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Advice from the Professionals
Tips to Enjoy Cooler, Cleaner Air This Summer

cooler, cleaner, indoor air

When you walk into a space where the air is “off,” you’ll notice. Perhaps it is a musty smell you are detecting. Or maybe the scent is chemical. It could even be that the air freshener odor is overpowering—so much so that things are not actually fresh and you can't tell what the actual air in the room might smell like.

There are myriad reasons why the air in any indoor space may not be nice to breathe. But what all of these reasons have in common is this: they are toxic.

When you breathe in air that smells mouldy, musty, sharp, harsh, or artificially scented in some way, you are breathing in chemicals… and probably chemicals used to cover up some underlying issue with the air conditioning or heating unit.

Happily, this post will offer you some tips to ensure your own indoor air at work and at home won't smell like anything other than simply fresh, clean air.

Change Those Filters!

When you are using your HVAC unit a great deal, the best practice is to change the air filter at least every 30 days.

After all, your air filter is perhaps the least expensive component in your overall HVAC system and yet it also has the hardest job—keeping those tiny particulate toxins out of the indoor air you you’re breathing.

When you change your air filter, several things occur simultaneously:

  • Your HVAC system works less hard (and uses up less energy) to push out the recirculated air into your home or office space.

  • Your indoor air becomes cleaner since no clogged debris or toxins can get pushed out through your vents along with the air supply.

  • You will spend less on maintenance and repairs for more expensive components.

Schedule Your HVAC Unit’s Annual Checkup

Most people go to the doctor to get an annual checkup. This checkup is called "wellness" or "preventative" care for a reason.

During your annual exam, your doctor will take your vitals, check your blood, examine your body, and ensure there are no issues brewing. By spending a little time on an annual checkup, you can avoid much more costly treatments later.

In the same way, it makes good sense regarding both time and money to schedule your HVAC unit for an annual checkup. Here, too, the nature of the exam is preventative—to keep your HVAC unit well and healthy all year long.

Here is a list of things your HVAC "physician" (technician) should do:

  • Clean the surface exterior and interior of the HVAC unit to ensure it is free from dirt and debris.

  • Tighten and test all connections and moving parts.

  • Apply lubricant to moving parts as needed.

  • Add fluids or refrigerant as needed.

  • Do a thermostat test to verify temperature accuracy.

  • Clean out the condensate drain and the evaporator/condensate coils.

  • Check start, stop, and operation modes for safety and efficiency.

  • Clean out the blower and adjust settings if necessary.

  • Check furnace and energy source components for safety and operation.

Your technician should also offer any tips specific to your type of HVAC unit for improving operation and energy efficiency. And if you don't already have one, your technician may recommend installing a carbon monoxide detector inside your home or workspace. (It is illegal in Ontario not to have one.)

From reading this list, it is easy to see how scheduling an annual checkup for your HVAC unit will stave off much more costly repairs down the road!

Review Your Own Indoor Air Quality

So now you have changed your air filters and your HVAC unit has gotten its annual "wellness checkup" out of the way.

The next step is to review your indoor air quality. You can do this by scheduling an indoor air quality checkup.

This checkup will alert you about any toxins that have invaded your indoor air supply. Once you have identified the toxins, you need to pinpoint their source.

Some toxins, like carbon monoxide, can only be detected with an alarm system. But many other toxins come from products we use.

To find most of these toxins, just open your cabinets or look at your clothing and shoes.

  • Commercial cleaners. Many of these have harsh, toxic, and unpronounceable chemical ingredients. You can do the same industrial-strength job with natural alternatives like baking soda, lemon juice, white vinegar, and plain water—and these won't pollute your indoor air!

  • Pollen, dust, and dust mites. You bring pollen and dust in on your clothes and shoes. Dust mites happily breed in cushions, mattresses, and pillows. Having your mattresses and dryer vents professionally cleaned will greatly reduce the presence of these allergens.

  • Tobacco. Tobacco and tobacco products are some of the harshest carcinogens in most people's indoor air supply. Take it outside, away from your living or work space.

  • Air fresheners. If you are using anything other than pure teas or citrus juice or essential oils, there is a good chance your scent is really a concoction of dangerous chemicals.

  • Mould and mildew. High humidity levels can cause a rise in the levels of mould and mildew, which can cause lung and respiratory issues.

  • Pet dander. Pets can not only bring in pollen and dust/dirt in their fur, but they often then like to spread it across your bed when they cuddle with you before sleep (which solves the mystery of why so many people wake up coughing in the middle of the night).

