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Welcome to the Campeau Heating Blog!

Looking for professional heating, cooling and air quality advice? Our experts share helpful news, tips and tricks every other week! 
Advice from the Professionals
September 2023

Before You Switch From Cooling To Heating in Sudbury, Ontario!

Family enjoying cozy home heating in Sudbury, Ontario.

Before You Switch From Cooling To Heating in Sudbury, Ontario!

It’s official - fall arrives tomorrow!

Pumpkins and sweaters are in full swing. Kids are back in school. Thanksgiving and Halloween are just around the corner!

While we have mixed feelings about saying goodbye to summer, we can’t deny our excitement for fall. 

After all, heating is in our name!

From fireplaces to furnaces, we work with all kinds of heating systems.

We wrote this article to get you in the cosy, fall mood and us hyped for the season ahead!

In it, you’ll find everything you need to know about switching from A/C to heat.


The Risk of Waiting For Cold Weather To Arrive

Powering up home heating in Sudbury, Ontario, isn’t usually a proactive thought. Unfortunately, homeowners don’t get a lot of warning before that first frost hits.

This typically means you wake up to a frigid morning - frantically trying to warm your home up.

While this frantic running around might work in a pinch, it’s not ideal. Not only are you left with the risk of bad air quality and an inefficient system, but you also put your plumbing at risk!

Frozen pipes are no joke. They can lead to some pricy plumbing repairs and even cause water damage to your home.

So, how do you ensure your switch from cooling to heating goes smoothly?

Start preparing today!


How To Prepare Your Heating System For a Smooth Start-Up

To some, it may seem quite early to start thinking of your heating. But we promise you it’s not!

Every year, our emergency repair team gets calls from stressed-out homeowners unprepared for the cold.

Thankfully, after a last-minute tuneup and a few plumbing repairs, they’re on their way! But not without a few unexpected bills…

Preparing your heating system in advance ensures:

  • Peak Performance
  • Optimal Functionality
  • High Efficiency
  • Fewer Repairs Throughout The Year
  • Lower Heating Bills
  • 24/7 System Reliability

Here’s how to get started!

1. Replace The Air Filter

We recommend replacing your air filter at least every 90 days.


Because a clean filter helps ensure a high-functioning system.

Not only does it keep your system moving air efficiently, but it also ensures that the air is clean.

Clogged air filters wreak havoc on your system and air quality - not a great start to the season!

How do you change your furnace filter on your own? We wrote a whole blog about caring for your furnace filter last year!

Give it a read, and call us if you have any questions.

2. Clear Away Obstructions

Everyone needs space to breathe - even your heating system!

The area you have to clear depends on which system you have.

For example, if you have a fireplace, you’ll want to ensure,

a) The area surrounding it is clear of fire hazards and

b) The chimney flue is clear to prevent smoke and soot in your home.

If you have a furnace, you’ll want to ensure,

a) No nearby clutter can cause a safety issue,

b) No nearby items can reduce airflow, and

c) No nearby products can emit fumes or cause a fire hazard.

What if you have a heat pump?

With a heat pump, you’ll want to focus on the outdoor unit. Here, you’ll ensure no nearby shrubs/bushes are reducing airflow and system performance.

If you have a heat pump, we recommend reading up on preparing your heat pump for peak performance this fall. While many steps are the same from system to system, there are a few specifics to note for a heat pump.

3. Clean Your Heating System

For optimal performance, you should also clean the internal components of your system.

This will, again, differ from system to system.

If you have a fireplace, you’ll need to clean the

  • Glass Covering
  • Andirons
  • Grate

We also recommend clearing the ash and scrubbing out grime with a bristol brush.

If you have a furnace, we recommend focusing your efforts on cleaning the

  • Burners
  • Blower

Cleaning these parts helps ensure the system runs smoothly. It also helps prevent that classic burning dust smell at the start of the year.

4. Clean Your Ductwork/Vents/Chimney

Next up, clean your ductwork, vents and chimney flues (depending on which system you have).

It’s crazy how much dust, dirt and grime pile up in these areas.

We recommend having your ducts and vents cleaned every 3-5 years. If you live in a dustier area (i.e. on a farm), you may want to up it to every 1-2 years.

Your chimney, on the other hand, should have an annual cleaning.

Typically, we’d recommend this cleaning in the spring, as the buildup is easier to clean then. However, if you missed it this last spring, you can still do it now!

5. Test Your Devices

Once your system is clean, it’s time to test things out.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

First up is your carbon monoxide detector.

Psst…we actually recommend that you do this monthly!

To test it, press and hold the test button on the alarm. You should hear 4 beeps, a pause and then 4 beefs for 4-5 seconds (may differ for your specific model).

Don’t forget to change the batteries every 6 months!

Smoke Alarm

Whether your smoke alarm is battery-powered or hardwired, it’s easy to test! 

