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A Calgary HVAC has a thermostat which plays a vital role in the heating and cooling system of your home. But when should you replace it? Let us help you answer that question by giving you some things to think about.
Wear and Tear
As your heating and air conditioning system ages, it’s quite possible for the thermostat that controls your new furnace in Calgary and air conditioning system in your house to experience faults.

If this is the case, then the answer to the question above is easy. You want toreplace it as quickly as you can to bring your Calgary HVAC system back into optimal operation.

Upgrade
Thermostat technology has come a long way since those old round dial models common throughout older homes. The older mercury bulb thermostats can go out of calibration over time.

They can lose their temperature sensitivity which would lead to uneven temperatures throughout your home.  When this occurs you may find yourself experiencing hot & cold spots or your comfort system may not turn on or off when you think it should.

While these old thermostats may still function, there are many compelling reasons to replace it with a more recent model.

  • Are you looking to lower your energy bills?
  • Do you want detailed information about the status of your heating and air conditioning system?
  • Would you like to have one area of your home set to a different temperature than another area?
  • Would you like to have your humidistat work in conjunction with your thermostat?

By replacing your thermostat, you can have access to all of these and more!

Lower Bills
Switching from a manual thermostat to a newer and programmable thermostat is a great way to cut back on your utility bills.

By maintaining the proper settings, it’s possible to cut your costs from 5% to 15%. This potential savings is often enough to pay for the cost and installation of the new thermostat!

Automatic

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Most of the older thermostat models were capable of one temperature setting – which you would have to adjust manually to your desired setting throughout the day.

Programmable thermostats have been designed to do this for you.  You can set them so they automatically adjust when you wake up in the morning and when you go to sleep at night so that you have the perfect temperature for your home. You will never again have to get out of bed because of forgetting to turn the thermostat down!

Information
Your old thermostat can only tell you what the temperature is in your home.

Many of the newest models available have the ability to give you important information: they are able to give simple warnings such as it’s time to change your filter or if there is a Calgary HVAC system alarm that would require a qualified technician to take a look at it.

Some models include the ability to remote access your thermostat by installing an application on your smartphone.  With this technology, you can monitor the temperature of your home while you are at work or on vacation.  Another advantage is that the system can be set up to send you alerts if something has gone wrong: for example, if your home gets too cold during the winter there is the potential for pipes to begin freezing.

Touchscreen
A touchscreen thermostat is easy to set up and use.

It allows you to be more precise in your temperature setting and they are more modern looking than the older models with the plastic dials. Additionally, they are much easier to use and can allow you to be much more accurate in adjusting your desired set point.

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Zoning
A zoning system within your home establishes different temperatures for different areas.

This is one of the best ways to reduce hot and cold spots and allows you to focus your HVAC system’s energy consumption on the parts of your home that you occupy most often. If this is something you’re interested in, contact us and we will be happy to explain the different models that are available to you.

Is it time to Change? 
We hope we’ve answered the question of Is It Time to Change?

At Distinct Heating & Cooling, we pride ourselves on providing the highest level of home comfort systems in Calgary and the surrounding area! We offer efficient, reliable and cost effective solutions for your new furnace in Calgary and air conditioning needs.

Give us a call today and we can discuss which option is best for you!

If you think a Calgary furnace repair is impending, ask yourself these questions first:
  • Is there an unexplained spike in your utility bill?
  • Is your furnace taking more time than usual to produce the same amount of heat?
  • Are you feeling uncomfortable due to uneven temperature in different parts of your home?
  • Are there strange noises coming from your furnace?
  • Are you detecting any strange odors emitting from your furnace?
If your answer is YES to any of these questions that are signs of an impending Calgary furnace repair,

you may want to consider having a qualified Calgary technician inspect your furnace. Homeowners can avoid some of these concerns by having an expert inspect your furnace annually.  This could help save you time, repair costs and alsoextend the life of your furnace.

Metal fatigue and carbon monoxide poisoning

Calgary Furnace Repair

Many furnace deaths are due to a cracked heat exchanger. Your furnace’s heat exchanger is the metal passage that separates the combustion by-products from the indoor air that is being heated. This metal is exposed to the hot flame within your furnace system and is constantly expanding and contracting as the furnace heats and cools down causing what is called ‘metal fatigue’. The metal heat exchanger can crack due to fatigue caused by this expansion and contraction.

