If you’re in the market for a new furnace, it’s a good idea to know about AFUE ratings. AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency and is a rating that determines a heating system’s efficiency. Here’s what you need to know.


AFUE ratings are measured in percentage. They indicate how much of your furnace’s fuel is converted into heat to warm your home. Consequently, a furnace with a high AFUE rating is more efficient than a furnace with a low rating. For example, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 85 converts 85 per cent of its fuel (natural gas, electricity, or oil) into heat and only wastes 15 per cent.

You can find your furnace’s AFUE rating next to its British thermal unit (BTU) rating, which measures the unit’s heating power. For instance, a furnace with 80,000 BTUs is large enough to heat a 1,600 square foot home. However, a system with 80,000 BTUs and an AFUE rating of 90 per cent only delivers 72,000 BTUs of heat to your home.

Minimum AFUE ratings in Canada

AFUE ratings typically range between 80 and 100. However, the Canadian government recently updated its regulations. Consequently, any furnace manufactured since July 2019 must have a minimum AFUE rating of 95 per cent. In the United States, the minimum AFUE is 80 per cent.

AFUE and your energy bills

A furnace with a high AFUE rating can have a dramatic impact on your energy costs. If you have a furnace that’s 15 to 20 years old, it probably has an AFUE rating of around 80 per cent. However, furnaces become less efficient as they age. Therefore, if you have an old heating unit, it’s likely not as efficient as its AFUE rating indicates. Consequently, replacing your existing furnace with one that has a high AFUE rating could significantly reduce your energy bill.

Features of high AFUE furnaces

Manufacturers use new technology to make their furnaces more efficient. Here are some of the features of high AFUE-rated furnaces.

  • Secondary heat exchanger
  • Variable speed blowers
  • Variable heat output
  • Direct spark or hot surface ignition systems to replace pilot lights
  • Improved filter systems

If you need help choosing the right furnace for your home, the team at Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning can help

Furnace installation and repair in Calgary

At Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning, we carry high-efficiency furnaces from leading brands like Lennox and Trane. We provide a full range of heating services and offer a comprehensive home protection plan. Our technicians are available to install, maintain and repair your home’s heating system 24/7. Contact us today to get a free, no-obligation quote.

If you need to replace your furnace, finding one that’s the right size for your home is extremely important. A furnace that’s too big for your home will frequently cycle and be inefficient. Conversely, one that’s too small will run continuously and never keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Here’s what you need to know about BTUs to correctly size your furnace.

BTUs explained

BTU is an acronym for a British thermal unit. It represents the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. The more BTUs a furnace has, the more area it can heat.

Other factors to consider when determining furnace size

A basic rule of thumb is that 40 to 45 BTUs can adequately heat one square foot of living space. However, it’s not that simple. Besides a home’s square footage, here are six other factors to consider.

1. Climate. Homes located in cold climates require larger furnaces than homes located in areas that experience mild winters. For example, in a cold prairie climate, a 70,000 BTU furnace would struggle to warm a 1,600 square foot home, despite the previous BTU estimate.

2. Home style and orientation. South-facing homes are naturally heated by the sun during the day and may be able to get away with a smaller furnace. Additionally, two-story homes often need smaller furnaces than similar-sized single-storey homes because the second floor acts as an insulator. However, homes with an open floor plan demand higher-BTU furnaces because there are fewer walls to hold in the heat.

3. Windows and doors. Homes with old, inefficient windows and doors need a more powerful furnace than homes with fewer or more efficient windows.

4. Insulation and ductwork. Well-sealed homes with high-quality insulation may not need as large of a furnace as poorly insulated homes.

5. Exterior walls. If you have an apartment, condo or townhouse, you can purchase a furnace with fewer BTUs than what you’d need for a stand-alone home of the same size because less heat will escape through the walls.

6. Furnace efficiency. Besides BTUs, furnaces receive an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. This rating reflects a furnace’s actual BTU output. For example, a 100,000 BTU furnace with an AFUE rating of 90 per cent will only deliver 90,000 BTUs of heating power to your home.

