Energy Efficiency For Your Home

Novel Care has been an integral part of ensuring the energy efficiency of homes and business throughout Toronto for over 30 years. During that time we’ve installed lots of furnaces, ductless air conditioners, central air conditioners, boilers, duct systems and many other HVAC appliances. We have the knowledge and experience to ensure that you get the right equipment for your home.

When it comes to efficiency we always recommend energy efficiency whenever possible. We’ll help you understand the efficiency of your new products as well as any standardized ratings like the SEER rating. These are useful in measuring just how efficient your new HVAC equipment is.

People install energy efficient equipment because they want to ensure their homes don’t use up more energy than they have to.

The heating and cooling preferences of family members always differ in a home. Likewise, various rooms in a house demand different temperature settings. You could prefer it a little colder, while your partner might prefer it a little toastier. Your basement is often colder than you want, and your loft is just unbearably hot. These are some examples of heating and cooling issues that a normal HVAC system cannot always solve, requiring HVAC zoning.

A multi zone ductless HVAC system delivers personalized heating and cooling to meet the demands of each individual in the home, allowing everyone to enjoy the ideal room temperature.

However, the uses of a multi zone system are not limited to residential settings. HVAC zoning may also benefit commercial organizations by delivering comfort, convenience, and energy savings at a low cost.

What is a multi zone HVAC Zoning System?

A multi-zone ductless heating and cooling system splits your home up into clusters. Each cluster has its own temperature set point and operating mode. A dedicated thermostat for the zone or, in the case of ductless air conditioners, a smart AC controller provides controls for the zone. This gives you greater control over each specific part of your home, increasing your comfort and reducing energy bills.

Consider a two-story house with the living room, kitchen, and hallway on the first floor with three bedrooms and a slightly smaller living room upstairs. The upper half of the house is generally unused during the day and only partially occupied at night. In such a scenario, it makes reasonable to create zones.

In this scenario, the living room, kitchen, and hallway may be combined into one zone, while the upper part can be designated as a separate zone. The first zone is in continuous use throughout the day, so the temperature can be set as preferred, whereas the other zone can be turned off for the majority of the day as it is usually not in use. It will be turned on when it is getting close to bedtime in the evenings.

In this way, you would use air conditioning only when necessary, rather than all day long. This eliminates unnecessary electricity usage and helps to conserve energy.

Advantages of a multi zone HVAC System

Energy savings are associated with HVAC zoning. The primary advantage of a multi-zone ductless heat pump system is the energy-saving it provides. Multi zone heat pumps can reduce air conditioning and heating costs by up to 30%.

This is achieved by using your air conditioning according to your needs and not keeping it running unnecessarily in areas where there is no need. You can cool your home or provide warmth in the heating season with these highly energy efficient types of heat pumps.

Air conditioning zones result in greater comfort for occupants

A zoned HVAC system gives you unparalleled control over the operating modes and temperatures of your air conditioning. The desired temperature and air conditioning mode can be set for each zone.

If one part of the home is too cold and you need to ramp up the heat only in that particular room, you can quickly achieve this with HVAC zoning. In this manner, other rooms of the house do not get extra heat, avoiding uneven temperatures.

Do You Need Zoning?

A zoned HVAC system seems to be attractive, and the benefits are worth considering the installation. Let’s have a look at who can benefit from a modern multizone heat pump system and how to make the most out of it. If you agree with any of the lines below, this system is ideal for you.

  • Your home has multiple levels
  • You have separate living and shared areas
  • The house has elderly people
  • You have an area designated for pets
  • Your home is unevenly heated/cooled (One part of the home is facing north, the other towards south)
  • Using the attic as a living space
  • Your home has large unused indoor spaces
  • Members of your household are often in conflict about the temperature settings of their rooms

This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are a few other cases in which a ductless multi zone system can be applicable. You can have a detailed HVAC energy audit conducted to get a detailed overview of your zoning requirements.

How Many Zones Do You Need?

Let’s determine how many zones you’d need. The exact number depends on your home arrangement, living preferences, number of occupants, and other factors such as pets and outdoor environment.

