The Importance of Regular Furnace Maintenance for Efficient Heating

The Importance of Regular Furnace Maintenance for Efficient Heating

When it’s chilly outside and the frost creeps in, one thing that stands between you and a cozy, warm home is your furnace.

As a homeowner, you understand the value of a comfortable living space. That’s where heating maintenance comes into play. In this guide, the HVAC pros of CJ Brubacher delve into essential aspects of furnace maintenance, why it matters, the fundamentals of furnace upkeep, warning signs your furnace needs some expert attention, and the pros and cons of DIY fixes versus hiring professional HVAC maintenance services in Waterloo.

The Benefits of Keeping Your Furnace Running Efficiently

Regular furnace maintenance is not just about ensuring your home stays toasty. It also offers a range of benefits that make it an essential part of responsible homeownership, such as:

  • Energy Efficiency: A well-maintained furnace operates at peak efficiency, reducing energy consumption and lowering utility bills.
  • Longevity: Regular maintenance extends your furnace’s lifespan, saving money (and headaches) on early (or unnecessary) replacements.
  • Safety: Faulty furnaces can pose serious safety risks, such as carbon monoxide leaks. Maintenance ensures your system operates safely.
  • Reliability: Don’t let your home feel like an igloo during frigid winter weather. Maintenance reduces the chances of unexpected breakdowns.

Tips on Maintaining Your Furnace System

Now that you understand why furnace maintenance matters, let’s explore some DIY steps to keep your heating system in top shape:

  1. Regular Filter Changes: Replace or clean your furnace filter every few months to ensure proper airflow and minimize strain on the system.
  2. Inspect and Clean Vents: Keep vents and registers dust- and debris-free. Ensure furniture or other objects do not block them.
  3. Check Thermostat: Verify your thermostat functions correctly. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to save energy and money on heating bills.
  4. Lubricate Moving Parts: If your furnace has moving parts that require lubrication, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  5. Monitor Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Regularly test and replace carbon monoxide detector batteries to keep your family safe.

Signs You Need a Professional Tune-Up: Look Out for These Red Flags

While DIY furnace maintenance is essential, some signs indicate it’s time to call in the professionals for heating maintenance in Waterloo:

  1. Uneven Heating: If some rooms are consistently colder than others, it could indicate a hiccup with your furnace.
  2. Increased Energy Bills: A sudden spike in heating costs without usage changes may signal an inefficient furnace.
  3. Strange Noises: Odd sounds like banging, squealing, or rattling can indicate mechanical issues.
  4. Frequent Cycling: If your furnace frequently turns on and off, it may struggle to maintain the desired temperature.
  5. Yellow Pilot Light: A yellow or flickering pilot light could be a sign of incomplete combustion and potential carbon monoxide production.

DIY Fixes vs. Professional Services

For heating maintenance services, you may wonder whether to DIY or hire a professional. Furnace repair can be a daunting task for many homeowners. The thought of attempting to fix it yourself may seem like a cost-effective solution, but it actually comes with many risks and potential dangers. 

While it’s understandable that you want to save money, tackling furnace repairs yourself isn’t recommended. Not only can it lead to further damages and costly repairs, but it can also put you and your family at risk. Professional services have the necessary experience, knowledge, and tools to properly repair your furnace without any harm to you or your home. It’s always best to trust the professionals when it comes to furnace repair.

For Waterloo’s Best Furnace Maintenance, Call CJ Brubacher

Heating maintenance is not just about staying warm; it’s about efficiency, safety, and reliability. Regular upkeep of your furnace can save you money, extend your system’s life, and provide peace of mind.

While DIY maintenance has its place, schedule professional HVAC maintenance services from CJ Brubacher when you encounter red flags or need a thorough checkup. To stay warm and worry-free all winter long, call us or request an estimate.

Differences Between Heat Pumps and Furnaces

CJ Brubacher Shares the Differences Between Heat Pumps and Furnaces

For installing the best heating appliance, your choices can seem overwhelming. You want a system that not only keeps your home cozy but also suits your budget and lifestyle.

That’s where CJ Brubacher comes in – your trusted partner in making the best decision for your home’s heating needs.

Below, we’ll shed light on the differences between heat pumps and furnaces, helping you navigate your heating installation options confidently.

