I have no heat. What should I check before calling for service?
Have you checked the filter?
90% of our service calls are generated because of a blocked/clogged furnace filter. Check your filters a minimum of every 3 months. If you haven’t changed it in at least three months or more, or you can’t see through it when held up to the light, it’s time for a change. Give us a call and we will be happy to put aside some replacement filters for you. If you have an electronic air cleaner, check that filter as well. Remember, never run your equipment without a filter! Depending on the household, check the filter every month – obstructions will cause your furnace to run harder than it needs to, at a reduced efficiency, and increase your running costs year round.
Is your thermostat set properly?
Make sure it is calling for heat (the temperature is set above the current temperature you house is reading, usually an additional 5 degrees to see if the furnace starts), and that the batteries are not dead. Check your thermostat manual for operation guidance if you’re not sure, as well as the troubleshooting section for error codes. Is the furnace switch and breaker on? Sometimes furnaces have a toggle switch that looks like a light switch (usually at the bottom of the stairs or on a wall by the furnace); ensure that it is in the ON position. Try flipping the furnace breaker off and back on in your electrical panel. Is the furnace door shut? Most furnaces have a switch that triggers the furnace to shut off when the front door panel is open. Try taking the front panel off and putting it back on, even if it looks like it’s closed.
Is the venting obstructed?
In high efficiency furnaces, the venting is normally done through a wall to the outside – check and ensure this is free of ice, snow, or other obstructions.
Is the fan running?
If the furnace is not heating but the fan is running, check your thermostat and make sure that it is not set to “fan on”. If you reset the power to the furnace and your fan comes back on but still no heat, your furnace may be overheating – check all of the above. If you are getting intermittent heat and the fan runs all the time, your furnace may be cycling on limit (overheating and then shutting off; the fan still runs to cool it down). This problem necessitates a service call.
If all of the above have been checked with no result, it’s time for a service call. Make sure to tell your provider what you have tried to narrow down the possible causes. Finally, the best way to avoid service calls is to keep your furnace properly maintained – changing your filters frequently, get yearly cleanings, and maintenance will ensure you get the maximum efficiency and longevity out of your furnace – not to mention ensuring your warranty will be valid should you need service and parts. Manufacturer’s do not honour problems caused by neglect of maintenance or abuse of the furnace, so yearly cleanings are always advised. See our maintenance / taking care section for more details.
What is the difference between an A.C and a D.C. Furnace Motor?
Pro’s of a Two Stage Gas Furnace
- Much quieter than a Single Stage Furnace.
- 2 heat capacities (Low stage and High stage).
- Fan Motor is quieter than a single stage as it is running at a lower speed.
- The decreased heat capacity on low stage enables the furnace to run longer which is more efficient.
- Cold spots are virtually eliminated, as there is a much more even temperature when the furnace runs longer cycles.
- The furnace will run at low stage for the better part of the heating season, ensuring quiet, even heating.
Pro’s of a Two Stage Gas Furnace with DC Motor
- The quietest furnace available.
- Even quieter than the two stage furnace.
- The fan motor blowing the air is constantly variable according to the heat input.
- The fan motor is direct current (D.C) instead of alternating current (A.C).
- If your fan is run continuously, your electrical savings can be substantial.
- Electrical savings currently may be approximately $ 450 + per year, over its alternating current (A.C) counterpart.
How much money can I save with a DC Motor?
Standard Mid or High Efficiency Furnace with multispeed direct drive motor compared to G.E. ECM motor (D.C.) on Trane Hi or Mid Efficiency Gas Furnace
HEATING: 2750 hours x 500 watts x $0.126/kw = $ 186 /year
COOLING: 700 hours x 500 watts x $0.126/kw = $ 47 / year
CONSTANT FAN: all year (8760 hours) 5310 hours x 500 watts x $$0.1355/kw = $360 / year
Total Spent $ 593 per year
Note: Standard high efficiency fan motor consumes approximately 500 watts.
