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. 

Kitchener Heating Services: Are Space Heaters Dangerous?

Kitchener Heating Services: Are Space Heaters Dangerous?

As winter amps up for bone-chilling nights and frigid days, space heaters are often the go-to for homeowners that have furnace issues. Whether it’s because of maintenance issues, lack of proper cleaning, or a need for replacement, inconsistently working furnaces can be both frustrating and uncomfortable all winter long. Space heaters offer a temporary fix while saving for repairs or replacements but can also be highly dangerous. Learn more about the common concerns surrounding space heaters and who to call for heating services in Kitchener

Space Heaters Should Be a Temporary Fix

Despite shared memories of grandparents or parents pulling old space heaters out of storage for the entire winter season, space heaters are not meant to serve heating needs consistently. Further, when space heaters become older, the hazards surrounding them are even more significant than before. 

There are typically two types of space heaters that people have in their residential homes and commercial buildings. For the most part, in the residential heating of homes, you will find an even mix of the two, electric and fuel-burning. Due to building codes and emissions rulings, commercial heating from space heaters is only electric. 

Electric

Electric space heaters are powered by, you guessed it, electricity. These space heaters plug into an outlet to help heat the surrounding area. 

Fuel-Burning 

Though primarily a thing of the past, fuel-burning space heaters still exist and are still very dangerous. Fuel-burning heaters emit more radiant heat, similar to open fire, but from fuel use. Without proper ventilation, the effects can be both hazardous and devastating. 

Space Heaters Pose Real Dangers in the Home

Though some people believe that space heaters are sometimes necessary to take the chill out of the air, a properly working furnace should be able to get the job done without adding additional hazards to your health.

Fires 

Both electric and fuel-burning space heaters are renowned for starting house fires. Nearby materials can get too hot and catch on fire with the option. In electric space heaters, circuits are often overloaded and electrical fires that can spread across the home start with one single outlet. Fuel-burning space heaters can easily be knocked and spill fuel, accelerating flames. 

Poisoning 

Carbon monoxide can be identified by using special detectors installed in the home, which are practical for the appliances but cost additional money. Fuel-burning space heaters also pose an additional threat with carbon monoxide poisoning, sometimes referred to as the silent killer, because the signs often go unnoticed until too late. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea 
  • Confusion 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blurred vision 
  • Weakness 
  • Headache 
  • Loss of consciousness 

Injuries 

Like any household item that poses a threat, accidents are likely to happen. Whether you turn your back for one minute and the heater topples over, or your child pours juice on top of it, causing a short, or the dog hits the flame with a tail wag and spreads fire to the curtains, you simply never know what could happen with space heaters in the home. 

Space Heaters Can’t Replace Proper Heating 

While space heaters seemingly provide a quick and straightforward solution to winter heating woes, it is only a tach to a more significant problem. As time passes, minor issues that prohibited the furnace from working properly will only grow. Soon, space heaters will not band-aid the entire home, and the furnace will still be broken. Both fuels and electricity costs rise as the winter season wears on. Rather than wasting money, begin saving or exploring financing options to address the needs of your furnace. 

For more information on scheduling an assessment of your central heating system for furnace installation, maintenance, or repair services, contact the professionals at CJ Brubacher HVAC, plumbing, and electrical services today.

Tips On How To Conserve Heat This Winter in Waterloo

4 Tips On How To Conserve Heat This Winter in Waterloo

Few things are more uncomfortable during the winter than being cold in your own home … Except, maybe, the heating bill that comes with trying to prevent that very fate from befalling you. Heating is one of the most significant utility expenses that homeowners face, if not the biggest one. For many Waterloo homeowners, it accounts for 40% of their total utility bill each month. If you recently experienced sticker shock after a month of lounging around indoors in a tee-shirt and bare feet, the good news is that you can take steps to reduce your heating bill without sacrificing your comfort, beginning with learning about what affects your heating costs. From there, explore all options available to you and maybe consider putting on a pair of socks. Finally, invest in heating services in Waterloo.

1. Turn the Thermostat Down

When the thermometer shows negative temperatures outside, the last thing you probably want to do is turn your thermostat down. However, adjusting the temperature down by 10 degrees for even just a few hours a day can save you as much as 10% on your annual heating bill. You don’t have to sacrifice your standard stay-in uniform, either. Set the thermostat for between 60 and 63 when you leave for work in the morning and again when you go to bed at night. When you’re up and moving, you can keep the temperature at a comfortable 72.

