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Advice from the Professionals
February 2022

Your Heating System is The Heart of Your Home! But How Do You Keep It Running Strong?

Campeau Heating in Sudbury, Ontario, lists 10 furnace warning signs that homeowners should be watching for this winter.

Your Heating System is The Heart of Your Home! But How Do You Keep It Running Strong?

If your ductwork is the lungs of your home, your heating system is the heart! And it’s your job to keep that heart running strong, even during the coldest of Canadian winters.

But to keep your heating system working efficiently, you first need to understand what warning signs to watch out for. 

Do you know how to tell if your furnace is malfunctioning? 

Do you know whether it’s time for a furnace repair or a furnace replacement?

In our last blog post, we told you how to Conquer Your Year-End HVAC Maintenance Checklist and Say Goodbye to Winter! But winter is still holding on - keeping our furnaces running hard for just a few weeks longer.

So, in this article, our Campeau Heating technicians are going to help your furnace survive this last bout of cold weather! How? By making sure it’s operating in peak condition!

Plus, being aware of repair or replacement needs NOW could save you from being entirely without heat next winter! Something Canadians would really rather not experience, especially in Northern Ontario.

Below are 10 furnace warning signs that you should be watching out for. Keep in mind that most of these simply need a small furnace repair visit. But others could be pointing to a bigger problem!

If you’re not sure how to inspect your furnace on your own, contact our heating experts in Sudbury, Ontario!

 

How To Know If You Need A New Furnace: 10 Warning Signs To Watch For

Before you go ahead and replace your current furnace system, let’s learn what warning signs you should be watching out for. After all, your furnace may not need a full replacement. It may just need a quick furnace repair!

Furnace Warning Signs:

  1. Unusual Noises

One of the telltale signs of a broken furnace is hearing it make unusual noises. If your furnace begins making banging or screeching sounds, it’s time to get it checked out! The problem could simply be a small repair, but catching the repair early could save you thousands of dollars, or even a full replacement. 

  1. Strange Smells

Unusual smells are also a telltale sign of a broken furnace. While some furnace smells are normal, and some call for small repairs, others are there to warn you. Specifically the smell of mercaptan. This chemical smells like rotten eggs and is added to gas furnace fuel as a safety precaution.

If you start to smell rotten eggs, leave your home immediately. It could mean there is a gas leak in your furnace.

  1. High Utility Bills

Have your heating bills begun to skyrocket? Although this winter has been much colder than expected and fuel prices have increased significantly, rising utility bills could mean something more.

Did you know that your furnace will actually consume more energy if it isn’t operating at peak efficiency? This could be due to a simple repair, or it could mean that your furnace is about to call it quits for good.

  1. Uneven Heating

Uneven heat distribution is when some of the rooms in your home are warm, while others remain cold. Central furnaces are meant to heat all rooms in your home (that are connected to your ductwork) evenly. This means that each room in your home should be receiving the same amount of heat.

If your furnace is failing to provide even heating to your home, it usually means that it is no longer able to circulate heat efficiently.

  1. Excessive Dust

Is there more dust in your home than normal? Excessive amounts of dust, especially near furnace vents, are a clear sign of an old filter. If you don’t change your furnace filter, this could affect your indoor air quality!

  1. Higher Carbon Monoxide Levels

There are many factors in a furnace that can cause carbon monoxide levels to rise dangerously high. That includes poor ventilation, a broken heat exchanger, a blogged flue pipe etc.

Signs of rising carbon monoxide levels:
  • Rust on pipe connections.
  • No updraft in the chimney.
  • Water leaking from the base of your chimney.
  • Black streaks appearing on walls (soot streaking).
  • Moisture on surfaces near your furnace.
You should also be watching for symptoms of carbon monoxide over-exposure:
  • Burning eyes
  • Flu symptoms
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea etc.

Exit your home immediately if you believe there are high levels of carbon monoxide.

  1. A Yellow Pilot Light

Another way to check for a carbon monoxide leak in your furnace is to look at your pilot light. This light should be bright blue! If it’s not blue, or worse, if it’s yellow, this means you may have a carbon monoxide leak in your home.