If you need help sizing your furnace, the experts at Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning would be happy to help.

Furnace installation, maintenance and repair in Calgary

The best way to ensure your furnace is the right size is to get your home evaluated by an HVAC expert from Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning. We provide a full range of heating services, including a home protection plan to help you keep your new system running at its best. We also offer financing options to make it easy to get the unit you need. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote.

Did you know that indoor air quality can be two to five times worse than the quality of the air outside? In fact, breathing in allergens and other airborne particles can affect your family’s health and well-being. The good news is, there are several ways to improve the air quality in your home. Here’s why you should regularly test the air quality in your home.

The symptoms of poor indoor air quality

Poor indoor quality can lead to a condition called sick building syndrome (SBS). The symptoms of SBS are similar to that of a cold or flu and can include:

  • A sore throat
  • Difficulty breathing and a tight chest
  • A runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • A burning sensation in your nose
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Headache
  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Body aches, fever and chill
  • Fatigue and difficulty concentrating

Furthermore, people with asthma or other respiratory illnesses may experience more severe symptoms when exposed to poor indoor air.

The causes of poor-quality indoor air

There are several possible causes of unhealthy air, including:

  • Smoking
  • Indoor pets
  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Radon
  • Poor ventilation
  • Improperly vented furnaces or fireplaces
  • Mould and mildew
  • Vapours from cleaning products, paints and pesticides
  • Building materials such as asbestos, lead and formaldehyde

You may feel the effects of breathing in polluted air right away or several years down the line.

Improving indoor air quality

Here are four things your HVAC company can do to improve the air quality in your home.

1. Maintain your home’s ducts and filters. Allergens and pollutants can lurk in your home’s air ducts and HVAC filters. Consequently, having your ducts cleaned regularly and changing your furnace filter every three to six months can reduce airborne contaminants.

Install an electronic air cleaner (EAC). EACs effectively remove smoke particles, dander, mould and viruses from your home’s air. They feature HEPA, UV light and carbon filters to remove microscopic pollutants from the air. An HVAC technician can install one in conjunction with your current system.

2. Use mechanical ventilation. Always use the exhaust fan in your bathroom and the hood fan in your kitchen to remove humid, dirty air from your home.

3. Regulate your home’s humidity. Controlling the humidity in your home is essential to maintaining healthy air. Adding humidity in winter and dehumidifying in summer can help keep airborne contaminants at bay.

If you want to improve the quality of your indoor air, the experts at Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning can help.

Ventilation and air purification in Calgary

At Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning, we carry a range of products designed to improve the air quality in your home. From heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and electronic air cleaners (EACs) to steam humidifiers and high-tech ventilation systems, our technicians can retrofit your current HVAC system to ensure the air in your home is fresh and clean. Contact us for a free, no-obligation quote.

Your thermostat is a vital piece of your home’s heating and cooling system. It regulates the temperature in your home by telling the HVAC units to turn on or off at certain times. Here’s why the location of your thermostat is just as important as what type of thermostat you buy.

How your thermostat works

Thermostats track temperature changes in the air. Basic models use two strips of metal that expand or contract with temperature changes. However, modern, smart thermostats use electronic sensors to gauge the ambient temperature.

Regardless of the type, all thermostats measure the temperature in the air in their immediate vicinity. Consequently, a thermostat in your living room can’t regulate the temperature in your bedroom. Therefore, it’s best to locate your thermostat in an area where you spend most of your time.

Locations to avoid

If your thermostat is in an unsuitable location, it won’t accurately read the temperature in the air and could make your HVAC system run too often or not enough. Consequently, some rooms may become too cold, and some too warm. Here are some tips for finding the best location for your thermostat:

  • Stay away from exterior walls and floors. Place your thermostat on an interior wall at least 45 centimetres from an exterior wall and at least 1.5 metres off the floor.
  • Locate your thermostat well away from hot water pipes, fireplaces and air vents.
  • Avoid locating your thermostat near windows and doors, as drafts can result in skewed readings.
  • Keep your thermostat out of direct sunlight. This can fool your thermostat into thinking it’s warmer than it is. Therefore, it may make your air conditioning system run more often.
  • Avoid placing your thermostat in drafty stairways or areas with poor air circulation.
  • Keep furniture, houseplants and other obstacles away from your thermostat.