Contact Campeau Heating Today

Campeau Heating has been serving the Sudbury and surrounding areas for more than 64 years. To schedule a service, contact us at 705-560-2441 or online.

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8 Ways to Make Sure Your HVAC Unit Keeps Your Indoor Air Clean

eight ways hvac air quality

When was the last time you walked inside your home, took a deep breath, and immediately began worrying if the air in your home was toxic?

If you are like most homeowners today, you probably answered, "Never." Air quality is something we read about in our daily online news digests or perhaps ponder on Ozone Action Day. For most people, thinking about indoor air quality on a daily basis just isn't something that gets done.

But what if you learned that, on average, the indoor air most of us breathe is up to 5 times more toxic than the air right outside the front door? Yikes! Unfortunately, this is a true statement, and it is getting truer every day in cities all around the world.

Happily, there is one appliance that can stand between you and airborne toxins that attempt to enter your home. It is your HVAC unit—your air conditioning and heating system. In this post, learn 8 key ways to make sure your HVAC unit can do its job to keep your indoor air clean and pure.

Tip #1: Change your air filters regularly

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average adult breathes in around 3,000 gallons of air each day—and children breathe in even more than that. If the air is full of toxins, the damage can be mild and temporary at first, but over time it can become severe and permanent.

Your HVAC unit's first-pass defence against airborne toxins is also one of its simplest and least expensive components: the air filter. Simply by changing your air filter each month, you keep dangerous toxins out of your indoor air.

You may also want to consider using portable or central HEPA-certified filters, which filter out 99.97 percent of airborne particulates sized 0.3 µm or larger. As well, having your air duct system professionally cleaned will remove stashed dust and toxins so they are gone from your indoor air supply forever.

Tip #2: Get an air quality inspection

Canada's Healthy Living website recommends that every homeowner get an indoor air quality inspection. In particular, this recommendation includes testing for radon and carbon monoxide, two of the deadliest airborne toxins.

Testing your indoor air quality gives you actionable information to work from to clean up and purify the indoor air you and your family are breathing.

Tip #3: Install a carbon monoxide alarm

Many airborne toxins can't help but announce their presence through unpleasant odors. But carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and deadly. The only way to know if your air is polluted with carbon monoxide is to install a monitoring alarm that will go off to alert you.

CBC News calls carbon monoxide the "silent killer" for this very reason. If you don't have an alarm installed in your home already, it is worth a phone call today to get this taken care of. It is also your legal obligation to do so. Not having a CO2 detector in Ontario can result in a fine of up to $50,000.

Tip #4: Improve the ventilation in your home

Ventilation is all about air circulation. A similar analogy is the difference between a pond and a river. A pond has no new water coming in, so over time the water can get stagnant and filled with algae and bacteria. A river, on the other hand, is constantly flowing with fresh, new water, so the water stays pure and clear.

By improving the ventilation in your home, you achieve the same for your indoor air quality. You can do this in a number of ways:

  • Open windows and doors when it is nice weather.

  • Ventilate well while doing crafts or home improvement projects.

  • Use ceiling or floor fans to keep air moving.

  • Keep an open perimeter around the edges of each room to let the air flow freely.

Tip #5: Control the levels of humidity inside

On average, your indoor air should include between 30 and 50 percent humidity. With too little humidity, you may experience nosebleeds, allergy symptoms, and other discomforts from air that is too dry. With too much humidity, you run the risk of encouraging mould and mildew to grow inside your home, each of which can cause their own particular health issues (as well as pricey cleanup services).

By using humidifiers and dehumidifiers appropriately as the seasons dictate, you can ensure your indoor air humidity levels stay healthy and balanced. An HVAC system inspection and maintenance tune-up can also ensure your HVAC unit can do its best work to keep your indoor air humidity levels healthy and balanced.

Tip #6: Use safe, non-toxic cleaning products

By opting for safe, non-toxic cleaning alternatives such as white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and plain water, you free your indoor air from powerful toxins present in harsh commercial cleaning products.

Tip #7: Don't smoke indoors or use commercial air fresheners

Smoke is one of the number one toxins present in indoor air today. People who don't smoke inside the home still bring in second-hand smoke carcinogens on their clothing and in their hair.

As well, many cleaning products that smell great are actually made up of potent and toxic chemical cocktails with long unpronounceable names. These chemicals are now known to cause cancer, lung disease, and asthma attacks, among other undesirable side effects.

Tip #8: Clean your mattresses and dryer vents

Finally, dust mites, dust, pollen, and pet dander and hair concentrate in particularly high levels in mattresses and dryer vents. In this way, they get removed and then re-added during weekly wash and use cycles. If you've ever wondered why your allergies seem to get worse at night, this is why!

