Furnace Q and A

 

Temperature is dropping, leaves are changing, and I’m aging incredibly well. All signs that tell me it’s Fall in Regina and Winter is coming (I feel like I’ve heard that somewhere). For my line of work it also means everyone is shutting down their air conditioners and turning on furnaces, so I thought I’d do a quick Q & A of some of the more frequently asked questions I hear this time of year.

Is there anything I need to do for my air conditioner?

Yes, please cover your condenser outside. If you already own a cover, great, if not don’t worry. Head to Home Depot and buy a tarp and some longer bungee cords. Cover the condenser with the tarp and wrap the bungee cords around it to hold the tarp in place. With leaves and what not falling from the trees and swirling through the air, this is going to keep the coil clean. And while snow wont necessarily damage the unit taking this step will help to prolong the life of your condenser’s electrical components.

What should I do before I turn on my furnace?

Pray to the furnace gods for a season of unencumbered warmth.

Should I have my furnace inspected?

Yes, yes, yes. Furnace inspections/maintenances are always a good idea. The furnace is one of, if not, the most important piece of equipment in your home, so it should go without saying that you should do whatever possible to protect it. A furnace maintenance allows a trained technician a chance to stop any problems BEFORE they happen. (I’m talking about you flame sensors!) Or allow the homeowner to be aware of problems that may be developing and could become an issue further down the road. Most companies in Regina offer some form of furnace inspection and they generally run fairly inexpensive. I recommend every homeowner should have their furnace maintained once a year.

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A furnace in the middle of an install we did last month in Regina

My furnace stopped working, is there anything I can do myself?

I can provide two tips I’d love every homeowner to know.

  1. Check your filter. It’s so easy to forget to replace your furnace filter but eventually it will collect enough contents that it will become fully clogged and prevent enough airflow to shut down the furnace. For your average filter I recommend to replace every three months. If you hold it up to the light and you can’t see any shine through, toss it out. If light passes through, feel free to slide it back in.

**Disclaimer: The previous sentence was rated PG-13**

2) Check for power. This happens more than you’d guess, especially in the summer for some reason, but often the switch to the furnace is accidentally flipped. Usually located at the top of the stairs leading to the basement, there is a switch that provides power to the furnace. Most of the time it gets flipped when guests just start randomly pressing switches trying to get the basement lights to shut off. Both of these are simple tips that can save you money and time shivering in the cold.

But beyond those two suggestions there isn’t much I can recommend. Furnaces can be complexed pieces of equipment that can become very dangerous if improperly repaired.

When should I consider getting a new furnace?

This isn’t a simple answer. There are many different factors that take place when deciding if your need to replace vs. repair. Age, cost, and urgency all play major factors in making this decision. If your furnace is less than ten years old I would generally lean to repairing the unit. There is still some life left in it and depending on the furnace, you may also have some warranty still.

Between ten to fourteen years is debatable. This is when you really need to consider how much your investing into a furnace that may only have a few years left. If your quoted anything between $600-$1000 I would seriously consider getting a quote for a replacement furnace as well.

After fourteen years its safe to say replacement is your best bet. The furnace has been well used and will soon be old enough to get a drier’s license. Investing in a unit is investing money to buy a new paddle for a boat with a hole in it. At this point you’ve likely already needed 2 or 3 repairs, and will likely see them more frequently if you decide to just repair.

Final question, does Family Plumbing and Heating fix furnaces?

Yes, of course we do! We have vast experience on all major brands as well as the ability to work on fireplace, garage heaters, or basically anything you’re using to stay warm.

Michelle Pheifer or Calista Flockhart?

Last night Carissa started watching Supergirl on Netflix. She was going on and on about how good Michelle Pheifer still looks. I finally looked up to give C-Rocket the bad news, that wasn’t Michelle Pheifer, it was Calista Flockhart. Her mind could not be changed until we made a bet and a quick Google image search once again proved how talented I am at recognizing Miss Ally McBeal. What did I win you ask? I would not have to make supper the following night. What am I doing now you might ask? (Besides writing this) I’m making supper. I’m making supper because operating Family Plumbing and Heating allows me the opportunity.

regina plumber heating affordable

The work life of a service plumber can be very gruelling. Plumbing troubles are always happening and often need to be addressed immediately. You can bet the house (especially on a Friday) that at 4:30 you’ll have wrapped up your last call and driving home and like clockwork  the work phone will ring.

Office: Hi Brenden

Me: Yeeeees?

Office: A homeowner just called in, their water heater burst and they have water everywhere.

Now every tech’s initial reaction is to tell the office where to go and how to get there. But that’s not the name of the game, it’s not what we signed up for.

Me: Okay, send me the address, I’ll head there right now.

And now I know that even though I have been rolling since 7:30 in the morning, I likely will not be home for another 2-3 hours.  Too many times can I count how many plans I’ve cancelled last minute or refused to make plans at all out of fear of jinxing it. Not just suppers either. I’ve missed concerts, birthdays, and funerals just to name a few. All due to a profession that does not limit itself to between the hours of 9 to 5. (Dolly?) There have been years where I’ve felt as if I was on call 24/7, even if I wasn’t that night’s on call tech the call load could be so large backups were needed. And not to get into the whole work-life balance spiel but too much work does burn a person out.

*And yes, I’m not a crazy person, I know there are countless other professions that come with this same lifestyle. This post is for all of us.*

But now owning Family Plumbing and Heating has allowed me the opportunity to have a little more control over my work life. While I was at home today going through invoices I was also able to cook supper for Carissa and the kids. This was a task that usually would fall upon Carissa as I would not be home for another hour. (Or until all the little water heaters go to bed for the night). Tomorrow I get the treat to walk my son Smith to his first day of Kindergarten. I have been looking forward to this all summer. I don’t have to feel guilty for taking the time off, or feel the need rush back to work. I can simply enjoy the moment. And don’t think for one second I don’t recognize who is helping to give me this opportunity. Tyler and I thank each and every one of you who take the time to read our posts, and allow us into your homes. We couldn’t do this without you, and our goal is to repay you with the best service possible.

Thank you for being a friend

This past July I took off with my family for a two week vacation. When I left the house I was just another guy with a job, when I came back I was co-owner of Regina’s newest plumbing company.(Yikes!)  Family Plumbing and Heating has officially launched and is on the attack to bring quality workmanship to the YQR landscape. I have especially been overwhelmed with the amount of support Tyler and I have received from friends and family. Everyone has been so encouraging to both of us. This have been my first week going full time with Family Plumbing and Heating and I did not expect how busy I would be. I thought I would spend most of my week at home sitting around in my underoos waiting for the phone to ring, but to my delight I have had to put on pants everyday! This kind of support appreciated more than a blog can describe and the love Family Plumbing and Heating receives is the same kind of support we will give back to our customers.

I did not expect so much behind the scenes work would have to be done to allow two plumbers to start cruising the streets of Regina though. Fill out this form, drop of that form, re-fill out previous form because you wrote down the date different than what “they” like. (It actually happened) But it’s totally worth it to be able to bring family oriented customer service to Regina Saskatchewan.

Thanks for coming to check out Family Plumbing and Heating’s initial entry into “Family Over Everything”, and I hope you have time to check out the rest of our website. While Tyler and I are very proud of what we have created so far, we are far from complete. (So don’t judge the website too harshly please) We plan to provide as much advice for homeowners as possible and cultivate a close relationship with our client base. As of right now though feel free to get ahold of myself or Tyler to assist you with your plumbing and HVAC concerns. We always try to provide next day service if not same day service.