Heat Pumps vs. Furnaces

Understanding Heat Pumps: Efficient Comfort for Your Home

Heat pumps are like the Swiss Army knives of heating systems. They’re versatile, energy-efficient, and can provide cooling during summer months.

These systems transfer heat from one place to another – from the air or ground outside to inside your home. This process might sound like magic, but it’s actually science at its finest.

One standout benefit of heat pumps is their lower energy costs. By drawing heat from the environment instead of generating it, they use significantly less energy when compared to traditional furnaces. This eco-friendly approach reduces your carbon footprint and keeps more money in your wallet.

A heat pump also operates quietly, creating a peaceful environment in your home. No more loud clanking noises or sudden bursts of sound – just a consistent, gentle hum of warmth.

The Quiet Champion: Heat Pumps vs. The Mighty Furnace

Now, let’s briefly compare heat pumps to their counterpart – the furnace.

Furnaces have been around for a long time and are touted for their reliability. They heat air and distribute it throughout your home via ducts and vents. Furnaces may have a slight edge for upfront costs, making them an appealing choice for budget-conscious homeowners.

Furnaces also have a greater output capacity, making them a preferred option for larger properties or spaces requiring rapid heating. However, it’s worth noting this power often comes with a higher energy consumption rate, which can lead to higher utility bills.

Choosing the Right System for Your Home: Size Matters

Now, the million-dollar question: Which heating system is best for your home? Well, the answer lies in the size of your living space.

Heat pumps are like Goldilocks – they work best in moderate climates and are ideal for moderately sized homes. Their efficiency can wane in icy conditions, making them better suited for regions where the mercury doesn’t take a deep dive.

Alternatively, if you have a larger home with a higher heating demand, a furnace might be the better fit. Their powerful output can quickly warm up spacious interiors, ensuring every corner of your home is snug and inviting.

Trust CJ Brubacher To Install Your Next Heat Pump or Furnace

At CJ Brubacher, we understand making the right choice for your home’s heating can feel overwhelming. That’s why our dedicated team is here to guide you through the process.

We assess your home’s size, climate conditions, and your specific preferences before recommending the best solution for you.

Whether you’re leaning towards a heat pump’s efficiency or a furnace’s robustness, we’re equipped to install, maintain, and repair both systems. Our goal is to ensure your home remains a haven of comfort, no matter the season.

Contact CJ Brubacher To Learn More About Expert Heating Installation

In the grand scheme, choosing between a heat pump and a furnace involves factors like your home’s size, climate, and personal preferences.

Remember, you don’t have to navigate the heating installation decision alone. CJ Brubacher’s experienced staff is just a contact form away, ready to assist you in finding the perfect heating system for your home. Say goodbye to chilly nights and welcome a warm, inviting atmosphere – all while keeping your energy bills in check.

Save Heat This Winter With These Tips

Kitchener HVAC Services: Save Heat This Winter With These Tips

Inflation aside, most people’s heating bills go up in the winter. Even wearing socks and sweaters during the colder months isn’t enough to help keep your utility bills reasonable. The experts with CJ Brubacher Ltd. offer heating services in Kitchener and these tips to manage your utility costs this winter.

Let the Sun In During The Day

Take advantage of the free heat during the day by opening your blinds or curtains. You’ll also let the light in, so you may be able to turn off lamps when the windows are open. Natural sunshine has many health benefits, which is another reason to keep the curtains open during the day. You need sunlight to produce serotonin and vitamin D. Opening the blinds when the sun is shining can make you sleep better.

Get Rid of Leaks and Draft

Your heating system uses a lot of energy, so you don’t want to let any of your expenses seep out through leaky windows or drafty doors. Weatherproofing is an affordable investment in your home to prevent higher utility costs in both summer and winter. Check for drafts around windows and doors. Inspect your attic and basement for air leaks. You may also want to check your chimney for any air leaks when you’re not using it.

Weatherstripping can go around anything that opens and closes, such as your doors or windows. Use caulk for cracks in door frames or windows. If you haven’t updated your windows in 10 to 15 years, it might be time to get an inspection and a quote to replace them with more efficient ones. If you have leaks in your attic, it might be due to insulation failure. Basement air leaks can often be caulked.