Ideally, your thermostat should be placed near the centre of your home.

Upgrading your thermostat

On top of correctly placing your thermostat, you may want to consider upgrading to a smart model to improve the efficiency and comfort of your home.

Smart thermostats offer precise control over your home’s air temperature. You can program them to run less often at night or when you’re not home. You can also control your thermostat with your smartphone. For example, you can warm or cool your home while you’re commuting to and from work or school.

Moreover, modern HVAC systems often have a zoning feature, which allows you to control the temperature in different areas of your home. Fortunately, it’s easy to retrofit your existing system with this feature.

Heating and air conditioning services in Calgary

At Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning, our HVAC experts are dedicated to making your home as comfortable as possible. We carry a variety of home heating and cooling solutions and offer comprehensive repair and maintenance services. Contact us today for a free no-obligation quote.

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.

Smart fridges are the latest high-tech kitchen gadgets that manufacturers claim will make your life easier and more efficient. However, they come with a hefty price tag. Here are four benefits of investing in a smart fridge.

1. You can access Wi-Fi in your kitchen
Most smart fridges come with a large touchpad screen on the door that connects to your home’s Wi-Fi. This allows you to play music or watch movies as you cook, eat or wash dishes. You can also conveniently consult recipes directly from the touchscreen.

Furthermore, smart fridges can be paired with digital assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. This allows you to do certain tasks, like open the fridge door, via voice command.

2. You can save money on groceries
Many smart fridges come with an interior camera. If you’re at the grocery store, you can use your smartphone to see what’s inside your refrigerator, so you only buy what you need. You can also create a digital shopping list using the touchpad screen on the fridge that can be accessed from your smartphone.

Smart fridges can also notify you if certain food items are approaching their best before dates. The fridge will also suggest recipes to help you use up the ingredients before they go bad. Consequently, investing in a smart fridge can potentially help you curb your food waste and save money on your monthly grocery bill.

3. You can reduce your energy bill
Smart fridges can send a notification to your smartphone if the door is left open by mistake. They can also warn you if an item is impeding air circulation. In addition, smart fridges automatically regulate their internal temperature to achieve optimal energy efficiency. Furthermore, some smart fridges allow you to see inside without having to open the door, thereby saving energy by preventing cold air from escaping.

However, keep in mind that rapid advances in technology may make your smart fridge obsolete in just a few years. Consequently, the appliance could lose its ability to connect to new apps, devices or cloud technologies, potentially driving down its resale value.

Refrigerator installation in Calgary
If you’re ready to take the leap and invest in a smart fridge, the technicians at Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Our team can help you install your new fridge and connect it to your home’s water lines. We can also retrofit your existing fridge with a water or ice dispenser. Furthermore, we install, repair and maintain kitchen gas lines and hood fans. Contact us today to get a free no-obligation quote.

Regularly maintaining your HVAC system helps prevent costly repairs and replacements. In today’s hectic world, it’s easy to forget to book a maintenance call, especially if you don’t notice any problems. That’s why it helps to sign up for an annual maintenance plan with Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning. Here’s a look at everything you need to know.

How HVAC maintenance plans work
When you sign up for an HVAC maintenance plan, you shift the responsibility for scheduling an annual service call to a professional heating and cooling company. By paying a monthly or annual fee, you get a yearly tune-up on all your HVAC equipment, as well as other perks like discounts on repairs and front-of-the-line priority service. The company keeps track of your maintenance and schedule, so you don’t have to.

