Frequently Asked Questions
Here you can learn about all how your furnace and air conditioner work, what’s involved in repairing and replacing them and helpful things we think every homeowner should know. Still didn’t find what you’re looking for? Give us a call anytime 519-439-4328.
Should I Repair Or Replace My Furnace Or Air Conditioner? That Is The Question!
This is probably one of the MOST frequently asked questions and the short answer is, it’s up to you. Here are a few things to consider.
Start with comparing the cost to repair or replace. Get a quote for both! Some repairs may be affordable and effective, while others like a blower motor replacement or leak test may be more costly and you may find it more ‘worth it’ to get a new system.
The second thing to consider is how old your furnace and air conditioner are? Ask your technician or you can check the rating plate (on the back of the AC or on the inside of the furnace door). The average life of an air conditioner is about 10 years and a furnace is about 14.7 years before they can start to have issues. It really depends on how well they have been maintained and on the manufacturer.
Think about the company. What’s their reputation like, how is the service, how much effort did they make to fully explain to you what’s going on with the system? We want you to understand what’s going on and feel confident about your decision. If you decide a repair is the best option for you right now, our Lifetime Repair Guarantee guarantees the repair for a minimum of 1 year.
Still not sure!? Keep reading for more information on 3 things to consider before replacing your furnace OR our tips for when to fix or replace your air conditioner OR give us a call any time 519-439-4328.
How do I know what size furnace or air conditioner I need?
To get the most out of a new furnace or air conditioner, it’s important to calculate the RIGHT size for your home and desired comfort. Believe it or not, it’s more than just the size of the home. The only viable way to know what size furnace and air conditioner you need is to have a Comfort Advisor perform a thorough Heat Loss/Heat Gain calculation. This considers specific construction elements of your unique home such as size, windows, insulation, number of people in the home and more.
Having the wrong size furnace or air conditioner can lead to larger problems such as humidity issues, higher utility bills and faster wear and tear on parts. It can even cause early failure and you may need to replace your system earlier than you planned. Here are 3 Things You Should Know Before Getting A New Furnace.
How often should I book a furnace and air conditioner maintenance?
Your comfort systems are always running so we recommend you book a maintenance once a year and treat your HVAC systems like you would treat a vehicle. Don’t skip an oil change = don’t skip a maintenance. A maintenance once a year ensures your system remains working safely and efficiently.
With True Care Warranty, you get a free maintenance once a year for 15 years or check out our Maintenance Care Plans.
What's included with a maintenance?
A maintenance ensures your system is working as safely and efficiently as possible. It allows a technician to check for anything that could be unsafe or could potentially lead to larger repairs.
Our maintenance techs will keep your model # on file for future service, review the general condition, note system settings, check sensors, change any applicable filters and check that there is proper drainage in and around the furnace or air conditioner. You can book a maintenance for one or the other or both. We recommend booking these in Spring and Fall before you need them to work at their best. Don’t wait until the middle of Summer or the middle of Winter.
Last but not least, we will check for any potential dangers including carbon monoxide readings. Check out our Maintenance Care Plans and more truth about maintenances.
Should I switch to a tankless hot water heater?
Although many homeowners think going tankless is the way to go, we are finding that it is more about PREFERENCE and is not necessarily better than the other. It can depend on usage, plumbing set up, and the number or people in the home. We offer tank and tankless options both for rent and for purchase. Talk to us about your hot water system and whether or not tankless is a good option for you! Call now for a quote and to talk to us about your hot water 519-439-4328.
What is a heat pump/mini-split and how does it work?
A heat pump is a novel system of heating and cooling that works year-round to keep you comfortable. Essentially, a heat pump moves warm air around. In the Summer, it would pump the hot air trapped inside out of the home. Contact us for more information or keep reading.
When Should you replace your furnace?
Repairing your home’s furnace is not always the best choice because it is costly, and repairs can be frequent. Sometimes a furnace replacement is actually the better option because it gives you peace of mind that it won’t suddenly break during the winter season.