Just press the button on your smoke alarm and hold it down. If the alarm sounds, it’s good to go!

Like your CO detector, don’t forget to change your smoke alarm’s batteries every 6 months!


Turn your thermostat to heat and listen for your furnace to power up. If you hear it cycle on and feel the heat coming from your floor vents, it’s good to go!

If you don’t, it’s time to give our heating techs a call.

6. Schedule Your Fall Furnace Maintenance

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Lastly, schedule your fall furnace tuneup!

This is typically a precautionary step that we recommend to

a) Ensure optimal performance all winter long,

b) Reduce the risk of unexpected repairs,

c) Help lower your heating bills.

It also helps elongate your system’s life span and ensure good air quality!


When To Switch From A/C To Heat

We recommend switching to heat when outdoor temperatures drop below 60 degrees. However, every home is different! Your heating preference might be slightly higher or lower than that.

The key is to ensure your heat is on before that first frost. This will help prevent plumbing repairs and water damage in your home!

Is it okay to switch between air conditioning and heating?

If you do it correctly, this shouldn’t be a problem!

  • Always wait until your system completes its current cycle before switching.
  • Don’t set your thermostat too high or low - this could cause unnecessary strain on your system.

What is the best temperature to set your thermostat in the fall/?

We all know the stress of high heating costs.

To help lower those unwelcome bills, we recommend using the following guide:

  • Set your thermostat to 20 degrees C while you are home during the day.
  • Set your thermostat to 17 degrees C overnight or when nobody is home.

Keeping your thermostat settings within this range ensures a safe and comfortable temperature. It also prevents unnecessarily stressing out your system or raising your heating bills.

More tips to help keep your home warm for less!


Things To Remember For When You First Turn The Heat Up

Here are a couple of things to remember when turning your system on for the first time:

Be Patient - Don’t Rush it!

A common mistake that many homeowners make is cranking the heat up right away.

This is not something we recommend, as it puts unnecessary strain on your furnace. This can leave you with a ridiculous furnace repair and heating bill!

Instead, we recommend taking the process slow. When temperatures start to drop, turn your A/C off.

Then, as it gets colder, turn the furnace on at a lower temperature. Slowly, over a few days, you can raise the temperature to your preference!

Don’t Ignore Strange Noises or Smells

During that first week of heat, we recommend paying close attention to the smells and sounds of your home. Does anything seem off?

Some furnace noises, like a pop, click or dull hum, are typical. But strange furnace noises, like shrieking or whistling, can point to a repair issue.

Smells, like must, rotten eggs or burning plastic, should also sound alarm bells in your mind.

Here are a few more furnace warning signs to look out for!


Start The Season Off Right With Campeau Heating

Ready for a warm and cosy fall season ahead?

Get in touch with our Campeau Heating technicians today! We ensure high efficiency and affordable heating in Sudbury homes all winter!

Call us at 705-560-2441 or contact us online!

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Prep Your Heat Pump For Peak Performance This Fall

Fall heat pump maintenance in Sudbury, Ontario.

Prep Your Heat Pump For Peak Performance This Winter

It’s hard to believe that fall is just around the corner. After all, Sudbury experienced a crazy heat wave just a few days ago!

Heat warnings of 29 degrees Celsius sent us all running indoors to cool down. Thank goodness for well-working air conditioners!

We only had to make a few quick repair visits to help keep our clients cool during those sweltering days.

Thankfully, the rest of September looks to be cooling down. Highs of 22 degrees and lows of 11 degrees signal that summer is coming to a close. And while fall isn’t here yet, the coming cold is inevitable!

We’ve experienced too many surprise freezes over the years to leave you hanging this fall. Our team is here to help prepare your HVAC before that first frost hits.

In today’s article, we'll provide everything you need to know about prepping your heat pump for the cold. Keep reading to ensure your system operates at maximum efficiency and performance!


Heat Pumps Operate Differently In The Cold

Is this your first year with a heat pump? If so, congratulations on making the switch! Heat pumps are a great investment for your budget and the environment.

You probably know how your system operated over the summer months. But do you know how it works in the winter?

The cooling process is essentially reversed!

Instead of moving heat from the indoors to the outdoors, it transfers outdoor heat into your home.

Depending on the type of heat pump you have, your system extracts heat from the air, ground or water source.

Incredible, right?

Most basic heat pumps operate efficiently until -8 degrees. But there are also models that can work in temperatures as low as -30 degrees!

Learn More About How Heat Pumps Work Here.


7 Tips To Prepare Your Heat Pump For The Cold

October will be here before you know it! Our team has put together a quick list to help ensure your heat pump operates at peak performance throughout the cold season ahead.

Let’s get started!

1. Keep the area surrounding your heat pump unobstructed.

If you had a traditional A/C before installing a heat pump, you would have done this already. Typically, we recommend this simple care step for all outdoor units.

