A Deeper Look at Residential HVAC Systems

A Deeper Look at Residential HVAC Systems

residential hvac system

Residential HVAC Systems are complex devices capable of heating and cooling a house.  For the average homeowner, it is difficult to compare HVAC systems on the market today since there are many factors to consider including:


Efficiency ratings are recognized worldwide and are applicable to all kinds of cooling and heating systems. The newer and more technologically advanced a particular model is, you can likely expect it to have a higher efficiency rating. It is the standard set by the government to determine a unit’s efficiency in consuming energy. Hence, all homeowners must always take into consideration an HVAC unit’s efficiency rating before buying one.

The HVAC Unit’s Size

The size of a residential HVAC system is crucial in saving energy and minimizing utility costs.  A unit smaller than what your space requires is never enough to thoroughly cool or heat your home. It means that your unit’s motor/ engine/ energy/ fuel is working nonstop because your unit cannot fully regulate your home’s indoor environment. Meanwhile, a very big unit results to an overkill or an excess of your residential HVAC system’s energy output. As a golden rule, only purchase an HVAC unit that is the right size for your home and can sufficiently heat or cool it according to its square footage.

Kinds of Air Conditioners

In a centralized HVAC system, the air conditioner is a separate component.  However, an AC can also be bought individually. You can place them outside your home, in the furnace room or the basement, it all depends on the kind of AC you purchased. You can also purchase a window-mounted unit that is ideal for smaller spaces. An AC does not need gas to work since you can just plug them into any electrical outlet.

Kinds of Furnaces

Like ACs, you can buy individual furnace or as a component of a residential HVAC system. A wood-burning furnace is a bit obsolete, whereas electric and natural gas models are its more typical modern counterparts. A furnace heats the air that passes through the vents or the water that goes through pipes. The power source is often based on what you have on-hand, or what source is most feasible in your locality.


You can opt to go with geothermal if you are constructing a new residence and have the extra money to burn. A small residential HVAC system will often cost you around $5,000 up to $10,000 on the average. Industry experts came up with this estimate back in 2012. Now, a geothermal unit will cost even more. But with a geothermal unit in place, you can enjoy lower energy consumption in comparison to other conventional forms of heating since it utilizes the ground temperature to ensure your home enjoys a constant comfortable temperature throughout the year. A geothermal unit can enable homeowners to save as much as 40% of their energy costs but there is a caveat since there is a huge upfront cost to acquire such a highly energy-efficient residential HVAC system.

How to Troubleshoot 6 Common Furnace Emergencies

How to Troubleshoot 6 Common Furnace Emergencies

The cold winter can be brutal to us, our homes, and our usually reliable heating systems. Although the extremely low temperatures are simple a part of our Canadian winters, the fact that it can do so much damage to what we own can be a bit disturbing. It is during the days when the weather is extremely cold that we often stay up wondering if our furnace is going to make it through another night. Although most companies offer a 24/7 service in case of furnace emergency, it is vital that each homeowner is aware of some basic troubleshooting steps to ensure that heat is restored back into your homes. Here are some common furnace emergencies and some steps to resolve them by experts.

Furnace is Not Turning On

A furnace that stops generating heat in the middle of winter can potentially endanger your home and all its occupants if not immediately addressed. It is for this reason that you should call for an emergency furnace repair.

You could also consider the following issues that may be causing the problem of the furnace not turning on.

  • Thermostat – A malfunctioning thermostat could be the reason why the furnace is not turning on. Check that it is turned on and the temperature is set higher than how the room feels. If both are correct but the furnace is still not kicking in, you might have a faulty thermostat.
  • Power – Most houses usually have a separate breaker for their major appliances and so there are instances when the breaker where the furnace is connected to is accidentally flipped or may have tripped. You can check by making sure that the power to the furnace is on, if it is you can check the breaker and make sure that all cords are plugged in. If you notice some burn marks on the control panel, this may be a sign of an internal electrical short.
  • Blower Motor – Furnaces are usually designed with window passage where you can view if the blower motor is flashing a green light which means it is working properly as it should. However, if there is no light at all or the light is flashing red, that means that there is an issue with the motor blower.
  • Pilot Light – A pilot light that constantly goes out could be brought about by dirt buildup or even incorrect positioning. This causes the problems with the furnace not turning on.

As previously mentioned, it is safer to contact furnace experts and have them assess the situation.

Furnace is Not Producing Heat

The lack of heating coming from the furnace is often an indication of a unit problem. There are three main issues tied with this dilemma – faulty thermostat, improperly installed and aligned pilot light, and a filthy filter that is completely blocking air flow. All three can be easily addressed by doing some DIY fixes; however, if you find any of these tasks a little too complicated for you, you can always seek help from the professionals.

