Hot Water Tank VS On Demand


Tankless water heater systems have become more widespread in the last few years, as they result in cost savings in the long run. Enjoying reduced energy and operating charges, tankless systems for heating water are more efficient and are more environmentally friendly than hot water cisterns of the traditional kind.

Conventional Water Heater vs. Tankless Water Heater

With advancements in technology, it is possible to get on demand hot water whenever you need it, rather than waiting for it to heat up in a tank.

You’ll soon realize that there are lots of benefits of tankless water heating over the conventional method.

Storage Tanks – By using tankless water heater devices, you don’t need a storage tank. A regular hot water heater preheats and stores 25 to 50 gallons in the tank which repeatedly needs heating. A tankless water heater provides warm water as needed, eliminating the need for large water storage tanks.
Loss of Heat – Any time that water is preheated to be stored in a tank, there is quite a lot of heat and energy loss. This can be avoided by using on demand water heating systems.
Utility Bills – A conventional tank based water heater pre-heats and heats water to a fixed temperature level irrespective of your actual hot water requirements. This may lead to highly inflated utility bills. By using an on-demand hot water system, your energy consumption is linked directly to your hot water demands. There’s no need for pre-heating. Thus, the utility bills should decrease.
Lifespan – Regular water heating systems usually last ten to fifteen years as compared to an on-demand hot water heater, which can last almost double at more than 20 years. Consequently, you’ll save on replacement costs. This aspect also helps to cover the increased purchase and installation costs that come with on demand hot water heaters.

If you are still determined to call a hot water tank contractor for this job to upgrade your existing tank based hot water system call an expert first off to talk about your options.

Nothing can be more frustrating than getting up on a cold and wintery day only to realize that the hot water isn’t working and that, unfortunately, you are in for one very, very cold shower. Fortunately there are a few tips that you can follow to maintain your hot water heater during the cold months and throughout the rest of the year, helping to ensure that your hot water doesn’t fail you at the most inopportune moments.

Make Sure that Your Hot Water Supply is Sufficient

A hot water heater can be overtaxed by excessive use of hot or warm water. In general, it is a good idea for your home’s hot or warm water demands to be no greater than 75% of your heater’s capacity. In other words, if your family uses 15 gallons of hot water in a cycle, then your heater should have a total capacity of 20 gallons.

Flush Your Water Regularly

Stagnant water in a heater can create buildup that leads to other problems such as noise and odd smells and different colors in the water. It is a good idea to regularly flush out your heater to keep it running optimally. This can prevent sediment and other buildup issues that can interfere with the optimal running of your unit and can lead to major issues in the long run. Remember to carefully research and review any shut down protocols associated with your particular appliance and to consult with professionals if a flush out is outside your DIY skill set.

Have a Pro Check Your Water Heater Out

Sometimes problems with large household appliances like a water heater are beyond even the most highly skilled homeowner. If your heater is presenting with problems that you cannot address on your own, make sure to bring in a professional to consult you on your unit. Small problems like leaks, low water pressure, and more can indicate a larger problem that can quickly snowball out of control.

Don’t stand on your pride, and bring in the experts to help ensure you have a nice warm shower throughout the winter months. No one wants to get surprised by waking up to cold water in the middle of February. By taking some regular proactive steps to maintain your hot water heater, you can help to guarantee that you and your family are not left without during the coldest times of the year.

Call these guys for quick and efficient installation service.

KCs Plumbing and Heating Ltd
1896 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC V5N 2S7
(604) 873-3753

Business Hours:
Monday 7:30am – 4:30pm
Tuesday 7:30am – 4:30pm
Wednesday 7:30am – 4:30pm
Thursday 7:30am – 4:30pm
Friday 7:30am – 4:30pm
Saturday 9:00am – 3:00pm
Sunday Closed


How to Take Care of Your Very Expensive HVAC System


A good HVAC system is the key to maintaining a health environment in your home. Through the years many people inquire about a strategy to cut down on the cost of energy for the HVAC system. They don’t want to sacrifice the interior environmental conditions, however they do want a-point-by-point plan to follow. The interesting thing that always happens is that energy bills are decreased substantially and of course the HVAC system efficiency is improved. That is a standard function of any mechanical engineer devoted to energy and HVAC.