The most common zoned system is where the upper and lower floors are a separate zone as the temperature greatly varies between the two floors. Other variations include separating the home into living and common areas. Moreover, each room can be made a separate zone as well, providing completely personalized HVAC controls.

Zoning for Ducted HVAC Systems

A central HVAC system is a prime obstacle for HVAC zoning. The reasons for this are multiple:

Central HVAC systems have a single thermostat for the whole house. Conventional ducted systems use a single thermostat to control the temperature of the entire house. It cannot be used selectively for a specific room, spelling trouble for your energy consumption, especially for times when your home isn’t fully occupied. Not to mention, this is incredibly inconvenient for the occupants. A ductless multi zone system removes this problem and lets you have individual room control so that only the desired area can be heated or cooled.

Separate the living and working areas

If you have some rooms in your home designated for special activities, such as a workshop, or a home gym, then you would want to keep the air separated from the rest of the home. With conventional HVAC systems, this is not possible.

A multi zone unit can come in handy here. By making these special rooms a separate zone, you can ensure that the air from these rooms does not drift to the other areas of your home.

How Can You Make a Zoned HVAC System?

Take for example, a two-story house. When you have created a zone for only the home’s upper floor, the lower floor’s indoor evaporator unit will be off, preventing air from cooling or heating this portion. Now, heating or cooling is only performed on the upper floor. Furthermore, your HVAC system utilizes a reduced amount of energy.

Zoning for Ductless HVAC Systems

A single zone ductless HVAC system is easier to convert to a multi zone HVAC system. With a ductless zoned HVAC system, all your ductless mini split units can be controlled with the tap of a single button, rather than turning each unit on or off individually. How easy is that! Just imagine if there are five different ACs in a building, you need to press a button to turn on all five one by one.

If you have a single zone HVAC system, consult our HVAC professionals beforehand and ask them to thoroughly plan it out for you.

Since its introduction in the 1970s, the world has become more familiar with the concept of a ductless air conditioning system as alternative heat sources. Between 1954 and 1968, Japanese enterprises Mitsubishi Electric and Toshiba pioneered the technology. It was created as an upgrade from the window unit. The key objective was to offer cooling to houses and buildings where a more extensive, whole-system approach was either impractical because of space or monetary limitations, but subsequently offering far more pleasant cooling technology.

Initially available only as a window air conditioner or a wall-mounted indoor unit option, the ductless system provided enhanced performance, higher efficiency, and the ability to regulate separate zones. The possibility to remotely place the system’s condensing outdoor unit and therefore relocate the sound-bearing components from the living area was a significant benefit in freeing up window space.

The fact that the small, compact condensing units could be put in various locations, keeping up with the space-restricted Japanese building practices, while being energy efficient, was one of the major elements in the ductless system’s early popularity. To this day, the worldwide baseline ductless product is a wall-mounted indoor unit, which accounts for approximately 75% of total global mini split system sales.

Several manufacturers saw opportunities and introduced additional ductless indoor units, such as floor consoles and ceiling-suspended units to their existing HVAC systems. Concealed ducted-style and concealed ceiling cassette units have also been created, giving the ductless mini splits a new application.

Heat Pump Technologies Are Evolving

Ductless heat pump systems earned a reputation for reliability in terms of service and maintenance. Today’s technology has further enhanced this reputation, with installations rarely experiencing issues. Whether it is a small system or a multi zone system — which was invented by Daikin in 1973 — these air conditioner systems are extremely energy efficient, requiring simply basic filter maintenance and condenser coil cleaning.

As the Japanese invention was gradually spread across the world, the demands that each region created, both in terms of sales and design, further improved the concept, allowing ductless air conditioners to become the standard of many countries’ HVAC choices.

Longer pipe lengths, improved height separation, broader operation temperature range in both cooling and heating modes, efficiency levels exceeding government-mandated minimum requirements, and user-friendly mobile controls were among the technological advancements of ductless ACs.

The most significant evolution of the mini-split happened with the introduction of the more sophisticated variable refrigerant volume (VRV) zone systems. These advancements provided a ductless solution for servicing whole-house residential applications with multi-split systems capable of serving up to five zones.

