Winterize Your Windows This Winter

 

Thoughts of curling up in front of a warm, cozy fire with a cup of hot chocolate may be something you look forward to with the change in seasons. One thing that can quickly spoil that feeling is cold seeping in from the windows of your home. According to a glass Victoria company, they’re basically, there are 2 different ways to deal with the issue: prevent cold air from coming in through cracks around the windows or insulate the glass from winter chill with temporary or permanent coverings.

Sealing and Caulking Windows – When windows are first installed they are caulked around exterior trim and sometimes around window fins to reduce air leakage. With time it may be time to repair or replace rotted wood frames and seal or replace cracked or broken glass. Inspect each window frame for cracks or gaps or signs of deteriorating caulking, rotten wood or missing glass and carry out any needed maintenance.

Weather Stripping – Depending on your skill level when it comes to DIY projects there are a few options for weather stripping. Felt is cheap, easy to install however it’s not very durable or resistant to moisture. Vinyl is reasonably priced but more difficult to install and metal may not look good when installed on older homes. If you looking for the most efficient choice magnetic strips are the more expensive option.

Storm Windows – Storm windows were popular when all windows were single pain but didn’t provide very good insulation. Plastic sheets can be used for one season even plastic panels or high quality low -emissivity glass that reduce heat transmission are available. If you can afford low quality storm windows you may want to consider replacement windows.

Thermal Window Coverings – Thermally lined drapes can provide an easy way to keep the heat inside. Hang them as close to the window as possible and let then stop at the floor or sill.

Window Film – A great choice for insulating windows to keep the sun out in summer and the house cool and the heat inside in winter is window film. You may want to consider film which provides the latest alternative to year round temperature control.

For more information about window film look no further than First Response Glass in Victoria BC.

How Do Solar Panels Work

Edmonton solar panels are based on a modern but extraordinarily simple tool that transforms sunlight into electricity.

A solar panel converts the light from the sun directly into electricity. We use electricity in the majority of our day to day activities. Like turning on the lamp, electrons travel through the wire and lights up the bulb. The flow of electrons is known as electricity.

A single solar panel is composed of a number of small solar cells. Every cell utilizes the light from the sun to make electrons move. The solar cells are made from two various layers that are held together. The initial layer is filled with electrons, so electrons can easily transfer from this layer to the other layer. While the second layer has less amount of electrons on it so it can easily take in electrons.

How does a solar cell turn sunlight into electricity?

Inside a crystal, the bond among silicon atoms is composed of electrons that are shared among the atoms in the crystal. The light from the sun is absorbed, and the energy level of an electron that is among the bonds gets high enough and can move freely compared to when it was bound. That electron has the capacity to move easily in the crystal, and the result is a current.

Try to think of having a ledge, just like a mantelpiece on your wall, and you throw a ball on that ledge. That is the same with an electron attaining a high level of energy, and it will not fall.

Photons, which are packets of light energy comes in and it collides with electron going to the ledge and that energy stays there until it is collected through the use of electricity.

Powering Homes and Business Establishments with Solar Panels

Electrical current that leaves a module or an array of modules, goes through a wire channel that goes into an inverter. This tool, which looks like a waffle iron, transforms direct current that flows using a fixed current and voltage, into alternating current, which then runs with oscillating current and voltage. Every electrical appliance around the world operates on alternating current. From the inverter, the power coming from solar panels goes into a business or house’s circuitry or power plant and into the electrical grid of the region. An independent power system can create a self-contained circuit without having to connect to the grid. But, the off-grid system will need batteries to store the power for certain time like during night when panels can’t absorb enough sunlight.

Contact Solar Energy if you are thinking of getting solar panels for your home.

10 Places to Find Free Firewood

Tight on budget? Don’t want to spend too much on firewood? Be practical. Below are a few helpful tips from Flametech Heating on how to get free firewood with effort, the right tools, and a watchful eye.


Inquire for wooden pallets on stores.


Various consumer goods like furniture and construction materials are shipped or kept on wooden pallets. Sometimes, stores can’t return wooden pallets, don’t use them and are anxious in getting rid of them. You can ask these stores if you can have their wooden pallets. Pallets can be dismantled without trouble.

Go to the sawmill.


The whole purpose of the sawmill is to yield lumber that can be used from logs of trees; however, they do not use the whole tree. You can take this advantage by collecting the scraps that they will throw away and can surely use as firewood.


Volunteer to empty the landfill.


A lot of communities have reclamation areas where wastes like firewood are thrown away. Find out if your local landfill has free firewood. It depends on the size of the wood; you may not have to use a truck, but can just use the trunk of your car to carry it home.


