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. 

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 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.

Why is Your Furnace Blowing Cold Air In Elmira

Why is Your Furnace Blowing Cold Air In Elmira

Perhaps the only thing more frustrating than your furnace not working at all is when it blows cold air instead of hot. Not only is this inconvenient but, in a northern region such as Ontario where winter temperatures can dip to extremes, it can also be dangerous. Excessive cold can lead to frostbite or hypothermia and cause pipes to freeze, and the furnace blowing cold air could compound the problem.

There are several reasons why your furnace may be blowing cold air, and fortunately, some have simple fixes. Others, however, require professional furnace repair in Elmira. Here are some common issues that may be causing the problem.

1. Is the Thermostat Set Correctly?

The thermostat is the control by which you can turn the HVAC unit on and off, switch between heating and air conditioning, and set the desired temperature. If your furnace is blowing cold air, check the thermostat before you call for residential furnace repair. It may be that the thermostat has been set to the wrong temperature, or it may still be set to the air conditioner rather than the heater. If you have determined that the thermostat has been set correctly and the problem still persists, then something else is causing it. However, it still may not be time to call for furnace repair in Elmira, at least not yet.

2. Has the Furnace Had Time To Heat Up?

If you have ever boiled water in a kettle or saucepan, you know that it doesn’t happen immediately. The water needs time to absorb the heat and reach the necessary temperature. A furnace heats air rather than water, but the same principle applies.

Do not panic if your furnace does not immediately start blowing hot air if this is the first time you are turning it on for the season. Chances are, the furnace is working properly but just hasn’t had enough time for you to start feeling the effects. Wait for up to 15 minutes and then check the furnace again. If it still isn’t blowing hot air after having had plenty of time to warm up, you may have a bigger problem that requires professional furnace repair in Elmira.

3. Has the Furnace Overheated?

A furnace can overheat for several reasons. If it is over 15 years old, it may be that the parts have just worn out, causing mechanical failures. If some parts of your furnace are worn out, those remaining that are still in good condition cannot function the way they are supposed to. It may also be that moving components, such as the blower, have become clogged up with dirt and debris. This can happen if the furnace filter hasn’t been changed or cleaned often enough.

An overheated furnace will not keep blowing cold air for very long. Sooner or later, it will shut off altogether. This is because of a built-in safety mechanism that causes the furnace to shut down in the event of overheating to guard against hazards such as fires or carbon monoxide leaks.

4. Is There a Problem With the Gas Supply?

If the furnace is not receiving sufficient fuel, it may only blow cold air. As with overheating, the furnace is designed to shut down completely in the event of an issue with the gas supply. This could be an issue with the gas valve that prevents the fuel from reaching the furnace. Perhaps the problem is that the amount of fuel that your furnace is receiving is not adequate.

Call Us for Furnace Repair in Elmira

For nearly 100 years, CJ Brubacher Ltd. has provided quality, thoughtful service in Elmira and the surrounding areas. We employ talented technicians and are on call 24/7 to answer emergency calls. We provide both residential and commercial furnace repair. Find out more about our heating services.