How to Get Your Furnace Ready for Calgary Winters
Winters are frigid in a city like Calgary. At times, snowfalls can be unpredictable, like the one you saw between 21 and 23 December. A snowstorm dumped over 30 cm of snow within a few days. Therefore, people moving into Calgary should keep themselves prepared for the winters. The city is growing intensely at a rate of 2.31% and adding 34,945 people every year.
With winters in Calgary so extreme, you must have a furnace at home/work. You need to regularly check it for any wear/tear and get it tuned-up by a professional who provides services like furnace repair in Calgary. This article discusses the other measures you need to take to make your furnace ready for Calgary winters.
Replace the Air Filters
Air filters play an integral role in the functioning of your furnace. They affect not only the air quality but also the efficiency of the heating system. Before the winter sets in, you should replace the existing air filters with new ones.
When shopping for these filters, you should look at the MERV or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rating. This essentially informs about the filter’s capacity to capture particles in the air. The rating ranges from 1 to 16, 16 being the best. But high rated filters may prevent airflow.
Test the Thermostats
Thermostats are something that the heating system relies on for proper heat adjustment. The thermostat data determines how much heat the furnace should deliver and when it should stop delivering.
Depending on which type of thermostat your furnace is using, you should get it replaced from time to time. Even if it’s in perfect working condition, you should test it just before the winters.
Digital thermostats are easier to manage and detect the fault. They use electronic controls, which are much more accurate in reading. Mechanical and mercury thermostats, on the other hand, require some level of intuition from the users. Hence, detecting faults might be correct. It’s best to have an expert look into and validate its functionality.
Check Leakage in Ductwork
Ductwork, or ducts, is responsible for regulating the heat throughout the house. Leakages in any part of the ductwork will result in a loss of heat. So you’d have some of the rooms cool even when the furnace heating system is functioning. Small air leakages are harder to spot. Therefore, you must call in a furnace repair expert to check on them.
Besides leakage, it’s essential to get them cleaned before the winter sets in Calgary. Over time, dust, grime, and debris can settle in a significant amount inside the ducts. Thus, the system would have to work harder to deliver heat to all parts of the house. This would consume more energy and skyrocket your electricity bills. And with electricity prices hovering between $280 and $350 in Calgary for a three-bedroom home, you wouldn’t want to increase your expenses.
Clean the Vents
The vents are the ones responsible for the intake of cold air and the distribution of warm air. You need to check both the supply vent and return vent. If you’ve installed grills and registers, then you should at least clean them up.
Just like ductwork, debris can accumulate on the surfaces of the vents. So the debris will go into the furnace system via the supply vent, which will further clog the system. Similarly, the debris will be discharged from the return vent that will lower the air quality.
Therefore, it’s best to get the vents cleaned with a vacuum cleaner.
Lubricate the Mechanical Parts
The furnace heating system may look simple from a distance, but it consists of multiple moving parts under the hood. These include the heat exchanger, blower motor, combustion chamber, compressor, to name a few.
Each one of the components has several moving parts that require oiling from time to time. After a long pause, the oil might have dried up.
So when you resume the operation, you may hear a cranking, rattling sound coming off the heating system. Not only are they irritating, but they can cause damage to the parts if left unchecked. So, oiling the necessary parts is important.
Inspect Safety Detectors
All types of heating systems, be it furnace, electric, radiant, or geothermal, are equipped with safety detectors or sensors. These provide safety to the end-user. They’re designed to take action automatically when they sense danger (raising the alarm, for example).
At the bare minimum, there’s a duct smoke detector that detects fires. If they detect smoke in the air, they will automatically shut down the fans, blowers, and other components.
Before you start your heating system after a long pause, you need to check for the safety detectors. They must be in proper working condition.
All in all, you should check all the different parts of the furnace heating system. Run it on trial even before the winter sets in. If you see or feel something unusual, you should call someone who does furnace repair in Calgary to look into the matter. It’s best to get these sorted out before the winter starts.