Having your mattresses and dryer vents professionally cleaned is a great way to remove the toxins at the source.
Contact Campeau Heating at 705-560-2441 or online to find out how we can help you clean and purify your indoor air.

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Tips & Advice on Saving Money

Looking for new and proactive ways to save money? Campeau Heating wants to make sure you are exposed to the right resources that everyone should take note of. Please click here to learn more. If your looking specifically for ways to save money on a new gas barbecue grill this summer please click here.

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The Benefits of Replacing Your Home Heating and Cooling Units at the Same Time

programmable thermostat

Air conditioners and furnaces play important roles in the comfort of your home. When one of the systems is no longer working, it is easy to decide to save some money now and just replace the broken one. But there are a number of benefits to replacing both at the same time.


The HVAC units that are made today are much more efficient than those that of even only 10 years ago. The efficiency of air conditioners can easily be compared by looking at the SEER rating, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio rating. The government standard for air conditioners built today is a minimum SEER rating of 13. The higher the Seer rating is, the less it will cost to run the air conditioner, because it will use less energy.

Furnaces are rated on the AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Typically, a new furnace should run at an AFUE rate of about 90 percent or higher. Heat pump and boiler systems used for homes have a number that is just slightly different than a standard furnace.

The life of a furnace averages between 15 and 20 years. An air conditioner averages 12 to 15 years. The life of these units is partially based on their quality and how well they are maintained.

Enhanced Performance and Increased Longevity

Typically, when you mix old equipment with new, neither the old nor new equipment is able to perform as well as it should. The old unit will also cause stress to the new one, which could result in a premature breakdown.

The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, or the AHRI, has stated, “When improperly matched, the efficiency and longevity of these systems are significantly compromised.

When two new units are used, ideally matching or complementing each other since heating and cooling units share the same blower, they will both run efficiently and for a longer period of time.

Cost Savings

You will save money on your energy bill with new higher-efficiency units. But when you have two systems with components that complement each other, you will save even more because they’re running at a maximum efficiency level.

You will likely not need any kind of repairs on your new units for quite some time. When you do, they will probably both still be under warranty, which will save you money. Also, by replacing both systems as the same time, you will not have to pay installation fees twice.

Increased Value of Your Home

Having new energy-efficient heating and cooling units can actually add to the value of your home and affect the sale of your home. Most buyers, knowing the cost to replace both a furnace and A/C system, will choose a home with newer machines. In addition, a home inspection is likely to bring up the issue of an outdated and inefficient heating and cooling system and this may make the sale of your house conditional upon the system’s replacement.

Contact Campeau For Trusted Advice

While there are many advantages to replacing both your air conditioner and furnace at the same time, it may not always be necessary. We would be pleased to assess your current units and advise on the best course of action for your budget and needs. Contact Campeau Heating today for a complimentary, no-obligation assessment.

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8 Tips for Keeping Your Home Cool This Summer

Keep your home cool this summer igloos sign

The summer heat is a welcome blessing for beachgoers, but it’s not so welcome in the home. Hot nights make it hard to sleep and few people want to face a high bill from using the air conditioner constantly. These tips will help keep your home cooler and reduce energy costs.

1 - Let the Cold Air In

In most places, the air does cool down throughout the night, especially in the wee hours of the morning. Take advantage of this by opening the windows in all of the rooms of your home. This will cool down the entire house.

Opening windows at opposite ends of the home will create natural air flow. Placing box fans in the windows can help pull that cold air into your home when there isn’t a natural breeze outside.

2 - Keep Those Windows Closed

It might seem counter-intuitive, but once you wake up in the morning, you want to close all of the windows to prevent hot air from coming into the home.

Using blinds or curtains to block out the heat also works. Even if hot air isn’t directly coming into your home, the sun beating down on your windows can create a greenhouse effect. White blinds reflect the sun away from your home.

3 - Make Use of Fans

A breeze can make it feel cooler than it really is, so don’t be shy about using your fans, even if you’re using air conditioning as well. If you’re using a box fan or a standing fan, place a bowl of ice water in front of it. This will give you a much cooler breeze.

You should also check that your ceiling fans are rotating counter-clockwise. Most modern fans have two settings—one that blows down air, and the other that causes it to rise.

4 - Close Off Unused Rooms

If you’re not using a room, close the duct vents in that room and keep the door closed. This reduces the area you need to cool, which saves energy whether you’re using an air conditioner or not.

Remember that hot air can seep through under the door, too, so throw a rolled-up towel at the bottom of the door or purchase a door draft stopper. These products come in a variety of styles, and they’re good for use in the winter as well.