A cracked heat exchanger is a serious issue,

as even the smallest crack can allow deadly gas to enter your home. One of the by-products of burning natural gas is carbon monoxide gas, often referred to as CO. It is an extremely difficult gas to detect, as CO is odorless, colorless and poisonous. When inhaled, COprevents the body’s red blood cells from absorbing oxygen. When this happens over time, this can leave you with serious health issues or if inhaled in high enough concentrations, CO can be fatal.

Having regular maintenance completed by a qualified technician should helpprevent this danger from occurring.  We recommend that you have your furnace inspected annually by experts in this field., giving you the peace of mind that it is reliable and safe, is operating efficiently, and at the same time, keeping you and your family warm and comfortable. As part of our annual maintenance, Distinct Heating & Cooling performs a 30-Point Performance Tune Up on your HVAC System that includes testing the gas and air pressure, checking parts for damage and/or deterioration and filter replacement.

Keep it clean – as often as possible

Dirt and dust are also culprits that can cause your furnace to wear out earlier than usual requiring furnace repair in Calgary. Not only can it waste natural gas, it can also lower your furnace’s efficiency and cause your furnace to overheat.

Dirt and dust can affect the three basic components of your furnace – the filter, the blower assembly and the heat exchanger.

A dirty filter will cause your furnace to work harder. It may also cause you and your family some health issues, especially if you have allergies.

Built up dirt and dust on the blower blades will reduce the furnace’s airflow and cause it to use more electricity as it works doubly hard.

With reduced airflow, the furnace will run hotter, increasing the rate of expansion and contraction of the heat exchanger which could lead to metal fatigue and cracks.

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Here at Distinct Heating & Cooling, we recommend that you change your furnace filter every 2 to 3 months.  This will help to prevent dirt & dust from building up in your furnace system.  In turn, this will help to keep   you and your family healthy & comfortable, prolong the life of your furnace system, and keep it running efficiently & reliably.

A worn out furnace will not only increase your utility bills unnecessarily, but can also be fatal to you and your family.  Don’t wait until you experience a mechanical failure with your furnace.  Have your professionals at Distinct Heating & Cooling inspect your furnace. Call us today at (403) 800-3261!

After learning about how to get their furnace ready for the winter months, Calgary homeowners often want to know if they should run the fan even when the furnace isn’t heating and moving the air. As with most debates, there are two sides to every story. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of running the fan on your furnace in Calgary all the time.

Pros

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Running the fan all the time can even out cold and hot spots within your house. This is especially useful for multi-story homes where hot air can collect in the upper levels causing large temperature variations. Running the fan can serve to pull hot air down the stairs while circulating cool air through the upper rooms of the house.

Running the fan at all times has the added benefit of providing constant air filtration. This is a great way to help provide relief from allergies, asthma, and other respiratory ailments. Couple this with a high-performance filter and you’ve got a great method for cleaning the air in your house all day long.

Some speculate that running the fan at all times can actually extend the lifetime of the blower motors on furnaces in Calgary. This is because the stop and start of normal operation can be the most stressful time for any motor. By running the fan all the time, the motor is – theoretically – subjected to less stress (the stops and starts) and may last longer as a result.

Cons

The major drawback to running your fan all the time is the increase in energy use which isn’t good for the environment and which can drastically impact your wallet.

Some speculate that running the fan at all times can cause the fan to wear out sooner because of the constant use.

When you think about it, manufacturers build the fans to stop and start. If they thought it was a major problem, they wouldn’t put the Auto feature on their furnaces bound for Calgary.
Ultimately though, the choice is up to you about whether to run the fan on your furnace in Calgary at all times. If allergies are not a problem and you’re not concerned with – or haven’t experienced – cold or hot spots in your house, they you might choose to set your fan to Auto and let the furnace control when it comes on. If allergies are a major concern or the hot/cold spots in your house have some wearing sweaters and others wearing shorts – and you’re not concerned about the cost – you might choose to run the fan on your furnace all the time.

If you want to experiment for yourself, try each method for a month and see which you prefer. Be sure to keep track of your utility bill so you can compare what each method does to your wallet. It’s also a good idea to let the other people in the house know what you are doing so that they can keep track of how they feel (and how each room feels) when the methods change.

