FAQ’s

General

CAN I USE MY CHIMNEY WITH MY NEW FURNACE?

Furnace technology has advanced significantly in recent years, raising concerns over chimney use. As a result of changing technology, many existing masonry chimneys aren’t able to meet the specific demands of new furnaces.

There are several reasons for this furnace-chimney incompatibility. First, the size of the chimney can be an issue. Modern, higher-efficiency furnaces transfer more heat into your home and less heat up the chimney than older, less-efficient units. While this means more efficiency for your energy dollar, it also means that the existing chimney might be too large for the new furnace. The result could be improper ventilation of flue products, which can cause condensation problems inside the chimney.

Other considerations include chimney height and location, proper lining and condition of the chimney. Building codes must also be kept in mind to ensure proper draft in the chimney for adequate ventilation.

DO YOU SERVICE SYSTEMS WHICH ARE INSTALLED BY OTHER CONTRACTORS?

Yes we do. But you should check your Installation Warranty first as we do not honor warranties that our not our own.

HOW MUCH DOES THAT QUOTE COST?

Our quotes for heating and cooling are free of charge.

To provide you with the most effective Plumbing pricing, we must charge a minimal fee starting at $69.00 for your quotation. With this fee you are provided with a qualified plumber at your home to give you not just a price, but options based on your needs. This evaluation can be waived if we do the work, and all of our work is backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I HAVE MY SYSTEM SERVICED?

It is recommended that you have your furnace serviced annually by a licensed gas technician.

You wouldn’t buy a brand-new car and expect to never have to put air in the tires, change the oil and check out any unusual noises, would you? In the same way that an automobile requires periodic maintenance for optimal performance, a home comfort system should be regularly inspected by a qualified technician.

We do encourage our customers to do some basic maintenance independently to help keep your cost low.

*Check the furnace filter and clean or replace it when it is dirty. A dirty filter reduces the efficiency of your furnace.

 

SHOULD I COVER MY OUTDOOR UNIT IN THE FALL AND WINTER?

Covering the unit is not necessary, especially if you have a heat pump that runs all year long. In fact, covering an entire unit may actually trap moisture. If you’re concerned about leaves and debris getting inside the housing, short covers are available as an optional accessory and may be purchased through us.

WHAT IS GMX?

GMX magnets progressively remove and help prevent scale and mineral build up inside pipes. They are healthy alternatives to traditional water softeners and are used in multitudes of applications. GMX products have also been applied to treat fuel and gas for cleaner engines that are free of harmful emissions to the environment and a saving on operational costs.

GMX products are manufactured in Chino, California and are sold nationally and internationally with a lifetime warranty. Home water systems, boilers, swimming pools, commercial and industrial plumbing systems, sugar mill evaporators, irrigation systems, livestock, agriculture, fishery farming productivity, swamp coolers, car washes, fuel lines in gas, diesel, and propane, and natural gas heating systems are some of the successful GMX applications.  GMX is “In Partnership With The Environment” and its mission is to help people save money, energy, and maintenance.

WHAT IS THE BEST THERMOSTAT TO USE FOR MY HEATING SYSTEM?

Choosing the right thermostat to control operation of your heating system depends a lot on the equipment you have. Lennox offers a complete line of thermostats, both programmable and non-programmable models, each designed to maximize the performance of your heating system. Your Lennox Dealer will help you choose the thermostat best suited to your needs.

The icomfort Touch® is our most user-friendly programmable thermostat yet. It acts as the “brain” of the icomfort by Lennox™ system, sensing the environment and optimizing Dave Lennox Signature® Collection flagship products to deliver the highest level of comfort, energy efficiency and overall performance.

Lennox ComfortSense® 7000 Series thermostat is designed with intuitive touchscreen operation and flexible programming options to enhance the performance and efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. ComfortSense 7000 Series thermostats can also be used with a dual-fuel system.

The ComfortSense® 5000 Series touchscreen thermostat is another of our programmable models, and is compatible with almost any heating system. This thermostat is unique in that it mounts directly to a wall, but can be easily removed for remote programming.

ComfortSense® 3000 Series thermostats are available in programmable models that allow you to customize temperature settings for weekdays and weekends, with a value-priced, non-programmable model also available for use in basic applications.

 

Heating & Cooling

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CHANGE MY FURNACE FILTERS?

You should change your filters regularly- at least every three months but preferably every month.  If you do not change your filter at least vacuum it every month.  This will ensure proper furnace operation.

WHAT DOES 95% AFUE MEAN FOR A FURNACE?

AFUE stands for annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency

The 95% means that 95% of the energy (Natural gas for example) that goes into the furnace comes out into your house as heat.

Only 5% is wasted through the vent/flue. Thus the higher the AFUE, the higher your bank account will be!