Energy Optimization

Step one to acheiving system optimization is to reduce the load. This step usually consists of a well thought out plan itemizing required sets to take based upon best return on your investment. Reducing the system load will allow it to function properly. If a new system or systems are now being considered, it will be more economical to design for the reduced load as opposed to the prevailing load. A few common load reduction strategies include:

1. Tighten the building shell and add supplemental insulation. Adding insulation in existing buildings is probably not achievable for some, so more consideration should be aimed toward the outside shell, in particular windows and doors.

2. Installing energy-efficient windows. This is a big item for some properties that still have single pane windows. The installment of double pane glazed windows with a thermal break is a great return on your investment. Ensure they’re ENERGY STAR qualified windows. Tinting or Low-E coatings will even be better.

3. Changing lighting systems. The typical commercial structure has a lighting density of 2-3 watts per sq. ft. to maintain a comfortable lighting level. This is a big part of an HVAC system load and almost any efforts in this direction will lower the cooling requirement of the building. Accent lighting (ocassionally named architectural lighting) are not guaranteed to be energy efficient and must not be looked at if you wish to reduce energy and HVAC costs. Energy-efficient lighting systems give off less heat into air conditioned space than older incandescent technology. If you have a return air plenum instead of return air ductwork, consider light troffers so that some of the heat from the bulbs is returned to the HVAC system rather than bleeding into the occupied areas.

4. Choosing equipment with better efficiency ratings that have the power saver choice will reduce the heat gain in the space. Items to consider include copiers, kitchen equipment, computer systems and refrigerators.

5. Control ventilation by having your outside air balanced. Most building owners have blueprints of the system installation. Have those drawings examined by using an outside professional to verify your air flow rates conform to the most recent code requirements. If no sketches can be found, your furnace repair technician be capable of suggesting tips for enhancement.

Handling these things is your first step to controlling energy and HVAC costs.

HVAC Systems

The second step to realize energy and HVAC system optimization is knowing it. Your HVAC system is crucial for a comfortable environment, it also represents a large component of your utilities. While it is past the scope of this article to debate every system, a few suggestions could be answered. Every HVAC component has increased in effectiveness during recent years. If your system is more than 13 years old, it is time to begin thinking of replacing the system. Properly serviced residential systems have a life span of about fifteen years give or take, but appear to fail at the worse times. Have a replacement plan ready for the day your equipment does fail.

Business systems vary, but if your structure is using packaged equipment or split systems, equivalent lifetime should be likely. For industrial or large business systems, the HVAC system could also be more advanced and require an individual analysis by a contractor. As I stated earlier, HVAC systems will vary so an individual assessment works for larger systems. What all these systems have in common is they’re normally driven by electricity. Electricity costs money, so any improvement in the direction of better performance can be a bonus.

HVAC System Points:

Find a professional contractor you can trust. If you are a property owner, find a good HVAC company or technician to evaluate and work on the system. Assuming you are a large property owner, look for a commercial HVAC company for normal maintenance and a trusted mechanical engineer for unbiased guidance. I do advise against using someone who works for the HVAC Company; find a 3rd party service for unbiased information.

Validate your HVAC system load. Industrial buildings have more requirements related to code conformance, minimum ventilation rates, etc and therefore are individual to each place.

Opt for equipment sized for the load. DO NOT OVERSIZE! More-is-better doesn’t work for HVAC systems. It will cost more to purchase the equipment as well as operate it. Get the load and the equipment selection right the first time.

Buy high efficiency or Energy Star equipment. Many of the newer systems come with variable speed units for moving parts. Through your years of ownership this will be paid back many times over. Contrast standard efficiency equipment to high efficiency equipment in terms of the installation cost and running expenditure. Any good HVAC company or mechanical engineer can get this information for you.

Consider some form of power recapture for air exhausted from the place and use it somehow to condition the incoming air. This is the air you’ve paid to condition, so extracting a portion of the existing energy before blowing it out it should be necessary.

For larger buildings, consider conditioning the outside air with a dedicated exterior air unit. This will eliminate any concerns related to moisture control in most circumstances. It will also increase comfort levels and allow for further equipment optimization.

Commercial properties might want to consider equipment economizers. Many current city codes call for economizers on equipment over 15 tons. Often available at a low initial cost, these units use fresh air from outside whenever the temperature (or humidity) outdoors is lower than the temperature inside.

Both home owners and small business owners should think about installing thermostats you can program. Commercial buildings can install a custom digital control system. The investment will pay back more than the price right away.

