Preparing Your HVAC System for Severe Weather

Kitchener Furnace Repair: 4 Ways to Prepare Your HVAC System for Severe Weather

With severe weather events on the rise, it is easy to be caught off-guard or surprised by the damage a storm can cause. Keep in mind that old adage: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In order to avoid a large bill for furnace repair in Kitchener, follow these simple yet effective suggestions for proactively protecting your HVAC system. 

1. Keep Your Furnace Footprint Free of Other Objects

We cannot prevent or predict the weather, but we can protect our assets in the event of a disaster. Imagine a perimeter of at least five feet surrounding the top, sides, and ground around your HVAC system. Clear away any tree branches, yard implements, or furniture that could be blown against the furnace during high winds and cause damage. The greater the distance between your furnace and other objects, the less likely your HVAC system will suffer a puncture or be crushed by something heavy in the chaos of a storm. 

2. Cut the Power

Another way to avoid paying unexpected bills for a residential furnace repair is to simply shut off the power to your furnace when you know a storm is coming. This will be temporarily uncomfortable for those inside the house, but it could save you a lot of money over time.

During a storm, electricity surges are common and can damage the circuitry of the HVAC system. If there is no power, however, there is no surge, and your furnace will continue operating smoothly after the storm has passed. Failure to do this may result in days or weeks without proper heating and cooling. In the aftermath of a storm, repair companies are often so backlogged that residents have to wait a very long time for their systems to be up and running again. 

3. Anchor Your Furnace Securely

Commercial furnace repair companies highly recommend that each furnace be fastened down to a concrete slab or securely fixed to an exterior wall. During high winds, even a heavy furnace can be lifted off the ground and jostled. This causes instability within the fan blades and wiring that make the furnace function. An unsecured furnace is not only a risk to your HVAC system but also may damage other property or people if it comes loose during a storm. 

4. Use a Surge Protector

While these are more commonly used to prevent electronics from shorting out, they are absolutely a wise choice for your furnace as well. A surge protector is able to sense unusual voltage increases and will shut off the machine if it believes the voltage is too high. This is especially crucial to have done ahead of time if you are not at home during the storm to turn off the power supply yourself. Power surges are not always predictable, so installing a surge protector takes away this element of surprise that could cost you money and inconvenience.

Prompt and Professional Furnace Repair in Kitchener 

There are a number of services we offer if you have the misfortune of needing your furnace repaired. The first thing we will do is visit your property and assess the damage. If you are experiencing an emergency, call our 24/7 crisis line and we can usually respond quickly. If residential furnace repair is what you need, we will send our technicians to your home to determine whether repair, replacement, maintenance, or tune-up is the best solution. If you need commercial furnace repair, let us guide you with advice on energy efficiency and the potential for capacity upgrades. Visit our website to schedule a service or request an estimate today. 

Why Turn Off Your Furnace When the Warmer Weather Appears in Kitchener?

Why Turn Off Your Furnace When the Warmer Weather Appears in Kitchener?

One of the best things about spring is the warmer temperatures during the day. It’s not only more pleasant outside, but inside as well. You can open up your windows and let the fresh air in. Of course, spring weather is unpredictable. One day it might be sunny and bright, but the next day it could be rainy and cold. Turning off your furnace may seem like a gamble. Here’s what to know about turning off your furnace in the spring and who to call for residential furnace repair.

Why Should You Turn Your Furnace Off in the Spring?

Your heater won’t cycle on if you’ve set the thermostat lower than the inside temperature, so you might be wondering why it’s worth turning your heater off.

  1. You end up wasting money by running the pilot light when your furnace is on.
  2. You won’t inadvertently heat your home if the thermostat isn’t set right.
  3. You save money on furnace repair in Kitchener because your furnace takes the season off.

Shutting the pilot light off during the summer reduces your energy consumption and avoids putting stress on the components of your heater during the warmer months when you don’t need it.

How Do You Know When to Turn Off Your Furnace?

Don’t go by daytime temperatures to turn off your heater. Look at nighttime temps, when the air gets the coldest. Your home retains the daytime heat into the night, so it’s those early mornings where you may need the most heat. You want the outside temperature to be consistently above 7 to 10 degrees before turning off your furnace. If you have many north-facing windows or have a tendency to be cold-natured, you may need to wait until late May before you turn your furnace off for the season. Conversely, if you want to save on energy costs and don’t mind putting an extra blanket on your bed and wearing a warm sweater in the morning, you may be able to turn off your furnace earlier in the season.

How to Turn Your Furnace Off in the Winter

It’s not enough to switch off the thermostat. You need to turn off the pilot light to the furnace. You may also want to cut the main gas supply to the furnace. Don’t cut your gas supply to the water heater and stove. If you can turn off electricity to your furnace without shutting down the AC, do so. A professional technician can help you shut your furnace off safely.

Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Home Safer

Turning your furnace off is a personal choice. You don’t have to, but you should spend some time in the spring checking out your furnace and AC.

