Service

(250) 765-4446

Vacancies

+How do I know if my A/C unit is big enough?

Before purchasing a replacement system you should always make sure your system is sized properly. Our representative will provide a heat load calculation to determine the proper size and make the appropriate recommendation. Remember, bigger is not always better.

+During the heating season, my heat pump makes a whooshing sound and I feel cool air coming from the supply registers. Is that normal?
Yes. During the cold weather months, frost will accumulate on the outdoor coil. This will cause the heat pump to go into a defrost cycle anywhere from 1-10 minutes, depending on the amount of ice on the coil. The system will return to the heating mode once the ice is gone.
+During the heating season, my heat pump delivers warm air, but not hot air, and will operate for long periods of time. Is that normal?

Yes, this is normal. A heat pump generally produces air that is 80°F, which is considered warm, and will heat the house evenly. However, 80°F may feel cool to your hand, which is usually closer to 90°F.

+Why are humidifiers used more in heating than cooling?

When cool outdoor air enters a home it tends to dry out as it warms up, which increases the static electricity in the home and causes sinus problems. Adding a humidifier with help to add moisture back into the air and limit sinus problems. In the summer, even with outdoor relative humidity hovering around the single digits, the humidity in your home tends to be around 40%. The average comfort range for relative humidity in a home is from 35 to 45%.

+Should I close the registers and doors to areas of the home that I do not use on a regular basis?
No. Closing the registers will decrease the systems’ airflow and efficiency. Every system is designed to cool a certain number of square feet. By closing registers and doors in certain rooms, you disrupt the airflow and cause your air conditioning system to work harder to distribute air to other areas of your home. Your system will work harder, to cool less space, making it cycle more and become less efficient.
+How much does a new replacement system cost?

Due to the many different makes, models and customer needs, price is an issue that can only be solved by doing a thorough evaluation of your home and existing equipment. There is no charge for an in-house replacement proposal.

+Is there anything I should check prior to calling for service?

Yes. Check to be sure that the air handler or furnace is switched on at the emergency disconnect switch (usually high on the wall outside or just inside the furnace room). Check that the breakers and the disconnects are turned on and be sure the thermostat is set correctly.

+What are the advantages of a programmable thermostat?

Different programmable thermostats offer many different features. However, because they are electronic, they are all more accurate and efficient than thermostats that contain mercury. With programmable thermostats you can control the temperature in your home at different times of day without ever touching your thermostat. Because everything is automatic, you will never forget to change the setting on your own.

+What temperature should I set my thermostat?

Obviously the time of year becomes a big factor for desired temperature settings. In the summer months the average temperature setting is 22-24C, in the winter 20-22° seems to be the most common setting. Remember, when leaving your house, try to avoid drastic temperature changes. Do not set your temperature back more than 4°; this will cause your unit to work harder to achieve the desired temperature setting.

+What air temperature should my air conditioner produce?

The air temperature your system produces depends on the temperature of the air going into the system. Generally, the air produced should be 18°-20° below what enters the system. So if the air entering the system is 80°F, the air exiting should be about 60°-62°F. However, that only works on a system that has been running at least 15 minutes on a warm, dry day with a home that is about 80°F inside. On a mild day, with an indoor temperature in the low 70’s, or during humid conditions, the air coming out may only be 15°-17°F cooler than what enters.

+Should I try to keep my system from running too much?

Every time your system starts up, it will use a lot of electricity and not produce much cooling. Usually a system that is too small to cool the home is more economical to run but delivers less comfort. Even though it runs nonstop, it will usually consume less power than a larger system that cycles on and off. As a rule of thumb, a unit that runs longer is less expensive than one cycling on and off. On the hottest days of the year, your air conditioner should be running almost continually.

+Is a system with more capacity better?

No. A larger system with more capacity delivers less comfort and costs more to operate. An air conditioner is at its least efficient when first turning on. A system with too much capacity will run in numerous short cycles, turning on and off repeatedly, therefore causing it to be less efficient. Also keep in mind that an air conditioner only removes humidity when it’s running, so a system with shorter run cycles doesn’t remove humidity from the air very well. A system is sized correctly if it runs almost continuously on the hottest and coldest days of the year.

+How can I increase the efficiency and life of my home's heating and cooling systems?
The most important thing you can do is clean and replace your filters frequently. Also, a system heats and cools more evenly when the blower is in the “on” position. The blower provides constant air movement throughout the home, and allows for better filtration. Finally, shades, drapes, shutters, or screens should be installed on windows that are exposed to extreme sunlight.
+How is the efficiency of heating and cooling equipment measured?

The S.E.E.R. (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) is the amount of cooling your system will deliver per dollar spent on electricity. For example, a 3-ton unit may have a S.E.E.R. efficiency rating of 13, 14, or 15. The higher the S.E.E.R. the more efficient the system will be. The S.E.E.R. rating of any given unit can range anywhere from 13 to 21.

+What Size Heating and Air Conditioning System Do I Need?

We get asked this question all the time. And having the HVAC system properly sized is extremely important.

A system that is too large will cool or heat your house quickly, but you may not feel comfortable. That’s because it will satisfy the thermostat before it can adequately remove sufficient moisture from the air during the cooling mode, leaving you feeling sticky and humid. This could even lead to moisture and mold problems. And, the stress of short-cycling (too many starts and stops) will shorten the life of your equipment and increase your heating and cooling bills.

On the other hand, a system that is too small just cannot get the job done, especially in extreme weather conditions. The air conditioner will run constantly in the summer and the furnace will do the same in winter.

But a correctly sized system isn’t just based on the size of the structure. Many factors go into determining the size of the system. Including type of house and walls, type and size of windows, insulation, basement and attic conditions, house orientation, and so on. A Salesman must visit the house and take detailed measurements and notes while conducting the survey.