Different Types o Control Systems

The third step to achieve energy and HVAC system optimization is to control your system.

The Digital Thermostat: A great investment for anyone is a programmable thermostat. These are simple to use and incorporate strategies based on a schedule. Most manufacturers offer seven day programs which will control the HVAC system timing and or climate settings. This is the best way to make sure the system is used only when necessary.

DDC Systems: For the large commercial building, I consider this as an essential system. Installation costs have steadily decreased and performance is better. They are often integrated into any system and expanded as required. Some of the more accepted features of these systems are optimized start/stop, multiple zone controls, temperature sensing unit and ventilation control. A key benefit of these solutions might be their capability to be integrated into any size system. This implies you can install a something simple to begin with then add more controls later to include your whole HVAC system. The payback is short and well worth the investment.

Coil Cleaning: This is usually a big item missed by residential and commercial building owners. Condenser coils tend to collect dust and debris because they are outdoors. This makes the compressor work overtime and leads to a higher refrigerant temperature in your refrigeration system. Dirty evaporator and heat coils collect dust and fibers that circulate inside your home or building. They must be cleaned at least once a year

Ongoing Operations and Maintenance

The fourth and last step to achieve better system operation is consistent maintenance. The most effective systems are always maintained. Ensure consistency, efficiency as well as long life for the HVAC system by using these guidelines.

Find a professional contractor you can trust. Find a good company or technician to analyze and work on your system. Assuming you are a large building owner, find a commercial|an industrial} HVAC contractor for normal maintenance. Ensure you keep track of servicing with when they vist and what they did each time.

Home owners must always get a regular tune up. The way your system works will fluctuate depending on the season.

Change air filters on a schedule. Don’t use anything less than a MERV 5 filter to assure dust and fibers are removed. Clean filters will save fan energy.

Conclusion

Optimizing your HVAC system will help to lower electrical expenses. A little time getting to know your system and familiarizing yourself with money saving strategies will save on energy costs and boost the life span of your equipment.


How To Use a Sealant to Fix The Plumbing


Thousands of people are spending thousands of dollars for their plumbing system, while millions of people are spending hundreds of dollars just to fix simple repairs. Although there are some who are already aware of the simple plumbing repairs that they can do, majority are still unaware of the things that should be done when dealing with problems in their plumbing system.

A sealant can solve almost all of the problems that you have with your plumbing system. Aside from being very useful, it is also not that expensive, so there won’t be any reason for you not to have it with you. A sealant can also be used on your roof, so you don’t have to worry about buying something that you will only be used once.

How Does it Work?

A sealant is a substance that feels like clay when molding. This will allow you to mold the sealant according to the size of the hole in your plumbing system. All you have to do is to apply it on the damaged area, and make sure that every part is covered with it. When dry, a sealant is as hard as rock, and will block the hole in your plumbing system. It can also last for years, so you don’t have to worry about doing it on a regular basis.

Types of Sealant

There are basically two types of sealants that you can use; waterproof and non-waterproof. Both work the same, but the non-waterproof is less expensive. The only problem that you will experience if you are going to use a non-waterproof is that you need to shut down the main source of water when applying the sealant. Fear not, because when it dries up, it will still work perfectly and will be as hard as rock. The waterproof sealant will dry up even while exposed to water, so you will be able to work with it without shutting the main source of water.

Where Can You Buy it?

It is available in almost any hardware that you can find. In fact, a small store even has one for sale. It won’t be a problem for you to look for a sealant, so you really don’t have a reason not to buy one, especially now that you know how useful it will be for you. This very simple tool will help you save hundreds of dollars in the long run, because you won’t need the service of a plumbing contractor.

If you’ve tried this technique and discover that you still need a professional, then we recommend you look at this company to get an idea how a reputable plumbing company runs their operations.

KC’s Plumbing and Heating
(604) 873-3753
1896 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC V5N 2S7
https://www.kcplumb.ca


Winter Plumbing Tips


As cold weather blasts the majority of North American homeowners brace themselves for both plummeting temperatures and soaring heating costs. Beyond the higher energy costs, cold weather can also bring additional expenses in the form of frozen pipes and broken heating units. Following are five simple tips for insulating your pocketbook against cold weather costs.