  • Check your furnace and AC filters. Replace them if warranted. Make a note on the filter to remember the date you changed it.
  • Check your carbon monoxide detector. If it uses batteries, put fresh ones in. Check the age of your CO monitor. Most should be replaced after 10 years. D
  • Check the area around the furnace. Remove any debris.
  • It’s also a good time to make sure your AC is ready for the warmer days. Have a service tech do an inspection of your furnace and AC to make your system last longer.

The biggest drawback to shutting off your furnace in the summer is remembering to relight the pilot in the fall. Fortunately, you can call the professionals to handle that job. While they’re lighting the pilot light, they can do a quick inspection to make sure your heater is ready to tackle the winter.

Contact CJ Brubacher Ltd. for residential and commercial furnace repair. We’ll make sure your furnace is operating at peak performance when you need it and doesn’t give you problems when you don’t.

Waterloo Heating Services: Is A Burning Smell In Your Furnace Normal?

Waterloo Heating Services: Is A Burning Smell In Your Furnace Normal?

The heating system in your home or a commercial facility is necessary for the colder winter months. While heat is essential for keeping people warm, it is also vital for the maintenance of your property. Without heat, pipes can freeze, windows can break, and so much more. If you do not have heat, contact an expert in furnace repair in Waterloo

However, not every apparent issue requires a technician. For example, many homeowners freak out when they smell something burning after turning on their HVAC system for the first time. Is the smell normal? Is it something to worry about? 

Is It Normal To Smell Burning?

A slight burning or hot smell does not always warrant a call to a residential furnace repair company. When a system is shut down for a while, like most systems are during the spring and summer months, a minor odour is expected as the system kicks back on.  

A stagnant system collects dust throughout. When the furnace kicks back on, it is burning the existing dust within the motor, heating elements, and other components. The burning that takes place after a while of inactivity is considered normal and nonthreatening. Still, that does not mean that all burning smells are natural. 

What Smells Are Not Normal?

Whether dealing with residential or commercial furnace repair, some odours are unnatural and require the attention of a seasoned expert. Some smells can indicate problems with specific components, and others can represent issues with entire systems. Homeowners must know the differences between these odours to explain the scent to a technician and determine the feasibility of a repair. Depending on the severity of the damage, a new system might be advisable. 

1. Rotten Eggs

Most HVAC systems use natural gas to operate. Natural gas is odourless, which is dangerous, so gas companies add mercaptan to it, producing a rotten egg smell. Without the rotten egg odour, people may not realize they have a gas leak, which can result in death or severe injury. 

If you smell rotten eggs when you turn on your furnace or HVAC unit, you should shut it off immediately and call the gas company or a licensed HVAC professional. A crew should arrive on the scene quickly to inspect and repair any issues.  

2. Mustiness

Sometimes, homeowners will turn on their furnace and notice a strong musty or mouldy smell coming from the vents. The odour usually indicates mould growth in the ductwork or evaporator coil. The vents and system will need to be cleaned to eliminate the odour. 

Unfortunately, depending on how bad the mould growth is, it often represents more significant problems. You might want to hire a mould remediation company to assess the rest of the property for mould. Sometimes, mould remediation is the only way to rid an entire property of mould risks. 

3. Electrical, Metallic, or Plastic

Electrical and metallic burning smells can indicate an overheated blower or another component. The best thing you can do is shut down the system and ask an HVAC technician for assistance. If you continue to run the system with malfunctioning parts, you risk damaging the heat exchanger or other critical components.  

The smell of burning plastic is not typical, and it can be hazardous. Plastic and similar materials can release fumes into the air that are toxic. If you smell plastic, shut off the HVAC system, open windows, and contact an HVAC specialist. 

Have you noticed strange odours coming from the vents in your home or facility? If so, contact CJ Brubacher Ltd. and schedule an assessment. The HVAC, Plumbing, and electrical specialists will send out a qualified team member as soon as possible.

Kitchener Furnace Repair: What Is That Noise?

Kitchener Furnace Repair: What Is That Noise?

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Home Alone,” recall the main character Kevin McCallister’s tumultuous relationship with the beat-up furnace in the basement. The knocking, pinging, groaning, ponging, and banging that the starring furnace made was enough to scare a young boy into running up the stairs at top speed. While your furnace is likely not calling out your name, it might be making unsettling noises. In most cases, all the furnace needs is a little TLC and deep cleaning, but sometimes it can be more serious. Find out why your furnace won’t stop making strange noises and who to call for furnace repair in Kitchener

Think About When You Hear the Noises Most 

The best way to determine what’s wrong with your furnace is to schedule a diagnostic inspection. Professional HVAC technicians will come to your home and complete a thorough checklist to assess the possible causes for the noises and any other issues that may require residential furnace repair.

However, if you’re on a waiting list or you haven’t made the call just yet, you might be able to determine the root of the problem by deciding when you hear the noises most. Pay close attention and try to determine during which window the furnace bangs, clangs, bings, or knocks: when it turns on or when it turns off. 

When the Furnace Turns On 

If the noises occur primarily when the furnace starts up and circulates air through the home, you might have dirty burners. 