HEATING: (2160 hours x 80 watts) + (590 hours x 180 watts) x 0.1355/kw = $ 38 / year
COOLING: 700 hours x 240 watts x $0.1355/kw = $23 / year
CONSTANT FAN: all year (8760 hours-Cooling – Heating) 5310 hours x 40 watts x $0.126/kw = $29 / year
Total Spent $ 90 per year
Total savings estimate: $ 503 / year
* Figures are approximate and may vary depending on electricity rates & size
10 Tips on Buying a Furnace
Do your homework
Research various manufacturers and service providers and ask your family/friends for suggestions – who would know the type of service provided better than the customer?
Get a few quotes
It’s always a good idea to get a few quotations and look at your options – often one company may not notice things required while another may. Also by the same token some companies may try and sell you things you don’t need, so make sure your representative is thorough when providing a quotation.
Make sure than when comparing quotes, that you are looking at the type of equipment as well as the price; manufacturer’s always have a low and high end brand of equipment, so ensure you’re comparing apples to apples.
If you aren’t sure what’s being provided or you don’t understand something that is said, ask. Inquire as to warranty, maintenance needed, what the advantages are from this model to the next, etc. Also be sure to voice any current problems you’re having – poor air flow to the top floor, condensation on the windows, etc. Your representative may recommend a unit or venting work that could solve these problems.
Pick a good piece of equipment with a good reputation
As an extension of the “do your homework part”, make sure the equipment you’re quoted has a good reputation in terms of repair history and longevity.
For example, the equipment we sell, Trane, is a top rated furnace according to Consumer’s reports in terms of reliability.
Pick the furnace with the longest manufacturer’s warranty
Most companies offer a standard 5 year parts and labour warranty. Make sure the warranty is a manufacturer’s warranty and not a company warranty. For example, a Trane manufacturer’s warranty can be transferred if you sell the house or you are dissatisfied with a company’s service. Also, it protects you in the event that the company goes out of business – not covered if you go with a standard company warranty.
Find a reputable company with experience
You can buy the best piece of equipment and maintain it constantly, but if it’s not installed properly, you will never reach the peak efficiency or get the longevity the furnace should have. Go with a company who has experience in installations using licensed professionals.
If you have air conditioning or run your furnace fan all the time, consider a furnace with a D.C. variable speed motor.
A D.C. motor uses 1/12th of the electricity as a regular fan motor, which can save you up to $300/year. It will also allow you greater humidity control in the summertime, as well as a more even, quiet heat in the winter months. It will cost you more to invest initially, but the payback in dollars and comfort may be worth it to you.
Check for incentives
Check our grants page for more details on current offers. Energuide is also offering chargeable whole house audits, which can make additional incentives available to you. If you were considering both the mid and high efficiency options, this may help in your decision. Also check other special programs, such as extended warranties, cash back, etc.
Correct sizing of equipment
Getting an oversized furnace is as bad as undersizing it. Your furnace, if not properly sized, will never reach the rated peak efficiency, will work harder than it needs to, be louder, and cycle more often. Keep in mind that what may have been sufficient for your home 20 years ago may be oversized for your home’s needs today, and as a result we will never size equipment based on what your current furnace is. Age of the home, square footage of the house, quality of the ductwork, window size and insulation all come into play when sizing equipment.
Budget for quality
Budget is normally a top concern when shopping for a large piece of equipment such as a furnace. Check around and don’t just go with the lowest price you see. Follow the tips above keeping budget in mind; you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice quality for price.
For example, you can buy a top of the line mid efficiency Trane for apprroximately the same price as a bottom line high efficiency Trane furnace. The top of the line mid has a D.C. motor, which will save you upwards of $300/year, whereas the bottom line high efficiency saves you 13% per cubic meter of gas used. Which one is the better deal? If you have air conditioning or run your fan all the time, the mid is the best choice in this case – it will save you more money in electrical savings vs the gas savings in a high efficiency. Of course, if initial cost or payback is of no consequence to you, the High Efficiency with D.C. motor will save you the most in the long run.
Go with your gut
Finally, go with a company who you like and trust. If you’ve done your research on the equipment and company itself, your representative is the personal link – they will take care of everything for you, so make sure they’re willing to go the extra mile for you.
