Being proactive with your furnace is necessary for every homeowner in order to reduce the potential for requiring expensive repairs in the future. And if you own a dog or cat, furnace cleaning for pet owners is an essential part of being proactive in your regular maintenance. Although you should always leave service and maintenance in the hands of a skilled and qualified heating technician, there are some simple and effective tasks that you can perform in between those scheduled maintenance visits. Read on to learn how you can help keep your furnace running smoothly and free from all that pet dander.


Keep an Eye on the Filter

The filter is one of the essential components of your furnace and one that should been changed regularly. The filter is what acts as a barrier to trap and prevent dust and allergens – such as pet dander – from being distributed throughout your home. Without a clean filter, hair and dust can’t easily be contained. Equally important, a clean filter helps your furnace stay safe and efficient. If the filter is clogged, your heating system has to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. You can help improve the air quality in your home by keeping an eye on your filter on a regular basis to see whether it needs to be replaced or cleaned. Filters should generally be changed every 2-3 months, but this can vary depending on the amount of dust and pet dander in your home.


Listen to Your Furnace

The furnace can also begin to make noises when something is off with the system or requires repair, so it’s important that they aren’t ignored. When you turn the system on, listen for any clunking or popping noises. Sometimes just paying attention to the sounds and nuances of your system can indicate that it may need to be serviced. If you notice excessive noise coming from the furnace, try to record the sound and then call a qualified technician from Distinct Heating & Cooling to schedule an inspection. Ignoring these sounds can allow minor discrepancies to develop into bigger problems down the road.


Keep Your Home and Equipment as Clean as Possible

Having a dog or cat can fill your home with an abundance of love and of course, hair. Pet hair and dander can really impede the efficiency of your system. One of the easiest ways to prevent this from affecting home comfort is by keeping your home as clean as possible from all of that hair and dust. Give your pet a regular brushing outside away from your unit. It’s also helpful to clean around the equipment on a regular basis to avoid a build up of dust and debris. Vacuuming every three to six months is recommended.

Your pets are your pride and joy, but all of that hair and dander can wreak havoc on your furnace. You can reduce the impact of pet dander on your system by keeping your furnace and filter clean, paying attention to any unusual noises, and always leaving maintenance and repairs in the hands of a qualified and licensed furnace technician. Call Distinct Heating & Cooling today to schedule your 30-Point Home Heating Performance Tune-Up!

If you have been experiencing higher than expected heating costs this winter, chances are the heating load on your furnace is excessive. Even though your furnace might run more often, it does not mean you should be spending more to keep your Calgary home comfortable. There are ways to make your home more efficient, while helping to reduce heating costs and avoiding unnecessary Calgary furnace repair services.

Add Insulation to Your Calgary Home

Many older homes have insufficient insulation to prevent heat loss during the winter and stop warm air from getting indoors during the summer. One area of the home that is often lacking in sufficient insulation is the attic. When adding insulation to your home, you need to have a general understanding of R-values, which is how the construction industry measures the heat resistance and effectiveness of insulation.

Essentially, all you need to know about R-value is it is the equivalent of insulating power and the ability to resist heat loss. So, insulation with an R-value of 50 will provide better insulating power than insulation with a lower R-value. It is important to get as much R-value into the spaces you can reach without compressing the insulation.

Adding more insulation will make your home more energy efficient and comfortable. In attics, where you tend to have plenty of space to add insulation, it is recommended to upgrade to an R-value of 50 for the best results.

Seal or Replace Windows

If you have an older home with single pane windows, you are literally throwing money out the window as you are losing heat and cool air, which increases heating and cooling costs. It is better to upgrade to dual pane or triple pane windows with an E-coating on them to improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Windows with E-coatings help to block out the radiant heat of the sun, while allowing light to pass through the window. Windows with low E-coating ratings are sufficient for most Calgary homes.

If you already have dual or triple pane windows, take the time to reseal the caulking around the windows annually. Caulking can crack and create small pockets for air to get into the home. If you are noticing cold air drafts, chances are the caulking needs to be resealed around the windows.

Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat gives you the flexibly to automatically control the comfort levels in your home. For instance, most people program a lower temperature when they are away during the day or sleeping and slightly higher temperatures first thing in the morning when waking up and at night when returning home. As a result, they use less energy whenever they are away and are not sacrificing their comfort when they are home. There are even programmable thermostats that work with home humidification systems and can be controlled remotely right from your smartphone.

Annual Furnace Maintenance

It is recommended you schedule annual furnace maintenance to have your home heating and cooling system inspected for potential problems. Annual maintenance will help identify potential problems before they occur and help save on those unexpected furnace repairs in Calgary during the colder winter months.

By taking the time and making energy efficient improvements to your home, along with annual furnace maintenance, you can reduce the heating load on your furnace and lower your heating and cooling bills.

For more information about our 30-point annual maintenance and tune-up services, programmable thermostats, or other suggestions for improving the efficiency of your home heating and cooling system, feel free to contact Distinct Heating & Cooling today by phoning 403-477-3810. Our Calgary air conditioning and furnace repair, maintenance, and installation technician experts are happy to discuss your needs, answer your questions, and present you with your available options.