Generally, furnaces that are 90% efficient or more take outside air into the combustion chamber for the gas to burn, then exhaust the combustion air back outside. They do this by means of a draft inducer built into the furnace.

An 80% AFUE furnace usually will have a static flue into a chimney. This wastes 20% or more of the energy that goes into the system by venting 20% out the chimney.

 

WHAT DOES SEER MEAN IN REGARDS TO AN AIR CONDITIONER?

The seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) explains how well the air conditioner converts fuel into cooling power over the course of a typical year.

The rating is given as a single number between 10 and 23, with the value corresponding to the number of BTUs produced for every watt-hour of electricity consumed.

An Air Conditioner model must be rated SEER-16 or higher to be considered efficient, with SEER-13 being the lowest rating allowed for standard models since 2006.

WHAT IS A HEAT PUMP?

A heat pump is an all-in-one heating and air conditioning system that works year-round to keep you comfortable.

During warmer months, a heat pump works as a normal air conditioner. It extracts heat from inside the home and transfers it to the outdoor air. In colder weather, however, the process reverses—the unit collects heat from the outdoor air and transferring it inside your home.

Even when the air outside feels extremely cold, the air still contains some heat. The heat pump pulls the heat from this cold outdoor air and sends it inside to warm your home. When there’s not enough heat in the outside air to meet the demand of the thermostat setting, an electric heater supplements the outdoor air to warm the home. Extremely efficient, this process produces two to three times more heat than the energy it uses.

Also, a heat pump can be an effective add-on option to use in conjunction with an existing gas furnace. With this dual-fuel option, the two systems share the heating load, but never function at the same time. Each system operates when it is most cost effective. The heat pump will be the primary heating and cooling system. However, when the temperature drops below the heat pump’s ability to operate as efficiently as the gas furnace, the gas furnace will take over until the temperature rises enough for the heat pump to operate more efficiently.

WHAT IS A VARIABLE SPEED FURNACE?

The term “variable speed” refers to the furnace’s indoor blower motor, which moves at different speeds to precisely control the flow of heated and cooled air throughout your home. Better airflow control has several benefits:

Electrical efficiency

Variable speed motors can actually save you money on your energy bills, as they consume less electricity than standard motors.

Cooling efficiency

Variable speed technology also means you will gain heating efficiency or AFUE.

Zoning

Variable speed motors are excellent for zoning, which allows you to customize your comfort in different areas of your home and control your energy bills.

Air quality

A variable speed motor can also help clean the air in your home. When the fan is in constant operation (indicated by the “Fan” setting on your thermostat), the motor will continue to slowly circulate air, allowing filters to capture more contaminants.

Humidity control

A variable speed motor combined with a Lennox ComfortSense® 7000 Series thermostat Home Comfort Control allows you to control the amount of humidity in your home for improved indoor air quality and comfort.

WHAT IS TWO-STAGE COOLING?

Two-stage cooling means the air conditioner or heat pump has a compressor with two levels of operation: high for hot summer days and low for milder days. Since the low setting is adequate to meet household-cooling demands 80% of the time, a two-stage unit runs for longer periods and produces more even temperatures.

Longer cooling cycles also translate to quieter, more efficient operation and enhanced humidity control. Compared to a single-stage unit, a two-stage air conditioner or heat pump can remove twice as much moisture from the air. This is important because when moisture levels are high, there’s a higher potential for mold and other pollutant problems.

 

WHAT IS TWO-STAGE HEATING?

Two-stage heating means the furnace has two levels of heat output: high for cold winter days and low for milder days. Since the low setting is adequate to meet household heating demands 80% of the time, a two-stage unit runs for longer periods and provides more even heat distribution.

Longer, low-capacity operation has many advantages:

Consistent comfort

Two-stage heating eliminates the temperature swings associated with standard furnaces, regulating temperature to within as little as one degree of the thermostat setting.

Quiet operation

Two-stage furnaces start in the first stage, when the amount of heat required is lower, instead of reaching full capacity all at once. That means there’s no sudden “kick” or blast of air.

Improved air filtration

Low-speed operation allows your filters to capture more contaminants (because air is constantly passing through them), so you can breathe easier.

Efficient performance

Because the furnace operates mostly in its lower-capacity first stage, it burns less fuel than a standard furnace that always runs at full capacity and shuts off when the heating demand has been met.

Indoor Air Quality

DO YOU PERFORM INDOOR AIR QUALITY TESTS?

Yes, we perform Air Quality Tests –Indoor air pollution and its health implications are a rapidly growing concern for families in today’s society. You want your family to be safe from the air pollution problems found in the outside environment, yet you may be unaware that indoor air pollution can have a major effect on your family’s health, comfort, and safety as well.