Ducts are Emitting Smoke

Another furnace emergencies happen when smoke or black clouds emanate from your ducts and set off your home’s alarm system. This usually happens when the furnace is turned on for the first time after a long summer break and the system is burning up all the dust and sediment that may have built up in the unit. This should only last a few minutes, but if the smoke doesn’t go away or it worsens it may be due to some circuit issues or some switches that are being fried and that usually calls for an emergency furnace repair. It is important to be on the lookout for issues like this as this can cause a huge fire that could have been easily prevented by having a repair person fix the issue.

Frequent Cycling On and Off

A heating system that constantly turns on and off is not only an annoying dilemma but also one that is causing your utility bills to unusually spike up. You can troubleshoot this concern by starting on the filter. Having a clogged filter will prevent proper air flow that the unit needs to properly function. It also triggers the thermostat to keep sending a signal to the furnace to run. If the issue persists even after the filter has been changed, there could be a problem with the thermostat’s electrical connection itself. Both can be replaced by homeowners, but if the issue is due to a corrupted blower motor you are probably going to need the help of a furnace repair professional to get it sorted out.

High Energy Bills

Although unusually high energy bills don’t necessarily fall under the emergency situation, it is one of the major signs that there are possible issues within your heating system that need to be addressed. When your energy bills become unusually high, it may be due to the loss of produced heat through gaps or cracks on the wall, poor insulation, open windows, and others. When the home loses heat because of any of these, the heating system works harder to provide the heat that your home requires and thus drive up energy bills. Additionally, a clogged filter can also cause the heating system to work harder than it should as it attempts to push the produced warm air out of the vents and ductwork.

Homeowners can keep their furnace running smoothly every heating season by simply doing a regular upkeep on the unit. It is a homeowner’s responsibility to regularly change the filters before, after, and even during the cold winter months. A regular maintenance cleanup can also extend the life of your heating system. Always be on the lookout for any of these problems and call for professional help as needed. Although most of the furnace emergencies may be fixed by either a simple DIY troubleshooting step or calling in the experts, there are instances when the furnace simply decides to go kaput and therefore needs to be immediately replaced.

5 Advantages of Cleaning Your Furnace

5 Advantages of Cleaning Your Furnace


Advantages of Furnace Cleaning

The most ideal way to extend the life of any of your personal belonging is by cleaning it on a regular basis. And although this idea may be well known to most people, a lot of us don’t usually practice what we preach. Remember when at some point you drove around in a mud-covered truck or when you have almost created a second lawn out of the considerable amount of clippings that got stuck in the base of your mower? The truth is a lot of homeowners neglect cleaning these things and this can pretty much extend to the other things in your home like your furnace. Yes, just like the other things you own, your furnace needs cleaning, too. And while you may have hopefully changed the filters, there is a lot more cleaning that your furnace requires than just that. Every Toronto homeowner who makes it a point to get the furnace thoroughly cleaned can surely take pleasure in enjoying the following benefits they get from furnace cleaning.

1) Cleaner Air

Having a cleaner and breathable air in your home can bring about amazing health benefits. When you have a heating system that is well maintained, your furnace works perfectly in getting you the clean air that you deserve. You also lower the risk of having bad allergies that cause irritability, drowsiness, and some other health problems that will eventually force you to leave your home to find reprieve.

Cleaner air does not come easy. If you are one of the homeowners who find cleaning the furnace a tedious task, you can always get the help of a professional to do the job for you. Although this step might cost you money, the peace and good health you get out of it will all be worth it.

2) Lower Utility Bills

Another advantage of cleaning your furnace is having lower utility bills. If there are dust, dirt, or any kind of buildup in the components of your heating system, your furnace works harder than it should just to comply with the required workload of the thermostat. Because your furnace is working harder, it also consumes and wastes more energy, thus, the increase in your winter energy bills. As they say, working harder is not working smarter.

Whether you choose to clean the furnace yourself or have the experts do the necessary steps to ensure that your entire dirt-free system is running smoothly, the outcome can give you a smile on your face and a break from high energy bills.

3) A Quiet, Efficient Run Time

There is nothing more relaxing than enjoying the peace and warmth of your home on a Toronto winter – even with your furnace running. A quiet and efficient run time is just a few of the benefits a homeowner gets from a clean furnace.

An old dirty furnace works harder and definitely runs louder. This is because furnace fans with dirt buildup can wobble and run longer when trying to chill off a heat exchanger. Also, a filthy heating system runs longer in light of the fact that the air takes more time to go through the entire system. Imagine a guy at the gym who is attempting to impress the girls around him with weights he can’t actually deal with. The grunts and snorts that originate from his red face are similar to the sounds that your dirty furnace produces when working.

4) Potential Problems are Caught Early

Getting your furnace cleaned by a furnace cleaning company definitely has some advantages, but taking every necessary step yourself can also be exceptionally rewarding. Other than sparing cash on hiring a professional, doing the furnace cleaning yourself can get you more acquainted with the heating system’s components and parts that make it run smoothly. With you being more familiar with the set up, you can spot some problems during your maintenance that can potentially blow up to be disastrous. For example, you were wiping the safety belts and noticed that the belts were looser than before and so you ended up getting that addressed before it did some damage to the entire unit. You can also be just dusting the blades when you begin to notice some parts that are stuck or some components that are loose which made you detect some early signs of problems. All these are added advantage to your original goal – to have a heating system that provides clean and pure air without costing too much.