Despite the fees, a maintenance plan can save you money down the road. For example, your HVAC equipment will run at peak efficiency, reducing your energy bills. Also, during your annual inspection, the HVAC technician can spot and repair minor problems before they become major issues that require expensive repairs or replacement.

Residential HVAC maintenance plans
Every homeowner can benefit from an HVAC maintenance plan. However, if your home’s heating or cooling system is nearing the end of its life, you may want to consider replacing your air conditioning or heating system rather than investing in a maintenance plan.

However, if your HVAC equipment is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, then signing up for a maintenance plan is a good idea. Warranties often only cover the cost of replacing a part, not the labour involved. In addition, manufacturer warranties don’t cover the cost of the regular professional maintenance required to keep it valid.

Of course, if your warranty has expired, it’s even more crucial to maintain your equipment because you’ll be on the hook for any expensive repairs that may arise.

Commercial HVAC maintenance plans
Commercial businesses can also benefit from investing in an annual HVAC maintenance plan. Keeping your business’s HVAC equipment running efficiently offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Reducing system downtime by up to 35 per cent
  • Reducing overall energy use by up to 30 per cent
  • Preventing up to 75 per cent of all equipment breakdowns
  • Decreasing maintenance and repair costs by up to 20 per cent

If you want to sign up for a comprehensive maintenance plan, contact the team at Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning.

HVAC maintenance and repair in Calgary
At Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning, our home protection plan includes annual maintenance, inspection and tune-up services. We also offer a 10 per cent discount on replacement parts and provide free furnace filters. A member of our team will call you when your system requires annual maintenance. Additionally, if you move, you can transfer your plan to your new home. Contact us today to learn more.

Hood fans are designed to remove smoke, steam, grease, cooking fumes and odours from your kitchen to improve the quality of your indoor air. However, like all appliances, hood fans can unexpectedly break down. Here are three signs your hood fan needs repairs.

1. The air quality in your kitchen is poor
If the air quality in your kitchen is poor, despite having your hood fan turned on, you likely need to clean the filter. Over time, oily residue can build up inside the filter, preventing the hood fan from extracting contaminated air. However, if your hood fan still isn’t working after cleaning the filter, you may need to call a professional to come take a look.

2. You hear strange sounds
Loud humming and rubbing noises coming from your hood fan are cause for concern. Loud noises are often caused by broken or damaged fan blades. If this is the case, you can have the faulty blades replaced by a professional.

However, if you hear loud rattling sounds, you should check for any loose screws. Make sure the fan mounting screws are tight. If your hood fan continues to make loud noises despite taking these measures, there’s likely an issue with the fan motor or bearings, that should be addressed by a professional.

3. The hood fan light doesn’t turn on
Hood fans typically come with a light to help you see while you’re cooking. Over time, the bulb can burn out. In which case, it simply needs to be replaced. However, if you replace the bulb and the light still doesn’t work, you may have a more serious electrical problem. For example, the light switch or the appliance’s internal circuit board may require repairs. A professional can quickly diagnose the problem.

Hood fans have many complex moving parts. Therefore, it’s difficult for the average person to perform repairs. If you suspect something is wrong with your hood fan, it’s best to contact a professional as soon as possible.

Hood fan installation in Calgary
At Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning, we can help you keep the air in your kitchen fresh and clean. We offer professional hood fan installation and carry a variety of models from industry-leading brands. We also install dryer vents, air purification systems and steam humidifiers. Contact us today for more information about our services or to get a free quote.

If you notice an unpleasant odour coming from your vents while your air conditioner is running, then you may have a problem on your hands. A foul smell in your vents could indicate something’s wrong with your ductwork or AC unit. Here are six possible causes of nasty smells and what you can do about them.

1. There’s moisture in the ducts and vents
Mildew is the most common culprit behind smelly ductwork. This is because high humidity levels can cause condensation in ducts, creating an environment in which mould can thrive. If you detect a mildew smell, it’s probably time to get your ducts cleaned, as mould spores can cause upper respiratory health problems.

