Furnace Tune Up – When Is It Time To Call In A Pro?

Furnace Tune Up – When Is It Time To Call In A Pro?

Are you wondering when you need to call in a professional to tune up your furnace?

Well, you need to do it once every year. Of course, you need to consult a professional furnace expert to ascertain whether you need to yearly tune-up or not.

Take an instance where you have a clean home, no pets, a new furnace or if you don’t use up the A/C and furnace because you live in a temperate climate. A furnace tune up could be done every 2 or 3 years in this case.

What Is Involved In A Furnace Tune Up

Here are some of the tasks involved in a furnace tune up.

� Cleaning the furnace components such as the combustion chamber, jets. Burners, blower motor and fan, etc.

• Checking the condensate lines and clearing them. They are used to drain the water generated during combustion of gas. They are also used to drain the condensation collecting on the A/C coil found above the furnace.

• A temperature differential test. It involves measuring the temperature of the air leaving or going into the furnace.

• Doing a combustion analysis of the exhaust. It involves checking the levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

• Checking for wear and tear in the flame sensor and the ignitor.

What’s The Expected Cost of A Furnace Tune Up?

If you choose a reputable HVAC company to do the furnace tune up, you should expect to pay around $90 – $150. Of course, you need to beware of hidden charges where the professionals find unnecessary repairs or upgrades to add.

How To Get More Value For Your Money

While the furnace technician is present in your home, you should ask for more advice on the right furnace to use. Of course, it depends on your health issues, lifestyle and the type of furnace you want, among other factors.

On the other hand, if you want a smart home thermostat, the technician could install it while they are in your home. That way, you don’t need to pay for another service call. Mention it to them when you make the service call to avoid any inconveniences on the day of the furnace tune up.

How to Extend the Life of Your Gas Furnace

How to Extend the Life of Your Gas Furnace

The average life of modern gas furnaces is between 16 and 20 years. However, you can extend its life even more by making a few simple adjustments. Preventative maintenance today could greatly extend the life of your furnace tomorrow. These tips can also help you to improve your energy consumption and save on maintenance work.

1. Be Safe, Not Sorry

Always turn the power off before you do anything, this includes changing the filter. Simply trip the circuit that runs your furnace. This simple safety precaution can save lives. If you smell gas, never attempt to do anything to your furnace, instead, stop what you’re doing immediately, call the fire department and a HVAC professional, and vacate your home at once until proper repairs have been made. Don’t risk standing around waiting, get everyone and pets out of the house now, you don’t want to risk a fire or other damages.

2. Replace Air Filters

Replace the air filter at least every 2 months (many systems say annually but experts recommend more frequently for best results). The dust and lint in your home will clog the filter and prevent it from running at its optimal function, you don’t want to be breathing this debris and dirt back into your lungs and you don’t want your family to either, it can cause health issues. Your furnace filter is located near the blower door between the blower and the air duct. Simply remove it and replace it with a new one. Always pay attention to how it’s installed before you remove it so that you can easily replace it with a new one.furnace service

3. Clean Your Furnace

Your furnace filter captures a lot of dirt and debris in and around your home. You’ll need to periodically take the blower assembly out and ensure that they’re running properly. Remove the panel and gently wipe these with a damp cloth.

4. Get Inspections

Many people don’t consider furnace inspections important. They simply install and figure that’s enough. However, statistics show that if you have your furnace inspected at least annually you can save a lot of time and money on both repairs and failures. There’s nothing worse than three feet of snow on the ground and a broken down furnace. Get yours inspected annually and avoid having to worry about it.

As with all major appliances, ensure that you’re doing the proper maintenance techniques and doing them often enough to keep them running at their optimum level. Set up a routine to ensure that things are wiped down and that filters are kept clean so that you can breathe better and so that it will run properly. A few moments of prevention will go far in helping you to ensure that your furnace will provide you with plenty of heat for years to come.

How to Know When it’s Time to Upgrade Your Home Furnace

How to Know When it’s Time to Upgrade Your Home Furnace

When should you consider getting your heating system upgraded?  Truth is, if you’re paying so much on utility bills, it may be because of your furnace.  In Canadian homes, studies show that a whopping 80 percent of a home’s energy consumption comes from home and water heating.  Imagine that!  So if you have been wondering about what might be causing your high utility bills, you may want to take a closer look at your heating system and figure out if you need an upgrade.

Why an upgrade, you might ask.  If you have an old furnace that’s basically eating up your energy bills, upgrading to a newer and more efficient kind can cut down 35 percent off your total heating cost.  On top of that, companies who offer top-of-the-line and high-efficient furnaces normally offer rebates and even tax incentives for every purchase you make.  If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what is.

Proper Calculation

Upgrading your furnace to a more efficient model requires more than just purchasing a new unit.  To make the most out of the heating system you need or prefer, it is always important to consider some important factors that will determine the best heating system that your home requires.  These factors include energy cost, weather, home design, size, and a lot more.  These are taken into consideration when a heating loss or heating load calculation is done.  This is the proper calculation done by qualified contractors to assess the entirety of the home before a final decision is offered to consumers about the kind of heating system they need. 

Heating Systems

  • Gas and Oil Forced Air Furnaces. Most Canadian homes make use of forced air furnaces for their heating requirements.  This kind of system makes use of air to produce heat and relies on ductworks, vents, and plenums to distribute air to the designated spaces.  When looking for forced air furnaces, it is recommended to choose one that is Energy Star rated with a minimum 95 percent annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE).  AFUE is the measure of fuel that is turned into heat.  The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the unit is.  Canadian homes are required at minimum of 90 percent AFUE since 2010. 
  • Gas and Oil Boilers. Boilers make use of fuel to heat water and circulate it through baseboard heaters or radiators.  Space heating boilers also function as domestic water heating system for residences.  Just like forced air furnaces, energy efficiency in boilers is also measured by its AFUE.  Boilers that are fueled by gas, propane, and oil can qualify for Energy Star; however electric boilers cannot. 
  • Electric and Baseboard Systems. Electric furnaces or baseboard heaters generate heat by making use of electric resistance heating elements.  This choice of heating system requires homeowners to upgrade their electrical service as needed or mandated.  You may consult with a qualified technician to discuss any of the changes you need.
  • Integrated Mechanical Systems. These all-in-one units can heat your house, your water and at the same time provide ventilation.  If your heating system has finally kicked the bucket, this may be a good option for you.
  • Heat Pumps. As technology continues to advance, heat pumps are becoming more and more popular in Canadian homes.  Heat pumps work by transferring heat between the earth or the air (depending on the heat source) and your house.  The process this system uses is similar to the condensing gases as a refrigerator.  Heat pumps use electricity to make the compressor and fan function.

Professional Installation

Upgrading or getting a new heating system installed requires professional attention.  This is to make sure that all the proper calculations, ductwork installation, and the furnace are properly installed and are operating at maximum efficiency.  You can refer to the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada for help in getting a professional installer in your area. 

General Furnace Maintenance

Furnaces generally live 16 to 20 years.  To maximize your heating system’s lifespan, it is imperative that you schedule an annual checkup for your unit.  A professional maintenance prevents your heating system from prematurely breaking down.  Also, ensure that your filters are regularly changed for your unit’s protection.  Regular inspection of your unit will also allow you to enjoy your expensive purchase and make the most out of it.

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