Here’s why:

Shrubs, bushes and other debris can prevent your outdoor unit from operating correctly. These obstructions restrict airflow and can even cause damage to your system.

Keeping the area surrounding your outdoor HVAC unit clear is vital. It ensures maximum efficiency and proper airflow - resulting in better overall performance.

Note: Refer to your system manual for clearance recommendations on your specific model.

2. Protect your outdoor unit from the weather.

Besides keeping your unit clear of obstructions, you also want to protect it from the weather.

But be careful!

Traditional A/C coverings can actually obstruct airflow, just as a nearby shrub can.

For this reason, we don’t recommend traditional A/C coverings for your heat pump. Instead, we suggest installing a cover designed specifically by your unit’s manufacturer.

This cover will

a) Block your unit from falling snow and ice.

b) Act as a windbreaker.

3. Schedule preventative maintenance.

Next up, schedule your annual preventative maintenance visit!

While your heat pump is pretty self-sufficient, we do recommend booking a yearly visit.

During this maintenance visit, our techs will:

  • Lubricate mechanical components.
  • Measure refrigerant levels.
  • Check/Fix any cracks and leaks.
  • Inspect belts, pulleys and other parts.
  • Replace the air filter.
  • Inspect electrical wiring/connections.
  • Inspect blower wheels and motors.
  • Clean condenser coil fans.
  • Flush out the drain line.
  • Test heat pump controls.
  • Check the defrost function.
  • Monitor coil temperatures.
  • Check safety features.
  • Test the thermostat.

This may seem like an extensive list, but each is essential in

a) Ensuring maximum unit efficiency

b) Preventing mid-season breakdowns/failures, and

c_ Ensuring peak performance.

Book your fall preventative maintenance visit with our Campeau Heating team today!

4. Clean your ductwork.

Since a heat pump is a form of whole-house heating and cooling, your ducts will also need a thorough cleaning.

This maintenance step is typically forgotten (or avoided) by most homeowners. After all, out of sight, out of mind, right?

Maybe not.

The longer you wait to clean your ducts, the worse your air quality will be.

Over time, dust and debris start to accumulate in your ductwork. This can worsen the air quality in your home and cause your system to work harder - lowering efficiency.

Our Campeau Heating team recommends cleaning your ducts every 3-5 years.

5. Clean your air vents and registers.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to clean your air vents/ and registers too!

You’d be surprised how grimy these can get over time. Unfortunately, it’s just another one of those tasks easily put on the back burner.

However, the good thing about this job is that it doesn’t need a routine schedule. Cleaning your air vents and registers is typically done on an as-needed basis.

6. Replace your air filter.

If you’ve already scheduled your preventative maintenance visit, skip this step! Your techs will take care of your filter switch for you.

However, if you aren’t scheduling a maintenance visit this fall, listen up!

Changing your air filter at least every 90 days is crucial for good air quality and system efficiency. This simple step prevents system failure, lowers energy bills and removes health risks.

7. Change your thermostat from “cool” to “heat”.

The final step is switching your thermostat from automatic cooling to automatic heating. This switch reverses the valve inside your heat pump - causing it to work in reverse. Instead of pulling heat from the indoors to the outdoors, it will do the opposite!

Remember, a heat pump isn’t a furnace. You may notice that air from your vents seems cooler than typical furnace heat. This is normal!

Heat pumps transfer heat rather than create it. So, while the warmth you feel may seem minimal, it is highly efficient.


Beware of Your Heat Pump’s Defrost Cycle

You'll typically notice the defrost cycle kick on in -30-degree weather.

The purpose of the defrost cycle is to remove layers of ice covering your outdoor unit.

We usually warn our heat pump customers about this function, since it can seem unnatural. But, this function is actually automatic and 100% necessary.

It's also typically not something you need to worry about. But you should know when it isn’t working correctly.

If the defrost cycle operates correctly, the process will take about 10-15 minutes. During this time, you’ll probably also notice that the air from your vents feels cool.

Don’t worry! It’ll heat back up soon.

If the defrost cycle isn’t operating correctly, you may notice two things:

a) There is a large amount of ice covering your heat pump. This would mean the system failed to remove the ice automatically.

b) The defrost cycle kicks on too often. This could point to an inefficient system or a necessary repair.

If either of these things happens, call your Campeau Heating technician!


Get In Touch

Are you ready for the fall season ahead? Our team ensures your HVAC is ready to keep you and your family warm all season long.

Preparing your heat pump for the cold ensures peak:

  • Performance,
  • Efficiency,
  • Savings and
  • Comfort.

Need help prepping your system? Give us a call at 705-560-2441 or contact us online!

Don't have a heat pump yet, but looking to install one? Learn how you can save $5600 on a new heat pump with the Canada Greener Homes Grant!

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