Image Image

What is a Furnance

A furnace is the system typically located in a utility room that heats your home or business. Furnaces have been operational since 1888 when James Burgess Readman invented the first unit in Edinburgh, Scotland. The two most common types of furnaces used in Canada are natural gas and electric; however natural gas tends to be more popular in Saskatchewan due to our colder climate. Both gas and electric furnaces operate with a forced air heating system. 

In order for a furnace to run, a thermostat is used to measure the temperature of the air surrounding it. When the thermostat reads a temperature lower than what it has been set to, a signal is sent to the furnace to power it back on. When a gas furnace is signalled, the pilot light (a small flame that is always burning) will ignite the main burner of the heat exchanger. Then, the heat exchanger draws heat from the burner allowing the heated air to circulate through. An electric furnace works similarly but instead, an electric ignition receives the thermostat signal which activates the heating elements within the furnace. Both types of furnaces use a blower fan which sends the heat through the ductwork into various rooms within your home or business. Once the desired temperature is reached, the thermostat signals the furnace to shut off the heating elements.

The Importance of Furnaces During Saskatchewan Winters

A running furnace in any Saskatchewan household or business is essential during the winter season. With temperatures frequently dropping below zero degrees celsius during the winter months, having a reliable furnace completes the space. Furnaces have remained the most common source of heating in North American homes, with natural gas fueled systems dominating the market.

Not only is it frustrating (and cold) when the furnace stops working on a chilly Saskatchewan winter day, but it can also be harmful to your home or business. If the temperature inside drops below 20 degrees celsius while your furnace is down, pipes risk freezing. Frozen pipes will eventually burst due to the expanding water inside, which would lead to serious issues beyond your furnace repair. Needless to say, a well maintained furnace can save you from a lot of hassle.

Call us today to schedule your furnace service appointment.

Reasons Your Furnace Should Be Serviced Regularly

1. Prevents Your Energy Bill From Increasing:

A furnace that is struggling to run will ultimately require more energy to heat. Catching any issues before they arise allows your energy bill to remain constant rather than costing you more money.

2. Ensures the Furnace Unit Runs Smoothly:

A common issue with all Furnace units is an uneven amount of warm air circulating through your home. This can come down to something as simple as needing to clean the Furnace filter. A clogged filter reduces the amount of airflow from the unit and not cleaning the filter often enough can lead to further issues the longer it is left unattended.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, the next step would be to replace the filter. Never underestimate how vital a clean and functional filter is to your Furnace.

3. Extends the Lifespan of Your Furnace Unit:

Furnaces that receive regular maintenance are proven to have a longer lifespan and less chance of a breakdown. This can also be critical to maintain certain warranty coverages on the furnace. 

4. Maintains the Safety of Your Home or Business:

It is possible for a furnace to leak carbon monoxide if the heat exchanger is cracked. Regular maintenance to your furnace includes evaluating the heat exchanger to ensure the air you are breathing is and not putting anyone in danger. 

24/7 Emergency Furnace Servicing Available

We understand that your furnace may very well break down outside of typical business hours, and that’s where we come in. The crew at Sterling Plumbing & Heating is available 24 hours, 7 days a week for your emergency heating needs. No matter what time of day, a crew member will arrive at your home or business as quickly as possible to restore your furnace. 

If you are unsure if it is an emergency, call us now and we can help determine the severity of the furnace issue.

common furnace malfunctions

DISCLAIMER: While some furnace fixes may be more straightforward than others, we do not advise that you attempt this work without a professional. Due to the nature of furnaces and the potential of gas line leaks, tampering with the unit can be extremely dangerous. Never store combustible materials near your furnace as this can create the chance of a fire or explosion. 