2. An animal has died in your ducts
It’s possible in some cases for a rodents or birds to nest in your ducts. If you notice a bad smell, it could mean an animal has died and is decomposing in your ducts. Turn off your AC unit, open some windows and call an HVAC professional to help you clean out your ducts.

3. You have a natural gas leak
Natural gas has a rotten egg smell, and this odour can enter your home through your ductwork if there’s a leak. Natural gas leaks are dangerous and require immediate action. Evacuate your house immediately and call your gas company.

4. There’s a problem with the sewage lines
A sewage backup or ruptured sewer vent can send unpleasant odours through your vents. If you notice a raw sewage smell, it means dangerous methane may be circulating through your home. Call a plumber or HVAC professional right away.

5. There’s a mechanical or electrical problem with your AC
A burning smell emanating from your vents could mean there’s a serious electrical or mechanical issue with your AC’s motor or fan. Turn off your unit immediately to avoid a fire, and schedule a professional inspection as soon as possible.

6. Your drip pan isn’t draining
Your AC unit is designed to remove humidity from the air. The resulting condensation is meant to collect in a drip pan and drain via a small tube. If this tube gets blocked, however, water will sit in the pan and gets stagnant and stinky. An HVAC professional can inspect and clean the unit and get everything flowing again.

Air conditioner repair in Calgary
If you’re having problems with your air conditioner, Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Our experienced technicians can troubleshoot, repair or replace your AC unit, and are even available 24/7 for emergencies. Contact us to schedule an appointment or get a free quote today.

Did you know your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system can affect your sleep? Improving the quality of the air in your home can reduce nightly tossing and turning. Here are four ways your HVAC system can affect your sleep.

1. They keep temperatures stable

Research shows that people sleep better in cooler conditions. Bedroom temperatures should be between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius at night. Anything above or below this range can disrupt your sleep. Leaking ductwork, a faulty thermostat or a poorly maintained HVAC system can lead to temperature fluctuations.

Installing a smart thermostat, having your HVAC system maintained and keeping your ducts clean will all help to maintain a constant and comfortable temperature throughout your home.

2. They regulate humidity levels

Humidity levels that are too high or too low can adversely affect your sleep. If levels are too high, you may feel sweaty and sticky, and your room will attract mildew and mould. If humidity levels are too low, you could end up with a sore throat, a dry or bleeding nose and/or itchy skin.

If you’re battling uncomfortable humidity levels, consider installing a humidifier for your home.

3. They improve air quality

Poor air quality increases allergy and asthma symptoms and prevents you from getting proper rest. Dirty ducts recirculate dirt, dust, pollen and pet dander through your home, which can lead to sneezing, coughing, watery eyes and trouble breathing.

To keep the air in your home clean, it’s a good idea to have your HVAC system maintained regularly by a professional, make sure your ducts are clean and habitually change your furnace air filters. You may also want to consider installing an air purification system or electronic air cleaner (EAC) to maximize the quality of the air in your home.

4. They can make noises

An HVAC system that hasn’t been properly maintained can make noises that keep you awake at night. Old fan belts, struggling motors and loose parts can make sounds that will echo throughout your ductwork and into your bedroom.

Not only are these sounds annoying, but they’re also a worrying indication that your HVAC system needs an inspection or a repair. Alleviate the anxiety this brings by scheduling a professional technician to look at your system.

Your HVAC service professionals in Calgary

Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning provides residential and commercial heating, cooling, ventilation and plumbing service in Calgary and the surrounding areas in Alberta. Sign up for our pre-paid and pre-scheduled home protection plan so you can have one less thing to keep you up at night. Contact us today to schedule an inspection or service call.

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.

If you’re building a new home or addition, or if you live in an older home without ducts, you may be considering a ductless mini split system. This type of unit is an efficient way to cool your home, and works quite differently than a standard air conditioning unit. Here’s an overview of this system to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Standard air conditioning systems with ducts
A standard air conditioning system has an indoor and outdoor component. The indoor unit is usually located in a basement or closet. Using fans, this unit pushes and pulls air through ductwork located inside the walls, floors and ceilings, and it delivers cool air to each room through vents. A single thermostat regulates the temperature throughout the entire home.