Ask the tree removal companies.


Many tree removal companies are always searching for a place to throw away trees. If a company is working near your home, you can ask them for excess trees they will be throwing away and they might drop it off at your home or let you pick it up.


Visit new construction sites.

You can find free firewood at lands being cleared for commercial or residential development. Cleared trees and sturdy bush from this cleared land are perfect for firewood.


Ask property builders.


A builder’s’ job is to refurbish and demolish buildings, and sometimes they throw away or burn old lumber like cladding, floorboards, joints and others.


Check for downed trees after a windstorm.


A strong windstorm can bring down trees that landowners would remove later on. You may find that some homeowners need aid in disposing and removing these trees.

Explore woodworking shops.


Woodworking shops or hobbyist may have scrap woods they won’t be using. You can ask them if they can give it to you for these woods are great firewood.


Visit road log droppings.


In places where trees are harvested, you can sometimes find logs that fall off from logging trucks. These woods can be used as firewood.


Ask hydro line workers.


Hydro line workers regularly cut down trees or do brushing to limit tree growth around power lines. Although some of the brushings might run through a chipper, it is sometimes possible to talk about wood or brush removal which can help them save time and work.

If you are looking for Wood fireplaces in Victoria BC, contact Flametech Heating.

How Do Solar Panels Perform in the Winter

Winter performance of solar panels is the most common question we answer. It’s a misconception that solar panels need sunshine and heat to charge. In fact, solar systems run off daylight not heat. So solar panels perform very well in the winter unless you live at the north pole and see absolutely no daylight. However cities like Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Grande Prairie, Lloydminister all have the perfect winter climate for Edmonton solar panels.

How cloudy is your climate?

If you live in a cloudy climate you’ll want to make sure your solar panels are high efficiency and are anti-reflective. This way your panels can still charge from daylight, without needing alot of sunshine. However because daylight hours are reduced in winter, you will be collecting less energy. Thankfully Alberta and Saskatchewan have big wide open skies, dry air with plenty of sunshine and daylight in the winter.

How do solar panels deal with snow?

A high quality solar panel, shouldn’t have an issue with being covered by snow. Panels that are installed properly in at an appropriate angle and location will enable the snow to slide off the anti stick surface quite easily. In rare circumstances, a very large amount of wet sticky snow in a short amount of time will result in snow staying on the surface of your solar panels. In this case hire a professional to remove the snow, with good instructions on where the panels are. Proper care and attention should be used when removing snow from solar panels.

How do temperature shifts affect solar panels?

Temperature shifts can affect solar panels quite adversely, but only if they are low quality solar panels. Big differences in temperature cause solar panels to expand and contract. Lower quality solar panels will crack due to moisture seeping into the expansion and contraction lines and allowing for corrosion. It is important if you live in a climate that experiences drastic temperature changes to have a high quality product. Preferably with no metal on the front and copper, plated with tin, all along the back.

Solarcor Products and Warranty

At Solarcor Energy all our products are high quality. You never have to worry about our products failing because we offer a warranty on both installation and the products. More importantly though your solar system will be custom designed to match your location and energy consumption needs, so problems are unlikely to occur in the first place, saving you the hassle of dealing with warranty issues and reinstallation.

How surge protectors work?

Surge protectors or surge protective devices are designed to control transient overvoltages and divert surge current or both. They come highly recommended from electricians in Victoria BC. It has a minimal one nonlinear part. In short, SPDs or surge protective devices intend to control overvoltages with an aim of avoiding damage and downtime to equipment and because of transient voltage surges getting to the devices they protect.

So you can understand better, here’s an example: think of a water mill that’s being protected by a pressure relief valve. The valve doesn’t do anything until there’s an overpressure pulse happening from the water supply. If that happens, the valve will open and pushes the extra pressure away so it will not get in the water wheel.

If there’s no relief valve, then extreme pressure could destroy the water wheel or maybe the linkage for the saw. Even if the relief valve was there and functioning properly, traces of the pressure pulse will still go to the wheel. However, pressure may have been lowered not to destroy the water wheel or upset its functioning. This shows how surge protective devices work. They lower transients to intensities that will not destroy or upset the work of sensitive electronic devices.

How does it function?

The electrical appliances you’re using get power from wall sockets. The power coming from the socket goes directly to the appliance through the cable. In surge protective devices, the main power line has another connection connected to it that goes into the ground wire also called the Earth wire, which is a wire that sends any unwanted electrical current to the earth. Usually, the surge connection is not active. But, if there is the presence of a large than the normal voltage that created excessive current, the excess electric current is sent safely to the ground. This means that there’s no excess current flowing in your appliance, so it is safe from danger.

