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gas furnace repairs

What is a Furnace Tune-Up and Why Do I Need One?

We’ve all heard of an automotive tune-up, and know the importance of getting our oil and fluids changed, and our filters and sparkplugs replaced.

But if you ask most people what’s involved in a furnace tune-up, there’s a good chance you’ll be met with blank stares.

A furnace tune-up is a preventative maintenance appointment for one of your home’s most important, hardest-working (and expensive) appliances. It is performed by a trained professional who specializes in furnace maintenance, cleaning, and repair. In Calgary, a full-service furnace tune-up from a reputable provider will cost around $150. You can often get a price reduction if you combine the tune-up with another service, such as duct and furnace cleaning.

What’s involved in a furnace tune-up

A comprehensive furnace tune-up can involve a 50+ point testing and inspection checklist. It will include a detailed review and assessment of all key components, including the heat exchanger, flame sensor, ignitor, burners, venting and flue stacks, thermostat, wiring, blower motor, belts, switches, carbon monoxide detectors, humidifier, UV light… the list goes on.

The service technician will also provide general maintenance, such as cleaning the flame sensor, burner assembly, furnace cabinet, lubricating any bearings (if required), and more. The tune-up should include measuring and recording key performance indicators to determine if the furnace is operating at full or reduced efficiency.

When is the best time to get a furnace tune-up?

Winter is your furnace’s “time to shine”. A fall tune-up can help you be proactive in identifying and addressing issues that could cause your furnace to unexpectedly quit at the most inconvenient moment. That said, there is no wrong time to get your furnace tuned-up. Often it comes down to when is most convenient for you. Plus, you may even save money by booking your tune-up in the slow season.

What are the benefits of getting a furnace tune-up?

There are several ways you can benefit by regularly having your furnace tuned-up by a professional.

1. Keep your home safe and secure

In Calgary and most parts of Canada, furnaces run on natural gas. If there is a leak, it can pose a danger to you and your family and, worst-case, cause extensive damage. A furnace tune-up can determine if there is any risk of a carbon monoxide leak and address any issues that may be cause for concern.

2. Reduce the likelihood of furnace repairs

Inspection and regular maintenance can help you avoid problems before they get worse. And if you have to call a furnace repair person for 24/7 emergency service, it will cost you more.

3. Lower your energy bills

If your furnace isn’t running at full efficiency, it may need to kick-in more frequently to maintain the desired temperature. This can consume more electricity and natural gas, which means higher utility bills.

4. Improved comfort and performance

You expect your furnace to work, no matter how cold it gets. A tune-up helps ensure your furnace is running at its best and keeping your house warm day and night. Even if its’ -30°C, you should still be able to walk around in your PJs without having to be wrapped up in a blanket!

Choosing the right furnace repair company

Be sure to choose a licensed furnace maintenance, service, and repair company. Make sure they’re insured.  Ask what services they provide as part of their tune-up/maintenance package. And it doesn’t hurt to check their Google reviews, to see what other customers have to say.

Stay toasty, Calgary!

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A/C Tune Up

Regular preventative maintenance improves efficiency and extends the lifespan of your air conditioning system, with the following benefits:

 

  • Reduced electricity bills and operating costs. When the unit operates as designed, electricity usage is reduced.
  • Maximized cooling capacity. Home comfort on the hottest of days with minimum run time.
  • Minimized repair bills. Detect and fix small problems before they get worse.

HRV Cleaning

Most homes built in the last few years have a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV), which efficiently replaces stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air, all year round.

 

As with any other air-handling equipment in your home, your HRV should be cleaned regularly to ensure the best possible indoor air quality.

 

If you aren’t sure if you have an HRV, call our team to find out how you can tell.

Duct Work Sanitizing

If you or your loved ones suffer from respiratory issues or allergies, or you’re concerned about the quality of the air that you are breathing, then our sanitizing treatment will give you the reassurance that your ductwork is sterile and free of debris that could negatively impact your respiratory and overall health.

 

Microban is our hospital-grade sanitizing solution, which kills 99.99% of germs, viruses, funguses, molds, and other pathogens.

 

We also offer Benefect, an all-natural sanitizer made from plant extracts, which also kills 99.99% of germs, viruses, funguses, and molds. ​

Exhaust Flu Stack Cleaning

Mid-efficiency furnaces produce a sand-like, mildly-corrosive byproduct. This substance condenses in the exhaust flu stack and collects over time near the inducer/venter motor, restricting exhaust gas flow. Eventually, it enters the inducer motor and causes premature wear on the furnace.

 

Exhaust flu stack cleaning removes the build-up to reduce the chance of motor failure and maximize the life span of your furnace. Preventative maintenance ensures your furnace runs efficiently all Winter long — without costly no-heat emergencies. 

A/C + High-efficiency Bypass

The secondary heat exchanger in a high-efficiency furnace or A/C coil has delicate, closely spaced fins that must be protected during your furnace and duct cleaning.

 

For furnaces that require a bypass, we temporarily install a filter above the heat exchanger or A/C coil, and position our duct vacuum above the filter.

 

This bypass procedure prevents damage by ensuring all dust and debris in your supply duct work is collected before reaching the heat exchanger or A/C coil.

 

Standard furnaces without A/C don’t have secondary heat exchangers or A/C coils and don’t require the bypass procedure.

Furnace Tune Up

Regular furnace tune ups are essential to maximizing the lifespan and efficiency of your furnace, so you can rely on it to keep you warm all Winter long.​

 

During our 30+ point inspection, we check all furnace systems to identify components that are worn out and need replacement. Replacing parts before they break — preventative maintenance — maximizes heating efficiency, avoids no-heat emergencies, and saves on costly service calls. 

 

Home furnaces can last for 20 years or more if well-maintained. A professional furnace tune up every two years helps to preserve your investment for decades.

Reverse Octopus Whip Tool

The reverse octopus whip has eight 16” flexible tentacles, which whip around blasting high-pressure air in all directions as it moves through your duct work.

 

The tool agitates and dislodges the most hard-to-reach dust, debris, and contaminants, moving them toward our duct vacuum for collection and disposal.

Brush Cleaning Method

Our high-speed rotary brushing equipment sweeps the entire interior surface of your duct work, ensuring that all dust, debris, and pet hair are vacuumed away.

 

Physically cleaning the entire length of your duct work ensures that no contaminants are left behind, increasing your indoor air quality and peace of mind.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

Dryer fires are a top-five cause of house fires. Cleaning your dryer vent regularly greatly reduces the chance of a dryer fire, plus the following benefits:

 

  • Reduces clothes drying times
  • Lowers utility bills through greater efficiency
  • Extends the life span of your dryer
  • Lessens the amount of allergens in your house

Back Skipper Tool

The back skipper is a 1” diameter rounded ball connected to a long, flexible high-pressure airline.

 

The 1” ball has jets that discharge high-pressure air, pulling the tool and airline through the length of your duct work.

 

The high-pressure air moves the dust and debris toward our duct vacuum, where it is collected for disposal.​