My A/C isn’t working. What should I check before calling for service?
- Check breakers or fuses for air conditioner as well as for furnace or blower unit, if in doubt switch them off & then back on (they don’t always look tripped).
- Make sure the outdoor electrical disconnect is on (on newer units).
- Check room thermostat setting, make sure you’re in the cooling mode and the temperature is set below room temperature.
- Check outdoor unit, is for leaves, debris or grass clippings & clean as required
- Check furnace filter or electronic air filter for blockages & clean or wash as required.
- Set your thermostat below 21 degrees Celcius.
- Wait until it’s 30 degrees Celsius and then turn the unit on. A central air conditioner must drop the humidity in the house to 55% – 60% before it will drop the temperature even 1 degree Celsius. If you have to catch up, it may take 8 – 10 hours.
- Call for service before checking the DO’S . If a serviceperson is dispatched and all that is wrong with the unit is to set the thermostat properly or to reset a switch or breaker, it will be a chargeable call whether or not you have an extended warranty. If the breaker or fuse continues to trip, it warrants a service call.
When you call for service, calmly explain the problem, tell the serviceperson what you have or haven’t done and ask that a serviceperson be sent.
Please note that the serviceperson is not in a position to determine what is or isn’t warranty, this is a job for the office to decide. It would be appreciated that the servicepersons’ work order be signed that the work was done and the amount of time spent.
If after 5:00 p.m. anytime or before 8:00 a.m. or weekends or holidays we will still come to service the unit, however the difference between straight time & overtime rates will be a chargeable extra. Warranty service is normally during regular working hours
To prepare for winter:
Turn off breaker or outdoor disconnect for the air conditioner. Turn on the water valve for your humidifier & open the bypass damper. Cover the top of the unit. You can use either a cover designed for this purpose or a piece of plywood on the top, with a brick or weight to hold it down. Both are equally sufficient.
To prepare for spring start up:
Turn breaker or outdoor disconnect back to the on position. Turn off the water valve to the humidifier & close the bypass damper. Remove cover from top of unit.
Please note: that unless your unit initially came with a five or ten year extended warranty that extended warranties are available within 30 days of installation only. There are no exceptions to this. Even though you may have an extended warranty, it only pays for service calls during normal working hours, not after hours, weekends or holidays. Service is available at any time if you are willing to pay the additional cost. Any annual service checks will be extra and over and above the extended warranty cost.
How do I convert from Oil to Gas?
Thoughts to consider when deciding:
- Oil furnaces cost a little less than gas furnaces, however, you will probably also require a new Oil tank and stainless steel chimney liner.
- Gas costs approximately 70% less than oil, and propane costs approximately 10% less than oil.
- Check our Grants/Rebates page for incentives on purchasing a high efficiency gas furnace. This rebate does not apply to oil furnaces.
Your E.N. Blue representative will complete a natural gas application for you, and forward it to Enbridge on your behalf.
Enbridge will come and install the pipeline and then later return to install the gas meter. Enbridge has an average wait of 4 weeks to install the pipeline & meter. E.N. Blue has no control over the scheduling of gas meter installation by Enbridge. During the winter this is usually not booked until spring unless you are in a no heat situation.
Please give us a call when your gas meter has been installed, so we can book your installation date. If you are switching from oil to gas and have an oil tank we will need to know approximately how much oil is in the tank to be removed. Removing the oil and the oil tank is labor intensive and requires specialty equipment and insurance.
On the day of installation your old heating system will be disconnected therefore while we are installing you will not have heat from this system. You may wish to have heaters or another heat source available.
Once we are finished installing EN Blue will call Enbridge on your behalf to book an inspection of the installation and to unlock the meter. The appliances that are hooked up to gas cannot be run until Enbridge does the inspection and turns the meter on. Enbridge inspectors book in 4-hour intervals and someone will need to be home to let the inspector in. Usually the inspection is booked for 6-10pm. When the installation passes inspection the inspector will unlock the meter on and turn the appliances on.
If you have any questions, please give us a call at 831-1430.
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