Protect Outside Faucets

Prevent exterior pipes from breaking by protecting your outside faucets. Detach all exterior garden hoses and insulate the faucet against frigid weather. Also insulate any exterior pipes that are exposed. Either wrap the faucet and pipes with material or buy insulating foam to surround it. This is a simple job anyone can do with a few items from a local hardware store and tools laying around the house.

Protect Interior Pipes

During extreme cold, even interior and covered pipes can freeze. As a prevention, turn on an inside faucet and allow it to drip during the coldest winter snaps. The running water will keep the water flowing and prevent the pipes from freezing in all but the most extreme cases.

Protect Pipes in Utility Spaces

Homeowners often forget about protecting pipes in utility spaces such as the attic or basement; however, these are also prone to freeze in severe weather. Protect these spaces from drafts as much as possible and remember to insulate the pipes in these areas as well. This might be a job for a handyman or a small contracting company.

Prevent Clogged Drains

One staple of the holidays is prodigious cooking and fatty foods. The drains and pipes of your home can take a beating during this time and the cold weather solidifies the fats, resulting in a higher incidence of clogged drains. When a drain clogs up beyond your ability to wash the grease away, you’ll probably need to call a local plumbing company.

Steer clear of drain problems by avoiding putting grease, oil, and hard to dissolve foods down the drain or through the garbage disposal. As a preventative measure, treat your drains once a week with an eco-friendly drain cleaner made up of ¼ C cream of tartar, 1 C salt, and 1 C baking soda. Chase the mixture with 2 cups of boiling water. If you need further instructions,  there are lots of good video tutorials on YouTube.

Service Your Heating Unit

The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is very true in the case of your furnace or heating unit. At the beginning of the fall season, have a professional Vancouver plumber service your furnace to ensure it is in top operating condition. The last thing you want is for your furnace to break down in the middle of a blizzard.

You cannot control the vagaries of the weather; however, you can prepare for its inevitable impact. By following these few simple plumbing tips, you can bypass the most severe plumbing repair problems.


Keep The Gutters On Your Home Clean


cleaning the guttersRain gutters are necessary because they direct rainwater to a runoff or a drainage system. However, installation and repairs can be challenging. Here are tips about gutter cleaning as well as gutter services offered by professionals:

Start by evaluating your home’s gutter requirements. In general, water from your home’s roof should flow into gutters, downspouts, and finally into a water drainage system. With this in mind, measure the length of your home’s roof and determine the location of downspouts. Use this information to buy new gutters that will fit well around your home’s roof. You can use the same information to hire a business that provides gutter services like installation.

Planning Gutter Installation

To start with, put together the new gutters on the ground. This makes installation much easier because you do not have to join gutter sections while standing on a ladder. Secondly, install mounts/hangers that will hold your roof drainage system in place. Make sure you space these mounts properly and position them in such a way that rainwater will flow from your roof drainage system to a downspout. The rule of thumb is to install downspouts at a wall that is close to a water drainage system. Moreover, it is advisable to place downspouts in inconspicuous locations.

After installing mounts/hangers, lift the assembled gutters and fix them on your home’s roof. Make sure you install them under the drip edge of your house’s roof. Use a level to ensure water can flow all the way to a downspout and additionally, install splash guards where two or more roof lines meet. This is to prevent water from shooting over gutters and dripping down your house’s walls.

If you cannot install a roof drainage system due to one reason or another, you can hire a professional or company that deals with gutter installation.

Gutter Repair and Cleaning

Over time, debris such as leaves, dust, and small twigs will clog your gutters impeding free flow of water. Furthermore, your gutters will deteriorate and develop cracks, which will allow water to leak. For this reason, you should schedule gutter cleaning and maintenance. Start by examining your gutters to determine problem areas. Use the right scoop to remove debris that might have clogged the water channel. Work your way around your house while carrying out gutter cleaning and make sure water can flow freely down the downspouts as well.

Some Gutter Cleaning Tools

After this, seal cracks that might have developed on your gutters. Sand the target area to remove rust or dirt and then apply gutter sealant using a putty knife. Let the patched area dry before using water to test whether it is properly sealed. Use the same gutter repair technique to seal leaky joints. Once again, you do not have to do your own gutter cleaning if you are busy at work or do not have the nerve to climb up your home’s roof. Hire an expert from a company that offers gutter repair and cleaning services.

In summary, if you allow rainwater to splash or drip down the walls of your home, it could cause serious structural damage over time. Gutter installation, gutter cleaning, and gutter repair will ensure this does not happen.


