Category Archives: Furnaces

What Does Rust In Your Furnace Mean?

Rust on HVAC equipment

When most homeowners think of potential issues with their furnace, rust isn’t one that is typically near the top of the list. That’s likely because your furnace doesn’t require water to function like a boiler, and if there are no leaks and it’s on level ground, why would you have to think about rust? And not only that, what does rust in your furnace mean? 

Keep reading to discover common causes of rust in your furnace and some possible solutions. 

Possible Furnace Rust Causes   

When metal, oxygen and moisture mix together they can form an iron oxide we know as rust. When left alone to accumulate, rust can eat away at metal, including your furnace, which can cause some serious problems. They include gases like carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide or sulfur dioxide getting into your living spaces. Some of the causes of rust forming in your furnace include: 

Water Leaks and High Humidity – If you have a water leak that results in moisture around your furnace, the added moisture can cause rust. Also, if you have a humid home, moisture can get into your heating system through return ducts. 

Dripping Air Conditioning – Many homeowners have a combo furnace and AC, and in some cases, condensation that is created in the evaporator coils doesn’t drain properly and drips onto your furnace, causing rust. 

Improper Vapor Ventilation – This can occur when gases and vapors move from the burner through the heat exchanger and toward the flue. As they cool, they can turn into water vapor and without proper ventilation, the water vapor can corrode the metal. 

Furnace Rust Solutions   

The solution to your furnace rust problem begins and ends with professional service. Whether it’s a ventilation issue, a water leak around the furnace, high humidity in your house or some other issue causing moisture to get in there, you need an HVAC specialist to take a look and determine what the best course of action might be. 

Most of the time, an experienced HVAC technician will try to fix the problem first, but if a repair isn’t going to get the job done, it might be time for a new furnace. A furnace replacement isn’t what most homeowners want to hear, but if it’s a matter of safety or if the repairs are just going to keep mounting due to the accumulation of rust, then a replacement may be the best course of action.

Technician fixing HVAC system

The Importance of Annual Maintenance 

The key to catching furnace issues before they get out of hand is to schedule annual furnace maintenance with a professional HVAC technician. When you have maintenance before the heating season, we will be able to detect any problems, including rust, and make the necessary repairs so your furnace runs smoothly all winter and the problem doesn’t get worse.

Keeping your furnace in tip-top shape is our number one priority. Yearly furnace maintenance will catch issues before they become a problem. Contact us today. 

How to Help Your Furnace Work Better in Your Home

Although your furnace might appear to be working, the question is, how well?

It’s not uncommon for a furnace to be in good condition, but still not reach optimum performance. In fact, issues such as poor insulation or old doors and windows can keep even a brand-new furnace from working efficiently. If you would like to keep your furnace working better, here are some easy tips to keep your home toasty warm this winter.

How Long Should a Furnace Last?

First, it helps to know the age of your furnace. According to the experts at This Old House, a furnace should last about 15 to 20 years. If your furnace is over 15-years-old, it’s reaching the end of its expected life span.

Although a well-maintained furnace could last beyond its years, you should pay attention to the factors that will age your furnace, as well as signs it has seen better days.

Signs Your Furnace is Aging

An obvious sign your furnace is aging is frequent breakdowns. If you find you’re calling in a repair team every fall, ask them if it makes more sense to replace your furnace instead of investing in constant repairs.

Some less obvious signs your furnace is aging include:

  1. Rising energy bills as your furnace becomes less efficient at heating your home.
  2. Uneven heating where you find some rooms or areas of your home tends to be colder than others.
  3. Frequent cycling where you can hear your furnace turning on and off often as it tries to maintain the set temperature.
  4. Issues with air quality such as noticeable humidity or more dust in your home.

If you are noticing any of these signs, you can speak to our heating experts. We can assess your furnace to determine if it is time for a new heating system.

Tips to Improve Your Furnace’s Efficiency

Although your goal is to help your furnace work better, a lot of the steps you should take don’t directly involve the furnace itself. Instead, you want to ensure your home is properly insulated to reduce wasted energy.

To improve your home’s heating efficiency, you can try the following:

Improve insulation: Your home has insulation in the walls, ceiling, and attic to prevent heat (and cool air) from escaping. Making sure your attic is properly insulated can help keep heat inside your home.

Caulk door and window frames: Check your door and window frames and make sure there aren’t any cracks. You can also hold up your hand to see if you feel cool air or air movement around windows and doors.