Use Space Heaters

Space heaters aren’t efficient when heating your entire home, but when you need to heat up a small area, they can be quite effective. Use a space heater to add warmth to a bathroom that doesn’t get warm enough when you’re taking a shower. Put a space heater in the garage when you need to be out there. Just make sure to use caution and be safe with space heaters.

Turn the Thermostat Down When You Sleep

It’s surprising how reducing your thermostat by a couple of degrees will save money on your utilities. During the day wear warm clothes. At night, when you’re curled up in a quilt and wearing thermal PJs, you may not even notice it. If you have a smart thermostat, you can set it to turn up a little higher right before you wake up. If the family is gone most of the day at work and school, you may be able to turn the thermostat down while you’re out.

Close the Curtains at Night

Even windows that are sealed well are a loss of heat. The glass isn’t as insulated as your walls or doors, so you should close the blinds and curtains once the sun starts to go down. This will help keep the heat inside your home. It can also make sense to invest in insulated curtains over the cooler months to add to your energy efficiency.

Get a Furnace Inspection

Not only does your furnace use the most energy in your home, but it’s also one of the more expensive systems in your home. As your furnace ages, it becomes less efficient to run. An annual inspection can help you keep your furnace operating at its best throughout its lifetime. Our experts can catch small problems before they become major issues that could break down at an inconvenient time. If you need residential furnace repair or maintenance, contact CJ Brubacher Ltd.

Keep Warm This Winter With These Tips

Waterloo Heating Services: Keep Warm This Winter With These Tips

Winter may be the perfect time for holiday parties, family and friends, but then you get your heating bill from staying inside all the time. If you’re trying to make sure your bills stay affordable without turning off the heater, we have some recommendations for making your home more energy-efficient. When you need heating services in Waterloo, think of CJ Brubacher Ltd. Let us service your furnace or heating system to make sure it’s operating at peak performance.

Insulate Windows and Doors

One of the best things you can do to keep heat in your home is to prevent it from escaping in the first place. Your windows and doors are two points where warm air can escape. Hold a candle or incense up to the window and slowly move it around. When you see the flame or smoke waver, you have a draft. Use weatherstripping and caulk to seal up the cracks. Check the weatherstripping on your doors to make sure it seals well when the door is closed. Don’t forget to check your patio doors.

Use door draft stoppers throughout the winter at the bottom of the door. You can buy a fancy one or just roll up an old towel or blanket to put across the bottom of the door. Heavy curtains on your windows can help keep the cold out, too. On northern windows, you may even want to use plastic insulation to really seal out the wind.

Reverse Ceiling Fans

Warm air rises. Reversing ceiling fans in the winter so that they operate in a clockwise direction. Turn the fan on low to create an updraft, which pushes the warm air on the ceiling down to where the space is occupied. Just don’t forget to turn the fan back to normal in the summer.

Check Your Thermostat

Every degree lower you can go will save you money on your heating bill. It doesn’t need to be frigid in your home, but if you can wear sweaters and socks to keep warm to keep the temperature a little lower, it might be worth it. If you haven’t invested in a smart thermostat, maybe this is the year to make it happen. You can program the thermostat to go lower when you aren’t home or when you’re sleeping. Then, program the heater to come on at a certain time so the house is cozy when you get out of bed or when you are coming home. Letting the thermostat do the work makes it more convenient for you. You can always change it right from your phone.

Change Furnace Filters

Dirty air filters restrict air flow, which makes your heating system work harder. You should be replacing your filters every three months, at the very least. If you have pets or your home gets dusty, you may need to replace your filters more often. Set a reminder to check the filters when you pay your electric bill so you never forget.

Ensure Your Heating System or Furnace Is Working Efficiently

Your heating system may lose efficiency over time as parts wear down. Regular maintenance on your unit helps your system function at its best. Our technicians perform different tests on your system when we come out for a service check. This helps alert you to any potential problems before they become major repairs. We can also help you plan for the lifespan of your heater, so you know when it may be more advantageous to replace your old unit instead of putting more money into repairs.

Contact CJ Brubacher Ltd. for residential furnace repair and installation. We have many types of heating systems that help you keep your home comfortable without breaking the bank.