How to Maintain Your Gas Furnace


Gas furnaces provide many years of reliable performance with preventive maintenance and routine inspections. You should be able to handle many maintenance tasks on your own, but you should contact a qualified gas contractor to inspect your home heating system at least once per year or according to the intervals recommended by the manufacturer.

Follow These Steps For Routine Maintenance:

  • Note About Safety — Turn the furnace off and shut down electricity to the unit on the home’s circuit breaker panel before replacing fan belts, changing filters and inspecting the unit.
  • Make sure the fan compartment door is closed and clean or change the filters every 90 days. In mos units, a small clip holds the filter in place inside the blower compartment or near it.
  • When changing the filters, inspect the fan belt and replace it if there are any signs of excessive wear or cracks.
  • Clean out any pet hair, lint or dust that accumulates in the air returns and vents and make sure furniture and other objects are not blocking airflow through them.
  • Inspect the vent system and chimney on an annual basis to look for damage, corrosion or foreign objects that may be blocking the flue or chimney as well as to verify the pipe connection is secure.
  • Clear away all objects from all sides of the furnace. Do not lean items against the side of the unit. Never keep flammable products in the same room with the furnace.
  • Always hire a qualified gas contractor if you want to enclose the furnace.
  • A couple drops of SAE 20 oil should be applied to all oiling points once a year before the winter. Be careful not to apply too much oil.

Signs of Trouble

In most cases, a malfunctioning furnace will exhibit one or more warning signs.

Here are the most common signs of trouble:

  • The pilot light goes out frequently.
  • Delays before ignition. You may have a high efficiency furnace with a built-in delay, so read the owner’s manual.
  • A flame that wavers or is yellow in color.
  • Black, brown or white streaks indicating excessive corrosion or soot on the vents or the furnace.
  • The furnace generates too much heat or fails to generate enough heat.
  • The furnace emits a foul smell that resembles the smell of rotten eggs or makes the eyes sting.
  • Anyone in the household has signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include lethargy, headaches, nausea or flu-like symptoms.
  • Burn marks near an opening or the furnace door that indicate flames have escaped from inside the furnace.

What to do When You Smell Gas

If you think your furnace has a gas leak or you smell gas, contact your natural gas supplier on the emergency phone line. Write down the contact number ahead of time and keep it in a convenient place so you can respond as quickly as possible.

What to do When the Pilot Light Goes Out

Many modern appliances will shut down automatically if the pilot light goes out. Locate the manufacturer’s instructions printed on a metal plate somewhere near the gas controls or the furnace burner and follow them to relight the pilot if it goes out. If you cannot get the pilot to light, turn the gas supply valve off and contact a qualified gas contractor to look at it for you.

Note: Many new models lack a pilot light. Read your owner’s manual to determine if your unit has one.

Furnace Maintenance Tips


Four Ideas For a Bathroom Renovation


Many home owners consider a home renovation as part of their biggest investment. They require purchasing brand new items, repairing or replacing the damaged fixtures in general just to boost their home’s aesthetics to offer them the look they desire. Apart from the entire house, you will probably think about other areas like the living room, bedrooms, and particularly bathrooms.

Generally, bathrooms are among the most vital parts in your house where you spend a lot of time. For some of us, these are areas where you can get away and relax take a soothing shower or just sit and think. Keeping this in mind, when thinking about improving your home, bathroom renovations are key. Nevertheless, before beginning a bathroom renovations project, here are some factors to consider that will help you end up with a better bathroom to hand out in.

  • Materials- Ranging from tiles, counter tops as well as windows, you need to confirm that all the necessary items used in your bathroom has what you want. IF your budget allows, go for top quality materials for durability.
  • Space- Because some of us assume how busy our bathrooms are, you want to think about space to make the place more relaxing and user friendly. If you have room to increase the area by moving a wall the bathroom will be more spacious.
  • Budget- Budget is a concern to renovate. Enough money is required to make sure that components you desire can be purchased and installed correctly.
  • Lighting requirements- You will want good lighting so new lighting fixtures will be a consideration. Ab alternative might be bigger windows to capitalize on the sunlight.

These suggestion can help make your renovation go smoothly. Any stylish bathroom renovation can be fun and exciting once its done. It will improve the quality of your bathroom and make it more pleasant place to visit more often.