It’s that time of year again when the snow falls, temperatures plummet and furnaces break. Although we rely on our furnaces to keep our homes warm and cozy in the cold winter months, many of us don’t give our furnaces a second thought until it breaks down, that is, and we need a furnace specialist to visit. A maintained furnace is essential this winter. We spoke with Bill Watson of Air Plus Heating and Cooling, a Toronto-based company that has been providing furnace and air conditioner installation, service and repair for over 20 years, about how to give your furnace the love and attention it needs to keep you warm and cozy all winter long.
Check filters regularly
Watson says you should replace your furnace filter three to four times a year, depending on manufacturer specifications. Checking your filter frequently will help to ensure your furnace is running at optimal capacity.
“A dirty or clogged furnace filter will restrict the amount of air your furnace will be able to use to distribute warm air throughout your home and can put undue stress and wear on the components of the furnace,” says Watson.
Schedule regular furnace cleanings and check-ups
Watson recommends getting your furnace checked once a year. A qualified technician can examine the current state of the furnace and advice you if there are any issues with your equipment.
“The whole idea is to give the homeowner peace of mind about the reliability of their furnace so they can avoid that 2 am or holiday weekend breakdown,” says Watson.
Cleaning your furnace once a year will eliminate dust and debris which will help increase the lifespan of your furnace, plus help to improve its efficiency, meaning you’ll be spending less money on your utility bills.
The best times for a cleaning are in the fall or spring and after any major renovations since renovations lead to an enormous amount of debris which gets caught in the return air ducts, restricting the optimal efficiency of the furnace.
Re-organize your basement
Avoid storing chemicals, paints and paint thinners near your furnace.
“You want as much fresh clean air around the furnace as possible,” says Watson.
Avoid blocking return air ducts with couches and furniture as blocking these ducts also restricts the amount of air provided to your furnace, reducing its efficiency.
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Is mould affecting your home and health?
By: Scott McGillivray(NC)
All homes can be susceptible to mould growth. In fact, mould could be present without you even realizing it. Exposure can cause an array of health issues from coughing, wheezing, headache and nausea to nasal stuffiness, sore throat, skin irritation, fatigue and more.
Virtually anywhere can be a breeding ground for mould, as long as there's air, moisture, organic material (a food source) and adequate temperatures––between 40˚F (5˚C) and 104˚F (40˚C). It's most commonly found in areas where moisture levels tend to be higher, like basements, kitchens, bathrooms or near water leaks in roofs, attics, walls, and pipes.
Identifying a mould problem can be a challenge, because mold can grow in hidden areas such as behind walls. Signs include discoloration of indoor surfaces, dark spots or patches. Musty odours can also be an indication that harmful mould is present.
Swift action is necessary to ensure your health and …