Waterloo Heating Services: Preparing Your Furnace for Cold Weather

Waterloo Heating Services: Preparing Your Furnace for Cold Weather

Tips You Need To Prepare Your Furnace for Colder Weather

With cooler weather on the way, it is likely that you will find yourself turning on your furnace for the first time in months. In many instances, your furnace will kick on without an issue. However, some may run into trouble at the beginning of the season, especially if they did not do any work to care for their unit in the last year. If you are looking for some tips to help care for your HVAC unit or need some heating services in Waterloo here are some things to keep in mind.

Replace Your Filter

One of the best things that you can do to help maintain your unit properly is to regularly replace your filter. Even though it may not seem like a big deal, your filter can directly impact how well your unit is able to function. When things like dust and dirt build up in your filter, not only will that debris float around in your house, but it will also force your unit to work harder to move air through your home. When it comes to residential heating, changing a filter can be a simple task. However, the exact process will vary depending on the brand of the unit and its age.

Remove All Nearby Objects

Along with changing your filter regularly, you also need to ensure that there are no objects near your unit. This can be important to do whether or not you are dealing with residential or commercial heating units. Having too many things, whether they are pieces of furniture, cardboard boxes, or something else can be hazardous. Having a crowded area around your unit can increase the risk of fire, and can ultimately put you and your family in danger.

Turn Up Your Thermostat

Something else that can help as you are preparing for a new season is making sure that you turn on the thermostat and test out your furnace before the beginning of colder weather. This way, you can ensure that it is working and take steps to repair it if you need to before the cooler weather actually kicks in. Not only can doing this help you to take care of your unit, but it can also help prevent you from being caught off guard when it does become cooler.

Get Regular Maintenance

One of the best ways to take care of your HVAC unit is to make sure that you are getting regular maintenance checks. Not only does this help you to protect and care for your unit, but it can also help save you money in the long run. While it may not seem like a money saver when you are paying for regular checks, the reality is that the cost of a maintenance check is generally much lower than the cost of replacing parts of your unit, or replacing your unit altogether.

When you get regular maintenance, you can help ensure that small issues are managed on a regular basis. Not only that, but a technician will also have a chance to catch small issues before they turn into larger and much more costly ones. Beyond that, getting a maintenance check before winter begins can help you make sure that you are prepared for the cold months ahead, and that there will be no surprises when you go to turn your furnace on for the first time that season.

Some Parting Words About Furnace Maintenance

Taking proper care of an HVAC unit can sometimes feel like a lot. The upside is, though, that by getting help from professionals like CJ Brubacher Ltd. in Waterloo you can ensure that your unit is working smoothly and that you and your family will be comfortable as the weather cools down.

Waterloo Heating Services: Fireplace VS Furnace

Waterloo Heating Services: Fireplace VS Furnace

As cooler weather approaches, it’s a good idea to consider the pros and cons of different ways to heat your home. Get advice from professionals who specialize in providing heating services in Waterloo. Know the difference between fireplaces and furnaces so you can heat your home as efficiently as possible.

Fireplace vs Furnaces Explained 

Fireplaces and furnaces are both common for residential heating purposes. Some homeowners like the warm glow of an active fire, while others prefer the efficiency of electric heating.

Fireplace

A fireplace sits under a chimney within a hearth and burns wood or gas. Fireplaces have been around for a long time, and are very good at heating the room they’re in. They require attention, maintenance, and tools such as pokers, grates, brushes, pans, tongs, screens, and storage racks. They work in tandem with a flue inside a chimney which must be opened before the fire starts, and closed when it is out.

Furnace 

A furnace is a heating appliance that operates on electricity or gas and efficiently distributes warm air through vents in your home. Furnaces are usually located in the basement or a central utility closet inside the home. They require maintenance and upkeep but do not require raw materials, chimneys, or flues.

Safety

Furnaces are safer than fireplaces since they do not require an open flame, raw materials, or produce sparks. If a chimney is not regularly cleaned, it can catch fire easily. There is a risk that furnaces could catch fire due to bad wiring or gas leaks, but this risk is low. A commercial heating service can come and inspect your furnace for any leaks or malfunctions.

Fireplaces also produce smoke, ash, soot, and creosote that can create breathing hazards. Animals and pets may be at risk for asthma, allergies, and lung conditions. Fireplaces have to follow air quality regulations and are susceptible to carbon audits. Furnaces rarely produce any odours or exhaust.

