Fall is a time when many Ontario homeowners’ thoughts quite naturally turn to pondering the challenges of the winter season ahead.
Canadian winters are no joke! Not only is winter the longest season in our year here in Canada, but it is also the most expensive and undoubtedly the hardest on our HVAC systems.
With the potential for as much as five months’ worth of extra cold, snowy, extreme weather lurking just around the corner, now is definitely the time to schedule your fall furnace fire safety inspection and preventative maintenance check-up.
Trust us – your wallet will love you for it and you’ll have peace of mind.
How Furnace Preventative Maintenance Helps You Save
It is no secret that winter brings some of the highest energy bills of the whole year.
Natural Resources Canada (NRC) estimates that a whopping 61 percent of most homeowners’ annual energy bills goes straight to heating.
According to the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO), the typical homeowner spends around $2,358 per year on energy bills.
This means that about $1,438 of that amount is devoted to keeping warm each winter.
According to the Energy Star program, taking the time to perform basic air sealing and weather stripping combined with preventative duct and furnace maintenance can shave up to 20 percent off of the top of your winter heating bills.
That would mean an extra $287 back in your pocket. Considering that the average cost of a preventative furnace inspection and tune-up is around $150 (less if you opt in for an annual protection plan), right away you have saved nearly $200!
Why Furnace Preventative Maintenance Keeps You Safe
We haven’t yet talked to any client who doesn’t find the idea of saving $200 to $300 per year on heating costs quite appealing.
However, there is an even more compelling reason than cost savings to schedule your preventative fall furnace maintenance: fire safety.
The National Fire Protection Association reports (NFPA) that heating equipment is currently one of the leading causes of home fires throughout North America.
Not only has heating equipment caused 15 percent of all home fires historically, but it has also been the cause of 19 percent of all fire-related fatalities.
The number one reason cited for heating equipment-related home fires is a simple failure to clean and maintain the home heating system. Here, four types of systems are especially implicated: space heaters, stationary central heaters, fireplaces or chimneys and water heaters.
And consider this: almost half of all heating equipment-related home fires occur during December, January and February, which are just up ahead on our calendar.
What Is Included With a Furnace Safety Inspection and Maintenance Checkup?
An annual furnace safety inspection, tune-up and maintenance service is the best way to make sure your HVAC system is not a fire risk or an energy hog.
Here is what you can expect to happen during your preventative furnace maintenance service:
Thorough cleaning of the exterior and interior of furnace components
Cleaning of interior and exterior coils
Test of refrigerant levels with leak detection (if indicated)
Test and cleaning of blower motor, amp draw and air intake grill
Test for leaks, fumes, pilot light or ignition, pressure, burners
Test and repairing or replacing of thermocouple (if indicated)
Inspection of all systems and parts
Recommendations for minor maintenance, lubrication and repairs
Thermostat accuracy test and calibration (if needed)
Change or cleaning/replacement of air filter
Checking and cleaning drain pan and line (if needed)
Test of air flow through air registers and exhaust vents
Test of electrical connections and outlets
Test of all furnace safety controls and combustion gases (including carbon monoxide)
Full test cycle to evaluate overall performance
At the end of this comprehensive safety inspection and maintenance checkup, your furnace will be in good shape to achieve maximum energy efficiency and reliable performance throughout the winter season.
Additional Timely Ways to Save on Energy This Winter
Saving up to 20 percent on winter heating bills with an annual furnace tune-up is always appreciated. Here are several additional ways you can save even more on heating bills this winter!
We always love informing our clients that you can save up to 15 percent on heating costs with a programmable thermostat.
Change your air filter monthly
It is amazing how many homeowners forget this one simple task, but taking the time to clean or change your furnace air filter each month can trim your energy bill by as much as 15 percent.
It is also one of the most protective actions you can take to guard against home fires this winter.
Seal and insulate windows, doors and structure
You can save up to 32 percent on year-round HVAC energy costs by adding weather stripping, insulation and seals around windows and doors.
In most cases, this is an easy DIY weekend project if you are handy and so inclined, but we are also happy to take care of this energy-saving task for you.
Seal and insulate ductwork
Leaking or sagging ducts lose up to 30 percent of the heated or cooled air your HVAC system generates – before that air ever reaches your air registers!
You can save an additional 20 to 30 percent by having your ductwork cleaned, maintained and insulated.
Upgrade your furnace
If this is the year you decide it is time to upgrade to a new energy-efficient furnace system, you will save up to 15 percent, according to Energy Star. If you are replacing a heat pump, your estimated annual energy savings is 20 percent.
Get in Touch
Are you ready to save money on energy all winter while investing in your own peace of mind? We can help!
Give us a call at 613-967-1066 or visit us online.