Add new weather-stripping: You can use weather-stripping as an added seal where doors and windows have moving parts. This provides a tighter seal when your doors and windows are closed.

Change furnace filters: Your furnace filters should be changed at least every one to three months. You can put a reminder in your phone, so you don’t forget!

Annual maintenance: Annual maintenance will help keep your furnace operating efficiently. Every fall you should call your local heating and cooling experts to arrange a furnace tune-up.

These tips will help your furnace work better in your home. If you’d like more information about heating efficiency for your home, speak to our team.

 

References: 

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/how-long-things-last 

Benefits of Energy Efficient Homes

green energy efficient home

Whether you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint or you need a new furnace, you might be wondering – are high efficiency furnaces worth it? The quick and easy answer is yes, absolutely.

A high-performance and efficient furnace is a great example of the four benefits associated with an energy efficient home:

• Reduced electrical costs
• Energy savings
• Designed to last
• Reduces your overall carbon footprint.

New HVAC tech is here and you should have it in your home

Like most technology, HVAC tech is always evolving. The newest HVAC tech has many benefits to you and your home. As mentioned above, switching to new HVAC tech will cut down on the amount of energy used in your home. Most HVAC products have been designed with this purpose in mind.

But saving energy isn’t the only benefit of new HVAC technology. New HVAC systems help families create greener homes. Less energy attributes to a reduction in your carbon footprint, which is good for everyone. These positive benefits also turn into cost savings on your hydro bill. Having high efficiency products in your home just makes sense.

green home energy efficient

A few examples of HVAC products and energy efficiency

Furnaces

New high efficiency furnaces are completely state-of-the-art. This includes motors that reduce electrical demand and operating costs, as well as computer boards that offer high-level self-diagnostic and two-stage heating.

Ductless cooling

Ductless cooling is the way to go for homes that may not have the space for bulky ductwork. This system uses an outdoor compressor that cools the air into the indoor unit, which then keeps you cool. The unit in your home is quiet and barely noticeable. This is a far step away from the window shakers of years past.

If you want answers to questions about energy efficiency around your home or are wondering if high efficiency furnaces are worth it then make sure you contact the heating and cooling professionals at D&B ClimateCare.

Is Your Furnace Making a Loud Buzzing Noise? Here’s What You Can Do About It.

Is your furnace making a loud buzzing sound? Or a crackling or humming sound? There are a few common noises that may be coming from your furnace. Read on for these and more issues, what they mean and how you can remedy them.

Is Your Furnace Making a Loud Buzzing Noise?

  • Your furnace has a transformer box. If it is dying or not secured properly, it can buzz. You can fix a poorly mounted box with a screw driver. However, if the transformer itself needs to be replaced, you must call in a professional.
  • The capacitor might also be broken which could cause the motor to buzz. The capacitor is a silver device that stores electricity and helps the motor start. Call in a professional to replace the capacitor, which is quite easy and inexpensive to replace.
  • If the blower motor has blown, it will often buzz or hum when the power to the furnace is turned on. Replacing a motor is complicated and requires you to disconnect the old wires and remove the motor shaft from the blower housing. This is a job for a professional HVAC specialist.

Other Common Furnace Noises

Crackling Noise:

If your furnace is making a crackling noise, it could be operating normally. Just after your furnace turns off you may hear a crackling sound coming from it. This sound could be the ducts cooling after operation. Pay attention to when the sound occurs. If it’s persistent, or occurs when the furnace is in use, it might be a sign of a bigger problem.

Knocking Noise:

Your furnace making a knocking noise or a loud pop or bang when starting up could mean problems with the expanding and contracting of your air ducts. They may have issues that need to be repaired such as undersized ducts, flimsy ducts, closed vents or a clogged air filter.

If dirt builds in your furnace burners it can delay ignition and cause gas to build up. When it does ignite you will hear a loud pop or bang. If not checked out, this process could crack or damage your heat exchanger, which can be expensive to repair.

Humming Noise:

Your furnace making a humming noise could simply be the blower motor. This sound could be a result of improper lubrication. Turn off your motor and check it when it is cooled enough to touch.

Clicking Noise:

If your furnace is making a clicking noise while running it will need immediate attention. This sound could be an indication of a faulty flame sensor, or a problem between the ignition and the gas.