5 - Keep Cooking to a Minimum

Anything you do that uses heat will increase the temperature in your home. Cooking is one of the biggest culprits. Consider cooking out on the grill rather than using the stove.

If you must use the oven, keep it closed the entire time, checking your food through the window instead of opening the door. Save oven cooking for the evening or watch the weather report for a cooler day.

The steam that comes from your pans can add to the humidity in the home, so be sure to use the stove fan and keep lids on your pots for most of the cooking time.

6 - Seal Off Your Home

Hot air can seep in from a variety of places—the door to the basement, the attic hatch, or from around the windows. If you want to keep the hot air out in the summer—and the cold air out in the winter—your goal should be to find all of these entry points and seal them off.

Caulking is a good method, but you might want to spend the money to have professionals perform this service. They’ll be able to find places you wouldn’t think of.

7 - Get a High-Quality, Properly-Sized Air Conditioner

Consider getting an air conditioner if you don’t already have one. If you have an air conditioner older than 10 years, think about replacing it. Newer models are more energy efficient, so you’ll be able to keep your house cooler for less money.

The key to maximizing the effectiveness of your air conditioner while minimizing cost is to get the right size for your home. A machine that’s too small, for instance, will have to work much harder to keep your home cool. A quality HVAC company can help you select the right size and machine for you.

8 - Remember Annual Air Conditioning Maintenance

You probably know how important it is to get regular oil changes for your car, but it’s just as important to get regular maintenance on your air conditioner. Having a professional take a look and replacing your filters regularly ensures that it’s working as well as it should be. You’ll also be able to catch and repair small problems before they become major issues.

Contact Campeau Heating to learn more about what types of air conditioners and affordable options are right for you. We’ll help keep you cool all summer.

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Be Wary About That Furnace Lease

Last April 1, the Ontario government passed a law to protect consumers from door-to-door sales agents trying to switch their hot water heaters to another rental supplier.

Sales agents are still knocking on doors. But many have found a more lucrative pursuit than replacing water heaters.

Now they’re pushing you to replace your furnace and air conditioner under a 10-year lease. While a water heater costs $25 a month to rent, a heating and cooling system can be $150 to $175 a month (plus HST).

Moreover, you won’t own the equipment when the contract ends. You’ll have to pay a buyout fee to take ownership or a removal fee to get it out of your house.

I’ve heard from many readers about rental sales pitches. Some said they were taken in by deceptive claims at the door and wish they had investigated before signing up.

Here are some comments about why they agreed to a deal...

Click here to read the rest of this article on the Toronto Star Website.

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The Ins and Outs of Direct-Vent Fireplaces

Direct Vent Gas Fireplace

Direct-vent fireplaces were invented during the 1980s, and although they have become quite common in American households, many new users still have questions about how these fireplaces work differently from traditional fireplaces.

Direct-vent fireplaces have become popular in part because users don’t need a masonry chimney in order to operate them. Instead, they use double-wall pipe and are vented horizontally through a wall or can be vented vertically through a roof. Part of what makes these fireplaces so sought after is that they are fairly easy to place and install compared to wood fireplaces.

The direct-vent fireplace burns behind a glass shield and expels all gases outside of the house. This sealed glass panel is inoperable and is sometimes placed behind a protective screen. It is how these fireplaces remain efficient.

Having this sealed glass panel also ensures that air coming into the fireplace from outside and gases leaving the fireplace do not come into your room. Also, it keeps the air in your room from escaping through the fireplace. Direct-vent fireplaces cannot be operated without having this glass sealed in place.

Once the fireplace is up and running, the glass panel can get very hot. Hence the protective screen that is placed in front of the glass. The area surrounding the fireplace can get hot as well when a fire is burning—in some cases, it can get as hot as 190 degrees.

How they work

Most direct-vent fireplaces are turned on by a wall switch or a remote control. After pushing the “on” button, you’ll want to wait for the fireplace to respond on its own. If you hit “on” too many times, you can lock out the fireplace. If the fireplace doesn’t respond after several minutes, try to repeat the process after waiting a short time. If that doesn’t work, contact your fireplace dealer.

Next, you’ll want to adjust the flame height. How high a flame is determines how much heat it puts out. This is done either by remote control or by manually adjusting it directly on the fireplace unit. Some of these control panels are accessed by removing the decorative front or at the bottom of the unit.

Once the decorative front is removed, there are generally two dials you’ll see on the fireplace. One will be a pilot knob, with an option for “on” and “off.” The other dial will usually just say “hi” or “lo” and this is the knob you want to use to adjust the height of your flame.