Here are the signs that it is time to replace your furnace:
- You have made more than one service call in the last year
- Sudden increase in utility costs
- You come across hot and cold areas throughout your home
- Your furnace keeps cycling on and off
- It still blows cool/warm air while the heat mode is turned on
- Strange noises like scraping, rattling, pinging, popping, humming, screeching, or squealing are coming from the furnace or vents.
- The pilot flame is yellow while it should be blue. This shows symptoms of a gas and/or carbon monoxide leak.
When is it Time to Replace Your Furnace?
- Your furnace is more than 15 years old. Keep in mind that the average life span of a furnace is 14.7 years.
- Your furnace is 20 years old and can be replaced with a much safer and more efficient system that will likely reduce your utility bill.
- You’re looking to be more eco-friendly by switching to a modulating variable speed furnace or an electric heat pump system.
- You’re planning to sell your home and want to increase the value of your property.
- You’re building an addition to your home and now have additional heating/cooling needs.
Furnace not working? Common Problems & Solutions
We know not having heat is a serious problem, but there may be ways to fix your heat without a furnace replacement! Here are some common solutions to troubleshoot your furnace and get your home warm & cozy once again!
Is your thermostat set to heat?
Most thermostats have different modes for different temperatures. Common settings are cool, heat and fan. Make sure it is set to heating mode so it can fire your furnace and heat your home.
Are your thermostat batteries low?
Check your thermostat’s battery. If the battery is low or dead, you will need to replace them to be able to turn on your furnace. Most modern thermostats will have a low battery indicator, but some older ones do not. Consult the manual for battery-changing directions or look it up on Google!
Is your furnace switch working?
Look for the switch located on the side of the furnace and make sure it is turned on. This may be a simple light switch on the wall somewhere in your basement and may have been accidentally flipped off.
Do you have a tripped breaker?
Check inside your home’s electrical panel and see if the breaker was tripped (flipped off). If you see a flipped-off switch, flipping it on may bring your furnace back to life. However, if you see any signs of scorching (black marks), it may be a dead fuse that needs replacing or a sign of a larger electrical panel problem. At this point, we recommend you call an electrician.
Is your front panel door closed properly?
Newer furnaces have safety switches on their front panel that will cause the unit to shut off if it is not closed securely. Check and see if the door was bumped open and if you’re unsure, consult the furnace manual for directions.
Is your pilot light on?
Most homes have a gas furnace that uses a pilot light to ignite the furnace. This ignition source has several safety features that turn it off and it may need to be relit. We advise against lighting a pilot light yourself because it can be dangerous. Get professional help from a licensed technician before modifying anything in your furnace as it may void the warranty on it or put you in danger.
Are your filters clogged?
Air filters trap dust, hair, and everything in between. Your filter needs to be changed regularly or it will clog and restrict airflow in your furnace system. The heat may not be able to effectively pass through the dirty filter causing pressure and heat transfer issues, so changing out the old filter with a new one may fix your heating problem.
Are your vents and registers closed or blocked?
First check to see if all your hot air vents are open and not blocked by any large objects like a couch, shelf, or curtain. A room may be cold because the vent is blocked. Over time your vents collect dust, dirt, and debris and may need a vent cleaning to increase or fix an airflow problem. Cleaning your ductwork also has added health benefits like improved air quality.
Is something blocking your fresh air intake?
Not all furnaces vent through chimneys. Many newer furnaces have fresh air intakes, and this exhaust runs through the wall of the home to the outside. It is possible that snow has blocked this off or something else has blown or caused moisture to impact this vent’s ability to suck air into your furnace. If nothing obvious is blocking this air intake vent you will need to contact a licensed technician about possible venting solutions.
Have you observed any of these common signs of internal Furnace problems?
No air blowing, rattling/pinging/scraping noises, on/off cycling, or a flicking/strange color pilot light are all indicators that something is wrong inside of your furnace. In these cases, you will need to contact a licensed technician to properly diagnose the issue and the next steps.