Having said all that, we do NOT recommend running the fan all the time – neither in the summer nor in the winter. Here’s why:

Furnace Calgary

In Calgary, all newer homes have a fresh air intake. This intake is typically a 5 inch pipe that brings air from the outside and pumps it into the return-air side of your furnace. Anytime the furnace is running, you are sucking air from directly outside. So if that air is +30 and muggy, you are going to make your house much hotter. If that air is -30 and freezing cold, it’s like trying to heat your home with a window open. From a comfort standpoint, it might be beneficial, but from an energy-saving standpoint (by that we mean electricity and gas), it’s very detrimental.

We have seen many homes left unoccupied during the winter (owner goes on vacation, for example) with the fan running all the time. At some point during the owner’s absence, the burners fail to ignite (because of a faulty gas valve, for example) but the fan continues to run and pump freezing cold air throughout the house. It’s easy to see that a home could freeze up very quickly under these circumstances.

If you have any questions about how to properly run your furnace fan or any questions regarding your home comfort needs, please call us at (403) 800-3261. We would be happy to spend some time talking with you.

In Calgary, one of the best ways to avoid the need for furnace repair and to keep your furnace running reliably, safely, and efficiently is to perform an annual maintenance tune-up.  Let’s examine a few of the steps involved in an annual maintenance tune-up in a bit more detail.

Check the air filter

The air filter helps trap dust and debris to keep it from being disbursed throughout your house.  The filter also helps keep the furnace clean and running efficiently so it’s important to ensure that the air filter is clean and in good condition.  It’s a good idea to check the filters in your furnace every few months and replace them as necessary.

Calgary Furnace Repair

Test thermostat operation

No special equipment required here.  Just set the thermostat to HEAT and select the desired temperature to make sure that the thermostat is in good working order and is communicating properly with the furnace.

Check gas pressure

It is important to check and adjust the gas pressure using a manometer so that the furnace will fire correctly.  What we do in Distinct Heating and Cooling is check the nameplate for the manufacturer-suggested gas pressure and adjust accordingly.  It’s a good idea to let a professional adjust the settings and perform much of the inspection in order to avoid the need for emergency Calgary furnace repair.

Make sure the burners and heat exchanger are in good condition

When the temperature drops below the desired level, the thermostat will send a signal to the furnace causing the burners to turn on and heat the heat exchanger.  Once the heat exchanger gets hot enough, the blower kicks in to push warm air throughout the house.

Keeping the burners and heat exchanger in good working order is essential to efficient home heating.  This is definitely a job for a professional as misaligned burners and a poorly adjusted heat exchanger can cause problems that inevitably lead to major furnace repair.

Inspect the blower compartment

Make sure the blower wheel is clean and free of debris and the bearings are allowing the wheel to spin freely.

Check the temperature rise

Adjust the thermostat so that the furnace turns on and allow the temperature to rise to its maximum set point.  Verify that the temperature rise across the furnace is within the manufacturer’s guidelines.  Again, this is a job for a professional who has the tools and knowledge necessary to do the job right the first time.

Check for carbon monoxide

Calgary Furnace Repair

Make sure that carbon monoxide (CO) levels in the home are 0 parts per million.  Carbon monoxide is produced whenever a fuel (i.e., wood, charcoal, oil, gas, etc.) is burned.  A furnace burner that is functioning properly has efficient combustion and produces little carbon monoxide.  A burner that is out of adjustment can, however, produce high levels of carbon monoxide.  It’s a good idea to have a carbon monoxide alarm/detector in your home but it’s also a good idea to have a professional perform an annual test.

If your furnace is producing carbon monoxide that is leaking into your house, in most cold-weather locations, including Calgary, furnace repair will be necessary.

Maintain humidifier (optional but recommended)

Maintaining the humidifier involves disassembling and decalcifying the unit as well as installing a new pad.

Once all that is done, your furnace should be good to go for another year.  As an added benefit, you also know that your system is running as reliably, safely, and efficiently as possible.  So take the time to call a professional who will perform an annual maintenance tune-up on your furnace.  This will help you stay warm in Calgary all winter long and avoid the need for furnace repair.