At Britech, we use a computer-aided Heat load calculation to properly determine the correct system size needed for your home. This heat loss/heat gain analysis is the best indicator of the correct system size and provides the optimum results for efficiency and comfort.

+Why should I have my equipment serviced?

Annual servicing includes cleaning the system, checking for any problems or potential problems and adjusting for Peak efficiency. The benefits include:
Increased dependability
Find potential problems and fix them quickly
Provide maximum efficiency which lowers energy costs
Prolongs the life-span of the equipment
Maintains safe and healthy operation
Can help to protect the environment
Drastically reduces the chance of a break-down which usually happens at night or on weekends when repair rates are higher.

Our Service Plans also include extra benefits, including:
Discounts on repairs
Discounts on purchases and future replacement
Priority Status for Scheduling
Increased warranty duration

+How often should I have my equipment serviced?

Heating and Air Conditioning equipment should be serviced at least once a year. The best scenario is to have the heating system checked in the Fall and the air conditioning checked in the Spring. Ducts should be cleaned at a minimum every four years.

+Can you offer any indoor air quality facts?

Sure!

The average 6 room house collects 40 pounds of dust a year (Discover Magazine)
Air ducts have more germs than a chicken coop (American Lung Association)
EPA claims indoor air has been found to be up to 70% more polluted than outdoor air (EPA)
Children are more likely than adults to be affected by polluted indoor air (Dept. of Consumer Affairs)
A build up of 0.42 inches of dirt on a heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease in efficiency of 21% (EPA)
9 out of 10 heating, ventilating, air conditioning systems failures are caused by dust and dirt (Louisiana Coop Extension Service)

+What other times should I consider cleaning my ducts?

There is substantial visible dust inside sheet metal ductwork or on other components of your heating and cooling system. 
Ducts are infested with vermin… rodents or insects.
Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris.
Particles and/or debris are actually released into the home from your supply registers or vents.

+Why should I have my air ducts cleaned?

For Better Health…
Contaminants in your Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) system can aggravate asthma and allergies. Our Duct Cleaning process can help eliminate bacteria and fungus to improve the air quality in your home. Cleaning your air ducts can protect everyone in your home from breathing contaminated air.

For A Cleaner Environment…
Less dust and dirt means a cleaner environment. Cleaning your air duct system can help maintain a cleaner home, requiring less dusting.

For Better Efficiency…
Cleaning your air duct system helps your HVAC system run more efficiently, resulting in less run time and lower heating and cooling bills. Cleaning your air duct system can also extend equipment life.

New Homes & Renovation Work…
Your new home may not be as clean as you think. During construction, your air duct system is open allowing wood shavings, drywall dust, dirt, trash, and carpet fibers to settle or be swept into your system. Cleaning your air duct system is the only way to thoroughly remove these contaminates.

+What is Emergency Heat?

Simply put, all Heat Pumps in northern climates [below 0C degrees] need a supplemental heating source. Usually it is in the form of electric resistance heating or it can be a gas, oil, or hot-water back-up system as well. The supplemental heat is also referred to as “second-stage” or “back-up” heating, “first-stage” being the Heat Pump only. The supplemental heat is also what is used as the Emergency Heat.

Different systems have different ways of determining when the second-stage comes on to assist the heat pump but it is always done automatically. So the two stages will work together in the colder months and it is not necessary to switch your thermostat to Emergency Heat. Now we know what supplemental heat is and that it is also used for Emergency Heat. Emergency heat is where you system runs from the backup heat source only and not from the heat pump.

+When should I use my Emergency Heat?

The Emergency Heat switch on a Heat Pump thermostat confuses many people. The fact of the matter is that most people don’t seem to understand exactly what Emergency Heat is and when they need to use it. Many people think that Heat Pumps don’t work in cold weather and they are supposed to use the emergency heat whenever it gets really cold… Wrong! Emergency heat is only to be used when there is a problem with the heat pump and you want your backup heat to come on in higher outdoor temperatures.

+So when do I actually use Emergency Heat?

As the name implies, it is only used in emergency situations. It is used when there is something wrong with first-stage heating [the Heat Pump itself]. In other words, if you notice your house is cold and it isn’t heating properly and you went outside and noticed that a tree fell and crushed your heat pump, that would be a good time to switch to Emergency Heat.

+What happens when I switch to Emergency Heat?

When switching to Emergency Heat, the red indicator light will go on. And it will stay on until you stop using the Emergency Heat. This just lets you know you are in emergency mode. On a call for heat, no signal will be sent to the outdoor Heat Pump. Only the indoor unit and the back-up heat will run. On all-electric systems, this will provide enough heat to keep you going until the Heat Pump can be fixed. Gas/Oil/Hot-water system should provide plenty of heat.

+Do you offer financing?

Britech is a registered SNAP Financing Partner and is able to offer very competitive rates for up to 12 year terms. We are also able to offer financing through The Home Depot using their store card. This option also offers a 12 month cost deferral at no charge.

+How much will a furnace cost to replace?

Every installation is different, however as a rough starting point, a 95% efficient furnace which qualifies for the provincial rebates will start at around $4000 and a heat pump will start at around $5500.

+Do you come as far as Osoyoos?

Yes we cover the entire Okanagan Valley from Osoyoos right up to Sicamous.

+My hot water tank is over 15 years old, is it worth replacing it at the same time as my furnace?

Yes, we recommend replacing your hot water tank at least every 15 years, due to build up of corrosion and calcification inside the unit. As this happens the unit becomes less and less efficient. Britech can offer options from standard gas or electric tanks right up to 98% hi efficient on demand systems.