Again, exit your home immediately if you believe there are high levels of carbon monoxide.

  1. Frequent Furnace Repair Calls

How many times did your furnace need repairing this winter? Twice? Three times? More than three times?

At Campeau Heating, we always recommend scheduling an annual furnace maintenance appointment. But if you’re scheduling numerous repair visits each winter or calling for frequent emergency fixes, it might be time to start furnace shopping!

  1. Odd and Persistent Health Issues In Your Family

Has your family been experiencing odd and persistent health issues? These can include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Allergies etc.

If so, this could be due to an ageing furnace (which we’ll talk about next). Old furnaces lose efficiency over time. This makes it more and more difficult for them to filter out unwanted particles.

Your family's health symptoms could be due to a growing level of dust, mould and allergens in your indoor air!

  1. Old Age

Old age is a common furnace warning sign that most homeowners simply brush off. After all, “why fix something that isn’t broken”?

But you might begin to regret that response when your 25-year-old furnace decides to conk out in the middle of winter.

Furnaces normally last anywhere from 15-20 years. So, if you installed your current furnace in the 90’s, it’s time to start looking at your options.

 

Schedule Your Furnace Maintenance Appointment Today

If you’ve noticed any of the above warning signs, schedule your furnace maintenance right away. Just a quick repair could save you thousands of dollars!

Our heating technicians at Campeau Heating have been repairing furnaces for over 30 years! No matter what type of furnace you have, we’ll be there to help get it back up and running.

Furnaces We Service at Campeau Heating:

 

Schedule Your Furnace Repair or Replacement With Campeau Heating in Sudbury, Ontario!

Creating a safe and comfortable environment for your family is the reason we do what we do. That’s why we provide you with as much knowledge, experience and advice as we can.

We’ve been servicing Sudbury, Ontario, and surrounding areas since 1983 and have got quite a bit of heating experience under our belts. Give us a call at (705) 560-2441 or contact us online! We’ll be happy to help you select, install and maintain the heating solution that fits your home and budget best.

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Conquer Your Year-End HVAC Maintenance Checklist and Say Goodbye to Winter!

Campeau Heating in Sudbury, Ontario, provides a spring HVAC maintenance checklist for local homeowners.

Conquer Your Year-End HVAC Maintenance Checklist and Say Goodbye to Winter!

If you’re ready to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring, this article is for you.

Although it is not quite time to turn your furnace off for the season, it is time to start getting your HVAC system ready for winter’s end. This includes cleaning your vents, changing your furnace filter, booking your air duct cleaning, preparing your air conditioner etc.

Not sure where to begin?

Our heating and cooling experts at Campeau Heating have just created an easy end-of-winter- HVAC maintenance checklist for you, our local Sudbury homeowners! 

Whether you’re a beginner homeowner or just in need of a few seasonal reminders, we’re here to help. We’ll make sure that your HVAC system is ready to make the smooth transition from winter to spring. 

In this article, our technicians explore the needs of both end-of-season furnace maintenance and spring air conditioning preparation. But before we get into the checklist, let’s talk about, 

  1. Why closing your furnace down for the winter is necessary, and
  2. Why preparing your air conditioner for spring ahead of time is crucial!

 

The Importance of Spring HVAC Maintenance 

Why does your furnace need spring maintenance?

Keeping up with the weather this winter has been next to impossible - especially with the many weather advisories, snowfall warnings and extreme cold alerts. It’s no wonder Sudbury homeowners have been staying burrowed away in their homes with the heat cranked up high! 

As you begin to make the well-deserved transition from the frigid cold of winter to the welcoming temperatures of spring, keep in mind that your furnace might not be so forgiving. 

With temperatures falling so far below zero, heating systems have had to work extra hard just to keep up! So, before you close down your furnace for the year, we recommend following a seasonal shut-down checklist and checking for furnace repair warning signs

Taking extra care to ensure that your furnace is well-maintained before shutting it off for the season is going to help you: 
  • Improve your heating performance.
  • Improve your indoor air quality.
  • Increase your energy efficiency. 
  • Lower your utility bills. 
  • And avoid untimely repairs this fall!