Constant Evolution and Energy Savings

Compressor technology transitioned from conventional to variable-frequency drive (VFD) inverter compressors, offering outstanding operating performance (full and partial load) for mini split heat pumps and close control of the desired comfort level. Improvement of the heating and cooling equipment reliability, and extended lifespan in the main focus.

Condensing fan motors were upgraded from direct-drive to VFD inverter-types, which improved performance at the extremes of the ambient operation range and increased efficiency.

To reduce indoor noise levels and power consumption, evaporator unit fan motors transitioned from direct-drive to direct-current (DC).

Heat exchanger technology has advanced to incorporate sophisticated high-performance coil designs with little surface area but high heat exchange to guarantee higher system capacity. Even with a tiny, packed unit, higher efficiency can be obtained.

Self-diagnostic features assist the installing contractor and owner in addressing system errors and getting the equipment back to operational with as little downtime as possible.

A conventional boiler installation in a home will contain a tank for cold water storage and a cylinder for hot water. This setup has a rather large footprint, but it works well for large buildings or households who consume a lot of hot water, particularly at the same time.

A combination boiler, also known as a combi boiler, is another option to consider. This type of boiler heats your house similarly to a regular boiler, but instead of storing hot water for you to use through your home’s faucets and appliances, it heats water on demand only when you need it. Because the storage tanks have been removed, these boilers take significantly less room. Combi boilers are comparable to tankless water heaters, which we will examine later. The key is that they also heat your home because they are boilers too.

Combination boilers, commonly known as Combi boilers, provide high efficiency space heating and domestic hot water (DHW) in a compact design that is simple to install and maintain. When a hot water faucet is turned on, the incoming water passes through the heat exchanger. Heating the water to the required temperature is prioritized by heated boiler water provided by the fire tube heat exchanger. When it is necessary to heat the area, a diverter valve transfers the hot boiler water into the external space heating loop.

What is the difference between a combi boiler and a conventional boiler?

Although both can heat your home and supply hot water, there are significant variations. Traditional gas boilers are primarily used for space heating. To warm the air, hot water from the boiler is pumped through radiators or a hydronic heating system. Traditional boiler water may also be utilized for household hot water by passing it through a separate, integrated water heating unit before being routed to a fixture like a faucet or shower. Some traditional boilers may be used with potable water, while others require further water treatment.

A combination boiler is designed to provide both space and water heating from a single unit. A combi boiler, like a tankless water heater, delivers hot water on demand. To provide the greatest possible experience, it can also effortlessly switch between water heating and space heating. You may consider to replace your old storage tank water heater and condensing boiler with these units. An air source heat pump can also be a great supplement to your overall heating system.

Is it true that a combi boiler saves money?

Combi boilers are very energy efficient for both space and water heating, and they may help to reduce your home’s energy costs. They maintain high efficiency even when heating demands are decreased.

Are you fed up with running out of hot water? That won’t be an issue ever again with new and efficient tankless units. Tankless boilers heat up the water only when you need it. Here’s what you need to know about installing and living with a tankless water heater in Markham.

The usual way how households in Markham heat water is extremely inefficient. We fill up large water storage tanks, and keep the water at a high temperature constantly, every day all year around to make sure that we have hot water available when we need it.

But in some cases, it just doesn’t work. If a family member takes a long shower or a hot bath, it can empty the water tank. It takes a long time and energy to refill the storage tank and reheat the water inside.

The corrosive effects of the stagnant water will slowly break down the water storage tank. Limescale build up will significantly decrease the energy efficiency of the unit. Rust can colour the water to brown, and eventually will cause a leak. In average a tank unit will fail in 8 to 12 years.

Why choose a Tankless Water Heater

It generates hot water only when you need it and only for as long as you need it. The interrupted operation can save 27 to 50 percent of energy costs compared to tank heaters.

In a tankless unit there’s no tank to fail, and almost no chance of a leak. Since their introduction on the North American market in the 1990s, tankless heaters are improving and getting more and more features such as notification systems to tell the user exactly when the unit requires maintenance.

What you need to Know About Tankless Water Heaters

To install a tankless water heater unit in Markham, you must contact a professional technician from Novel Care. He will make sure to have leak-free water, vent, and gas connections. The installation may require access to the circuit-breaker panel and wiring upgrades.

