Stay Alive and Healthy : become a HVAC whisperer!

Let's Talk HVAC

Acronymns – while some are intuitive, others are not.

For the benefit of all of us below the full interpretation of the HVAC

H – stands for Heating

V – stands for Ventilation

A – Air Conditioning

C – Cooling

My geographical area of focus for this discussion is North America and more specifically the homes, buildings, condos, apartment structures you and I are used to living in, visiting friends or working within. People like us who live in climates with long, harsh winters understand the value of H is for heating. Seriously, I don’t know where i’d be if my furnace broke down during winter and there were no companies like Direct Energy etc. to respond promptly.

Speaking of broken down furnaces, while driving in the car today i heard of a really sad story( a carbon monoxide fatality that killed a mum, a dad and their 36 yr old son). We cannot be so attentive to trivial things like  twitter trends, selfies, instagram, twerking and ignore ourselves, our safety, our lives. We must take pro-active steps and prevent the loss of precious lives due to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (aka : the silent killer ).

Here are 4 practical ways you can be pro-active towards staying Alive and Healthy and you don’t need a provincial or municipal bylaw to remind you that You matter! Your live is a precious! You are needed!

TIP #1 – The single and only mechanism that facilitates heating of your home is your FURNACE, pay yourself back in kind, be sure you are enrolled in a maintenance program that provides at minimum an annual check up or maintenance. Do not, and i repeat do not utilize outdoor heating devices inside your home, this includes propane tanks. Included with this tip is the air filters which you should be changing every 4 months with good quality filters.

TIP # 2 – The VENTILATION system built into our home structure differs from those in a condo building and/or commercial spaces; however regardless ventilation matters as it is responsible for the inflow and outflow of air and ensures the air exchange system promotes the overall health and wellbeing of all residents. As you know air flows through space as well as ducts. So yes, that persistent telemarketer who asked you “when last did you clean your ducts” is asking you a good and valid question. The most visible ventilation agents you often see and should not neglect cleaning are in the bathrooms, the kitchen, the placement of windows, air exchange panels etc.

TIP# 3 – AIR CONDITIONING although the mechanism is often stored externally, we feel the benefits of it working in the house, through the air vents and we’d also feel the discomfort of it not working on a hot summer day. Though i am not an engineer , over the years the practical experience of property management has exposed me to understanding there are parts of an air-conditioner such as the ignition, the condensation element that may need cleaning and/or replacement. Again, you’d be in a pro-active position if you get this equipment maintained by the qualified professionals at least once a year.

TIP# 4 – COOLING , do you remember the saying “what goes up must come down” likewise there are “cooling” agents that a home/condo built to code must have.. Some are visible to the naked eye (for example, the small stem pipe that often runs into the drainage point in your basement . The function of cooling is to prevent “over-heating”, and ultimately “inefficient ceaseless running of the motors/engines.

In addition to the 4 steps above which you can do as an HVAC whisperer , you should also ensure your home has these 2 detectors :

– Carbon Monoxide Detectors ( they need to be replaced every 7 years )

– Smoke Alarm/ Detector ( they need to be replaced every  10 years )

In  2013 Ontario passed Bill 18 called Hawkins Gignac Act making it mandatory for homes with gas lines, fireplaces, gas cookers be fitted with a carbon monoxide detectors, for more information on this act please visit

May the souls of the departed rest in peace, but let not our sorrow silence us, let it encourage us to become HVAC whisperers and in so doing be our brothers’ keeper.

Stay Alive and Healthy : Become a HVAC whisperer!


Managing properties with head and heart