How can the surge connection identify if it’s time to divert excess current? Through a device known as a varistor or voltage-dependent resistor, created from a material known as a metal-oxide semiconductor, which is normally a bad electricity conductor. If there’s excess voltage, the varistor becomes a good conductor and begins carrying electric current normally. As long the surge voltage continues, the semiconductor sends excess current into the ground. After everything goes back to normal, the semiconductor switches back.

This means that your appliance isn’t only protected, but it will go on to work normally.

Thanks to Jaycox Industries for explaining how surge protectors work.

Upgrading Your Electrical System to Become More Eco Friendly

Taking easy simple steps to reducing energy consumption in our everyday lives can have an enormous positive impact of the environment. These small changes from Jaycox Industries aren’t just healthy for the planet, they will also help you save money.

Change light bulbs

Did you know the typical 60 watt light bulb lasts 1500hrs while CFL (compact fluorescents) last 10,000hrs? The regular incandescent 60 watt light bulb wastes a lot of energy on producing heat, while the CFL doesn’t- resulting in an energy savings of 75% and a reduction in fire hazards. And because they last so much longer using CFL lightbulbs reduces waste in the landfill and saves the earth 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. Also coming on the market are LED bulbs, though currently they are more expensive, they stand to reduce energy consumption even further than the CFL bulbs.

Replace appliances with energy efficient models

Laundry appliances, dishwasher, fridge, freezer and oven/stoves are major draws on power. Starting with your fridge and freezer is going to have the biggest impact on savings due to these appliances running all day every day. Next target your dryer and consider a natural gas dryer to reduce consumption even more. Or consider hanging your clothes to dry. This can be a little tough in our moist chilly winter here in Victoria! But definitely a realistic option for the beautiful summer, spring and fall months.

Install programmable thermostats

Heating or cooling your home when you aren’t there is a serious waste in energy and programmable thermostats prevent this waste. In Victoria there are rebate incentives to having programmable thermostats installed and sometimes you can even have the entire cost covered. Making sure you aren’t wasting climate control energy on heat or air conditioning for hundreds of hours a month when you aren’t home will result in a big reduction in energy consumption and save thousands of dollars over the years.

Helping the planet and saving you money is really about making small changes. CFL or LED light bulbs, modern energy efficient appliances and programmable thermostats are all great places to start. They items keep you comfortable yet are part of everyday green living.
If you would like to cut down on your hydro bills and want to help the environment at the same time, please contact our Victoria electricians and find out how they help.

What Is Gas Fitting And Who Can Do It?

Gas fitting relates to the installation and maintenance of any appliance that makes use of natural gas as an energy source. Gas, when taken as a standalone product, can be lethal for a number of reasons. For example, it can combust easily if the product is installed incorrectly or produce a substance like Carbon Monoxide that is extremely hazardous to humans and animals. As such, any appliance that uses gas must only be installed by a registered technician. Here we will look at some of the aspects of gas fitting and the people who are capable of doing it.

What It Is

Gas fitting involves any work relating to the installation or continued maintenance of a gas appliance. This includes repair work or any modifications that can be made to the appliance to extend its use. For example, the fixing or unfixing of gas pipes, ventilation systems and flue pipes will all fall under this banner.

Furthermore, it also includes the commissioning of gas-based appliances and ensuring that they run safely and will present no threat to the people using them. This often involves a wide range of tests in addition to skills related to the installation of said appliances.

Gas fitting will be required when installing almost any appliance the runs using gas bottles or a gas source provided by an energy company. As such, it can be done in locations as diverse as your home, caravans, boats, ships and other vehicles.

There are, however, some appliances that will not require you to have a registered gas fitter work on installation. For example, barbeques and patio heaters that are operated using a gas bottle will not require a registered technician for their installation. Despite this, if you are unsure of how to install such appliances it is still a good idea to have a Victoria BC gas fitter work on them for you.

Who Can Do It?

Most countries have a registration and training process that must be undertaken before a person is considered able to install a gas appliance. For example, technicians must register with the Gas Safe organization and demonstrate that they have the skills required to safely work with such appliances.

As such, it is always a good idea to check the credentials of anybody you consider for gas fitting work. Consider the organization that regulates the industry in your country and avoid any gas fitter who claims to be able to do work without being able to demonstrate their credentials, as they may put you in danger.