These are just some of the problematic noises that your furnace can make. If you hear any noises that concern you, please don’t hesitate to get your furnace checked out by a professional at D&B ClimateCare. Whether your furnace is making a loud buzzing noise or another strange sound, sorting things out early could prevent other potential problems from occurring and even save you some money down the line. Contact D&B ClimateCare for all your heating needs.

Spring Cleaning for Your HVAC System | How to Keep Your HVAC System Clean and Efficient

Spring Cleaning Your HVAC System Needs This Year

air conditioner serviceSpring cleaning is one of those traditions most people grudgingly take part in. A winter of hibernating with the windows closed leaves the house in need of a serious refreshing, but that means a lot of annoying chores.

It’s easy to run out of steam when maintenance on the air conditioner, ducts or furnace come around.

But before you skip HVAC maintenance for another year, think of these three major reasons to keep the HVAC system at the top of your spring cleaning list.

The hidden expenses of home ownership.

The increased energy efficiency regular spring cleaning for your air conditioner or furnace brings is a welcome help to most families.

  • Buildup inside your furnace or air conditioner can represent approximately 30% of a cooling or heating bill.
  • Leaks in your ducts can add 20% or more.
  • Low refrigerant adds another 20% or more in cooling energy for your air conditioner.

Most families opt for a maintenance visit around the start of an HVAC season. Entering the spring, an air conditioner maintenance visit makes sure the winter hasn’t been too hard on your cooling unit. Closer to the fall, a furnace maintenance appointment brushes the cobwebs off your heating system for the winter.

Do your family a favour and get all the money savings annual maintenance provides.

Sign up for a maintenance plan and we’ll keep track of your maintenance schedule so you don’t have to.

How does your family handle allergies?

two stage furnace simcoeAllergens are probably caked to the walls of your ductwork, making it all the worse when new allergens work their way in this spring.

Your furnace air filter captures some, but it’s not 100% effective. Especially if you don’t replace your filter regularly. As all the particles land on the coils in your air handling unit, they combine with moisture in the area to form a layer of grime that’s tough to get off.

Then you have problems with mold and bacteria. If you don’t do something about it, your family breathes it all day and night.

Some airborne particles continue along to your ducts, sticking there even after your normal furnace or air conditioner maintenance is performed.

We tell most customers to keep up with regular furnace and AC maintenance annually, and spring for duct cleaning every 2-3 years.

Get ready.

Spring and summer weather isn’t all that far off (spring is only a week away, in fact!) but it won’t be long before you need your air conditioner for round the clock cooling.

It’s always better to prevent a problem with your HVAC system than to repair it. Maintenance might not avoid every issue your HVAC system can encounter, but you substantially reduce your potential for a repair bill with every maintenance visit.

The team at D&B ClimateCare is here to help. Book annual maintenance for your air conditioner or furnace today to make sure it’s ready to run efficiently the next time you power it up.

Why a Two Stage Furnace is Probably Best for Your Family

Is a two-stage furnace a smart investment?

If your old furnace is on the way out and you want to find a new furnace with a solid balance of initial affordability and long-term efficiency, a two-stage furnace could be the solution you want.

A two-stage furnace outperforms a single-stage at every turn, and is only marginally less efficient than a modulating furnace (which costs significantly more for performance improvements many families find negligible).

You can make an informed decision by knowing the lingo and the technology.

What are furnace stages?

two stage furnace simcoeMany older are either on or off. They burn fuel to make the house warm or wait to burn fuel to make the house warm.

Two-stage furnaces operate at two levels, for example:

  • 100% when the temperature outside drops below -35.
  • 60% on most winter days when the temperature hovers around -15 or -20.

Your two-stage furnace may also start operating at 100%, but drop to 60% to maintain the temperature.

The lower setting reduces cold swings in your house and consumes less fuel. It’s the setting your furnace should run at most of the time.

The furnace doesn’t blast out a load of hot air, let the house cool, blast hot air, etc… It gets the house to the temperature you want and maintains that temperature through gentle, consistent heating.

How does the furnace know the right setting?

Your thermostat is smarter than it gets credit for. Unless it’s a SMART thermostat. Then it gets exactly the credit it deserves.

The computer your thermostat communicates the required setting to the furnace based on some nifty programming, and the furnace responds with the appropriate fuel burn.

Your thermostat accounts for the temperature outside, inside, and the current fuel consumption of the furnace.

How does it save money when the furnace runs more?

Think about it like your car.