Indoor air pollution can greatly exacerbate allergy and asthma symptoms as well as contribute to lung disease such as respiratory tract infections (The Flue) and even lung cancer. If you or a family member suffer from allergies or asthma, or if you have infants or elderly persons living in the home, indoor air pollution and its health implications are of even greater concern to you.

HOW CAN I VENTILATE MY HOME WITHOUT LOSING ENERGY?

The Healthy Climate® Collection includes ventilation products that make it possible to bring fresh outdoor air into the home, without leaving windows open. Heat-recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy-recovery (or enthalpy-recovery) ventilators (ERVs) exchange stale, recirculated indoor air with fresher outside air, and no energy is wasted.

HRVs and ERVs are electronically powered units that circulate air throughout your home using the existing forced-air system or specially installed ducts. These units pump stale air out of your home and replace it with an equal volume of fresher outside air.

Generally recommended for colder climates, an HRV uses heat from the outgoing stale air to warm up fresher air coming into your home from outside. Ideal for climates with high outdoor humidity, an ERV is similar to an HRV, but it removes excess moisture from the air coming in from outside.

WHAT CAN I DO MYSELF TO ENHANCE MY HOME’S AIR QUALITY?

There are several everyday steps you can take to reduce the pollutants circulating in your home’s air, including:

  • Store household cleaners, paint solvents and chemical products in tightly sealed containers. If possible, keep them outdoors.
  • Clean and vacuum at least once a week.
  • Regularly wash bed linens and stuffed toys.
  • Keep windows closed when pollen, pollution and humidity levels are high.
  • Ask your Theriault Plumbing & Heating Ltd.to inspect and clean your home’s heating and cooling system.
  • Make sure your home is properly ventilated. (Modern homes are well insulated and sealed to conserve energy, which means airborne pollutants have no way to escape).
  • Keep humidity levels within a healthy, comfortable range to prevent growth of mold and mildew (30% – 60%).
  • Avoid using scented deodorizers and odor-masking air fresheners, which may cause toxic chemicals.
  • Choose furnishings that emit the smallest possible amount of chemical vapours.
  • Do not allow smoking inside your home and make sure all gas appliances are properly vented.
WHAT IS INDOOR AIR QUALITY?

“Indoor air quality,” or IAQ, is a relatively new topic in environmental safety. While a lot of attention has been placed on outdoor pollution over the past few decades, the focus on indoor air quality is just beginning. The quality of a home’s air mainly has to do with the amount of pollutants inside, but it’s also determined by humidity and ventilation levels. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found that concentrations of pollutants can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors. The American Lung Association estimates that most people spend 90% of their time indoors, so clean indoor air is very important.

WHAT TYPE OF FURNACE FILTER IS BEST?

Unfortunately this question does not have a direct answer.  The question you should be asking is “What kind of furnace filter best suits my needs?”

Let’s begin with the basics.

1)    Throw-Away Filters

The most basic furnace filter you can get is a “throw-away” filter.  Once it’s dirty, all you have to do is put it in the garbage and put in a new one.

Cost: $

Efficiency:

Pros: Least expensive

Cons: Least efficient filter; their efficiency range is anywhere from 3-5%.  You have large and small dust particles floating around in your home.  This filter will only remove the large dust particles from your home.  Its aim is mainly to protect the equipment not the people living in the home.

2)    Pleated-style filters

Will range anywhere from 1-5” thickness and will come in various sizes.

Efficiency:

Cost: $$

Pros: Much more efficient at removing particulates.  Their efficiency runs between 20-98% depending on the needs you want. They also have a larger surface area, so they can take on more particulates before they start to “plug-up”.

Cons: More expensive than throw-away filters.  These are also throw-away filters, though they last much longer than the basic throw-away filters.

3)    Electrostatic Filters

Very efficient at removing small airborne particulates.

Efficiency:

Cost: $$$

Pros: Best buy for your buck.

Cons: It’s not just a “take-out, throw-away” type filter.  There is a slight learning curve on how to change the filter media.

4)    HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Style Filters

Most efficient of all filters to remove small particulates and bio-aerosols. This is the type of filters used in hospitals.

Efficiency:

Cost: $$$$

Pros: Less air-born organisms floating around in your house.

Cons: More expensive.

5)    PUREAIR Purification System

It offers a combination of filters and UVA light technology. UVA specifically kills airborne bacteria and viruses.

Efficiency:

Cost: $$$$$

Pros: Removes large and small airborne particulates, odours, chemicals and kills airborne bacteria and viruses.

Cons: 4-5% Less efficient than HEPA

  • OPEN Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Afterhour Emergency Service Available
    705.264.5989
    460 Mountjoy Street South
    Timmins, ON P4N 1V6

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