The Benefits Of Installing A Skylight

There is nothing a homeowner can install that has the impact of a skylight in an otherwise uninviting, drab room. From reducing energy usage  by providing natural daylight as well as other health benefits skylights offer the homeowner much worth having them installed by Kanga Roofing.  A great addition in bathrooms or other areas of new or existing homes where a window is not an option.

Health Advantages

The natural sunlight a skylight provides increases a person’s exposure to Vitamins D and B1. This leads to higher levels of serotonin, which elevates mood and helps prevent Seasonal Affected Disorder. Dark rooms contribute to the development of depression, drowsiness and fatigue. Natural light has the opposite effect and stimulates the brain, lowers blood pressure and decreases stress.

In addition the sunlight  from a skylight works against mold development, mold and mildew thrive in dark spaces. Mold invasion can lead to interior and exterior home structure damage and contribute to illness to inhabitants of the home. Plenty of sunlight flooding otherwise dark areas of the home will help to inhibit the growth of mold to the same degree without skylights.

Energy Savings

Less electricity is needed to carry out tasks due to the increase in natural light. The savings on electricity as well a heating costs due to the warmth of daylight filtering through your skylight make the addition a good reason to have one installed.

Increased Ventilation

Skylights can be regulated by means of a remote or by employing a crank inserted in the mechanism. The advantage in promoting ventilation throughout a room and the air quality, as well as providing a nice breeze on warm, stuffy days, cooling the room.

Add Value

Natural light is an important aspect when potential buyers are considering a home purchase, A The additional daylight a skylight brings to what might otherwise be a dark space, brightens and adds depth to any room. By adding this to your home it just could be the deciding factor when a buyer views your home.

Even homes in the moderate climates of southern British Columbia can enjoy the many benefits of skylights. The Vancouver roofers at Kanga Roofing are experienced in the installation, repair and replacement of skylights. A BBB accredited company, call for a free estimate.

How do tankless water heaters work?

If there is not enough hot water to go around in your household and you are having to wait to get it to the right temperature, you should know that there is a solution to this problem that can benefit you both practically and financially. Tankless water heaters heat up your water only when you need it, which is different from how regular tanks work. As well as our gas stoves & wood fireplaces in Victoria BC, we also sell and install this different type of heater. So how exactly do they work? Before we answer that, first we’ll look at how regular water heater work.

Regular water heaters keep the water heated constantly

Standard ones create standby heat loss, which refers to the energy that is being used to keep water at a steady temperature even when it is not being used. The tank holds the water and heats it on a continual basis. This is inefficient and is one reason you may want to switch over to on-demand hot water.

Tankless water heaters raises the temperature of hot water by using a heat exchanger

Heat exchangers can be found in refrigerators, car radiators, and air conditioners. What they do is transfer heat over to a different source from where it began. To create on-demand water, a heat exchanger transfers heat from an electric coil or a burner that is gas-based to wherever the water is coming out of, such as your kitchen tap. The water circulates through the exchanger when you turn on the tap and proceed to become heated to whatever temperature you set it to.

There are two types of tankless water heaters to consider

First, whole house heaters, as the name implies, can be used to heat every source of water in your home and they allow more than one source to be in use at a time. This can understandably be complex to setup and expensive to both install and maintain.

The other type is a point-of-use heater, which is smaller and can be used for one or two outlets. These are so small that they can fit right under the cabinet where the water comes out of, which is beneficial for lowering the amount of time it takes for the heated water to come out. Contact us to learn more about our Victoria tankless water heaters.

Saving Money on Heating Your Home

On average, over half of a household’s energy costs goes towards heating and cooling. As winter approaches, now is the ideal time to determine how you can best reduce how much heat you have to use. Besides saving money, you will also be reducing your risk of causing a heating-related fire in your home, which is integral for keeping your family safe and preventing your home insurance rates from going up. Here are a few tips from FlameTech Heating which you can do to save money on heating your home.

Get your home insulated

Proper insulation in your home can benefit you in both hot and cold weather. It can prevent heat from transferring to where you don’t want it to go and can provide a way to control moisture through the ventilation it provides. Improving your attic isolation is a key way to keep heating costs down. This could cost you between five hundred and one thousand dollars, and result in you paying twenty to thirty percent less each month for heating.

Purchase a programmable thermostat

With a new thermostat that you can program to turn up and down at a certain time, you could end up saving about ten percent or more of your monthly costs for heating. To achieve these savings, set your thermostat to a lower temperature while you’re at work and possibly when you’re asleep.

Reduce the heat on your hot water tank and use water-saving techniques

Many hot water heats are set at a high heat than necessary. Reduce your heat from sixty degrees celsius to about fifty degrees to save up to five percent of your bill each month.