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance Services

Besides installation, Novel Care provides professional maintenance services in Markham. The tankless water heater maintenance includes cleaning or changing filters, and checking the burner.

Tap water in Markham is considered to be hard. It has about 123 milligrams per litre, or 8.6 Grains per Gallon of dissolved minerals. A vinegar flush every 500 hours can keep the limescale build up from clogging the tankless unit’s heat exchanger.

A tankless water heater will usually last for 20 years or more, two or three times longer than traditional tank type water heaters.

Tankless Water Heaters Pros and Cons

PRO: Compact design

New tank type water heaters are bigger as regulations require thicker insulation to reduce standby heat loss.

They may won’t be able to fit in the place of the old water heater of the same capacity. Tankless water heaters are about the size of a suitcase and be hung on the wall.

PRO: Safer operation

Unlike a tank water heater, they won’t spill gallons of water if they have a leak. They don’t harbor harmful bacteria, and can’t tip over. As the air-supply and exhaust vents are completely sealed, carbon monoxide can’t leak into the house.

PRO: Easy winter preparation

Cottage owners are familiar with the long and inconvenient task of draining the stagnant water from a tank water heater before leaving the house for the winter. With the help of a compressor, you can drain a tankless heater in a few seconds.

CON: They take longer to deliver hot water

If you expect peaks in your hot water usage, you may need to install several systems or stay with a traditional storage tank to avoid running out of hot water suddenly.

CON: High upfront cost

Compared to traditional tank-type heaters, a tankless gas heater may save you only about $100 per year, depending on the unit’s efficiency and your hot water demands. However, as these new tankless units last longer, the savings will be visible after a few years, about when a tank water heater would experience failures.

Helping Canadians shop for energy efficiency EnerGuide is the official mark of the Government of Canada for its energy performance rating and labeling program for key consumer items—houses, light-duty vehicles, and certain energy-using products. Besides the well-known and recognized ENERGY STAR® certification, the distinctive EnerGuide label is a familiar sight to most Canadians. We see it when we shop for new appliances, look at the literature for a new furnace, ductless mini split, or read the fine print on a light bulb package.

EnerGuide ratings are tested and verified

The EnerGuide symbol on the EnerGuide label is a registered trademark of the Government of Canada; it cannot be reproduced without permission.

The familiar symbol tells Canadians that we are looking at a government-backed program. It assures us that we can rely on the information provided on the label.

The EnerGuide label is visible proof that the product has been tested and verified to meet or exceed minimum energy performance standards set by Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations.

Since 1970, the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) has been a leader and Canada’s voice on standards and accreditation on the national and international stage. They drive collaboration and build relationships, promote Canadian priorities, and connect stakeholders to global networks and resources. Their goal is to improve Canadians’ quality of life and economic prosperity.

How do products get their labels?

Before a product can carry an EnerGuide label, it must be tested. The tests determine how much energy the product would use under average Canadian conditions. Different product types use different measurements.

Tests procedures are standardized to ensure that labelled products are tested according to the same criteria and that the EnerGuide rating is comparable from one label to another within the same class of products.

Similarly, the Government of Canada, whenever possible, aligns its standards and testing procedures with those in the United States. Regulated energy-consuming products imported to Canada or shipped between provinces/territories must carry an energy efficiency verification mark from a certification body accredited for energy efficiency by the Standards Council of Canada. The energy efficiency verification mark can be a small label or an addition to the product’s nameplate.

Learn about the EnerGuide label

The voluntary EnerGuide label displays the model type and SEER. The energy efficiency of an air conditioner is measured by its seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER): the higher the number, the more efficient the model.

It also uses a pointer to show where that value falls on a scale of energy efficiency for similar models. In brochures that refer to more than one model or size, there may be more than one pointer on the scale. Use this indicator value and scale to see the model compared with the most efficient and least efficient models in the same class.

The ENERGY STAR® name and symbol are trademarks registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are administered and promoted by Natural Resources Canada.

Your energy bill will always increase a little bit in the winter. It’s just a fact of living in Toronto. You spend more time indoors and the lights in your house are on for longer periods because we have less sunlight. You’re also forced to keep your home warm, even when you’re not there in order to keep the pipes from freezing. While your energy bill can increase quicker than you may notice there are a few things you can do to keep it under control.