5) A Longer Furnace Life

Ideally, all clean items run longer. Granted there are exemptions to that statement, but chances are a clean furnace can run longer than a filthy one. On top of the longer overall shelf life of your furnace, you also get the benefit of having individual components of your heating system last longer. If you are properly cleaning the fan, motor, heat exchanger, and all individual parts you get nothing but positive effects. Taking after an appropriate furnace cleaning regimen can get you 15-20 years or more of heating services from your furnace.

There are things in life we should never skimp on – that includes your heating system. Although some budget issues can keep you from getting the help of furnace cleaning experts, this is no excuse to neglect furnace cleaning. There are things you can do like dusting off the fans, spraying compressed air into the movable parts, and other maintenance steps that make a huge difference. The benefits of having a clean furnace are endless and when you understand all these, you will hopefully make cleaning your heating system a part of your bi-annual routine.

How Often Should You Schedule A Professional Tune-Up For Your Furnace?

How Often Should You Schedule A Professional Tune-Up For Your Furnace?

Most experts recommend scheduling an annual furnace tune-up. In some cases, however, that may be overkill. For instance, if you have a brand-new furnace, if you don’t have any pets, or if you live in a moderate climate where you don’t need to use your HVAC system very frequently, you may be able to wait 2 to 3 years between tune-ups. The best way to know how often you should have your system checked is by asking the HVAC technician the next time they are at your house performing a tune-up.

What Steps Are Involved In A Typical Furnace Tune-Up?

– Cleaning. The technician will clean any dirty internal parts or components. This could include the burners, the blower fan, the blower motor, the heat exchanger, the combustion chamber, or the jets.

– Testing the temperature differential. The technician uses this test to evaluate how warm the air is when it enters the furnace compared to how warm it is when it leaves the furnace.

– Making sure the condensate lines are clean and working correctly. Lines like these are responsible for draining off any water that is created by gas combusting in the furnace. They also are tasked with draining condensation from the air conditioner coils.

– Checking the exhaust. Through a combustion analysis, the technician will determine the amount of CO2, CO, and O2 being emitted by the system.

– Verifying that the flame sensor and ignitor are in good condition.

What Is The Average Cost Of A Furnace Tuneup?

Most reputable companies charge anywhere from about $90-$150 for a standard furnace tune-up. Think twice before signing up for a special offer from a company that is offering tune-ups for a price that is much lower than that. Usually, companies like these will try to get more money from you by recommending repairs or upgrades that you don’t really need.

How To Get The Best Value For Your Money

Take advantage of the technician’s expertise during the service visit by asking them whether or not you are using the right type of filter. The filter that you require depends a lot on your health, the style of your furnace, and the condition of your home. With so many factors to consider, there is a chance you are using the wrong type of filter, whether it is too fine to promote optimum efficiency or too porous to trap airborne particles.

This is also the perfect time to have a smart thermostat installed. By having the technician install the thermostat at the same time that they do your tune-up, you won’t have to pay for an additional service visit. Just let them know that you want a new thermostat, as well, when you schedule your tune-up. That way, they will have everything they need when they arrive.

5 Tips To Increase Furnace Efficiency

5 Tips To Increase Furnace Efficiency

The heating system in your home works tirelessly to keep your home warm and comfortable. Here are some of the best ways to increase furnace efficiency in your home and enjoy lower utility bills and a properly heated home.

1. Change The Direction Of The Ceiling Fans

Hot air rises. That’s why you need to use a ceiling fan to circulate warm air inside the room. Make sure the fan is spinning clockwise and use the lowest setting to get the warm air back to the ground.

2. Clear Vents

Any airflow restrictions to other rooms in your home will stress the furnace leading to lesser efficiency. Check every vent in your home and the registers to make sure they are not blocked by furniture or window coverings. Clean the dust and debris to improve your furnace’s efficiency.

3. Smart Thermostat

When you lower the temperature in your home when you are not present, you can enjoy a lot of savings during the winter season. With a smart thermostat, it’s easy to adjust the indoor temperature. For instance, you can lower it when everyone leaves the house and increase right before getting home.

4. Change The Filters

You need the check the filters every month and replace them as required. A clogged filter will restrict airflow forcing the furnace to work harder. Eventually, it will overheat and break down and that will be very costly to repair or replace. A clogged filter will also reduce indoor air quality thus causing more irritations to people with breathing issues.

5. Regular Maintenance

You need to schedule a yearly tune up for your furnace. Here, a professional will inspect the furnace and clean the key areas as well as address any issues present. It’s a good way to extend the lifespan of your furnace and enjoy the peace of mind of a warmer home.

Furnace Repair Toronto is proud to employ experienced and licensed technicians. Call us today for any furnace repair, installation or maintenance needs. You can always count on the best quality of any furnace services we provide.