Furnace Safety Tips to Stay Warm and Safe

The key to a happy and healthy home during the colder winter months is heating. It is important to remember proper furnace safety precautions to remain safe all winter long. Here at Distinct Heating & Cooling, we have prepared the following tips and suggestions to help you practice proper furnace safety so that you and your entire family can remain warm throughout the colder months.

Starting the Furnace Up

When you fire up the furnace for the first time when it gets cold, it not uncommon to smell a peculiar smell like something is burning. This is normal, as dust tends to settle during the warmer months when you are not using your furnace. The dust quickly burns away and should disappear after the furnace cycles several times.

However, if the smell does not go away, it could indicate a bigger problem. There could potentially be small leaks in pipes and valves where the gas is escaping, which is very dangerous. We recommend shutting off the furnace and contacting a qualified Calgary furnace repair service, like us.

Keep the Area around the Furnace Unobstructed

The area around the furnace should be kept clean and clear of clutter. Never store any flammable materials, such as aerosols, gasoline, or paint thinners near your furnace. In addition, do not store boxes, wood, rags, laundry, garbage, or other items next to the furnace. These and other objects are potential fire hazards.

Operate the Furnace with a Clean Filter

Distinct Heating & Cooling recommends changing your furnace air filter once every two to three months. You should also inspect the filter on a monthly basis and if you notice your filter is dirty, change it, rather than waiting. The dust and dirt in the filter can cause other problems with the furnace’s operations causing a number of performance, safety, efficiency, and air quality issues. When dirty filters become clogged, they can cause your furnace to work harder and even overheat. An overworked heating system increases the risk of carbon monoxide leaks, too.

Get CO and Smoke Detectors Installed

Carbon monoxide has no odor and is very dangerous. To reduce this risk, we recommend every floor of your home has, at least, one carbon monoxide (CO) detector and, at least, one smoke detector. These devices are an essential part of furnace safety and help keep you safe. Our furnace maintenance services in Calgary can include installing CO detectors to keep the threat of carbon monoxide to a minimum.

Most detectors have an average lifespan of approximately ten years. If the detectors in your home are more than ten years old, we strongly urge you to replace them with new ones. In addition, you should test smoke detectors and CO detectors on a monthly basis. The batteries should be replaced at least once a year. It also is recommended to keep a fresh set of batteries on hand for all detectors in the home.

Annual Furnace Maintenance and Inspection

Furnaces are composed of numerous moving and working parts and components that are necessary for proper operation. To ensure your furnace is operating correctly, and to keep you and your family safe, these parts and components do require an annual inspection.

At Distinct Heating & Cooling, our Calgary furnace maintenance service includes a 30-point inspection to take care of your furnace so you do not have to worry about it. As part of our 30-point inspection, we test and inspect safety controls, the ignition system, thermostat operation, the condition of the burner tubes, air flow, gas pressure, and CO and gas leaks, and much more.

Here at Distinct Heating & Cooling, we are available 24/7 and are always happy to help. Our experienced technicians have the skills, tools, and knowledge to provide you with peace of mind to know your home heating system is within the proper safety requirements and up to code. If you have any other questions about furnace safety or your furnace, please feel free to contact us today by phoning 403-477-3810.

It is that time of year again, when you need to get your heating system ready to go for the winter. You are pretty much done with the air conditioning unit and you are probably starting to think it might be nice to have some heat. The following tips will walk you through what is involved with shutting down your air conditioning unit for the year and getting your heating system ready to go.

Getting Your Heating System Ready for Winter

1.Filter: Check Its Cleanliness

The first step is to make sure that your air filter is nice and clean. Depending on your home heating system, there could potentially be two air filters you need to check. The first one is normally part of the actual furnace. The second filter to check is your return air vent filter. So you need to check these out and verify they are clean. If there is dust and dirt deposits on the filter, replace it. Having a clean filter will help to get you through the next few months.

2.Basement Heating Vents: If Closed, Open Them

So far we have checked to make sure that our air filter is nice and clean. The next thing you want to do is, if you have closed off your basement heat vents during the summer, it is a good time to open them up now.

3.Humidifier Damper: Adjust to Open

Next we’re going to adjust the humidifier damper to the “winter” or “fully opened” position.

4.Cover Outdoor Condensing Unit

Some of our customers choose to have a cover put on their outdoor condensing unit. If you do put a cover on there, then we would recommend you adjust the system switch to the “off” position first. Go to your electrical panel and turn the breaker off that says “air conditioning unit.” Then you can proceed to put the cover on the outdoor condensing unit for the winter.

5.Thermostat and Humidistat: Set to Desired Set-Points

The next step is to go to your thermostat, adjust the system switch to “heat”, and then set it to the desired set-point. You will also want to adjust your humidistat to its desired set-point.

By taking the time to perform these steps, you are able to make sure your furnace is ready for cold Calgary winter and will keep you nice and toasty. In addition to performing these steps, it is highly recommended you schedule annual furnace maintenance with a qualified and experienced Calgary furnace maintenance technician. Furnace maintenance will help discover any potential problems and prevent emergency repair calls this winter.

If you would like an overview of getting your heating system ready for winter or any other helpful maintenance tips, please feel to contact Distinct Heating and Cooling today at 403-477-3810. Remember to get your free quote today for annual furnace maintenance!