Spring furnace maintenance will also give you a headstart for the 2022-2023 winter season ahead.

Why is spring air conditioner maintenance so important?

The more obvious HVAC maintenance you’ll need to check off your list this spring is your pre-summer air conditioning tune-up. 

Unless you thought ahead last fall, when you turned your AC unit off for the winter, this part of your HVAC system is going to need a major tune-up. Including a deep cleaning of all indoor and outdoor components.

This thorough spring tune-up on your air conditioner will help you: 
  • Extend the life of your AC unit.
  • Improve the unit’s energy efficiency.
  • Improve your indoor air quality.
  • Improve cooling performance. 
  • And more!

Did you know that many HVAC manufacturers need their units to receive regular, professional maintenance in order for their warranties to stay relevant? Keeping up with the seasonal maintenance needs of your air conditioner will ensure that your warranty remains in place! 

Spring HVAC Maintenance Checklist For Both Your Furnace and Air Conditioner

Now for the good part - your spring HVAC maintenance checklist. We made sure to make this list as practical and manageable as possible.

Your Seasonal Furnace Shut Down Checklist 

  1. Change your furnace filter.

Changing your furnace filter is one of the most important spring furnace maintenance tasks you should have on your list. Why?

This quick filter replacement can: 
  • Increase the lifespan of your furnace. 
  • Improve your furnace efficiency. 
  • Improve your indoor air quality. 
  • Reduce your maintenance costs.
  1. Clean out your vents and grilles. 

During the winter months, your supply vents and return grilles can become quite clogged with pet hair, dirt and dust. 

To clean these components for the upcoming spring season, you can simply use your indoor vacuum! 

  1. Check your insulation. 

Insulation is a huge factor in keeping your house warm in winter and cool in the summer.

When checking your insulation, be sure to include: 
  • Your home insulation (upstairs, downstairs, the attic etc.)
  • Your internal HVAC unit insulation.
  • The insulation around your pipes. 
  1. Test your thermostat. 

Testing and resetting your thermostat before a new season begins is critical to ensuring that your HVAC system is running properly. 

If you’ve found that your thermostat is malfunctioning or even out of date, it might be time for an upgrade! 

If so, consider upgrading to a smart thermostat!

A smart thermostat has the incredible ability to: 
  • Be controlled remotely using a smartphone. 
  • Lower your energy costs. 
  • Track energy usage and learn the unique patterns of your home. 
  • Create a home energy profile that adjusts your heating and cooling needs automatically. 
  1. Readjust your whole-house humidifier settings. 

Readjusting your whole-house humidifier settings goes hand in hand with resetting your thermostat. 

Indoor humidity levels should be set to a minimum of 40% during the winter months. But, as you transition from winter to summer, that humidity setting should be readjusted to a maximum of 60%. 

Learn more about Improving Your 2022 Indoor Air Quality With Optimal Humidity Control here!

 

Your Spring Air Conditioning Tune-up Checklist

  1. Change your air filter. 

Changing your air conditioner filter is equally as important as changing your furnace filter. An old filter can cause an unnecessary buildup of dirt and debris in your AC unit. This buildup then causes your HVAC system to work harder and consume more energy to operate. 

We always recommend changing your HVAC filter every 30-90 days. 

  1. Clean out (and around) your outdoor unit. 

After a long fall and winter season, your outdoor AC unit is likely full of leaves, dirt, branches etc. Clearing out a two-foot diameter around your outdoor unit can help your air conditioner operate more efficiently once turned on. 

  1. Schedule your spring air duct cleaning. 

Spring air duct cleaning is a MUST. Metaphorically speaking, your air ducts are the lungs of your home. So, when you clear out the dust, mold and other airborne toxins in your ductwork, you instantly improve your indoor air quality. 

As we near the spring allergy season, cleaning out your ductwork can also drastically reduce your allergy symptoms. 