If you want to go fast, like 100 km/h, you put your foot to the floor and burn through fuel like crazy. You go fast, but you have to stop for gas sooner than if you only went around 60km/h.

If your furnace burns fuel at a rate of 60% to maintain the temperature in your house, it doesn’t work as hard – and you save money. A single-stage furnace will burn much more fuel to achieve the same result.

And there’s another bonus!

Furnace maintenance simcoeA two-stage furnace filters your air better.

It runs more often, circulates air through the filter more often and removes more harmful air pollutants that build up inside through the winter.

Stagnant air collects and concentrates pollutants, while moving air has the opposite effect.

When you learn most indoor air is more dangerous to your family’s health than the air outside, you start to appreciate the value of good air movement and filtration from your furnace.

So is a two-stage furnace right for your family? It will:

  • Save on your energy expenses.
  • Heat your home more completely, eliminating cold spots and,
  • Filter your air better.

It does all this for a lower price than a modulating furnace.

If price is a consideration, two-stage is a great balance between cost and function. Two-stage furnaces are quick to install and will last 15+ years with proper maintenance.

Call us today to talk about your options or for a quick quote.

What Do I Get With a Furnace Maintenance Contract?

Furnace maintenance season is in full swing, and we’re getting a lot of inquiries about one-off maintenance vs. furnace maintenance plans.

It’s up to you to decide, of course, but our WeCare Protection Plus Plan is the best value your family can get from a maintenance plan.

furnace maintenance lambton
Replacing your furnace filter.

You get:

  • Annual maintenance, including the full checklist below.
  • No extra charge for parts and labour.
  • A 100% satisfaction guarantee.
  • No annual maximums.

We think the value is unbeatable and we’re happy to be transparent about what it includes, because we think you’ll see the value too.

When you book any furnace maintenance visit with one of our technicians, here’s what you get.

Furnace maintenance in Lambton County

Whether you’re a maintenance plan subscriber or favour one-off service, you get the same comprehensive maintenance procedure, including:

  1. Check and adjust thermostat levels.
  2. Check for all safety controls and wire connections.
  3. Cleaning and inspection of all burners and the burner compartment.
  4. Perform a visual inspection of the heat exchanger.
  5. Check and clean the thermocouple or flame sensor.
  6. Check, clean the igniter, spark electrode and pilot.
  7. Furnace maintenance in Lambton
    Furnace maintenance in Lambton

    Check and replace filters.

  8. Remove and clean the blower, test run the capacitor for performance benchmarks.
  9. Adjust dampers for heating / cooling mode.
  10. Check and flush the condensate drains or traps.
  11. Inspect the venting system for leaks, debris, or anything else out of the ordinary.
  12. Check for the required service access.
  13. Check for adequate combustion air requirements.
  14. Lubricate all moving parts.
  15. Cycle the furnace and monitor the ignition and flame for issues.
  16. Check and record manifold pressure/clock input.
  17. Check temperature rise and adjust blower speed as required.
  18. Perform CO test and record the readings.
  19. Test the fuel line for leaks at the appliance.
  20. Check gas pipe pressure test tag.
  21. Check for manufacturer’s installation and operation manuals.
  22. Clean the area surrounding the furnace.
  23. Compare utility costs and equipment life expectancy with the homeowner.
  24. Offer replacement batteries for the smoke detector.
  25. Check for a CO alarm.
  26. Review and document results and recommendations with the client.

When your furnace maintenance visit is complete, you know every part of your furnace was inspected, cleaned, verified and ready to keep your family warm and comfortable through the fall, winter and spring.

Give us a call today to book your fall furnace maintenance visit early so you aren’t stuck waiting during the October rush.

 

If This Weather is Any Indication, It’s Time to Get Your Furnace Ready for Fall

Well, it hasn’t been the summer we all wanted. But at least you haven’t run the air conditioner as much as usual. So you saved some money there.

Always a bright side!

Furnace maintenance toronto
It might not be this cold…yet

But if the weather today is any indication, you may be firing up the furnace much earlier in the year than expected.

But the sooner you book, the sooner that chore is out of the way. And if you don’t book an annual service for your furnace, you could put your family at risk of…

Poisonous air quality.

Maybe the most extreme consequences of avoiding annual maintenance is the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning is completely preventable, but more than a thousand people die every year from it.

It is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that is present when fuel burns in places like your gas furnace or fireplace.