2. Make Sure Doors and Windows Are Tightly Shut

According to commercial and residential heating surveys, of the nearly $2,000 to $3,000 Canadians spend on their seasonal heating bills, roughly 10% to 20% could be going right out the window — quite literally. Drafts and air leaks around windows account for significant energy loss in both commercial and residential buildings. Trying to heat your home with an outdated heating system doesn’t help either. If you want to reduce your bill by as much as $400 each winter, stop the leaks. Tape up around your windows if you cannot afford new, energy-efficient ones. Place towels along the bottoms of doors to prevent cold air from seeping in, and make sure your windows are locked up tight.

For more permanent solutions, consider replacing old, single-pane windows with new double panes. Replace old seals, caulk up any gaps between casings and walls, and make sure all exterior doors fit snugly in their casings.

3. Bundle Up

Okay, so as much as you love rocking bare feet and short sleeves all winter long, doing so makes little sense for your wallet. One of the easiest ways to reduce your heating bill is to dress appropriately. Wear pants made of a substantial material, a warm sweater and wool socks while indoors. At night, cuddle up under a blanket. Double up on the comforters on your bed to offset the adjustment in your thermostat. By doing these simple things, you can drastically reduce your heating bill while maintaining your comfort levels indoors.

4. Let the Sun Heat Things Up

Almost as simple as dressing appropriately, one of the easiest ways to reduce your residential or commercial heating bill is to throw open the shades. You may see less of the sun during the winter months in Waterloo, but that doesn’t mean it never shines. Take advantage of the days when the sun’s rays are strong by opening your curtains, blinds or shades first thing in the morning. Likewise, shut them at night to provide an extra layer of protection to keep the heat in and the cold out.

These are just a few simple ways you can reduce your heating bill on your own and without making any significant changes to your home or lifestyle. However, if you want to see a real change in your annual bill, invest in commercial or residential heating services in Waterloo. Our team at CJ Brubacher Ltd can assess your heating system and either maintain or update it so that it works at maximum efficiency. To learn more about how our services can help you, request a free estimate today.

Kitchener Heating Services: 5 Common Furnace Problems

Kitchener Heating Services: 5 Common Furnace Problems

There’s probably nothing worse than having your furnace break down during the winter. You might be thinking: “Is it chilly in my home, or is it just me?” Your furnace may even be running, but it’s not as efficient as it once was. If you’re looking for furnace repair in Kitchener, CJ Brubacher Ltd. can get your commercial building or home back to comfortable temperatures. If you’ve already checked your thermostat to make sure it’s working right and set correctly, here are some other common problems that can affect your furnace.

1. Dirty Filters  

If you haven’t changed the air filter in a few weeks, your heater won’t be getting enough airflow, which makes it work harder. Your heater may constantly cycle on and off, but your home won’t feel warm. Replace the filters to avoid shortening the lifespan of your furnace. You’ll save money on your utility bills, too. Plus, the air quality in your home will be better when you have fresh filters. Going forward, every time you pay your electric bill, check the filters to see if they should be replaced. You should probably replace them monthly, but it depends on how much you run your system.

2. Making Grinding or Scraping Sounds

If your furnace is making sounds, it could just be a belt that needs to be replaced, or it could be that the ball bearings are worn out. Either way, turn off your system immediately to prevent more damage. Save yourself the hassle of trying to repair your system and call CJ Brubacher for residential furnace repair.

3. Access Panel Left Open

Your furnace has an access panel for its internal guts. This is a safety feature. Your heater won’t operate if the panel is left open. If you tried to look in the furnace to check on something, you need to make sure you closed the panel afterward. It’s an easy fix that you can check before having to call in the professionals. If that doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to call us for repairs.

4. Furnace Doesn’t Blow Air

Does the furnace seem to be working, but not moving air? When the furnace doesn’t blow air, the fan belt is likely broken. Some homeowners can replace the belt, but it’s often easier to let a professional handle the job. We’ll take care of the details as quickly as we can to get your home back to normal.

5. Furnace Is Not Receiving Power

If the thermostat looks good but the heater isn’t operating, it could be an electrical issue. You should check to make sure that the furnace is plugged in. If it is plugged in but not working, check the breaker. If the breaker is switched off, flip it back to the on position. If the breaker is between on and off, switch it to off, then flip it to on. When the heater comes back on, watch to see if the breaker stays in the on position. It might be that the tripped breaker was an anomaly. If it trips again, it might be a problem with the wiring or with the breaker. Fortunately, the technicians with CJ Brubacher have electrical and HVAC licenses, so we can check your system and make repairs, regardless of what the problem is.

Of course, these aren’t the only problems your heater can have. For example, there could be a problem with the pilot light, or the burners could be dirty. For commercial furnace repair or home HVAC system maintenance, contact CJ Brubacher, Ltd. We have emergency services 24/7, so you can keep your home comfortable. Use our online system to schedule services.