Furnaces Calgary

Debating about whether to call a furnace technician, or if you should try to fix your furnace yourself? Well, before you roll up your sleeves and attempt to fix your furnace, first consider how much of an investment that piece of equipment is, and how much it could cost you if your repairs are done incorrectly. A furnace is a complex machine and responsible for the comfort of your home. Any repair missteps could leave you in the cold, or worse, put your furnace out of commission for good.

Before you try to tackle that repair yourself, consider each of these important factors first.

You’re Not an Expert

Let’s face it – you’re not an expert. Taking on DIY projects throughout your home can be fun and rewarding. But when it comes to a serious piece of equipment that you and your family rely on (that also happens to be a costly investment), it’s imperative to remember that professional technicians undergo extensive training and apprenticeship to perform even basic repairs. When something needs to be fixed, place your investment in the hands of the experts to ensure that you’re not left with any costly mistakes down the road.

You Could Void Your Warranty

Many furnace manufacturers have stern stipulations regarding the warranty that comes with your furnace. And most warranties state that any malfunctions that occur with your furnace must be repaired by a licensed technician with approved parts. Taking it upon yourself to repair a problem could result in voiding your warranty. Always read your warranties thoroughly to determine what the stipulations include, or give Distinct Heating & Cooling a call – we’d be happy to walk you through the technical terms and legal jargon so you understand exactly what’s covered and what isn’t.

It Can be Dangerous

Your furnace requires gas to function. It goes without saying that gas must be handled with care. That is why technicians are required to undergo advanced training each and every year. If you attempt to fix your furnace with knowing the proper safety precautions to take, you could be placing yourself and your family in danger.

If you ever find yourself asking the question, “Should I try fixing my furnace myself?” the answer should be “no” unless we’re talking about something straightforward like changing a filter. Give Distinct Heating & Cooling a call for all your furnace installation, maintenance, and repair needs. We hold ourselves to the highest standard of workmanship, professionalism, and service in everything we do.

While furnace maintenance should always be performed by qualified technicians, there are a few things homeowners can take a look at during the year in order to give peace of mind that their equipment is working as it should. Taking a proactive approach in between visits from the professionals is key to keeping your home warm and comfortable, extending the life of your furnace, and reducing the need for expensive repair bills down the road. Let’s explore five basic things homeowners can do to ensure that their furnace is operating efficiently:

Change the Filter Regularly

Furnace filters improve the air we breathe by trapping dirt, dust, and debris to keep allergens out of the air. But did you know their main function is to protect the furnace itself? Filters protect the furnace’s blower fan from dust and debris pulled in by the return duct.  For optimal performance, replace the filters at least every three months. A handy way to remember is to replace the filter on the first day of a new season. To replace a disposable filter, simply open the filter compartment door, slide the old filter out and place in a bag, then insert the new filter.

Clean Around the Equipment

Dust and debris will accumulate around the equipment, so wipe down the unit and vacuum every three to six months. If you open up the equipment to clean, be sure to check that the door is firmly secured when done. Most modern furnaces have a switch that indicates whether the door is on or off, and the furnace will not start up again unless the door is in proper position.

For safety reasons, turning the furnace “OFF” while you clean is a good rule of thumb!

Listen to Your Furnace

Any unusual noise can be a sign that there is something not quite right with your furnace. Make a note of when and where in the heating cycle you hear the noise – is it before the furnace kicks in? After the motor has been initiated? Is there popping and banging after the furnace has been running for a while? Or is it when it shuts off? If you are concerned that the furnace will be humming smoothly when the technician arrives, record a video or audio clip on your phone for playback. These are helpful indicators for your technicians as to what could be causing the concern.

You can help keep your furnace running smoothly and efficiently each year in your Calgary home by performing these basic steps. For optimal performance, just give us a call and we’ll send out a technician to perform a thorough inspection and cleaning. Learn more about our 30-point furnace tune-up!

 

Did you know the leading cause of home fires is caused from the improper use of heating equipment within the home? The largest number of home fires caused by heater accidents occurs from December through February. Here at Distinct Heating & Cooling, we want you and your family to be safe and remain warm, without the risks of accidently starting a fire in your home by offering these tips and suggestions:

Furnace:

Verify there is at least a three-foot clear space around your furnace. You should never store flammable objects or other items next to your furnace. Items placed too close to the furnace can become hot, and eventually start on fire. If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove in your home, also make sure there is sufficient, clear space.

