Your Furnace While You’re Away

Winter can be a fun and beautiful time of year, but there’s nothing like a good winter vacation to get away from that harsh icy weather. If you’re planning on leaving town, there are a few bases to cover when it comes to your furnace.

Energy Usage

Few things are more wasteful than leaving your home’s HVAC equipment at its usual settings when your home is unoccupied for an extended period of time. This goes not only for your furnace, but also for your air conditioning system while you’re away during summer. So, does this mean a total shutdown is the best course of action? Definitely not! You might be eager to keep that energy bill down and save as much as possible, but there are a number of other home functions that hang in the balance. This is especially important to bear in mind when it comes to your furnace.

Keeping It On

Setting your thermostat a bit lower before you leave is a far better idea than shutting off your furnace completely. The exact recommended setting can vary, but you shouldn’t let it go below 10 or 15 degrees. Without heat from your furnace, it’s possible that your plumbing will freeze up and even leak or burst. Unless you want to return from your vacation to discover flooding in your home, you should avoid this at all costs. Worst-case scenario aside, warming the house back up after its interior, framing, and other structural elements have lost their heat can be almost as costly as forgetting to lower the thermostat before leaving.

Further Preparations

Good circulation and ventilation are as important when you’re away as when you’re home. Keep most interior doors open so that warm air can flow freely. Set your water heater to its vacation setting as well, as this will avoid wasted gas and energy. As an extra precaution against flooding, it can also be a good idea to shut off your main water valve. Be sure to have a trusted neighbour or family member check in on things a few times. As for your furnace, make sure it’s in good shape before you leave. Keep a fresh filter installed as usual, and have a winter inspection done for good measure!

Whether you’re leaving for a winter getaway or simply staying prepared, you can’t beat service from a local certified HVAC technician. Call Climate Change YYC at (403) 819-2156 to schedule an appointment with one of ours!

Early Warning Signs for Furnace Repair

Taking care of the various parts of your home is all about being attentive and proactive. This holds true for every component in your HVAC system, but it’ll be a particularly important thing to remember for you furnace this winter!

Common Signs

Some warning signs will stand out more readily than others. For instance, if you’re in the middle of winter and find that heat is not being distributed evenly and adequately across your home, it could be due to a number of issues. You may have leaky or poorly maintained ductwork, or there could be a problem with your furnace itself. Have you been hearing any unusual noises coming from your unit, like rattling or whining? Is your system cycling on and off too frequently or failing to start up altogether? Look closely at your gas and electric bills as well. A dysfunctional unit will be consuming more and costing you extra.

Things You May Not Notice

Depending on how much attention to pay to the behaviour and performance of your furnace, some red flags just might slip by you. Take a look at your pilot light, for instance. Is it blue and steady or yellow and flickering? Do you see soot around your furnace? If you take a look at the windows in your interior, do you notice more condensation than usual? How does the air quality feel in your home? A significant change in this department may be particularly noticeable if someone in your home experiences allergies or asthma, but in most cases, a visual inspection of the cleanliness of your furnace or ductwork will be necessary to see if you’re having a filtration problem.

Smart Preventative Maintenance

So what problems do these indicators point to and how can they be addressed? Diagnosis can range from aging components or dirty filters in need of replacement to a faulty or broken belt in your motor, poor lubrication, malfunctioning ignition, a failing blower, and more. While it’s critical to catch these problems when they’ve progressed and have a certified technician take care of them, it’s far better to prevent them at an earlier stage. There’s plenty you can do to help keep your HVAC system in good shape and avoiding the bigger problems is a matter of getting well-scheduled, professional servicing from an HVAC team you can trust!

If you’re keeping an eye on your HVAC system and staying diligent with basic home maintenance, you’re doing your part. As for repairs and skilled servicing, we’re always there to do ours! Give Climate Change YYC a call at (403) 819-2156 today.

Is It Time for a New Furnace?

Last week’s blog on furnace repairs is probably most appropriate for units that aren’t too old. However, no home appliance lasts forever, and there will inevitably come a time for replacement. Here’s how you can tell when a new furnace is necessary and what to do about it.

When Its Days Are Numbered

The first thing to consider is the age of your unit. If you weren’t in your current home when the furnace was installed, hopefully you’re aware of when it was. Estimations tend to vary, but the average unit will last for roughly 15 to 20 years. Some people, however, may not know the exact age of their furnace. In this case, watch out for the signs we went over in last week’s blog. Pay particular attention to how many repairs you’ve needed in the past couple of years. If major part replacement has come into play more than once or twice, it’s probably time for a replacement.

Out with the Old, in with the New

So, once you’ve established that you’re due for a new unit, what’s next? This might seem like a stressful and daunting task, but it’s helpful to consider all the upsides to starting anew. You should never put off your replacement, as the longer you wait, the more costly your energy consumption and further repairs will become. That old model probably has a number of shortcomings in terms of mechanical design and efficiency that recent models have improved upon. You may even be eligible for certain tax credits and other incentives if you install a high-efficiency system.

