. One handle controls the water flow and the other controls the water temperature. This system is designed to maintain both water pressure and temperature. As such, many thermostatic valves include a dial that allows users to pre-set the water temperature. However, they tend to be quite pricey.

4. Lifestyle
Before purchasing a shower, you should reflect on how you plan to use it. For example, deciding whether the shower will be used by children, adults or guests will help you make an informed decision. For instance, if the shower will be used by older relatives or people with mobility concerns, you may want to think about using non-slip tiles, installing grab bars or incorporating a seat area.

If you need help with your next bathroom renovation project, the team at Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning offer a variety of plumbing services.

Plumbing services in Calgary
The experts at Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning install, repair and maintain water lines, drains and shower fixtures. We use products from the top manufacturers with the best warranties and energy-efficient technology. Additionally, we have a 24/7 emergency line to ensure you get the service you need when you need it. Contact us today to find out more.

If you’re renovating your bathroom, here are six things to take into consideration when purchasing a new toilet.

1. Rough-in measurements
Before you purchase a new toilet, you must determine how much space you have to install it. The most important measurements are the rough-in dimensions. This is the distance between the floor drain and the wall. Standard toilets have a rough-in of 12 inches. However, 10-inch and 14-inch rough-in toilets are also available.

2. Bowl height
Standard toilets are between 14 and 15 inches tall and are suitable for shorter people and young children. However, you can also purchase comfort toilets, which are 16 to 17 inches tall and are better for tall people or individuals with limited mobility.

3. Bowl shape
Elongated toilet bowls provide more sitting room and tend to be more comfortable than round bowls. However, round bowls are more affordable and are suitable for smaller bathrooms since they take up less space.

4. Style
There are three basic styles of toilets: two-piece, one-piece and wall-mounted. Two-piece toilets are the most common type of toilet on the market. They’re affordable, easy to repair and are known for their durability. On the other hand, one-piece toilets are one seamless unit, making them stylish and easy to clean. However, they tend to be a bit pricey. Lastly, wall-mounted toilets are mounted directly to the wall and don’t have a foot or base. Since the tank is hidden inside the wall, these types of toilets can be expensive to install and repair.

5. Water efficiency
Standard toilets use about six litres per flush. However, if you want to save on your water bill, you may want to purchase a high-efficiency or dual-flush toilet. High-efficiency toilets use three to four litres per flush. In addition, dual-flush toilets bring the best of both worlds, as you have the option for either a full or partial flush.

6. Flush performance
Flush performance measures a toilet’s ability to clear waste in one single flush. Consequently, toilets with a higher flush rating offer better waste removal and clog resistance. You should look for toilets with a flush performance of at least 350 grams. However, toilets with a flush performance of 700 grams or higher will be more reliable.

You may also want to consider installing a bidet or splurging on features such as a soft-closing or heated toilet seat.

Plumbing Experts in Calgary
Whether you’re installing a new bathroom or want to upgrade an existing space, the experts at Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Our team provides comprehensive plumbing services, including toilet installation, maintenance and repair services for both homes and businesses in Calgary. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote.

Many people don’t realize that cooking can be a large source of indoor air pollution. Natural gas and propane stoves can release carbon monoxide and other chemicals into the air. Plus, heating oils, fats and other ingredients can produce toxic fumes that can be harmful to people and pets. Fortunately, proper ventilation can remove air pollutants and improve the air quality in your home. Here are a few ways to enhance kitchen ventilation and reduce your exposure to indoor air pollutants.

  • Install an exhaust fan. A hood fan, also known as an exhaust hood or range hood, is a unit that hangs above a kitchen stove and extracts air pollutants caused by cooking. A properly installed and ducted fan is the best way to filter out smoke and grease when you cook. These units are more effective when the air is vented outside instead of being filtered and recirculated.
  • Use the fan when you cook. Turn your hood fan on and keep it on. Many people don’t turn their fans on at all because they find them too noisy. The noise level of a fan is determined by how much air it can pull from a given space, also known as its cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating. If noise is an issue, look for a hood fan with low CFM.
  • Clean the fan filter often. Wash the filter on your hood fan regularly. If it has a metal mesh filter that you’ll need to remove. You can clean it with baking soda or dish soap.
  • Use the back burner. Some hood fans have a low capture efficiency. They may do a great job of collecting and expelling contaminants that are directly below them, but can be less effective at removing fumes that are outside the perimeter of the hood enclosure. By cooking on your stove’s back burners, directly under the fan, you can ensure maximum removal of smoke and grease.
  • Open your windows. Open multiple windows and doors to create a draft that pushes polluted air outside your home.
  • Use additional fans. Install a window or oscillating fan to help remove stagnant air and bring fresh air in. Oscillating fans sometimes come with ionizing filters that can help with air purification.
  • Invest in an air purifier. Air purifiers with HEPA filters can remove up to 99.7 per cent of harmful air particles. However, you’ll need to make sure you regularly change the air filter.


Kitchen ventilation in Calgary

Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning offers residential and commercial ventilation services. We install, repair and maintain kitchen hood fans. We also offer deals and financing on the purchase of new hood fans. Contact us today to learn more about our services.