Shut off your furnace if you notice strange smells in the air, like burning plastic, or other such smells that could indicate a problem with the heating system. After shutting off the furnace, contact us immediately to schedule an inspection.

Have your furnace inspected and tuned-up to ensure it is operating correctly. The vast majority of furnace failures during the winter is due to systems not being well-maintained.

Remember to change your furnace air filter as needed. Depending upon the type of filter installed, it could require changing monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. If you are not sure how often to change it, do not hesitate to ask one of our furnace technicians for advice!

Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in key areas throughout the home. Remember to test the detectors at least once a month.

Other heat sources:

Never use your oven or cooktop to heat your home. While it can be tempting to rely upon this appliance when there is a problem with your furnace, it is not designed to work as a heater.

Have a professional clean your fireplace or woodstove chimney as needed. Depending upon the type of fuel used, you may need to have the chimney cleaned more frequently during the winter.

With fireplaces and wood burning stoves, make sure you are using the correct fuel type. For instance, if you have a gas fireplace, never burn wood in it. In addition, never burn trash or other such items in the fireplace or stove. Use a screen with fireplaces to stop sparks from getting out and always operate the wood stove with the door closed.

When cleaning out the ashes from fireplaces and wood burning stoves, make sure the fire has completely gone out. Never put hot ashes into plastic or wooden containers. Always use a metal container to put the ashes into and promptly remove them from the home. Do not pour the ashes out until they have sat inside the container, a safe distance away from the home for at least 24 hours.

Never use propane or kerosene heaters within the home. Not only is this dangerous, but they also give off harmful carbon monoxide.

For more fire safety tips or to schedule a furnace tune-up and inspection, please feel free to call us, here at Distinct Heating & Cooling by phoning (403) 477-3810 today!

There are several different things you can do around your home to ensure your home remains warm throughout the winter. Oftentimes, the reason for costly winter heating bills is due to air loss, either warm air seeping out of the home or cold air coming into the home.

  1. Look for sunlight coming in around doors and windows.

If you can see sunlight around doors and windows, it means there are gaps where air can enter or leave the home. One easy fix is to replace worn-out weather-stripping with new weather-stripping. For bigger gaps around windows, you may need to reseal them using spray foam insulation and caulk.

  1. Check for drafts around wall outlets and light switches.

Depending on the age of your home, electrical outlets and light switches may not have sufficient insulation around them. When there is no insulation, cold air can get into the home. You can easily fix this problem by removing the cover plates and placing foam gaskets around the outlet or switch, and then put the cover plate back over the outlet or switch.

  1. Check for holes in exterior walls where plumbing, electrical, and cables come into the home.

Quite frequently, the caulk placed around these inbound connections wears out and cracks, creating air leaks. Remember to pull up the decorative rings on water pipes you might have under the sink or under the toilet, too. The best way to fix gaps around these items is to use spray foam insulation to seal up any gaps.

  1. Verify windows are securely closed.

You would be surprised how cold air can get into the home from windows that are not shut correctly or tightly. Keep in mind the weather-stripping could also need replaced on older windows.

  1. Upgrade your thermostat and humidistat.

Today’s digital thermostats and humidistats are much more precise and allow you to program your furnace and humidifier to maintain different comfort levels within the home at different times of the day and night. Utilizing these features helps improve the efficiency of your furnace and humidifier and can even reduce your energy bills.

  1. Schedule your annual furnace tune-up and maintenance service with Distinct Heating & Cooling.

Our experienced technicians perform a detailed inspection of your heating system to ensure it is operating correctly to provide optimal comfort throughout the winter and helps avoid unexpected breakdowns.

By taking the time to do a walkthrough of your home after reviewing the following tips, you might just discover one or more areas that need your attention. Do not hesitate to contact us, here at Distinct Heating & Cooling, with any questions or concerns about your furnace and heating system or to schedule your annual furnace tune-up by calling (403) 477-3810 today!