The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has spread throughout the world, shutting many businesses down. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it a pandemic.
At Furnace Repair Calgary, the health and safety of our staff, their families and our clients is always the number one priority. We are following the guidelines set out by Alberta Health Services to ensure that our team provides you with safe heating and cooling services.
Please know that we are taking appropriate measures to ensure our team is dedicated to the health and well-being of everyone involved.
Additional measures we have taken:
We have provided hand sanitizers and antiseptic wipes to all of our team members.
We ask any employee showing any symptoms to self-isolate.
If an employee has traveled recently, it is mandatory for them to stay home for a minimum of two weeks.
All of our technicians wear face masks and other personal protection equipment.
Unless it is an emergency, we ask that if you are feeling ill, please advise us so we may reschedule your appointment.
Furnace Repair Calgary continues to monitor this crisis extremely close and will update you if required. An informative site for monitoring the state of the pandemic is the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website.
The Canadian winter usually compels people to make important and at times really expensive decisions for their home’s comfort and safety. The sad truth is heating systems and the processes it involves can cost a small fortune. That being said, it is imperative that you take your time to understand the heating process, your home’s heating needs, the costs and expenses, and the advantages and disadvantages of the different heating options that are available for your home.
London homes usually spend 80% of their entire energy consumption on home and water heating alone. Given that huge percentage, it’s only reasonable that homeowners be presented with different options to choose from and be made aware of the pros and cons each option gives them. To help you make the final decision on the best heating option for your home, read on to find out more about the 5 different heating systems.
Choose the Right Sized Heating System
Finding the best heating option for your home doesn’t only mean choosing the right unit that works for you. It also entails choosing the right size based on your heating requirements. This is not an easy task that can be done by just about anyone who can do some math. You will need a reputable HVAC contractor who is equipped with the latest technology and updated knowledge to do some tests and calculations needed to assess the amount of heat your home requires and the how much heat your home loses.
Here are 5 heating options available for your home today.
Forced Air Heating Systems
Almost 90% of homes utilize forced air system for their heating needs. The main parts of a central forced air heating system are:
Furnace to heat the air and a fan or blower to circulate air
Supply ducts that deliver warm air into all the rooms
Return ducts that suck the cold air and draw them back to the furnace for processing
Thermostats that are used to control the heater’s operation
Forced air heating systems are generally affordable
Heats and/or cools room fast
Heating and cooling system can run through the same ductwork
Humidifies and dehumidifies the home
Filters the indoor air
Requires a huge amount of space for the ductwork
If left unattended or uncleaned, the circulated air may contain allergens
Noises coming from the unit may be distracting
If your current heating system is on its 10th to 15th year in service, it is said that the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) is at about 60%. This means you are squandering up to 40 cents for every dollar that you spend on fuel. This also means that even if your system is running well, the fact that it can be a huge energy drain should be enough to get you to consider replacing your current system for a high-efficiency unit that ranges from 90 to 98 percent AFUE.
Note that the federal government has also issued a minimum performance standard for gas furnaces and that all manufacturers should strictly adhere to this standard since its implementation on December 31, 2009.
Electric heating is the next popular option for heating in Canada. Despite its popularity, only a few homes utilize this because of the high electricity bills that it brings about.
Because it uses a convection process, it eliminates the inefficiencies of combustion which makes the unit 100% efficient
Low initial cost.
This system consumes a lot of power or electricity
It can be a fire hazard if not properly used
Hydronic Heating System
Hydronic heating systems make use of water heated in a boiler that is run by gas, electricity, oil, or fuel. When the water mixed with glycol is heated, it goes through infinite laps through the coils of plastic piping that are installed beneath the floor. The most popular version of this hydronic heating system is found in in-floor radiant heating that takes advantage of the same effect when you feel the warm heat of the sun.
Heat radiates from the floor and creates a consistent warm effect throughout the home
The system continuously produces heat even when it is not on
Takes up lesser space compared to forced air systems
Hydronic system can also function to heat water used throughout the home
Does not produce loud annoying noises
There is no risk of having dust or allergens in your indoor air
Requires less or no maintenance
Does not have an integrated heating and cooling unit in one which makes an air conditioning unit an additional expense for the homeowner
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Another heating option to choose from is the ground source heat pump (GSHP). This type of heating system makes use of a refrigerant that is sent through an underground piping that is installed about 200 feet below the ground. The refrigerant pulls the heat from the earth and is coursed through the entire home through the pipes. This system is run by electricity can be used in the summer with the cycle reversed.
GSHP will work with other heating options such as forced-air heating or hydronic systems
Heat produced by the system is more stable
No harmful emissions
This system is more expensive to install
The long underground piping that this system requires makes installation difficult and even impossible on smaller lots
As is with the other systems and appliances that use electricity, they have very limited potential for decreasing greenhouse emissions
Lastly, wood stoves are another heating option you can have for your home. Whether you are trying to heat a small, well-insulated home or a large open area, wood stoves can do a great heating job. In fact, the newer models of wood stoves today can have an efficiency rating of 70%. If you are looking for a cheaper option for your home’s primary or supplemental heating, wood stoves can be the wise choice.
Wood is cheaper to purchase as compared to having to use electricity which can be very expensive
Any homeowner who can get wood from their own property can make a huge deal of savings
Wood is a renewable resource
Wood stoves are great supplemental heating options if nothing else works.
Incorrectly sized units could cause some problems. If a stove is too big for the space it is trying to heat, it produces excessive heat and leaves black residue in the flue and the stovepipe. On the other hand, one that’s too small could potentially be a fire hazard as it exerts great effort to heat the space.
When choosing wood stoves, it is important to always opt for the units that are approved by the Canadian Standards and those that are highly efficient with low pollutants. The installation of wood stoves also must comply with the fire safety regulations and all building codes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.