Many direct-vent fireplaces also have a fan option, manipulated either by remote control or manual control near the flame height knob. This can also be adjusted to preference. The fan helps prevent cold air from being blown into your home when you first turn your fireplace on. It also make sure that warm air from around the fireplace is kept blowing into your room, even when the fireplace is turned off.

Keeping your fireplace clean is another important step in the maintenance of your unit. Naturally, you’ll do this with the fireplace off and after it has cooled down. After removing the decorative front, simple release the spring clips that hold the glass in place.

A special glass cleaner can then be applied to the inside of the glass, where a white residue often collects. It is simply rubbed in and wiped off using a non-abrasive cloth such as a paper towel. You can purchase this cleaner at your dealer. For the outside of the glass, you can use regular glass cleaner to remove smudges and fingerprints. Just make sure the cleaner doesn’t have ammonia in it.

Some disadvantages

Other than having to clean the glass, a direct-vent fireplace can have a few other drawbacks, mostly related to maintenance. For example, if a black soot-like substance collects on the glass, this probably means that something isn’t working correctly in the fireplace combustion process. This requires dealer attention.

Also, small cracks can appear in the glass. If you see this, it likely means that the glass is getting weak and needs to be replaced immediately.

One other disadvantage of having a direct-vent gas fireplace is that you may smell gas coming from the fireplace. This should never happen, and if it does, you should immediately leave your home and contact the local fire department. It is possible that the gas smell is due to something that is easily repaired, but it is still critical to have it looked at by the installer or dealer.


Direct-vent fireplace units are generally more efficient than traditional gas fireplaces or wood-burning fireplaces. They use natural gas or propane, but most of it is converted into heat and it sealed off by the glass barrier to keep heat inside the home.

No flue is needed, so there is no risk of backdraft. As previously mentioned, direct-vent fireplace versatility allows them to be placed just about anywhere in a home, which is something that regular gas fireplaces and wood-burners can’t offer.

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TOP 7 WAYS TO keep warm AND save on heat and energy costs this winter Countdown!

7.       Time to get creative with the home basics! Turning on and reversing the direction of your ceiling fan anytime you are using your heat can help by forcing warm air that has risen to the ceiling down where it can be cherished by you and your loved ones. No sense in having the heat blasting if you are only getting 40% of it.


This winter you can use simple methods to ensure that you’re not only keeping your family warm, but save on heating and energy costs in your home. These ideas are awesome because they allow your family to work together as a unit having the peace of mind knowing their making the home more efficient and keeping everyone inside the home safe from toxins. In case of a malfunction in the dead of 

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TOP 7 WAYS TO keep warm AND save on heat and energy costs this winter Countdown!


6.       Be aware of the obstacles when keeping your house warm and efficient. Carbon monoxide is a risk for all home owners using poorly maintained or unvented heating equipment. If you are unsure that your heating system is performing at the level it should be it is probably a good idea to have Campeau Heating do a maintenance check for you. Having your furnace inspected and maintained on a regular bases can help you avoid tragic, life threatening circumstances in your home. 

Keep an eye out for most posts on how to keep warm and save on home energy and heating costs this winter!


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TOP 7 WAYS TO keep warm AND save on heat and energy costs this winter Countdown!


5.       Humans, animals and gardens need a little TLC….Oh and one more thing! Insulating your hot water pipes can be used as a strategy to reduce heat loss. This means you would be saving money by keeping your water heaters at a lower temperature because the wait would be minimal for hot water in your home. This keeps members of your house hold happy and you happy knowing you’ve made things easier for your loved ones and saved yourself some dollars on the side.

Keep an eye out for most posts on how to keep warm and save on home energy and heating costs this winter!


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TOP 7 WAYS TO keep warm AND save on heat and energy costs this winter Countdown!

4.          Rugs are your best friend! Life is so much better when practical solutions and fashion are mixed together to keep you warm! Thick and cozy carpet rugs trap cold air underneath them and provide a cozy surface for you to put your feet down when you wake up in the morning. Not to mention how they make your home look more aesthetically pleasing. 

Keep an eye out for most posts on how to keep warm and save on home energy and heating costs this winter! 

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TOP 7 WAYS TO keep warm AND save on heat and energy costs this winter Countdown!

3.    Prepare for the war against the cold! Winter will not beat you this time! Make sure your window frames are secure by caulking to prevent leaks. This method is very beneficial for aged and drafty homes. The cost of this method is only minimal compared to the large savings for your home. 

Keep an eye out for most posts on how to keep warm and save on home energy and heating costs this winter! 

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