How Much Does It Cost To Run Appliances?

The operating cost of your appliances isn’t something that you need to be aware of, but it can certainly help you understand why your energy bill costs what it does. this can help you regulate how much you use them or how efficiently you use them throughout the year.

Tumble Dryer – This is one of the most frequently use appliances in any home. We certainly use them much more often throughout the winter because we can’t hang anything outside to dry. Unfortunately, tumble dryers are energy pigs and can really ramp up your energy bill. An average dryer costs about $1 per load to operate.

Using your dryer properly by drying loads rather than single or very few items, and by drying clothes outside when possible can save you up to $130 per year.

Here are some tips to improve your dryer usage:

  • Hang your laundry to dry when possible, even indoors and then use your dryer to finish them off and remove wrinkles on a half cycle.
  • Be sure to always use the spin cycle in your washing machine so as much water and moisture is removed from your clothes as possible prior to throwing them in the dryer.
  • Clean the lint filter. Your dryer will work more efficiently and use less power with a clean lint filter.
  • Dry clothes of similar weights together. Towels and heavy sweatshirts will take longer than t-shirts

Here are some other items around the house that people commonly use, and how much they cost to operate:

  • Electric Heater – An average electric space heater run for five hours in the evening will cost almost $3, which can be about $20 per week and $80 a month. Maybe use a blanket instead of running an electric heater.
  • Kettle – Boiling 2 litres of water in your kettle can cost you about 45 cents. Only boil as much water as you need in order to save money.
  • Light Bulbs – Winter is darker which means the lights get used more. Overall, lighting accounts for about 8% of your energy bill. Switching older incandescent bulbs out for energy saving LEDs can save $20 per light bulb per year.
  • Electric Blanket – These use around 1.5 kWh to operate for 4 hours, which costs around .40 cents.

Save Big On Your Energy Bill With HVAC

One big way to save money is to ensure that all of your appliances are operating efficiently. This includes your furnace, boiler, air conditioner, blower fan, dehumidifier, duct system, ductless air conditioner, heat pump and any other HVAC appliance. When these appliances are properly maintained by a professional they will use less energy to operate throughout the year.

For more information about saving energy in your home contact a Novel Care Toronto HVAC technician: 416-921-0000.

It’s not common knowledge, but only 17% of homes in the world have air conditioning. Fortunately, this statistic is going to change, soon, and vary drastically. By the end of the century, within the next 84 years, the number of homes that have air conditioning will rise to about 70%. This isn’t anticipating any radial factors but based on the growing demand of the global middle-class population.

The main way this will be achieved is through technology and the thought that merely cooling an individual’s personal space is much more affordable than an entire building. Consider things like office chairs that provide cooling, or shoes that keep individuals cool as they walk.

Technological Advances In Air Conditioning

It’s difficult to predict exactly, but the amount of energy that even the most efficient air conditioner models consume is a lot for some countries to digest. The United States Government is known for a lot of things, but the DELTA program isn’t one of their more popular ones. DELTA stands for Delivering Efficient Local Thermal Amenities.

For example, they’ve developed a prototype in RoCo, the robotic personal conditioning device. RoCo has a heater and air conditioner attached to a moving base that follows you around through the signal on your smartphone. RoCo will gently blow the warm or cool air at your to help regulate your temperature. In a commercial building, up to 30 percent of energy costs could be saved, especially if RoCo is charged using solar technology.

DELTA has also come up with a wireless powered climate-controlled office chair. It uses only 14 watts to providing heating for its user and 4 watts for cooling. It has cooling and heating elements that are assisted by small fans, and when not in use the whole system powers down to save energy.

One of the most impressive technologies is the thermoregulation of shoes. DELTA calls this the ReBoot, which has thin insoles with water channels running through them. Working like an air conditioner the water absorbs the heat from your feet and disperses it through a small fan in the boot. This works because the feet are part of the body’s cooling system and give off a lot of heat. By making them more efficient the body will cool off faster.

These technologies aren’t currently available on the market, so while we all wait for our own personal cooling accessories we’ll continue to rely on high-efficiency central and ductless air conditioning systems.