You can also put an insulation blanket on your heater and purchase a faucet and a showerhead that is designed to be low flow.

Get double-pane thermal windows installed

If you have single-pane windows currently, you may be allowing more heat to get out than can get in. What a double-pane window will do is slow down the transference of heat through the existence of the space between the two panels. If you replace all of the windows in your home, you could end up saving up to twenty percent of heating costs at the end of the year.

Replace your lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs

Every little bit counts. CFL bulbs use seventy-five percent less energy than regular bulbs, and can save you up to forty dollars for the duration of their use.

If you are looking for a wood fireplace in Victoria BC, be sure to check out Flametech Heating’s website.

What To Do Before Lighting The First Fire

Winter is arriving soon in North America, which means the time for spending evenings in front of the fireplace or woodstove is here. Before you get too far ahead of yourself, go through this list of things to do before you light that first fire of the season. Following each item on this list will help you have a positive experience in front of the fire throughout the coming months.

Get your fireplace or woodstove inspected annually

Professional chimney technicians and wood stove inspectors like Flametech Heating have the skills necessary for getting your wood burning system clean and checking whether any repairs should be completed. This includes sweeping your chimney to remove debris and soot, which will prevent chimney fires from occurring.

Some problems that a technician for wood burning systems will catch are cracked or loose bricks, cracks in flue lining, and damage to mortar. Flue lining with even a small crack in it can be the cause of a house fire, while damage to bricks and mortar are likely to allow moisture to get into the chimney system. Moisture in a chimney should be addressed as soon as possible, to stop the damage from getting too big.

Fireplaces that are fueled by gas should also be inspected. This inspection should include having the blower looked at, as it is possible for dust to clog it if it isn’t properly cleaned.

Have a chimney topper installed

A cap on your chimney can be useful for for keeping bugs out and for stopping moisture from getting in. A cap with a wire mesh spark guard in particular will prevent embers from flying out of the chimney, thereby preventing unwanted fires from starting.

Consider which type of firewood you should get

Before you buy the cheapest wood you can find, take some time to think about what will really work best for you. Some firewood is designed to burn longer than others, and some types will also deposit more creosote–a flammable substance–into the chimney.

If you need a gas stove or woodfire place in Victoria BC, contact Flametech Heating.

 

If you want firewood that will not leave behind lingering flames past when the logs have finished burning, softwoods are the right choice for you. Seasoned hardwoods, on the other hand, are designed to burn longer.

 

Know how to place logs in the fireplace and get the fire going safely

 

You should not fill your fireplace with too many logs, as this can create a fire that is too hot–increasing the chances for a chimney fire and for the flue to become damaged.

 

To get your fire going, using dry kindling is a safer option than any flammable liquids.

 

Finding a Heat Pump in Victoria B.C

Anyone in charge of heating and cooling bills knows that prices have been getting crazier and crazier. The prices leave consumers wondering if we’ll ever get any relief. Even British Columbia’s relatively mild coastal weather and the minor weather everywhere else (except for winter, of course), the prices can really make your pay check go by fast.

After doing some research, I came across heating pumps. Reading about these, I was surprised that it took me so long to hear about them. These pumps can be reversible and heat in the winter and cool in the summer, making them convenient. They are also more efficient than above ground units because they move air in the opposite temperature direction by taking air from one place, changing the temperature to hot or cold, and moving it to its final destination.

I spoke to my friends about it, and some had already had units installed. They raved about their lower electricity bills and their exquisitely warm houses in the winter, but the ability to use the same unit to cool their houses in the warmer months. Intrigued, I searched heat pumps Victoria BC to see what was available in my area.

One of the first options I found was Red Blue Heating & Refrigeration and after speaking to one of my friend with the heat pump installed, I heard that this was the company they went through as well. They had been very pleased with both the heating and cooling results and the company as whole, so I decided to visit their website. I read a little on the topic, watched a helpful video explaining the mechanics of the pumps, and finally contacted them via e-mail with a few questions I had. They answered promptly and I felt confident that this would be the new heating and cooling solution for my household.

After installation, I saw the difference on my bill right away, and have been very happy with my installation and with Red Blue Heating & Refrigeration on the whole. They filled me in on all of the specifics and let me know what to expect. They’ve been on the whole just very friendly and helpful.

Now it’s my turn to tell people about my little secret for heating and cooling and have referred several friends to Red Blue Heating & Refrigeration. It’s been the optimal way to beat the heat as well and the cold and the huge bills each month, and I want my friends to be in on it too! They have been nothing but grateful and now instead of getting together and complaining about bills, bills, bills, we can get together and discuss how we’ve been able to save!