  1. Repair air drafts and leaks within your home. 

Repairing air drafts in your home falls under the same category as improving your home insulation. After all, what’s the point of cooling your home in the summer if all that cool air is just blowing straight outdoors? 

Five Common places to look for air leaks in your home: 
  • Window weather stripping 
  • Door seals 
  • Gas service entrances 
  • Attic hatches 
  • Dryer vent entrances 
  1. Check your refrigerant levels. 

Lastly, before you turn your air conditioner on, you should always check your refrigerant levels. If the refrigerant levels are low, it means that there is a leak in your AC unit. This leak, if not repaired, can cause major and expensive damage to your air conditioner - including a new compressor! 

 

Schedule Your Professional Spring Air Conditioning Tune-Up 

If this list is overwhelming, or you simply do not have the time for it, you can also schedule a professional air conditioning tune-up! 

During a spring air conditioning tune-up, your HVAC technician will ensure that your system is 100% prepared for the summer season ahead. 

 

Contact Your Local Heating and Cooling Technicians at Campeau Heating 

We’re all excited to begin making that transition from winter to spring, but simply turning your furnace off and your air conditioner on is not the solution. 

Start your spring cleaning the right way with our spring HVAC maintenance checklist! And, if you need any help going through the steps, we highly encourage you to reach out to our team. We’ll inspect your HVAC system, note any necessary repairs/replacements and help ensure that your system is ready to go before the first heatwave hits! 

Contact our team today at (705) 560-2441 or Fill In This Form to get started on HVAC spring cleaning!

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Your Energy Efficient Answer to Year Round Heating and Cooling! The 2-in-1 Heat Pump!

Campeau Heating helps Sudbury, Ontario, homeowners save on their annual energy costs with Heat Pump technology solutions.

Your Energy Efficient Answer to Year Round Heating and Cooling! The 2-in-1 Heat Pump!

It’s that weird time of year again. Spring is peeping out just around the corner, yet winter is holding on with all its might. Is there an affordable way to begin preparing your home for the warmer months ahead, while still keeping your heating top of mind? 

A heat pump is your quick fix for the best year-round heating and cooling! It does the job of both systems while lowering your energy consumption at the same time. 

Who wouldn’t love to lower their carbon footprint and save money at the same time? 

Keep reading to learn more about heat pump technology from our Campeau Heating experts! 

 

What Is a Heat Pump and How Does it Work?

After the frigid Canadian winter we just experienced in Sudbury, Ontario, the last thing we want to think about is cold air conditioning. But if you’re looking for a way to maximize your year-round heating and cooling efficiency, now is the time to start looking. Especially with heat pump technology becoming increasingly popular! 

Between 2000 and 2016, heat pump installations in Canada went from 400,000 to 700,000! And not just for homeowners. Business owners have also seen the obvious benefits of heat pump technology - quickly adopting this form of heating and cooling within their commercial locations. Why? To lower their energy costs and provide cleaner air for their staff and customers!

But, before we get into all the benefits, let’s talk about the system itself. What is a heat pump and how does it work? 

A heat pump essentially moves energy from one place to another - “pumping” it either inside or outside your home. It does use electricity to operate, but, it does so in a much more energy-efficient way - relying mainly on renewable energy sources. 

To better understand how a heat pump operates, think of it as having two main components. 

  1. The source, and 
  2. The sink. 

The source is where the heat energy comes from while the sink is where the heat energy is going.

Heat pumps function by: 

a) Removing the heat energy found in a low-temperature location and,

b) Delivering it to a higher temperature location. 

This process can also be reversed by simply flicking the switch. This will effectively swap which area is the source and which is the sink. 

Here’s how this process works from season to season. 

During the winter: Heat pumps take heat energy from the ground, air or water and use it to heat your home.

During the summer: Heat pumps remove heat energy from within the home and “pump” it outdoors. (You might notice that this process is very much like that of a traditional air conditioner system). 

 

The 2 Main Types of Heat Pump Sources Used in Ontario: 

  1. Air-Source Heat Pump 

An air-source heat pump is currently the most popular heat pump in Canada. It operates by either drawing heat from the outside air or rejecting heat to the outside air. 