Burners Can Accumulate Dust and Carbon 

Carbon builds up on burners from combustion as a simple byproduct of regular operation. When this happens, ignition is delayed, and gas builds up instead of immediately lighting the flame for the furnace. After some time, the gas will ignite, creating a small explosion in your furnace. If not corrected immediately, dirty burners can lead to furnace replacement and fire hazards. 

When the Furnace Turns Off

If the noises are noticeable when the furnace shuts off and the airflow stops, either the ductwork in the home or your furnace filter could be dirty, or both. 

The Furnace Might Have a Dirty Filter 

One of the least congratulated parts of adulting is remembering to change your furnace filter as directed. Depending on what kind of filter you have, it typically needs to be swapped out for a new one no more than every three months. Build-up can prevent airflow and causes your ducts to expand and contract, making popping noises. 

The Ductwork Could Be Dirty 

Even new homes can have debris or dirt in the ducts. During construction, errors could have been made, or even prior homeowners did not have ductwork vented correctly during a remodel. To ensure that dirty or blocked ducts are not the problem, a technician might recommend duct cleaning to prevent the popping noises from the expanding and contracting of metal when airflow is blocked.

Think About When You Didn’t Hear the Noises 

While it is typically your responsibility to change your furnace filter regularly, the internal parts of your furnace should only be cleaned by HVAC professionals. With regular maintenance and cleaning, the noises that keep you up at night should subside.

Just because there are dirty parts in your furnace doesn’t mean that you don’t keep a clean house. Furnaces naturally gather dust and carbon buildup as part of the regular operation. A diagnostic evaluation of your furnace will identify the noise source and provide you with options to remedy it. Services range from cleaning and lubing to residential and commercial furnace repair and replacement. 

For more information on professional HVAC services in Elmira, Waterloo, and the surrounding areas, contact CJ Brubacher Ltd. today. 

4 Signs You Need To Repair Your Home Furnace in Waterloo

4 Signs You Need To Repair Your Home Furnace in Waterloo

Stay warm this winter and keep your home safe with a fully maintained furnace. Check out these four signs that it’s time to contact CJ Brubacher for residential furnace repair in Waterloo. Ignoring these issues could cause your furnace to fail, so work with a local expert for efficient maintenance and repair services.

1. Your Furnace Isn’t Heating Properly

This sign can be caused by a number of issues, but all mean it’s time to request furnace repair in Waterloo. If your furnace isn’t heating properly, then a technician will check for one or more of these components:

  • Thermostat
  • Blower motor
  • Pilot light
  • Gas lines
  • Wiring
  • Air ducts

A faulty or incorrectly adjusted thermostat won’t tell your furnace to turn on. This may be the issue if you never hear your furnace turn on or attempt to turn on. It could also be caused by faulty wiring.

A damaged blower motor won’t force the air through your air ducts. This can be caused by a clog in the system, a wiring issue or damaged mechanical components.

The pilot light is either always lit or lighted with an electric starter, depending on the model and age of your furnace. Compromised pilot lights won’t light the gas released in your furnace. This may be the issue if your blower is running but the air is cold or you smell gas as your furnace runs.

Air ducts need to be clear of debris to allow warm air to travel throughout your home. If a particular room is especially cold, or you don’t notice any air coming out of a particular duct, it may be time to schedule a cleaning service.

2. You Hear Strange Noises From Your Furnace

Unusual noises may be the first sign that a component is about to break. Treat any unusual furnace sounds serious and you may avoid a sudden furnace failure. Here are some sounds that can point to furnace damage or excessive wear:

  • Scraping
  • Squealing
  • Grinding
  • Humming
  • Rattling

3. Your Furnace Is Old

A furnace should last at least 15 years as long as it’s properly maintained. Some furnaces last 30 years or more. Most professionals recommend replacing a furnace after about 15 to 20 years. Here are some factors that affect how old is too old for your furnace:

  • Maintenance record
  • How often it is used
  • Manufacturer
  • Whether it’s sized appropriately for your home

If your furnace is over 20 years old, it’s likely less efficient than modern alternatives. Its effective lifetime may also be drawing to an end, and a planned replacement can be more affordable and less stressful than a middle-of-the-night emergency call.

4. Your Heating Costs Are High

A damaged or older furnace is likely going to be less efficient than a modern, well-maintained one. An inefficient furnace may be costing you more in monthly bills than a replacement furnace would cost.

Schedule an annual maintenance service to learn more about your furnace. As your furnace ages, ask about the efficiency difference between new and older models. You may reach a point where a replacement unit is a cost-effective solution.

You don’t always have to fully replace a furnace to enjoy reduced energy costs. A clogged air filter or blower motor can cause your heating system to work harder than it needs to. A simple service call may be all you need to lower your bills and enjoy more years out of your furnace.

Request Furnace Repair in Waterloo With CJ Brubacher

From a blower motor cleaning to a full furnace replacement project, trust CJ Brubacher with your HVAC needs in the Elmira and Waterloo region. Contact us to schedule residential or commercial furnace repair or inspection services for peace of mind.

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.