Ductless mini split systems
Alternatively, mini split air conditioning systems don’t require a central unit or ducts to deliver cool air. Instead, individual units with their own fans and evaporators are installed in each room. This means the temperature in each room can be different. Refrigerant lines connect as many as four indoor units to a single outdoor compressor.

Benefits of a ductless mini split
Ductless mini split systems are gaining popularity as more homeowners discover their many benefits. Here are some of the advantages.

  • They’re energy-efficient. Standard air conditioning units lose 20 to 30 per cent of the cool air produced when it circulates through ducts. A ductless mini split system doesn’t have this problem. Additionally, because each unit in a ductless mini split system can be controlled independently, you don’t have to waste energy cooling rooms that are seldom used.
  • They’re relatively inexpensive. Retrofitting homes with ductwork is expensive and time-consuming. The cost of materials and labour can total several thousand dollars. It’s messy and intrusive work that can be avoided with a ductless mini split system. You can also save money when building a new home or addition if there are no ducts to install.
  • They’re quick and easy to install. All that’s needed to install a ductless mini split system are a few holes drilled through the walls to connect the indoor units with an outdoor compressor. The holes are about seven centimetres in diameter. The indoor units can be mounted to a wall, recessed into the ceiling or set up on the floor, depending on the layout of the room.

AC installation and repair services in Calgary
Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning has been installing, maintaining and repairing air conditioners in Calgary homes and businesses since 2008. We also provide 24/7 emergency services so you won’t have to wait long if your air conditioner breaks down. Contact us today to get a free, no-obligations quote on your next heating or air conditioning system.

Refrigerant, also known as Freon, is the lifeblood of your air conditioning system. If your AC unit is low on it, you’ll need to schedule a service call. Here are four indications that your air conditioner needs refrigerant.

1. Your energy bills have increased
If you notice your energy bills are higher than usual, it may be a sign you have a Freon leak. An AC unit with a leak will work harder and use more energy to cool the air inside your home. This is because the unit’s evaporator can’t adequately remove heat from the indoor air.

Additionally, air conditioning units will shut off if the indoor air reaches the desired temperature. If the internal air never reaches that temperature, the unit won’t stop running, resulting in high energy bills.

2. You notice warm air blowing out the vents 
You definitely have a problem if your AC unit is pushing warm air out of your vents. First, check that you’ve set your thermostat correctly and your filters are clean. If these aren’t the issue, then you may have a refrigerant leak that requires attention. 

3. You hear hissing and bubbling sounds 
A hissing and bubbling noise may mean refrigerant is escaping from your AC unit. If the sound is brief, it could indicate that the safety valve is letting excess Freon escape, which is usually no cause for alarm.

If the noise lasts for a long time, however, then chances are you have a leak. Hissing is likely to mean Freon is escaping from a hole or crack in gas form, while bubbling is the sound it makes in liquid form. Shut off your unit immediately to avoid breathing in the gas. Call a professional to inspect and repair your unit.

4. You see frost or ice on the unit
A leak will cause the temperature of the Freon to drop to below freezing, and you may notice ice on the copper tubing or evaporator coils. This can be difficult to see in a multi-split ductless air conditioning unit, but you may notice water dripping from the vent as the ice inside melts.

If you do see ice, turn off your air conditioner but leave the fan on to help it thaw, and call a professional to inspect the unit.

Air conditioning repair and service in Calgary
If your AC unit needs to be repaired, the expert technicians at Harmony Heating & Cooling can help. We’re proud to provide air conditioning inspection and repair services. We also offer installation services and sell a range of rooftop AC units and ductless mini-splits. For a free no-obligation quote, contact us today.

Today, washing machines have become an integral part of daily life. As such, here are six tips to help you keep your washing machine in good working order for years to come.