Installation

An electric fireplace is much easier to install than an electric furnace. Electric fireplaces do not require a chimney and only need a flat wall to house their inserts. Furnaces always require the services of a licensed professional. Permits will have to be pulled, wires and gas will be assessed, and the building will need to be inspected for safety and feasibility.

Costs

Installation costs for a furnace compared to a fireplace can range depending on your home. The ongoing costs, however, tell a different story. Cost factors depend on how cold it is, how much you use your heating system, the price of fuel and wood, and the overall heat loss or efficiency.

Wood-burning fireplaces are extremely inefficient, losing about 90% of their heat through the chimney. They are only good at heating one room. Then you must pay to heat the rest of the house somehow.

For furnaces, gas is almost always cheaper than electricity. Electric furnaces tend to cost more because they are tied to the market fluctuations of the power grid. That being said, you are able to customize the output of your electric furnace with a thermostat and smart technology, which can save you money.

Longevity 

The average lifespan of a fireplace is about 30 years, while a furnace will last about 20 years. All heating systems should be inspected annually to make sure they are in good condition for the long haul.

Rely on CJ Brubacher for Heating Services in Waterloo

We have been in business for almost 100 years, offering high-quality furnace repair, maintenance, and installation at affordable prices. Our A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau speaks to how satisfied our customers are. Request an estimate today.

Kitchener Heating Services 6 Furnace Safety Tips

Kitchener Heating Services: 6 Furnace Safety Tips

In warmer climates, residential heating may not be considered necessary. However, in a northern region like Kitchener that can get very cold during the winter, a furnace is absolutely essential for every home and professional building. It is easy to take your furnace for granted, but if it malfunctions, it does pose a risk for gas leaks, house fires, or carbon monoxide poisoning. With the help of heating services in Kitchener, here are some tips to follow to maintain furnace safety. 

1. Avoid Improper Installation

Furnace safety starts at the very beginning by making sure it is installed properly. The installation process is extremely complicated. If you do not install your furnace correctly, you could be putting yourself and your family at risk for gas leaks. Natural gas is very flammable and could combust with the smallest spark. Therefore, attempting to save money by installing the furnace yourself could potentially cost you and your family your lives. Correct installation of the furnace may be more important than the particular furnace you choose. 

2. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Because a natural gas leak can be so dangerous, the gas companies add a strong, distinctive odour to it so that you can detect a leak and take prompt action to escape. Carbon monoxide can be even more dangerous than a natural gas leak. It is a byproduct of burning fossil fuels such as natural gas, and it doesn’t have any smell or taste, nor is it visible.

While carbon monoxide is flammable, the real danger is that it is poisonous and virtually impossible for a human being to avoid breathing in if it is present. There is usually no sign of carbon monoxide in the air until you start showing symptoms of poisoning, and by that point, it may be too late. Carbon monoxide detectors alert you to the presence of the poisonous gas in your home before you start showing symptoms. You should have one on every level of your home and be sure to keep fresh batteries in them so that you can rely on them in an emergency. If your carbon monoxide detectors are older, you may need to replace them. 

3. Clear a Space Around the Furnace

The area around the furnace may seem like a good place for storage, but clutter around the air vents may prevent proper ventilation. Keep the air intake vents free from debris, and keep the space immediately surrounding the furnace free from large obstructions such as boxes or furniture. Dispose of used furnace filters rather than storing them nearby. 

4. Don’t Hang Laundry Next to the Furnace

Though a temporary obstruction, hanging laundry next to the furnace isn’t a very good idea. It could be a fire hazard and reduce the airflow. 

5. Have Your Furnace Maintained

Maintaining your furnace helps to keep it operating properly. There are some maintenance tasks that you can handle yourself, such as changing or cleaning the furnace filter, depending on which type you use. 

While you probably cannot perform more advanced furnace maintenance yourself, you can perform frequent inspections of the furnace and have maintenance done if you notice any troubling signs. Listen for unusual noises, such as popping, rattling, or banging sounds, coming from your furnace. Look for visual changes to your furnace, such as rust spots. 

If you notice warning signs like these, you should call an HVAC professional right away. However, it isn’t only when you suspect trouble that you should have furnace maintenance. You should have a professional evaluation performed on a regular basis. 

Call CJ Brubacher for Heating Services in Kitchener

We have been providing residential and commercial heating services in the area for nearly 100 years. Schedule services 24 hours a day.