Contact Novel Care today for a free consultation: 416-921-0000. Novel Care has been serving Toronto, York Region, and the GTA for over 35 years.

Annual air conditioner maintenance is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your air conditioner is running properly and efficiently. Proper air conditioner maintenance is also one of the best ways to keep your air conditioner running longer, so replacement units are fewer and farther between. It’s a big mistake to forgo air conditioner maintenance, and here are 7 other mistakes you might be making when it comes to home cooling.

Air Conditioner Filters – Part of air conditioner maintenance is changing the filter, but it shouldn’t end there. The air conditioner and HVAC filter should be inspected and possibly changed at least once a month. Changing the air filter is easy and can improve the efficiency of your system immediately.

Programmable Thermostats – A programmable thermostat is one of the best ways to ensure your system is running as efficiently as possible. This reduces the wear and tear on your system and also ensures that you’re not paying high rates on your energy bill when you don’t need to. Smart thermostats make programming even easier as they understand your habits and adjust the temperature accordingly.

Incorrectly Setting A Thermostat – The human body can adapt to changing temperatures quite easily. If you’re setting your thermostat too low during the summer to keep your home and body temperature very low you might be wasting money. Every degree setting lower in the summer can increase your energy bill by up to 3%. Allow your body to adjust to higher temperatures so you can save money in the summer.

Fans – Ceiling fans are a great addition to air conditioning systems. They help circulate air throughout your home, so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard. Ensure that your fan is turning counterclockwise during the summer to assist with airflow.

Poorly Positioned Vents – It’s tough to choose where your vents are located in your home, but it’s important that they aren’t blocked by furniture or curtains. Obstructed vents aren’t able to properly cool your home or circulate the air. This makes your system work harder than it has to, which in turn costs you money.

Empty Rooms – It’s not always the best idea to close vents in your house as it affects the pressure of your home, but if you can put dampers on the pipes leading to empty rooms in your home and close them when they’re not in use you won’t be cooling empty rooms. When doing this it’s important to close the doors to those rooms so cold air is sucked into them.

Window Coverings – Sunlight is wonderful, but it’s also the biggest thing fighting your air conditioner. By coming through the windows and heating the air in your home, sunlight can be making your system work harder to keep your home cool. shades and blinds are the best defense against the sun when it’s shining through your windows.

For more information about air conditioner maintenance or keeping your home HVAC system running efficiently contact Novel Care today: 416-921-0000.

Novel Care has been serving Toronto, York Region and the rest of the GTA for over 35 years.

Sitting in the shade on a hot day is a great way to stay cool. Well, the same goes for your air conditioner. Air conditioning efficiency is heavily impacted by the amount of heat and sun being placed on your air conditioner. If shaded by a tree for most of the day your cooling system won’t have to work as hard as it would if it were in direct sunlight. As a result, it’ll run more efficiently and you’ll save money on your energy bills.

If an air conditioner’s compressor or condenser sits in the hot sun it has to cool itself off as well as the air that it draws from inside the house. A cooler air conditioner will not only save you money, but it will have a longer life and require less maintenance over the years. On top of that adding greenery to your yard is always beneficial in terms of cooling your home and yard overall.

There are other options to keep the sun off your air conditioner. Sunshades and other elevated covers or awnings that are made specifically for air conditioners are also excellent, yet less natural, ways to keep your air conditioner cool.

Impeding Air Conditioning Efficiency

One thing to note when planting trees and other shrubs to shade your air conditioner is not to have them too close. Your air conditioner relies on the space and air surrounding it to work properly and efficiently. When the leaves of trees and bushes reduce the airflow around your air conditioner it has to work harder to move the air around it. Additionally, if a tree or bush is too close it can get scorched by the air conditioner, so keeping them at a safe distance is also in their best interest.

It’s also important to make sure that the trees or bushes you plant don’t drop lots of seeds, which can fall into your air conditioner and cause problems.

If you need a new air conditioner installed, maintenance on your existing one, or just want to learn more about air conditioning efficiency contact Novel Care today: 416-921-0000.

Novel Care has been providing professional and reputable air conditioner services to the residents of Toronto, York Region and the rest of the GTA for over 35 years.