2. Ground-Source Geothermal Heat Pump 

A ground-source heat pump, also called geothermal heating and cooling, uses the ground or groundwater as its source. It either takes heat energy from the ground or rejects heat energy towards the ground. 

Ground-source heat pumps aren’t quite as popular as air-source heat pumps. But they are steadily becoming more widely used across Canadian provinces. 

 

The 2 Main Types of Heat Pump Sinks Used in Ontario: 

1. Indoor air is heated using a central, ducted heat pump system or a ductless heat pump system. 

A central ducted heat pump uses ductwork to deliver consistent heating and cooling throughout the home. 

A ductless heat pump, or mini-split heat pump, is a more modern form of technology that offers zoned heating and cooling. This heat sink uses many heat pump heads throughout the house in order to deliver its heat.  

Zoned heating allows the homeowner to control the temperature of individual rooms in their home. This prevents your HVAC unit from working to maintain equal temperature throughout your entire house. 

2. Indoor water is heated using a hydronic heat pump system (ie. radiant floor heating). 

As the name implies, a hydronic heat pump system uses water to deliver the heat to its sink. Some of the common hydronic sinks include radiant floor heating, radiators or fan coil units. 

 

Benefits of Heating and Cooling With a Heat Pump

  • Increased Energy Efficiency 
  • Lower Energy Costs 
  • Reduced Carbon Footprint 
  • Dual Heating and Cooling
  • Safe Operation 
  • Long-Lasting (approximately ten years longer than a fossil fuel heating solution)
  • Improved Indoor Air Quality 
  • Increased Home Value 
  • Low Maintenance

 

Why Are Heat Pumps More Efficient Than Traditional Furnace and Air Conditioning Technology?

As we mentioned before, heat pumps do use electricity. But this electricity is used in the most efficient manner possible. And the system relies much more heavily on renewable energy to operate. 

The electricity used to operate a heat pump is only used to transfer thermal energy. And the thermal energy created by this process exceeds the amount used to operate it. For every 1kW of electricity consumed, a heat pump can produce 3-4.5kW more!

In fact, heat pump technology can produce five units of heat energy, with four of these units being entirely free! 

With these savings, you’ll be lowering your heating and cooling bills in no time! 

Does a Heat Pump Work in Colder Climates, Like Sudbury Ontario?

Although it might seem improbable for heat pumps to operate in colder climates, modern technology says otherwise! Both air-source and ground-source heat pumps are now designed to work in the cold Canadian regions.

Ground-Source (Geothermal) Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps use the more reliable temperatures of the ground as their heat source. Since their network of underground piping is below the frost line, the system has less chance of losing efficiency when temperatures go far below freezing. 

Air-Source Heat Pumps

Air-source heat pumps rely on the heat energy found within the outdoor air. But they lose efficiency once temperatures reach between -3.8-4.4 degrees Celcius. Why? During winter, the outdoor air holds much less heat energy. Which makes the heat pump have to work extra hard to bring in enough heat for the home.

Cold Climate Heat Pumps

If you are looking to install an air-source heat pump, we recommend considering a Cold Climate Heat Pump (CCHP). This newer air-source heat pump is designed for the cold climate of Canada. It allows the heat pump to maintain its efficiency even during frigid temperatures by using: 

  • Variable-capacity compressors and, 
  • Improved heat exchanger designs and controls.

Hybrid Heating 

If you are looking for a more winter-friendly heating solution, you can also invest in a hybrid heating system - both a heat pump and a furnace! 

By using a heat pump as your main heating service and a furnace as your backup, you can still lower your heating bills! But you'll be ensuring that your home is protected from the unpredictable cold at the same time.

 

Learn More About Heat Pump Technology With Our Campeau Heating Experts! 

Heat pump technology is an incredible invention! Our Campeau Heating team is very excited to explore this opportunity with our Sudbury homeowners and business owners. 

If you’re interested in learning more about heating and cooling with a heat pump, let us know! You can contact our HVAC experts at (705) 560-2441 or Request a Free Quote Here!

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