1. Leave the lid open
After each use, it’s a good idea to leave the lid or door of your washing machine open for at least a few hours to allow any excess moisture to evaporate. This will prevent the growth of mould and mildew and keep any musty odours at bay. This is especially important for front-loading washing machines, as these have a rubber seal that needs to be allowed to dry.

2. Keep it level
If your washing machine is off-balance, it could vibrate, rock or move across the floor during the spin cycle, which could damage your flooring or the machine itself. Fortunately, most washing machines have adjustable feet that can be moved up or down to ensure the machine stays level

3. Inspect the hoses
You should regularly inspect the hoses on your washing machine and promptly replace any that are bulging, cracking, fraying or appear to be leaking or deteriorating. It’s also a good idea to check that the fittings are tight and ensure your machine is at least four inches away from the wall to prevent the hoses from kinking.

4. Regularly clean it
It’s a good idea to periodically wash away any soap residue and scale buildup from the inside of your machine using a store-bought cleaner or a vinegar and baking soda solution. You should also wipe down the drum, door and rubber gasket at least once a month.

5. Use the right detergent
Make sure you’re using the right detergent for your specific washing machine model. For example, many high-efficiency washers require a specially formulated low-sudsing detergent. In addition, make sure you’re not using too much detergent as this can leave excess residue on your clothing and put unnecessary strain on your machine.

6. Load it correctly
You should avoid overloading your washing machine as this is hard on the equipment and could damage the motor, causing certain parts to prematurely wear out. It’s best to break up your laundry into smaller loads instead of trying to get it all done at once.

If you’re having issues with your washing machine, contact the experts at Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning.

Plumbing Services in Calgary
On top of providing comprehensive HVAC services, our team offers a variety of residential and commercial plumbing services in Calgary. We repair, install and maintain refrigerators, showers, sinks, toilets and washing machines. Contact us today to learn more or book a service call.

Studies have shown that the air inside homes and buildings can sometimes be more polluted than the air outside. Since air quality directly impacts your health, it’s important to take steps to eradicate pollutants. Indeed, air pollution can increase your risk of developing allergies, respiratory infections, heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and more. Here are six ways to improve the air quality in your home.

  1. Keep your home clean. Cleaning your house can help reduce the amount of dust, pet dander and mould you breathe in. Clear clutter, dust surfaces, regularly wash your bedding and drapes and vacuum your carpets and rugs weekly.
  2. Use bathroom and kitchen fans. Exhaust fans pull air out of the home so that it can be replaced with clean, fresh air. In addition, kitchen fans help remove toxic cooking fumes. Make sure to wash your fan filters regularly.
  3. Open the windows. It’s a good idea to allow fresh air to circulate through your home as it will help improve ventilation. You should open your windows regularly, even in the winter months.
  4. Maintain a healthy level of humidity. It’s a good idea to keep a dehumidifier running throughout the humid summer months. Central air conditioners help to reduce moisture levels in your home. They also help to control allergens and reduce indoor pollen counts. However, you may need a humidifier to add humidity into your home during the winter months, when forced air can dry out your living space to unhealthy levels.
  5. Invest in an air purifier. To help remove irritants and allergens from your home, consider investing in an air purifier. Electronic air cleaners (EACs), also known as ionizers, clean the air using electronically-charged filters. They’re an excellent option for purifying the air in your home. They can even capture and eliminate airborne viruses.

Clean your HVAC filters. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems help maintain air quality by circulating and filtering indoor air. To keep your HVAC system running smoothly and ensure the air is adequately purified, be sure to regularly clean or replace the filters. The system you own and the environment inside your home will determine the frequency with which you should do so. In addition, keep your air ducts and vents open and clean.


Residential and commercial ventilation in Calgary

Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning offers a range of ventilation services to keep the air in your home or business clean and healthy. We install and repair kitchen ventilation systems, home humidifiers, heat recovery ventilators and more. Our expert technicians can address all your ventilation concerns. Contact us today to learn more about our services.