Sterling Plumbing & Heating is here to help when your furnace gives out. However, we would like to offer you some helpful advice to prevent a furnace breakdown in the future:

1. Trouble With Your Electric Thermostat

One of the most avoidable issues that stops your Furnace from performing at its full potential is keeping the fan setting “on” constantly. This results in the furnace blowing cold air since heaters are not designed to pump hot air continuously. They are designed to reach an optimum temperature and take breaks until the temperature starts falling below the setting on the Thermostat.

To ensure this does not happen, switch the fan setting to “auto” so the fan system will blow hot air only when it is needed.

2. Problems With The Furnace Filter

A common issue with all Furnace units is an uneven amount of warm air circulating through your home. This can come down to something as simple as needing to clean the Furnace filter. A clogged filter reduces the amount of airflow from the unit and not cleaning the filter often enough can lead to further issues the longer it is left unattended.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, the next step would be to replace the filter. Never underestimate how vital a clean and functional filter is to your Furnace.

3. Clogged Condensate Lines

The condensate lines in your Furnace must be kept clean and open. They play a crucial role in draining water away from the unit. If the lines are clogged with an excess buildup of dirt and debris, this can lead to the system no longer pumping warm air through your home. By getting regular inspections carried out by our HVAC specialists at Sterling Plumbing & Heating, you will avoid unnecessary repairs.

4. Gas Valve Issues

Natural gas furnaces require regular cleaning to ensure the longevity of the system. A dirty gas valve will cause it to become less efficient or shut down completely. If you have an older gas Furnace, scheduling regular maintenance and servicing will extend the life of your gas valve and it will save you a lot of money by avoiding unnecessary repairs or replacement parts.

5. Burner Clogged

When you start noticing that your Furnace is not producing as much warm air as it should, this could mean the burners are clogged. If the burners are indeed clogged this will drain the fuel supply to efficiently run your Furnace system. Calling our heating specialists at Sterling Plumbing & Heating for maintenance and servicing is the best solution to fix this problem. Furnace burners should only be attended to by the professionals.

If problems persist and your Furnace is not running as efficiently as it should, give us a call and our heating specialists at Sterling Plumbing & Heating will be happy to get your furnace running again.

How Your Furnace Impacts Energy Efficiency

As time goes on, it is common that a furnace can become less efficient. The good news is that the best way to avoid losing efficiency is to stay up to date with having the furnace serviced. This way, your energy bill should not increase due to a compromised furnace. At Sterling Plumbing & Heating, we recommend annual furnace maintenance to ensure that the unit is clean and free of any issues. 

One key factor for a well run furnace is a clean air filter. A clean air filter is important for more than one reason. By replacing the filter monthly, the air quality in your home or business will improve significantly. Keep in mind that if you have pets, you may need to change your furnace air filter more frequently than someone who does not. Ultimately, your furnace has to work harder when the air filter is dirty. Therefore replacing the filter regularly is one of the best ways to maintain the efficiency of the furnace unit and your home or business.

Another factor that could contribute to poor furnace efficiency is ductwork leaks. If the ducts have leaks or poor connections, it will be difficult for the air to move through the furnace. A large portion of your energy usage will come from your heating system during the winter which is why these factors are important to consider.

If you suspect your furnace is in need of a tune up, call us now to schedule an inspection.

Benefits of a Furnace Rental vs Owning

When deciding to rent or purchase your furnace, you may wonder what the differences between each option are. Furnaces are considered an investment so we understand many factors could be at play. Here are the differences between renting a furnace and owning it:

Renting:

A furnace rental would begin by signing a long-term contract with a specific monthly rate based on the length of the contract. This method means less upfront costs for the unit and rather a lower monthly payment over a period of time. In addition, you do not need to worry about the potential costs for repairs as this would be included in your rental agreement. 

Owning:

Choosing to own your furnace can become an asset when selling your home or business. However, the cost upfront for the furnace unit, materials, and labour can be high due to high intensity of the installation. You will also be responsible for scheduling regular maintenance and for the costs that may arise from repairs through the lifespan of the furnace.

Call us today to learn more about renting or purchasing your furnace.