A furnace inspection ensures yours doesn’t produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and keeps your family safe when you close the windows and crank the heat.

You don’t want to breathe that air. Trust us.

Skipping furnace maintenance (and the equipment inspection that comes with actual maintenance tasks) leaves debris to build up throughout the HVAC system.

It doesn’t take long for the filter to clog up with pet hair, dust bunnies and other debris reducing airflow, air quality and making your system work harder than it should.

furnace maintenance torontoWhen your air filter is too clogged to keep allergens and particles out, the furnace itself, along with the air ducts and registers, become coated with nasty airborne particles. And if they’re in the ducts, they’re in your lungs.

Furnace filters even keep mould and bacteria out of your air, so do your family a favour and take care of yours (or let us take care of it).

Do you like staying comfortable at home?

Annual maintenance helps your furnace maintain consistent airflow and heat distribution throughout the house.

Every time you skip a maintenance cycle, the cold spots in your home become more noticeable. Cold spots signal stagnant air, and stagnant air can lead to mould behind the paint or wallpaper on your walls and cracking of perishable materials like caulk around windows.

To combat this, you’ll crank up the thermostat. Your bills will snowball and drain the bank account faster than you expect.

These are just three of the long list of reasons to book us for a furnace maintenance visit today.

Contact Toronto Area ClimateCare

What’s the fastest, easiest way to save energy in your home?

An ecobee Smart Thermostat can help you in many ways to keep your home and family safe and comfortable.

But let’s start with saving you money. Did you know that heating and cooling your home accounts for over 50% of your energy use? A lot of that energy is wasted, heating or cooling your home while you’re at work, asleep or on vacation. Just think about how much time you actually spend awake and in your home – not as much as you think. That’s why an ecobee thermostat makes so much sense. Use an ecobee thermostat to help you conserve energy, they have been proven to reduce energy costs by 26%. That’s a lot.

The ecobee Smart Thermostat is smart – very smart. It actually pays attention to how you consume energy, and figures out how you can save the most energy and money over time. It’s also WiFi enabled, so you can make adjustments on the go from your tablet, computer, iPhone or Smart Phone.

No engineering degree required.

With its simple, intuitive design and plain, non-techie language, it’s easy to use your ecobee thermostat whether you’re using the touchscreen or accessing it through your smart phone.

How does it work? Here’s an example. You can set the ecobee thermostat to go into Quick Save mode while you are at work. Before you come back home, use the ecobee app on your smartphone to increase the home temperature. This means you do not have to rely on timing your arrival at home. Instead, you can get your home’s climate to the perfect temperature, no matter what time you plan on getting there.

With all the energy you use, an ecobee thermostat can pay for itself in its first year.

Did you know you should be servicing your furnace regularly?

During the summer season, who really wants to be thinking about the winter? While enjoying the summer heat, we at ClimateCare want you to be prepared! With fall being just around the corner, it’s important not to forget about your furnace. Just as you have regular service for your vehicles, it is important to schedule maintenance for your HVAC systems too. Servicing your furnace regularly will provide efficient operation and a longer lifespan. You’ve worked far too hard to let your heating system be wasteful with your money! Reducing furnace fuel consumption, ensuring peak efficiency and lowering your utility cost are some of the many advantages to annual furnace tune-ups.

Your furnace has three major components; the heat source, the distribution system and the thermostat. Having a ClimateCare technician inspect your system thoroughly will help detect issues before they become major, unexpected and inconvenient problems. What you don’t want is to wake up in the middle of the night to a broken furnace and a freezing cold bed. A 3:00am furnace repair is not desirable under any circumstance.

The heat source is the most likely to be forgotten but can lead to major distribution problems in the future. This is the portion of your HVAC system that must also stay clean. A dirty furnace system will waste fuel, drastically decrease the efficiency and put your family at risk for contaminated air flow in your home.

Turning your thermostat fan to on will help to remove more particles in the system however many are hesitant to do this as it can add hundreds of dollars to your power cost yearly. It is crucial that you change your air filter regularly. And it is recommended that you check the filter once a month, however you may find it does not need to be changed more than once in a 3 month period. This is regular maintenance that you as a home owner can do on your own and it will increase the air quality in your home.

We have several maintenance plans to choose from that will provide your family with long term protection and save you money too. ClimateCare has a WeCare plan that is fit for you! When in doubt, just give us a call. We can answer all of your questions and help you find a plan that is worth your hard earned dollar.