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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Standard Furnace (Fan ONLY)
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.
Furnace with DC Motor (FAN ONLY)
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
Thoughts to consider when deciding:
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.
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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.