Heating

Aside from safety concerns, such as checking for CO2 and the function of safety limit controls, the biggest reason we service our furnaces every year is to ensure their function when we need them the most.  Old furnaces with a standing pilot have a lot more wear than a modern furnace with an electronic ignition.  Replacing the thermocouple once per year on an older furnace is good insurance that the furnace won’t fail when the demand is the greatest.  On the other hand, the furnace installed in the last ten years will have its own safety functions built in.  This will cause it to simply shut down when there is a faulty component.   It’s the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.    If you consider that the greatest chance for failure is in the winter, and for the 40 hours per week that our business is open, there are also 128 hours where we are not.  While that won’t mean that you will be cold – we do offer 24 hour emergency service – but it does mean that overtime charges would apply.  Fortis BC recommends annual servicing to ensure maximum efficiency is achieved.

The heat exchanger on older furnaces can be cleaned. It is usually done on old furnaces to get the last few years out of it. If they are not burning well / properly they may get excess soot build up. Cleaning them will help them run better.

Check operation of safety limit controls
Check fan and limit temperature set points
Check thermostat for proper operation
Check blower amperage draw at start-up
Inspect and clean blower assembly
Lubricate blower and motor bearings
Check pressure switches, tubing, and draft inducer motor
Check and clean condensate trap and/or pump
Inspect burners and clean as required
Visually inspect entire venting system and check for adequate combustion air intake
Check gas piping for leaksPerform combustion analysis measure: carbon monoxide (ppm), excess air, stack temperature ˚C, exhaust draft burner efficiency levels (See Combustion Analysis Print-out)
Measure stack (flue) temperature
Check and adjust manifold gas pressure
Check temperature rise of furnace
Check and adjust pilot assembly
Visually inspect thermocouple
Check flame rectification
Check the following if a problem is suspected
Elevated carbon monoxide levels in the home
Visual inspection of heat exchanger
Clock furnace to verify correct BTU input (See print-out provided)
Clean equipment interior/exterior

Check operation of safety limit controls
Test operation of safety relief valve
System requires chemical cleaning
Test to verify expansion tank is not water logged or leaking
Lubricate circulator(s)
Check pressure switches
Check tubing
Check draft inducer motor
Check and clean condensate trap and/or pump
Check vent damper
Visually inspect venting system
Check for adequate combustion air if applicable
Examine vent connector and inspect venting system
Check vent damper operations (if applicable)
Check and adjust pilot light (if applicable)
Check flame rectification
Measure stack (flue) temperature
Check gas piping to boiler
Check and adjust manifold gas pressure
Clock appliance to verify correct input
Combustion / ventilation air adequate
Check for elevated carbon monoxide levels CO Level (ppm)
Inspect heat exchanger
Check temperature difference between supply and return piping
Clean equipment interior / exterior

Yes. Any gas fired heating appliance should be serviced once per year for efficiency and safety.  Combine this with your main heating service to save money.

Tips for keeping your furnace running well:

Ensure the fan compartment door is closet completely and sealed tight

Ensure there are no objects stored beside, against or atop the unit

Keep air vents and return air vents clear from furniture and carpets

Change or clean filters often.  Your furnace owner’s manual will have recommendations for how often, but quarterly is good practice.

Annual maintenance.

It works by the system pumping heated water from a boiler through tubing laid in a pattern underneath the floor. As warm water circulates through the tubing, the flooring turns into an efficient, inconspicuous radiator. The warm surface then slowly radiates heat upward into the living space, rather than blowing around the heated air. This natural heat transfer is both more comfortable and energy efficient. In some systems, the temperature in each room is controlled by regulating the flow of hot water through each tubing loop. This is done by a system of zoning valves or pumps and thermostats. The cost of installing a hydronic radiant floor varies by location and also depends on the size of the home, the type of installation, the floor covering, remoteness of the site, and the cost of labour.

In-floor radiant heating has a number of advantages and is usually more efficient than forced-air heating because no energy is lost through ducts. Energy costs are also lower because in-floor radiant heating consumes less energy to achieve the same level of comfort as a forced air system. The lack of moving air can also be advantageous to people with severe allergies. Other advantages are that your feet are always warm, the temperature remains consistent and easy to control, and you don’t feel drafts or hear the noise of blowing air.

Baseboard radiant heat works similar to an in-floor radiant system whereby hot water heated by a boiler is piped to “fin-tube” baseboard units mounted along walls, rather than tubes placed in the floor. The fins increase the surface area of heat dissipation making the unit more efficient. Air is distributed by convection as air rises and is heated by the baseboard unit. Again, there are many advantages over a forced-air system such as being more efficient and quiet. Some disadvantages to this system are that the baseboard must remain unobstructed, which provides furniture layout challenges and if you are looking to cool the space; a separate air conditioning unit would be required.