Making Your New Unit Last

There’s a good chance that in the process of seeking out repairs and ultimately replacing your old unit, you’ve learned a thing or two about how to take care of things. Starting fresh with a new furnace is the perfect chance to use this knowledge to your advantage and make your system last as long as possible. This time around, you’ll be better equipped to predict common issues and avoid falling behind on essential maintenance, from your filter to the blower motor and beyond. With a passionate HVAC team there to help, you’ll have your most comfortable winter yet!

Whether you’re in need of a new furnace or your current one is in great shape, our team of experienced, certified technicians can help you get the best results out of all your HVAC equipment. Call us at (403) 819-2156 to get in touch!

Still Stuck With That Old Furnace? Here’s What You’re Missing

Furnaces have been around for a long time, so there are many different types that have been standard at one period or another. Depending on the age of your home and its furnace, you might want to consider a replacement that will truly modernize your interior climate.

Older Systems

As with any piece of technology, older equipment will show its age sooner or later. Sure, they don’t make refrigerators like the used to, but furnaces are a different story. If your home has a furnace that is nearing the end of its lifespan, it will pale in comparison to newer units in many ways. An outdated furnace may manage to keep you warm for yet another winter, but it will do so at a hefty cost, thanks to low efficiency and the need for more frequent repairs. The bottom line is that there’s no avoiding a replacement, and you don’t want to miss out on what’s available today.

The Rise of High-Efficiency

The current world of furnace engineering and design is a bit different from how it used to be. While the same principles of operation are often the starting point for how a new furnace is made, one thing has become particularly important in recent years: the need for high-efficiency units. This is for the sake of not only energy and environmental concerns, but also cost-effectiveness. A well made high-efficiency furnace is the way to go if you’re finally ready to say goodbye to the energy hog that’s been heating your home for twenty years!

Maintenance and Longevity

Of course, conserving energy and saving money are key factors that contribute to your choice of a new furnace, but no unit is worth installing if it won’t last or if it has an incessant need for maintenance and repair. A modern furnace meets the standards of the modern home, and that means being able to keep you and your family warm throughout winter, year after year, in a way that is truly reliable in the long term. The longer you avoid a furnace upgrade, you’ll be missing out on that peace of mind!

How long has your furnace been in your home? If you’re looking for a new unit that will make a big difference in energy costs and the overall comfort of your home climate, our team is here to help you decide which one is right for you. Call us at (403) 819-2156 today!

How Well Do You Know Heating Systems?

There’s a lot of information that a homeowner can seek out to improve their home climate. Even general knowledge can help to build expertise that will pay off in the long run. For instance, what kinds of heating systems keep homes warm during winter and how do they work?

Electric Heat Pumps & Water Boilers

If a home uses an electric heat pump, it is most likely located in a place where winters are not particularly cold or severe, as they’re generally not adequate to heat a home in icy temperatures. Meanwhile, a water boiler system is more likely than an electric heat pump to be found in regions with cold winters. They do have a few disadvantages, however. Perhaps most significant is that a home outfitted with a water boiler-based system will need an entirely separate and independent ductwork and cooling system for air conditioning.

Forced-Air Furnaces

<>pThe heating system you’re most likely to find in residences throughout North America is the forced-air furnace. This is a centralized unit that is often integrated with air conditioning to form a comprehensive heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (that’s where the term HVAC comes from). It will either be fueled by electricity, gas, or oil, but what they all have in common is that they heat air in the unit through some form of combustion and force the heated air into the rooms of your home via a blower fan and a system of ducts. They’re known for their efficiency, cleanliness, and reliability.

New Technologies

Aside from the systems that are used to heat the air in a home, there are a wide range of appliances used to provide you with hot water. Some of them have been around for quite some time, while others are more recent developments. One of the more innovative devices is the tankless water heater. These provide hot water, on demand, to either individual appliances or your entire home, and they do so in a far more energy-efficient way than traditional tank-based water heaters. Technologies like this are cropping up all the time, so be sure to stay in the know regarding what’s available to you so that you can get the most reliable and efficient results!

A furnace that is installed and maintained by a team of experts is hard to beat, in terms of both cost-efficiency and longevity. Whether your current unit needs a winter repair or you’re looking for a new installation, call Climate Change YYC at (403) 819-2156 and we’ll be there!


Originally from Victoria, British Columbia, Dean began his career as a successful appliance technician. His hard work and dedication brought him to Calgary, Alberta, where he discovered a passion for the HVAC industry. He attended Mount Royal University and SAIT. His path crossed with the one of a highly experienced and regarded HVAC installer, Vaughn Miller, who would then become his trusted business partner in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Dean’s true mission is delivering a product with integrity to all of his clients from the engineering and installation, to the quality of service.

“It’s not just about installing great products; it’s about knowing the engineering behind each unit, having the experience to successfully instal them, and servicing them with confidence and integrity”.

Dean is the true definition of dedication; when he’s not found servicing clients, he can be found devouring his passion for chemistry and physics while sipping on true Canadian beer.